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.
- With his words, Raihan Abir honours his slain Bangladeshi colleagues; His colleagues were hacked to death in Bangladesh. He’s endured death threats. And yet Raihan Abir carries on his website’s work, in Canada.
“Because this dark side, this kind of thing, never [wins]. Maybe they do atrocities, maybe they will kill us. But they won’t be winning in the long run. So we’ll have to keep on doing what we do—keep informing people about science, about reason, about humanism.”
- Slain Pakistani Christian’s brother campaigns against blasphemy law; Paul Bhatti, a Roman Catholic, worked as a surgeon in his home country of Pakistan and in Europe, while his brother, Shahbaz, went into politics and became Pakistan’s only Christian Cabinet member as the country’s first minister of minority affairs. Then, on March 2, 2011, Shahbaz was cut down in a hail of bullets in an attack by a militant group that called him “a blasphemer.”
- Saudi Arabia Sentenced This Poet To Death For Abandoning Islam; In addition the death sentence for apostasy, Ashraf Fayadh was convicted of violating the Anti-Cyber Crime Law by taking and storing pictures of women.
The first court to hear his case sentenced him to four years in prison and 800 lashes. An appeals court passed the case down to a lower court, which convicted him again and upped the punishment to a death sentence. According to Reuters, Fayadh was convicted “based on evidence from a prosecution witness who claimed to have heard him cursing God, Islam’s Prophet Mohammad and Saudi Arabia.
- Turkey Detains Academics Who Signed Petition Defending Kurds; Turkish authorities detained 14 scholars on Friday, accusing them of spreading “terrorism propaganda” and of insulting the state after they signed a petition denouncing the military’s campaign against Kurdish militants in southeastern Turkey.
“Unfortunately, these so-called academics claim that the state is carrying out a massacre. Hey, you so-called intellectuals: You are dark people. You are not intellectuals.”
- How scientific misinformation spreads through social media; Researchers say polarized clusters they call “echo chambers” help spread and support attitudes such as doubt about climate change.
- Jan 16th, Toronto: 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
- Jan 25th, Toronto: CFIC T.O. – Science & Philosophy Book Club. January’s book selection: What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses by Daniel Chamovitz
- Feb 14th, Toronto: CFIC T.O. Atheists & Friends Sunday Meetup. CFIC Toronto Atheists & Friends Sunday Meetup is a fun discussion group focusing on a range of topics within the realm of Atheism. They’re open to the public and everyone is welcome to join in!
- Feb 20th, Toronto: CFIC T.O. – Cafe Skeptique at Free Times Cafe. A 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! For the monthly topic please check at: meetup.com
- Feb 29th, Toronto; CFIC T.O. – Science & Philosophy Book Club. Febuary’s book selection: Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? by Michael J. Sandel
- February 26, Ottawa; Biologist and best-selling author Jerry Coyne explains why any attempt to make religion compatible with science is doomed to fail. (7:30 pm Centrepointe Chamber 101 Centrepointe Dr. Ottawa)
- CFI Ottawa UnSermon; Saturday afternoons (12:30 pm), 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.
Did you know the best place to find out about CFI Calgary events is on Meetup.com? It’s free to join and you will never miss hearing about a local Calgary event. Join over 1000 Calgarians who use Meetup to hear about, RSVP and comment on our events.
Let us know if you have an activity you’d like to share!
Faith-Based Violence and Bigotry
- Suicide Attack on Pakistan Polio Vaccination Center Kills 15; A suicide attack on a polio vaccination center in southwestern Pakistan on Wednesday killed 15 people, mainly policemen gathered to escort health workers. It was the latest attack on the vaccination campaign and health workers have been repeatedly targeted in recent years by Islamic militants.
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- Parents share video of baby’s last days to promote whooping cough vaccination; The parents of a one-month-old baby boy, Riley Hughes, who died from whooping cough in March, have shared a devastating video of his last few days of life, which shows how the illness was overwhelming his body
“I really want people to know that pregnancy vaccination means we now have the power to minimise – if not completely stop – deaths from whooping cough”
- The Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming; If there were a 3 percent minority on AGW it would matter, but there is not. The “97% consensus” is false. The percentage of publishing climate scientists who accept AGW is at least 99.9 percent and may verge on unanimity.
- 11 mind-melting photos will make you realize how shockingly small Earth is
‘There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.’
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- Indian TV comedian arrested for ‘offensive’ guru act; Indian police have arrested a popular comedian for offending religious sentiments after he mimicked a controversial spiritual guru on a television show
- We Talked to a Witch Who Casts Viruses Out of Computers With Magic; When nasty viruses infect the computers of folks up in Northern California, Reverend Joey Talley is on it. The Wiccan witch—who is also an ordained minister through the State of California—not only offers services for people struggling with romantic heartache, depression, and other ailments, she also exorcises viruses from computers.
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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