"Hutton’s Garden is a haven of peace overlooking Holyrood Park. It’s on the site of his long-demolished home. It looks rather like a Zen Garden but it’s worth a detour to see it. Perhaps appropriately, this single block of sandstone forms the centre piece. On it is carved the final sentence of Hutton’s treatise which reads: “…we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end.”
A memorial in his native country to James Hutton, who first elucidated what became the theory of uniformity, the interpretative principle that the present is the key to the past.
Geologists now consider themselves to be "actualists" rather than "uniformitarians," acknowledging the role of catastrophic events in the past. However, uniformitarianism still remains supreme when it comes to the interpretation of environments of deposition.
A popular college level geology textbook states, "Geologists study modern environments in great detail so that they can interpret ancient rocks." (Plummer, Charles C., McGeary, D. and D.H. Carlson, 2005. Physical Geology, 10th Ed., p. 150).
This is fine insofar as it goes, but it can lead to interpretational "blinders" that cause geologists to miss evidence for catastrophic events that may have occurred at a continent-wide scale, such as the massive erosional currents suggested by planation surfaces and water gaps.
They also interpret carbonate rocks such as limestone in terms of modern coral reefs and reef systems, which are much smaller and more irregular in form than many carbonate layers, which can be both massive and areally extensive.
As long as geologists see themselves as the philosophic descendants of Hutton, the macro view outside the window will continue to be passed over for the micro view passed down to them by Hutton and his collaborators.