So I’m on Dan Lovallo’s program last Friday talking about the scientific break-though of embryonic-like stem cells being created without having to kill human embryos (“When I read the news I thought of the Family Institute of Connecticut” Dan graciously told his audience) and Dan asks me about the media factor in all of this. “I’ll make you a prediction and you can invite me back in a year to see if it came true,” I told Dan. I go on to say that now that the stem cells issue will no longer be a pro-abortion proxy for attacking pro-lifers, the media and the Left in general will lose interest in the research and may even eventually turn against it.

Whereupon Tim, the Green Party guy from Manchester and ubiquitous caller to local talk radio programs, calls in and goes berserk. I am pleased to know I hit a nerve.

First Things’ Joseph Bottum made the same point last week in his usual elegant manner:

All those editorialists and columnists who have, over the past ten years, howled and howled about Luddites and religious fanatics thwarting science and frustrating medicine—were they really interested in technology and health, or were they just using all that as a handy stick with which to whack their political opponents?…

Shake loose from the narrative of antiscience fundamentalists and pro-science liberals, however, and a different story starts to be visible. Abortion skewed the political discussion of all this, pinning the left to a defense of science it doesn’t actually hold. The more natural line is agitation against Frankenfoods and all genetic modification, particularly given the environmentalism to which the campaign against global warming is tying the left.

Narratives about positions on public policy are like enormous steamships: It takes a long time to turn them around. But if the news of stem-cell breakthroughs prove accurate, we may well see over the next few years a gradual reversal in news stories and editorials. Watch for it, now 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.

Read the whole thing here. I will have to more to say about what the latest stem cell news means for Connecticut.

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