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.
- Saudi blogger Raif Badawi awarded Sakharov human rights prize; Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, whose flogging sentence caused an outcry, has been awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov human rights prize.
The Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice announced today that it will award the 2015 Lantos Human Rights Prize to three courageous female leaders; Rebiya Kadeer, Irshad Manji, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. These three laureates are fearless leaders, reformers and rebels who have been willing to defy social and cultural norms to speak out against human rights abuses.
Pakistan’s supreme court has called on the country’s politicians to ensure that hundreds of people facing imprisonment and even execution under controversial blasphemy laws have not been falsely charged, often by enemies wanting to settle personal scores.
The Ontario government is banning the controversial practice of carding, prohibiting police officers from randomly stopping people and collecting information on them based simply on the colour of their skin or the neighbourhood they live in.
- Feathers found on ostrich-like dinosaur in Alberta; The fossils, found in 2008 and 2009, have pushed back the date of the earliest fossil feather by about 10 million years. As well, they were the first feathered dinosaur fossils found in North America and the first found in relatively coarse sandstone.
- 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
- Isis shuts down women’s clinics in Raqqa to prevent male gynaecologists treating female patients; Isis is believed to have ordered the closure of all women’s clinics supervised by male doctors in its Syrian heartlands in its latest assault on the rights of women.
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- European Parliament Votes to End EU Subsidies for Bullfighting Activities; Members of the European Parliament have voted in favour of ending EU subsidies to farmers who specifically breed bulls for bullfights.
- Olympics: Refugees eligible to compete for first time; Highly qualified athletes who are refugees will be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games for the first time
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
When we experience ghosts and spirits, angels and demons, we are really experiencing a version of ourselves. Our brains construct a picture of the “I” peering out of our bodies, and if something goes slightly wrong in that process—because of brain damage, a temporary glitch in normal brain processing or the wiles of an experimenter—we will experience a ghostly presence instead.
Our ability to fool ourselves is unparalleled, and the ideomotor effect is just one persistent way our own curious psychology can push us towards erroneous conclusions. It serves as a reminder that no matter how compelling the anecdote, all claims must be scientifically evaluated to rule out our innate capacity to delude even ourselves. In the immortal words of Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”
- Paranormal Beliefs Linked to Fearful Worldview; People who believe in ghosts may be more afraid of actual, real-world dangers — things like violent crimes or nuclear war — than are people who don’t hold paranormal beliefs, a new survey finds.
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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