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One man who managed to stir some doubt was Niels Stensen (or Nicolaus Steno).
A religious man, Steno wasn't out to disprove the Bible; he used it as the basis for his work in piecing together old landscapes.
But about the same time that Anglo-Irish Archbishop James Ussher calculated his Earth-formation date of October 26, 4004 BC, some of his keenest contemporaries puzzled over just how the Bible could be literally true.
Early on, the story that caused perhaps the most trouble was Noah's Flood.
He figured out that rocks are deposited in layers with older rocks at the bottom, and in the landscape of Tuscany, he thought he saw the events described in Genesis.
In the century following his death, however, people who searched rock layers for remains of Earth's earliest inhabitants found something odd.
According to Genesis, God made Adam, Eve, and all the animals first.
Then Adam and Eve started a family and left plenty of descendents.
One early evolutionist, Lamarck, proposed a form of evolution in 1800.
After all, fitting two of everything living in Europe was enough of a challenge.
Squeezing in all these newly discovered creatures from newly discovered continents looked impossible.
Steno wasn't alone in inadvertently causing Noah trouble.
All the naturalists who traveled to the New World and Australia to draw, collect, measure and catalog what lived there threatened to sink Noah's Ark with too many passengers.