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October 13th/2015

October 13, 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.

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On October 19, 2015, vote

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The assassination of Kalburgi and rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare reflects the growing intolerance towards intellectual freedom in Indian society. Joining the bandwagon of writers and poets protesting against the growing intolerance, Kannada writer and professor, Rahamat Tarikeri has returned his Sahitya Akademi award in protest against the killings. Recently, literary figures like Shashi Deshpande, K Satchidanandan, P K Parakkadavu have resigned from their posts in the Akademi, citing similar reasons

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  • Video: Albino teen attacked for her body parts; Robbers attacked a 16-year-old albino girl and hacked off her bones because body parts of albinos are highly sought in some African countries. Now, prosthesis are giving the girl new physical freedoms.

“It’s not acceptable because it’s a public institution and we shouldn’t be condoning any religion in any public institution, but especially an academic institution. It also makes us all bow to the Christians. It says that we all have to take time out of our day to acknowledge how important they are. There’s nothing in their religion that says they have to pray at school.”

The counterargument is real, and serious: the women who wear the veil are choosing to wear it, and to censor their choice in favor of what are merely our own fashion preferences is itself a form of oppression. And even if the niqab is a social norm achieved by cultural coercion—well, do we not enforce equal cultural coercion on women to, so to speak, unveil?

If a society is to be judged by how it treats its weakest, its voiceless and most downtrodden, then let that lens focus truly on these minorities-within-minorites who risk everything to question the prevailing conservative dogma within their own communities. For if liberalism is to mean anything at all, it is duty bound to support without hesitation the dissenting individual over the group, the heretic over the orthodox, innovation over stagnation and free speech over offense.

“…Mutations are essential to evolutionary change; they provide the genetic variability that lineages of organisms need to persist over the eons. At the same time, evolution has equipped our cells with repairing mechanisms to fix, edit DNA errors that can be detrimental…”

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Upcoming Events

A very personable and charismatic philosopher, speaker and blogger, Richard Carrier, visits Toronto and will speak on a topic related to his books Sense & Goodness Without God and On The Historicity of Jesus. This event will take place at OISE’s Auditorium, on October 23, 2015 7:30 pm. Get your tickets now at our CFIC Events Page.
  • Oct.16th, 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. – 
  • Oct 17th, 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
  • October 19,Toronto: CFIC T.O. SOS Secular Organization for Sobriety meetingMeet other local people who suffer from alcoholism and other addiction problems (ex: gambling, drug addiction, etc). Gather for support, companionship, and advice
  • October 23, 2015 7:30 pm; Richard Carrier, visits Toronto and will speak on a topic related to his books Sense & Goodness Without God and On The Historicity of Jesus. This event will take place at OISE’s Auditorium. Get your tickets now at our CFIC Events Page.
  • October 26th, 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 “Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible” by Jerry Coyne
  • October 29 @ 7:30pm, TorontoWanda Morris Speaker EventCFIC Office, 55 Eglinton Ave E, Suite 307; Wanda is the CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada and she will explain to our CFIC community why those in the Atheist/secular/humanist movement should be particularly concerned about this issue.

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  • OkanaganSecular 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.
  • Manitoba October 17-18: Society of Edmonton Atheists is hosting  a secular conference 
  • November 23, Halifax, Carl Sagan Day Dinner5pm, Darrell’s Restaurant
  • November 25-27: Canadian Science Policy Centre Conference

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

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Science, Medicine, and Ethics News

It’s that time of year again, time for Canadians to think about getting that jab in the arm to protect themselves against the dreaded winter scourge — the flu. And while the makeup of last year’s influenza vaccine missed the mark when it came to effectiveness, infectious disease experts say people shouldn’t shy away from this season’s shot based on that failure.

Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion

A federal judge in Colorado ruled late last month that a self-described white-supremacist group called the “Creativity Movement” can qualify as a “religion,” which could mean recognition by the IRS as a religious organization.

The Oregon Supreme Court upheld the manslaughter convictions and prison sentences of a couple whose newborn baby died after they chose faith healing over medical treatment. The Followers of Christ church in Oregon City has a history of its members’ children dying from this.

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Calendar of upcoming scientific conferences

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CALLING ALL NON-BELIEVERS . . . COME OUT OF THE CLOSET!

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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.

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Online Tools for Skeptical Fact Checking

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Critical Links is published every Tuesday And Friday

Please support the Centre For Inquiry Canada by joining as a member or donating today

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