ONCE AGAIN, dear reader, your Curmudgeon brings you the view from Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of creationist wisdom. They have posted an article that retraces not only Darwin’s visit to the Galapagos Islands, but also his thinking, in order to show where the great man went wrong: Finding God in Galapagos.
The author is Dr. Roger Sanders. We’re informed that he earned his PhD in botany from the University of Texas. Currently he is “the [sic] associate professor of science at Bryan College and is assistant director of CORE (Center for Origins Research).” [Curmudgeonly query: Is this man really “the” associate professor of science?]
To be properly oriented for this article, you should know that Bryan College, according to Wikipedia, is located in Dayton, Tennessee, and “was established in the aftermath of the 1925 Scopes Trial, which took place in Dayton with William Jennings Bryan prosecuting John Scopes for the crime of teaching evolution.”
Hey, we found the author’s page at Bryan College’s website: Dr. Roger Sanders. No professional publications are listed, but it mentions his academic specialties, among which is baraminology. Surely you know what Baraminology is. According to Wikipedia: “Baraminology is a creationist system for classifying life into groups having no common ancestry, called “baramins”. Classification is based on a literal creationist reading of ‘kinds’ in Genesis …”
Okay, now we’re ready to look at some excerpts from this scholar’s article. The bold font was added by us. The article begins, promisingly enough, by correcting a commonly-held misconception, and then it foreshadows the author’s personal conclusion:
Darwin discovered evolution on the Galápagos Islands — a popular story, yes, but it’s not true. Darwin’s ideas were formulated much later, drawn from a variety of sources. If Darwin had interpreted the islands from a biblical perspective, he might have reached a very different conclusion.
Okay, let’s dive right into it:
To Darwin’s surprise, many of the animals and plants were similar to what he had seen earlier on the continent of South America. And there were often multiple species of each sort, more similar to one another than to any species outside the islands. Trained in England to believe in the “doctrine of creation of each separate species,” he was astonished at what he had found in the wider world.
Why would a Creator put similar but discrete species on islands and then make them look most similar to species on the nearest continent? This was the sort of question that Darwin’s trip made him ask.
That’s not bad. Much of the article is like that, actually. For example:
Darwin recognized that most of the animals and plants in the Galápagos were unique, and yet they seemed related to other creatures on the mainland: “The organic beings found on this archipelago are peculiar to it; and yet that their general form strongly partakes of an American character.” If species were specially created in place, he wondered why they should be so clearly recognizable as South American. Why shouldn’t they be just as easily African, Asian, Pacific, or unrelated to every other region of the world?
Most startling to him was that these creatures were not single species with varieties but actually different species, and yet they were more similar to one another than to any other species outside the islands. Did this mean that God created unique species on each island and on the nearby continent, even though those species just happened to resemble each other more than any other species at other locations on the earth? That was too hard for him to swallow. His evidence suggested that species from South America had migrated from the mainland to the islands; then the immigrant species gave birth to new species on the islands.
The author really seems to understand the reasoning that Darwin went through. He then goes on to describe how Darwin got the idea for natural selection after reading Thomas Malthus, and after that how he got the idea for the common descent of all life on earth. This is most surprising in a creationist article. But where does the author go from there?
He describes how he himself traveled to the Galapagos Islands, and saw the same things that Darwin saw. But then he says: “If we read biblical history as fact, this pattern makes perfect sense.”
Oh? Let’s read on:
God created various organisms by their kinds. Only a few members of each kind survived the Flood, and these reproduced and diversified to fill the post-Flood habitats. While the receding Flood waters probably deposited plant fragments and seedlings in the Americas, the land animals on the Ark had to spread from the mountains of Ararat to the Americas.
It’s all so obvious! How could Darwin have missed it? We continue:
The Galápagos Islands apparently rose up in the Pacific after the Flood as a result of extensive volcanic activity. From the American continents, a few of each kind was carried by wind and waves to the small, isolated islands. As animal and plant colonists from each kind produced offspring in explosive numbers, their descendants spread over the islands, and a number of new species were born. Certain species expressed some of the remarkable modifications that God programmed into the capabilities of the various biblical kinds, such as the ocean-feeding ability in iguanas, beak variability in finches, and gigantism in tortoises and daisies.
But that’s a lot of new species popping up. How does the author dismiss Darwin’s idea of evolution? Let’s see:
Certainly we cannot see evidence in the Galápagos that reptiles evolved into birds or the origin of one biblical kind from another. Nor are the islands old enough, even by conventional radiometric dating, to support such an idea.
And if it didn’t happen on those few islands, then it didn’t happen elsewhere, at any time. We’re starting to understand. Here comes the conclusion:
Moreover, God has given us His Word as a guide. He also gave us our minds, our time, and our resources. We should invest these wisely to advance our understanding of how He “replenished the earth” after the Flood. We have nothing to fear from the Galápagos Islands but much to gain.
So there you are, dear reader. The Galapagos Islands are evidence of Noah’s Flood. Now you know.
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