Dr. Jay Richards humbly calls himself a shameless generalist due to the diversity of his intellectual endeavors, making him the perfect guest for educationally engaging conversations on a variety of topics. Richards has no problem going against the status quo, which is why he is consistently confronting consensus decision making and deploring the dangers of groupthink, especially when it comes to global warming and evolution. The conversation also touches on Richards’s new book, The Human Advantage, which addresses the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), how smart machines are reshaping our world, and why they will never be a substitute for what he calls “the human advantage.”
Topics discussed include: politics disguised as science — a 12-step program on when to doubt a scientific consensus (2:45); how and why stakeholder interests and incentives influence the research and findings of academics (9:25); how motivated blindness inhibits an individual’s ability to perceive inconvenient data (11:55); how worldviews can impact your view on climate change and environmentalism (15:10); on comparing global warming denial to holocaust denial and other ad hominem arguments (18:20); how to get people to think critically (20:30); how tenure and groupthink impact intellectual discourse (22:00); the problems of cliques and conspiracies in publishing and peer reviews (25:05); the problem when politicians don’t understand the issues but merely follow the popular narrative (27:15); are the fires in California a product of climate change? (28:45); are natural disasters such as hurricanes and fires naturally bad for the Earth? (30:30); the problem with connecting any extreme weather event as evidence for global warming (33:10); invalidating the process of peer review by excluding dissenters (34:10); the issue of consensus being declared before consensus actually exists (37:05); the difference between scientific observation and scientific data — and why it matters (39:15); the problem when consensus science is used to justify economic and public policies (45:20); addressing misconceptions concerning the term nationalism (47:35); why so many young people are buying into socialism (50:45); why do so many journalists go along with the consensus? (54:15); why you should always be skeptical when someone cites consensus as justification for their beliefs (56:40); addressing the issue of theistic evolution (59:15); addressing the power of headlines in shaping public opinion and how it is similar to the infamous icons of evolution (1:03:00); why Richards believes that following your passion is a fallacy when it comes to finding a successful career (1:06:20); how Richards and Hanegraaff deal with the “task of translation” when communicating complex ideas (1:12:30); how solar eclipses show that we are part of a universe designed for discovery and provide us with evidence of a creator (1:14:20); the myth that machines eventually will replace humans, as addressed in Richards’s new book The Human Advantage: The Future of American Work in an Age of Smart Machines (1:18:10); the human advantage of virtue and the future of work in an age of smart machines (1:23:25); and why Christians should care about the issue of artificial intelligence in the face of a growing movement of transhumanism (1:26:25).
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