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.
Join us for a evening of fun, friends and magic as we celebrate a secular holiday season. We will be havingdinner at the Crimson Lounge (College Street @ Spadina in Toronto) followed by an amazing evening of magic and comedy with Magic Tonight. James Alan’s Magic Tonight (www.magictonight.ca) is a weekly show downtown which features a wide variety of special guests which proves magic really is for grownups. The show is highly interactive and very entertaining. Proceeds to to support CFI Canada and its projects.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
The Crimson Lounge
@The Cage 292
292 College (@ Spadina)
Asif Mohiuddin was leaving his office in a northern suburb of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka when a group of knife-wielding men set upon him and stabbed him nine times. As he lay in hospital receiving emergency treatment, doctors told him one of the blades had come within a millimeter of his spinal cord and he was unlikely to survive. His crime, in the eyes of his attackers, was writing blog posts that promoted atheism, secularism, and liberal ideas such as LGBT rights and gender equality. He was singled out as an enemy of Islam by radical clerics, whose followers were encouraged to kill him.
- Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi on hunger strike, wife says; Imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi has been on a hunger strike since Tuesday after being transferred to a “new isolated” prison, his wife, Ensaf Haidar, said on Thursday.
- Report points to an increase in human rights violations in Israel; The Association for Civil Rights in Israel released its annual report on the state of human rights in the country on Thursday, to coincide with International Human Rights Day. Among its findings were increased use of administrative detention and harm to freedom of expression.
- Canadian scientist Arthur McDonald presented with Nobel Prize for physics; Canadian scientist Arthur McDonald was formally presented Thursday with his Nobel Prize at a ceremony in Stockholm.
- Evangelical Trinity Western University wins legal ruling in fight to open law school; An evangelical Christian university under fire across the country for its policy of forbidding sexual intimacy outside of heterosexual marriage has secured a decisive legal victory in its efforts to open a law school in British Columbia.
- Islamic organization in Ontario closes doors amid fears of ‘backlash’; An Islamic organization based in the Toronto area says it has called for police support and closed its doors for a day amid fears of potential “backlash.”
- No Jab, No Pay–Now the Australian Way: The Australian federal government’s no-jab-no-pay laws will remove childcare benefits, rebates, and the end-of-year Family Tax Benefit A supplement from parents who don’t immunize their children.
- New vaccination strategy stirs controversy in Italy; The National Vaccination Plan for 2016–18 (PNPV) would instantly make Italy a European frontrunner in vaccination, but experts have questioned the need for several of the vaccines, and some suspect the hand of industry behind the government’s new enthusiasm.
- Dec.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. –
- Dec 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.
- Dec 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
- Dec 21st, Toronto; SOS Secular Organizations for Sobriety meeting; Also known as Save Our Selves, Secular Organizations for Sobriety is a program dedicated to providing a path to sobriety without depending upon supernatural or religious beliefs. We respect diversity, welcome healthy skepticism, and encourage rational thinking as well as the expression of feelings. Meet other local people who suffer from alcoholism and other addiction problems (ex: gambling, drug addiction, etc). Gather for support, companionship, and advice.
- Dec 28th, Toronto; CFIC T.O. – Science & Philosophy Book Club. THIS MONTH’S BOOK SELECTION : Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring sanity to our politics, our economy, and our lives by Joseph Heath
- CFI Ottawa UnSermon; Saturday afternoons, meet and share your ideas with Atheists, Freethinkers, and Humanists from the Ottawa area.
- 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 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
- New report warns of ‘escalation’ in global persecution against non-believers; The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) has warned that worldwide “persecution of the non-religious has escalated” in the past year.
- US Intel: ISIS May Have Passport Printing Machine, Blank Passports
The 17-page Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Intelligence Report, issued to law enforcement last week, says ISIS likely has been able to print legitimate-looking Syrian passports since taking over the city of Deir ez-Zour last summer, home to a passport office with “boxes of blank passports” and a passport printing machine. Another passport office was located in Raqqa, Syria, which has long been ISIS’s de facto capital.
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- Greenpeace exposes sceptics hired to cast doubt on climate science; An undercover sting by Greenpeace has revealed that two prominent climate sceptics were available for hire by the hour to write reports casting doubt on the dangers posed by global warming.
- Disturbing Footage Of Toddler Being Used As Faith Healer
Katelyn Christabel is about three years old according to her Facebook page which is now followed by over 100,000 people. She doesn’t fully comprehend it yet, but she has the ability to cure cancer, fix aches and pains, and cure infections— all probably without ever having stepped into a medical school.
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- Woman found dead in German hotel, after undergoing exorcism; Five people, including a 44-year-old woman, her 21-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter as well as two minors were arrested in the case.
Free Course: ” Science Based Medicine” by Harriet Hall, MD – The SkepDoc
JREF is pleased to release a free, ten part, video lecture series by Harriet Hall titled ” Science Based Medicine”
The video course may be viewed on YouTube and the companion course guide may be downloaded here.
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
Please support the Centre For Inquiry Canada by joining as a member or donating today