God Vs. Darwin


This blog entry about the events of Sunday, November 16, 2003 was originally posted on November 18, 2003.

DAY 29:  Andre and I were lounging out on the hotel terrace, watching the sun rise over the bay as the sounds of ocean waves crashing into rocks filled the salty sea air.  Nearby, three seals were lazily sitting in someone’s boat.

We spent early morning watching the wildlife indigenous to the harbor area.  Pelicans glided just above the surface of the water while other birds would dive straight into the water like kamikaze pilots in search of fresh fish.  Seals swam underwater while above, the sun broke through the layer of clouds, revealing Isla San Cristobal in the distance.  It was an incredible and beautiful way to start the day.

“Most people who believe in Natural Selection probably come here and say that God doesn’t exist,” Andre said.  “But I come here and look at all this, and say that God does exist.” 

TO WRITE ABOUT THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS — of where Charles Darwin’s visit in 1835 led to the widely-accepted Theory of Evolution — and discuss matters of Natural Selection would be cliché.  So it was just my luck that my new roommate in the Galapagos was the first person I’ve met in all my 29 years that actually didn’t believe in Darwin’s theory.  It was interesting to be exposed to the other side of the debate.

“I do believe that there is some sort of ‘evolution,’” Andre said.  “But I just call it progress.  But you can’t just say this came from this.”

“Sure,” I said to entertain his argument.  “If Man evolved from monkeys, then how come we still have Man and monkeys today?”  (And more importantly, why were both species paired up together so often in movies of the 1970s?)

It was like the Scopes trial (the famous American trial over whether or not evolution should be taught in a deeply religious community in the South) and with an open-mind I entertained the ideas of the religious rite even though I grew up with an American public education and have always accepted the Theory of Evolution.  Most things in science class you do unless they explode in your face in chemistry. 

On an episode of Friends, Phoebe once said to Ross that Darwin’s theory was just a theory — which got Ross all upset with his nasally voice.  I think she said something to the effect of “How can you base science on what a couple of old guys made up hundreds of years ago?”  True, not everything conjured up in 1835 was a good idea — i.e. slavery — and theories can be widely accepted or disproved.  For example, how many of you were raised with the theory that dinosaurs were related to reptiles…until recent years, when people started saying they were related to birds instead?  (Even New York City’s American Museum of Natural History had to change the position of its big T-Rex skeleton to conform to the newer acceptance of theory.)

I’m not writing this to prove or disprove the existance of anything — theory, deity or otherwise — although I will point out that the Timeline of the Universe exhibit in the American Museum of Natural History states that at the time the explosion of multi-celled organisms started to appear on earth, “scientists still do not know the cause of this.”  I just think it’s interesting to see the other side of the coin; Food for Free Thought if you will.  I could write up arguments in the case for Darwin, but most of you already learned that in school, and as the case may be, I’m just about done taking my dump.  (Yes, these are the deep thoughts I’ve been writing on my notepad while on the throne.)  If you felt this was boring, perhaps a picture of the turds I just made will liven you up.

“ALL SET?” I asked Andre as we were about to head out the door for the day.

“Yup.  First, a quick prayer.”  He knelt down at his bed and prayed to God for about fifteen seconds.

We met up with Navid and then bumped into Chris at random, and the four of us went searching for a last-minute boat tour that would hopefully accommodate all of us.  The Lonely Planet book said that in the low season, tour agencies would be desperate for business and would “chase you down as you alight from the bus.”

This was another Lonely Planet theory that was soon disproven.

Office after office, we’d get offers on any of about a dozen different ships of different comfort classes, but they were never any of them with four spaces free.  The more and more offices we investigated, the more we realized the different agents were dealing with the same boat captains and we were just getting redundant information.  It was still a lot of number crunching — too much for us to process all at once — so we discussed all our options over lunch.  We already knew all the agencies by nicknames:  The German Woman (aka, The Woman with the Hairy Arms), the Cemetery Girl, the First Guy (aka The Guy with the White Shirt aka The White Guy) and The Boys.  To make a long story short, it was inevitable that we had to split up with all our different schedules.  Chris got a four-day tour leaving the next day with The Boys.  Andre got an seven-day from the First Guy leaving the next day, on a ship that would stop in Puerto Ayora for a passenger swap and supply pick-up.  Navid and I got a six-day from The Boys on the same boat as Andre.  Our mutual times on the ship would overlap for three days, which was good — all three of us were divers and could dive the southern coral reefs together. 

Since the four of us would be split up, we had one final dinner together at a restaurant starved for business.  The woman there made us some nice double-shot cuba libres.

I WAS SITTING IN THE BAR ON THE CORNER, sitting across from Gustavo the local bartender again.  We were watching a home video that his friend took at the very same bar a month ago when it was a lot more lively with a lot more people in town.  Through a cover of darkness — and Sony’s handy nightvision feature — te cameraman zoomed in on hot chicks and their asses.

“Donde son las chicas ahora?” (“Where are the girls now?”) I asked him. 

“En sus paises,” (“In their countries,”) he answered.  “Tu hablas Español?” He was pretty shocked when I started conversing with him in Spanish the day before — which surprised me because I thought I was blending in pretty well. 

“Piensé tu es chino.” (“I thought you were Chinese.”)

I took off my glasses.  “Y ahora?”  (“And now?”)


Perhaps Darwin’s theory was right after all:  I’ve evolved from a South American to a Chinese Guy.

Special thanks to Emile Courreges for donating to The Global Trip 2004 Pledge Drive!  E-mail me your snail mail address and I’ll send you a postcard!

Next entry: Alone in the Dark without Jesus

Previous entry: Line of Hope

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Comments for “God Vs. Darwin”

  • BIGSIDELEFT/MATTO:  there ya go…more fecal matter for you…

    ACTVers:  It may be interesting to note that our old collegeuge Christine Klein’s family name is EVERYWHERE!  I knew her family owned a tour company out here, but I didn’t know it was THE luxury tour company…  the KLEIN logo is everywhere, on stickers of tourist’s t-shirts, garbage cans—even on the backboard of the basketball court of the marine academy…  Who knew?

    (FYI, the Klein’s did offer me a reduced rate for one of their yachts, but I managed to beat their special rate with a less luxurious boat, which is fine by me.)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  04:08 AM


    “En sus paises”?....Not the right answer Gustavo!

    “dame las chicas con culos bonitos ahora, entonces nosotros tenemos mas fotos!” - markyt (and all the doods reading the blog wanting booty pics)...

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  04:12 AM

  • What will your boat tour comprise of?

    BTW, I’m with Andre on this one.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  04:14 AM

  • TD0T:  touring the northern and southern islands of the more central islands in the archelapago…  there will be land excursions, snorkeling and scuba diving…  hope to find an underwater camera around here!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  04:25 AM

  • WOW, 1,091 unique readers in just 29 days!  Keep up the forwarding guys, it’s, as they say down here, “chevierre!”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  04:28 AM

  • gotta love the poo picts….man the water looks awesome there, I just wanna dive right in!! I too am wondering where the booty picts are.  Keep up the good work!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  12:37 PM

  • im just glad to see more poo.  keep up the good work!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  12:43 PM

  • Darwin?? Theory of Evolution??? Are you making this stuff up?

    The only Darwin i know is the coffee corner guy down the street and he’s not evolving anything but the new coffee filters.

    Btw, erik…we finally moved to “cubicle city”. Dood, the space bites. No windows. Soda’s NOT free. Snack are NOT free. We’re in the middle of the freakin’ floor! Holt people seem really nice though…and Harcourt is taking good care of us. But the damn flourescent lights are draining my life energies. i can feel it even now!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  12:54 PM

  • Erik, I wanted to see what it was like to be in Ecuador so I took a poop and looked in the bowl. It looked like yours…I was instantly transported.
    So I check out your blog to read about partying in South America but instead get a lesson in Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution…good lord, you’re evolving into my hero.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  01:03 PM

  • By the time you get back, we will be residing in a new address and, hopefully, have one last pot luck x’mas dinner at my house now. we’ll send pictures…first x’mas potluck since we started that all of us will not be able to get together…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  01:42 PM

  • You know who you need to get expert opinion about evolution? That guy we bombarded with questions at the American Museum of Natural History…btw, did you find an underwater camera yet? I hope so, I can’t wait to see the hammerheads.

    Matt: what is with you and Erik’s poo?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  01:55 PM

  • i think i learned more about science and history reading this blog than in four years at rutgers…but then again, this is the same guy who didn’t have one fatcat sandwich at rutgers til after he graduated…oh yeh, jay and mienri got me hooked on the new wb show, “One Tree Hill”
    one question, what’s the spanish channel over there?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  02:11 PM

  • LOVE PENNY:  hahaha…now I’m really glad I left… I really would have come full circle back into the corporate world of education textbook publishing!  How many references to the movie Office Space go on daily there?  And when is Hawaiian Shirt Day?

    SCOTT/SHEA:  Glad you appreciate the poop!  It’s all for you guys…

    J2X:  If you do have a big get together, perhaps it’s in form to have a big cardboard cutout of myself at X-mas dinner…but make sure it’s a big cardboard cutout of my turds…  Mmmmm….

    DTELLA:  I have four days to chill out on the island to look shop for stuff and do postcards…I’ve decided not to join Navid on a 2-day extra excursion to the big island so I can rest up for my dives… (I’m a little stuffy)...  BTW, poo must be a universal guy thing…

    WHEAT:  Oh man, that’s the show they were watching when they didn’t want to come out with us that one time right?

    In the Galapagos, I only seem to get a channel called ATV… yesterday on some Spanish soap opera, I saw the GREATEST CAT FIGHT I’ve ever seen!  Other than that, it’s soccer season here and I just watch soccer with everyone, unless I’m with Gustavo in the bar with his home videos and collection of Jet Li DVDs…

    JAY Z:  Yeah, I wish there was more partying out here on the island too… I really is the low of the low season and everything closes up really early since the place is almost deserted.  Not to worry, I’m gonna try and meet some locals this week…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  02:58 PM

  • I’m afraid to open up the poo pic because I’m eating lunch right now.  I made Filipino Bistek so looking at your turds is not a good idea.  I enjoyed the Theory of Evolution bit.  Hmm….alot of interesting thoughts are conjured up when you’re on the “throne”.  Great stuff!  The pictures are beautiful (except the poo pic).  Wish I was THERE!!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  04:42 PM

  • i’m finally catching up with the stories, only 2 days behind… my favorite line so far “jesus w/ his cock” and “feh”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  04:50 PM

  • Cool discussion on Darwin, and nice plug for the Museum of Natural History. I knew a guy once here at PH that didn’t believe in evolution. Naturally Warren had some fun with it…. he took that universal illustration of an ape evolving into an upright man… and put that guy’s head on the last figure. Boy was he pissed. But how we laughed! Can you imagine Lorraine’s giggling?!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  06:17 PM

  • Do you ever put your camera down!?

    I knew that was a poo pic and yet I still had to click on it…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/18  at  10:09 PM

  • Erik, what’s with the faeces man? If you’re into that I’m sorry I shared a room with you. No, don’t worry, I’m only kidding. My buddy Arjen (‘nother Dutch name for you) arrived as planned yesterdayevening, we’ve been walking around Lima all day. This place is huge! And it’s like you said about Guayaquil, it’s not nearly as bad or dangerous as people say (hope this comment doesn’t tempt the Gods to strike me with streetcrime). Tomorrow we’ll start moving south again, to Ica. Meanwhile, enjoy your stay among the boobies and talk to you later,

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/19  at  12:15 AM

  • PEPE:  You have to make a Spanish name for Arjen now…  When are you going to be in Bolivia you think?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/19  at  04:10 PM

  • eeeeeeew! more poop pics. ENOUGH! the darwin lesson was good.. the poop… YUCK!!

    i’m 3 stories behind.

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/20  at  01:08 AM

  • I think in about a week and a half (today’s the 21st) we’ll be heading towards La Paz. Depends a bit on how long we’re staying in Arequipa (which is quite nice if the stories I hear are true) and how long the Inca trail thing in Cuzco lasts.
    How about your plans to go across the jungle by riverboat in to Peru? Still on?

    Posted by pepe  on  11/20  at  11:46 PM

  • I am so jealous!  You are at my dream place.  Keep the pics coming, I want to see a tortoise & blue footed boobie.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/23  at  03:18 PM

  • Maybe the new wave in travel information will be online.

    We need a travel Web site where you can go to get positings and ask questions of the people that are already there, instant, accurate info.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/25  at  01:19 PM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today, RickSteves.com, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.

Next entry:
Alone in the Dark without Jesus

Previous entry:
Line of Hope


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