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Richard Carrier at CFIC T.O. Oct. 23rd

Philosopher, historian, Atheist activist and blogger Richard Carrier, Ph.D. visited Toronto for three days. We had a pub night on the Wednesday, Richard kicked-off the very first counter-apologetics meeting on the Thursday, and his stay culminated in the Friday night speaking event on Oct. 23rd at OISE on the Historicity of Jesus.

He re-examined the question of whether Jesus existed as a historical person and presented compelling reasons to suspect the daring assumption that he did not.

We sold out of his book Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus ($20 CFIC members; $25 for non-members).

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Catherine Dunphy at CFIC T.O. Wed. Sep. 16th

CFI Canada happily welcomed Catherine Dunphy to our National Office (55 Eglinton Ave E, Suite 307) on Wednesday, September 16th at 7:30pm to read from her book From Apostle to Apostate: The Story of the Clergy ProjectIt was published by New Atheist publishers, Pitchstone Publishing, in July of this year. 0C8A8661-07FE-4273-8333-20D93FC175D5

Copies of the book were on offer for Catherine to sign. Admission was FREE for CFI Canada members and $5.00 for non-members. Please check the CFIC Events Page for more upcoming events.

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From Apostle to Apostate offers a comprehensive introduction to the Clergy Project, established in 2011 to provide a safe space where clergy who have lost their faith can connect with others facing the exact same questions—often alone and in isolation. Catherine movingly demonstrates, despite the substantial personal and professional challenges non-believing clergy face, for many, a loss of faith has turned out not to be a loss at all—but a gain of newfound community, self-respect, and honesty with themselves and others.

Catherine Dunphy is a founding member and former executive director of the Clergy Project. She is the operations manager for Rational Doubt, a blog where members of the Clergy Project connect with the public.  She was trained as a Roman Catholic Chaplain, and she lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Tony Ortega & Paulette Cooper: The Unbreakable Miss Lovely

 

On Monday, June 22nd we welcomed Tony Ortega, a former editor-in-chief of The Village Voice, and Paulette Cooper, the subject of Tony’s new book The Unbreakable Miss Lovely which documented Paulette’s struggles with Scientology.

We had over 90 people in attendance and only a limited number of Tony’s books – which sold out quickly. This CFI Canada event was held at Northern District Library.

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The Unbreakable Miss Lovely was the code name Scientology spies gave Paulette Cooper in their internal documents. In 1971 Paulette Cooper wrote a scathing book about the Church of Scientology. Desperate to shut the book down, Scientology unleashed on her one of the most sinister personal campaigns the free world has ever known.

The onslaught, which lasted years, drove her to the brink of suicide. The story of Paulette’s terrifying ordeal is told in full for the first time in The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, published by Silvertail Books in London. It reveals the shocking details of the darkest chapter in Scientology’s checkered history, which ended with senior members in prison, and the organization’s reputation permanently damaged.

 For more information, please go to Tony’s website.

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Jerry Coyne was at CFIC T.O. on June 10th, 2015

On Wednesday, June 10th 2015, CFI Canada – Toronto welcomed:

Dr. Jerry A. Coyne, University of Chicago evolutionary geneticist

to present his new book Faith vs. FACT.

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The event took place at OISE Auditorium. We sold out of his books at the event but may have some for sale at our National Office in Toronto. Jerry signed books for over half an hour after the talk, which was attended by more than 150 people.

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BIOGRAPHY

Jerry A. Coyne is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. He received a B.S. in Biology from the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology at Harvard University. After a postdoctoral fellowship at The University of California at Davis, he took his first academic position as assistant professor in the Department of Zoology at The University of Maryland.

In 1996 he joined the faculty of The University of Chicago and has been there ever since. Coyne’s work has been largely concerned with the genetics of species differences, aimed at understanding the evolutionary processes that produce new species.  He has written 115 scientific papers and more than 130 popular articles, book reviews, and columns, as well as a scholarly book about his research area—Speciation, co-authored with H. Allen Orr—and a trade book about the evidence for evolution—Why Evolution is True, which was a New York Times bestseller. His next book, Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible (Viking/Penguin Random House) will appear in May, 2015. Coyne is a contributor The New York Times, The New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, The Nation, USA Today, and other popular periodicals.

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Bigfoot lived! at CFIC T.O.

On Thursday, May 14th Jarret Ruminski gave his talk:

Bigfoot Lives!…Sort of: Why Sasquatch Persists in the Information Age

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The event was free for CFI Canada members who presented their card, and $5 cash admission for non-members

Bigfoot. Sasquatch. Wildman. Whatever you want to call it, this legendary hirsute giant is North America’s favourite, frustratingly elusive, spectacularly camera-shy, forest-foraging bipedal hominid.
But Bigfoot isn’t just a mythical creature who lurks in the shadows of pop-culture. Despite the paucity of physical evidence for its existence, Bigfoot is alive and well in the world today. Of course, the beast isn’t literally alive, but the search for Sasquatch continues to flourish in the Information Age. Indeed, the idea of Bigfoot lives on because of the Information Age.
Rather than rehash old arguments about whether or not Bigfoot exists, Jarret explained why the digitally connected, twenty-first century world supports a thriving Sasquatch subculture, and he illuminated why Bigfoot believers…well…believe!
This presentation will introduced us to the mind-bending world of Bigfoot enthusiasts, where online technology, black-helicopter-laden conspiracy theories, crackpot pseudoscience, anti-elitism, salt-of-the-earth populism, and even some genuine curiosity combine to create a fascinating Sasquatch subculture.
BIOGRAPHY

Jarret Ruminski is a research consultant, writer, and recovering academic who does consulting work for several Canadian non-profit and governmental organizations. He also holds a PhD in American history from the University of Calgary, where he taught courses in American, Latin-American, and World history.

He specializes in analyzing human behaviour and political and historical trends, and has been fascinated with Bigfoot and pseudoscience since he was a monster-smitten youngster. In addition to his consulting work, he blogs regularly about the intersection of U.S. history, politics, and pop-culture at That Devil History. He has also written several pieces on U.S. politics and history for Salon.