British physiologist and poet, born in Nottinghamshire, England, and educated at the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh. He practiced medicine most of his life. His chief poetic work was The Botanic Garden (1789-1792), a long poem, stilted in expression but showing enthusiasm for science and nature. His prose work Zoonomia (1794-1796) anticipated some of the evolutionary theories of the French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck but was intuitive and unscientific. Darwin was the grandfather of the British scientists Charles Darwin and Sir Francis Galton.