Editing Antecedents, first hundred years of the Geological Survey of Great Britain

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The inevitable reaction ensued, and a return to common sense and reasonable speculation followed in due time.
 
The inevitable reaction ensued, and a return to common sense and reasonable speculation followed in due time.
  
Its herald was James Hutton, a Scottish gentleman and manufacturer with a taste for experimental farming and metaphysical philosophy. From this strange parentage was produced a treatise on the Theory of the Earth, which was at once supremely original and perfectly conclusive. Hutton argued that all the phenomena exhibited in the rocks of the earth’s crust might be explained by causes operating at the present day. What was essentially necessary was a sufficiency of time. The rocks might be classified as being of igneous or of sedimentary origin. The sedimentary rocks were built up of the fragments of still older rocks, decomposed, disintegrated, transported and deposited in the same manner as at the present day. For all sedimentary rocks there must have been still older rocks from which they were derived. The process had gone on since the earliest geological times. There was no sign of a beginning or of an end. As it is now, it had been since the dawn of time.
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Its herald was James Hutton, a Scottish gentleman and manufacturer with a taste for experimental farming and metaphysical philosophy. From this strange parentage was produced a treatise on the Theory of the Earth, which was at once supremely original and perfectly conclusive. Hutton argued that all the phenomena exhibited in the rocks of the earth’s cruet might be explained by causes operating at the present day. What was essentially necessary was a sufficiency of time. The rocks might be classified as being of igneous or of sedimentary origin. The sedimentary rocks were built up of the fragments of still older rocks, decomposed, disintegrated, transported and deposited in the same manner as at the present day. For all sedimentary rocks there must have been still older rocks from which they were derived. The process had gone on since the earliest geological times. There was no sign of a beginning or of an end. As it is now, it had been since the dawn of time.
  
 
The igneous rocks were ascribed to the action of the earth’s internal heat. Some were of volcanic origin; others, such as granite, were molten masses which by their heat altered and crystallized the rocks which they invaded. Hutton was supported by his friend Sir James Hall, who proved by a long series of experiments that it was quite reasonable to believe that the rocks known as basalt, greenstone and whinstone in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh were ultimately of volcanic origin.
 
The igneous rocks were ascribed to the action of the earth’s internal heat. Some were of volcanic origin; others, such as granite, were molten masses which by their heat altered and crystallized the rocks which they invaded. Hutton was supported by his friend Sir James Hall, who proved by a long series of experiments that it was quite reasonable to believe that the rocks known as basalt, greenstone and whinstone in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh were ultimately of volcanic origin.

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