From a frog to a … frog!
Never mind about a frog to a prince—doesn’t a frog show evolution happening within its own life cycle? From a fish-like tadpole (complete with gills) the ‘frog baby’ rapidly ‘morphs’ its way to a brand new life-style! The mouth widens, the tail dissolves, the fly-catching ‘bungy’ tongue develops, nostrils form, and bulging eyes migrate around the head. Lastly, when the lungs mature and four legs have grown, the graduating tadpole celebrates by hopping right out of the water and living on land.
This amazing transformation (metamorphosis) is a lot more than skin deep. Virtually every organ and body system is radically reworked.1,2 For instance, the nervous system has to be completely rewired to operate the new or reprogrammed models of eyes, ears, legs, tongue, etc. The same revamp applies to the frog’s biochemistry. The hemoglobin in the blood changes,3 as does the photo-pigment in the eyes,4 besides a host of other transformations. Even the waste disposal system is altered to suit the creature’s new living conditions.5
Highly sophisticated computer codingThe fantastically complex DNA information coding which changes a tadpole into a frog points clearly to a vastly superior intelligence for its design. Such coding cannot arise naturally—it demonstrates a deliberately designed end-result.
Biologists shake their heads at the mega-complexity of this pond-based ‘rebirth’. The frog basking on the lily pad is the surprising result of one tadpole plus a multitude of changes, all occurring in an astounding cascade of precise sequence and order. In fact, the choreography required makes an Olympic opening ceremony pale by comparison. For example, life obviously gets tricky for a tadpole if its tail disappears before the legs kick in. The same applies for all its internal organs, bones, nerves, biochemistry, etc. Anything out of step is likely to cause the whole grand redevelopment process to grind to a halt … with (from the tadpole’s point of view) regrettable results!
Each step needs another
Years of research has uncovered multiple layers upon layers of processes all mobilised to complete this ‘change in life’.1 For example, tail removal involves a highly programmed operation of micro-logistics. First, the tadpole puts the brakes on the production of tail muscle cells. Next, it manufactures a number of highly specified cell-dissolving enzymes. Then at the right moment these mini ‘hit men’ are matched and injected into all the different types of tail cells. Lastly, roaming macrophages home in on these terminated tail cells for a microscopic ‘feeding frenzy’, dismantling and collecting the remaining structures and nutrients for re-use as building materials and energy elsewhere in the body. (I.e. the tail is absorbed by the body; it is not discarded.)
‘Change’ does not mean ‘evolve’
So just how does that original ‘evolution in action’ claim stack up? Is the metamorphosis of a tadpole to a frog a clear example of evolution?
A fish does not have the information in its genes to transform itself into an amphibian
Nothing could be further from the truth. The tadpole may superficially look ‘fishy’ but it is totally frog from day one. Everything needed to reinvent itself (all the genetic information, plans and recipes) is already enshrined in the master DNA code implanted in the nucleus of the tadpole’s cells. At this profoundly miniaturised level we discover not only a complete froggy blueprint, but also a fully functioning factory with all the machinery and equipment to translate the plan into reality.
This embedded information is the key difference between the evolutionist’s fairy story (fish evolved into amphibians) and the real world (a tadpole becoming a frog). The tadpole, from the day it was spawned, comes equipped with a complete set of DIY (‘Do-It-Yourself’) plans labelled ‘how to turn into a frog’. In contrast, fish have only the genetic plans to make … fish! A fish does not have the information in its genes to transform itself into an amphibian and it has no way of obtaining such information. In fact, it is doubtful if there has been even one unequivocal example of new information added to any creature’s genetic plan by evolutionary mechanisms.
So the tadpole’s metamorphosis offers no evidence for evolution—rather it is another clear evidence of the handiwork of Creator God.6
References and notes
- Shankland, M., Metamorphosis, 26 October 2004. Return to text.
- Gilbert, S.F., Metamorphosis: The Hormonal Reactivation of Development, 17 January 2005. Return to text.
- Tadpole hemoglobin changes to adult hemoglobin which binds
oxygen more slowly and releases it more rapidly.
Ref. 2. Return to text.
- The major retinal photo pigment changes from porphyropsin to rhodopsin. Ref. 2. Return to text.
- Tadpoles (like most fish) excrete ammonia, whereas adult frogs change to a urea-based system that uses less water. Ref. 2. Return to text.
- Weston, P., Frogs—Jeremiah was not a bullfrog, Creation 22(2):28–32, 2000. Return to text.