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.
- Canadian ‘expertise’ lies in training Iraqis to fight ISIS: Trudeau; The Canadian government will play to its “competitive advantages” in the fight against the Islamic State, offering military training instead of airstrike support in the Middle-East, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.
- Ottawa says it won’t grant imprisoned Saudi blogger Canadian citizenship; The Trudeau government says it won’t grant imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi Canadian citizenship, arguing this would not help the case of a man sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for blasphemy.
- Why opposition to assisted suicide is inextricably tied to religion; More than abortion and gay marriage, assisted suicide is the issue in the culture war that most sharply divides those who view the world through a classically theistic (and especially Christian, and above all Roman Catholic) lens from those who do not.
- Merger creates nation’s largest secular organization; A major merger in secularism was announced Thursday. The Center for Inquiry in Amherst is merging with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.
- 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
- Tajikistan’s battle against beards to ‘fight radicalisation’; police in Tajikistan’s Khatlon region said that they had shaved the beards of nearly 13,000 men as part of an “anti-radicalisation campaign”.
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- FBI ran website sharing thousands of child porn images; For nearly two weeks last year, the FBI operated what it described as one of the Internet’s largest child pornography websites, allowing users to download thousands of illicit images and videos from a government site in the Washington suburbs.
- Anti-GMO movement hurts poor, hungry; The controversy over GMOs is creating an ever-lengthening approval process in countries around the world.
- Strong Evidence Suggests a Super Earth Lies beyond Pluto; Astronomers have found compelling hints of a huge, unseen world that may reside in the murky reaches of the Kuiper Belt
- 2015 Was Hottest Year in Historical Record, Scientists Say; Scientists reported Wednesday that 2015 was the hottest year in the historical record by far, breaking a mark set only the year before — a burst of heat that has continued into the new year and is roiling weather patterns all over the world.
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- Exorcist’s ‘treatment’ leaves girl with burns on face; An eight-year-old girl received facial burns when an exorcist put her head in a pitcher filled with fire on the pretext of ridding her of demons.
- Church members burn 13 year old girl, claim they were exorcising demons from her; One of the suspects gargled paraffin and during the prayer, she spat on the girl’s face and with the candle that was nearby set the girl’s face on fire. After the incident, the members left the house silently, leaving the girl with severe burns to her face while the member who was holding the candle reportedly burnt her arm.
Polling shows that if you’re under 40 and British, you are far more likely to report being “no religion” than either Christian or anything else. But if over 40, the proportions are reversed. What’s more, the children of no-religion parents are overwhelmingly likely to remain nonreligious themselves (95% do so), whereas the children of Christian parents will probably stop labelling themselves Christian – only 40% do.
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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