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Critical Links 2015/05/22: CFIC’s News and Updates

May 22, 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

Blasphemy News, Observations in Canada and the World

  • Afghan police were charged and sentenced for failing to protect Farkhunda, a woman who was brutally murdered by a mob after being accused of blasphemy; as stated in the article,”The attack came after an amulet seller, whom she had reportedly castigated for peddling superstition, falsely accused her of burning the Koran.”  Blasphemy laws are often used to address personal resentments
  • Cannes: Here’s a review of The Brand New Testament, a ” peppy, original and (importantly) very sweet story.”
  • In Airdrie, Alberta freedom of expression was recently up for discussion

Faith-Based Violence

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

  • Here is an examination of the connections between religion and violence
  • Hip-Hop artist, Killer Mike recently said:

To people that say hip-hop is violence, I would say let’s start with the real violence starters. Let’s start with the 3 major Abrahamic religions, and let’s do away with their books. Let’s start with government and geo-war and politics; let’s do away with our leaders.

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?

  • New claims and controversies are being posted on the Extraordinary Claims website – check out the Claims, Controversies and Critical Links menu and join the conversation!
  • A Giant Panda study from China – why do pandas eat so much bamboo?
  • 3.3 million-year-old stone tool artifacts  push the dates back…….“I realized when you [figure out] these things, you don’t solve anything, you just open up new questions,” said geologist Chris Lepre, co-author of the study. “I get excited, then realize there’s a lot more work to do.”
  • Is there a link between evolution denial and climate-change denial?
  • A study entitled Evolution Controversy: A Phenomenon Prompted by the Incompatibility between Science and Religious Beliefs by Guillermo Paz-y-Mino-C and Avelina Espinosa is available through The International Journal of Science and Society or find it at Evolution Literacy

The Harms of Superstition  

  • In Malawi, 4 people have been arrested for suspicion of being involved in the murder of a person with albinism to sell their bones to a witchdoctor
  • The story is so pertinent it bears repeating….Afghan police were charged and sentenced for failing to protect Farkhunda, a woman who was brutally murdered by a mob after being accused of blasphemy; as stated in the article,”The attack came after an amulet seller, whom she had reportedly castigated for peddling superstition, falsely accused her of burning the Koran.”  Blasphemy laws are often used to address personal resentments

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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