I have long suspected that science, in the context of the editorial page of the New York Times, was simply a stalking-horse for something else. In fact, for two something-elses: a chance to discredit America's religious believers, and an opportunity to put yet another hedge around the legalization of abortion. After all, if our very health depends on the death of embryos, and we live in a culture that routinely destroys early human life in the laboratory, no grounds could exist for objecting to abortion.
With these purposes now severed by the Japanese de-differentiation technique, which way will it break?
The answer is, quite possibly, toward a rejection of science by the mainstream press. Since the 1960s, abortion has skewed American politics in strange and unnatural ways, and the cloning debates are no exception....
[N]ow that abortion is out of the equation: much less hype about all the miracle cures that stem cells will bring us, more suspicion about the cancers and genetic pollution that may result, and just about the same amount of bashing of religious believers—this time for their ignorant support of science.
Much of the debate about stem cell research was really about abortion — on both sides. But I see no reason to think that the "secular left" will turn against science. For one thing, "hype about all the miracle cures" isn't scientific. "Suspicion about the cancers and genetic pollution" is phrased to sound unscientific — a lot of free-floating emotion and paranoia. But it is part of science to keep track of the ill effects of scientific advancements. It seems to me that both sides of the political debates support science up to the point where it offends their moral principles, and both sides imbue whatever they have to say about about science with the emotional fervor they have for their political causes. That's what we've been seeing all along, and I don't see that changing.
ADDED: I think the term "anti-science" most aptly refers to a rejection of science as the way of understanding the world. Various religionists, ideologues, and ignoramuses are anti-science in this sense. But nearly all of us have moral sensibilities that don't come from any scientific method and that we see as explaining the world in some ways that are superior to science and that we will use to limit science, for example, when we forbid experiments on human beings. But there is another use of the term "anti-science" that we are indulging in here that's quite different. It's a hatred of technological advances or a philosophical or religious preference for a simpler or more traditional way of life. We may fully believe that science is the way to understand things, but we've decided we don't want to know or we don't want the innovations that the knowledge would make possible. I think we all are rather selective about changes we like and don't like, so we're all somewhat "anti-science" in this sense.