James Hutton (1726–1797), Scottish farmer, chemist, and naturalist, played a key role in establishing geology as modern science.
He elaborated the fundamental principle of modern geology: uniformitarianism.
Hutton’s theory explains the features of the Earth’s crust made by natural processes over geologic time.
Its emphasis on a long cyclical process of erosion, deposition, sedimentation was revolutionary.
Hutton’s demonstrations and observational evidence are gathered in a work published in two volumes, Theory of the Earth.