CFI Critical Links 2015/07/21
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.
- Charlie Hebdo, Raif Badawi, blasphemous condoms, and more. Check out The Week in “Blasphemy” News#24
- New UAE Anti-Discrimination Law To Stifle Free Speech? Human Rights Organizations Fear The Worst
Offenders could face six months to 10 years in prison for encouraging discrimination, as well as committing acts “considered as insulting God, his prophets or apostles or holy books or houses of worship or graveyards.”
- Jerry Coyne, author of ‘Faith vs. Fact’ and ‘Why Evolution Is True’, has the latter turned into short videos. The makers are eager for your feedback, so give them a watch and let them know what you think!
- 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 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 6th, Ottawa: Protest at Saudi Arabia Embassy – Help stop the flogging of Raif Badawi
- 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.
“During the period from December, 2014 to end of June, 2015, 40 children made suicidal operations in northern and southern parts of Iraq”
They changed his faith to Sunni Muslim. He was forced to memorize the Qur’an. And most disturbingly of all, he was — among other kids, he was forced to watch beheading videos. And he told us about how — how the kids were handed swords and guns and asked to chop off the head of the dolls as practice on beheadings.
- Reports that at least 50 girls were taken from the UK to Somalia for female genital mutilation are being investigated by Scotland Yard. The girls were said to be aged 11 to 17 and with their mothers or grandmothers.
- The Sunni-Shiite Divide Explained With Extremely Useful Maps And Timelines
“If we want to understand the Middle East, if we want to understand why conflicts are happening the way they are, and how these conflicts may be resolved, we cannot take our eyes of the Shiite-Sunni conflict”
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- From The Skeptical Inquirer: Vaccines and the Anti-Vaccination Movement: An Interview with Dr. Paul Offit
- Celebrating Freedom of — and Freedom From — Religion
What if I’m a Muslim and my understanding of my religion is that women shouldn’t drive? Can I refuse to issue drivers’ licenses to women? Or if I’m a Hindu and a vegetarian — can I refuse to issue fishing licenses because killing/eating fish is against my religion? Of course not. Likewise, your personal opinions and beliefs about who should or should not be getting married has absolutely no bearing on who you issue marriage licenses to as a county clerk. Period.
That there are so many activists claiming that Europe bans GMOs is an indication that they are either intellectually lazy and not leaving their echo chambers to perform true primary source research, or that they are intellectually dishonest and choose to ignore the nuances of the political situation in Europe because it doesn’t help their narrative.
- “What’s the harm with naturopathy?” The Morality of Practicing Medicine and the Licensed Naturopath
- The Secrets Of Crying Babies And Car Alarms. Experiments show that screams, unlike other sounds, have an ability to cause activity in the amygdala, which is the circuitry associated with generating fear responses.
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
In a country where a sitting congressman told a crowd that evolution and the Big Bang are“lies straight from the pit of hell,” where the chairman of a Senate environmental panel brought a snowball into the chamber as evidence that climate change is a hoax, where almost one in three citizens can’t name the vice president, it is beyond dispute that critical thinking has been abandoned as a cultural value
In 2005, Harvard University alone produced more scientific papers than 17 Arabic-speaking nations combined. The Muslim population of 1.6 billion has produced only two Nobel Prize-winners in chemistry and physics in history, and both moved to the West to work.
- Mass Exodus Continues From German Catholic Church. Germans who are officially enrolled in congregation are subject to a “church tax,” and so disaffected Catholics have an incentive to drop their registration, rather than simply stop attending mass.
- Mob in India drags ‘witch’ from home, strips her and beheads her. It’s not so unusual.
- “The Chinese Communist Party is pretending that they know more about the reincarnation system than the Dalai Lama,” said the Dalai Lama, presumably with a straight face
Best Of Christopher Hitchens Jokes
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