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Mad For Science

by Stephen Lautens


January 10

, 200

Mad scientists sure aren't what they used to be.

You used to be able to spot a mad scientist by his (or her) white lab coat, frizzy hair and evil laugh. At some point you could count on them to announce they were going to blow up the earth, make their enemies suffer unspeakable torment, or unleash unnatural forces on an unsuspecting world.

What the Raelians have done, with their ridiculous announcement of having created not one but two cloned babies, is made a laughing stock of the whole mad scientist community. Personally, if I was a mad scientist, I'd be pretty upset. Two hundred years of being feared and hated for conducting evil experiments has pretty much now gone down the drain.

First of all, no self respecting mad scientist who was playing God would ever reveal their unholy experiments by sending a spokesperson to a news conference. It used to be the only announcement a mad scientist would make was by way of boiling oil over a castle wall. As an alternative, sometimes you'd send out your hunchback (sorry - the "spinally-challenged") to deal with angry villagers. But you never called a press conference where the audience waved cameras instead of torches and pitchforks.

At the least you'd expect a spokesperson to wave a fist angrily at the nonbelievers and swear that everyone will pay for their insolence and mocking disbelief. Instead the Raelien spokeswoman cheerfully giggles through interviews when her cloning claim is called a fraud. She just bats her eyelashes when any decent representative from the mad scientist community would be blasting skeptics with a death ray while chortling: "Taste my vengeance you puny mortals - this will be the last time you doubt my evil genius!"

And cloning was never intended to be misused to create cute little baby boys and girls. I can hear the president of the Mad Scientist Union Local 101 say: "For crying out loud, if all you wanted to produce was an ordinary kid, why go through all the trouble of cloning? Why not just buy a couple bottles of tequila and a Barry White album?"

Everyone knows cloning's legitimate scientific purpose is to create islands full of dinosaurs who will break through flimsy fences and devour their vain creators. No legitimate mad scientist would go to all that trouble just to clone a future little leaguer. What's the point if you're not going to create a kid who can shoot laser beams shot out of its eyes or make your head explode by staring at it?

Of course the whole thing is a fake and a fraud. Claude Vorilhon, founder of the Raelian movement and Clonaid, claims to have met space aliens who told him that we humans are clones of them. Presumably they are also the ones who told him to go around dressed like Obi Wan Kenobi. The Raelians strike me as people who would have trouble working a photocopier, let alone master human cloning.

But I'm afraid the damage is already done to those evil madmen and madwomen who legitimately toil in the darkness of dank dungeons. It must be discouraging to not be feared any more, not to mention all the money they've thrown away on lightning rods, lab coats and equipment with big dials.

Thanks to the Raelians, no one is ever going to take our hard-working mad scientists seriously again.

© Stephen Lautens 2003

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