- James Hutton
name = James Hutton
image_width = 150px
caption = James Hutton, painted by
birth_date = 14 June 1726
death_date = 26 March 1797
nationality = Scottish
MD(3 June 1726 OS (14 June 1726 NS) Edinburghndash 26 March 1797) was a Scottish geologist, physician, naturalist, chemistand experimental farmer. He is considered the father ofmodern geology.cite web |url=http://www.ed.ac.uk/explore/people/plaques/jameshutton.html |title=Millennial Plaques: James Hutton |author= University of Edinburgh|publisher=(Hutton's [http://www.ed.ac.uk/explore/people/plaques/ Millennial Plaque] , which reads, “In honour of James Hutton 1726-1797 Geologist, chemist, naturalist, father ofmodern geology, alumnusof the University,” is located at the main entrance of the Grant Institute) ] cite web |url=http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/10/11/041011crat_atlarge |title=Northern Lights: How modern life emerged from eighteenth-century Edinburgh |author=David Denby |format= html|work= The New Yorker|publisher=Review of James Buchan's "Crowded With Genius (Capital of the Mind" in the UK) |date=11 October 2004 |quote=In 1770, James Hutton, an experimental farmer and the owner of a sal ammoniacworks, began poking into the peculiar shapes and textures of the Salisbury Crags, the looming, irregular rock formations in Edinburgh. Hutton noticed something astonishing— fossilized fish remains embedded in the rock. The remains suggested that volcanic activity had raised the mass from some depth in the sea. In 1785, he delivered a lecture to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, which included the remarkable statement that “with respect to human observation, this world has neither a beginning nor an end.” Coolly discarding Biblical accounts of creation, the book that he eventually published, “The Theory of the Earth,” helped establish the foundations of modern geology. ] His theories of geology and geologic time,cite web |url=http://www.amnh.org/education/resources/rfl/web/essaybooks/earth/p_hutton.html |title=James Hutton: The Founder of Modern Geology |author= American Museum of Natural History|work=Earth: Inside and Out |year=2000 |quote=The result, therefore, of this physical enquiry,” Hutton concluded, “is that we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end. ] also called deep time,cite web |url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3498/is_200609/ai_n18326057 |title="Ages in Chaos: James Hutton and the Discovery of Deep Time" |author=Kenneth L. Taylor |work= The Historian(abstract) |publisher= Book reviewof Stephen Baxter, ISBN 0-7653-1238-7 |month=September | year=2006 |quote=] came to be included in theories which were called plutonismand uniformitarianism.
Early life and career
James Hutton was born in
Edinburghon 3 June 1726 as one of five children of a merchant who was Edinburgh City Treasurer, but died when James was still young. Hutton's mother had him educated at the High School of Edinburgh where he was particularly interested in mathematics and chemistry, then when he was 14 he attended the University of Edinburghas a "student of humanity". He was apprenticed to a lawyer when he was 17, but took more interest in chemical experiments than legal work and at the age of 18 became a physician's assistant as well as attending lectures in medicine at the University of Edinburgh. After three years he studied the subject in Paris, then in 1749 took the degree of Doctor of Medicineat Leyden with a thesis on blood circulation.cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/Biography/02.htm |title=Early Years |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org] Around 1747 he had a son by a Miss Edington, and though he gave his child James Smeaton Hutton financial assistance, he had little to do with the boy who went on to become a post-office clerk in London.cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/Biography/04.htm |title=Settled and Unsettled |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org]
After his degree Hutton returned to London, then in mid-1750 went back to Edinburgh and resumed chemical experiments with close friend, James Davie. Their work on production of sal ammoniac from
sootled to their partnership in a profitable chemical works,cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/Biography/03.htm |title=Thoughts of Settling in the World |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org] manufacturing the crystalline salt which was used for dyeing, metalworking and as smelling salts and previously was available only from natural sources and had to be imported from Egypt. Hutton owned and rented out properties in Edinburgh, employing a factor to manage this business.cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/Entrepreneur/Frameset.htm |title=Business and Related Interests |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org]
Farming and geology
Hutton inherited from his father the
Berwickshirefarms of "Slighhouses", a lowland farm which had been in the family since 1713, and the hill farm of "Nether Monynut".cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/Agronomy/Frameset.htm |title=James Hutton the Farmer |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org] In the early 1750s he moved to "Slighhouses" and set about making improvements, introducing farming practices from other parts of Britain and experimenting with plant and animal husbandry.cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/Agronomy/03.htm |title=Return to Slighhouses and Farm Improvement |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org] He recorded his ideas and innovations in an unpublished treatise on "The Elements of Agriculture".cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/Agronomy/06.htm |title=The Elements of Agriculture |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org]
This developed his interest in
meteorologyand geology, and by 1753 he had "become very fond of studying the surface of the earth, and was looking with anxious curiosity into every pit or ditch or bed of a river that fell in his way”. Work in clearing and draining his farm provided ample opportunities, and he noticed that “a vast proportion of the present rocks are composed of materials afforded by the destruction of bodies, animal, vegetable and mineral, of more ancient formation”. His theoretical ideas began to come together in 1760, and while his farming activities continued, in 1764 he went on a geological tour of the north of Scotland with George Maxwell-Clerk.cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/Geology/Frameset.htm |title=Farming and Hutton the Geologist |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org]
Edinburgh and canal building
In 1768 Hutton returned to
Edinburgh, letting his farms to tenants but continuing to take an interest in farm improvements and research which included experiments carried out at "Slighhouses". He developed a red dye made from the roots of the madderplant.cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/Agronomy/05.htm |title=Return to Edinburgh |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org]
He had a house built in 1770 at St John’s Hill, Edinburgh, overlooking
Salisbury Crags. He was one of the most influential participants in the Scottish Enlightenment, and fell in with numerous first-class minds in the sciences including John Playfair, philosopher David Humeand economist Adam Smith.cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/SocialContext/Frameset.htm |title=Hutton’s Contemporaries and The Scottish Enlightenment |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org] He was a particularly close friend of Joseph Black, and the two of them together with Adam Smith founded the "Oyster Club" for weekly meetings, with Hutton and Black finding a venue which turned out to have rather disreputable associations.cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/SocialContext/02.htm |title=The Oyster Club |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org]
Between 1767 and 1774 Hutton had considerable close involvement with the construction of the
Forth and Clyde canal, making full use of his geological knowledge, both as a shareholder and as a member of the committee of management, and attended meetings including extended site inspections of all the works. In 1777 he published a pamphlet on "Considerations on the Nature, Quality and Distinctions of Coal and Culm" which successfully helped to obtain relief from excise duty on carrying small coal.cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/Entrepreneur/02.htm |title=The Forth and Clyde Canal |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org]
Theory of rock formations
Hutton hit on a variety of ideas to explain the
rock formationshe saw around him, but according to Playfair he "was in no haste to publish his theory; for he was one of those who are much more delighted with the contemplation of truth, than with the praise of having discovered it”. After some 25 years of work,cite web |url=http://www.james-hutton.org/One/Geology/03.htm |title=The Theory of the Earth |accessdate=2008-04-11 |publisher=James Hutton.org] his "Theory of the Earth; or an Investigation of the Laws observable in the Composition, Dissolution, and Restoration of Land upon the Globe" was read to meetings of the Royal Society of Edinburghin two parts, the first by his friend Joseph Blackon 7 March 1785, and the second by himself on 4 April 1785. Hutton subsequently read an abstract of his dissertation "Concerning the System of the Earth, its Duration and Stability" to Society meeting on 4 July 1785, which he had printed and circulated privately. In it, he outlined his theory as follows;
quotation|The solid parts of the present land appear in general, to have been composed of the productions of the sea, and of other materials similar to those now found upon the shores. Hence we find reason to conclude:
1st, That the land on which we rest is not simple and original, but that it is a composition, and had been formed by the operation of second causes.
2nd, That before the present land was made, there had subsisted a world composed of sea and land, in which were tides and currents, with such operations at the bottom of the sea as now take place. And,
Lastly, That while the present land was forming at the bottom of the ocean, the former land maintained plants and animals; at least the sea was than inhabited by animals, in a similar manner as it is at present.
Hence we are led to conclude, that the greater part of our land, if not the whole had been produced by operations natural to this globe; but that in order to make this land a permanent body, resisting the operations of the waters, two things had been required;
1st, The consolidation of masses formed by collections of loose or incoherent materials;
2ndly, The elevation of those consolidated masses from the bottom of the sea, the place where they were collected, to the stations in which they now remain above the level of the ocean.
earch for examples
Glen Tiltin the Cairngorm mountains in the Scottish Highlands, Hutton found granitepenetrating metamorphic schists, in a way which indicated that the granite had been moltenat the time. This showed to him that granite formed from cooling of molten rock, not precipitation out of water as others at the time believed, and that the granite must be younger than the schists.cite web |url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3724/is_200309/ai_n9253355 |title=Glimpses into the abyss of time |author=Robert Macfarlane |format= html|work= The Spectator|publisher=Review of Repcheck's "The Man Who Found Time" |date=13 September 2003 |quote=Hutton possessed an instinctive ability to reverse physical processes - to read landscapes backwards, as it were. Fingering the white quartz which seamed the grey granite boulders in a Scottish glen, for instance, he understood the confrontation that had once occurred between the two types of rock, and he perceived how, under fantastic pressure, the molten quartz had forced its way into the weaknesses in the mother granite. ] [http://www.scottishgeology.com/outandabout/classic_sites/locations/glen_tilt.html Scottish Geology - Glen Tilt] ]
He went on to find a similar penetration of
volcanic rockthrough sedimentary rocknear the centre of Edinburgh, at Salisbury Crags, adjoining Arthur's Seat: this is now known as Hutton's Section. [ [http://www.scottishgeology.com/outandabout/classic_sites/locations/huttons_section.html Scottish Geology - Hutton's Section] ] [ [http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/undergraduate/field/holyrood/huttonsloc.html Hutton's Section at Hoyrood Park] ] He found other examples in Gallowayin 1786, and on the Isle of Arranin 1787.
The existence of angular unconformities had been noted by
Nicolas Stenoand by French geologists including Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, who interpreted them in terms of Neptunismas "primary formations". Hutton wanted to examine such formations himself to see “particular marks” of the relationship between the rock layers. On the trip to Arran he found his first example of Hutton's Unconformity, but the limited view meant that the condition of the underlying strata was not clear enough for him.cite web |url=http://nagt.org/files/nagt/jge/abstracts/Montgomery_v51n5.pdf |title=Siccar Point and Teaching the History of Geology |accessdate=2008-03-26 |author=Keith Montgomery |date=2003 |format=pdf |work= |publisher=University of Wisconsin ]
Later in 1787 Hutton noted what is now known as the Hutton Unconformity at Inchbonny,
Jedburgh, in layers of sedimentary rock.cite web |url=http://www.jedburgh-online.org.uk/aroundjedburgh.asp |title=Jedburgh: Hutton's Unconformity |format= html|work=Jedburgh online |quote=Whilst visiting Allar's Mill on the Jed Water, Hutton was delighted to see horizontal bands of red sandstone lying 'unconformably' on top of near vertical and folded bands of rock. ] As shown in the illustrations to the right, layers of greywackein the lower layers of the cliff face are tilted almost vertically, and above an intervening layer of conglomeratelie horizontal layers of red sandstone. He later wrote of how he "rejoiced at my good fortune in stumbling upon an object so interesting in the natural history of the earth, and which I had been long looking for in vain." That year, he found the same sequence in Teviotdale.
In the Spring of 1788 he set off with
John Playfairto the Berwickshirecoast and found more examples of this sequence in the valleys of the Tour and Pease Burns near Cockburnspath. They then took a boat trip from Dunglass Burn east along the coast with the geologist Sir James Hall of Dunglass. They found the sequence in the cliff below St. Helens, then just to the east at Siccar Pointfound what Hutton called "a beautiful picture of this junction washed bare by the sea". [ [http://www.james-hutton.org/One/Geology/05.htm Hutton’s Journeys to Prove his Theory] ] [ [http://www.snh.org.uk/publications/on-line/geology/elothian_borders/hutton.asp Hutton's Unconformity] ] Playfair later commented about the experience, "the mind seemed to grow giddy by looking so far into the abyss of time".cite web |url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_5_108/ai_54830705 |title=Hutton's Unconformity |author= John Playfair|format= html|work=Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. V, pt. III, 1805, quoted in Natural History, June 1999 |quote=] Continuing along the coast, they made more discoveries including sections of the vertical beds showing strong ripple marks which gave Hutton "great satisfaction" as a confirmation of his supposition that these beds had been laid horizontally in water. He also found conglomerate at altitudes that demonstrated the extent of erosion of the strata, and said of this that "we never should have dreamed of meeting with what we now perceived”.
Hutton reasoned that there must have been several cycles, each involving
depositionon the seabed, uplift with tilting and erosionthen undersea again for further layers to be deposited, and there could have been many cycles before over an extremely long history. In a 1788 paper he presented at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Hutton remarked, "we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end." (This memorable linecite web |url=http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/id.3275,y.0,no.,content.true,page.2,css.print/issue.aspx |title=Vestiges of James Hutton |author=Keith Stewart Thomson |format= html|work= American Scientistonline, V. 89 #3 p. 212, May/June 2001 doi|10.1511/2001.3.212 |quote=It is ironic that Hutton, the man whose prose style is usually dismissed as unreadable, should have coined one of the most memorable, and indeed lyrical, sentences in all science: "(in geology) we find no vestige of a beginning,—no prospect of an end." In those simple words, Hutton framed a concept that no one had previously contemplated, that the rocks making up the earth today have not, after all, been here since Creation. ] was quoted in the 1989 song “No Control” by songwriter and professor Greg Graffin.cite web |url=http://www.altmusic.ru/bands/BadReligion/NoControl.html |title=Lyrics, No Control |author= Greg Graffin|format= html|work= No Control (Bad Religion album)|year=1989 |quote=there's no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end (Hutton, 1795) ] )
Though Hutton circulated privately a printed version of the abstract of his Theory ("Concerning the System of the Earth, its Duration, and Stability") which he read at a meeting of the
Royal Society of Edinburghon 4 July 1785; [http://www.uwmc.uwc.edu/geography/hutton/Abstract-facsimile/abstract1.htm "Concerning the System of the Earth"] abstract] the theory as read at the 7 March 1785 and 4 April 1785 meetings did not appear in print until 1788. It was titled "Theory of the Earth; or an Investigation of the Laws observable in the Composition, Dissolution, and Restoration of Land upon the Globe" and appeared in "Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh", vol. I, Part II, pp.209-304, plates I and II, published 1788. [http://www.uwmc.uwc.edu/geography/hutton/hutton.htm "Theory of the Earth"] full text (1788 version)]
Following criticism, especially
Richard Kirwan's, who thought him atheistand not logical, among other things, Hutton published a two volume version of his theory in 1795,gutenberg|no=12861|name=Theory of the Earth, Volume 1] gutenberg|no=14179|name=Theory of the Earth, Volume 2] consisting of the 1788 version of his theory (with slight additions) along with a lot of material drawn from shorter papers Hutton already had to hand on various subjects such as the origin of granite. It included a review of alternative theories, such as those of Thomas Burnetand Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon.
The whole was entitled "An Investigation of the Principles of Knowledge and of the Progress of Reason, from Sense to Science and Philosophy" when the third volume was completed in 1794.cite web |url=http://thedispersalofdarwin.blogspot.com/2007/06/more-on-james-hutton.html |title=In Retrospect |author=Paul N. Pearson |format=
html|work=Nature [http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v425/n6959/index.html V. 425 #6959, p. 665] |publisher=Comments on Hutton's 3-volume 1794 work, "An Investigation of the Principles of Knowledge and of the Progress of Reason, from Sense to Science and Philosophy" |date=16 October 2003 |quote=] Its 2,138 pages prompted Playfair to remark that “The great size of the book, and the obscurity which may justly be objected to many parts of it, have probably prevented it from being received as it deserves.”
His new theories placed him into opposition with the then-popular Neptunist theories of
Abraham Gottlob Werner, that all rocks had precipitated out of a single enormous flood. Hutton proposed that the interior of the Earthwas hot, and that this heat was the engine which drove the creation of new rock: land was eroded by air and water and deposited as layers in the sea; heat then consolidated the sedimentinto stone, and uplifted it into new lands. This theory was dubbed "Plutonist" in contrast to the flood-oriented theory.
As well as combating the Neptunists, he also opened up the concept of
deep timefor scientific purposes, in opposition to Catastrophism. Rather than accepting that the earth was no more than a few thousand years old, he maintained that the Earth must be much older, with a history extending indefinitely into the distant past. His main line of argument was that the tremendous displacements and changes he was seeing did not happen in a short period of time by means of catastrophe, but that processes still happening on the Earth in the present day had caused them. As these processes were very gradual, the Earth needed to be ancient, in order to allow time for the changes. Before long, scientific inquiries provoked by his claims had pushed back the age of the earth into the millions of yearsndash still too short when compared with what is known in the 21st century, but a distinct improvement.
Acceptance of geological theories
The prose of "Principles of Knowledge" was so obscure, in fact, that it also impeded the acceptance of Hutton's geological theories.Fact|date=September 2008 Restatements of his geological ideas (though not his thoughts on evolution) by
John Playfairin 1802 and then Charles Lyellin the 1830s removed this hindrance. If anything, Hutton's ideas were eventually accepted too well. At least some of the initial resistance to modern scientific ideas like plate tectonicsand asteroid strikes causing mass extinctions can be attributed to too-strict adherence to uniformitarianism.Fact|date=September 2008
It was not merely the earth to which Hutton directed his attention. He had long studied the changes of the atmosphere. The same volume in which his "Theory of the Earth" appeared contained also a "Theory of
Rain". He contended that the amount of moisture which the air can retain in solutionincreases with temperature, and, therefore, that on the mixture of two masses of air of different temperatures a portion of the moisture must be condensed and appear in visible form. He investigated the available data regarding rainfalland climatein different regions of the globe, and came to the conclusion that the rainfall is regulated by the humidityof the air on the one hand, and mixing of different air currents in the higher atmosphere on the other.
Hutton also advocated uniformitarianism for living creatures toondash
evolution, in a sensendash and even suggested natural selectionas a possible mechanism affecting them:
:"...if an organised body is not in the situation and circumstances best adapted to its sustenance and propagation, then, in conceiving an indefinite variety among the individuals of that species, we must be assured, that, on the one hand, those which depart most from the best adapted constitution, will be the most liable to perish, while, on the other hand, those organised bodies, which most approach to the best constitution for the present circumstances, will be best adapted to continue, in preserving themselves and multiplying the individuals of their race."ndash "Investigation of the Principles of Knowledge", volume 2.
Hutton gave the example that where dogs survived through "swiftness of foot and quickness of sight... the most defective in respect of those necessary qualities, would be the most subject to perish, and that those who employed them in greatest perfection... would be those who would remain, to preserve themselves, and to continue the race". Equally, if an acute
sense of smellwas "more necessary to the sustenance of the animal... the same principle [would] change the qualities of the animal, and.. produce a race of well scented hounds, instead of those who catch their prey by swiftness". The same "principle of variation" would influence "every species of plant, whether growing in a forest or a meadow".
He came to his ideas as the result of experiments in plant and
animal breeding, some of which he outlined in an unpublished manuscript, the "Elements of Agriculture". He distinguished between heritable variationas the result of breeding, and non-heritable variationscaused by environmental differences such as soil and climate.
Hutton saw his "principle of variation" as explaining the development of varieties, but rejected the idea of evolution originating species as a "romantic fantasy". As a deist, to him this mechanism allowed species to form varieties better adapted to particular conditions and was evidence of benevolent design in nature. Hutton's ideas on geology were clarified in
Charles Lyell's books, which Charles Darwinread with enthusiasm during his voyage on the Beagle, and it remained to Darwin independently to develop the idea of natural selectionto explain " The Origin of Species" and bring it to the forefront of public consciousness at the same time as providing the voluminous evidence necessary to win over the scientific community to the theory.
* 1785. "Abstract of a Dissertation Read in the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Upon the Seventh of March, and Fourth of April, MDCCLXXXV, Concerning the System of the Earth, Its Duration, and Stability". Edinburgh. 30pp.
* 1788. "The Theory of Rain". Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. 1, Part 2, pp. 41-86.
* 1788. "Theory of the Earth; or an Investigation of the Laws observable in the Composition, Dissolution, and Restoration of Land upon the Globe". Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. 1, Part 2, pp. 209-304.
* 1792. "Dissertations on different subjects in natural philosophy." Edinburgh ; London : A. Strahan, and T. Cadell.
* 1794. "Observations on granite". Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. 3, pp. 77-81.
* 1794. "A dissertation upon the philosophy of light, heat, and fire." Edinburgh : Cadell, Junior, Davies.
* 1794. "An Investigation of the Principles of Knowledge and of the Progress of Reason, from Sense to Science and Philosophy". Edinburgh : A. Strahan, and T. Cadell.
* 1795. "Theory of the Earth; with Proofs and Illustrations". Edinburgh: William Creech. 2 vols.
* 1797. "Elements of Agriculture". Unpublished Manuscript.
* 1899. "Theory of the Earth; with Proofs and Illustrations, vol III", Edited by Sir Archibald Geikie. Geological Society, Burlington: House, London.
* Jack Repcheck: "The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of the Earth's Antiquity."
Londonand Cambridge, Massachusetts: Simon & Schuster(2003). ISBN 0743231899 (UK), ISBN 073820692X (US).
Stephen Baxter: "Ages in Chaos: James Hutton and the Discovery of Deep Time." New York: Tor Books(Forge imprint), 2004. ISBN 0-76531-238-7. Published in the UK as "Revolutions in the Earth: James Hutton and the True Age of the World." London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003. ISBN 0-29782-975-0.
Geology of Scotland
Climate of Scotland
* [http://www.james-hutton.org.uk/ James Hutton.org.uk] , links to "James Huttonndash The Man" and "The James Hutton Trail".
* [http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/H/HU/HUTTON_JAMES.htm Biography of James Hutton (From: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Ed., 1910-1911)]
* [http://www.mala.bc.ca/~johnstoi/darwin/sect2.htm James Hutton and Uniformitarianism] (scroll down)
* [http://www.uwmc.uwc.edu/geography/hutton/James%20Hutton%20grave.htm James Hutton's memorial in Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh]
* [http://www.uwmc.uwc.edu/geography/hutton/hutton.htm First Publication of Theory of the Earth]
* [http://strata.geol.sc.edu/terminology/unconformity.html Glossary] Definition and examples of
* [http://www.ronaldbrucemeyer.com/rants/0603almanac.htm Accessible Historical Perspective on James Hutton]
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Scottish geologist
DATE OF BIRTH=14 June 1726
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=26 March 1797
PLACE OF DEATH=
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James Hutton — noun Scottish geologist who described the processes that have shaped the surface of the earth (1726 1797) • Syn: ↑Hutton • Instance Hypernyms: ↑geologist … Useful english dictionary
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