Andrew McDiarmid

Senior Fellow, Media Relations and Assistant to the Director

Andrew McDiarmid is a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute. He also serves as a Media Relations Specialist and Assistant to CSC Director Stephen C. Meyer. He holds an MA in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University and a BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Washington. His tech column at Newsmax, Authentic Technology, explores today's technology landscape and encourages readers to live authentically in the digital age. His writing has appeared in San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, The Herald (UK), BreakPoint, Technoskeptic Magazine, The Washington Post, and other publications. In addition to his roles at the Discovery Institute, he is host of the Scottish culture and music podcast Simply Scottish, available anywhere podcasts are found.

Archives

A Plea to Parents: Don’t “Butt Out” of Your Kids’ Education

On today’s ID the Future, host Robert Crowther sits down with writer Andrew McDiarmid to discuss his recent New York Post article, “Word to the Wise: Progressives Forget that Parents are in Charge of Kids’ Education.” The two discuss recent dustups in the news in which parents were told to butt out of the public education of their children. This is profoundly wrongheaded and for a variety of reasons, McDiarmid argues. McDiarmid, a Discovery Institute senior fellow, advocates for greater parental involvement, rather than less, and he and Crowther then apply the principle to the narrower question of how evolution is taught in the public high schools. In many districts evolutionary theory is taught as unquestionable dogma, with none of Read More ›

Are We Really Luddites Just for Logging Off?

We can be wiser about boundaries for technology
The next time someone calls you a Luddite, feel free to smile and tell them that actually, you’re the boss of your technology, not the poor artisan getting sidelined by a greedy factory owner. And if they look at you weird, tell them to read a book about it.

It’s Time for an Artificial Intelligence Reality Check

If you’re getting tired of hearing that “strong AI” is just around the corner, you’re not alone. The Stephen Hawkings, Ray Kurzweils, and Elon Musks of the world have been putting humanity on notice with predictions of machines overtaking humans for decades.

The Coolest Tech on the Planet (Hint: It’s Inside You!)

Newsmax.com
These days, we surround ourselves with technology to stay in touch, to keep ourselves informed, and to manage the challenges of our daily lives. We also recognize in our devices and machines all the hallmarks of design, understanding reflexively that they express the ingenuity of engineers or software developers. Our appreciation for applied intelligence comes as second nature to us—we intuitively recognize the work of other minds.

Fine Tuning in a Nutshell: No Problem

On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid interviews Robert Alston, Ph.D electrical engineer working at Picatinny Arsenal and co-author of the new book Evolution and Intelligent Design in a Nutshell. The two discuss the origin of the Nutshell book and the origin and fine tuning of the universe. Though cosmic fine tuning is often referred to as “the fine tuning problem,” Alston says it’s really no problem at all — not unless you’re trying to shoehorn it into the box of philosophical materialism.

Bits and Bytes at the Bottom

On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid reads a recent article from Salvo magazine, “Bits and Bytes at the Bottom.” In the essay, systems engineer Ken Pedersen and Discovery Institute senior fellow Jonathan Witt begin by noting that scientific materialism sees reality as the result of accidental collisions and combinations of elementary particles — a worldview devoid of ultimate meaning and purpose. Many scientific materialists expressed confidence that any shortcomings in their paradigm would be shorn up by fresh discoveries soon enough, but as Pedersen and Witt explain, a funny thing happened on the way to the 21st century. A paradigm shift occurred, one famously summarized by renowned theoretical physicist John Wheeler: “Bit before it.”

Intricate Optimized Insect Designs – via Evolution?

On this episode of ID the Future, host Andrew McDiarmid draws on an essay at Evolution News & Science Today to explore some intricate optimized insect designs that are inspiring human engineers and raise the question, could evolution have done that? Cicadas and dragonflies use an exquisitely engineered “bed of nails” on their wings to disarm and neutralize bacteria. Butterflies and bird feathers also use this trick. There are fruit flies that have multiple navigation systems, complete with error correction for hard turns. And the sea skater insect is able to walk on water and launch itself explosively thanks to an impressive combination of engineering marvels. Did evolution really bring all those design factors together? Or was something else required Read More ›

Robert Waltzer on Evolutionary Theory’s Room for Humility

On this episode of ID the Future, biologist and professor Robert Waltzer talks with host Andrew McDiarmid about Waltzer’s chapter in the new Discovery Institute Press volume Evolution and Intelligent Design in a Nutshell. Waltzer’s chapter covers some key terms in the evolution/ID conversation that are often misunderstood or misused. These include the word “evolution” itself, “change over time,” “common descent,” and “natural selection.” He offers quick definitions and explains some of the confusion surrounding them. Waltzer also describes an encouraging success story of his about fostering open dialogue and exploration of the evidence for design in nature.

Following the Evidence in Unearthing the Bible

Unearthing the Bible: 101 Archaeological Discoveries That Bring the Bible to Life
We are excited to announce the release of a new book by our friend and archaeologist Dr. Titus M. Kennedy. Some of you had the chance to join Dr. Kennedy last fall as he led tours to various archaeological sites in Israel during last year’s Insider’s Briefing event. His book is called Unearthing the Bible: 101 Archaeological Discoveries that Bring the Bible to Life. It’s a visual guide to 101 objects that provide compelling evidence for the historical reliability of the bible from the dawn of civilization through the early church. Gathered from more than 50 museums, private collections, and archaeological sites, these pieces not only reinforce the reliability of the biblical narratives, but also provide rich cultural insights into Read More ›

David Berlinski Pays Tribute to Phillip Johnson

On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid reads from David Berlinski’s new book Human Nature. The excerpt is a tribute to Phillip Johnson and his 1991 book Darwin on Trial. Berlinski calls the work a “Majestic Ascent.” Johnson, he writes, not only brought evolution into question logically and scientifically; he brought the case where it belongs, before “the considered reflection of the human race.” Berlinski himself reflects on various empty attempts to build a scientific theory on prior commitments to materialism. “Darwin’s theories,” he says, “are correspondingly less important for what they explain, which is very little, and more important for what they deny, which is roughly the plain evidence of our senses.”

Michael Aeschliman on C. S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man

On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid reads the afterword to Michael Aeschliman’s newly revised and expanded The Restoration of Man: C. S. Lewis and the Continuing Case Against Scientism. As Aeschliman explains, Lewis neither deified nor defied science, but he did insist that science idolatry was the grave and present danger of our age. In this excerpt, Aeschliman, professor of Anglophone Culture at the University of Italian Switzerland (Lugano), focuses on Lewis’s brilliant critique of scientism in The Abolition of Man and elsewhere in his work, and on some key thinkers, past and present, who joined Lewis in the fight. It’s a battle, Aeschliman explains, against “the vanity of reason unhinged from ethics,” amidst “a culture that Read More ›

Intelligent Design: A Gift that Keeps on Giving — Pt. 1

On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid looks at three new discoveries in nature that shout design. The cone snail has a harpoon as fast as a speeding bullet. Researchers are looking at it for design ideas for robots and medical devices. The humble dandelion’s seeds are so optimized for lift and flight time that scientists wonder about borrowing its design for parachutes. And there’s a species, the mantis shrimp, whose larvae have “flashlights” in their eyes similar to advanced optics designed by human researchers. See more on these design wonders at Evolution News.

An Excerpt from Marcos Eberlin’s Groundbreaking New Book Foresight

On this episode of ID the Future, Andrew McDiarmid reads from Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose by distinguished Brazilian scientist Marcos Eberlin. In this excerpt, Eberlin introduces the necessity of foresight and planning in nature by showing how every cell needs a sophisticated barrier around it that knows how to keep harmful substances out and let helpful ones in. That membrane’s job is complicated by the fact that oxygen, like many other substances, can be harmful or helpful depending on when, where, and how much. So even the very first cells’ success could only be explained by a designer’s foresight. Foresight, it’s worth noting, has been endorsed by three Nobel Laureate scientists. It’s available for Read More ›