Nicolas Steno Google doodle marks his 374th birth anniversary
- Nicolas Steno Google doodle marks his 374th birth anniversary
Google home page celebrates the legacy of Danish anatomist widely
regarded as the father of modern geology
Nicolas Steno, the Danish anatomist widely regarded as the father of
geology, has been commemorated in a Google doodle marking his 374th
birth anniversary on 11 January.
The doodle illustrated the search engine's six letters in a geological
style, with fossils in various bottom layers, with a green surface on
Steno's work on the formation of rock layers and the fossils they
contain was pivotal to the development of modern geology while his
catholic piety has also been evaluated in recent decades with a view
to his possible canonisation.
Born as Niels Stensen, he left his native of Copenhagen in 1660 to
study medicine in the Netherlands, eventually finding his way to Italy
where he became part of a body of researchers following in the
footsteps of Galileo's mathematical approach to science.
His work on the teeth of a shark that was caught by fishermen near the
town of Livorno led him to the question of how solid objects could
come to be found in other solid objects, such as rocks or layers of
In what is now referred to as Steno's law of superposition, he
reasoned that layers of rock are arranged in a time sequence, with the
oldest on the bottom and the youngest on the top, unless later
processes disturb this arrangement.
Originally a Lutheran, he converted to Catholicism and was beatified
in 1987 by Pope John Paul II, completing the first step towards being
declared a saint.
To see the doodle: