On February 12th, our guests and crew celebrated International Darwin Day aboard Yacht La Pinta. The date marks what would have been Charles Darwin’s 209th birthday. The La Pinta crew organized a day of events in honour of the legacy of the famed English biologist and his connection with the Galapagos archipelago. Darwin’s 1835 visit to the Galapagos would later come to change scientific inquiry and intellectual history forever. The La Pinta Darwin Day celebrations included costumes, lectures, and birthday cake!
At Metropolitan Touring, we believe it’s important to recognize the impact of Darwin’s ideas. His concepts were immeasurably influential on the growth of modern science and the development of modern humanistic thought. Yet his theory of evolution challenged the religious worldview that dominated his time, and was hard even for him to accept.
Darwin wrote to his American friend, Asa Gray, following the publication of his book, saying:
I see no necessity in the belief that the eye was expressly designed. On the other hand I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe, and especially the nature of man, and to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance.
Charles Darwin in Galapagos
Darwin didn’t actually develop his theory of evolution while on the Galapagos Islands. The archipelago was one of the HMS Beagle’s many stops. Charles Darwin was travelling as the personal companion on Capitain Robert FitzRoy, and collected sample of different species of flora and fauna throughout the journey. It was 24 years later, after categorizing and analyzing his findings, that the scientist was able to put his ideas into The Origin of Species.
The Origin of Species
The Origin of Species caused quite a controversy during its time, but soon enough it became the building block of the field of study called evolutionary biology. The book included all the evidence gathered on his expedition aboard the Beagle and introduced the idea that populations evolve through generations and go through a process known as natural selection. Charles Darwin was insightful enough to write a book for non-specialist readers, making it easier to spread his ideas.
Nowadays, The Origin of Species is considered one of the most influential academic books ever written, in that it practically changed the way we perceive life on earth. The concept of evolution through adaptation and adaptation through natural selection, became the basis of the modern evolutionary theory. This theory is vital in explaining the diversity of organisms and how they manage to adapt to their specific environments.
Darwin’s revolutionary ideas have shaped our understanding of nature and we were delighted to celebrate Darwin’s legacy with our guests on board Yacht la Pinta this year!