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One day, Grant praised Lamarck's evolutionary ideas.

Darwin was astonished by Grant's audacity, but had recently read similar ideas in his grandfather Erasmus' journals.

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The eight-year-old Charles already had a taste for natural history and collecting when he joined the day school run by its preacher in 1817. From September 1818, he joined his older brother Erasmus attending the nearby Anglican Shrewsbury School as a boarder.

Darwin spent the summer of 1825 as an apprentice doctor, helping his father treat the poor of Shropshire, before going to the University of Edinburgh Medical School (at the time the best medical school in the UK) with his brother Erasmus in October 1825.

He kept careful notes of his observations and theoretical speculations, and at intervals during the voyage his specimens were sent to Cambridge together with letters including a copy of his journal for his family.

Despite suffering badly from seasickness, Darwin wrote copious notes while on board the ship.

He studied Paley's Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity (first published in 1802), which made an argument for divine design in nature, explaining adaptation as God acting through laws of nature.