Thursday, January 20, 2005

Praying that my grant gets funded

There is a line of thought that says the only intellectually honest position on religion is agnosticism, since any proposition on the existence of the Big Guy is not susceptible to proof or empirical demonstration. Thus both theism and atheism are matters of faith. Since I am an atheist, on the basis of that impeccable reasoning, I demand my fair share of the $1.17 billion federal money shelled out to "faith-based" programs last year (Laura Meckler, AP, via the Boston Globe).

I know I have to do more than just ask for it, so in my latest grant proposal I have included a diagram that clearly shows a cross, a Star of David and a crescent over my workspace. To those who object I don't really believe in what those symbols represent, I reply as did Niels Bohr when asked by a reporter if the horseshoe over his lab bench meant he was superstitious. "Of course, not," he replied. "I'm a scientist. But I understand it works even if you don't believe in it." So we'll see.

If funded, as a tithe, I will donate my institution's full federal indirect costs to my atheist co-religionists fighting the infidels of Intelligent Design.

Peace be with us all.