1726 – Born on June 3rd in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scottish geologist, chemist, naturalist, and originator of one of the fundamental principles of geology—uniformitarianism, which explains the features of the Earth’s crust by means of natural processes over geologic time.
1749 – He spent three years at the University of Edinburgh, then two in Paris, and finally was granted an M.D. degree in Holland in September.
1765-1768 – Both the farm and the company producing sal ammoniac were prospering, and with a good income available, he gave up farming to establish himself in Edinburgh, where he could pursue his scientific interests.
– His chief contribution to scientific knowledge, the uniformitarian principle, was put forward in his papers presented to the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
1788 – Two of his papers were published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh under the title “Theory of the Earth; or an Investigation of the Laws Observable in the Composition, Dissolution, and Restoration of Land Upon the Globe”.
1795 – Hutton summarized his views and provided ample observational evidence for his conclusions in a work published in two volumes, Theory of the Earth.
1797 – Died on March 26th in Edinburgh.
1802 – Although Hutton’s ideas received a fairly wide circulation among European scientists, their immediate impact was blunted by the fact that Hutton’s writing style was difficult to understand. Fortunately, his close friend John Playfair wrote a clear and precise condensation of Hutton’s work, embellished with additional observations of his own, and published it under the title Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth.