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Erasmus Darwin

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The loveable chubby chops of Erasmus Darwin, as seen on a bust in Derby Central Museum and Library.
Thinking hard
or hardly thinking?

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Major trains of thought
The good, the bad
and the brain fart
Come to think of it

Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802), was an English physician, natural philosopher, physiologist, inventor and poet. He was one of the founder members of the Lunar Society, a discussion group of pioneering industrialists and natural philosophers. His more famous grandsons were Charles Darwin and Francis Galton, though the latter may or may not be more infamous. He developed a theory of evolution,[notes 1] which, though similar to Lamarckism,[notes 2] probably inspired Charles's thoughts on the subject. His first name, Erasmus, is after the Dutch Humanist philosopher of that name.

Other achievements[edit]

  • Inventing the horizontal windmill,[notes 3] a speaking machine and an artificial bird.
  • Campaigning against slavery.
  • Making a sketch of a liquid-fueled rocket.
  • Customizing a table with a semicircle cutout, which his being enormously fat necessitated.


  1. In his Zoonomia and the posthumously published Temple of nature he postulated that animals and plants developed from simpler forms.
  2. His version was in fact proposed before Lamarck's, but renaming Lamarckism Darwinism would be far too confusing
  3. According to WikipediaWikipedia's W.svg anyway...