Explore the 12 Arguments Evolutionists Should Avoid series to prepare yourself with answers to common yet faulty assertions by evolutionists.
Besides the arrogance of such statements, this argument has no footing and should be cast off. Mainly, those who make this claim usually define “educated people” as those who accept evolution. Any who disagree fail the test, no matter what their background (e.g., if we follow this ideology, Isaac Newton must have been uneducated). There are many lists of well-educated scholars who look to the Bible for answers (here’s one)—and we could point out Darwin’s own deficit of formal education (he earned a bachelor’s in theology). But the bigger issue is that education—or lack thereof—does not guarantee the validity of a person’s position.1
The argument, “Only the uneducated reject evolution,” is a logical fallacy on many fronts. It’s an ad hominem fallacy because it attacks the creationist rather than challenging the creationist’s view. It’s a faulty appeal to authority because it appeals to particular experts without acknowledging that many experts dispute the claim of evolution. It’s a “no true Scotsman” fallacy because even though there are many educated creationists, they are reclassified as uneducated since supposedly no truly educated person would reject evolution.
Those who believe that only the uneducated reject evolution perhaps do not realize that evolution, far from fact, does not even qualify as a theory. Evolution is a belief system about the past. Creationists also have a belief system about the past, but it is based on the historical account of the Bible, which claims to be the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16).
The Apostle Paul was a highly educated man who believed the Scriptures (Acts 22:3; Philippians 3:4–11). When Paul was on trial for his faith and testifying before King Agrippa, the governor Porcius Festus exclaimed, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind” (Acts 26:24). Festus could not attack Paul’s credentials or testimony, but he suggested Paul’s extensive education had driven him to insanity. Paul’s gracious response appeals to the truth and rationality of his faith: “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words” (verse 25).
Paul had just explained his testimony how “according to the strictest party of our religion I lived a Pharisee” (verse 5) and how he had fiercely persecuted the first followers of Christ (verses 9–11) until his dramatic encounter with Jesus Himself (verses 12–18). He went from persecuting to proving Christ (9:20–22). Jesus appointed Paul as His witness (26:16) “to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (verse 18).
Paul had lived faithfully to Christ’s commission, calling both Jews and Gentiles to “repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles” (verses 20–23).
So Paul not only had a personal testimony, but he also had the support of specific prophecies made hundreds of years before Jesus was born, which Christ perfectly fulfilled. 2 Let’s look at a few of these prophecies about the Messiah:
|Born of a virgin and called Immanuel
|Born in Bethlehem
|Matthew 2:1–6; Luke 2:1–14
|Called out of Egypt
|Heralded by a messenger
|Malachi 3:1; Isaiah 40:3
|Declared the Son of God
|Compared to Moses
|Sacrificed as the Lamb of God
|Matthew 26:63–68; Mark 15:4–5; John 1:29
|Killed and after three days raised
|Matthew 12:38–40, 16:21, 17:22–23, 20:18–20; John 2:19–22
Paul pointedly asked, “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe” (Acts 26:27). King Agrippa was apparently familiar with the Scriptures (verses 2–3). He also must have heard reports of Christ’s life, death, and Resurrection, since there were more than 500 eyewitnesses (Luke 1:1–4; Acts 1:1–3; 1 Corinthians 15:6). Paul asserted, “For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner” (Acts 26:26).
So King Agrippa was faced with a true and rational testimony of an educated man, a clear explanation of the gospel, the verification of eyewitnesses, and the fulfillment of prophecies. Sadly, King Agrippa put off personally turning to the truth: “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” (verse 28). Paul gave further evidence of Christianity in his response—the evidence that he and many others were willing to give up everything, even their own lives, for the sake of the gospel: “And Paul said, ‘Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains’” (verse 29).
People today have as much evidence as King Agrippa had and even more because we have the completed Scripture with the addition of the New Testament to the Old Testament. Beyond these evidences, we have what AiG calls the ultimate proof of creation in that naturalism/materialism cannot provide any basis for laws of logic, absolute morality, and the uniformity of nature, yet the Bible gives us the basis for these. As Paul wrote in Romans 1:18–32, those who suppress the truth about the Creator are fools, no matter how educated they are. On the other hand, those who have repented and trusted Christ have nothing to boast about except in the Lord, who by the message of the Cross saves sinners, no matter how uneducated.
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:18–31)
Dan Phillips wrote,
The very idea that conservatively dozens of prophecies uttered over the course of more than a millennium should converge so specifically on one Man is, on the premise of randomness and chaos, unthinkable. In fact, it has been calculated that the odds of just eight prophecies being randomly fulfilled in one man are: 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.
That jaw-dropping number may be illustrated in this way: if you were to take 1017 silver dollars and lay them over the state of Texas, it would cover the entire state over two feet deep. Mark one silver dollar, throw it back in, and stir the entire mass thoroughly. Then blindfold G. W. Bush and tell him to pick up that very silver dollar on the first try!
President Bush’s chances of first-try success would be the same as the odds of just eight prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one man (cf. Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict [Here’s Life Publishers: 1979], 167). Now of course, the fact is that in Jesus were fulfilled far more than eight prophecies” (Daniel J. Phillips, “Why I Am (Still) a Christian,” http://www.bibchr.com/whychr.html).