Nicolaus Steno

Nicolaus Steno as a bishop. Portrait: J. P. Trap, 1868.Nicolaus Steno (1631-1686), also known as Nils Stennsen, was born in Denmark, but spent much of his life in Italy. In this section we have noted the remarkable fact that the “founding fathers” of many important branches of science were earnest Christian believers. This is even true of that branch of science which, in our day, has been used as a chief bulwark of evolutionism, namely the science of stratigraphy. Steno, with his extensive field studies, developed the principles of stratigraphical inter­pretation which are still considered basic today.

However, he also interpreted the strata—unlike modern evolutionary stratigraphers—in the manner of flood geologists, attributing their formation in large measure to the Great Flood. The fossils did not represent “figured stones,” as many geologists of the time believed, but remains of actual plants and animals living at the time of the Flood. Steno eventually took up orders and a religious vocation, writing numerous theological works and becom­ing a bishop.

Excerpted from Men of Science, Men of God by Henry M. Morris. Copyright 1982, 1985 by Henry M. Morris. Used by permission.

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