Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Google Honors Blessed Nicolas Steno

They don't mention that he was a Catholic priest, but he was. He was beatified by JPII in 1987. Some of his accomplishments below:
The Danish natural scientist — who was born “Niels Stensen” on Jan. 11, 1638 — is widely considered the father of geology.

Fittingly, today’s green-topped logo is rendered as rock strata with embedded fossils — reflecting twin ideas for which Steno is best known.

The strata illustrate Steno’s “principle of original horizonality,” which essentially says that rock layers form horizontally — and only appear differently if later disturbances cause the deviation. And the fossils in the lower stratified rock help illustrate Steno’s “law of superposition,” which — simply put — says that the oldest rock layers are sequentially deposited on the bottom unless otherwise disturbed.

For such research, Steno also became known as the father of stratigraphy.


SemperJase said...

To be fair, the good bishop's scientific discoveries came before he was even a Catholic and long before he was ordained.

He abandoned his scientific studies after his conversion.

I would take the position that his conversion demonstrates there is no conflict between reason and faith.

Damian said...

I agree with your position, reason and faith are intertwined. I am glad to see Google honoring not only a scientist but a blessed Catholic priest.

Ismael said...

The interesting thing is that through science he found the Church, seeing the various problems in Lutheranism, not only theological but also philosophical.

Leo Ladenson said...

It is not correct to say that Bl. Nicolas gave up science after his conversion. He worked as an anatomist and professor of anatomy for many years after his conversion in 1667. Additionally, he published one of his most important works in stratigraphy in 1669. He only really gave up science after he was made a bishop in 1677, after which all of his time was of course absorbed by his pastoral duties.