When it comes to the debate over intelligent design, opponents of teaching ID as an alternative to an undirected process of random mutation and natural selection argue that science is its own special field with its own special rules. Science permits only materialistic reasoning, we are told, but that's ok because science is limited to explaining materialistic processes. Philosophy and theology are the tools we use to decide what to do about those processes.
But that's not how it works. "Science" is played as a card that trumps all other considerations. You see this at work in this morning's MJS editorial on stem cell research. The editorial board argues that Sen. Ted Kanavas and Wisconsin Right to Life are playing "politics" by opposing the funding of research involving the destruction of human embryos. Folks who believe that such research involves the taking of human life are described as "special interests." They seek "unreasonable anti-science limits" as if science could tell us what is and is not human life and when it is right to take it.
In the past, people who have objected to eugenics and forced sterilization were "anti-science." Nazi scientists defended the unspeakable things that they did as advancing science in the greater (defined as the German) good.
You can argue that destroying human embryos is not taking human life. You can even argue (although I would not) that, if it does involve the taking of life, it is justified because of its potential benefits. But merely invoking "science" answers none of the difficult questions. It may tell us that we can do something, but it has nothing to say about whether we should.
Raising that moral question is not catering to a "special interest" or "playing politics" and it is just sloppy thinking to suggest that it is.