Jay W. Richards

Senior Fellow at Discovery, Senior Research Fellow at Heritage Foundation

Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and the Executive Editor of The Stream.

Richards is author or editor of more than a dozen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated (2013) and Indivisible (2012); The Human Advantage; Money, Greed, and God, winner of a 2010 Templeton Enterprise Award; The Hobbit Party with Jonathan Witt; and Eat, Fast, Feast. His most recent book, with Douglas Axe and William Briggs, is The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic Into a Catastrophe.

Richards is also executive producer of several documentaries, including The Call of the Entrepreneur, The Birth of Freedom, and Effective Stewardship (Acton Media and Zondervan, 2009). He has been featured in several television-broadcast documentaries, including The Call of the Entrepreneur, The Case for a Creator, The Wonder of Soil, and The Privileged Planet, based on his book, The Privileged Planet, with astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez.

Richards' articles and essays have been published in The Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Washington Post, Forbes, National Review Online, Investor's Business Daily, Washington Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Huffington Post, The Federalist, The American Spectator, The Daily Caller, The Imaginative Conservative and many other publications. His topics range from culture, economics, and public policy to natural science, technology, and the environment. He has appeared on many national radio and TV programs, including Larry King Live; and he has lectured worldwide on a variety of subjects, including to Members of the US Congress.

Richards has a Ph.D., with honors, in philosophy and theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also has an M.Div. (Master of Divinity), a Th.M. (Master of Theology), and a B.A. with majors in Political Science and Religion. He lives with his family in the Washington DC Metro area.

Archives

The Privileged Planet (20th Anniversary Edition)

How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed For Discovery
Are we just an accident of cosmic evolution? Is Earth a “lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark” as the late Carl Sagan put it? Or is there more to the story? In this provocative book, Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards marshal a staggering array of scientific evidence to counter the modern dogma that Earth is nothing more than the winner of a blind cosmic lottery. When The Privileged Planet was first published in 2004, it garnered both praise and rage. But its argument has stood the test of time. In this completely revised 20th anniversary edition, Gonzalez and Richards show how thousands of discoveries of extrasolar planets over the last two decades have only strengthened their case. They take readers on a mind-expanding journey through our solar

Fight the Good Fight

How an Alliance of Faith and Reason Can Win the Culture War
Hard choices lie ahead, Christians. The bestselling team of James Robison and Jay Richards show what’s at stake in our post-Christian society, how to prepare, and why we must never forget that the battle, above all, is spiritual. Our rulers have kicked aside our Constitution and common sense. They have demonized our heroes. Now they’re trying to erase the difference between male and female. All while running up unimaginable and catastrophic debt. What’s left for Christians in such a society, where dissent invites ruinous retribution? Should they retreat? Fight back? Something else? God is not finished with us as a nation, but if we’re going to get off the road to ruin, we must do more than slow down and conserve whatever good remains: We must repent. That means a hard,

Rarefied Design: The Privileged Planet, 20 Years On

It's a big universe out there. Could life exist on another planet? Maybe, but it's not just the size of the universe that matters, it's also the size of the chasm between non-life and life. On this ID The Future, bestselling author and radio host Michael Medved sits down with philosopher of science Dr. Jay Richards to preview the theme of this year’s Dallas Science and Faith Conference and discuss the arguments of his popular book The Privileged Planet, written 20 years ago with co-author and astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez.

God’s Grandeur: Ann Gauger on Beauty, Intelligibility, and Human Uniqueness

On this episode of ID The Future, host Jay Richards continues his conversation with Ann Gauger about her newly edited volume God’s Grandeur: The Catholic Case for Intelligent Design. Part 2 of their discussion focuses on the philosophical and theological arguments for intelligent design presented in the book. Gauger holds that Darwinism has no adequate explanation for natural beauty or the ability of human beings to appreciate beauty for its own sake. She also argues that we have no reason to expect human uniqueness or intelligibility in the universe outside a design paradigm. Additionally, Richards and Gauger probe the reasons for continued resistance to intelligent design in Catholic circles. As Richards points out, “Nature looked at without materialistic blinders actually

God’s Grandeur: Ann Gauger on the Scientific Case for Design

On this episode of ID The Future, host Jay Richards begins a two-part conversation with Ann Gauger about her newly edited volume God's Grandeur: The Catholic Case for Intelligent Design. Part 1 of their discussion focuses on the scientific case presented in the book. Gauger reviews compelling biological evidence for design in the DNA code, molecular machines, the differences between humans and animals, and even the intriguing possibility that the entire human race came from two original parents. This is Part 1 of a conversation. Visit GodsGrandeur.org to learn more and download a free chapter!

God’s Grandeur

The Catholic Case for Intelligent Design
We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. Pope Benedict XVI The world — indeed, the universe — is charged with grandeur. Everything speaks of its beauty, power, and purpose — of its exquisite and intelligent design. Yet many scientists today flatly deny that the world was intelligently designed. Even some Christian scientists and theologians downplay or deny the evidence nature supplies of intelligent design, especially in biology. This thought-provoking anthology shows why they are wrong, why it matters, and why intelligent design provides a compelling way to reconcile science and faith in today’s culture. God’s Grandeur challenges the claim

Dr. Jay Wesley Richards on What Every Parent Should Know About Gender Ideology and Gender-Affirming Care

In a previous episode of Humanize, Wesley interviewed Jennifer Lahl, director of The Detransition Diaries, which documents the stories of three young women who received what is called “gender-affirming care”—including a mastectomy in one case—and later realized that they were indeed the female sex they were born. That discussion focused mostly on the radical body-altering interventions that children who question their sex too often receive. In this follow-up interview, we take a broader look at “Gender ideology” generally, and how the West got caught up in a moral panic that has seen an explosion of both adult and child cases of gender dysphoria. The discussion ranges from describing the supposed “Seven Sexes” that gender ideologues argue exist, to the role of social media

Jay Richards Addresses Whether AI Machines Will Replace Most Human Workers

In this bonus interview for the series Science Uprising, philosopher Jay Richards discusses the growing fear that Artificially Intelligent (AI) machines will replace most human workers. Drawing on his book The Human Advantage, Richards argues that humans retain special qualities that cannot be replaced by "smart machines." In fact, smart machines may free humans to focus on their unique talents and capabilities.

Jay Richards on the Art of Answering Theistic Evolutionists

On today’s ID the Future, philosopher Jay Richards offers advices on engaging with evolutionists over the issues of origins, evolution, and intelligent design. In his conversation with host Casey Luskin, he says that if someone tells you he’s a theistic evolutionist, first find out what he means by theism and evolution. The latter term, in particular, can have widely varying meanings, and the average lay persons who see themselves as theistic evolutionists likely see God as actively and creatively working in the history of life to steer evolutionary outcomes, including the origin of humanity. What they may not realize is that such a view takes them well outside the bounds of what academic theistic evolutionists generally mean by the term evolution, particularly those theistic

Survival of the Fittest or Survival of the Statist?

Darwin's Real Legacy for Economics
John West, Discovery Institute Vice President and author of Darwin Day in America, describes the history of social Darwinism and its influence on economics, government policy, and social

Walter Myers COSM 2021 Interview

Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Jay Richards interviews Walter Myers, Principal Engineering Manager at Microsoft, about the COSM 2021 panel discussion, Is It the End for Silicon

U.S. Military Uses Religious Test Against Service Members To Enforce Vaccine Mandate

The military is denying requests for religious exemptions because officials disagree with the theological views of service members.
Members of our military pledge their loyalty to the Constitution. Its First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion. So, it would be perverse to force men and women in uniform to abandon their deeply held religious beliefs to serve their country.

Jay Richards Dismantles Carl Sagan’s Passive Theist

On today’s ID the Future, philosopher Jay Richards and host Eric Anderson wrap up their conversation about a video where Carl Sagan plumps for atheism. At one point Sagan suggests that if we give up on the belief in God, then we realize that we’re on our own and instead of waiting around for God to save us, we can roll up our sleeves and save ourselves and our planet. Richards notes that Sagan’s argument involves a strawman view of the Judeo-Christian worldview, which is miles apart from the idea of sitting around doing nothing while waiting for God to save us. As Richards and Anderson discuss, it’s no coincidence that the Christian West invented universities, hospitals, and science. What about hypocritical Christians and relatively virtuous atheists? Richards and Anderson also

Jay Richards Talks God, Carl Sagan, and Word Games

On today’s ID the Future, philosopher Jay Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet, continues a conversation with host Eric Anderson about Carl Sagan and a short video clip where Sagan fields questions about God. Sagan points out that there are different conceptions of God, but Jay asks, what’s his point? There are different conceptions of nature. That doesn’t mean that nature isn’t out there and that there aren’t true and false things that can be said about it. Also, when the vast majority of people speak about God, they have in mind a powerful, conscious Creator of nature. Sagan plays definitional games by redefining the meaning of “God.” Listen in to learn how, to what purpose, and to hear what Richards thinks would be a better approach for atheists such as

Jay Richards: Before Carl Sagan Said It, Science Debunked It

On today’s ID the Future, Privileged Planet co-author Jay W. Richards sits down with host Eric Anderson to discuss the gold rush of extrasolar planet discovery and how the Privileged Planet hypothesis has held up since 2004. Richards teases an anniversary edition of The Privileged Planet in the works, and he and Anderson discuss the statement that Carl Sagan is perhaps most famous for. Richards explains how science had already disproven the famous Sagan claim by the time the astronomer first uttered it to millions of viewers in his documentary series

Easter: Let’s Feast!

I’ve written at length in this series about fasting, but have not said much about feasting. I did that for two reasons. First, few of us know why or we how should fast. And second, if we don’t know why we should fast, we may lose the meaning of feasting as well.