Artwork of the British geologist James Hutton

Artwork of the British geologist James Hutton

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Credit: GEORGE BERNARD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: James Hutton. Historical artwork of James Hutton (1726-97), British geologist. After training in law and medicine, Hutton ran a business extracting ammonium chloride from soot which provided him with sufficient income to study science and in particular geology. He proposed that sediments from eroded rocks washed into the sea, accumulated and were formed into new rocks through the effect of geothermal heat. These were then uplifted to form new continents. This uniformitarian theory meant that the Earth was in a continuous cycle. Hutton's views were attacked by religious figures as they disagreed with the Biblical account of Creation. This is Kay's portrait of 1787.

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Keywords: geologist, geothermal formation of rock, hutton, igneous rock formation theory, james, portraits, surname h, uniformitarian

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