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Critical Links 2015/05/19: CFIC’s News and Updates on Science and Secularism

May 19, 2015

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CFI Canada’s mission is to provide education and training to the public in the application of skeptical, secular, rational and humanistic inquiry through conferences, symposia, lectures, published works and the maintenance of a library.

Events, News and Updates

  • Canadian Atheist article covering CFIC’s involvement in an Ottawa protest
  • June 10, 2015: CFIC Toronto will host author Jerry Coyne in support of his latest book: Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible
  • June 11-15 CFI US will be hosting the Reason for Change conference in Amherst, NY
  • September 19 & 20: River City Reasonfest in Manitoba

Blasphemy News, Observations in Canada and the World

  • In the UK, the National Secular Society is reporting of “religious intimidation of some voters due to campaigns to launch blasphemy laws!

Faith-Based Violence

CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith-based violence around the world.

  • An article in DAWN discussing faith-based violence of Pakistan:

So far, the current year has also shown no signs that those who kill in the name of faith are a spent force; the Shikarpur and Peshawar imambargah bombings, as well as the Lahore church attacks, serve as deadly reminders of their potency. The major problem, as the report points out, is that hardly any of the perpetrators who commit acts of violence on religious grounds, as well as the individuals who incite and support them, have been brought to justice. In fact, over the last few weeks we have seen groups with overtly sectarian, violent agendas march in cities across Pakistan. With such groups still on the prowl, the argument that the establishment is taking action against religiously motivated murderers is seriously dented. The state must realise that unless it acts against religious zealots who practise and preach violence, not only will Pakistan continue to get a bad press internationally, but such violence will have a detrimental effect on communal and sectarian relations within the country. To show the world as well as its own citizens that it will not tolerate religious violence, the Pakistani state must permanently put jihadi and sectarian groups out of business.

  • God’s Slave, a film which explores the effect of religious-based violence reviewed by the Christian Post; watch the trailer

Science News

Major announcements of advances in science should be greeted with skepticism and verification.  Following are several recent science announcements which reached our attention.  Are they Extraordinary Claims with Extraordinary Evidence?

  • Cuban researchers have developed a vaccine for treating lung cancer (and possibly other forms of cancer); Called CimaVax, this development appears to offer preventative treatment and not a cure.  Watch The Young Turks news segment
  • Dr. Garth Webb, a British Columbia doctor developed a “bionic lens” and claims perfect vision is possible (CTV News); watch a Globe and Mail video segment or check out the Huffington Post
  • A retired Canadian biologist claims the muzzling of federal government scientists is worse than anyone can imagine
  • Bill Nye Interview on Vox

The Harms of Superstition  

  • Tattoos in Thailand are imbued with spiritual and superstitious notions; Westerners have started to adopt the practice; this article discusses the superstitions and controversy as some Thai people become upset over a perceived lack of respect

Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort (SHARE)share_logo_big

In response to the outpouring of concern expressed by members and volunteers of CFI Canada over the earthquake in Nepal (May 2015), we have launched the Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort (SHARE).   The SHARE fund was initially developed by CFI (US) as a service for their donors who wished to give to disaster relief in a way that is consistent with their ethics and standards; in Canada, the SHARE model is a service to CFIC members and donors who wish to give to disaster recovery initiatives through secular charities.  CFIC will provide a tax receipt to donors and pass 100% of donations to a secular disaster recovery charity partner.  Donor names and details will not be shared with other organizations (unless explicitly requested by the donor).  Giving to assist during disasters should respect your ethics and reach the vulnerable.  We can help.

Please support the Centre For Inquiry Canada by joining as a member or donating today!

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