Of all the people associated with the Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin has had the single greatest influence. In 1835, Darwin visited the islands as a ship’s naturalist aboard the Beagle. His task was to collected geological and biological specimens on the islands and take them back to England. From the observations he made while there, Darwin later developed his theory of natural selection and changed the way the world sees evolution.
Darwin was born on February 12, 1809, in Shrewsbury, England. In 1831, having studied medicine at Edinburgh and having spent time studying to join the clergy, he changed his focus to science and exploration. On September, 1835 on the return route from South America, the Beagle arrived in the Galapagos Islands. Darwin disembarked on San Cristóbal, Floreana, Isabela, and Santiago.
At the time of his visit, Darwin had not yet developed the ideas that led him to write On The Origin of Species. It was only years later that he understood the full significance of the differences he’d observed among the Galapagos species. On the Origin of Species (1859) changed the way we look at and understand the world. The book focused on the transmutations of species and explained, in detail, the mechanism that underlies evolutionary change. Darwin challenged contemporary viewpoints by presenting observations on the high number of endemic species found in the islands, the close interrelatedness of these species, and the absence of some groups of species.
It was strange to walk around the Galapagos islands and imagine what it must have been like for a young Charles Darwin to see the different birds and creatures, and how they differed from island to island. I spent some time looking at the finches and thinking about Darwin one quiet afternoon.
Would you like to be part of Midge & Snig’s adventure in the Galapagos? Want to have your name (or any name you choose) in my next book? From now until the end of April, everyone who follows my blog, signs up for my newsletter, or leaves a comment, will be entered in a drawing for the chance to name the cruise ship featured in the book.
This post in part of the AtoZ Challenge. Please click on the sunflower AtoZ icon in the sidebar to go to the official list of participating blogs. This year my theme is the Galapagos Islands. I am in the process of writing the first of my Midge & Snig mystery series set in the islands. In my research, I have come across a plethora of interesting facts and images. The vast majority of my research won’t get included in the book, but it’s fun to share what I’ve learned with you all.