On This Day

James Hutton

Geologist James Hutton

Profession: Geologist


Biography: Establishing geology as a true science, formulating his controversial 'Theory of the Earth', and being the first person to suggest that the Earth is millions of years old.

His 'Theory of the Earth' noted that features of the Earth’s surface must have formed through cycles of natural processes over geologic time (ie rocks on mountains may have been formed in the bottom of the sea). His geological research contributed to the underlying principles of uniformitarianism.

Born: June 3, 1726
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Star Sign: Gemini

Died: March 26, 1797 (aged 70)
Cause of Death: Illness resulting from stones in the bladder

Historical Events

  • 1785-03-07 James Hutton, geologist, presents his full theory of uniformitarianism at a meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • 1785-07-04 James Hutton, geologist, publicly reads an abstract of his theory of uniformitarianism for the first time at the meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Biographies and Sources

Famous Scottish People