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What Is the Matter, My Lord?

Ephesians 5:6a: Let no man deceive you with vain words…

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, there is a famous scene where Hamlet is talking to Polonius. Hamlet – for various reasons too complicated to go into now – is feigning madness. Polonius finds him reading a book, and asks “What do you read, my Lord?”

Hamlet answers “Words, words, words.”

One can immediately see that Hamlet’s reply was technically correct. Of course, Hamlet was reading words. It is the words that we read that carry the information. But Hamlet knew this, and his answer is deliberately obscure. Polonius could hardly have supposed that Hamlet might have been reading something other than words. So Polonius follows up with another question. “What is the matter, my Lord?”

Now, at this point we might miss the humor of the reply. In Elizabethan English, Polonius’s question was intended to mean, “What is the subject matter of the book?” Hamlet deliberately misunderstands, and says “Between who?”, as if Polonius had been asking about an argument.

This form of deliberately understanding one use of a word, but choosing to interpret it as another, is called equivocation. Evolutionists use this form all the time. Even when they claim that small scale evolution is something that can be observed in the laboratory, they use equivocation. When asking for evidence of evolution, we are really asking to see how new genetic information has been created. But the evolutionist, knowing this is required, deliberately uses the word evolution in its alternative sense of mere change.

This creation ministry has evolved! But it has not created new genetic information. That is what the matter actually is.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that Your word is eternal; that it stands firm in the Heavens. Amen.

Notes: Wm. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2

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