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.
- China accuses detained Canadian, Kevin Garratt, of spying for Canadian intelligence agencies; China’s Foreign Ministry said Friday that an investigation has suggested that a Canadian man charged with spying and stealing Chinese state secrets had carried out assignments for Canadian intelligence agencies. Canada’s government said Thursday it was concerned that Kevin Garratt had been indicted and that it had raised his case with the Chinese government “at high levels.”
- Canada’s spy agencies broke surveillance laws, watchdogs reveal; Canada’s two spy agencies have come under attack by their Ottawa watchdogs for breaking the rules of telecommunications surveillance.
- Calgary Bishop Fred Henry unrepentant over transgender ‘totalitarian’ comments
“If you are reading this piece in the hopes of discovering an apology and/or a retraction, you might as well stop reading right now. That’s simply not going to happen.”
“I was encouraged to see the new government’s humanistic perspective of concern for all peoples of the world, as evidenced by the renaming of the “Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development” to “Global Affairs Canada”. I’m also hopeful that CFIC will continue to be regarded as a voice for the non-religious, and will be able to raise awareness and increase understanding to promote the fundamental human right of secularism – that there should be neither special accommodations nor special sanctions applied to any persons, writings, or actions for purely religious reasons.” -Seanna Watson, CFIC’s Education Chair
- 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; Sunday 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
The writer was found guilty of insulting Islam in a 2014 Facebook post in which she labelled the Islamic ritual of slaughtering sheep and distributing their meat as charity for the poor during the Islamic feast of Eid al-Adha as a “massacre.”
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- More Trouble for Antioxidants; Antioxidants are now an iconic example of premature hype making its way into marketing and the public consciousness long before the science is adequately understood. There are multiple lessons to be learned in this story, and a new study just emphasizes those lessons further.
- Bed bugs develop resistance to widely used insecticides; A new study indicates that bed bugs in the US have developed resistance to neonicotinoids, the most widely used insecticide in the world.
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
Iran’s culture ministry has decided to censor the use of the word “wine” and the names of “foreign animals” and dignitaries from any books published in the Islamic Republic. The new rules are designed to protect Iranians from what the regime calls a “cultural onslaught” by the West.
Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan has abolished a 50-year old official rule which gives religion classes a privileged status at primary level, paving the way for a potential reduction in time spent on faith formation. At present, 30 minutes of each primary school day is allocated to religious education – twice the amount of time devoted to subjects such as science or physical education.
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.
Do whatever it takes to avoid fooling yourself into thinking something is true that is not, or that something is not true that is.- Neil deGrasse Tyson
Critical Links is published every Tuesday And Friday
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