James Hutton: 1726-1797 - Discovery of Deep-Time
“There never was a Devonian period, just as there never was a Cambrian, Jurassic, Triassic etc. period. That's because there never was a Geologic Column. That is a 19th century construct that has no data whatsoever to support it. ... Fossils are jumbled, in no pattern whatsoever.”
I ask because it’s easy to track down when our understanding started in the late 1700s. For instance James Hutton, the geologist, physician, farmer, canal builder who spent decades trying to understand the varied, sometimes downright bizarre rock exposures and landscapes throughout England and beyond.