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1 January 1638|
25 November 1686 (aged 48)|
|Fields||Anatomy and geology|
Fossils and geology
Steno argued that the chemical composition of fossils could be altered without changing their form.
Steno's work on shark teeth led him to the question of how any solid object could come to be found inside another solid object, such as a rock or a layer of rock.
He published his geologic studies in 1669: De solido intra solidum naturaliter contento dissertationis prodromus, or Preliminary discourse to a dissertation on a solid body naturally contained within a solid.
Steno wrote about some of the fundamental principles of stratigraphy:
- Superposition: "...at the time when any given stratum was being formed, all the matter resting upon it was fluid, and, therefore, at the time when the lower stratum was being formed, none of the upper strata existed";
- Horizontality: "Strata either perpendicular to the horizon or inclined to the horizon were at one time parallel to the horizon";
- Lateral continuity: "Material forming any stratum were continuous over the surface of the Earth unless some other solid bodies stood in the way";
- Cross-cutting discontinuities: "If a body or discontinuity cuts across a stratum, it must have formed after that stratum".
- Danish: Niels Stensen; Latinized to Nicolaus Stenonis, Italian Niccolo' Stenone
- Kooymans, L. 2007. Gevaarlijke kennis. Inzicht en angst in de dagen van Jan Swammerdam. Information from Steno's diary, called Chaos, written around 1659, and discovered in 1946 in a Florence library
- Woods, Thomas 2005. How the Catholic Church built western civilization. Washington, DC: Regenery. ISBN 0-89526-038-7
- But Ray retracted his correct idea when religious friends pleaded with him.
- Paul Eric Olsen, Columbia University