GROUPS OF FROGS

There are more than 4,100 modern species of frogs and toads. The evolutionary and creationism models make predictions on what kind of groups these species can be divided into. Which is supported by the actual evidence?

EVOLUTIONARY MODEL

If evolution has occurred, then the relationships among modern frogs should form a nested hierarchy showing degrees of varying relatedness.

CREATIONISM MODEL

If the creationism model is correct, then the only taxonomic unit which is valid is that of "kind". Each "kind" is completely unrelated to every other "kind" since no two "kinds' share a common ancestry. Each "kind" of frog would have been in existence since the first week of life on earth.

INTELLIGENT DESIGN

If intelligent design has occurred, then some/substantial evolution could have taken place in frog lineages. However, each separate "design" should be impossible to develop over time.

ANATOMICAL AND MOLECULAR COMPARISONS OF FROGS SUPPORT A CLASSIFCATION SCHEME WHICH CREATES A NESTED HIERARCHY OF RELATED ORGANISMS

The herpetologists who study frogs have established that anatomical and molecular evidence supports the classification of all frogs in a clade. All frogs are more closely related to each other than they are to any other organism. The classification scheme of frogs has been studied intensely using the anatomy of adult frogs, the anatomy of larvae, mitochondrial DNA, and nuclear DNA. All studies indicated that frogs for a monophyletic group of common ancestry that forms a nested hierarchy pattern of relationships. The order Anura is divided into two suborders, Archaeobatrachia and Neobatrachia. Neobatrachia can be in turn divided into a number of clades containing the various families, of which Hyloidea and Ranoidea are the most commonly used. The families can be divided into subfamilies, genera, and species. Additional levels of taxonomic relationship are also indicated by some studies. Although there are differences between the classification schemes (e.g. the subfamilies identified in one study may be used as families in another; some separate the Pipoidea and Pelobatoidea out of the suborder Archaeobatrachia and create a new suborder Mesobatrachia), they are generally consistent with one another and all depict the nested hierarchies predicted by the evolutionary model in contrast to the predictions of the creationism model (Hedges, 2007; Garda, 2007; van der Meijden, 2005; Evans, 2004; Loader, 2004; Darst, 2004; Moriarity, 2004; Haas, 2003; Garcia-Paris, 2003; Pough, 1998; Mattison 1998).

cladogram

Several traits in the larvae of the most primitive frog, Ascaphus, are more similar to the larvae of salamanders than any other of frog (Haas, 2003)

There is no evidence that frogs can be classified into groups which are equally unrelated to each other and all other groups of organisms on earth. There is no evidence to support that the Order Anura or its suborders represent "kinds" which are equally unrelated to other groups of animals. The superfamilial groups, families, subfamilies, and genera are not equally unrelated to each other but instead form the nested hiearchy predicted by the evolutionalry model.

CREATIONISTS CANNOT AGREE ON HOW TO CLASSIFY FROGS INTO "KINDS"

The Bible can not be used to classify the thousands of frog species into groups since there is only one word used for frog, tsephardea. What level of frog classification do creationists identify with the "kind"? Despite the use of the word "kind" for thousands of years, there is absolutely no modern consensus on how it could be used to classify modern organisms such as frogs. For the most of the past millenium, "kind" was considered to be roughly equivalent to "species". Because biologists have provided strong evidence that species do evolve from other species and many species of frog can interbreed, very few modern creationists would equate the "kind" with species. Is a "kind" equivalent to the taxonomic category of genus? subfamily? family? order? Modern creationists cannot agree. Certainly, there is no evidence that one of these categories of frog classification is qualitatively different from the others (i.e. that some are real and others are contrived terms which attempt to depict a relationship which simply doesn't exist).