An aura of mystery surrounds the Galápagos Islands, located off South America's coast in the Pacific Ocean. How were they formed? Why are so many species of animals found only on these islands? Why do they play such a prominent role in the debate over origins? Over the years, scientists and theologians alike have visited this archipelago, seeking to find answers to these questions. The most famous visitor was Charles Darwin, a naturalist aboard the ship HMS Beagle in 1835.
The striking differences he saw among living creatures on the islands -- tortoises with unique shell shapes, finches with a variety of beaks, iguanas with peculiar eating behaviors -- were among the influences that eventually led Darwin to propose that all living things descended from a common ancestor over millions of years. He believed that the small differences in living creatures that he observed could, over time, result in large differences that would change one kind of organism into a different organism.
In 2011, 176 years after Darwin's visit, I had the opportunity to travel to the Galápagos Islands as a lecturer and researcher. Although I observed the same astounding variety among the island's inhabitants, I came to very different conclusions. Why?
[Read the rest of the article at Answers in Genesis.]