How Many Frogs Were on Noah’s Ark? A Creationist Researcher Claims to Have An Answer

We know exactly how many frogs were on Noah’s Ark.

Zero.

There were zero frogs.

Also, there were zero humans and zebras and giraffes because the Great Flood didn’t happen.

But that didn’t stop Tom Hennigan, a professor at (Christian) Truett-McConnell College, from speculating otherwise in the Creationist Answers Research Journal.

Most of his paper consists of descriptions of different kinds of frogs and whether or not they may have been on the boat, with summaries like this:

… Though mostly aquatic, there is no reason that Noah could not have had these on board. Because of respiratory anatomy, doubts about Flood survival hardiness, and to avoid underestimating Ark kind numbers, I include them until further data shows obvious post-Flood diversification from other terrestrial anuran taxa.

… Because of their unique dermal brooding, respiratory anatomy, my desire to avoid underestimating Ark kinds, and relative ease of keeping in captivity, I include them in the Ark as a kind.

… They are explosive breeders and mate when heavy rains form large pools. Because of their uniqueness I include them as a separate Ark kind.

This goes on for a while.

Until we get to the conclusion:

With the above in mind, I tentatively place the number of extant anuran kinds on the Ark at 140. Whatever the number actually was, it is clear that frogs and toads represent the amazing diversity that is consistent with the Creator’s triune character and the creative wisdom required to build fascinating creatures with the ability to persist and thrive, in a fallen world.

So there you go. 140 different kinds of frogs on Noah’s Ark.

Unless you’re reading the PDF version of his essay in which case the number is actually 139. (But who’s counting?)

But none of it really matters since all of diversity reflects the imagination of God. And something something sin.

I can’t wait for Hennigan’s next paper when he speculates on the number of bones in a Minotaur’s body.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • God’s Starship

    How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

    • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt Eggler

      Depends on the dance. 27 can pogo, 16 can do various country set dances or waltz, 12 can conga and 6 can tango.

      • Ateu, e dai?

        Obviously your opinion derives from the Reformed Church of Dancing Angels.

        Anyone from the Puritan Church of Dancing Angels could tell you that it only takes 2 to tango.

    • EdmondWherever

      See? Right? How do they write this and not feel dirty? It’s like trying to explain why we haven’t found Santa’s Workshop!

      • sane37

        We have. He makes/sells meth to pay for all the presents he gives away.

        There’s a documentary about it called breaking bad.

        /snark

      • Tainda

        It’s in Lapland in Finland. True story.

    • Raising_Rlyeh

      Well, if you have read Good Omens you know the answer is zero because angels cannot dance.

      • allein

        I really need to read that..

    • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

      42.

  • Jasper

    I include them until further data shows obvious post-Flood diversification from other terrestrial anuran taxa.

    Oh, so you mean evolution?

    Even if they grant “microevolution”, why would God even set up the universe so that a little evolution happens? Why does he need to save 140 frogs? Why did he go totally obsessive about creating so many little variations of beetles?

    • Andy Anderson

      I really wish this joker would stop devaluing my Ph.D in Baraminology that I got from some website for free.

    • Intelligent Donkey

      Obsessive Compulsive Divinity?

  • Randy Meyer

    Man, imagine how loud that ark must have been with 100-whatever frogs constantly croaking.

    • http://lady-die.deviantart.com/ LizzyJessie

      Or more than a month’s time with just one of these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBkWhkAZ9ds

      • Randy Meyer

        Slightly less annoying. Only slightly.

        • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

          The higher the frequency, the more annoying it is to my nervous system. That critter would drive me nuts.

          • Spuddie

            I wondered how long it would have taken Noah to start saying, “You know what, God doesn’t need you little annoying things” while chasing various vermin around the boat with a broom or an oar.

      • allein

        I’ve seen this before (it was on Cute Overload) but it still made me giggle like a little girl. :)

      • busterggi

        Weirdest kitten I’ve ever seen!

      • Half-Baked-Gogglebox-Do-Gooder

        Clearly, a species of frog snuck onto the ark by Unitarians.

      • katyj

        That frog is so cute I’m going to pass out.

    • God’s Starship

      You’d be too busy gagging from the smell of all those animals to notice the noise.

    • John Small Berries

      Well, depends on whether or not frogs are considered “unclean” (one pair of each, so 280 frogs croaking) or “clean” (depending on translation, either seven or seven pairs of each, so 980 or 1,960 frogs making a cacophonous din every single night). But I’m sure that if Noah could build a wooden ark that large in defiance of the laws of physics, he could invent foam earplugs too.

      Of course, I’m surprised that he didn’t pull the AIG “all extant species came from a limited number of ‘kinds’ that were on the ark” argument, because to say that there were actually 139 or 140 kinds of frog on board then raises the question of how he could possibly have fit two, seven, or fourteen animals of every other extant species onto the ark, not to mention food and fresh water for them all. It simply wouldn’t be possible.

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

        Unless the “ark” was really an ancient alien spaceship… *rolleyes*

  • dandaman

    post flood anuran diversification…classic

  • sam

    That is an absolutely stunning academic discovery to find that 139 extant anuran kinds is completely consistent with the Creator’s triune character. Indeed, 140 extant anuran kinds is also completely consistent with the Creator’s triune character. Why, I can’t think of any number of frog kinds that isn’t completely consistent with our Creator’s triune character. Amazing.

    • Gus

      You’d think it would be divisible by three. lets round down to 138 to keep it consistent with the triune character of the Creator. Better yet, let’s go with 135 so most of the factors are three. Wait, why not 243 so that it’s a power of three! I’m sure I can find an excuse to include a few more kinds in there…

  • beatonfam

    So many cultures have a flood story in their folklore. I think there probably was a great big flood causing massive migration. What I doubt is one dude building a boat and stuffing every animal on board.

    • Heather Davis

      I’m sure every culture having a flood story has nothing to do with the fact that ancient cultures were typically around rivers and other water sources.

    • Anat

      Chances are these aren’t stories about the same flooding event. Plenty of local ones, at many different times.

    • caliguy

      dude, even i have a flood story. wrecked both my cars. didn’t build a boat though.

      • allein

        My parents’ basement flooded once when the washing machine hose came loose. I’m sure some crickets or spiders or something drowned…There was even a boat down there – a Lego pirate ship that my brother built – but it didn’t get wet. No frogs on it, either. Not much for building a religion around, sadly…

        • Len

          In a few years, when everyone’s forgotten the actual details, you’ll “remember” it as a huge flood that destroyed all your property, smashed huge ships to match sticks, and drowned all the wildlife. Then you can start your religion.

          • allein

            Hmm…it’s been like, 10 years already…maybe I’ll start working on a holy book in the meantime…

      • Spuddie

        In 2011 Hurricane Irene left my basement with 4 feet of mostly sewer water and you could float down my block with a rowboat for a couple of hours. No frogs inside.

        All props go to the Clorox company, my insurance carrier and FEMA for making it livable again.

    • sane37

      It was probably just a tsunami.

    • Savoy47

      About 72 percent of the Earth is covered in water. I think if the turtle that is holding up the world hiccups, a little spillage is to be expected.

    • Spuddie

      (See my comment above).

      Early agriculture/early civilizations grew up around rivers. Rivers flood. Sometimes often. It is always a general fear of people in such places. Even now. No need for big floods at all. Just a little knowledge of what a regular flood does and a dash of imagination.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    As the resident creation-kind-fungiologist-biologist, I must point out according to my long calculations on the back of this here Denny’s place mat, that while the ark also carried just of kind Chytridiomycosis, the frog killing fungus, it also roughly carried 3,187 other kinds of frog predators, from racoons to storks. Which explains why no frogs survived. Not a single species.

    • Len

      Wow. That’s actually consistent with our Creator’s triune character.

    • Tainda

      Lenny’s

  • TnkAgn

    I pretty much go with Robert Ballard on the flood theories, Probably around 5000 BCE, and while not a Noah sized global deluge, certainly a disaster for those living on the coast of the Black Sea at the time.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/evidence-suggests-biblical-great-flood-noahs-time-happened/story?id=17884533

    As to the amphibian question: Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, Japheth, their wives and even Noah’s wife, were diagnosed with having “frogs in their throats.” This diagnosis came from the biblically renown doctors – Howard, Fine, and Howard.
    Only a stooge would believe otherwise.

    • JuneAbend

      Not to mention the “ants in their pants.”

      Your stooge pun had me reading the sons as SHEMP, Ham, and Japheth. Well done!

      • TnkAgn

        If they were Proto-Hebrews, “ants-in-the-pants” more or less translate today into Yiddish as “shpilkes,” I think.

    • Spuddie

      I think it is more confirmation bias and and attempt to science-ize a common cultural phenomena of story telling.

      Virtually all early culture in the area were riverine. Floods would be commonplace enough to be a major fear for a given group. Its the one disaster which is recognizable enough and devastating enough to wipe out whole communities at a stroke.

      No need for there to be a big flood, just creative license. Myths usually the commonplace and exaggerate them for effect. An extra special big flood to scare the willies out of people need never be a real occurrence. .

      • TnkAgn

        Yep. Dr Ballard does not subscribe to anything diluvial, certainly not a biblical and global flash flood. However, the Black Sea archeology thus far indicates a rapid rise in the water level, causing people to be displaced over a relatively short time. How short, remains to be pinned down.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_deluge_hypothesis

        And then there is the Zanclean flood of the Mediterranean Sea, and likely another about 10,000 years BP.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8404363.stm

  • A3Kr0n

    God sure made Noah go through a hell of a lot of work when he could have easily just parted the waters like he did for that other guy.

    • Jasper

      Or even better… just have a boat for the people, and then re-create the animals once the flood is done.

      • Matt D

        There’s so many things such a being could have done that make more sense, I think it’s a testament to the limits of ancient people’s imaginations.

      • Pofarmer

        Why didn’t I ever think of that? If he did it once, there ‘s certainly nothing keeping him from doing it again.

        • Tegan Giesel

          This is what they refer to as the apocalypse. He’s going to get it right this time, damnit!!

      • Ateu, e dai?

        Or better… Kill everything that lives and re-create everything again… If it goes wrong once more – wich would be really weird, (again) considering you´re perfect, and everything – just repeat the procedure until it gets exactly what your divine ego requires.

        Being God apparently is like playing Sim City…

        • allein

          I actually had to play Sim City for a class in college. For some reason the program was very unstable on my system and would crash all the time. Got to the point where I had to hit save every other minute or risk my city going poof. Which brings me to this question: why did everyone have to die a horrific death by drowning? He’s God – why not just snap his fingers and just make it all disappear?

  • EdmondWherever

    This is like trying to deduce whether the bears had milk or water in their porridge! This is asinine.

    • Artor

      In another thread, I managed to derail the conversation from what languages did Jesus speak into what languages Aragorn spoke. Pretty much the same discussion. Do you think you die when you go through a Star Trek transporter?

      • http://lady-die.deviantart.com/ LizzyJessie

        That’s an interesting question. You’ll have to ask William and Thomas Riker what they think.

        • Tainda

          WTF I’m dumb

          • 3lemenope
            • Tainda

              Yeah, I forgot they punked out and didn’t kill him on the show. You know he didn’t last 2 seconds at a stinking labor camp though lol

            • baal

              The starship crew should have noticed the difference in the amount of energy in the merged beaming vs not merged beaming situation….

              • 3lemenope

                That requires them to be competent. I think that their supposed competence is just Federation propaganda.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        I explained that to my nephew recently. “The transporter disintegrates you and then uses the remains to build a new you at a different location. Is that death?” I think he’s traumatized now. Heh, kids. Fuck ‘em.

        • ShoeUnited

          Even worse. It uses different atoms where they reassemble you. The you that was on the ship is dead forever until someone makes a cup of raktajino with a slice of pie.

          • UWIR

            What does “different atoms” mean? Do they have serial numbers?

            • Intelligent Donkey

              Water molecules apparently have memory.

              • Artor

                They do not. If they did, their memory of millions of years of dinosaur piss would be much stronger than whatever insignificant whiff of homeopathic medicine they supposedly contain.
                Hmmm… But what if dinosaur piss cures cancer?

            • Quintin van Zuijlen

              It means atoms not identical to the ones being copied, id est the atoms of the body are not transported. As a result one’s isotopic makeup would change ever so slightly. Perhaps that could be a source of problems though.

              • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                Aren’t atoms identical by definition?

                • Quintin van Zuijlen

                  Once that was the definition yes, but today we know of the existence of isotopes, so they’re not any more.

            • Artor

              The atoms on board the Enterprise, as opposed to the atoms on the planet’s surface.

          • David Kopp

            Even more pressing… is someone somewhere making shadow copies? Think of all the red shirts that could have survived had the transporter system just kept a backup. But then again, I’m sure there’s something in the canonical lore about how it’s a stream copy of some kind, and not an actual stored one.

            • Len

              Is the transporter made by Xerox?

            • sane37

              Its a copyright violation. The RIAA and MPAA would totally get you for making copies.
              Teleporters = piracy. just say no.

        • Mogg

          Read him the teleporter song from The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. That’ll mess with him.

        • Tainda

          Poor kid. He’s going to be the next Broccoli

      • ShoeUnited

        Since data is copied bit by bit with no parity errors (except when the story calls for the transporters to foul), and you are disassembled in one place, the information transmitted, and reassembled in another: Yes and no. The body that was you died, but since information was preserved and not corrupted, you continue.

        But you don’t need to ask me, ask Riker.

      • xavierxeon

        You only die if you have a (immortal, unique, non-material) soul.

      • Mira

        That makes me think of a show I saw once…I think it was the Twilight Zone? where to transport from one area to the next, through space, you were covered in this black goo and the technician waited for the go ahead from the other end. Upon receiving it, he would use a laser that would disintegrate the “you” left on this end. The twist of the episode was that the technician never thought about it until one day the other end told him there was a problem and he removed the black goo and found that the woman was very much alive and terrified. Later on, the other end told him that the transportation had indeed gone through and he would have to “eliminate” the individual with him because there can’t be two of her at once.
        Totally blew my mind. I think I was like 14 haha.

        • Makoto
          • Mira

            omigosh you’re amazing! I’ve wondered for AGES what the hell I watched xD

            • Makoto

              My pleasure! That episode really stuck out with me for the “balance the equation” part, since I’m a math guy…

              • Mira

                My knee-jerk reaction is “I’m totally not a math person!” but I think that’s because I was either taught math poorly or because I was punished for not getting it quickly. Balance is something I innately understand and think is important. I think it stuck with me because, looking back, in 2001, the idea of there being TWO of one person was really surreal to me because my mom was deployed for nearly 2 years following 9/11. Death was something I had become intimately familiar with: could I kill a “real” version of someone so their “copy” could live? Obviously it made me think, like the show wanted me to!

          • curtcameron

            I looked up that episode, thinking it would be fun to watch an old Outer Limits, but I couldn’t find it. Then I discovered this episode was from 2001! I had no idea, I thought the 1960s series was the only one.

            But in the 90s and 2000s, TVs didn’t have vertical and horizontal hold adjustments! The series couldn’t possibly be comparable!

      • Mogg

        Any wonder my fundie parents are disappointed in me – I could immediately give an answer to the languages Aragorn spoke, but I had to think about it slightly harder for Jesus.

  • Mario Strada

    Noah started with 139 frogs, but once he landed, he realized that he only ended up with a couple of frightened and slightly insane frogs that survived the carnivorous onslaught by hiding in the copies amount of excrement left over by the bovines. Fighting for each cow pie with the industrious Dung Beetles.

    A less than famous verse has Noah tell one of his sons “I told thee not to placeth them frogs next to the crocodiles, idiot!”

  • DougI

    If only the “pulled the number out of my ass” worked in math class I would have gotten an ‘A’.

    • sane37

      Only if you washed it first

  • Mick

    The sad thing is that PDF will remain on the Internet for decades to come. Over the years thousands of fundies will read it or hear about it and regard it as an important scientific paper that proves the bible is true.

    • Lando

      Even worse, if the PDF only lists 139 species, we’ll have generations of creationists who fail to grasp the important role that White-Flanked Malagasy Tree Frogs played on post-flood diversification. Without that critical missing link, they’ll be forced to turn to evilution for their answers

  • LesterBallard

    It’s just amazes me that they had to start this publication; that Nature and all those other lowly journals refuse to publish such great research. It’s just not fair.

  • Pofarmer

    Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen. Man I get tired of that shit.

    • islandbrewer

      You’re just cynical because you’re fallen and full of sin. … and stuff.

  • jh

    I have a question for “Professor” Hennigan.

    “Were you there?”

    It seems Ken Ham’s question comes in handy when dealing with creationist nonsense after all. ;)

    • Matt D

      Well, remember their rhetoric has no rules, and you’ll typically get tangled in the obscurity before they see your point. All they have to do is make you stumble and it will convince their “court” that you’re a jester.

      • jh

        Well, yes – but only if you stick around for the “discussion” or decide to be a participant rather than insisting on an answer to the question.

        Certainly there would be attempts to deflect the question (because in the end, it’s really a stupid, childish question), but “You didn’t answer my question – Were you there?” is the only response one really needs to any deflection.

        Just turn it back on “Ken Ham says that this is the only real test that needs to be applied. So, were you there or not?”

        And when you get a “no” answer, then you thank the “professor” for answering the question and disengage.

  • Adam Rubin

    He had to adjust 139 to 140 because he had forgotten to include Kermit.

  • Kellen Connor

    Someone ask him how many mermaids were on the ark.

  • mikespeir

    That’s so cute! He used big words just like a real scientist.

    • phantomreader42

      No, when a real scientist uses big words, they actually know what the words mean.

      • mikespeir

        Ah, yes.

  • the moother

    Must be an easy job being able to just pull stuff out of your ass.

  • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

    There are 42 bones in a minotaur’s body.

    • baal

      Humans are at 206 bones, unless the minotaur has hoofs for hands, I don’t think you can get down that low in count. Maybe you mean it’s 126 bones (42*3, 3 is for triune god)?

  • new_atheist

    I’m actually a Truett-McConnell Graduate and former YEC. I’m hanging my head in shame.

    • Baby_Raptor

      It’s okay. You got better.

    • Pofarmer

      So, what finally got to you?

      • new_atheist

        What made me an atheist? Or, what caused me to accept evolution? Because, interestingly enough, even after my deconversion, it took almost a year for me to accept that evolution was true.

        • Pofarmer

          What caused you to become an atheist. Sorry I wasn’t clear. As for accepting evolution. Deconverting has caused all sorts of little epiphanies. Some of them a little disconcerting.

          • new_atheist

            More than anything else, it was hearing Matt Dillahunty ask “Do you care if your beliefs are true?” It took hearing him ask that several times before it really sink in. Once I decided I did care, I began making sure what I believed was true. You can figure out the rest.

            • Guest

              That’s more or less what happened to me, too. I originally went looking to see if the claims made by Catholicism were true, and it was all down hill from there.

            • Pofarmer

              That’s more or less what happened to me. I went searching to see if the claimz of catholicism were true, and the next thing you know-mission creep.

  • Peter K

    The thing you have to remember about the ARK is that it was like the TARDIS.

    • Spuddie

      “Adric make sure you get all that gazelle scat out of the secondary control room”

      • Peter K

        You’ve forgotten the park, and the lake.

  • Buckley

    Obey!!! Obey!!!!

  • busterggi

    That takes care of the frogs, now how many toads were on the ark?

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Though mostly aquatic…

    Yes, but frogs generally stick to fresh water. There are approximately two frog species on the planet with even a limited tolerance for salt water.

    • Derrik Pates

      I’m sure the fact that the oceans are now salty can somehow be tied to man’s sinful nature, and god crying bitter, salty tears over it. While he’s directing all those sinful souls to hell. Or something like that.

      • allein

        It’s because after Sodom & Gomorrah, Lot’s wife made an unfortunate decision to go swimming.

  • Rain

    the amazing diversity that is consistent with the Creator’s triune character

    Triune only means three. It doesn’t sound very amazing. Three isn’t very many. Nobody ever accused kooks of being short on hyperbole. Lol.

  • ORAXX

    Now that he has frogs figured out, I’d like to know where all the water came from and where it all went.

    • Pofarmer

      It drained, uhmm, somewhere, silly.

      • baal

        the lord giveth and the lord taketh away
        being concerned about several times the volume of all the water on the planet isn’t godly of you

  • phranckeaufile

    But that didn’t stop Tom Hennigan, a “professor” at (Christian) Truett-McConnell “College,” from speculating otherwise in the Creationist “Answers” “Research” “Journal.”

    Fixed.

  • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer
  • John Secular Smith

    If 139 or 140 is the number of extant kinds, that makes it a minimum number. Since things go extinct, there very well could have been more kinds. Wow, this is all just very silly. Can we get an excerpt from the journal of Vulcan evolution next? I want to see how far diverged Romulan and Vulcan lines are…

  • Mairianna

    It’s “tentative”…so, it doesn’t hold him accountable if he’s wrong…or if he’s right!

  • Bert

    Did the remaining 4860 species that didn’t ride on on the ark croak?

  • L.Long

    I know that the flood did not happen because the idiot Noah included flies and mosquitoes but left the unicorn behind. So Noah was a psychotic ass or he did not exist.


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