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Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), English physician, biologist, engineer, poet and grandfather of Charles Darwin. Erasmus Darwin studied medicine at Edinburgh and Cambridge before becoming a physician. His interest in the sciences was expressed through long, tedious poems, now judged to be of no literary merit. He is chiefly remembered for turning down an invitation to become King George III's personal physician, for proposing a sketchy theory of evolution in his book Zoonomia (1796), and for being grandfather of Charles, who conceived the revolutionary theory of evolution by natural selection.
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