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April 8th/2016

April 8, 2016
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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.

A Farewell Note by right-to-die activist by John Hofsess, from Humanist Perspectives, a refreshing, rational analysis of modern events and culture, available at select magazine stores or by online subscription.

Front Page

“If (children) are not mature enough yet to say, ‘Mum, I’m not going to that quack, I need to go to a doctor,’ then there could be an argument for a legal restriction to protect children.”

As for eyewitness corroboration, far from controlling accuracy, eyewitnesses tend to offer the least trustworthy accounts, particularly when recalling something spectacular or fast-moving, like Jesus walking on water. Or thinking that they recall it: 10 months after a cargo plane crashed into an Amsterdam apartment building in 1992, killing 43 people, researchers asked Dutch university students and faculty if they recalled the TV footage of the moment of impact. More than three-quarters said they did, even though there was no such footage. (Not unlike Donald Trump’s crowds of Muslims dancing for joy on New Jersey rooftops on 9/11.) And there’s no reason to believe memories of the more mundane details of Jesus’s life would be any more reliable.

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Upcoming Events

CFI Canada is proud to welcome Dr. Ben Goldacre to Toronto. He’ll be giving a talk at The Toronto Australia-New Zealand Club, 292 Brunswick Avenue, Sunday May 15 @ 1:00pm. Ben is a best-selling author, broadcaster, campaigner, medical doctor and academic who specialises in unpicking the misuse of science and statistics by journalists, politicians, quacks, drug companies, and more.

  • 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 ClubHosted 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
  • May 1st, Toronto: CFIC T.O. Atheists & Friends Sunday MeetupCFIC 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!
  • 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 PubThis group meets on the first Tuesday of every month. Join us for drinks, discussion, and debate about all science and skeptical topics
  • OkanaganSecular 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.

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          Let us know if you have an activity you’d like to share!

Faith-Based Violence and Bigotry

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a controversial religious freedom bill Tuesday, a piece of legislation that gay rights groups and the state’s businesses have decried as discriminatory. Protesters had urged the governor not to sign it, saying it enables discrimination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. But Bryant said he signed the bill into law “to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions of individuals, organizations and private associations from discriminatory action by state government.”

Beyond even the ridiculous notion that sitting next to a woman on a flight, be she 18 or 81, should somehow tempt you into sin, there’s what is to me a stunning problem in this story. HE had the problem with his seat assignment, yet the airline’s policy was to ask HER to move to a different seat. If it’s his problem, if he is seeking the special treatment, why shouldn’t he be the one to move? Yet the default solution is that where a man is unhappy with the actions (or existence) of a woman, it should be up to the woman to change.

CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.

Science, Medicine, and Ethics News

  • Project to drill into ‘dinosaur crater’ gets under wayA joint UK-US-led expedition has got under way to drill into the Chicxulub Crater off the coast of Mexico. This is the deep scar made in the Earth’s surface 66 million years ago by the asteroid that scientists believe hastened the end of the dinosaurs. Today, the key parts of the crater are buried beneath 600m of ocean sediment. But if researchers can access its rocks, they should learn more about the scale of the impact, and the environmental catastrophe that ensued.

it’s 2016 and a woman was sentenced for having an abortion in the uk

abortion

Women in Northern Ireland protest against the prosecution of a 21-year-old woman for having an abortion

Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion

“As a neighbor, I did have fears, but fear is always when you don’t know something. The unknown is what you are always afraid of”

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Killing prejudice with kindness is probably the best way to go, says former climate skeptic Michael Shermer. If you attack someone aggressively on their point of view, they are more likely to double down on their beliefs. Reciprocity is a better way to go: “I will give you respect if you hear me out, and you give me respect if I hear you out.” From here, says Shermer, you can at least plant a seed of doubt. The secularist discusses his history with religion and how he speaks about it now…

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Calendar of upcoming scientific conferences

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CALLING ALL NON-BELIEVERS . . . COME OUT OF THE CLOSET!

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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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Online Tools for Skeptical Fact Checking

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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

Please support the Centre For Inquiry Canada by joining as a member or donating today

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