Galapagos Islands

On the Trail of Darwin

Everywhere I have gone this year, I have heard about Charles Darwin. Who is this man that I keep hearing about?

On the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador, Charles Darwin made some of the most incredible scientific discoveries of all time. Although he did not initially discover evolution, his time in the Galápagos helped him prove that evolution was occurring and to show that all animals had come from common ancestors. These days he is now considered one of the world’s greatest scientists that ever lived. While on Santa Cruz Island, we visited the Charles Darwin Research Center, the main street in Puerto Ayaro is named after him and there are statues honoring him. There is also a Charles Darwin volcano on one of the nearby islands.

In learning about Charles Darwin, I remember this past summer hiking with my friends Cameron and Allison on the John Muir Trail (JMT). One of the interesting parts of the trail was Evolution Valley, where there is a Darwin Mountain, Darwin Canyon, and Darwin Glacier. The nearby mountains are also named for many of his friends, who all helped discover evolution. There is Mount Spencer, Mount Mendel, Mount Fiske, Mount Wallace, Mount Huxley, Mount Haeckel, and Mount Lamarck. At the time, I did not know that all of the mountains were connected to Darwin. One of Darwin’s other friends was the famous geologist Charles Lyell. North of Evolution Valley visible from the JMT, Mount Lyell is the highest point in Yosemite National Park.

I now want to go visit his home in London.

Posted by Maren

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