First, the Obama policy is itself blatantly political. It is red meat to his Bush-hating base, yet pays no more than lip service to recent scientific breakthroughs that make possible the production of cells that are biologically equivalent to embryonic stem cells without the need to create or kill human embryos. Inexplicably — apart from political motivations — Mr. Obama revoked not only the Bush restrictions on embryo destructive research funding, but also the 2007 executive order that encourages the National Institutes of Health to explore non-embryo-destructive sources of stem cells.
Second and more fundamentally, the claim about taking politics out of science is in the deepest sense antidemocratic. The question of whether to destroy human embryos for research purposes is not fundamentally a scientific question; it is a moral and civic question about the proper uses, ambitions and limits of science. It is a question about how we will treat members of the human family at the very dawn of life; about our willingness to seek alternative paths to medical progress that respect human dignity.
What is “anti-science” is pushing a political agenda on the back of measures intended to pacify the rabid, anti-life Left–when science is moving in the opposite direction. As everyone should know by now, embryonic stem cells (apart from their very nature as human-life-destroying) have made possible no new cures at all, while adult stem cells, and the advances in producing pluripotent stem cells from other sources (e.g., the umbilical cord), have produced multiple treatments. This executive order is anti-science by definition.