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?

  • 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?

  • Randy Meyer

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • dandaman

    post flood anuran diversification…classic

  • God’s Starship

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • EdmondWherever

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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’.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

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

  • Anat

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

  • 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

    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.

  • 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.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

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

  • JuneAbend

    Not to mention the “ants in their pants.”

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

  • 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.

  • caliguy

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

  • 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.

  • TnkAgn

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

  • allein

    I really need to read that..

  • allein

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

  • 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…

  • UWIR

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

  • 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.

  • Andy Anderson

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

  • 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. ;)

  • 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.

  • Intelligent Donkey

    Obsessive Compulsive Divinity?

  • xavierxeon

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

  • Intelligent Donkey

    Water molecules apparently have memory.

  • 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.

  • mikespeir

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

  • 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.

  • the moother

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

  • Jasper

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

  • 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.

  • Len

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

  • Len

    Is the transporter made by Xerox?

  • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

    There are 42 bones in a minotaur’s body.

  • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

    42.

  • new_atheist

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

  • Peter K

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

  • Baby_Raptor

    It’s okay. You got better.

  • Pofarmer

    So, what finally got to you?

  • 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.

  • Buckley

    Obey!!! Obey!!!!

  • 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.

  • Mogg

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

  • Makoto
  • busterggi

    Weirdest kitten I’ve ever seen!

  • busterggi

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

  • Mira

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

  • sane37

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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • sane37

    Only if you washed it first

  • sane37

    It was probably just a tsunami.

  • Makoto

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • phantomreader42

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

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • Artor

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

  • 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?

  • Tainda

    WTF I’m dumb

  • 3lemenope
  • 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.

  • 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

  • Tainda

    Lenny’s

  • Tainda

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

  • 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)?

  • 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.

  • ORAXX

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Spuddie

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

  • allein

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

  • 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. .

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

    Aren’t atoms identical by definition?

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • Pofarmer

    It drained, uhmm, somewhere, silly.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • allein

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

  • 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

  • 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…

  • Tainda

    It’s in Lapland in Finland. True story.

  • 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.

  • Mairianna

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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Tegan Giesel

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

  • 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?

  • Half-Baked-Gogglebox-Do-Gooder

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

  • Bert

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • mikespeir

    Ah, yes.

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

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

  • 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.

  • Quintin van Zuijlen

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

  • Peter K

    You’ve forgotten the park, and the lake.

  • katyj

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


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