Google Doodle Celebrates Creation Geologist | The Institute for Creation Research

Google Doodle Celebrates Creation Geologist

On January 11, Google celebrated the 374th birthday of Nicolaus Steno by featuring a colorful doodle of rock layers on its homepage.1

Steno provided principles that are still maintained by today's geologists, though they were not tested experimentally until recently. While he was correct about many things, those experiments have refuted one of Steno's principal assertions, casting doubt on the evolutionary history that has been built upon it.

While working in Italy in 1669, the Danish-born anatomist, naturalist, and Catholic priest summarized his ideas about how rock layers formed and how fossils came to be in them. At the time, many naturalists reasoned that what looked like seashells and bones in the earth—today called fossils—were produced by the earth, since they could not fathom that the middle of land masses could ever have been covered by an ocean.

Steno rightly maintained that fossils of marine organisms were from creatures produced in the seas but then transported inland by muddy, watery torrents during Noah's worldwide Flood.2 So, although The Christian Science Monitor posted an article titled "Nicolas Steno: The saint who undermined creationism," it is not Steno's original ideas that undermine a creationist model of earth history, but those of later thinkers who selected certain of those ideas on which to build a non-biblical history.3

Steno was known as the "father of stratigraphy," which is the science of deducing the relative times when rock layers were deposited. He asserted four axioms related to rocks and fossils, one of which is now called the Principle of Superposition. Steno wrote:

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.4

Decorated Scottish geologist Sir Archibald Geikie summarized this principle in 1897 when he wrote, "Every stratum, he [Steno] said, has been laid down upon a solid subjacent surface."5 But this axiom was not tested experimentally before it became a foundation for the very long-ages thinking that Steno himself disbelieved.

In a 2000 article for the Institute for Creation Research, French sedimentologist Guy Berthault summarized what happened next:

[Swiss geologist Jean-André] De Luc, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and later [French chemist Alexandre] Brongniart, considered that if the principle of superposition indicated a time sequence, the difference in fossil content in superposed strata would show a change of species in time. Subsequently, the presence of index fossils in superposed strata was used as evidence of a succession of time periods.6

All that remained was for deep time enthusiasts like Scottish lawyer Charles Lyell to cast aside the Bible's account of the global Flood by imagining that each of those "time periods" was vast.7 Deep time's millions of years conflicts with the Bible's thousands of years of history. And modern Flood geologists explain the unique animal species found in different rock layers as having resulted from groups that lived in different places or environments, not from animals living at different times.8

Many scientific and historical observations have amply refuted deep time, but Steno's seminal Principle of Superposition has also been refuted. By experimenting with fast-flowing water and mud, Berthault discovered that sediments form layers as they are carried along by a current. In contrast to Steno's assertion, this proved that the surface of one layer need not have already solidified before the next was formed. The online short video series Experiments in Stratification contains Berthault's clips that clearly show many rock layers rapidly forming.9

So, certain Bible-denying men adapted Steno's untested principles to suit their evolutionary agendas. But perhaps the Google doodle honoring Steno led some Internet visitors to investigate and discover that he was a biblical geologist who defended Noah's Flood using sound reasons—especially the fact that such a Flood best explains how sea creatures could have been carried in waterborne sediments to the middle of continents.

References

  1. Hubbard, A. Nicolas Steno, 17th century myth buster, gets Google Doodle. Los Angeles Times. Posted on latimesblogs.latimes.com January 11, 2012, accessed January 11, 2012.
  2. Walker, T. 2008. Geological pioneer Nicolaus Steno was a biblical creationist. Journal of Creation. 22 (1): 93-98.
  3. O'Carroll, E. Nicolas Steno: The saint who undermined creationism. The Christian Science Monitor. Posted on csmonitor.com January 11, 2012, accessed January 11, 2012.
  4. Steno, N. 1916. The Prodromus of Nicolaus Steno's Dissertation Concerning a Solid Body Enclosed by Process of Nature within a Solid. J. G. Winter , trans. New York: The Macmillan Company, 230.
  5. Geikie, A. 1905. The Founders of Geology, 2nd ed. New York: The Macmillan Company, 56.
  6. Berthault, G. 2000. Experiments in Stratification. Acts & Facts. 29 (10).
  7. Catchpoole, D. and T. Walker. Charles Lyell's hidden agenda—to free science "from Moses." Creation Ministries International. Posted on creation.com August 19, 2009, accessed January 11, 2012.
  8. Wise, K. P. 2011. Noah's World—Same Time, Different Place. Answers. 6 (4): 56-63.
  9. Experiments in Stratification (Part 2 of 4). Experiments by Guy Berthault and Pierre Julien. Posted on youtube.com December 27, 2008, accessed January 11, 2012.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on January 19, 2012.

The Latest
NEWS
Even Sherlock Holmes Can’t Explain African Dinosaurs
A new species of duck-billed dinosaur, Ajnabia odysseus, was recently unearthed in North Africa.1 This is the first hadrosaur-type dinosaur...

NEWS
Glow-in-the-Dark Platypuses Illuminate the Creator
The platypus is perhaps the most evolution-defying creature on Earth. It’s not enough that it’s a mammal that lays eggs, has a bill like a...

NEWS
Rapid Crystal Growth Supports Flood Model
Secular scientists are finding exactly what Flood geologists have predicted all along—huge crystals can and did grow extremely fast. In other words,...

NEWS
Hot Neptune Atmosphere "Shouldn't Exist"
An exoplanet 260 light-years away is being described as the first of its kind ever detected.1,2 This exoplanet, catalogued as LTT 9779b, is...

NEWS
Inside November 2020 Acts & Facts
Where can we see God’s engineering? What is ICR’s new scientific theory? How do hummingbirds reveal God’s design? How can you refute...

ACTS & FACTS
Thankful Remembrance
We all have so much to be thankful for. Even after such a trying year, we must admit that God has been so very good to us. The Lord has not only shown...

APOLOGETICS
Mayflower Pilgrims, Simian DNA, and Straw Men
Both the Mayflower Pilgrims and biblical creationists are unjustly targeted for straw man vilifications using misleading, false accusations. A straw...

ACTS & FACTS
How Can You Refute Evolution?
Darwinian evolution promotes a mantra that “all creatures great and small—natural processes made them all.” Just one creature somehow...

ACTS & FACTS
Hummingbirds by Design
Zoologists have wonder and appreciation for the animals they investigate, whether the creatures fly through air, swim in water, or walk on land. Stanford...

ACTS & FACTS
Science vs. Falsely Called Knowledge
Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—by professing...