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
Oysters and Opportunities
Under ideal circumstances, we can do a lot of good. But when circumstances handicap or restrict our potential—in ways we cannot circumvent—we...

NEWS
Micro-Plastic Wastes, European Dippers, and the Genesis Mandate
European dippers are making the news lately, including science news in Wales.1-3 These riparian habitat birds are indicators4...

COVID-19
Looking for Provision
Lawmakers are at it again as they vote on the latest stimulus bill. This potential “relief” might bring you some much-needed peace, or perhaps...

NEWS
Desperate Dinosaurs Cannibalized During Global Flood
Scientists recently discovered evidence that large theropods were possibly guilty of cannibalism.1 The new study, published in PLOS ONE,...

NEWS
Dumbo Octopus, God's Wonder in the Deepest Deep
About 3,000 years ago, the Bible taught that the “wonders in the deep” are the “works of the Lord.”1 Now that truth...

NEWS
The Rocket Bug: Lone Insect of the Open Ocean
Various water-striding insects use small body sizes, long legs, and fine hairs on their feet to skate on the surfaces of ponds and streams. But life on...

NEWS
Cuckoo Completes Mammoth 7,500-Mile Migration
One particular common cuckoo will soon complete a mammoth migration through both Africa and Asia—a migration that is anything but common. Onon...

NEWS
Inside June 2020 Acts & Facts
How can we find joy, peace, and hope during dark times? What's going on in ICR's virtual classroom? How does the Flood model solve the Antarctica...

NEWS
Norwegians Find Viking Grave Under House Floor
In America we have the idiomatic expression “skeletons in the closet,” but what about finding a 1,000-year-old Viking grave, literally buried...

NEWS
‘Grand Canyon’ of Greenland Formed by Genesis Flood
A massive canyon rivalling Grand Canyon has been discovered beneath the ice on Greenland, and uniformitarian scientists are explaining it as a consequence...