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The eminent 18th century Scottish geologist-physician-farmer and founder of modern geoscience. In 1795 he published The Theory of the Earth and proposed the Principle of Uniformitarianism. His revolutionary thinking laid the groundwork for a more scientific and rational approach to geology. The quote in No Control is slightly changed. The original is "We find no vestige of a beginning, - no prospect of an end" and it is from his famous book Theory of the Earth. The Principle of Uniformitarianism states that the present is the key to the past -geologic processes operating today have operated throughout Earth history and we can compare ancient rocks to similar rocks forming today and assume that they developed in the same manner. Prior to Hutton, people believed that Earth's features like mountains, valley, and oceans had been produced by a few great catastrophes (catastrophism). He also authored the concept of the rock cycle, which depicts the interrelationships between igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis (who invented the concept of Gaia) acknowledged Hutton's concept of a living Earth as a forerunner to the Gaia hypothesis. It was Hutton who suggested that the proper study of the Earth should be known as "geophysiology".
The bit of the book 'Theory of the Earth' where the famous quotation on No Control comes from is this: "We have now got to the end of our reasoning; we have no data further to conclude immediately from that which actually is: But we have got enough; we have the satisfaction to find, that in nature there is wisdom, system, and consistency. For having, in the natural history of this earth, seen a succession of worlds, we may from this conclude that there is a system in nature; in like manner as, from seeing revolutions of the planets, it is concluded, that there is a system by which they are intended to continue those revolutions. But if the succession of worlds is established in the system of nature, it is in vain to look for any thing higher in the origin of the earth. The result, therefore, of our present enquiry is, that we find no vestige of a beginning, -no prospect of an end."