Essay on The Man Who Found Time



Essay on The Man Who Found Time

Chapter one: Looking So Far into the Abyss of Time


James Hutton was initially a farmer who later turned into a geologist. He found to a great extent via his individual particular notes, the earth couldn’t be as new as Scriptural researchers – and all researchers were Scriptural in the late eighteenth period – obstinately placed. “The belief that the earth was less than 6,000 years old was deeply entrenched in the psyche of most Christians.” That conviction was wisely outlined by open-minded as well as decided religious pioneers as Constantine, and was too acknowledged then as could be the conviction that mankind had arrived on the moon at that time.

Repcheck tells about a talented German mineralogist, Abraham Gottlob Werner. Werner argues that a universal ocean had at a time covered the earth and therefore creating all the formations that are now visible. It is interesting how Werner likens the universal ocean back to the biblical story of Noah’s flood or to creation itself in the biblical book of Genesis: “And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” However, Hutton’s general theory completely differed with that of Werner. Hutton writes that he saw new land springing from the oceans which were already existing, and then pushed upwards by the caldron that was as a result of the extreme heat that is found in the ocean.

Hutton believed that in order to form sedimentary rocks, both pressure and heat were needed. However, after research, it has been proved that sedimentary rocks are not exactly formed as a result of heat, although it’s needed for metamorphic rocks. Hutton would later take the individuals who questioned his cases to Siccar Point and utilize it as an undeniable confirmation to the antiquity of the earth. It was at Siccar Point that scriptural sequence tumbled to the perceptions of science, and therefore alone, it should be better known among the overall population.

It is interesting how Hutton presents his ideas. To the average-minded reader, it would be pretty hard to understand the different processes that Hutton gives his account based on. However, the author makes his views clearly logical by giving different proofs and evidences that support his final conclusion.

Chapter Two: First Came Adam and Eve, Then Came Cain and Abel-essay on The Man Who Found Time


In this chapter, Constantine had called for a ceremony which he had referred to as an extraordinary as well as unprecedented assembly of bishops. In that summer, there was a church crisis in which Constantine wanted solved immediately. The crisis was as a result of a big controversy about two vies of Jesus Christ. One of the groups of the archbishops assumed that Jesus was in each method equal to God. The further section thought that since Jesus came to existence, it therefore meant that he had not been there forever, and therefore there was no way he could not be equal to the Father completely. Constantine however, had no opinion on the matter.

Eusebius, a prolific writer, wrote a chronology of world history, initially written thirty years earlier. He also wrote another book on the history of the Christian church. Some of the interesting facts is where he writes, “It was in the forty-second year of the reign of Augustus and the twenty-eight after the subjugation of Egypt and the death of Antony and Cleopatra, with whom the dynasty of the Ptolemies in Egypt came to an end, that our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea.”

Repcheck clearly represents his views logically as well as reasonably in this chapter in a way that finally comes to show how James Hutton one day came to extend the discovery made by Isaac Newton. Newton had made the discovery that nature obeyed constant laws and therefore by extending that discovery, Hutton put an end to 1,500 years of biblical chronology as well as very much changing the way Christians viewed the world before.

The author goes through a series of steps from the debate on Jesus’s ability compared to that of His Father God. Hutton challenges the beliefs of Christians that nature follows the biblical theories buy providing his own arguments using the Newtonian laws of nature. The author makes sufficient arguments such that he is finally able to prove his discovery of the Newton laws of nature into even convincing the Christians into seeing his logic and believing it.

Chapter Three: Auld Reekie-Essay on The Man Who Found Time

In this Chapter, the author begins by providing an insight of how and when different volcanic activities occurred in Edinburgh in approximately 400 million years ago. The author tells of how in the following 45 million years Edinburgh quieted with the low-lying plains around the volcanoes got flooded by the tropical seas. Repcheck further tells of the different geological changes that happened; a series of earthquakes, as well as a result of mountain-building pressure which pushed and then distorted the sedimentary strata.

Repcheck’s arguments are proved by the fact that all the hills which now define the Edinburg regions are the remnants of the volcanic activities which happened millions of years ago. Castle Rock too is an evidence of the ancient volcanic activities. It is a spectacular landmark which is almost symmetrical basalt cylinder which is a black shiny rock which looks like it’s from a different world. There is evidence which shows that Castle Rock has been inhabited on continuous basis ever since the Neolithic hunters and gatherers migration to the region over 4,000 years ago.

Repcheck says that three key features define James Hutton’s scientific work which he undertook later: his use of the Newtonian laws of nature to earth study, his innovative chemistry application, as well as his recognition of the dynamics applied in erosion.

The author’s discoveries and arguments in this chapter clearly help into getting to exactly understand how the geological features we encounter in our day to day lives were formed. From the volcanic activities, to the earthquakes, the author supports his arguments with evidences.

Chapter Four: The Storm before the Calm-essay on The Man Who Found Time

The author gives an account of a time when a war arose from the Macdonalds army. The army had left their homes in a quest to fight the government. The Highlanders, led by their prince Charles, rallied together in order to fight for the Stuarts. The author goes on to talk about the first uprising which occurred in 1689. The Catholic Highlanders. Very sure that a protestant monarchy would go on and cause more hardship and therefore they quickly arose to support King James. At that time, the fought multiple battles which were filled with blood shading with the English army and then finally retreated to their homes.

Despite being very charismatic, Charles Stuart still knew nothing about leading or organising an army. Therefore, Gorge Murray, an experienced mercenary was appointed as the military commander. The author tells of how Cope were going to engage in a war with the Highlanders in a bid to protect their own city. However, after realising that the Highlanders had a bigger and supposedly better army, the Cope decided to retreat and head in a different direction far away from the battlefield. It is interesting how after realising that their army had shied away from the battle that the Edinburgh citizens realized that they had been left unprotected and therefore tried to find a way to call a meeting just to make it clear how unprotected their city was.

Repcheck named this chapter as “the storm before the calm. He gives an account of the different and multiple times when the people had to go for each other in a fight for territories. The fights have been well documented and in an interesting flow of events, making it easy for the readers to keep on reading in order to find out what happens next.

The author’s conclusion just shows how gruelling and tough the battle was, ending with Bonnie Prince Charlie escaping to the Scottish western islands and later the Continent where he lived for the rest of life. He develops his arguments sufficiently so as to finally come up with the conclusion brought about the events throughout a tough war leading to one of the leaders running away. Readers are easily taken through each account of it and so the conclusion of it makes perfect sense.

Chapter Five: Youthful Wanderings-essay on The Man Who Found Time

In this chapter, the author emphasizes on the education for the Highlanders. The university was started in the late 1500s and so being among the oldest in Great Britain. The medical school, however was a new one founded the year James Hutton was born. Drummond had the vision for the integration of the two new institutions. That led to the medical school vastly becoming popular for getting its students to work bedside with the patients after they had begun their instruction.

After five years of study, James Hutton received his degree in medicine. His thesis was significant since it made use of the Newton’s notion of cycles in the analysis of the human circulatory system which lets the human body to be self-sustaining. This helped Hutton think about the earth in a similar way.

It is clear that when Hutton began his studies and enquiries into the earth, the field was still widely influenced by the biblical stories in the book of Genesis. The bible story did not allow freethinking about the workings of the planet as well as its history. It was therefore for the few open-minded scientists who emerged to do the researches but they were quickly censured by the church.

In educating his readers to get to know more about Hutton’s discoveries, the author makes people understand the earth differently from the biblical stories. For example, people get to know how volcanoes work, what causes earthquakes, and a definition of the objects which looked like organisms mineralized to stone. A different author, Leibnitz even argued that immediately after the formation of the earth, it was covered by a huge sea which later dissipated to reveal the already complex continents. The two authors’ views are clearly presented and sufficient enough for each reader to fully understand the different concepts.

Chapter Six: The Paradox of the Soil

This section discusses a period of time in the summer is of 1954. After having spent two years learning about husbandry and farming, James Hutton began a period that felt more settled. Hutton lived in his farm where he devoted all his energy to farming and any similar scientific experiments. One of his skills of observation included properly assessing the region’s power not exactly by watching storm waves destroy the North Sea coast but through watching his soil carried away.

In a period of agricultural innovation, James Hutton came up with some innovations himself. He brought the knowledge he had acquired in his studies to his native country Scotland. The introduction of several new methods in the Borders region was widely copied by the people. First there was the migration from the traditional form of tillage to the use of low stones to enclosing fields as well as adding drainage ditches would help in minimising the levels of soil erosion. The use of a different plough which Hutton had used when he stayed in Norfolk. The crop rotation method was also one of the new agricultural revolutions.

In applying what he learned, the author definitely shows the positive signs of improvement. For example, the Suffolk plough was light as well as being well designed and had steel blades requiring only two horses to pull with just one man to control. The innovation of crop rotation allowed the fields to lie fallow for a few months (approximately six) after harvest. During the time when the field is lying fallow, cattle grazing on the fields would add manure to the fields. His views on the matter develop from one stage to another of Hutton’s genius ideas. This makes it easy for readers to accept his conclusions.

Chapter Seven: The Athens of the North-essay on The Man Who Found Time

A large portion of the population by this time shared a common attitude toward commerce and progress. The Presbyterian Church became more lenient as well particularly concerning the goals of the Whigs.  Drummond as well worked toward improving the University and the medical school. An issue that also backed to the energy in Edinburgh was the blossoming economy of the town and the country generally.

By 1767, Edinburgh’s University had lured away the most able professors from Scotland’s other universities. Edinburgh produced one of the most world-famous personalities, the historian and philosopher David Hume. Hume argued that humans were largely controlled by their different passions and not their trained minds and therefore it was natural and good too. Hume wrote “Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of the passions.” Textile, fishing and banking industries in the region were experiencing productive innovations due to the blossoming economy of the country.

Repcheck’s arguments are well constructed since from the introduction of the chapter he chooses to describe what the chapter will be all about; Education and Economy. Throughout the chapter, we see the different developments that come up as a result of the people of Scotland having shared interests, for example, the construction of the Clyde Canal, which was a water channel which would link the Firth of Forth to the Firth of Clyde and therefore connecting the two identical cities of Scotland: Glasgow and Edinburgh. That Canal was one of the main reasons as to why James Hutton returned home to Edinburgh.

Chapter Eight: The Eureka Moments-essay on The Man Who Found Time

In this chapter, James Hutton gives a presentation of his theory of the earth. Hutton might have been looking to educate people about his theory, but the man he must have been looking to impress the most was Professor John Walker. Walker was a natural history professor at the university and was very vital in the founding of the Royal Society. On that day though, Hutton did not attend the meeting since he was sick but instead send a friend to read his speech. It was later in the second meeting that Hutton was available.

Having explained how rocks formed. Hutton next description focussed on the elevation of the new strata from underneath the seas in formation of new land. He once again called it the power of subterranean heat as the primary force. As a result, the author argues that the elevation could not be due to the receding water, saying that if were, then all the stratified rocks would be horizontal just as the same way they had formed on the lake floors, sea floors and ocean floors.

The author argued that the only force available was hot liquid rock which had been created by the same heat which causes the consolidation of rocks. The evidence of that is that veins clearly come from the strata, hot liquid rock therefore must have been pushing from underneath so as to lift the new rocks above the sea.

This is a contradicting chapter compared to the biblical theory of creation. Formations of the earth as per the bible completely differ to how Hutton explains his ideas of how the earth pushes from underneath to above the sea. His account of discoveries is however much convincing and therefore his arguments can be termed as valid due to the evidences he provides.



Chapter Nine: Hutton’s Boswell’sEssay on The Man Who Found Time

The chapter gives an account of how things unfolded after the death of Hutton. Hutton died in 1797 aged seventy. He was buried in the largest cemetery in the city, lying below the south side of the Edinburgh Castle. Hutton’s illegitimate son, also known as James Hutton travelled to Edinburgh, announcing his existence to the people of the area. The chapter talks more about the many critics who arose to criticize the writings and theories of Hutton.

Kirwan and De Luc had been big critics of Hutton even when he was alive and both their bid was to reconcile geology and Genesis. They were both respected geologists. However, the worst foe seemed to be in the Hutton’s backyard, a mere child who was a native of Edinburgh and a student form the University of Edinburgh, his name was Robert Jameson.  Is article was a direct attack to the Hutton’s theory.

Despite having critics, Hutton also people who were willing to defend his theories as well. James Hall was as a disciple of Hutton and was willing to help him. The existence of the subterranean heat still was a controversial topic, and Hall believed that he had a way in which he could prove its existence via chemistry.

With the author’s critics still active and those who supported him getting old, it is becoming hopeless that Hutton’s concept on the globe will always really be accepted. It will have to take a good and bright thinker from the new generation to accept the true logic on the ideas as well as recognizing Hutton’s pure brilliance. This conclusion is well structured because the theories turn out to be confusing especially after the emergence of critics who come up with different discoveries hence making it a bit hard for the readers to choose who to really believe in.



Chapter Ten: The Huttonian Revolution-essay on The Man Who Found Time

In this chapter, the author takes his readers through the development stages of a young geologist in the name Charles Lyell, who was also a friend to James Hall. His professor William Buckland was also a geologist. Buckland’s theory was a safe synthesis which was a combination of Cuvier and Werner’s works. He stated that the Deluge which occurred as the biblical stories said it, had been involved I the creation of the earth and that nothing theatrical had occurred since then.

Throughout his career, Lyell tried to see and confirm first-hand exposures that other people had never seen before. In one of his articles, he discussed the evidence from chile which meant that the earthquake was the cause of the land rising high up above sea level.

Lyell played another role in the official debut of the evolution theory as well as in another publication by a fellow geologist Darwin. The evolution theory by natural selection is today thought of as belonging to Charles Darwin since it is well understood that he it 15 years before Wallace.

The author gives his ideas on the whole story including the different geologists who come up in this chapter in a professional way sufficiently enough. He takes into account each geologist’s ideas, analysing them and simplifying them for his readers well enough. Despite the fact that Lyell was a charismatic geologist, other people as well as fellow geologists struggled to prove his theories and experiments which were undertaken through chemistry because they seemed too difficult for them to perform. His conclusion therefore comes up as easy for the readers to understand and accept due to how he takes the ideas of different authors coming up with a simple conclusion.





Repcheck, Jack. The Man Who Found Time. Cambridge, MA: Perseus, 2003. Print.