Critical Links Sept 4th/2014
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.
The Center for Inquiry extends its heartfelt congratulations to Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, who will be given the National Humanities Award by President Obama for her lifetime of inspiring and enlightening work in philosophy, literature, and the history of science.
Parents can remove their kids from sex-ed classes for religious reasons, but any requests for students to opt-out of learning about gay families or diverse gender identities won’t be tolerated, says the director of Ontario’s second largest school board
- Maldives: Lenient no more, island nation arrests 2
- Police warn of astrology and psychic fraud; Edmonton police have issued a warning about a cross-Canada scam involving fraudulent astrologers and psychics.
“Same-sex relations are illegal in the Maldives under Sharia law, and with the publication of a new Penal code in 2014, also under national law, and may be punishable by death penalty. The new Penal code transposes into national law provisions which were previously just in Sharia law and applicable to Muslim citizens.”
- Bangladesh charges five Islamists over murder of secular blogger; Bangladesh police Tuesday charged five suspected Islamist militants with murder over the killing of an atheist blogger, one of four secular writers hacked to death this year for writing against fundamentalists.
- Carbon dating suggests ‘world’s oldest’ Koran could be older than the Prophet Muhammad
“This would radically alter the edifice of Islamic tradition and the history of the rise of Islam in late Near Eastern antiquity would have to be completely revised, somehow accounting for another book of scripture coming into existence 50 to 100 years before, and then also explaining how this was co-opted into what became the entity of Islam by around AD700”
The 2011 Christmas issue of the New Statesman was guest edited by Richard Dawkins. This is his interview with Christopher Hitchens from that issue. It was to be Hitchens’ final interview; he died as it was published. A sensation at the time, it is now available to read online for the first time.
- Sept 6th, Toronto: Come one, come all, to the CFIC T.O. Atheists and Friends meetup, this and every first Sunday of the month.
- Sept 14th, 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.
- Sept 11th, 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. –
- Sept 19th, 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
- Sept 28th, 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 “Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story” by Jim Holt
- 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 8- North Vancouver Skeptics in the Pub
- 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
- Outspoken Bloggers Flee Bangladesh; Four secular bloggers have been murdered in Bangladesh this year, and many others say they do not feel safe. Fearing for their lives, some online writers have left the country, and others are working quietly to flee.
- Iran police to confiscate cars of ‘poorly veiled’ women; TEHRAN-Women drivers in Iran’s capital could have their cars impounded by police if they are caught driving with a poorly fixed veil or without their heads covered, a police chief said Wednesday.
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- Sexting boy’s naked selfie recorded as crime by police; A 14 year-old boy who sent a naked photograph of himself to a girl at school has had the crime of making and distributing indecent images recorded against him by police
- Edmonton spa demoted former manager because she wasn’t a Muslim, human rights tribunal rules; A West Edmonton Mall spa tried to demote a former general manager because she wasn’t Muslim, the Human Rights Tribunal of Alberta has ruled.
- Why one naturopath quit after watching her peers treat cancer patients
“I discovered that the profession functions as a system of indoctrination based on discredited ideas about health and medicine, full of anti-science rhetoric with many ineffective and dangerous practices.”
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- How Come Some People Believe in the Paranormal? Those who favor Bigfoot, UFOs and ghosts share a thinking style
- Children of the Tribes; In this country, we celebrate the First Amendment, which prevents the government from interfering with religious beliefs and practices. But what if those beliefs and practices make children suffer?
- ‘Mark of the Beast’ case puts spotlight on religious accommodation
A U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case in which a mining worker was awarded $586,860 for allegedly being forced to retire because he refused to use a biometric hand scanner for religious reasons, saying it related to the “Mark of the Beast,” should serve as a warning to employers to take religious accommodation requests seriously
Critical Links is published every Tuesday And Friday
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