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"Accessibly written.... Cutler's book is marvelous for making one think about what qualifies as an explanation, and for exploring the endless debates that mix strands of partial knowledge with the need to reconcile religious testaments. And it is timely. Nearly half the people in our country today don't accept evolution. Predictably, they have trouble with concepts of the age and structure of the earth, the generation and sequence of its fossil remains, and cosmology itself. For these people, the dialogue between religion and science has not changed much since the 1600's. So both the pious and the impious should find much to ponder in Cutler's account of Steno's times and the fate of his ideas."
The New York Times Book Review

"Delightful... one of the best books of scientific history in recent years.... The tale of Steno has been a long time coming, but on the evidence of this splendid volume, it has been well worth the wait."
—Simon Winchester, The Boston Globe

"The Seashell on the Mountaintop is an exemplary book of its kind: brief, informative, well researched, and free of the jargon that so often mars books about science."
The Washington Times

"A compelling story about an unusually modest genius."
American Scientist

"In his first book, geologist Alan Cutler has engagingly fleshed out Steno's life, but it is more than just a work of geology. He thoughtfully portrays the uneasy intersection of religion and science, life in the 1600s and 1700s, and the beginnings of modern science. It is a book as complex and intriguing as the rocks that Steno studied."
The Seattle Times

"Fascinating.... Cutler's animated and energetic prose provides a page-turning thriller of scientific discovery, and this splendid biography captures in intimate detail not only its subject but also the tenor of Steno's times."
Publishers Weekly

"A sophisticated portrait of a forgotten pioneer."