Galápagos Tortoises and Natural Selection

The voyage of the Beagle where Charles Darwin gathered inspiration to add to his evolutionary conjectures would have been a dream cruise for many folks (his father paid for it). If someone took a notion to meet Charlie on the Galápagos, he would have had to saddle up and ride west from Ecuador.

Except that horses cannot swim that far. Some of the giant tortoises have shells that kinda sorta resemble saddles, however, so there you go. Those are found in the uninhabited smaller islands of this group of volcanic islands. For being a great scientist, Charlie dropped the ball on making detailed observations of these critters.

When Charles Darwin was on his dream cruise, they reached the Galápagos Islands. He made some faulty speculations about the tortoises and creation.
Giant Galapagos tortoise, Flickr / Sara Yeomans (CC BY 2.0), modified at PhotoFunia
On a side note, all tortoises are classified as turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises. Tortoises don't spend all that much time in water. These critters were once plentiful, but are now endangered. One reason is that whalers and others discovered that they were good eats.

The varieties of tortoises are clear examples of natural selection, but Darwin was saying that they refuted special creation — but it was a spurious version of creation. He was not called out on his claims because church folk were jumping on the evolution and deep time bandwagon, ceding science to atheists. Also, natural selection is not evolution.
The Galápagos archipelago is a group of volcanic Pacific islands located on the equator, 972 km west of continental Ecuador. They are probably most famous for Darwin’s historic month-long visit on the Beagle in 1835. The strange creatures that Darwin reported on, such as the birds1 and marine iguanas, have fascinated readers since. But the iconic species is the native giant tortoise, from which the archipelago receives its name. . . . The largest living species of tortoise, the Galápagos tortoise can weigh over 250 kg (550 lb) and live for over a century.

The rest of the article is found at "Tortoises of the Galápagos," with an alternate link here. Also of interest is this material that makes Darwin's disciples uncomfortable, "Rediscovered 'Extinct' Tortoise Frustrates Darwinism."