Scientists are given a lot of bad press. Especially as a result of the sheer number of “Mad scientist unleashes a horrific new disease / Mad scientist steals the brains of innocent people / Mad scientist tries to blow up the planet” films and books.
Think back: when was the last time you saw a film in which scientists were portrayed as ordinary people, with morals, feelings, and ethics? (Especially ‘feelings’—film-makers seem to think we are androids…)
Not all scientists are zealots. Many scientists are justifiably uncertain as to the morality of animal experiments. Most are against experiments on human beings.
Referring people to scientists for definitive answers is surely better than asking the man on the Clapham Onnibus? Many questions require a technical background before any sort of reasoned answer can be thought out. For example: “Is nuclear power safe?” or “Will Reagan’s Star Wars system work?” or “Is an x week old foetus alive or not?” —I would be highly suspicious of any non-scientific church leader trying to answer the above.