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.
- Class-action lawsuit reveals company sat on 2004 study indicating Cold-FX does nothing to fight colds; The makers of Cold-FX have sat for years on a study that suggested Canada’s most popular cold and flu remedy was no more effective than a placebo in treating symptoms of the viruses.
- Use private member’s bill to take god out of anthem; Two groups representing atheists and Humanists are asking for God to be taken out of O Canada in a letter to Liberal MP Mauril Béllanger.
- RCMP investigate allegations of sexual abuse on Old Order Mennonite community; The RCMP is investigating allegations of sexual abuse on an Old Order Mennonite community in Manitoba
- Attacked and arrested, these Bangladeshi atheists fight it out in exile; Bangladesh has witnessed a series of attacks on outspoken rationalist writers in the last three years. Several bloggers and writers have been living in exile in different countries, after blogger Rajib Haider was hacked to death on February 5, 2013, followed by writers such as Avijit Roy, Washiqur Rahman Babu, Ananta Bijoy Das and Niloy Chatterjee in 2015.
The head of a powerful religious body said on Thursday he is willing to review Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws that critics say are regularly misused and have led to the deaths of hundreds, to decide if they are Islamic. Pakistan’s religious and political elites almost universally keep clear of debating blasphemy laws in a country where criticism of Islam is a highly sensitive subject. Even rumors of blasphemy have sparked rampaging mobs and deadly riots. But Muhammad Khan Sherani, chairman of a body that advises the government on the compatibility of laws with Islam, said that he was willing to reopen the debate and see whether sentences as harsh as the death penalty were fair.
- Latest Islamic State killing video features blond Frenchman; A blond-haired Frenchman has appeared in the latest Islamic State video threatening new terrorist attacks in the west. The man, whose eyes are uncovered but whose features and hair can be seen through a pale balaclava, is then shown shooting in the head a man accused of being a spy. Four other Isis jihadis each shoot another prisoner. The Frenchman is dressed in camouflage fatigues and the others are in black.
- 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
- Suicide bombing in Afghan capital kills 20 outside police office; A Taliban suicide bomber blew himself after joining a queue to enter a police office in Kabul on Monday, killing 20 people and wounding at least 29 in the worst such attack this year.
- Syria crisis: 60 killed in blasts near Shia shrine in Damascus; At least 60 people were killed, including 25 Shia fighters, and dozens wounded on Sunday by a car bomb and two suicide bombers in a district of Damascus where Syria’s holiest Shia shrine is located
- At least 86 dead in Boko Haram attack on Nigerian village
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
Genome editing is a technique that lets scientists alter the DNA of plants, animals or humans more precisely than ever before, much like a biological cut-and-paste program. Scientists say one day the technique might help treat devastating inherited diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, or wipe out malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
Researchers have successfully demonstrated how it is possible to interface graphene – a two-dimensional form of carbon – with neurons, or nerve cells, while maintaining the integrity of these vital cells. The work may be used to build graphene-based electrodes that can safely be implanted in the brain, offering promise for the restoration of sensory functions for amputee or paralysed patients, or for individuals with motor disorders such as epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease.
- Elon Musk Says SpaceX Will Send People to Mars by 2025; The SpaceX and Tesla founder said this week that he personally wants to visit space within the next five years and thinks that his company will launch a mission to Mars by 2025.
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- Quebec spa workers heading to prison for role in extreme-sweating death of woman wrapped in mud and cellophane; Three Quebecers are going to prison for their role in the extreme-sweating death of a woman who was wrapped in mud and cellophane at a spa
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
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