JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 938
Harold, like the rest of us, had many impressions which saved him the trouble of distinct ideas George Eliot.
A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and
the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life.
No, this isn’t a story about the great saint but a much lesser one. For centuries the pulse was a vaguely understood thing reaching back into the murky medical past as far back as Galen. The association of course was with the heart, and the association of the heart was as the great controlling center of all function and control of the human body—a theory that reached far forward into the 16th century.
It is generally established that it was the fabulous work of William Harvey (1578-1657) that brought into light the idea of pulmonary circulation, but the idea was buried in a vastly-suppressed work by the brilliant and highly problematic Michael Servetus (Spanish, 1511-1553).
Servetus (physician, cartographer, theologian, writer and
general all-adept Humanist of a high order) was in trouble with the church for
many reasons, not the least of which was trying to dislodge the theory of the
heart as sacred and the seat of wisdom.
But he did establish that the heart was an organ, which didn’t sit well
with very many people, least of all the Calvinist court in
And so I think we might as well remember Servetus today at least as often as we do St. Valentine. Or multiple St. Valentine units—the name seems to have been canonized in 496 ACE in memory of several people by this name. At least Servetus had an association with the heart in a positive way—I don’t know the Valentine/heart connection though I suspect that at least one of them had their beating heart ripped from their body.
Well. Happy Valentine’s Day.