CFI Critical Links August 11/2015
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.
- Interview with Eric Adriaans; National Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry Canada (CFI Canada); Eric Adriaans, charitable sector leader, legislative drafting student, and writer. He discusses: geographic, cultural, and linguistic family background; pivotal moments in personal belief, personal life, with respect to humanism, secularism, skepticism, and with commentary of other “-isms”; personal writing and poetry through novel personal websites, and the inspiration for this self-expression; and academic, professional, and experiential qualifications with an emphasis on the assistance of each qualification to personal and professional life up to the present day.
- August 24th, Toronto: Every second Monday, CFIC T.O. – Living Without Religion– The group discusses past and present religious issues and looks at a positive life free of guilt, fear and shame. While the group is still dedicated to dealing with problems and issues revolving around religion, it is also a place for those interested in exploring larger issues in a non-judgmental welcoming atmosphere.
- August 14th, Toronto: (second Friday of each month), CFIC T.O. : Board Games Night! Join us for an evening of relaxing and thinking fun as we mostly play classic and strategy board games, and partake in trivia. Sometimes even charades, jai alai, Octopush – whatever strikes our fancy. Feel free to bring your own games to share. You could even just come and hang out on the comfy-chairs with like-minded folks for a little more conversation and a little less action. –
- August 15th, 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
- August 31st, 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. This month we discuss The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty by Dr. Baron-Cohen
- Sept 6th, Toronto: Come one, come all, to the CFIC T.O. Atheists and Friends meetup, this and every first Sunday of the month.
- August 24th, 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.
- 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
Karla’s Atheist Breast Cancer Support Facebook group is now available. It’s private so you have to ask to join. Say you are an atheist with breast cancer and Karla will approve your request.
Let us know if you have an activity you’d like to share!
Faith-Based Violence and Bigotry
“This obstacle was the belief of this Asian man who considered that if these men touched his daughter, then this would dishonour her. It cost him the life of his daughter.”
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
Health experts say this message is misleading and part of an effort by Coke to deflect criticism about the role sugary drinks have played in the spread of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. They contend that the company is using the new group to convince the public that physical activity can offset a bad diet despite evidence that exercise has only minimal impact on weight compared with what people consume.
Those with lower levels of educational attainment or science knowledge are more inclined to view GM foods as unsafe.
- We expect surgeons to be as careful as pilots given their life-and-death decision – but it turns out they are anything but.
From the point of view of a heart surgeon, the most important attribute of Jehovah’s Witnesses is that they absolutely reject blood transfusion. For obvious reasons, blood transfusion can be essential for heart operations. But in a study of all the Jehovah’s Witnesses who had received major heart operations, it was found that they actually do not fare worse than other patients. There was no difference in their risk-adjusted mortality, and, overall, their cardiac outcomes were similar. In one important area, however, they actually did better than the others: they lost a lot less blood. What is happening here is obvious: because the patients refused blood transfusion, the surgeons must have taken more care to control bleeding. This begs the question: if it is possible to take more care with Jehovah’s Witnesses, should we not take more care with everybody?
- Health Canada’s crackdown on some natural health products for children should apply to products for all ages
“I don’t think it makes any kind of sense to draw a line at age 12 and to require evidence for children’s products but not to have the same criteria for products that are sold to adults”
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
“When the mob, which included women and children, went to the homes of the five and dragged them out, their family members resisted. But the crowd overpowered them and lynched them in front of their kin. They were carrying all kinds of traditional weapons likelathis, swords and other sharp objects. Before lynching the women, they took off their clothes”
“It’s a form of child neglect. They’re depriving children of their basic right to education.”
“THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them.” – L. Ron Hubbard
- HBO’s Scientology documentary has finally been given a UK premiere date by Sky Atlantic; The film had been previously denied an airing on UK TV due to legal complications. In April, the Church of Scientology indicated a willingness to sue if the film was broadcast in Northern Ireland.
- The mother accused of fatally throwing her baby from a fourth-floor window in Queens on Friday allegedly told detectives she killed the infant boy because an “evil spirit” had taken over the child, court documents say.
- What happens when you blindfold Ouija board believers?
- How well can you tell reality from B.S.? Take the common misconceptions test to see how many common ‘truths’ you fall for.
Ever wonder if many of the things you’ve been told and believe to be true are actually socially propagated lumps of B.S.? Are bats really blind? Is it truly bad to swim after you eat? Do our nose and ears really get bigger with age?
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