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9/11 sparked Sam Harris's interest in religion, and his journey to atheism. He is an American author and neuroscientist. VIDEO.
By Admin (from 28/12/2011 @ 17:01:31, in en - Global Observatory, read 1883 times)

Sam Harris is an American author, and neuroscientist, as well as the co-founder and current CEO of Project Reason. He received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Stanford University, before receiving a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA (2009). He is a proponent of scientific skepticism and is the author of The End of Faith (2004), which won the 2005 PEN/Martha Albrand Award, Letter to a Christian Nation (2006), a rejoinder to criticism of his first book, The Moral Landscape (2010), and Lying (2011).

He is a well-known contemporary critic of religion and a member of the New Atheism movement. Harris calls for separation of church and state, civil rights for the non-religious as well as freedom to criticize religion. Harris has also written numerous articles in Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek as well as in scientific journals such as Nature. He has written articles on Islam, Christianity, and religion in general.

In his 2010 book, The Moral Landscape, he posits that science can shed light on questions regarding moral values and facilitate human well-being. After the release of his books, he continued to give numerous talks at institutions such as University of Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge, Caltech, UCSD, Stanford University, Tufts University as well as TED, where he proposed an expansion of the scientific method and the possible implications of its contribution to human morality. Harris has also made an appearance in the 2005 film The God Who Wasn't There, as well as numerous television appearances for Bill Maher and Bill O'Reilly.

Although always interested in religion, Harris grew up in a secular home with parents who rarely discussed God. Harris was married in 2004. His wife, Annaka Harris, is Co-Founder of Project Reason and an editor of scientific, nonfiction books.


Harris attended Stanford University as an English major, but dropped out of school. Harris has admitted experimenting with the drug ecstasy as a student and the powerful insights he felt it gave him into spirituality and psychology. Harris found himself interested in spiritual and philosophical questions when he was at Stanford and the notion that he might be able to achieve spiritual insights without the help of drugs. After leaving Stanford, he traveled to Asia, where he studied meditation with Hindu and Buddhist teachers. Eleven years later, he returned to Stanford and completed a B.A. degree in philosophy. In 2009 he earned a Ph.D. degree in neuroscience at University of California, Los Angeles, using functional magnetic resonance imaging to conduct research into the neural basis of belief, disbelief, and uncertainty.