1. ID James Hutton and define Uniformitariansim

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James Hutton, the father of modern geology, theorized the theory of Uniformitarianism. James Hutton was born in 1726 in Edinburgh, Scotland.


Hutton attended the universities of Edinburgh, Paris, and Leiden, in the Netherlands, where he studied medicine and chemistry. After his formal schooling. Hutton worked on two family farms for fourteen years. He was a great natural observer, and he noticed the hills and wondered how they came into existence. Because of his curiosity, he started to believe that the earth changes slowly and continuously and that these changes have been taking place for a very long time. He called this idea the theory of Uniformitarianism. One way to summarize the theory of Uniformitarianism is with a quote from James Hutton himself, "The present is the key to the past."

Uniformitarianism is the theory that all geological changes occur slowly and steadily. The theory of Uniformitarianism also states that this process that is happening in the present has been happening in the past and will continue to happen as long as the Earth is in existence.

One example of Uniformitarianism at work is Siccar Point, which has been given the title of the "Hutton Inconformity". At Siccar Point, two totally different types of rocks occurred on top of each other, red sandstone, and gray shale. Hutton believed that the formation of this rock was due to great forces exerted over a long period of time.


Hutton also believed that there was a great force called, Subterranean Heat, which was the intense heat in the inside of the Earth. James Hutton deduced that this was the sources of the growth and decay of the entirety of the Earth.


Sources: James Hutton: The Founder of Modern Geology by Edmond A. Mathez http://www.amnh.org/education/resources/rfl/web/essaybooks/earth/p_hutton.html

Strange Science website http://www.strangescience.net/hutton.htm

page 5 of history 8 manual

Picture Sources:

http://www.strangescience.net/biopics/huttonlayers. jpg

http://www.amnh.org/education/resources/rfl/web/essaybooks/earth/images/hutton_01. jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f3/Sir_Henry_Raeburn_-_James_Hutton%2C_1726_-_1797._Geologist_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg/250px-Sir_Henry_Raeburn_-_James_Hutton%2C_1726_-_1797._Geologist_-_Google_Art_Project. jpg