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.
Saturday, November 28 @ 7:30pm
In male-dominated cultures, like Saudi Arabia, women and girls are treated like property, forced into marriage and suffer female genital mutilation. Honor Diaries is the first film to break the silence on honor violence against women and girls.
AND!…we are privileged to have one of the cast members, Raheel Raza, in attendance to introduce the film and to answer questions after the screening.
Canadian scientists have been making do for nearly a decade, in the face of funding cuts, federal lab closures, and a blanket gag order on government researchers. For them, the fall of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in the October 19 national election wasn’t just a relief—it was the rough emotional equivalent of blowing up the Death Star.
Russia has notified all scientists at Moscow State University (MSU) that they must submit their research papers to the state security service before they will be permitted to publish them. Nature News reports that Russia is imposing this policy on universities and research institutes throughout the country.
The U.N. envoy charged with safeguarding free speech around the globe has declared in a dramatic new report that confidential sources and whistleblowers are a crucial element of a healthy democracy, and that governments should protect them rather than demonize them.
“The law is to safeguard human dignity. It is to protect Aceh’s Muslims from committing immoral acts”
To take an analogy, think of banana skins. They definitely can cause accidents, but in practice this doesn’t happen very often (unless you work in a banana factory). And the sort of harm you can come to from slipping on a banana skin isn’t generally as severe as, say, being in a car accident.But under a hazard identification system like IARC’s, ‘banana skins’ and ‘cars’ would come under the same category – they both definitely do cause accidents.
- October 29 @ 7:30pm, Toronto. Wanda Morris Speaker Event, CFIC 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.
- Nov. 9th, 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.
- Nov.13th, 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. –
- Nov 21th, 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
- Nov 23rd, Toronto: Meet other local people who suffer from alcoholism and other addiction problems (ex: gambling, drug addiction, etc). Gather for support, companionship, and advice at the CFIC T.O. SOS Secular Organizations for Sobriety meeting
- Nov 30th, 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; “This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession” by Daniel J. Levitin
- Nov 3rd, CFI Calgary Skeptics in The Pub: This group meets on the first Tuesday of every month. Join us for drinks, discussion, and debate about all science and skeptical topics
- 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.
- November 23, Halifax, Carl Sagan Day Dinner, 5pm, Darrell’s Restaurant
- 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
- Bangladesh Arrests Facebook Critic of Hajj Deaths On Charges Of Insulting Islam; After the death of hundreds in a crush and resulting stampede during the Hajj, the blogger published a Facebook posting criticizing Saudi Arabia’s security arrangements at Mina, Saudi negligence in dumping dead bodies from the stampede, and questioning the rationality of the Hajj ritual of stoning the devil at Mina.
- Muslim leaders in UK warn of ‘worrying’ levels of Islamophobia; The Muslim Council of Britain has warned of increasing levels of Islamophobia in the UK after recent videos showing anti-Muslim abuse on public transport were posted online and police forces in England and Wales were ordered to treat such attacks in the same vein as antisemitism.
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- An “extremely rare” half male, half female butterfly, known as a gynandromorph, has been found in Hertfordshire. The sex division occurs straight down the middle of the abdomen and is visible in the different wing patterns, with the female half on the right.
- Not trying to frighten anyone, but; The rise of super lice: They’re stronger than ever and headed your way
Unless the public stops relying mainly on pyrethroids, head lice may develop other protective mechanisms in addition to knockdown resistance. Once this happens, he said, “it will be almost impossible to control this insect with pyrethroids any more.”
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
The Belgian authorities launched an investigation in 1997 after several former members complained about its practices. A second inquiry followed in 2008 when an employment agency accused the church of making bogus job offers in an attempt to recruit new members. As a result, 11 members of the Belgian branch, as well as two affiliated bodies, were charged with fraud, extortion, running a criminal organisation and violating the right to privacy. A conviction could lead to a ban.
- A psychic is suing New York state because he didn’t get the $100,000 reward for catching two escaped inmates; A Texas psychic who claims to have “spiritual gifts from the almighty” is suing the state of New York for the reward money promised to anyone who helped find escaped inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt.
- Praying Football Coach Will Sue Washington School District For Refusing To Let Him Pray; Kennedy prays after each football game on the 50-yard-line, but now the district has said Kennedy must stop because they fear his actions could open them up to a lawsuit. Kennedy has refused and since continued to pray, drawing national attention to his short, midfield prayers and the constitutionality of public school employees expressing their faith.
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.
Critical Links is published every Tuesday And Friday
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