Chapter 137 – James Hutton, Geologist

The Royal Mile is a bustling metropolis of people, where two men of Thompson & French continue discussing the enlightening past residents of Edinburgh.

“Quite a leap from philosophy to geology?”, asked James Hogg.

“Well, this man changed the theory on the ground beneath your feet. In his day, people believed the Earth was only six thousand years old, based on the writings in Genesis.”, I said.

“Telling the world the Bible is wrong must have been controversial?”

“Indeed, it was. James Hutton started life as a lawyer, qualified as a doctor and continually experimented in chemistry. He settled in Edinburgh after making his fortune manufacturing ammonium chloride from coal soot, used in medicines and fertilisers.”

“Another leap from chemistry to geology?”

“Hutton used his wealth to travel the world, read widely and inspected rock formations, funnelling this knowledge into papers entitled, ‘Theory of the Earth’. These explained how the Earth formed over immensely long periods of time, in a uniform manner.”

“So, Hutton created Geology as a science, here in Edinburgh?”

There was a loud noise from the public house opposite, where a number of its occupants stumbled out.

“Indeed. Your third lesson. Always challenge convention, and the greatest things in life take time to form. Time for the Deacon Brodie Tavern and some poetry.”, I said with a wink.

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