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Critical Links 2015/06/02: CFI Canada News and Updates

June 2, 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

  • June 10, 2015: CFIC Toronto will host author Jerry Coyne in support of his latest book: Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion are IncompatibleJune 11-15 CFI US will be hosting the Reason for Change conference in Amherst, NY
  • June 15: Okanagan Branch is Hosting Khan Academy and the Flipped Classroom.  (An Educational Talk)
  • June 22: CFIC finalizing details of a talk with Tony Ortega (author of The Unbreakable Miss Lovely) on Scientology!
  • June 25: Okanagan Branch is hosting a Panel Discussion:  Ask an Atheist
  • Get a CFIC Ballcap!  We have a limited quantity of ballcaps for sale.  With summer vacations coming up, they make a terrific way to keep the sun off and include a bit of skepticism in your travels! For more details email:  torontoteam@cficanada.ca

CFIC Ballcaps

 

  • July 20: Okanagan Branch is hosting How does the Creative Process Work? An educational Talk.

Friends and Members in the Community

CFIC has some of the most interesting and active, creative and engaged people in the community!  Here are some of the activities of our friends and members.

  • May 25: Massimo Pibiri told us about a film project he is launching; see the pilot scene via Youtube.
  • May 29: Christian Mythology For Kids: This kickstarter campaign  was brought to our attention and we’re passing it on to you.
  • May 29: Nicole Simard’s SkepTalks launched with a CFI Canada event: Jarret Ruminski’s talk on Bigfoot
  • June 1:  Looking for a francophone podcast?  Check out Le Monde Merveilleux du Skepticisme produced by CFIC Montreal friends and volunteers!
  • June 4-20: Longtime CFIC member Jeffrey Rosenthal (author of Struck By Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities) will be performing in the entertaining farc “The Mumberley Inheritance” at the Scarborough Village Theatre.   Tickets are $20 ($17 students/seniors): http://theatrescarborough.com/GUILD_Mumberly.html
  • September 19 & 20: River City Reasonfest in Manitoba
  • October 17-18: Society of Edmonton Atheists is hosting  a secular conference
  • November 25-27: Canadian Science Policy Centre Conference

 

Let us know if you have an activity you’d like to share!

Blasphemy News, Observations in Canada and the World

  • PJ media distributed a story discussing the issue of blasphemy from the streets of Minneapolis
  • In Egypt, a TV personality, Mr. Islam El-Behiry, has been sentenced to 5-years imprisonment for blasphemy.  Mr. El-Behiry had been criticising the teachings of religious scholars and leaders through his show; particularly Mr. El. Behiry criticised ancient interpretations of the Koran.
  • Pakistan to consider amending its blasphemy laws?
  • In the United Arab Emirates, an Indian man has been jailed for 1-year (after which he will be deported) for comments on his Facebook account.

Faith-Based Violence and Bigotry

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

  • Science retracts a paper about same-sex marriage without the author’s agreement

Science and Ethics 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?

  • Want to pull off a nutrition hoax?  Find out moreIs there a bias against women in science?
  • Comments from Laurence Krauss  as he wins the AHA Humanist of the Year award.
  • A NY Times commentary on secular humanism and Sunday Assembly by Molly Worthen
  • Are teens leaving religion behind?
  • CBC Radio’s Ideas will be airing a three-part  segment about science and democracy called “Science under Siege”
    • Part 1:  Dangers of Ignorance (airs Wednesday, June 3​): Explores the historical tension between science and political power and the sometimes fraught relationship between the two over the centuries.

    • Part 2: The Great Divide (airs Thursday, June 4): Explores the state of science in the modern world, and the expanding — and dangerous — gulf between scientists and the rest of society.

    • Part 3: Fighting Back (airs Friday, June 5): Looks at how science can withstand the attack against it and overcome ideology and belief.

The Harms of Superstition  

  • Superstition can drive people to extreme and horrific lengths; a Toronto Star story by Emily Urquhart about a ten-year old boy with albinism reminds us of the dangers and harms of superstition; a 37-year old woman in Zambia is murdered and her husband hospitalized by four men seeking body parts for superstitious rituals.
  • Kamanu Kamanu, a songwriter with albinism, faces public comments, attributed to Tanzanian police officers, of people interested to hunt him down to sell to witchdoctors; from the story, “Albinos too have rights, they are not gods but humans beings. Beyond the lack of melanin is a normal  human going about his business.”
  • National Geographic’s story on religion as a dangerous superstition – featuring Jerry Coyne – who will be speaking to a CFIC audience in Toronto on June 10th, 2015
  • In New Zealand a homeopathy clinic is found guilty of false advertising.
  • Is labelling of GMO and non-GMO foods creating a new form of superstition?

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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