Is there really evidence of “evolution” at the Galapagos Islands ?

World Tour: Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

The exotic Islands, home to tortoises, cacti, iguanas and finches, was a source of inspiration for Darwin’s now dying theory of evolution.

In Charles Darwin’s day, the Galápagos Islands were perhaps the best place in the world to observe evidence of what once people thought of as “evolution”, today better and more scientifically referred to as natural selection.

Natural selection as opposed to a natural process is not evolution.

According to Hawaii On Line University, a private virtual university in Hawaii, whose founders taught at the University of Hawaii, “Evolutionists have falsely extrapolated simple cyclical variations into evolutionary change.”

Evolutionists have purposefully confused the process of “Natural Selection” with “Evolution”.
These are two different incongruent, non-convergent processes. One means simply reversible change, while the other assumes complete transformation of the species and their DNA structure- something impossible, regardless of billions of years of “experimentation” and or “adaptation”.

“Natural selection is the‘tendency for animals better suited to their environment to survive and reproduce’.” According to a growing number of modern day scientists Natural Selection does not mean a change from one species to another. https://mauihomeschool.blogspot.com/p/scientists-today-who-accept-biblical.html

As an example of reversible changes, scientists found out that finches in the Galapagos Islands grew beaks momentarily during a drought. However, when rain returned to the Galapagos islands, researchers were able to determine that the size of their beaks, also returned to their original size (Echeverria, 2018).

According to most reputable scientists, this could be hardly called “evolution of the species”. It was simply a momentary change called an epigenetic change that was already programmed in their DNA genes (Tour. Ph.D., 2018).

See https://mauihomeschool.blogspot.com/p/the-program-that-programs-our-dna.html

That change was not a changing from one species to another. All finches always remained finches, and they never “ventured” or “evolved” into a condor, or a chicken or anything else.

The 19 islands are the tips of volcanoes that began emerging from the ocean some years ago, steaming with fresh lava and devoid of life. Some of the plants and animals that dwell there today are descended from castaways that arrived by sea or air, not by evolution.

It is assumed that finches and mockingbirds were blown off course by storms; iguanas floated on rafts of debris; and the tree-like scalesia plants are the overgrown progeny of sunflowers that made landfall via airborne seeds. It’s easy to study the diversity of species here in part because there aren’t all that many species to see. These animals never “evolved”.

The islands—separated from one another by distance, deep water and strong tides—isolated the newcomers, preventing many of the plants and animals from breeding with others of their kind that may have colonized other shores. With no place else to go, the Galápagos’ denizens adapted to conditions unique to their new homes.

Consider, for example, a tale of two tortoises. On Santa Cruz Island, with dense forests of scalesia, giant tortoises are built like rounded tanks that can crash through the underbrush. But over at Isabela Island, the dominant plant is the prickly pear cactus, a delicacy to giant tortoises.

Some biologists have suggested the cactus adapted, not evolved, to this threat by growing taller, generation after generation, and acquiring a bark-like covering at tortoise-eye level. The tortoises, in turn, apparently adapted to have a notch in the shell behind their head, allowing the animals to stretch their long necks straight up to reach the lowest-hanging prickly pear pads.

The islands, which straddle the Equator, are still relatively pristine; 97 percent of the land is national park, and Ecuador limits who may live there and how many tourists may visit. “Galápagos are a wonderful place to study natural selection, not “evolution” as some erroneously portray this tourist islands.

Today, it can easily be observed that several islands and their inhabitants are close to being in the fully natural state, with little or no influence of human activities.”

An evolutionary biologist and Princeton University professor emeritus Peter Grant who, with his wife, Rosemary (also a biologist), has been studying finches there since 1973. Their research has shown that natural selection (not evolution- bold emphasis ours) is frequently at work in the Galápagos: After a drought, finches with larger beaks were able to eat tough seeds and survive; their offspring became predominant.

Their studies, albeit inadvertently, correctly showed that after a particularly rainy year, softer seeds proliferated and smaller-beaked finches were more likely to survive. Grant recommends to visit at least two islands to appreciate how descendants of the same founder species adapted to different environments.

Darwin himself was a newcomer to the islands in 1835. On San Cristóbal, a statue of him overlooks the harbor where the HMS Beagle first anchored. Darwin served as the ship’s naturalist on its five-year voyage around the world.

He’s depicted not as an eminent scholar with a long white beard, but as a young explorer of 26, tall and strong, engrossed in thought, out on an around-the-world adventure and noticing strange things.

Janet Browne, a Darwin biographer, points out that he had “no sudden ‘eureka’ moment” while exploring the Galápagos, but the birds and other species he collected there “unsettled and intrigued him.”

Darwin himself doubted his own theory. He wrote in: The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of the (Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, 1872, “p. 293) :

“Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.”

Only after consulting with an ornithologist in London did Darwin realize that birds with very different beaks that he originally thought were from different lineages were all, in fact, closely related species of finch.

He began to appreciate what he described in The Voyage of the Beagle as “the most remarkable feature in the natural history of this archipelago; it is, that the different islands to a considerable extent are inhabited by a different set of beings.”

That realization led him to a common fact in the history of biology: Living things survive only if they can master their habitat; those that are best adapted to a new environment will reproduce and pass on their adaptations or DNA structure that has been already previously programmed.

Darwin inadvertently realized even back then, that Adaptation is not evolution. (Armstrong, n.d.) If Darwin hadn’t come up with the idea of evolution by natural selection, someone else would have.

Nevertheless, the fact is that adaption is not the same as evolution.

Is evolution evident at the Galapagos Islands ?

Evolution took more than just a trip’s worth. Billions of years could not change the DNA structure of any organism from one species into another. All Species adapted at Galapagos Islands. Some of the plants and animals that dwell there descended from castaways that arrived by sea or air, not by evolution. They never evolved as some erroneously imagine or try to convince the naíve student of the sciences.

 

Footnote:

The different sized beaks in Darwin’s finches
Image from Wikimedia Commons, and is in Public Domain due to copyright expiration.

Evolution Dismantled journal summarized the issues: “We can conclude, despite the hype, that Darwin’s finches are a wonderful example of natural selection and variation, but not evolutionary change.”
Writings of CHARLES DARWIN AND THE FOSSIL RECORD , 1872 shows how much doubt Darwin had of his own “theory”.

“Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely -graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory. The explanation
lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record.”p. 304

“From the several considerations, it cannot be doubted that the geological record, viewed as a whole, is extremely imperfect; but if we confine our attention to any one formation, it becomes much more difficult to understand why we do to therein find closely graduated varieties between the allied species which lived at its commencement and at its close.”p. 311

“But we continually overrate the perfection of the geological record, and falsely infer, because certain genera or families have not been found beneath a certain stage, that they did not exist before that stage.” pp. 316-317

“To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer. …Nevertheless, the difficulty of assigning any good reason for the absence of vast piles of strata rich in fossils beneath the Cambrian is very great… The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.”

References:

Armstrong, H. (n.d.). Charles Darwin and the Fossil Record. Retrieved August 20, 2018, from http://www.herbert-armstrong.org/Miscellaneous/Charles%20Darwin%20and%20the%20Fossil%20Record.pdf

Echeverria, F. (2018). Did Darwin’s Finches Prove Evolution? Darwin’s Finches demonstrate Natural Selection, not Evolution. Haawaii On Line University. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/dnageneticsresearch/did-darwin-s-finches-prove-evolution

Hawaii On Line University, http://www.hawaiionlineuniversity.org/

Tour. Ph.D., J. M. (2018, March 3). James M Tour Group Rice University. Resume [Resume]. Retrieved March 3, 2018, from https://www.jmtour.com/about/resume/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/evolution-world-tour-galapagos-islands-ecuador-5974755/