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.
- Nearly 19,000 civilians killed in under 2 years in Iraq; At least 18,802 civilians were killed and another 36,245 were wounded in Iraq between the start of 2014 and Oct. 31 of last year as Iraqi forces battled the Islamic State group, according to a UN report released Tuesday.
- Pakistani clerics block ‘un-Islamic’ child marriage bill; Pakistani lawmakers have withdrawn a proposal to impose harsher penalties on those who arrange child marriages after it was scuttled by a religious body who branded it “blasphemous” and against Islam
A Muslim cleric has been arrested in Pakistan on terror charges after a teenage boy he accused of blasphemy responded by sawing off his own hand. Anwar Ali, 15, performed the act of self-amputation with a scythe after attending a religious gathering in his local mosque last Monday. The cleric challenged anyone who did not love the prophet Muhammad to raise their hand. The boy misunderstood the question and put his hand up. Shabir Ahmed, the cleric at the mosque, denounced the boy as a “blasphemer who was liable to be killed”. An emotional Ali rushed home and returned with his severed hand on a plate, which he presented to the mullah.
- 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
- Muslim women’s segregation in UK communities must end; A £20m fund to teach Muslim women in the UK to speak English will tackle segregation and help them resist the lure of extremism, David Cameron says.
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- Children dying of treatable illnesses and Idaho law protects the practice; Idaho statute 18-1501 protects practitioners of faith healing. It reads: “The practice of a parent or guardian who chooses for his child treatment by prayer or spiritual means alone shall not for that reason alone be construed to have violated the duty of care to such child.”
- Baby Chasmosaurus skeleton helps Alberta scientists understand dinosaur evolution; The discovery of the only complete baby Chasmosaurus skeleton in Alberta has helped researchers understand how the species aged and more about the evolution of other horned dinosaurs, like the more well-known Triceratops.
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- 1 in 200 mothers reports a ‘virgin’ birth, study finds; Roughly one out of every 200 American women claim to have become pregnant as virgins, according to a recently published study.
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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