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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 hardly
or hardly thinking?

Icon philosophy.svg
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 founding 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. As a Freemason, he is frequently attacked by Conspiracy Theorists who believe the Theory of Evolution was inspired by Masonic philosophy.

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, and "Erasmism" would be unlikely to catch on for other reasons.
  3. According to WikipediaWikipedia anyway...

External links[edit]