Theres a point to Homeopathy?

I just read a very unprofessional article titled “Pill protesters are missing the point on homeopathy” written by one Clodagh Sheehy. Of course being a news site there is little if any avenue for feedback so I will make my quick reply here.

 

Swallowing a pile of homeopathic pills to prove it does not work is a bit like standing in hot sun for two minutes and concluding it does not cause sunburn.

To start off this is an absurd analogy, overdosing on magic water is nothing like short term exposure to the sun. When you consume a substance it remains in your system for as long as it takes for the body to process; whereas short term exposure to the sun is just that (short exposure). If you absorb too much sun especially thousands of times more than normal you will be lucky if a sunburn is all you get. Not only is this a silly comparison but it is also an obvious false analogy.

 

The protesters say the remedies are just sugar pills with nothing in them — hence the overdose to prove their point. Homeopathy does not work the same way as conventional medicine and so they are not proving anything.

We know Homeopathy doesn’t have any active ingredients, and the overdose shows this. Homeopathy works as a placebo which does not work that same way as conventional medicine. Add to the fact that different medicines work differently and you can quickly see how foolish the statement “does not work the same way as conventional medicine” really is.

 

If homeopathy is a con involving sugar pills why does the Irish Medicines Board, the regulating body for all medicines in this country, recognise and regulate homeopathic medicines?

Why is homeopathy incorporated into mainstream medical systems in many countries including Britain, which has specialised homeopathic hospitals? Why do health insurers in this country like Quinn Healthcare and Aviva offer cover for their clients for homeopathic treatment?

Just because something is accepted it does not mean it is automatically true. For example the Earth was once thought to be flat without any evidence to suggest that it was. We all know the fate of that belief. My point is that acceptance does not prove that something it true. Most of the Scientific community will tell you that you cannot dilute a substance beyond avagadros number. Widespread acceptance does not constitute evidence you also need to backup your claims.

 

If they were protesting about some kind of poisonous substance or dangerous drug ruining vulnerable people’s health, their indignation would be justified, but this is not the case. If they are concerned that the public is being conned, they are insulting the intelligence of the 30 million people across Europe alone who regularly use homeopathic remedies.

Again with the bandwagon. Unfortunately those 30 million people are being conned through their own ignorance, fortunate we have skeptics to point out the fraudsters who profit by exploiting the sick.

 

The demonstrators argue that patients with a serious illness might shun doctors and rely instead on homeopathy. Are they suggesting that a sizeable group of Europeans, not to mention millions of others worldwide, are incapable of taking proper responsibility for their own health?

I wrote about this in my article titled “Whats the harm in Alternative Medicine?“. Unfortunately it happens to be true not only do unethical practitioners lighten their victims wallet but can also cause serious harm to innocent people who genuinely believe they are being helped.

People should listen to their Doctors who know infinity more than they do when it comes to health. Listening to the professionals is always the most sensible option. Don’t like your Doctors opinion, seek a second opinion from another Doctor just don’t listen to the snake oil salesman who is trying to sell unproven treatments.

 

Scientists, at one point, believed the world was flat but as their knowledge improved they realised they were wrong. It is likely that in the future, quantum physics will deliver the scientific proof for homeopathy. As a gentle system of medicine, without toxic side effects, homeo-pathy is used by thousands of Irish people for both acute and chronic conditions. No one is suggesting that it is the only system of medicine.

This is the “Ad ignorantiam” the most common Logical Fallacy used by purveyors of Woo. It basically goes “We don’t know it does not work, so it must be true” see how illogical that is?

The whole purpose of the ten23 campaign was to raise public awareness that there is Nothing in Homeopathy. We can just as easily prove this fact with Mathematics but the average layperson on the street would not understand as easily as when it is done right in front of them. The ten23 campaign was a practical demonstration that Homeopathy contains no active ingredient.

You can find out more about the ten23 event here: The 10:23 Campaign

Clodagh Sheehy also draws a poor conclusion.

Maybe instead of opening their mouths to swallow a pile of homeopathic pills, these protesters could open their minds to possibilities.

Science is open to knew ideas. Scientific knowledge is constantly advancing and moving forward with new discoveries. But all these discoveries are evidence based, you cannot just invent anything you like and expect it to be accepted. Evidence is a requirement of Science and for Homeopathy there is none.

11 thoughts on “Theres a point to Homeopathy?

  1. Kelly

    Whilst you probably excelled at debating in high school – you also demonstrate a very arrogant and and ignorant attitude. Just because you (or science) do not understand exactly HOW something works does not mean it does not work. Nowdays homeopaths education on exactly how the body heals is more in depth than doctors they barely do nutrition. As someone who struggled with eczema for years under allopathic treatment and suffered under bad homeopaths for a furtheryear and a half, then experienced amazing results under a good homeopath – if you had folowed my case you would change your argument. I am now a student and see amazing things in clinic all the time. If you did your research you would find that many independent trials support homeopathy these days and the british medical journal even declared that it had to admit that it was a fiable option in the treatment of cancer – something homeopathy has a stronger history of cure with than allopathic medicine. This is not hands on healing, or magic, or faith healing or anything of the sort – it is not placebo because if it were how could it work on animals? or children? or babies? It is a science, the records of its history and provings are scientific and I bet you if we could have recorded how those people in the protest had felt for the couple of weeks following their protest we would have gotten a glimpse into the sort of changes these medicines bring about. You are entitled to your opinion – but you cannot say there is no evidence for homeopathy there is a plethora, of scientific, evidence both in controlled trials and practice. Argue your point but do your research first, please because everytime one of you "skeptics" waste your time writing a rant like this and everytime a person accepts what you say as the truth you take away a valuable opportunity for them (and yourself) from whatever ailment they suffer.

    Reply
  2. David Waldock

    Dear Kelly

    Why is homeopathy scientific and what differentiates it from a system you consider unscientific?

    D

    Reply
  3. Nick

    Kelly, and others.

    Even if proper scientific tests would show that homoeopathy works, it would not necessarily be possible to find out how it works. Your suggestion that scientists will just brush something away when we don’t understand how something works, shows that you have no idea of how the scientific method works and is frankly quite insulting to anyone with a capability of rational thinking.

    Even if homoeopathy would work, scientific tests would be able to show that it does work, and it wouldn’t even neccesarily show how it works.

    In any area, proper scientific testing will show that something works, doesn’t work, or sometimes it just shows that we don’t know(yet). Knowing that we don’t know is already better then just not knowing. Homoeopathy is no exception, and is in fact not very hard to test. Proper scientific tests have shown that it does not work.

    Proper scientific tests in the field of psychology have shown why people that work with homoeopathy or similar things such as astrology or dowsing, are falsely convinced that these things do work.

    Now stop trying to cure people with tap water and find something useful to do for your community.

    Reply
  4. Dr. Nancy Malik

    Real is scientific homeopathy. It cures even when Conventional Allopathic Medicine (CAM) fails. Nano doses of evidence-based modern homeopathy medicine brings big results for everyone

    Reply
  5. Yogzotot

    Kelly

    Can you please cite your sources? To my knowledge and *research*, there are no viable studies showing that homeopathy works beyond placebo effect. And the BMJ has in fact *thrashed* homeopathy. So I really don’t know what you are referring to.

    Reply
  6. Kerry

    "Nowdays homeopaths education on exactly how the body heals is more in depth than doctors " Orly?

    Sums it up really. Genius

    Reply
  7. Dan Buzzard

    Not only do supporters of Homeopathy fail to provide evidence for their claims but they also engage in diversion tactics such as inventing conspiracies against the pharmaceutical industry. Without evidence of course; in a very poor attempt to dodge criticisms that they cannot address. This obviously fails because you can’t distract people from bullshit by using more bullshit.

    Reply
  8. DT_1975

    Nancy Malik's benn copypasting those references everywhere. Unfortunately for her, @xtaldave's already shown her claims about these papers to be inaccurate, especially the Lancet review…

    His comments can be found at the bottom of his posterious blog: http://xtaldave.posterous.com/homeopaths-plan-mass-twitter-spam-attack

    Copied here:
    =================================================

    Wow – Nancy's been at the old CopyPasta again. This post seems identical to a post she made on the Guardian earlier.
    To address the papers.

    1) Scientific World Journal – (one I'd not come across before, Impact factor 2.52)

    Shockingly amateur write up. No error bars or estimates of error quoted anywhere. Look like they are measuring noise in their system to me. And besides, what exactly is the significance of testing 10^-8 AND 10^-30 simultaneously? 10^-8 + 10^-30 in this case is equal to 10^-8.

    2) Lancet – This paper doesn't really support homeopathy now does it Nancy – the paper concludes "The results of our meta-analysis are not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homeopathy are completely due to placebo. However, we found insufficient evidence from these studies that homeopathy is clearly efficacious for any single clinical condition. Further research on homeopathy is warranted provided it is rigorous and systematic."

    Further research was conducted, and an updated version of the meta-analysis can be found http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16125589

    (HINT: Not good for Homeopathy)

    3) Neuro Psycho Pharmacology

    Why did you post this paper? It is not even homeopathy. Patients were given actual plant extracts – "participants were given three months supply of capsules at the dosage recommended by the manufacturers (300 mg for persons under 90 kg, and 450 mg for persons over 90 kg, equivalent to 6g and 9g dried rhizome, respectively)."

    I dealt with this in 5 minutes whilst cooking my dinner. Seriously Nancy, you should really give it a rest. Your ability to critically read and appraise scientific work is non-existant.

    Reply
  9. DT_1975

    Hello again Nancy,

    I think you're still being disingenuous with your selections of papers.

    The first BMJ review is from 1991 and it concludes its own meta-analysis results can't be trusted because the authors were not sure of the the effect of publication bias on homeopathy papers they had available. Besides, this review was superseded by the two Lancet reviews discussed above, which used more advanced analysis techniques to try to overcome any potential publication bias.

    The second paper openly admits that while patients were not aware of which trial group they were in (homeopathy or placebo), the researchers were fully aware f this. I'm not sure how this can be truly called a double blind study. Could someone enlighten me?

    Also all patients were allowed to continue taking conventional medication for rhinitis if they required it. The results in the paper indicate that significantly more patients on the homoeopathic trial group suffered from an initial worsening of their rhinitis (including sever wheezing) and I suspect that these patients were more likely to take their conventional medications when their breathing worsened. Though this data was recorded in patient diaries, none of the analysis considers this so it cannot be discounted as a possible causal factor in the results seen, and this makes it very difficult to draw any conclusions from this study.

    The article in Chest has already been ripped to shreds by David Gorski at Science-Based Medicine, so I'm just going to link to his blog: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=5978

    Nancy, I have to admit, I'm finding it hard to understand how you were not aware of these issues with these papers, as the three papers you cite were published in 1999, 2000, and 2005 respectively. Knowledge, especially medical knowledge, does not stand still so its always sensible for a researcher/medical doctor to make sure they are aware of the latest research and analysis in their field.

    Reply

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