Thursday, August 9, 2007
Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802)
Organic life beneath the shoreless waves / Was born and nurs'd in ocean's pearly caves; / First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass, / Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass; / These, as successive generations bloom, / New powers acquire and larger limbs assume; / Whence countless groups of vegetation spring, / And breathing realms of fin and feet and wing.
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Physician, poet, philosopher, botanist, naturalist and grandfather of Charles Darwin. Erasmus formulated one of the first formal theories on evolution in Zoonomia, or, The Laws of Organic Life (1794-1796). Many of his ideas were fully developed by his grandson sixty years later. [Adapted from U. C. Berkeley]
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