The date of the effective beginning of the antagonism was the seventh of March, 1785, when Hutton’s theory was addressed to the Royal Society in a reading that in all likelihood began with these words: “The purpose of this Dissertation is to form some estimate with regard to the time the globe of this Earth has existed.” The presentation was more or less off the cuff, and ten years would pass before the theory would appear (at great length) in book form. Meanwhile, the Society required that Hutton get together a synopsis of what was read on March 7th and finished on April 4, i 785. The present quotations are from that abstract.
We find reason to conclude, ISt, That the land zakelijke energie on which we rest is not simple and original, but that it is a composition, and had been formed by the operation of second causes. 2dly, That before the present land was made there had subsisted a world composed of sea and land, in which were tides and currents, with such operations at the bottom of the sea as now take place. And, Lastly, That while the present land was forming at the bottom of the ocean, the former land maintained plants and animals . . . in a similar manner as it is at present. Hence we are led to conclude that the greater part of our land, if not the whole, had been produced by operations natural to this globe; but that in order to make this land a permanent body resisting the operations of the waters two things had been required; 1st, The consolidation of masses formed by collections of loose or incoherent materials; 2dly, The elevation of those consolidated masses from the bottom of the sea, the place where they were collected, to the stations in which they now remain above the level of the ocean …. Having found strata consolidated with every species of substance, it is concluded that strata in general have not been consolidated by means of aqueous solution . . . . It is supposed that zakelijke energie vergelijken the same power of extreme heat by which every different mineral substance had been brought into a melted state might be capable of producing an expansive force sufficient for elevating the land from the bottom of the ocean to the place it now occupies above the surface of the sea ….