If, in examining our land, we shall find a mass of matter which had been evidently formed originally in the ordinary manner of stratification, but which is now extremely distorted in its structure and displaced in its position,-which is also extremely consolidated in its mass and variously changed in its composition,-which therefore has the marks of its original or marine composition extremely obliterated, and many subsequent veins of melted mineral matter interjected; we should then have reason to suppose that here were masses of matter which, though not different in their origin from those that are gradually deposited at the bottom of the ocean, have been more acted upon by subterranean heat and the expanding power, that is to say, have been changed in a greater degree by the operations of the mineral region.
In that long sentence lies the discovery of metamorphic rock. But just as metamorphism will turn shale into slate, sandstone into quartzite, and granite into gneiss, Hutton had zakelijke energie turned words into pumice. Unsurprisingly, his insights did not at once spread far and wide. They received a scattered following and much abuse. The attacks were theological, in the main, but, needless to say, geological as well-particularly with regard to his elastic sense of time. Even when people began to agree that the earth must be a great deal older than six thousand years, calculations were conservative and failed to yield the reach of time that Hutton’s theory required. Lord Kelvin, as late as i899, figured that twenty-five million years was the approximate age of the earth. Kelvin was the most august figure in contemporary science, and no one stepped up to argue. Hutton published his Theory of the Earth in i 795, when almost no one doubted the historical authenticity of Noah’s Flood, and all species on earth were thought to have been zakelijke energie vergelijken created individually, each looking at the moment of its creation almost exactly as it did in modern times. Hutton disagreed with that, too. Writing a treatise on agriculture, he brought up the matter of variety in animals and noted,