New search
download case
  • Overview
  • Teaching Notes
  • Answer Key
  • Comments/Replies

The Raelians

Visionary Science or Quackery?



Author:

Scott D. Zimmerman
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Missouri State University
scottzimmerman@missouristate.edu

Abstract:

The topics of human cloning and pseudoscience are introduced in this case through the story of Claude Vorilhon, a French auto racing journalist who makes some unusual claims regarding the influence of extraterrestrials on human history and purpose. The case describes Vorilhon’s establishment of a company, Clonaid, whose goal is to produce the first human clone. Students read about the company’s claims of success and consider the evidence as well as the ethics involved. The case is most appropriate for use in an introductory biology course or in a course on biotechnology issues or bioethics.

Objectives:
  • Critically analyze sensational “scientific claims."
  • Discuss the scientific method and what we mean by evidence.
  • Learn about the technology behind cloning.
  • Discuss the challenges of human cloning.
  • Learn about the ethical debate surrounding human cloning.
  • Discuss the influence of opinion on the scientific process.
Keywords: Human cloning; remedial cloning; Clonaid; Raelians; extraterrestrials; Claude Vorilhon; human embryonic stem cells; bioethics
Topical Area: Ethics, Scientific argumentation, Scientific method, Pseudoscience
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Dilemma/Decision, Discussion
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Biotechnology  
Date Posted: 04/05/04
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

Teaching Notes


Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering here.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

  Download Teaching Notes

Answer Key


Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering here.


  Get Answer Key



Name:
Email:
Department:
Institution:
City State:
Comments:
security code
Enter Security Code: