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Federally Funded NCAR, NASA, NSF & ONR Study Violates Separation of Church and State

Posted by pwl on September 22, 2010

OK, stop the presses, there is an article about study done by NCAR on the simulation of winds and how that might move water in dramatic ways. That is all fine and good except for the connection to the following religious notions and the fact that US Government Funds were used in this obviously religious study in violation of the strict Separation of Church and State in the USA.

“The parting of the waters described in the book of Exodus that enabled Moses and the Israelites to escape the pharaoh’s army is possible, computer simulations run by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado at Boulder show.

To test the theory that the biblical account may have depicted actual events, the researchers studied maps of the region, archaeological records and satellite measurements to find a topographical feature where such an event might have been possible. They settled on an area south of the Mediterranean Sea where some oceanographers say a branch of the Nile River drained into what was called the Lake of Tanis, a coastal lagoon 3,000 years ago.

The computer model shows a 63 mph east wind blowing across the area and its 6-feet-deep waters for 12 hours. In the scenario, the wind pushed back the waters into both the lake and the channel of the river, exposing a mud flat 2 to 2.5 miles long and 3 miles wide for four hours. As the winds died down, the waters quickly flowed back in and in theory would have drowned anyone on the mud flat.

“The simulations match fairly closely with the account in Exodus,” said Carl Drews of NCAR, the lead author of the study published in the online journal PLoS ONE. (Dynamics of Wind Setdown at Suez and the Eastern Nile Delta)

“The parting of the waters can be understood through fluid dynamics. The wind moves the water in a way that’s in accordance with physical laws, creating a safe passage with water on two sides and then abruptly allowing the water to rush back in.”” – CNN,

It sure looks like a federally funded organization, NCAR, has spent federal funds on a religious study in violation of the Separation of Crutch and State.

“The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is a federally funded research and development center devoted to service, research and education in the atmospheric and related sciences. NCAR’s mission is to understand the behavior of the atmosphere and related physical, biological and social systems; to support, enhance and extend the capabilities of the university community and the broader scientific community – nationally and internationally; and to foster transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth. The National Science Foundation is NCAR’s primary sponsor, with significant additional support provided by other U.S. government agencies, other national governments and the private sector.” – About NCAR,

Let’s check if the paper how the paper was funded. Fortunately this was easy to do since the paper meta data states it’s sources of funding:

Funding: The authors are grateful to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR/NCAR) for tuition and computational support for the lead author, Carl Drews, and for support by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) N00014-07-1-0413. Weiqing Han is also supported by NASA Ocean Vector Wind Science Team 1283568 and NSF CAREER OCE 0847605. The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.”

So it’s not just NCAR that is in violation, it’s also NASA, the NSF CAREER OCE, and The Office of Naval Research!!! Wow, this Carl Drews has certainly hoodwinked these groups into funding his “Christian Faith” research!

The paper states:

Competing interests: The lead author has a web site,, that addresses Christian faith and biological evolution. The Red Sea crossing is mentioned there briefly. The present study treats the Exodus 14 narrative as an interesting and ancient story of uncertain origin.

From the web site owned by one Carl Drews:

“Christianity and Evolution Don’t forget the dash!

(C) Copyright 2000 by Carl Drews
Last update: September 20, 2010

Contents: Welcome, Begin With Prayer, Goals, My Story, Theistic Evolution, References, Checking Things Out, Other Web Sites, Josephus and Jesus Christ, Transitional Fossils of Hominid Skulls, Intelligent Design, Morality Index, Apostolic Succession, Biblical Kind, Zaccheus, Concluding Thoughts, Contact


Welcome to my evolution web site! I am glad you’re here! I have prepared this information so that you may learn about evolution from one Christian’s perspective.

Begin With Prayer

The matters we study here deal with Life and Death, Salvation and Eternal Life. It is entirely appropriate and necessary that we begin by praying to God. If you are a non-believer, you may skip this section.

“Father in Heaven, we ask Your guidance as we study Your Word and Your Creation. Give us wisdom, insight, and humility in this task. Bless us as we seek Your truth. Help us to speak in love with those around us. We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.”

Ok, so clearly I am correct. This is a very clearly a serious violation of the US Constitutional Principle of The Separation of Church and State.

Short link for this article:

5 Responses to “Federally Funded NCAR, NASA, NSF & ONR Study Violates Separation of Church and State”

  1. pwl said

    “The growing problem of the steady inclusion of church and state in the US needs to be seen with more urgency than we are affording it. This problem is increasing at very disturbing levels. As Atheists, we already face an uphill battle for acceptance in the court of public opinion because nearly every singe time we protest one of these violations, we end up, for lack of a better word, crucified. Unfortunately, there is no real way to avoid that, as the delusion of religious belief has infected the minds of the religious right so completely that even the tamest of us are still attacked with vitriol. Not only do individual Atheists have to deal with unavoidable negative publicity, but those groups that serve as our advocates, such as the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Freedom from Religion Foundation, are also offered up for the same treatment.”

    “As a Canadian I can’t do anything within your political system except alert you to this egregious transgression of the important principle of the Separation of Crutch and State – one of the Eternal Battles for all those who love freedom.”

  2. pwl said

    “Mr Drews and his esteemed colleague, Weiqing Han, have wasted thousands of dollars of federal funding and consumed many days of valuable university supercomputer time, in a vain attempt to demonstrate a pet theory first described in his Master thesis, that some low lying swamp near an obscure riverbed in Ancient Egypt could very well have parted under a heavy sea breeze 2000 years ago. This is literally a breakthrough in Bible Science, folks, and I have never been more proud of our federal government in bravely funding this kind of crackpot fringe science since it was first instituted by our forefathers 6006 long years ago, at the insistence of our benevolent white haired human god.”

    “I love it. Is Carl Drews a liar or what? I am so proud that he has upheld the teachings of Jesus Christ in such an honorable and ethically superior manner, and that our government has so generously rewarded him with a job, some computer time and funding to pursue his crackpot theories. He has certainly elevated nuttery and lying to their rightful place among the other time tested Christian scientific methods such as baffling the rubes with bullshit, idiotic press releases, bold and daring public relations pronouncements and then making grandiose claims above and beyond what the evidence is telling us. I suggest everyone out there send their weekly tithes to Carl Drews directly, so that he can pursue this cutting edge research to the inevitable conclusion that the Earth indeed was given to us by god to rape, pillage and plunder for profit, at our convenience.
    Oh oh. Hold on a minute. An angry crowd of villagers has suddenly appeared, armed with torches and pitchforks, and are rudely questioning why the federal government, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have spent their taxpayer money on what any rational soul can easily see is irrelevant crackpot buffoonery, when so many other pressing severe economic and environmental problems remain unsolved, and present a clear and present danger to the health and welfare of United States citizens. I think I heard global warming and disruptive and catastrophic climate change discussed among the crowd.
    These people just don’t get it. This is the new America, and we have given over our hearts to Jesus Christ as our savior and salvation, and no amount of logic, reason or rationality is going to change our minds, and by god, the federal government now supports us directly.”

  3. pwl said

    While I don’t find PZ Myers to be pleasant or right about everything (his science education attitude is horrifying) he is on target on this alleged paper:

    “I sometimes teach a course in scientific writing, in which we instruct students in the basics of writing a paper: citing the literature, the conventions of the standard science paper (introduction, methods, results, discussion), all that sort of thing. We also discuss research topics and coming up with a reasonable rationale for doing the work, and “the instructor told me to do it” or “I like turtles” isn’t adequate — that one of the results of researching a topic should be the discovery of genuine problems that warrant deeper analysis. A science paper is a story, and it always begins with a good question.
    I think I’m going to need to add another bad rationale to my list: “I like the Bible” isn’t justification for research. Although, I notice, there are a lot of people in the bureaucracy of science who don’t see it as an obstacle to funding or publishing research built on that premise.

    A bad paper has been published in PLoS One. It’s competently executed within its narrow scope, as near as I can tell, but its premise is simply to reach for more pretense of a scientific basis for biblical fairy tales by an old earth creationist. It should have been rejected for asking an imaginary question and answering it with a fantasy scenario.”

  4. pwl said

    Shivers, not one editorial comment in the article… just the mind pablum.

  5. pwl said

    “… he used his federal employment grant and federally funded supercomputers to pursue an idiotic project that has no bearing on federal science issues. He should be fired for that alone.”

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