Erasmus Darwin (12 December 1731 – 18 April 1802) was an English physician. He was Charles Darwin's grandfather and he is believed to have influenced Charles Darwin as far as the development of Charles Darwin's evolutionary beliefs. He was also an agnostic.
Although Erasmus Darwin was a physician, he was overweight (Hippocrates was an early advocate of the health benefits of exercise and nutrition.). An article entitled Darwinism: it was all in the family declares concerning Erasmus Darwin:
|“||His love of food (particularly fruits, sugar, cream and butter) was matched by his dislike of exercise, and by the age of 46 he had grown so corpulent that a semi-circle had to be cut out of his dining table to accommodate his girth at meal times.||”|
Erasmus Darwin's wealth formed a basis for Charles Darwin's inherited wealth, which in turn gave him the economic freedom to research and write without the day-to-day task of earning his own living.