2015/07/17 CFI Critical Links
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.
- Don’t underestimate religion’s role this election. Religion today may or may not be as vital to Canadian politics and elections as once it was, but it remains an important consideration nonetheless.
- At last, the pentagon moves to end its transgender ban.
“Young Americans today are more diverse, open and tolerant than past generations. And if we’re going to attract the best and brightest among them to contribute to our mission of national defense, we have to ourselves be more open, diverse and tolerant, too.
That is a stunning validation of not only astronomy and physics, but of science itself. No other intellectual tool developed by humans has achieved such a success. No dowser, psychic, or spiritualist could have divined the information necessary to target the probe. No astrologer could have given us this information. Alchemy could not have powered the rockets so powerfully and precisely.
- University of Toronto medical students write to the university’s president about the anti-vax/alt-med course that is embarrassing the school.
“Suggesting that anti-vaccine views are a part of a balanced approach to the science is to perpetuate a manufactured controversy; it serves to suggest to patients, and the public at large, that a scientific debate is ongoing, when in reality no such controversy actually exists within the institutions of science and medicine.”
- July 27th, Toronto: Every last Monday of the month, everyone is welcome to attend the Science & Philosophy Book Club, where we provide a friendly, free-thinking environment to discuss books that inspire rewarding conversation on subjects related to science and philosophy. Next up for cordial confabulation is Bertrand Russell’s The Conquest of Happiness.
- July 18th, Toronto: (Every third Saturday of the month) Come one, come all to CFI Ontario’s Cafe Skeptique, a fun and fascinating discussion group that focuses on a range of topics within the realm of skepticism such as pseudo-science, alternative medicine, conspiracy theories, etc. It’s open to the public and everyone is welcome to join in! See you all at Free Times Cafe, 320 College St. just west of Spadina Ave
- July 20th: Okanagan Branch hosts How Does The Creative Process Work? How do we come up with new ideas? Dr. Liane Gabora will introduce a theory of creativity which need not involve multiple distinct candidate ideas or selection. At Okanagan Jewish Community Centre, 102 Snowsell St., Kelowna
- July 27th, Okanagan – Secular Social. Now every second and fourth Monday of the month! Come to the pub and hang out with other skeptics and freethinkers. Mission Tap House and Grill, 3110 Lakeshore Rd., Kelowna. If you don’t recognize anyone, look for the table with the CFI sign.
- August 2-4: CFI Canada has begun plans to greet colleagues from CFI China!
- 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!
Faith-Based Violence and Bigotry
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
- At least nine people were killed when two female suicide bombers – one a 10-year old girl – attacked Nigerians at prayers for the Muslim festival of Eid
- Whipped By The Sharia Police. Public canings for “immoral acts” have been on the rise in Aceh, the only province in Indonesia allowed to implement Islamic sharia law.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- Researchers have uncovered further evidence of a system in the brain that persistently maintains memories for long periods of time.
Antibiotics are a precious resource that, if used appropriately, can be life-saving and curative. However, the overuse of antibiotics in humans has led to the development of many types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that fail to respond to these agents – and that can be deadly
- After a Church of Scientology-backed group helped organize a campaign against it, Gov.Greg Abbott vetoed legislation that would have given Texas doctors more power to detain mentally ill and potentially dangerous patients
- It’s time for pharmacies to stop selling sugar pills. Rigorous clinical trials confirm what basic science predicts: homeopathy’s effects are placebo effects.
- If you think that homeopathy is harmless, read this
- The war against genetically modified organisms is full of fear mongering, errors, and fraud. Labeling them will not maker you safer.
The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have all declared that there’s no good evidence GMOs are unsafe. Hundreds of studies back up that conclusion
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- After three years of construction, a brand new, 34,000-square foot Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is ready to be viewed by the public. The money to build such extravagance came from the tithes and offerings of church members, who are asked to give 10 percent of their income.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to celebrate birthdays. Reason #1? People died at the two birthdays mentioned in the Bible.
- James David Manning of ATLAH World Missionary Church is warning heterosexual women about a “sodomite demon,” which can be contracted through sexual intercourse with men who have had sex with other men
- The Dalai Lama, who may be the only octogenarian spiritual leader with a profoundly mischievous streak, has a suggestion for China’s Communist leaders: Take up reincarnation.
- Rejecting Islam, from Psychology Today
Hopefully, as more and more individuals reject Islam—as well as Judaism, Christianity, Mormonism, Scientology, etc.—living a lie will be less of an option for fewer and fewer people, and apostasy won’t be as traumatic as it can be for so many. Too many.
Obviously, Kelly’s purpose in having Greaves on was not to give a secularist viewpoint a fair hearing, but to drive up Fox News ratings by whipping her conservative audience into a what-is-this-world-coming-to outrage at hearing not only that Satanists exist, but they think they have rights and stuff, just like Christians
- The National Catholic Register asks “Can — or should — an exorcism be done for the United States, as was done in Mexico this past May?”
- New billboard criticizes Jehovah’s Witness leadership for enabling pedophiles
As the site explains, the problem is that Elders are told to report child abuse cases to authorities only if there’s independent verification (the “two witness rule”). Since the abuse often happen in secrecy, that’s not always possible, and these stories get swept under the rug.
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