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A subtle upgrade for "human embryos"

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The English language is a marvelous instrument in the hands of an expert wordsmith. It is capable of tremendous subtlety, and over the centuries the lives of countless men and women have been affected in numerous ways by the manner in which its vast collection of words have been manipulated and shaped – whether to rally the faithful to the arms of war or to sooth the troubled and hostile crowd.

Recently, I noticed a display of the subtle use of the English language as I was reading an article in National Geographic – specifically, "Hawaii's unearthly worms" in its February 2007 edition. In the article, populated with breathtaking photos which are a hallmark of the venerable magazine, was a picture of an acorn worm accompanied by the following caption: "It has a liver (the nubs along its body) and gill slits like those of sharks—and embryonic humans."

Ignore for the moment, the implication behind the misleading use of the phrase "gill slits" (and the 18th century frauds of militant evolutionist Ernst Haeckel) and consider the pair of words dramatically offset in the caption: "embryonic humans" – a dramatic yet subtle change from the more common media phrase: "human embryos."

With all of the talk these days about using human "embryos" as mere organic fodder for experimentation – a "resource" to be "harvested" – this interchange between adjective and noun is painfully illustrative of society's sentiments. Why can't we experiment on "human embryos?" one might ask. Aren't they just like human blood, human hair, human teeth, human organs, etc.? When we discuss treating these "objects" as something to be experimented with or manipulated or frozen or destroyed or dissected or handled in whatever manner we please, then the object is an "embryo" which just so happens to be "human."

Yet in this caption, in which supposed "evidence" of evolution is being hinted at, we find the same "object" described not as a "human embryo" but as an "embryonic human." Do you see the shift of emphasis? Sleeping human, angry human, old human, young human, short human, tall human, comatose human – embryonic human. Putting it this way, the "object" is seen not as a "thing" which just happens to be related to humans, but as a human who just happens to be in a particular state. A world of difference, actively implied by a subtle interchange of words and driven by the agenda of the moment.

It's a subtle difference, yes, but the deceiver of this world, Satan the Devil, trades in subtleties. In the King James translation of the Bible, he is introduced to us as the serpent in the Garden of Eden, where, we are told, "the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field" (Genesis 3:1). In the world of "secular evangelism" subtleties are very often pressed into service, and one can pack a great deal of dogma into a well crafted "subtlety." Want to abort it? Experiment on it? Buy and sell it? It's a "human embryo." Want to prop it up as "evidence" for the faith of evolutionism and the dogma of godless human origins? It's an "embryonic human."

But the reality of the humanity of the child in the womb, and the falsehood of the atheistic fairytale that is modern evolutionary thought, isn't dependent on the subtleties of the English language. They are declared by Almighty God, the source of truth and wisdom (John 17:17, Psalm 111:10). And a day is coming when that God will hold us accountable for how we have used the words we have spoken (Matthew 12:36).

If you would like to learn more about how to discern truth over spin, consider ordering our free booklet, The Bible: Fact or Fiction? Nothing will help you more in seeing a lie for what it is than being powerfully familiar with the truth. The booklet is made available as an educational service for the public, absolutely free and with no obligation.