Claim: The Heart Is Not A Pump


New Member
Hey folks!

So my uncle came to me lastnght (he's a bit of a conspiracy junkie) with a video he'd watched on the internet about how the heart is in fact not a pump, and how this is the reason behind why most heart disease cannot be cured etc.

I'm a biomedical researcher, and although my specialty is not in cardiovascular medicine, I was immediately skeptical to the point of dismissal about it - given how fundamental to basic human physiology the putative functions of the heart as a pressure pupulsion system are. Nonetheless, I watched the video to appease him, to be open minded yet critical, and to concieve a fully-formed rebbutal. While there were oversimplifications within the video (for example, how MRI scans work), the speakers audience are assumed to be lay-people so a lack of techincal information can be appreciated. I was able to argue my point effectively as to the composition of the heart (for example, cardiomyocytes (the "beating "muscle cells of the heart) which as pumping muscles could really serve no other function, and as to the speakers theory of the gel-like composition of water within the body (I gave an example of T1 collagen being a compound comprised of around 60% water), but that it changed to a 'fourth form' as speculative at best.

I was, however, unable to convey a convincing defence of the point that the speaker makes about the 'slowing down' of the blood as it enters capilaries from the arterial system, and the pressure which seems to be applied to blood as it reenters capilaries and subsequently the venous system from tissue. I explained that I assumed (although I didn't know) that blood does not in fact STOP, and that it was due to blood being a liquid, and that due to the cohesive nature of water-based liquids, capilary action applies - the same principle by which water can travel up a tree trunk. The other issue I had was with the 'aortic arch' defence. I explained that in a vacuum, sure - the aorta would straighten, but in this situation, the context of the aortic positioning and surrounding tissue keep it confined within a fixed space.

I then went to find the research paper upon which this doctor, Dr. Thomas Cowen, MD, was reffering to by Marinelli et al (1995).

As previously mentioned, my focus is in biomed, so when it comes to physics, I'm a far-cry from an expert, but even upon my reading of the manuscript, it seemed to speculative if not a little ridiculous. While I immediately dismissed a 1995 paper which has not produced any wide-spread ramifications or even conceptual revisals, he saw this as proof that it was 'such an ingrained idea that it would undermine so much of cardiology to revise it' and put me onto a anesthesiologist by the name of Branko Furst who wrote a book about the integrated model of the heart - which presents some genuinely interesting points about the biophysics within our bodies:

"Conceptually, autonomous movement of the blood is no different than autonomous contraction of the heart, the enterohepatic circulation of bile salts, or the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid. "

Obviously, being open minded, but skeptical, I proceeded to search for expert rebuttals and debunking of this theory - for which I could find pretty much nothing - which has led me to this forum. Can someone with a better understanding of physics and cardiology help me out?


Research paper 1:

Review of Branko Furst's hypotheses:

Branko 2015 review:

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Parenthetically this man is the prime mover behind the 5G/coronavirus thing.

A viral video by an American doctor who is on disciplinary probation claims that the coronavirus pandemic was caused by 5G technology.

However, it contains many false claims and inaccuracies that are easily debunked by virologists, CBC News has found.

In the video, Dr. Thomas Cowan claims viruses are the waste from cells that are poisoned. Some of the poisoning, he said, comes from electromagnetic fields.
Content from External Source


Senior Member.
My initial thought is, if the heart is not a pump, why can I feel my heartbeat in my veins in my wrist, my neck, my ear, and when I have stubbed my toe?

"In 1932, Bremer of Harvard filmed the blood in the very early embryo circulating in self-propelled mode in spiralling streams before the heart was functioning." -- the mother's heart pumps blood via the umbiolical cord, that's not self-propelled?

"The heart, an organ weighing about three hundred grams, is supposed to `pump' some eight thousand liters of blood per day at rest and much more during activity, without fatigue. In terms of mechanical work this represents the lifting of approximately 100 pounds one mile high!" -- argument by incredulity (or "argument by big number". I have in fact walked up a mountain 1 mile high in a single day, and I weigh more than 100 pounds.For the size of muscle that the heart is, and the fact that it works continuously while I only walked for a few hours up that mountain, the amount seems about right.

"Also, the concept of a centralized pressure source (the heart) [..] is not an elegant one." -- this only matters if you're assuming Intelligent Design

"In relation to this, the efforts to construct a satisfactory artificial heart have yet to bear fruit." -- however, heart transplants do work, pacemakers do work, why would they work for cardiovascular problems if the heart didn't do the pumping?
And the heart is actually externally pumped during a heart transplant.
"A ventricular assist device (VAD) is an electromechanical device for assisting cardiac circulation, which is used either to partially or to completely replace the function of a failing heart."

"the propulsive force of the blood remains a mystery" -- your explanation is wrong, but I can't explain it. (This feels exactly like Flat Erthers doubting the globe, but being unable to produce a Flat Earth map that works.)

" (4) The blood is amorphous and is forced to fill its vessels and thereby takes on their form. " -- this is wrong, the vessels are elastic and respond to blood pressure; loss of elasticism leads to illness.

"Just as an inert vortex in nature pulses radially and longitudinally" --- what is he talking about??

"The arteries serve a subsidiary mimical heart function by providing spiraling boosts to the circulating blood. In so doing the arteries dilate to receive the incoming blood and contract to deliver an impulse to increase the blood's momentum." -- I think that is true? "Vasodilation is the widening of blood vessels.[1] It results from relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, in particular in the large veins, large arteries, and smaller arterioles. The process is the opposite of vasoconstriction, which is the narrowing of blood vessels. "

"The peculiar variability in the ventricular wall thickness is not in keeping with the idea of the heart being a pressure generator." -- vs. wikipedia: "Further, the left ventricle has thicker walls than the right because it needs to pump blood to most of the body while the right ventricle fills only the lungs. " , it has a nice animation of the heart pumping, too.
You can see it with ultrasound.

"The rotary motion of the heart, arteries, and blood" -- rotary??

"William Harvey (1578-1657)" -- 2 paragraphs of 17th century medical evidence that the heart is a pump

When the curved tube of the Bourdon gage is subject to positive pressure, it is forced to straighten out as one sees in a garden hose. When subject to a negative pressure, the tube's curvature is increased. During the systolic ejection (period when blood is ejected from ventricle), the aorta's curvature is seen to increase, signifying that the aorta is not undergoing a positive pressure, but rather is undergoing a negative pressure 4​.
Content from External Source
The gage stands by itself, the aorta is part of the body with surrounding muscles, and tied to surrounding tissue. It isn't comparable to that sensor. Also, the Bourdon gage can't dilate.
If you use an actual sensor, heart rhythm and blood pressure are synchronous, allowing for distance. The contractions coincide with pressure spikes.

The "autonomous motion of blood" has NO explanation for why pulse rates coincide everywhere in the body.

"However, when one simultaneously measures pressure and flow in the aorta, the peak flow markedly precedes the peak pressure." -- because the arteries dilate to receive the blood flow


I'm not reading the rest, sorry.

The guy is right in that the arteries are an active part in circulation, but that doesn't mean the heart isn't.
Since circulation ceases when your heart stops working, and de-fibrillating the heart does work, too, the assumption that the heart is central to circulation is borne out by the facts, so treating it like a pump has worked well for centuries. There is nobody who keeps on living when their heart stops!
But don't forget that your arteries need to be healthy, too: they're not just tubes!


Senior Member.
and de-fibrillating the heart does work, too
that's true. CPR is literally manually pumping the heart.

"In 1932, Bremer of Harvard filmed the blood in the very early embryo circulating in self-propelled mode in spiralling streams before the heart was functioning.
ah. thanks.. was wondering what the 'vortex' theory was all about.


New Member
Thank you so much guys! I appreciate that I probably overlooked some glaringly obvious facts eg. defibrilating the heart, heart transplants, etc. but in the heat of an argument one tends to overlook things (and remember them while in bed at 4am overthinking!).

I appreciate all of your contributions, especially Mendel for your thorough disection!


Senior Member
I haven't read the original claims, so maybe the point is addressed there, but I wonder how they deal with the pulmonary circulation, that is, the circulation through the lungs? According to conventional science, the right ventricle of the heart pumps blood up through the pulmonary artery to the lungs, where oxygen diffuses into it and carbon dioxide diffuses out. The oxygenated blood then returns to the heart through the pulmonary vein, before it is pumped out through the aorta to enter the general circulatory system. The motive force for the pulmonary circulation comes from the contraction of the right ventricle. There is no other plausible power source for the circulation. The action of the chest and diaphragm muscles in breathing may make some small contribution, but it can hardly be essential, as (fortunately) blood continues to flow from the lungs to the heart if one holds one's breath.