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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
There was no paucity of candidates, but the version by James Hutton was the obvious choice for an NCE, as it was originally published by W.
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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)
Contact The James Hutton Institute on tel 0844 928 5428 or visit www.hutton.ac,uk & www.wheatgenome.org
IBERS collaborated with plant scientists at Rothamsted Research, the James Hutton Institute, Lancaster University and Nottingham University to study Festulolium.
Simmons and his wife, Rosemary, of Colleyville, Texas; his son-in-law, Michael Pagano of Shrewsbury; his grandchildren: Kelley Pagano; Melissa Forchielli and her fiance, Ed DeMars; Jennifer (Pagano) Albrecht and her husband, Brian; and Marc Forchielli and his wife, Jill; Stacey Anderson and her partner, Kellie; and Richard Anderson and his wife, Erica; his great-grandchildren: Marin and Ian Albrecht, Mia Forchielli, Richard and Olivia Anderson, and Virginia and James Hutton; his siblings, Daniel Szczurko and his wife, Peg, of Worcester and Melbourne, FL, and Frank Szczurko and his wife, Euna, of Bowling Green, KY; Dorothy (Szczurko) Tufano of Port Richey, FL, Mary (Szczurko) Muir of Dunedin, FL, and Teresa (Szczurko) Scarrci of Clearwater, FL; many nieces and nephews.
The UK team behind the research was led by Professor Robbie Waugh of Scotland's James Hutton Institute who worked with researchers at The Genome Analysis Centre, Norwich.
The book is illustrated with b&w images of watercolors and drawings by Anton Schonborn and James Hutton, both members of the original expedition party.
A famous formation is at Newton Point, where two types of rock (Cambrian schist and Devonian sandstone) join at right angles--which helped geologist James Hutton understand the world formed over long periods of time.
An international team of scientists - led in the UK by researchers at The James Hutton Institute in Dundee, undertook the work.