Holly: Young Charles Darwin Essay

Submitted By hollyhotspur
Words: 373
Pages: 2

Fact file about Charles Darwin...

The most celebrated visitor to Galapagos was undoubtedly the young Charles Darwin in 1835 on board HMS Beagle, commanded by Captain Robert Fitzroy. The ship was homeward bound after spending 3 years charting the coasts of South America from the Rio Plata round to Chiloe in southern Chile. In his travels ashore on the pampas of Argentina and in the Cordilleras of the Andes, collecting animals and fossils and studying the geology, Darwin had been exposed to a wider range of phenomena than any previous scientist. His innate qualities of enquiring critically with an open mind into the whys and wherefores of every one of his observations had given rise to doubts in his mind about the correctness of the view of the Creation held at that time by most scientists as well as the Church, maintaining that all species were fixed and unchanging. In the Galapagos he found a remarkable population of plants, birds and reptiles that had developed in isolation from the mainland, but often differed on almost identical islands next door to one another, and whose characteristics he could only explain by a gradual transformation of the various species.

The giant tortoises

Darwin's opinion of the fauna rose further when he met his first giant tortoises, striding along 'broad and well beaten tracks' to drink at their watering places. When on 24 September the Beagle moved on to Charles Island (now known as Floreana), he met the English Governor, Nicholas Lawson, who claimed that he could 'pronounce with certainty from which island any tortoise…