“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Romans 8:22
Researchers have been trying to find out what is causing frogs to grow extra legs, or in some cases, grow no legs at all. While frogs with extra legs or no legs have been reported for centuries, there was some question about whether the incidence was increasing. Some suggested human pollution was to blame, while others suggested an increase in ultraviolet radiation was causing the problem. But none of the suspected pollutants have yet been found in association with deformations in the wild. Now some answers are beginning to emerge.
Two different research papers point to a parasitic flatworm as the culprit. A study of deformed frogs in California showed that the ponds with deformed frogs also had a species of snail that hosts the flatworm. A second study in the Pacific Northwest showed that the pattern of malformation in frogs followed the pattern that is typical of parasite damage. Researchers there said that the pattern rules out suspected human pollutants called retinoids. Other researchers pointed out that flatworms will probably not be the cause in every case; they still suspect human pollution but have been unable to prove it.
We know that the real cause of these frog deformations is ultimately human pollution. That pollution is called sin. It was man’s sin that brought decay and death to God’s original perfect creation because disobeying God does have consequences. The whole creation groans under the consequences of man’s sin. That’s why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to deliver us from the ultimate consequences of our sin. Someday He will return to deliver all believers and the creation from sin forever.
Father, help me be prepared for the return of my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
S. Milius, “Parasites make frogs grow extra legs,” Science News, May 1, 1999, v. 155, p. 277. Photo: A three-legged Mink Frog.