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HISTORY OF MEDICINE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-30

IBN Nafis - A Forgotten Genius in the Discovery of Pulmonary Blood Circulation


National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
A H Ansari
Department of Tahaffusi was Samaji Tib, National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bangalore-91
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 21042463

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Scientific theories take centuries to come into existence and they keep on evolving. Uncountable intellectual minds work on these theories; some fail to do anything about it; some add a little after tremendous efforts, and some people give remarkable and unforgettable contribution. As far as credit is concerned, the person who is able to prove the theory by his facts and who clears the maximum doubts by his observations, experimentations, facts and reasoning, gets the credit for that theory, and this should be done with honesty. The theory of pulmonary circulation took more than 2000 years to come into existence as we know it today. With the passage of time different people were given credit. Some say that it was given to Galen; some say it was Michael Servetus; others say that Realdus Columbus was the real discoverer; some gave the credit to Ibn Nafis, and finally people gave the credit to William Harvey. But after the rediscovery of Ibn Nafis' manuscript no.62243 titled Sharah al Tashreeh al Qanoon, or "Commentary on the anatomy of Canon of Avicenna" in 1924 AD in Europe, it became clear that Ibn Nafis had described the pulmonary circulation almost 300 years before Harvey, and the historians like Aldo Mieli, Max Mayrhoff, Edward Coppola etc. clearly state that Ibn Nafis is the real discoverer of the pulmonary circulation and that he should be given the credit for the discovery of the pulmonary circulation.


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