Introduction

His dramatic theory of the Earth was bitterly disputed and caused dissension among scientists and other thinkers in Britain and abroad.

His claim the earth is aeons old was centred on his observation that the surface of the earth is being continually recycled and regenerated, and that this process is being powered by the internal heat of the Earth. Few people believed that the earth was hot; Others objected that this theory questioned the chronology of the bible. Now it is recognised as a fundamental scientific advance.

Yet James Hutton, Scottish Borders farmer and self-taught geologist, who expounded not only on geology but theories as diverse as the nature of light and methods of education, goes largely unrecognised.