A Picture is Worth a Thousand Years

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.

Iguanas are everywhere in the Galapagos. This species is believed to be descended from the members of Kiss, circa 1979.

This one is thought to be a close genetic cousin of David Bowie. (RIP, master of music.)

The sea lions are adorable. Then again, every species looks pretty handsome compared to those iguanas. Strike a pose!

Wanna pet this cutie? Not allowed. It also might be the last time you see all your fingers. Sea lions can be very playful. They are also ferocious predators.

Beaks are sort of a status symbol in the Galapagos. And you know what they say about big beaks, don’t you? You don’t know? Neither do I.

This is our friend Frig, the friggin’ Frigate bird. Don’t frig with him, or he’ll shit on your head.

This is an oyster catcher. He also eats buffalo wings, nachos, and other bar food.

This is a blue-footed boobie. Yes, a boobie. Let’s not go there. OK, maybe in the next post.

Like the iguanas, these crabs are also everywhere in the Galapagos. And they’re absolutely delicious with a little Old Bay sprinkled on top. (No, not really!)

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  1. Wilhelm Sausagepocket

    Next time I want the creatures 12% quirkier.

  2. Vicki

    Love your captions! Your dry sense of humor never disappoints.

  3. Dang

    You lucky dawg! Love the pictures and jealous. Just one day, I’ll see them too. Can’t wait to see what’s ahead for you guys. And btw, how much exploring can you do on the island?

  4. James Magruder

    Where will you go next, one wonders.
    What kind of bones are in the first pic?

    1. Craig David Singer (Post author)



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