Combining a thrilling scientific investigation with world-altering history and the portrait of an extraordinary genius, The Seashell on the Mountaintop gives us new insight into the very old planet on which we live, revealing how we learned to read the story told to us by the Earth itself, written in rock and stone.


From the “precise” estimation of creation having occurred in 2004 BC, to the eighteenth century scholar’s finding of no less than 200 estimates of the date of creation – all based on Biblical estimations, to the modern evolutionists pronouncements that evolution is only possible with millions – if not billions – of years, and the concomitant pronouncement that ALL Biblical truths are therefore false [an act of sophistry worthy of the father of all lies] the study of geology and fossils provide the “bedrock” of the use of the physical sciences as an assault on Christianity.

It is amusing that the same people who were accused of “persecuting” Galileo – another mainstay of the anti-Christian intellectual[sic] tradition – were the same people and institutions that produced the first modern study of geology, if not the founding work of the modern science itself. Of course this was two centuries before the equivocators and apologists of empiricism had their “church” declare that the movement of glaciers and boulders were heresy.

The idea that belief – in anything – may be subject to ratiocination is a profoundly Christian idea. The requirement that the process is guided by revealed truth makes it more – not less – valid. With the exception of indisputable physical facts – granite is hard, water is wet, fire is hot, etc. – all theories are subject to examination AND correction as additional indisputable physical facts are discovered. Lacking conclusive evidence all of our theories about the physical universe are strings on conjecture and we elevate them to the status of revealed truth at our own peril – Darwin eventually winds up as a justification for genocide, something that may not be said of either Moses or Christ!

The seashell on the mountaintop : a  story of science, sainthood, and the humble  genius who discovered a new history of the  earth  Alan Cutler New York :  Dutton, 2003  Geology History 17th century,      Steno, Nicolaus, 1638-1686  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. 228 p. :  ill. ; 22 cm.  Includes bibliographical  references and index. Clean, tight and  strong binding with clean dust jacket. No  highlighting, underlining or marginalia in  text.  VG/VG

In the bestselling tradition of The Map that Changed the World and Longitude comes the tale of a seventeenth-century scientist-turned-priest who forever changed our understanding of the Earth and created a new field of science.

It was an ancient puzzle that stymied history’s greatest minds: How did the fossils of seashells find their way far inland, sometimes high up into the mountains? Fossils only made sense in a world old enough to form them, and in the seventeenth century, few people could imagine such a thing. Texts no less authoritative than the Old Testament laid out very clearly the timescale of Earth’s past; in fact one Anglican archbishop went so far as to calculate the exact date of Creation…October 23, 4004, B.C.

A revolution was in the making, however, and it was started by the brilliant and enigmatic Nicholas Steno, the man whom Stephen Jay Gould called “the founder of geology.” Steno explored beyond the pages of the Bible, looking directly at the clues left in the layers of the Earth. With his groundbreaking answer to the fossil question, Steno would not only confound the religious and scientific thinking of his own time, he would set the stage for the modern science that came after him. He would open the door to the concept of “deep time,” which imagined a world with a history of millions or billions of years. And at the very moment his expansive new ideas began to unravel the Bible’s authoritative claim as to the age of the Earth, Steno would enter the priesthood and rise to become a bishop, ultimately becoming venerated as a saint and beatified by the Catholic Church in 1988.

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