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Should I be honored or insulted? September 26, 2019

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Responses, UbiDubiKids.
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I’ve written about this event in some assorted blog comments over the past few days, but I think it deserves a full post of its own, as documentation.

There is an apologist, Tom Gilson, who writes for The Stream, and apparently also has his own blog, which I won’t link to here.  About a year ago he wrote an article, supposedly rebutting Lawrence Krauss on the issue of divine hiddenness.

Now I have no interest in reading The Stream, and generally avoid apologists in general, unless they show up on an atheist site trying to convert people.  I was totally unaware of this article, until recently when Bob Seidensticker wrote a response to it at Cross Examined, here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2019/09/another-attempt-to-explain-gods-hiddenness-or-nonexistence-fails-tom-gilson-the-stream.

So as I’m reading Bob’s post, I come across a quote that Gilson used to start off his article, supposedly from Lawrence Krauss:

[Suppose something happened] completely inconsistent with the operation of the universe as we know it, something impossible. . . . For instance, if the stars rearranged themselves to spell a different bible verse each night. Or if the tree in my front yard started growing KJV bibles instead of crabapples.

And my jaw just dropped.  I knew that quote wasn’t from Krauss, because I recognized it.  Because I WROTE IT!

That’s a direct quote from a post I wrote in 2016.  I did some quick checking, to be sure that Gilson wasn’t picking up an instance of Krauss quoting me.  I don’t know that Krauss ever has quoted me, or even knows who I am, but I like to be thorough.   Gilson doesn’t give a source for his quote, and the Krauss source he does link to in his article doesn’t include it.  I let Bob Seidensticker know about this, and he quickly posted an update to his article.  I also left a comment on the original Gilson article, which immediately went into moderation, and hasn’t shown up yet.  I don’t expect that it will ever be approved, since it would be an embarrassment to the author.

You can read Gilson’s article here: https://web.archive.org/web/20190924200235/https://stream.org/god-himself-obvious/

And here’s my original post, that he plagiarized from: https://boldquestions.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/answers-to-a-question-for-atheists/


Spooky Bathroom Labyrinth Hell Dream January 7, 2016

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Humor, UbiDubiKids.
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Ever have a recurring dream?  I have an odd one – I dream that I need to use the toilet and can’t find one.

It might be that I’m wandering around a building, and there’s no bathrooms.  Or that all the bathrooms are locked or marked out of order.  Or I find the bathroom, and it’s huge, with many halls, all of them full of endless sinks and showers and lockers, but no toilets, and then finally a sign posted that the toilet is maybe downstairs in another wing of the building.

Endless sinks

If I finally do find the toilet, it’s strange and unusable.

Weird toilet 2

Weird toilet

Or it’s in a public space.

Street Toilet

Or a janitor’s closet, or some other unlikely spot.  Once I finally found one in an Addams-Family themed hotel smack in the middle of a creepy spare room full of extra furniture and spider-webs.

What prompted me to write about this is the dream I had a couple of nights ago.  I was looking for a bathroom before I drove home from someplace, so I went in a door marked “restrooms”.  Inside was a cafe, with the restrooms way off in the corner.  The men’s room was being renovated, but the ladies room fortunately wasn’t, but the bathroom was full of exercise equipment.  The only toilet was an oddly-configured exercise bicycle, with an impossibly small hole to pee in, and the bike pedals and handles began moving while you were using it.   AAAAAAGH!

There are people out there who try to interpret dreams as some kind of mystical visions, but I know exactly what this dream means.  I only have these dreams right before I get up in the morning.  This is just my need to visit the bathroom spilling over into my dream-filled head.  No woo-woo there.  Just my brain unsuccessfully trying to tell me to wake up and go pee.

Now here’s the odd thing.  I mentioned this recurring bathroom labyrinth dream to my oldest daughter, and her response was that she had been having these dreams too!  As in my dreams, there would be endless mazes of rooms lined with assorted bathroom fixtures. Bathrooms would often have working toilets but without stalls, or only partial stalls, or half doors,  but the room would be packed with people, so there was no privacy.   And sometimes the bathroom labyrinth would be in a building where she hadn’t been in years.  Eventually, my youngest daughter mentioned having one of these dreams too!

And we have another shared dream about parakeets.  We have three parakeets, a yellow one, a blue one, and a green one.  I had a dream about the red one.  Not only do we not have a red one, they don’t even come in red!  I told my kids about this dream, and my youngest reported a few nights later that she had also dreamed about the red parakeet.

I’ve also dreamed more than once about our second cat.  We only have one cat, he’s solid black, large, and very fluffy.  Our second cat in my dream looks the same, fluffy and solid black, except she has white feet.  Her name is Sophia. (If I ever run across a cat like this I’ll probably have to adopt her.)

Anybody else had the same (or similar) dream more than once?


Which church was that again? November 24, 2015

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Humor, UbiDubiKids.
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UbiDubikid#2 got a wonderful letter from her school yesterday.  I’ve redacted the personal details to avoid embarrassing anybody, but the typo in this is too good not to share:

Moron Letter

At least I assume it was a typo.  This just made my day!

Kosher Schmosher! April 7, 2015

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Humor, UbiDubiKids.
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Tonight I went to call my oldest daughter down from her room to dinner.

“Come eat, we’re having homemade matzoh ball soup and leftover ham.”

From behind her door there was a pause, and then “You can’t DO that!!”

“Of course I can!  Happy Passover!”

MatzohballsTN Connections Winter 2008/p. 9

It’s so much fun to be able to ignore religious rules and play around with traditions!

Of course our family is as WASP in background as they come.  I just like to cook dishes from other cuisines, probably because our only “ethnic tradition” is British food, and apart from scones and tea there isn’t much special there.  You should see my spice cabinet!

Ham on Nye February 6, 2014

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Brain Glitches, Responses, UbiDubiKids.
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There’s been so much discussion of the recent “debate” between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, so I’m not going to do a full review.  Bill did a good job, and Ken Ham was exactly the ideologue that I expected him to be. For a full commentary, see elsewhere.

But during the debate, there were a couple of things that Bill missed saying, and I was practically jumping up and down in my seat, saying “C’mon Bill, there’s a really good point I want you to make here, and you’re not making it!”

The first one is probably a small thing, and it’s where Bill missed Ham’s direct misrepresentation of the results of a radiometric dating test on a lump of lava containing carbonized wood. (I have not researched the particulars of this claim, I’m just discussing what was claimed at the debate.)  Ham claimed that the stone had been dated at 45 million years, and that the carbonized wood had been carbon dated at 45,000 years.  And Bill didn’t catch the glaring error here.  Carbon dating can’t go farther back than about 45,000 years or so, so if you use that test on something way older, the only result you will get back is 45,000+, and it can’t say how much older than that the sample is.  If you use the wrong tool to do your measuring, you get unhelpful results.  To me, this is like trying to weigh an elephant using a bathroom scale that goes up to 300 lbs.  No matter how accurately calibrated the scale is, if you try to weigh an elephant on it, the only answer you’ll get is “more than 300” or “off the scale”.  If you try to claim that the scale said that the elephant weighs 300 lbs, therefore the scale is useless, you’re just wrong.  And to claim the radiometric date of a rock sample can’t be correct at 45 million years old because a carbon date came back as 45,000+ is also just wrong.  And I’m pretty sure that someone would have pointed this out to Ham at some point, which makes him not only delusional, but a liar.

The second one, though, is a huge point that I really wanted Bill to hammer home.  Ham claims that creationism is science, but it cant be, because he is doing it backwards.  People doing real science start with the evidence, and draw their conclusions from the evidence, even if the results are not what they expected.  They then test their conclusions against the real world, and if they don’t hold up against all the evidence the conclusions are modified or thrown out.

Ham starts with his conclusion, then looks for specific evidence to back it up, and ignores everything else.  And he said flat-out that there is nothing that would get him to change his mind about his conclusion.  As a result, he’ll never discover anything new about the world.  That’s not how you do science, that’s how you do confirmation bias.  And that’s why his creationism is not a valid subject for science class.  I wanted Bill to really tackle him on this, and he didn’t.  Of course, Ham did a lot of Bill’s job on this, by stating that there’s nothing that could ever change his mind.   But I think Bill should have directly said “You’re doing it backwards” at some point during the evening.

p.s. I also have to point out that I love the way Bill kept referring to the venue as a “facility” and never once called it a “museum”.  Nice touch, that.

p.p.s. During the evening, Ken Ham actually said this: “Now, the Bible says, ‘If you come to God believing that He is, He will reveal Himself to you, and you will know.’ ”   He said it twice during his talk.  UbiDubiKid#1 was watching it with me, and she almost fell out of her seat laughing each time.  In between being overcome with fits of laughing, she said, “He’s just made the perfect circular argument!  Decide you believe in god, and then you’ll know there’s a god!”


The real meaning of …. Dr. Seuss December 14, 2012

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Humor, UbiDubiKids.
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UbiDubiKid#2 found this on Tumblr this morning.  OK, so it’s probably already posted a lot of other places, but I liked it so I’m going to put it here. (I don’t know who to credit for the original inspiration for these, but here’s where I got it http://miss-nerdgasmz.tumblr.com/post/37763277086).

Dr Seuss titles cat in the hat Racists HitlerHortonLoraxButterGrinch

Ooooh….shiny! November 29, 2012

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Blog admin, UbiDubiKids.
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New wallpaper!!!

I’d like to thank my oldest daughter, UbiDubiKid#1 for the graphic.  She wrote a program to generate random colorful clouds because she thought it would be cool.  When I asked her to send me a file from her results that I could use as wallpaper, she quickly re-wrote the program so that the resulting graphic would tile.  I must say I’m very impressed.  She sent me several different files of her results, so if I get tired of this one, I might change it occasionally.

Roller Coaster of a Day May 18, 2012

Posted by Ubi Dubium in UbiDubiKids.

What a day I just had!

Work was great – we got a huge check from a case we had been working on the last two years.  Happy Dance!

Then, UbiDubiKid#1 stayed after school to catch up on some work she was behind on.  Another Happy Dance, because she hates doing that but really needed to.

Everything was going great, both kids did some homework, we took a MLP FIM break together, Ubi Dubius headed out to work the night shift and I was ready for a shower and bed, after an unusually good day.

SO (you knew something had to go wrong) just a few minutes after he left, I get a call from Ubi Dubius. “My car broke.  Stopped and refuses to start again.  I’m in the left turn lane at (intersection less than a mile away).

Now Ubi Dubius has one of those mega-important jobs where somebody has to be on duty 24/7.  He was scheduled to be at a satellite office where they only have one person working at a time, so he HAD to make it to work.  So first I get on the internet for a towing company, call to make arrangements, then head out to give him my car so he can make it to work and I can wait for the tow-truck.  UDK#1 really wanted to walk down to the car, or come with me to wait for the tow truck.  As much as I wanted to have her with me, I thought about dealing with getting a second person home in the tow truck, or her walking home alone in the dark at 10:00 at night, and decided that I had to ask her to stay home. Phooey.

So I head out, hand off the car and settle in to wait for the tow truck.  Alone. In the left-turn lane. In the dark.  For over an hour.  I took a Samurai Sudoku with me and finished the whole frikkin thing.  Dealt with tons of people stopping to see if I needed help, and the nice cop who came by to set up flares for me.  And waited and waited and waited.  Bored bored bored.  Hmmph.

I finally drag home on this day that had gone from really great to total suck in no time flat.  And then…


While I was bored bored bored waiting, my children were baking homemade chocolate chip cookies to cheer me up!

WHEE!!!  I love my kids!

Tutoring is Not Magic May 15, 2012

Posted by Ubi Dubium in Rants, UbiDubiKids.
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UbiDubiKid#1 had a tough day in school today.  Since her Calculus class is done with their AP exams, the teacher sent the students out to tutor other math classes.  Here’s UDK#1’s version of how her tutoring experience went: