Today (January 11th, 2012) Google shows special Doodle for marking the 374th birth Day of Nicolas Steno, the Danish anatomist widely regarded as the father of geology.
The doodle illustrates the each letter in the Word "Google" in a geological style, with fossils in various bottom layers, with a green surface on top.
Nicolas Steno was a Danish Catholic cleric and scientist who was a pioneer in both anatomy and geology. Pope John Paul II beatified Steno in 1987. (Beatification is the third of the four steps in the canonization process. A person who is beatified is given the title "Blessed".)
As a young man, Steno set out to study medicine, leaving his native Copenhagen in his early 20s for the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. He then studied anatomy in Italy, where his research on shark teeth led him to question, among other things, how one solid object could be found inside another — such as with fossils. His ideas on “solid bodies within bodies” were published in 1669 in his seminal Prodromus dissertation.
Steno, however, would soon leave science behind. Born into a Lutheran family, he converted to Catholicism and was ordained as a priest in 1675 and became a titular bishop two years later.
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