Nicolas Steno: Google Doodle Celebrates Geologist

January 11, 2012 by staff 

Nicolas Steno: Google Doodle Celebrates GeologistNicolas Steno: Google Doodle Celebrates Geologist, Google is digging into its logo to pay respect to fossil pioneer Nicolas Steno. Today’s logo features layers of the Earth with fossils intact, in honor of the man who showed people more about what lies under their feet. Steno, The Washington Post reported, was a Danish natural scientist considered the father of geology. Today would have been the 374th anniversary of his 1638 birth in Copenhagen.

He discovered that rock layers form horizontally unless disturbed. His “law of superposition” stated that the oldest rock layers are on the bottom unless disturbed. It was Steno who theorized that fossils were the remains of dinosaurs, CNET UK stated. It all started when he saw a shark’s tooth embedded in rock, according to Search Engine Watch .

Originally scholars claimed these “tongue stones” either grew in the rocks or fell from the sky. Steno discovered otherwise as he found that particles in water formed layers over objects, creating fossils.

Steno, who had survived the plague as a child, had originally intended to study medicine.

He wasn’t only a man of science. Search Engine Watch also discussed his later life during which he left science, became Catholic and ministered in Germany, Denmark and Norway. Pope John Paul II beatified Steno in 1988, which means he is one step closer to sainthood.

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