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.
- Who is ‘Jihadi John’?: What we know about the face of ISIS; For more than a year, “Jihadi John” has been something of a nightmare for the West. But now the masked public face of ISIS may be gone, possibly the victim of a U.S. drone strike, the Pentagon announced. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the strike was successful. But a senior U.S. official said authorities are confident the strike killed him.
- Canada’s New Science Minister Supports a Widely Debunked Medical Treatment; A Canadian expert in multiple sclerosis research is questioning the credibility of Canada’s new minister of science Kirsty Duncan, who has frequently supported what many experts in the field say is a debunked medical procedure for treating the disease.
Executive director of the Centre for Inquiry Canada (CFIC) Eric Adriaans said when purveyors of pseudoscience are given a platform by schools or other authorities, it lends credibility to the speaker and that can lead to confusion about who really can be trusted to provide valid health information. “Pseudo-science preys upon the most vulnerable people in our society — the ill, injured, frail, elderly and even parents of very ill children who so desperately seek relief from serious illness, injuries or pain. These vulnerable people are also the people often least prepared to recognize a sales-pitch that isn’t backed up by science,” Adriaans said. He said CFIC, whose mission is to promote science and secularism, recommends people demand science-based evidence from anybody making a health claim. “People who choose the kinds of treatments offered by Brian’s institute are usually choosing not to use conventional medicine that could effectively treat their condition,” said CFI director Aaron Bayes, based in Vancouver. “It is also quite expensive, and some people will spend their life savings on it.”
- Cancer patients are losing valuable time — and risking their lives — with alternative therapies, doctors say
When a London, Ont., cancer patient was told she would need surgery to remove an oral cancer, then have a piece of leg or arm tissue grafted into her mouth, it seemed too much to bear. So she turned to a natural-health practitioner, who for two years treated the malignancy with applications of rosehip oil. By time the woman returned to hospital, literally half her face had been eaten away by cancer.
- Irish school places proving a headache for parents of unbaptised children; Many parents take getting a school place for their child for granted. But what if the child can’t get a place because he or she has not been baptised? That is the situation that faces one family in the Republic of Ireland, where the Catholic church controls 90% of schools.
- Russia: Blasphemy law has aided the growth of religious censorship; Russia’s vague laws, which see actions deemed insulting to religious beliefs punishable by up to three years in jail, have led to more censorship and self-censorship in all forms of journalism
- Leading citizens demand arrest, punishment of the killers of writers, bloggers and publisher; Thirty-eight leading civil rights activists of Bangladesh have demanded trial and punishment of the killers of writers, bloggers and a publisher to restore the feeling of security among the people.
“Instead of bringing the killers to justice, the government high-ups have suggested that writers show restraint. Writing seems to have become a crime bigger than murder. This is completely unacceptable”
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Muslim woman donates $1 to UNICEF every time she’s sent an Islamophobic hate tweet; A Muslim woman has come up with a new way of dealing with trolls: turning their hate into charity.
“As a Muslim woman, people from many different quarters are eager to tell me how to dress and how to act. They also seem determined to tell me what I believe, I regularly get tweets and Facebook messages… telling me that, as a Muslim woman, I love oppression, murder, war, and sexism. I am just a blank canvas onto which they can project their own prejudices and fantasies about Muslims”
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- Utah judge orders same-sex couple to give up foster child, says baby would be better off with heterosexual parents; A judge in Utah has ordered a lesbian couple to give up the infant foster child they were caring for, reportedly telling them that the girl would be better off living with a straight couple, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
- Scientists think they just found the most important planet outside our solar system
“We’ve come up with theories about rocky planets — how they formed, how they got into their current orbits, what physical processes occur on them — but we have not been able to test many of them. The discovery of this planet gives us the opportunity to switch our focus from imagining what is out there to testing our theories observationally.”
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- Facilitated Communication Is a Cult That Won’t Die; This discredited technique for communicating with profoundly disabled people is being pushed into public schools.
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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