This interview with UW bioethicist Alta Charo averts the eyes from the elephant. I am sure that, as a bioethicist, Professor Charo understands that science does not control the moral issues surrounding technological advances. One wishes that she would have managed to say that. When asked why Republicans are "afraid" of science (there's an insightful question!), she explains that science, because it relentlessly follows the data (itself a type of faith claim), may place pressure on certain aspects of religious belief. (Of course, it may bolster others.) While that is true , it doesn't seem to get us very far with the issues that roil the area of "science and religion" today.
Social conservatives don't "fear" science. They do assert that simply because things can be done does not mean that they ought to be. They assert what former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson calls a transcendent basis for human equality is not undermined by scientific advances that allow new manipulatons of humans. Professor Charo need not share these beliefs, but she can't claim that science has much to say about them.
Professor Charo says that she thinks it's a shame that the issue of embryo-destructive stem cell research has focused on the fact of the destruction rather than the purpose for the destruction because most of these embryos are the product of embryos discarded by IVF clinics. This argument from fait accompli has always struck me as a bit of a bait and switch. Here's a thought experiment: Would Professor Charo support a law restricting embryo-destructive research to those embryos that are discarded by IVF clinics? If she won't - or advocates of expanded embryo-destructive research would not, then don't these moral claims about destruction remain in play?