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SF424
Application for Federal Assistance

DATE: July 9, 2009

APPLICANT: Joel Grus
CONTACT: your.religion.is.false -at- gmail.com

NAME OF FEDERAL AGENCY: National Institutes of Health

DESCRIPTIVE TITLE OF PROJECT:

“Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls”: Religious Implications of Hydrological Phenomena

ESTIMATED PROJECT FUNDING: $30 million

ARE HUMAN SUBJECTS INVOLVED? yes
ARE VERTEBRATE ANIMALS USED? yes
DOES THIS PROJECT HAVE A POTENTIAL IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT? yes
DOES THIS PROJECT HAVE SPIRITUAL IMPLICATIONS? oh god yes

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Joel Grus

POSITION/TITLE: Author, Your Religion Is False

DOES THE PROPOSED PROJECT INVOLVE HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS?

It does now!

RESEARCH PLAN

SPECIFIC AIMS:

To investigate the effect on god-belief of human exposure to various hydrological phenomena.

BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE:

Over the past decade, Canadian/American indie rock supergroup The New Atheists have been steadily producing books arguing that the god of the Christian bible (among other gods) doesn’t really exist. Although the biological sciences seem to provide unambiguous support for this view, it is possible that god willing some of the other sciences may countervail.

PRELIMINARY STUDIES:

In 1977, Francis Collins (who is the new director of your agency, but please don’t let that sway your opinion) was hiking in the Cascades, when he came across a waterfall frozen into three streams. As this reminded him of the Trinity, he fell on his knees in the dewy grass and devoted himself to Jesus Christ. So far this experiment has never been replicated.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

We will collect a large assortment of scientists and randomly assign them to visit hydrological features, including aquifers, beaches, catadupae, drainage basins, endorheic basins, flood plains, infiltration basins, losing streams, percolation trenches, riparian zones, streams, and waterfalls. (I, for instance, will be randomly assigned to the “beach” treatment.)

Each scientist will be measured both before and after his trip using the Dawkins Scale of Religiosity, after which we will use some type of computer (which we will purchase with the grant money) to make graphs and play Minesweeper draw conclusions.

Based on the results of this first experiment, we will repeat on a larger scale, expanding the subject pool to include non-scientists, monkeys, kangaroos, and human embryonic stem cells.

If all goes well, I think we can get our work published in one of the InterVarsity Press science journals. We’d also present at some of the Campus Crusade science conferences, of course. And we’d be happy to facilitate inclusion of our results in the science curriculum in Texas.

OTHER FUNDING:

We’ve also applied to the BioLogos Foundation for funding. If you could put in a good word for us with Director Collins, that would be just swell!

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