James Hutton

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James Hutton (3 Jun 1726 - 26 Mar 1797) was a Scottish Geologist, referred to as the father of modern Geology for his contribution in establishing Geology as a modern science. Some of his arguments based on the study of rocks were:
  • Earth is not young as everyone believes but could be several millions of years old.
  • The Geological features were not static but underwent perpetual transformation over long periods of time.
  • The history of Earth can be inferred from the present day rocks.
  • Proposed basic concept of Uniformitarianism, which says that the Geological processes are same over the history of Earth and the study of present day processes can help us understand the formation of rocks over millions of years.
  • He opposed then popular Neptunist theory which states that all rocks had precipitated out of a single enormous flood. He proposed Plutonist theory that states that the interior of the Earth is hot which serves as an engine to consolidate the layers of weathered sediment deposited in sea, and uplifted into new lands.
  • Many of his ideas were considered obscure but became popular when other scientists restated them over time.
  • He also proposed ideas of uniformitarianism for living creatures, evolution and natural selection.
Apart from Geology, he contributed in the fields of Agriculture, Meteorology, and Chemical manufacturing. He is considered as one of the pioneers in modern Geology, and many of his concepts served as the basis for several other theories and studies.
 

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