Popular Science

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution owes more to his garden than the Galápagos

On the Origin of Pigeons, Worms, and Barnacles.
Charles Darwins House

Down House: the home (and garden) of Charles Darwin.


It’s one of the greatest stories in science, right up there with Neil Armstrong’s small step on the moon and Jane Goodall’s overhaul of ideas on non-human relationships. When naturalist Charles Darwin first set foot in the Galápagos, an archipelago of volcanic islands in the eastern Pacific Ocean, he was just moments away from a revelation so significant it would change the way we look at life on Earth forever.

His arrival in the Galápagos was a seminal point in a five-year voyage. Once there, finches and giant tortoises were believed to through natural selection would emerge, evolve, and flourish.

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