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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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11 Responses to “My first grant application to the Collins NIH”

  1. Ha-ha! This is totally golden. One of the best blog-posts (and grant applications) I have ever read.

    (I, for instance, will be randomly assigned to the “beach” treatment.)

    As a collaborator, I could take care of these random assignments. I will not disappoint you. And I would only need funds for a very large computer lab, 2 post docs and 4 students. And an assistant professorship for myself.

  2. Joel says:

    If I get the grant, you’ll get your professorship.

  3. James Sweet says:

    I don’t actually type LOL (I type “hahahahaha” instead), but this made me life out loud even though I was trying to stifle a laugh to keep from waking my sleeping wife. Bravo! For once, I’m actually glad I clicked on somebody’s link to their own blog while reading the comments of a different blog (in this case richarddawkins.net). Onto my blogroll you go!

  4. elizabeth3hersh says:

    Regretfully, I’m not a scientist, but I do have a fascination for cosmology and theoretical physics. I would really love to participate in your research project. Do golden showers count?

  5. Dan says:

    Let’s hear the Obamapologists defend this one.

  6. Irat says:

    Nice! If you get this, can I be in charge of conducting experiments with small containers of aqueous solutions? Mostly with, you know, “waters of life”?

  7. delan says:

    I hope you are successful! Great post….

  8. [...] supposed to point out the necessity of throwing out the religious claims. Better still to trot out Francis Collins and the BioLogos [...]

  9. Michael Kingsford Gray says:

    Make mine a triple Scotch & a homeopathic amount of Holy H2O, and I’ll do the research for free!**
    I’ll call the cocktail “The Manhattan Trinity Test”.
    It’ll blow Collins’ trinity out of the water in more ways than one!

    ______
    ** This is a blatant lie.

  10. [...] is all background for Joel’s first grant application to the Collins NIH posted at Your religion is false. I’ve never submitted a grant application to the government, [...]

  11. Knockgoats says:

    Brilliant! I really did LOL (though not, I admit, ROTFLMAO).

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