William Harvey was born in 1578 and studied medicine and anatomy at Padua. He worked in London as a doctor and lecturer at the Royal College of Surgeons, before coming Royal Physician to James I and Charles I.

He did comparitive studies on humans and animals. He performed vivisection on animals with a very slow metabolism to observe hearts in action. He disproved Galen, who thought that blood was constantly been created and then used up. Harvey worked out mathematically that this was an impossibility.

Harvey also identified the difference between arteries and veins. He also worked out that capillaries must exist, but lacked the technology to see them. He also noticed that blood changes colour as it passes through the lungs.

Harvey, along with Vesalius and Ambroise Pare, was a Renaissance man who added to the theory of medicine and anatomy, but did not change medical practice at the time. Their discoveries allowed the age of medical enlightenment to happen, but didn't have much effect on the health of people living at the time.

Despite Harvey's discoveries, the practice of bleeding continued.

Fuck this guy, lock that fucking guy up before I kill him!

-- A New Yorker reacting to William Harvey's message


William Harvey stood near Ground Zero on October 4, 2001, less than a month since 9-11, with a simple explanation: Payback. His sign said that the attack was the result of American foreign policy toward Islamic nations.

The mob would hear none of it. Soon they swelled sixty thick around him and might soon have killed the messenger for their dislike of the message.

Just then, New York's Finest arrived on the scene in time to prevent a modern reinvention of drawing and quartering. Their solution? Arrest the victim. William Harvey was taken to jail and charged with disorderly conduct, and the mob cheered.

The prosecution claims that Mr. Harvey knew, or should have known, that he would get the crowd all riled up. He is therefore to blame, they say, for the incipient violence of his aggressors. I say bullshit: the heckler's veto would allow police to silence any unpopular opinion so that nobody's feelings would be hurt.

William Harvey's case is still pending.

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