Jay W. Richards

Senior Fellow at Discovery, Senior Research Fellow at Heritage Foundation


GOP Go Positive

Here's hoping that the Republican primary will soon become less of a circular firing squad, and more of a unified evangelistic crusade for fiscal sanity.

WWFD? (What Would the Founders Do?)

That’s the question James Robison and I ask in the Washington Times. Contrary to the secularist account of the American Founding, they did not envision a naked public square: The American Founders were a theologically diverse lot, but they shared several points of agreement, such as: The church has a proper authority that the state must respect. The federal government should neither establish nor prohibit the free exercise of religion. Every person should enjoy religious liberty. Religion is vital to the survival and prosperity of the American experiment. Militant secularists present a distorted and simplistic view of the relationship between faith and politics. The fathers of our country were much more sophisticated. Americans, especially the next

Indivisible: “Body Armor for the Culture War”

In our new book Indivisible, we argue that Americans are "like tourists on a sunny beach. We've heard news of an earthquake on the sea floor, hundreds of miles away, but everything still looks normal. People are sipping iced tea, enjoying the warm sand and the sun overhead. Many think, 'We've never had it so good.' And yet, when we look closely, we notice that the beach is growing wider as the tide recedes toward the horizon."

Small is Beautiful, ‘cept when it isn’t

My friend Jordan Ballor has a great piece about conservative fusionism, and in particular, the tensions between market oriented and communitarian oriented conservatives. He focuses on the special case of Rod Dreher, Crunchy Con author who recently moved to a small town in Louisiana.

Medved on Deserving vs. Undeserving Rich

The Obama administration and its media allies are doing what they can to fan the flames of class conflict.  Some recent pollssuggest the campaign is having an effect on public opinion. But Michael Medved digs a little deeper into the data, and argues that Americans don’t generally dislike the “rich,” but rather, the undeserving rich: The biggest challenge for Mitt Romney isn’t that America hates the rich; it’s that the public hates the undeserving rich, anddeeply resents privileged punks and politically connected connivers who never performed constructive service to make their millions. This is an important distinction, reminiscent of Arthur Brooks’s distinction between “earned” and “unearned”

If You’re Concerned About Morality, You Need Some Basic Economics

It has long been my hobby-horse that religious believers and others concerned with moral questions involving society simply must have some rudimentary understanding of economics. I’m not talking about math-heavy econometrics. I’m not even talking about much of the stuff one learns and forgets in a basic Macro- or Microeconomics course. I’m not talking about the ideological and political assumptions that various economists make. I’m talking about that collection of basic analyses, clarifications, arguments, ways of reasoning, and discoveries we’ve made about the economic realm in the last few hundred years. We might call them the core descriptive truths of economics. These would include those things that many economists across the political spectrum would

Greed Is Not Lovable

I have always enjoyed the writings of Walter Williams; but on one topic, he gets it completely wrong.  Wall Street (Image via RottenTomatoes.com) With some frequency, he writes a column praising greed. His most recent one came with the New Year, entitled “I Love Greed.” Here’s how it starts: What human motivation gets the most wonderful things done? It’s really a silly question, because the answer is so simple. It turns out that it’s human greed that gets the most wonderful things done. When I say greed, I am not talking about fraud, theft, dishonesty, lobbying for special privileges from government or other forms of despicable behavior. I’m talking about people trying to get as much as they can for themselves. He then gives examples of Texas

Indivisible Bracelets at Starbucks

I have no idea if the program supported with purchases of these bracelets at Starbucks makes good economic sense.  The program seemed to be a response to the Occupy protests that were all the rage before the weather got unpleasant. In any case, we’re thankful with the inadvertent advance publicity . . .

Hong Kong is Number One

Sure, Hong Kong is not number one on every scale, but year after year, this former British Protectorate that is now part of the People's Republic of China, gets first place in the Index of Economic Freedom. (The US has dropped to tenth place.)

Signature of Controversy

Responses to Critics of Signature in the Cell
Signature of Controversy is a response to the 2009 bestseller Signature in the Cell by Stephen C. Meyer, a book recognized as establishing one of the strongest pillars underlying the argument for intelligent design. To call Signature in the Cell important is an understatement. The critical response that followed the publication of Stephen Meyer’s book was fascinating, but the fact is that few — if any — of the critics really grappled with the crux of Meyer’s argument or with the substance of intelligent-design theory. This is remarkable and telling.  In Signature of Controversy, defenders of intelligent design analyze the hostile response using the critics’ own writings.  Edited by David Klinghoffer and including essays by David

God and Evolution

Can you believe in God and Darwin at the same time? What is “theistic” evolution, and how consistent is it with traditional theism? What challenges does Darwin’s theory pose for Protestants, Catholics, and Jews? Is it “anti-science” to question Darwinian Theory? Explore these questions and more in the book God and Evolution edited by Jay Richards. God and Evolution is ideal for use in small groups and adult Sunday School classes, and each chapter comes with discussion questions and downloadable video clips to facilitate educational use. A free discussion/study guide is also available for download. Accompanying Video More Information God and Evolution official

Intelligent Design is Empirically Testable and Makes Predictions

Among the many, many errors in Judge John Jones’ Dover vs. Kitzmiller opinion is the charge that intelligent design (ID) makes no empirically testable claims (see pp. 66 ff.). Similarly, other ID critics assert that intelligent design makes no testable predictions.1 In fact, intelligent design fulfills both criteria since it makes numerous empirically testable predictions.

Lingering evidence of Unlocking on Shop PBS

Go to Google and type in “Unlocking the Mystery of Life,” and see what pops up on the right hand side of the listing that comes up. It has a “Shop PBS Online” link. So apparently PBS pays Google to have this sponsored link. But when you click on the sponsored link, it goes to a page at PBS that says: “This product is temporarily out of stock.”

What does Derbyshire require to take ID seriously?

John Derbyshire’s article from yesterday’s National Review Online, offered another interesting criticism of ID: It is therefore possible that some un-religious scientist might become convinced, on scientific evidence, of the existence of Intelligent Design, while remaining perfectly open minded about any of the truths of religion.When that scientist shows up, I shall begin to take Intelligent Design seriously. What about Antony Flew, one of the English-speaking world’s most prominent atheists? Flew has recently said that he’s become a minimal theist. More specifically, he’s said that he’s done so on the basis of evidence for intelligent design, and without converting to any religion. He’s very well studied on the relevant issues.

Derbyshire should try reading the ID literature

I enjoy John Derbyshire’s posts on National Review Online &’s Corner when he’s talking within his area of expertise. Unfortunately, intelligent design isn’t that area. Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds today quoted Derbyshire from his criticism of ID yesterday at The Corner: Lots of scientists believe in God. Einstein seems to have, for instance. So do I; and so do a great other people who think that ID theory is pure flapdoodle. It is possible to believe in God and not believe in ID; it is possible (as I pointed out in a previous post) to believe in ID but not God.ID theory posits that certain features of the natural world CAN ONLY be explained by the active intervention of a designing intelligence. Since the entire history of science displays