Did Noah Recognize Different Frog Species? | The Institute for Creation Research

Did Noah Recognize Different Frog Species?

"What if Noah got it wrong?" is a question recently posed in a ScienceDaily article. "What if he paired a male and a female animal thinking they were the same species, and then discovered they were not the same and could not produce offspring?"1

These were probably not intended to be serious questions. But if Genesis provides real history, maybe they should be.

The article highlighted a report by scientists who successfully used a technique called DNA barcoding, which identifies subtle species differences, on frogs. Some different frog species look very similar. Like "ring species" of birds, some frogs can interbreed across a continuum of varieties, but those at one end cannot breed with those at the other end of the continuum. This implies that all the members share ancestry and natural processes over many generations lessened their reproductive potential.2

A professor at Universidad de los Andes, Andrew Crawford, studied the subtle DNA differences in 10 species of frogs in Panama. His team's results were published in the journal Molecular Ecology Resources.3 Take note of the differences between the researchers' objectives and those of Noah. God clearly instructed Noah in Genesis 6:19-20,

And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.

Noah took two of every "sort," or "kind." Does the Bible indicate that Noah took two of every one of today's named species? Certainly not. Many, if not most, species interbreed with at least one other named species. For example camels (Camelus dromedarius) breed with llamas (Lama glama) to form a "cama."

Noah did not need two camels and two llamas. He may not have even seen these descendant forms. He only needed two representatives of the camel "sort," likely corresponding to the modern family level classification of "camelidae."

In contrast to Noah, Crawford and his team were not interested in preserving representatives of each familial "sort," but in identifying each specialized variety that descended from that more generalized "sort's" stock. He told the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, "If we accidentally choose frogs to breed that are not the same species, we may be unsuccessful or unknowingly create hybrid animals that are maladapted to their parents' native environment."1

But like llamas and camels, these frogs probably no longer correspond to those available during Noah's time. Of course, frogs could have survived the Flood on board the ark. But because they spend part of their lives in water, it is possible that they survived outside it.

Questioning how Noah would have discerned between species overlooks three factors. First, Noah might not have taken all amphibians on board. Second, today's species are not exactly what he saw. Third, Noah was unconcerned with modern biologists' fixation on naming and preserving every possible sub-variety within a reproducing group.

Identifying dwindling species using DNA banding as part of an effort to preserve biodiversity is valuable because each creature reflects its Creator in a unique way.4 But Noah did not need to use DNA banding. His concern was not to tag varieties within each kind, but to preserve two representatives of each kind.

References

  1. Genetic Matchmaking Saves Endangered Frogs. ScienceDaily. Posted on sciencedaily.com January 8, 2013, accessed January 17, 2013.
  2. Sherwin, F. and B. Thomas. 2009. Do "New Species" Demonstrate Darwinism? Acts & Facts. 38 (2): 36.
  3. Crawford, A. J., et al. DNA barcoding applied to ex situ tropical amphibian conservation programme reveals cryptic diversity in captive populations. Molecular Ecology Resources. Published online before print, December 27, 2012.
  4. Thomas, B. 2005. Conservation ethics based on evolution? Journal of Creation. 19 (2): 58-61.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on January 21, 2013.

The Latest
NEWS
'Prehistoric' Paddlefish?
Evolutionists consider the freshwater paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) of the class Actinopterygii to be a prehistoric creature, a primitive bony fish “50...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Earth
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation...

ACTS & FACTS
To the End of the Earth
The book of Acts recounts the apostles’ journeys across the Roman Empire from Jerusalem and Judea “to the end of the earth,” preaching...

APOLOGETICS
Lightning, Soil Bacteria, and God’s Providence
Nitrogen is vital for human survival, yet few appreciate how lightning and soil bacteria contribute to Earth’s nitrogen cycle. That Earth’s...

ACTS & FACTS
The Bobtail Squid's Living Cloaking Device
Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) live among the sand flats and sea plants of the Hawaiian archipelago. Along with other bobtail squid, these...

ACTS & FACTS
Seeing Distant Starlight in a Young Universe
Many see distant starlight as an unanswerable objection to recent creation. Both creationist and evolutionist astronomers agree that distant galaxies...

ACTS & FACTS
Yellowstone National Park, Part 2: Canyons and Catastrophe
by Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Brian Thomas, Ph.D.* About three million visitors tour Yellowstone National Park’s 3,440 square miles each year.1...

ACTS & FACTS
How Did the Bat Get Its Wings?
Where did bats come from? Evolutionists presuppose that some kind of rodent received just the right mutations to over “a few million years”...

ACTS & FACTS
Biblical Insights into Today’s Violent Mob Mentality
Some scenes from the evening news get etched into our memories. I recall seeing a college professor step outside his building and become suddenly surrounded...

CREATION PODCAST
Are Dinosaurs in the Bible? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 26
If the Bible is true, wouldn't it mention dinosaurs? If God made dinosaurs, when did He make them? Did they live with humans? What ultimately happened...