1. ID James Hutton and define Uniformitariansim

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James Hutton was a Scottish farmer and naturalist during the 17th century, but he is more commonly known as the founder of modern geology. He was the one that came to believe that the earth was being formed at that moment. His ideas also established geology as proper science and were the beginning of a bigger breakthrough in science. James Hutton was also one of the people who came up with the theory of Uniformitarianism.

Uniformitarianism is basically saying that the past is explainable by the processes in operation in the present. There is a saying that says "The present is the key to the past" and that applies when taking about Uniformitarianism. Uniformitarianism is an important principle of geology and all fields of science. A man named William Whewell coined the term. Uniformitarianism was also formulated by british naturalists; James Hutton being one of them.

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sources: http://www.amnh.org/education/resources/rfl/web/essaybooks/earth/p_hutton.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism