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The Seashell on the Mountaintop

af Alan Cutler

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3481255,844 (3.69)28
A thrilling scientific investigation and the portrait of an extraordinary genius named Nicolaus Steno, the man whom Stephen Jay Gould called "the founder of geology."
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Engelsk (11)  Svensk (1)  Alle sprog (12)
Viser 1-5 af 12 (næste | vis alle)
Acceptable as a popular history, but without any citations or even a full bibliography, and nowhere near a complete biography of the fascinating Nicolaus Steno (it focuses almost strictly on his geologic studies). A few examples of anecdotal mistakes crept in, too, so even though there isn't much out there on Steno, this may be skippable notwithstanding. ( )
  JBD1 | Dec 13, 2014 |
Usually science books leave me cold; they are too abstruse and hard to read. This was a happy exception: the biography of the 'father of geology', his theories and how they were gradually accepted by the scientific community, and then by us laypeople. I can't imagine any other explanation than those Steno gave us, for basic geological principles. ( )
  janerawoof | Mar 23, 2014 |
Very interesting story of how scientists in the 17th century had to reconcile their scientific findings against religious tenets and passages from the bible or risk even beheading. I found this complete edition a bit repetitious however perhaps because I knew what the scientific outcome was. I think I would have been happy with just the abridged edition. ( )
  rxtheresa | Jan 18, 2012 |
The amazing biography of Saint (!?) Nicolas Steno: skilled anatomist, delicate "dissectionist", Lutheran turned devout Catholic, the "Galileo of Geology". This short book comprises an amazing amalgam of fossils, spontaneous generation, sharks and shark teeth, The Medicis, Ammonites, the Reformation, Genesis theories, The 30-years war, Descartes, Newton and a pack of other fascinating characters.

With a flicker of ongoing boyhood interest in paleontology, how did I not know about this guy? ( )
  Sandydog1 | Jan 25, 2011 |
One of the loveliest science history books I have ever read. Gives a great account of the life and times of the 17th C Danish scientist Nicolaus Steno who should (if he is not) be hailed as one of the founders of the science of geology.
Loved it! ( )
2 stem Ideiosepius | Dec 12, 2010 |
Viser 1-5 af 12 (næste | vis alle)
One of Steno's great realizations was that shells found on mountain heights were not sports of nature but organic remains. He argued that they had not been formed in place, and that they were not being formed like that today. The shells were often eroded, but never distorted like tree roots that grow in hard soil. They were perfectly formed, not irregular like crystals. And in places where they were broken, the separated pieces fit together. These arguments were ingenious, the first coherent theory of fossilization; but they were not accepted during his lifetime.
tilføjet af smasler | RedigerNew York Times, Kevin Padian (Apr 27, 2003)
 
Steno's genius for anatomy provided him the tools to work on the mystery of fossils and the question of how seashells could be found in the rocks of mountains far from the sea. He hypothesized that layers upon layers of earth formed sediments in a sequence, recording a series of events and telling a story about the age of the earth. According to Steno, the stratum at the bottom is the oldest and that at the top is the youngest. Seashells, he said, found their way to mountaintops not by the great biblical flood, as many of his contemporaries believed, but by constant erosion and the sedimentation of soil. Steno published his discoveries in De Solido, after which he abandoned science, converted to Catholicism and spent the last 20 years of his life as an ascetic priest and eventually a bishop.
tilføjet af smasler | RedigerPublisher's Weekly (Apr 7, 2003)
 

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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Alan Cutlerprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Sundquist, BjörnOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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A thrilling scientific investigation and the portrait of an extraordinary genius named Nicolaus Steno, the man whom Stephen Jay Gould called "the founder of geology."

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