James Hutton

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Related to James Hutton: Charles Lyell, Edward Suess

Hutton, James,

1726–97, Scottish geologist, chemist, and naturalist. He was initially attracted to chemistry; he entered the legal profession at the Univ. of Edinburgh; turned to medicine, as it closely resembled chemistry; and then became a farmer to allow him to study rocks and be able to pursue his interests in geology. He formulated controversial theories of the origin of the earth and of atmospheric changes (see uniformitarianismuniformitarianism,
in geology, doctrine holding that changes in the earth's surface that occurred in past geologic time are referable to the same causes as changes now being produced upon the earth's surface.
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) that paved the way to modern geological science. After 1768, he moved to Edinburgh to discuss his ideas with other scholars including the physician and mathematician John Playfair, and chemist Joseph Black. Hutton started a controversy by standing against the popular Neptunists (rocks developed in a great flood) and the Plutonists (all rocks are of igneous origin) schools, proposing the theory of uniformity of causes, concluding that the earth's history can be explained by observing the geological forces now at work, because these forces are identical to the ones that operated in the past. By studying the Devonian Old Red Sandstone along the Scotland coast, he discovered that sedimentary rocks originated from, not a single flood, but a series of successive floods; noted that the intrusion of igneous rocks were distinct from sedimentary deposits; recorded the gradual actions of geomorphic processes; and discussed the lengths of geologic time. His ideas influenced Charles LyellLyell, Sir Charles
, 1797–1875, British geologist. After studying and briefly practicing law, he spent most of his life in travel and in popularizing scientific ideas.
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's Principles of Geology, which in turn influenced Charles Darwin's theories of adaptive evolution. Hutton's great work was The Theory of the Earth (2 vol., 1795; MS fragment for Vol. III ed. by Archibald Geikie, 1899); it was simplified by John Playfair as Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth (1802).


See study by E. B. Bailey (1967).

References in periodicals archive ?
Scientists will go where the best work is being done and the best facilities are Colin Campbell, James Hutton Institute (below)Scottish universities have become a magnet for the top brains, attracting researchers from all over the world Luke Thurman, Sheppard Robson (above)It is possible that the UK may reach an agreement with the EU on becoming an 'associated country' which would preserve the eligibility of UK institutions to apply for funding Christine O'Neill, Brodies (below)
Around the time John Hutton was writing about his experiences and proposing theories of cave formation, his namesake, James Hutton, was presenting his ideas outlined in his Theory of the Earth.
Contact The James Hutton Institute on tel 0844 928 5428 or visit www.
2004): Ages in Chaos: James Hutton and the Discovery of Deep Time.
An international team of scientists - led in the UK by researchers at The James Hutton Institute in Dundee, undertook the work.
While Scottish geologist James Hutton, in 1795, derided those that would "judge of the great operations of the mineral kingdom, from having kindled a fire, and looked into the bottom of a little crucible," this volume makes the case for the importance of experimentation in the development of 19th century geology.
James Hutton [1726-1797] was a significant yet largely unheralded participant in the Scottish Enlightenment.
Other entries were initially less apparent to me but I was convinced after reading the text: the calculation of the distance from the earth to the sun in 1672 by Cassini, the discovery of the erosion of the earth by James Hutton in 1792, the discovery of the existence of ices ages by Agassiz in 1837, and the existence of ecosystems by Tansley in 1935.
In the 18th century the Comte de Buffon bravely proposed that the earth was up to half a million years old, opening the way for the Scot geologist James Hutton to establish truly "deep time.
Ante esto cabe citar a James Hutton quien en 1795 escribia "asi ocurre que, en general, la verdad y el error se ven obligados a luchar juntos por el progreso de la ciencia, y solamente en la proporcion en que la ciencia elimine los conceptos erroneos, que son necesarios para construir el pensamiento humano, la verdad se encontrara establecida en la filosofia natural" (Hutton, en Halam, 1985).
After a trial last year at the Court of Misdemeanours, in Lefkada, former hotel manager William James Hutton, a former Midlands man, water sports manager Rebecca Jane Morgan and assistant manager Kevin Michael Jones were found guilty of negligence in connection with the tragic accident.
After a trial last year at the Court of Misdemeanours in Lefkada, hotel manager William James Hutton, from Dorridge, water sports manager Rebecca Jane Morgan, and assistant manager Kevin Michael Jones were found guilty of negligence in connection with the tragic accident.