Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802)

Tomorrow is Darwin Day, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Let's start the celebration a bit early by talking about Charles Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus Darwin.

Erasmus Darwin was a physician and "natural philospher" or a person who studied nature or science before the development of modern science. Erasmus Darwin actually came up with the idea of evolution decades before his grandson published the "Origin of Species". Erasmus Darwin published his version of evolution (along with ideas concerning pathology). "Zoonomia" was published in Unfortunately, Erasmus was unable to come up with how evolution would actually work. You can actually read the entire Zoonomia by clicking the above link (thank-you

Would it be too bold to imagine that, in the great length of time since the earth began to exist, perhaps millions of ages before the commencement of the history of mankind would it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which the great First Cause endued with animality, with the power of acquiring new parts, attended with new propensities, directed by irritations, sensations, volitions and associations, and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering down these improvements by generation to its posterity, world without end!

No, it wasn't too bold to think the above thought.

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