Darwin's father, Robert Waring Darwin, was a society doctor. His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was a physician, poet, and author of "Zoonomia; or the Laws of Organic Life." Darwin's mother died when he was eight years old, and he was raised mostly by his three older sisters. He gained much of his knowledge of human psychology from his father's work in medicine. Science was still held in low regard during Darwin's school years in Shrewsbury. He was often mocked and taunted for his interest in chemistry.
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