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Biography of James Hutton



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    James Hutton a Scottish scholar was born in Edinburgh on 3rd June 1726 to the city’s treasurer and his wife.unfortunately enough the city’s treasurers died widowing the wife and this scholar was therefore educated by the mother. James Hutton was educated at the school of Edinburgh, university of Edinburgh as a” student of humanity “and later medicine. He proceeded to Paris to pursue the same, then in 1749 he attained the degree of doctor of medicine from Leyden having a thesis on circulation of blood. To his discovery however that an opportunity seemed to be hardly available for him, Hutton took a French leave from the medical profession resolving to devotedly take up agriculture having a farm he had inherited from his father in Berwickshire. Consequently, he went to Norfolk with an aim of getting knowledge of farm practices then he visited Holland, Belgium and north France.

    Subsequently during this time, he commenced the study of the earth’s surface slowly developing a challenge to which he would later devote all his efforts. In the 1754th summer he settled in his farm in Berwickshire for 14years where he brought about some advanced moulds of husbandry. In around 1768 as the farm developed and completely evolved into a better asset, he was persuaded to lease it then set up permanently in Edinburgh.In Edinburgh, unmarried Hutton resided with his three sisters in existence of other scholarly friends devoted to research. Just as the saying goes, “no man is an island”, Hutton wasn’t a loner but was friendly. Some of his friends were: Prof John Playfair, David Hume, Adam Smith and Joseph Black.


    In his life Hutton made remarkable contributions in arenas of geology, physics, nature, chemistry and even experimental farming. In geology, Hutton’s efforts could be viewed in terms of information about rocks and other earthly materials’ occurrence and being. He made attempts to bring out his view on the origin of minerals and rocks, their composition and distribution on the earth’s surface hence combining them into a well argued out theory (the theory of earth) on the basis of observation

    In physics Hutton took a courageous initiative to long study about atmospheric changes in weather components like rainfall, climate, humidity, and even temperature. He had therefore made some theories to explain all these weather aspects occurrences and the mechanisms behind them. He came up with the theories of rain and the earth.

    In the aspect of nature, Hutton in a bid to plead in favour of uniformity of living of living creatures –their evolution he suggested the natural selection mechanism to be possibly affecting them. He had come to these ideas after experimenting by breeding of both plants and animals. He brought a clear cut difference found in the forms of variation and survival of these organisms. Conclusively, in this aspect he depicts our view and perception on the earth and its compartments both internally and externally. Hutton in chemistry tries to expound on the chemical composition in rocks and minerals as he brings out his ideas as pertains to geology and mineralogy. He also studies and comments on the other earth materials, their components and occurrences on the earth surface.

    Hutton made several publications depicting his contribution in attempt to explain his views on the different aspects. He availed these to the royal society of Edinburgh in papers with various titles. His theories of the earth and rain appeared in the volumes.

    James Hutton succumbed to an incurable disease that ferried his outstanding career to an end on the march 1797. He will be greatly remembered for his geological contributions and speculations as he is and would be considered the father of modern geology.


    Britannica (2005). Biography of James Hutton. Britannica Encyclopedia 11th edition.


    Biography of James Hutton. (2016, Oct 30). Retrieved from

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