- CIA photographed detainees naked before sending them to be tortured; Classified pictures showing CIA captives bruised, blindfolded and bound raise new questions about US’s willingness to use ‘sexual humiliation’ on suspects
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.
Atheist Church? West West Hill is now planning to launch a community in the centre of the city, something in which many have expressed interest.
- Money for refugees lost gambling, says Catholic Church in London, Ont. Police have launched an investigation into a Chaldean Catholic priest from London, Ont., after church officials reported more than $500,000 slated for refugee sponsorship was lost to gambling.
A high court in Bangladesh rejected a petition Monday that challenged a constitutional provision recognizing Islam as the state religion. The decision may heighten tensions between secularists and hard-liners in the South Asian country, where several atheist bloggers, members of religious minorities and foreign nationals have been killed.
Bangladeshi hardliner Islamists gather to protest outside the national mosque Baitul Mukarram in Dhaka, March 25, 2016.
- April 3rd, 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!
- April 16th, 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
- April 25th, Toronto: CFIC T.O. – Science & Philosophy Book Club. Hosted by CFI Canada member Christine Gagnon, the goal is to provide a friendly, free-thinking environment in which to discuss books that inspire rewarding conversation on subjects related to science and philosophy. This month’s selection: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter
- CFI Ottawa Living without Religion; This support group meets on the 3rd Sunday of each month, 12:30 pm, at the Fox and Feather Pub
- 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
- Countless dead as suicide-bomber hits a public park in Pakistan; At least 29 children enjoying an Easter weekend outing were among those killed when the suicide bomber struck in a busy park in the eastern city of Lahore, the power base of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan is a majority-Muslim state but has a Christian population of more than two million.
- Brussels attacks toll rises to 35; police hunt airport suspect; Belgian authorities announced Monday that the number of victims from last week’s airport and subway suicide bombings rose to 35 and three more people swept up in police raids were being held on charges of participating in terrorist activities.
- Murdered Muslim shopkeeper’s family fear for their lives from hardline Islamic factions; The family of a popular Muslim shopkeeper who was murdered after posting an online Easter message to “my beloved Christian nation” has disclosed they fear for their lives following the brutal attack.
- The Game Theory of Terrorism; How ISIS Radicalizes Others At what point does an extremist become a violent extremist? As the world—wakened by the recent terrorist attacks in Baghdad, Beirut, Paris, and now in California and London, too—struggles to defeat the Islamic State (also called ISIS), the answer is more important than ever.
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- The University of Victoria, is leading a mission that aims to help protect rare and threatened baleen whales from ship strike. Over the next three weeks, a two-metre underwater ocean glider equipped with acoustic sensors, sonar and hydrophones will allow researchers to track whale movements by listening to and recording their sounds along the shelf break in Clayoquot Canyon.
- In the U.S, fake women’s health clinics run by anti-abortion organizations currently outnumber licensed, professional abortion clinics 3 to 1 — and they’re nearly impossible to regulate. Called “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs), these clinics advertise free pregnancy tests to get patients in the door, but ultimately lean heavily on junk science and spiritual guilt to talk women out of having an abortion.
- A team led by US research entrepreneur Craig Venter has created a semi-synthetic, functioning bacterium in the lab that has fewer than 500 genes. This minimal number is lower than in any known free-living bug in nature. The group says its investigations aim to push the boundaries of fundamental knowledge and could lead to novel means to make new drugs and other chemicals.
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- A midwife left a Melbourne woman to “bleed out” in a birthing pool at the woman’s home because of a bias against medical intervention inside hospitals, a coroner has found. The midwife, Gaye Demanuele, also stood by as her patient, Caroline Lovell, “literally begged for an ambulance to be called” because she feared she was dying. Around this time, Ms Demanuele gave Ms Lovell a homeopathic “rescue remedy” for anxiety despite her body shutting down due to massive blood loss.
- Clerics in Mayo to bless the roads in bid to improve driver safety; Priests are set to head out and deliver a blessing to roads around the county. This comes as part of a broader initiative on road safety by Mayo County Council, with its road safety department and the local emergency services throwing their weight behind it.
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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