It recently has been suggested that in formulating his famous theory of the earth, first published in 1788, James Hutton may have owed something to a work by G. H. Toulmin which was first published in 1780. Contemporary sources indicate, however, that Hutton formulated his theory more than a decade before the appearance of Toulmin's book. In view of this, the textual similarities evident in the writings of Toulmin and Hutton may be the result of Toulmin having plagiarized an early draft of the Huttonian theory to which he had access during his student days in Edinburgh between 1776 and 1779.

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