Weekly Update: to

by | February 16, 2019

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

  • [] Canadian cities rethink removal of fluoride from tap water

    This is a remarkable article for several reasons. There’s the mayor who admits he’s ignorant of science, but still has an opinion… and says that science-based decisions should be taken out of his hands completely. There are the statistics about fluoridation in Canada – I didn’t realize it was that bad. There’s the remarkably quick evidence turnaround following the end of fluoridation – just five years. And then there’s the casual comment ending the piece by the chemistry professor.

  • [] War and religion

    Nothing about this finding is surprising, but it is interesting nonetheless because it shows the flip side of what we already knew. We’ve known for a long time that more stable and peaceful environments that promote personal growth lead to less religion, which implies that less peaceful environments lead to more religion. Now we have evidence that that implication holds. Want more atheists? Then give peace a chance.

  • [] Half of Millennial Christians Say It’s Wrong to Evangelize

    Younger people are leaving Christianity in droves, but those who stay may be very different from previous generations of Christians, and they may change the nature of Christianity drastically when they become the dominant cohort. There may come a day when the things that drive people away from the churches are no longer all that common… and when that happens, it could become a lot harder for atheists to woo people out of the pews.

  • [] ‘Anti-Vax Mom’ and unsubtle sexism: Why the Internet’s latest meme is more about mocking women than mocking pseudoscience

    There is a very good point in here about deeply-ingrained sexist attitudes, and how they can be propagated even while doing otherwise good, skeptical work. “Anti-Vax Mom” is apparently a meme used to mock anti-vaxxers. But in doing so, the meme trades on sexist tropes. Taking a piss on anti-vaxxers is a good thing, but we shouldn’t toss our other values to the curb while doing so.

  • [] Schools Shouldn’t Be Forced To Subject Students To ‘O Canada’

    Very little of my schooling was in Canada, and for most of what I was, I didn’t really bother going to classes. So I wasn’t aware that many schools play the national anthem every day at the beginning or end of the school day. That’s a little fucked up, and unnecessary. As Mastracci notes, patriotism is poison to critical thinking.

  • [] Quebec premier wants ban on religious signs resolved this spring

    Ugh, it’s bad enough that this asshole wants to take away the rights of minorities to score cheap political points with the racist and xenophobic voter demographic. But now he wants to go ahead and do it without even giving the idea a proper public debate. If it’s that important an issue that people’s rights have to be taken away, surely it’s important enough to give it a thorough discussion before implementing it. But, of course, extended, intense discussion would only reveal how much bullshit the idea is.

  • [] Rehab Dughmosh Sentenced To 7 Years In Prison For Terror Charges In Canadian Tire Attack

    This is yet another terrible story of the tragic intersection of religious extremism and mental illness. Now that she’s getting treatment, she’s apparently showing signs of improvement. But it’s too late, it seems – she’s going to be in prison for most of the next decade.

  • [] Why Misinformation Is About Who You Trust, Not What You Think

    This is a really interesting, wide-ranging interview about the proliferation of bad science. There’s a whole lot in here of note, like the observation that we can’t reflexively distrust science done for commercial reasons (the example given is that tobacco companies, while famously muddying the waters on the science of smoking-caused lung cancer, also funded solid research into mesothelioma… under the logic that if they couldn’t deny smokers were getting cancer, at least they could try to find other causes to take some of the blame off cigarettes). I recommend as worth the read!

  • [] Vancouver Coastal Health confirms ‘several’ cases of measles at Vancouver schools

    BC health officials were expecting this, and now it’s happened. For fuck’s sake, this is a disease that we supposedly eradicated in North America a few years ago, and at one point were seriously talking about eradicating completely.

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