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Opinion: The fictional character who changed the science of solving crime

May 22 is Sherlock Holmes Day the birthday of his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes who turns 135 this year is one of the most famous literary characters in the world and probably the most famous detective.

He has come to be referenced as a historical figure rather than a fictional one often at the expense of his actual author with countless legends surrounding him. Perhaps the most popular is that he invented modern forensic science.This particular aspect of Holmes lore has been addressed in articles books documentaries and college courses and is even cited by forensic experts. But is it really true? Did Sherlock Holmes meaning Doyle invent crime-solving methods like fingerprinting and blood testing years and even decades before law enforcement?

If he did it would mean that aside from entertaining generations of readers and viewers and inspiring dozens of other popular characters like Batman and House M.D he also deserves credit for helping solve thousands if not millions of crimes in the real world.In his very first story 1887 A Study in Scarlet Doyle describes Holmes as well up in anatomy and a first class chemist who has never taken out any systematic medical classes but has nonetheless amassed a lot of knowledge which would astonish his professors. Holmes did not have official forensic training simply because there was none the first forensic science program was established at the University of Lausanne Switzerland in 1909.

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