Charles Darwin and Galapagos

Charles Darwin and Galapagos changed our world and conventional thinking. It would transform the way civilization looked at Life.


charles darwin and galapagos

Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, England. When he visited the Galapagos Islands in 1835 he was on his 26th birthday.

His presence on board the HMS Beagle was possible due to Captain Robert Fitzroy's desire to have aristocratic company during his meals while he conducted a cartographic journey around the world.

This was a great opportunity for Charles Darwin who was mainly interested in geology and natural history.

The same day February 12, 1832, the young Republic of Ecuador took political possession of the Galapagos Islands located 600 miles off the coast of this country. The expedition was lead by General Jose de Villamil who founded the first colony in the Islands with mainly former prisoners.

On September 15, 1835 and after a long navigation from Callao, Peru the HMS Beagle arrived to the Galapagos Islands. Darwin's passion for nature and his determination to question the unexplainable set a drive of unprecedented history.

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HMS Beagle

darwin hms beagle

Charles Darwin and Galapagos will be always linked to natural history. The wonders and importance of these islands lead him to write the Theory of Evolution by means of Natural Selection in 1859.
This remarkable book known better as the "Origin of Species" took many years to publish after Darwin's visit to Galapagos, and it wasn't easy for him.

Darwin had no clue on how influential the Islands would be in his later conclusions, nor did he know how much relevance he would create about the Islands.

He was to face a difficult time in his personal life, as well as his interaction with both science scholars and, quite naturally, Christian fundamentalists. But, all these obstacles for most, Darwin accepted as challenges.

He was determined to question all that had no scientific proof. He was becoming a self-made scientist with one unusual virtue: the power of observation.

During the 5 weeks he spent in Galapagos, Charles Darwin visited just four Islands in total. His last views of the Galapagos Islands included the north-western most islets Wenman and Culpepper (now called Wolf and Darwin, respectively).

He was never back in the tropics, but took with him unthinkable memories and impressive collections.

Furthermore, he was never to board a ship, nor to leave England again. Plenty of time devoted to thinking, analyzing, and to family affairs.

As a father, Darwin couldn't afford not spending quality time with his children; his garden, his sand walks, his trips to the countryside, and the many family gatherings at Downe House which fulfilled his family orientation.

Charles Darwin and Galapagos changed our world and most important, it changed conventional thinking forever.

What Charles Darwin saw in the Galapagos Islands was truly unique. He did not see tremendous quantities of wildlife, but his power of observation was monumental.

Next September and October 2011 we will be celebrating Charles Darwin and Galapagos Islands 176th anniversary of his visit to this wonderful Archipelago.

And in 2009 a major celebration was held for the Bicentennial of Charles Darwin, 150 years of the publication of his masterpiece Origin of Species and 50 years of the establishment of the Galapagos National Park.

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)
With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading! There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands
Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers. Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World
Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in. Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands
If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier. But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you. Small, well-priced, and reliable!

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire
The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table. This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!

Charles Darwin and Galapagos Related Links

Charles Darwin History

Charles Darwin Biography

Darwin's Finches

Photos of the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Discovery Review

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