Scott Atran is currently a research director in anthropology at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and member of the Jean Nicod Institute at the École Normale Supérieure. He is also visiting professor of psychology and public policy at the University of Michigan, and presidential scholar in sociology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. He has briefed members of the U.S. Congress and the National Security Council staff at the White House on pathways to and from violent extremism. He was an early critic of U.S. intervention in Iraq and of deepening involvement in Afghanistan, and he has been engaged in conflict negotiations in the Middle East.

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Albert Einstein, to his death, could never accept the probabilistic underpinnings and uncertainties of quantum mechanics. In a letter to Max Born in 1926 he wrote, “I am convinced that God does not play dice with the universe.” In the following year, at a physics conference, Niels Bohr admonished Einstein to stop telling God what […]

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“I and thousands like me have forsaken everything for what we believe.”—Video message from Mohammad Sidique Khan, jihadi perpetrator of the July 7, 2005, London Underground bombing “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.”—Twitter message from Ander Behring Breivik, right-wing, …

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