The Galapagos Islands are one of those remote places that words alone can’t really do justice to. Yet they gave birth to some of the most famous words in history, courtesy of Charles Darwin. The observations he made during his time in the Galapagos eventually led Darwin to write On the Origin of Species, his visionary foundation for the theory of evolution.
Darwin’s words shook the scientific world to its core. His writings also threatened to tear apart the religious and social fabric of his era. Evolution didn’t just call into question whether God had created all life in a matter of days. Implicit in evolution’s underpinnings was a rational basis for doubting the very existence of God.
Nowadays, it seems only a fringe minority of the world’s population remain in absolute denial of evolution. Most of us accept that our human lineage reaches back millions of years, not thousands. And many people seem perfectly comfortable nurturing their faith in God while acknowledging evolution as a fact of life. Why not? I believe the two systems of thoughts are perfectly compatible, as long as a person doesn’t insist on strict and literal interpretations of certain religious texts.
These days, the vast majority of the quarter-million or so annual visitors to the Galapagos don’t go there to verify Darwin’s observations or to seek new insights into the workings of evolution. It’s the quirky creatures people want to see, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. And since a picture is worth a thousand words (except for a genius like Charles Darwin) I’m going to shut up now and let a few pictures do the talking. If you happen to see things in these photos that you feel are glimpses of God’s divine creation, well, maybe that’s still exactly what they are.