Respectful Insolence

The history of homeopathy in cartoon form

First, there was the history of Andrew Wakefield and the MMR vaccine in cartoon form. Now there’s the history of homeopathy (click on the image):

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The cartoonist, Darryl Cunningham, says this is a first try at such a history, a beta version, if you will. It’s definitely a good start, particularly the part about how homeopaths in Africa have advocated using homeopathic nostrums to prevent and treat malaria. Particularly true is the conclusion that homeopathy is not science. It is faith. I’d also add that, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s also basically sympathetic magic.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave Ruddell
    June 30, 2010

    I really like the point being made about homeopathy (and, one would assume by extension, most CAM) being more a form of unlicensed psychotherapy.

  2. #2 Ana Observer
    June 30, 2010

    Of course homeopathy is magic. The honest homeopaths admit as much.

  3. #3 pjsouza
    June 30, 2010

    Oohh but don’t you know?! Water forms clathrates and light = energy because e=mc^2, and there’s so little real mass in the universe:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8u6BZv6_DLc&playnext_from=TL&videos=OVf5Go510bY

    :)

  4. #4 Andreas Johansson
    June 30, 2010

    And because the speed of something is totally the same thing as that something itself.

  5. #5 Omri
    June 30, 2010

    Well, it’s immunology as conceived by a man with no knowledge of the existence of microbes.

    I.e. pretty good hypothesizing for the pre-Pasteur era. But bad science for this century.

  6. #6 Sastra
    June 30, 2010

    It’s interesting to try to go down a list of ‘alternative’ remedies and see which ones fall into being part of a faith-based spiritual world view — and which ones are just wrong.

    As you point out, homeopathy is really a form of sympathetic magic. The different variations of “energy” medicine (such as reiki, TCM, and Therapeutic Touch) rely on supernaturalistic Vitalism. New German Medicine is a good example of a belief in intention-as-force, or cosmic consciousness. A lot of alt med falls under several categories of spirituality or woo.

    Some alt med seems to be based more in the material world. Extravagant vitamin therapies may qualify, though, if you look at the rationale, there’s often an underlying Nature-as-Beneficial-Force in the background. A fear of “toxins” often seems to feed off a fear of contamination by earthly sin, with the need to purge and get back-to-Nature. It can also just be an exaggeration of normal concerns regarding dangerous chemicals.

    I have a friend who is currently undergoing something called ‘prolotherapy.’ Although it’s classified as alt-med and the websites show indications of quackery to my skeptical eye, it involves injecting chemicals into her back to ‘stimulate tissue growth’ and seems, at least on cursory reading, to be free of ‘woo.’ At the very least, it’s untested. I don’t know enough about chemistry or biology to say where else it may go wrong.

    Most of the topics which skeptics address seem to split along this woo/non-woo divide (with plenty falling into the cracks between of course.) Psychics and ghosts deal more directly with magical thinking than 911 conspiracies or alien abduction. Looks to me like homeopathy contains pre-scientific mistakes, as well as supernatural elements which try to claim immunity from scientific investigation.

  7. #7 Shalashar
    June 30, 2010

    Injecting “chemicals”?

    inb4lawsuitforunlicencedmedicalpractices

    Sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

  8. #8 JupiterIsBig
    June 30, 2010

    I hope the chemicals are NaCl, KCl and Hydrogen Peroxide …

  9. #9 Elissa
    July 1, 2010

    The coronial inquest into Penelope Dingle’s death is still going – this has been in the news here in Perth for a week or so now. The whole thing looks pretty dodgy.

    Some of the articles have mentioned that the coroner might recommend tighter controls on the practice of homeopathy. I doubt our local (pseudo-tabloid) rag, The West Australian, will make any educational efforts – during a recent flu vaccine contamination they published some pretty anti-vax biased stuff, stories about mums who decided vaccines were too dangerous, etc, and not much science based or pro-vax stuff.

  10. #10 A. Nuran
    July 1, 2010

    The British NHS has just stopped all funding for homeopathic treatment.

  11. #11 Travis
    July 1, 2010

    A. Nuran,
    Do you have a source for that? As much as I would like that to happen the only recent news I have heard about this was from a few days ago and it was that the BMA called for homeopathic treatments to no longer be covered by the NHS.

  12. #12 eskrav
    July 1, 2010

    minor correction: homeopaths advising against conventional Malaria treatment/etc. were at UK (London) clinics, not Africa

  13. #13 Andy
    July 1, 2010

    The Dingle inquest is not “ongoing”. Testimony has finished and we await the Coroner’s findings and recommendations.

  14. #14 kerry brown
    July 4, 2010

    just wanting to keep up with comments on this blog

  15. #15 Nisha Singh
    July 10, 2010

    ULTRADILUTIONS of Belladona effective ???? against viral encephalitis. they must be kidding. how is that possible.

    http://www.scipub.org/fulltext/ajid/ajid6224-28.pdf

  16. #16 Nisha Singh
    July 13, 2010

    Soon all those talking loud against homeopathy will be seen running for cover. Or may be in homeopathy clinic looking for ultradiluted medicines to correct their mental imbalance.

  17. #17 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 13, 2010

    Soon all those talking loud against homeopathy will be seen running for cover. Or may be in homeopathy clinic looking for ultradiluted medicines to correct their mental imbalance.

    That’s awfully big talk, but homeopathy has been talking like that for over 100 years and still has nearly nothing to show in the way of actual results. You will of course point to the paper you cited above where a homeopathic “ultradilution of belladonna” is supposed to have shown a positive effect; however, if you understand the scientific process, you realize that one in twenty experiments where the null hypothesis was actually true will nevertheless appear to show positive results, and that a single unrepeated result is hardly anything to motivate “running for cover.”

  18. #18 Nisha Singh
    July 14, 2010

    Wain n watch, don’t run away.

  19. #19 Nisha Singh
    July 14, 2010

    *Wait

  20. #20 Chris
    July 14, 2010

    What, two centuries is not enough? Medicine has advanced much in the last two centuries, and there has been no change in homeopathy.

  21. #21 Nisha Singh
    July 15, 2010

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  22. #22 Todd W.
    July 15, 2010

    Oooh! A Gish gallop!

  23. #23 Eye roller
    July 15, 2010

    Nisha, if you’re just going to copy and paste a list from another site, the least you can do is cite the actual author.

    Then note that Iris Bell is citing herself 14 times. Then note that almost all of those journal articles are published in CAM journals that have a low reputation for proper scientific rigor. Then note that a large portion of these links are simply editorials and there are very few studies of any quality necessary to justify human medical treatment.

    And then you should note that cherry picking only positive studies is the oldest, most pathetic trick in the book.

    It’s the least you can do…

  24. #25 Eye roller
    July 15, 2010

    And to show that I doubt Nisha Singh has ever even read most of these references let’s look at a few:

    Vickers AJ, Smith C. Homoeopathic Oscillococcinum for preventing and treating influenza and influenza-like syndromes. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006; 3:CD001957.

    Though promising, the data were not strong enough to make a general recommendation to use Oscillococcinum for first-line treatment of influenza and influenza-like syndromes. Further research is warranted but the required sample sizes are large. Current evidence does not support a preventative effect of Oscillococcinum-like homeopathic medicines in influenza and influenza-like syndromes.

    Linde K, Jonas WB, Melchart D et al. The methodological quality of randomized controlled trials of homeopathy, herbal medicines and acupuncture. International Journal of Epidemiology 2001; 30 (3):526-31.

    Trials of complementary therapies often have relevant methodological weaknesses…the majority had important shortcomings in reporting and/or methodology…

    Every homeopathy advocate cites Linde et al (1997), as above. [Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G et al. Are the clinical effects of homeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials. Lancet 1997; 350:834-43.] This review concluded that

    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.

    However, they almost always forget to cite Linde et al.’s followup in 1999! [Linde K, Scholz M, Ramirez G, Clausius N, Melchart D, Jonas WB (July 1999), "Impact of study quality on outcome in placebo-controlled trials of homeopathy", J Clin Epidemiol 52 (7): 631–6, doi:10.1016/S0895-4356(99)00048-7, PMID 10391656]. That review states

    The evidence of bias [in trials of homeopathy] weakens the findings of our original meta-analysis. Since we completed our literature search in 1995, a considerable number of new homeopathy trials have been published. The fact that a number of the new high-quality trials…have negative results, and a recent update of our review for the most “original” subtype of homeopathy (classical or individualized homeopathy), seem to confirm the finding that more rigorous trials have less-promising results. It seems, therefore, likely that our meta-analysis at least overestimated the effects of homeopathic treatments.

    Interesting, no?

  25. #26 Eye roller
    July 15, 2010

    C’mon Nisha, do you even try to think critically?

    Luc Montagnier said something that supported homeopathy. So what? If a different Laureate said homeopathy was absolute bunk what would that mean?

    Nothing. A Nobel recognizes work in one area of work…it does not magically grant educational excellence in all other fields. It takes no effort to find Laureates that have said stupid, uninformed and/or offensive things; off the top of my head I can think of Laureats that have said racist, sexist, homophobic, nationalistic, or antisemitic comments and have claimed that HIV may not cause AIDS, superdoses of vitamin C can cure everything, and that eugenics may be a good idea.

    So…please explain why Luc Montagnier’s comments mean anything useful.

  26. #27 Nisha Singh
    July 16, 2010

    I told you, its not that you cant see benefits of homeopathy but you are paid to write against. So you will deny everything that supports homeopathy. It was not lack of homeopathy all these years, it was lack of scientific development that working of homeopathy could not be proved. With better technology homeopathy is getting proved. And it is proved that you are paid insane criminal working against interest of humanity. But you cant kill truth just like you could not kill Jesus.

  27. #28 Chris
    July 16, 2010

    It is the old and tired Pharma Shill Gambit!

    Nisha, can’t you do anything original? Hmmm… like show that homeopathy was effective for a non-self-limiting condition like Type 1 Diabetes. Or perhaps cure a bacterial infection without the use of antibiotics, with some real proof. Or show, as claimed by Andre Saine, that homeopathy actually cures rabies. That is a disease that is usually 100% fatal. Good luck with that.

  28. #29 Chris
    July 16, 2010

    And because I know you will not click on either link, I will quote a pertinent one from my second link on the claims of Andre Saine:

    He even claims that homeopathy can cure rabies with 100% success. Rabies is almost 100% fatal, even with modern treatment, so this is quite an astounding claim. An audience member helpfully suggested that we can test this claim on animals that contract rabies, since they are just put to death in any case. I pointed out that if Dr. Saine’s claims are even remotely true it is amazing that such a simple study has not been done in the last two centuries, that we have been sitting on a cure for such a deadly disease all this time and yet homeopaths have never been able to silence critics with a controlled experiments. I also pointed out that homeopathically treating “rabies,” a disease, contradicts Dr. Bell’s “holistic” defense, but that’s a separate point.

    Do please show us that we are wrong and Andre Saine is correct with some real evidence.

  29. #30 David N. Brown
    July 16, 2010

    “its not that you cant see benefits of homeopathy but you are paid to write against. ”

    Okay, since I’m just a penniless starving possum, I’ll stand up for the “benefits” of homeopathy. I’ll just call a spade a spade: Homeopathy is MAGIC. Therefore, I am perfectly willing to discuss it as possibly having merit. Just leave out the distracting trappings of dilution, succussion or “water memory”.

  30. #31 Rogue Medic
    July 16, 2010

    Apparently Chris and Nisha Singh appear to agree on one thing.

    Homeopathy leads to insanity.

    Chris is citing some loony, who claims that homeopathy cures rabies. It is amusing that the person has a name that is probably pronounced Sane.

    Nisha Singh seems to be trying to demonstrate that using homeopathy leads to insanity, or that insanity leads to using homeopathy, or just that there is a wonderful coincidence of insanity in Nisha Singh and in homeopathy.

    There is not enough evidence to decide. Nisha Singh, please provide us with some evidence about the origin of your insanity. Maybe this list will be shorter than your earlier list of studies that make it clear that homeopathy is a belief in things not supported by good evidence – except for those who make money off of homeopathy.

    Nisha Singh, you are a homeopath, aren’t you?

  31. #32 Seb30
    July 16, 2010

    From the local homeopath

    But you cant kill truth just like you could not kill Jesus.

    I dunno if we really cannot. The ancient Romans did a pretty good job at killing Jesus. If it was not for him knowing personally some big shot in the management department, he would still be dead. I call this cheating.

  32. #33 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 3, 2010

    these comments, like the article, have not objectively considered all evidence. some of the red flags and questions that you’ve mentioned have already been answered in an international debate on homeopathy held at the University of Connecticut Health Center: A Debate: Homeopathy – Quackery Or A Key To The Future of Medicine? (2007)

    Donald Marcus M.D., (Baylor)
    Iris Bell M.D., Ph.D., (University of Arizona)
    Steven Novella M.D., (Yale)
    Rustum Roy Ph.D., (Penn State)
    Nadav Davidovitch M.D., Ph.D., (Columbia & Ben Gurion)
    Andre Saine N.D. (Canadian Academy for Homeopathy)

    If you would like to watch this debate: http://mediasite.uchc.edu/Mediasite41/Viewer/?peid=407916ea-6301-4ede-b04f-c3650e4073a7#

    Each speaker was given 19 min. to speak. It’s quite long, but the ones of interest: Dr. Rustum Roy, at 22:55, presents evidence from the 1970’s showing that water’s structure, and thus function, can be changed for extended periods of time, thus debunking the placebo argument against homeopathy. Finally, Dr. Andre Saine, at 1:40:12, presents epidemiological evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy from official hospital and government records from around the world.

  33. #34 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 3, 2010

    if you do have the objectivity to match the conviction of your article or posted comments and do watch the video and view the clinical evidence found in official records, then the title:

    RESPECTFUL INSOLENCE

    would have to consider revision esp. in light of the quote that follows it at the top banner, “A STATEMENT OF FACT CANNOT BE INSOLENT.”

    perhaps the article should be titled “Respectful Ignorance.”

  34. #35 Todd W.
    September 3, 2010

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  35. #36 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 3, 2010

    @ todd w.

    if an international debate with doctors on both sides of the coin to you is trolling, then i wonder about the objectivity and credibility of your blog, one that is meant to be predicated on fact. enjoy your ramblings, because that’s all they seem to amount to. gish gallop and troll on…

  36. #37 Todd W.
    September 3, 2010

    @OCNO

    First off, this isn’t my blog. I’m just a reader.

    Second, I was referring to your comment at #34.

    Third, why are you commenting on a post that is rather quite old and it about a cartoon history of homeopathy, no a post critiquing or discussing the science (or lack thereof) behind homeopathy?

    And as an aside, are you even aware of what a gish gallop actually is? The way you used it, it doesn’t seem like you do.

  37. #38 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 3, 2010

    @ todd w.

    if an international debate with doctors on both sides of the coin to you is trolling, then it would be wise for all to question the objectivity and credibility of your blog (one that is meant to be predicated on fact). your ramblings are but circular arguments that quickly denounce the 2 posts with evidence to the contrary…gish gallop and enjoy your trolling…

  38. #39 Scott
    September 3, 2010

    Nobody with the faintest clue about science would put any weight on a “debate” with 19-minute speeches. It is simply not possible to properly cover and evaluate evidence in such a format.

  39. #40 facts only please
    September 3, 2010

    @ todd w.

    if an international debate with doctors on both sides of the coin to you is trolling, then it would be wise for all to question the objectivity and credibility of your blog (one that is meant to be predicated on fact). your ramblings are but circular arguments that quickly denounce the 2 posts with evidence to the contrary…gish gallop and enjoy your trolling…

  40. #41 open to facts
    September 3, 2010

    @scott

    you’re right. the university of hartford medical centre is an unreliable institution that holds debates without credibility when it features doctors and phd profs from around the globe on both sides of the coin. because of the 19 min. time allotment also, their arguments and evidence would most definitely have to be invalid, even if from leading medical universities and government records. gish gallop.

  41. #42 open to facts
    September 3, 2010

    comment responses thus far:

    circular arguments (homeopathy doesn’t work)
    ad hominem (“Nobody with the faintest clue about science,” “gish gallop,” “troll”)

    …seems opinion and not facts rule here. ironic.

  42. #43 Scott
    September 3, 2010

    the university of hartford medical centre is an unreliable institution that holds debates without credibility when it features doctors and phd profs from around the globe on both sides of the coin.

    Indeed, they have so proven themselves to be unreliable. Your point?

    ad hominem (“Nobody with the faintest clue about science,” “gish gallop,” “troll”

    You ought to learn what words mean before you use them. No ad hominems have taken place here. “You are wrong because of X, Y, and Z and therefore (are an idiot/don’t know anything about science/are a troll)” is not an ad hominem, it’s just an insult tacked on to a valid argument. “You are an idiot and therefore your argument is wrong” is an ad hominem.

  43. #44 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 3, 2010

    scott…it’s been pleasant discussing homeopathy and facts with you. i wish you the best.

  44. #45 jay.sweet
    September 3, 2010

    I just have to say that using the Name: field as a subject line, or whatever this strange person is doing, has got to be the dumbest affectation I’ve heard in a while. The only thing that comes close was some Creationist over at Bjorn Ostman’s blog who ended every comment with “Imho”.

    Not that I am saying this undermines your arguments (that, of course, would be an ad hominem fallacy!) Your arguments fail on their own merits. I’m just also saying you happen to have a really annoying affectation.

    Imho.

  45. #46 open to facts
    September 3, 2010

    “Indeed, they have so proven themselves to be unreliable. Your point?”

    and your credibility comes from?

  46. #47 Scott
    September 3, 2010

    My credibility comes from explaining the reasoning behind the conclusion – indeed, this is the only reason ANYONE should be given credibility.

    Whereas you have given no reason to adopt your position, aside from a thinly-veiled argument from authority that because a medical school held a debate, a debate must be relevant. Sorry, doesn’t fly. At all.

  47. #48 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 3, 2010

    @ jay.sweet

    it would be much more interesting to discuss the facts and evidence.

    http://mediasite.uchc.edu/Mediasite41/Viewer/?peid=407916ea-6301-4ede-b04f-c3650e4073a7#

    …1:40:12: epidemiological evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy from official hospital and government records from around the world.

  48. #49 open to facts
    September 3, 2010

    @scott

    “My credibility comes from explaining the reasoning behind the conclusion – indeed, this is the only reason ANYONE should be given credibility.”

    interesting perspective that a post from an online blog, probably written in under 1 minute, should be given credibility while doctors and phd professors presenting clinical and lab data at a university health centre should be considered unreliable. good-bye.

    solid argument.

  49. #50 Scott
    September 3, 2010

    Again, nothing more than an argument from authority. Without addressing the point that meaningful clinical or lab data cannot properly be presented, analyzed, and discussed in 19 minutes.

  50. #51 open to facts
    September 3, 2010

    evidence = fact; not argument (scientific method)

    “explaining the reasoning behind the conclusion” = deduction…has yet to be validated.

  51. #52 Scott
    September 3, 2010

    Actually, there is a bit more than an argument from authority there on third read. There’s also an ad hominem that because I’m posting on a blog my argument must be wrong…

  52. #53 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 3, 2010

    it would be much more interesting to discuss the facts and evidence.

    http://mediasite.uchc.edu/Mediasite41/Viewer/?peid=407916ea-6301-4ede-b04f-c3650e4073a7#

    …1:40:12: epidemiological evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy from official hospital and government records from around the world.

  53. #54 Scott
    September 3, 2010

    You mean the facts and evidence which aren’t presented there in sufficient detail to discuss? Precisely because the format did not permit it?

  54. #55 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 3, 2010

    There are numerous slides showing statistical data regarding the different mortality rates of different epidemic diseases as recorded for homeopathy and western medicine (allopathy). Consider having a look before blindly condemning.

  55. #56 Scott
    September 3, 2010

    I did have a look. They’re completely without meaning in the absence of details of how they were collected and calculated. And as I read the slides, the methodology behind the homeopathic numbers haven’t even been published yet so they’re not even available ELSEWHERE.

  56. #57 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 3, 2010

    you should do your homework before making public statements to check the veracity. the numbers are published and recorded in hospital and government records around the world. for example, major epidemics were recorded by a congressional commission created to evaluate the Tx of yellow fever; statistic can be found in the U.S. Congress.

    your biased insistence to refute without considering further evidence goes against the very grain of science.

    it’s been entertaining. take care.

  57. #58 Scott
    September 3, 2010

    The sources are listed as “The Cambridge World History of Human Disease”, and an “in preparation” paper on “the extraordinary success of homeopathy in epidemics”.

    Unless you care to claim that the former provides the numbers in the homeopathy column, AS OPPOSED TO them coming from the paper, you’re grossly wrong. Not to mention the fact that the slides aren’t citing numbers “recorded in hospital and government records around the world” – so you’re undermining your claim that the “debate” is meaningful evidence! Also observe that claiming that the homeopathy numbers ARE from the former source and therefore one could go to said source and evaluate, that would also have the same effect of demonstrating that the “debate” is meaningless.

  58. #59 Composer99
    September 3, 2010

    I’m a musician, so I don’t feel bad saying this without further qualification:

    Homeopathy is total bunk. In order for it to be true, we would need to revisit our empirically-established knowledge of basic physics, chemistry, and biology. If, on the other hand, advocates can present evidence that can overturn said basic knowledge, then they have presented evidence sufficient to lead to acceptance of homeopathy.

    With regards to ocno’s post #57 (sorry, dude, I don’t mean anything by the abbreviation, your username is too long for a lazy guy on lunch break to write), I wonder if he can provide some clarification on this part of the comment:

    the numbers are published and recorded in hospital and government records around the world. for example, major epidemics were recorded by a congressional commission created to evaluate the Tx of yellow fever; statistic can be found in the U.S. Congress.

    Statistics for what? Success of homeopathic treatments? Do you have a link to a specific document? Going to a Congressional website and typing in ‘yellow fever’ is probably not going to do the trick.

    PS. Sorry for helping perform necromancy on this thread.

  59. #60 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 3, 2010

    statistics can be found in the U.S. Congress. the speaker also mentioned some sources verbally, i.e., not found in the slides.

    look for a book to be released in the near future by the speaker, andre saine, titled, “the weight of evidence.” this will be more thorough in its references as it’s a compilation of all government and hospital data citing homeopathy’s efficacy during epidemics. the first part of the book covers the various epidemics by disease type (about 800 pages), and the second part of the book is purely references for the statistical data and cases (about 1200 pages).

  60. #61 Scott
    September 3, 2010

    So you’re admitting that the debate wasn’t relevant then, and agreeing that one has to get into a deeper and more detailed analysis of evidence, which cannot be accomplished in such a format, in order to meaningfully address the question? Glad we’ve accomplished at least that much education.

    Now for the next bit. Books are not a credible way to publish such information, because they are not peer-reviewed. Somebody who actually had evidence that would stand up to scrutiny would be publishing it in a peer-reviewed journal, not a book.

    Let’s also do a bit of examining WHY such numbers cannot be given any credence without detailed analysis of the methodology. Just a few examples off the top of my head.

    Consider an individual who has, for example, pneumonia. This individual goes to a homeopath for “treatment”. Said treatment doesn’t work, since it’s just water. So this person’s condition worsens sufficiently that he is bundled off to the hospital. But, the disease has progressed so far by that point there’s nothing they can do, so he dies. In which column is this death reported? It should be in the “homeopathy” column, but unless the work is exceedingly careful it’ll be in the “allopathy” column. (Incidentally, use of that term is a smoking gun for someone without a clue; there is no such thing as “allopathic” medicine.)

    A second example. Consider another person with pneumonia who both goes to a homeopath and gets some water which does nothing, AND goes to a real doctor and gets some antibiotics which cure him. Does this fellow get counted in the numerator for homeopathy? He shouldn’t.

    And a third. Who’s more likely to try out magic water for pneumonia – the otherwise healthy 25-year-old who’s not worried, or the 85-year-old with a variety of other problems who is? You have to correct for that, and it’s not easy to do.

    That’s just a quick sampling of the questions which would need to be addressed before the presented numbers could be given ANY meaning at all.

  61. #62 Chris
    September 3, 2010

    objective confirmation, not opinion :

    Andre Saine N.D. (Canadian Academy for Homeopathy)

    Andre Saine, ND (which stands for “Not a Doctor”) made the claim that he had evidence that homeopathy worked better than real medicine for rabies. He did not seem to back up that assertion. Do you have the paper where the details of that study were laid out, including all of the experimental criteria (especially the ethics considerations since rabies is almost 100% fatal). I should qualify I want a real study indexed in PubMed, not congressional testimony, not a website, not a news story and not a book written by Saine (which is what Dana Ullman tried to tell it was!). I want the real evidence in the form that animals like rats with rabies were cured with only homeopathy.

    Yes, I have seen that video several times. I have also asked for evidence of Saine’s contention several times. Since you figured that the debate was evidence strong enough to post it on a months long article, I assume you have the answers to my query.

    Have you even read Dr. Novella’s reaction to it? The link is the second part (where Saine is discussed), it contains a link to the first part.

  62. #63 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 3, 2010

    “So you’re admitting that the debate wasn’t relevant then”

    I didn’t say that. You did.

    “Somebody who actually had evidence that would stand up to scrutiny would be publishing it in a peer-reviewed journal, not a book.”

    Please explain why the H1N1 vaccine was distributed world-wide without any long-term clinical data? All data on it was extrapolated from clinical data of H5N1 vaccines, which shared some similar components. Where is the reliable data and why was this distributed?

    “Said treatment doesn’t work, since it’s just water.”

    You’re not up to date on the science. Dr. Rustum Roy (RIP), in the video at 22:55 of Penn State University, presented experiments done since the 1970s by himself and others in various US university labs that show that the structure of water can easily be changed for extended periods of time. With that change of structure comes a change of functional properties. The experiments have been repeated many times over the years, including one that showed that the structure of homeopathic waters had been altered. The placebo argument has been debunked for quite some time. You can reference papers by Vezzoli, Dachille, and Roy on experimental thermodynamics = many liquids, esp. covalent ones, have been proven since the 1970s, to have many different stable phases (structures).

    As for Dr. Saine’s response to your queries, a little patience as the references will soon be published in the Weight of Evidence as stated earlier.

    As for Dr. Novella, he was facetiously thanked at the conference by Dr. Roy because Dr. Novella introduced Dr. Roy to a new paradigm of science, the Law of Plausibility, i.e., the whole basis for his argument.

  63. #64 Composer99
    September 3, 2010

    Might I recommend moving this discussion into the most recent homeopathy thread: http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/08/when_homeopaths_fight_back.php

    Not only is it more recent (and thus not a case of thread necromancy) a discussion of evidence (or lack thereof) is more topical on the newer post (as compared to this post, which is, after all, about a cartoon).

  64. #65 Chris
    September 3, 2010

    objective confirmation, not opinion:

    As for Dr. Saine’s response to your queries, a little patience as the references will soon be published in the Weight of Evidence as stated earlier.

    The debate was almost three years ago. Talk about thread necromancy! I believe we have been more than patient.

    Also, what part of “not a book written by Saine” did you fail to understand? Do you even know what I mean by “PubMed”?

    If you want to show homeopathy works, show that it works. Don’t bring up vaccines, other pharmaceutical drugs or the failure of any other medical system. Show it working for a non-self-limiting condition, without any other medical intervention.

    If you want to show homeopathy works for rabies (as Saine claims) then prove it. Get three sets of mice. Infect them all with rabies. Treat one group as done now with prophylactic vaccines, treat one group only with homeopathy, and then do not treat the third group. Report to us in a paper indexed in PubMed.

    Until then, go to a more relevant and recent article to comment on.

  65. #66 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 7, 2010

    the only necromancy i can see here is your insistence on appeals for “peer-reviewed journals” and the double-blind clinical trials that author their existence. this is to say that i’m unsure why you place such high esteem on those drug results as evidence for a drug’s efficacy when they’ve been approved by the FDA, a government regulatory body that is largely funded by the very industry that it is supposed to be regulating, that is big pharma itself. are you able to objectively consider the conflict of interest?

    i’m unsure your objectivity is making it’s finest appearance here. are you aware of a phenomenon of manipulation called “medical ghost writing?” that is, pharmaceutical companies authoring their own reports on yet-to-be approved drugs that they then have doctors sign off on for a bursary of cash. more than 20 states in the U.S. made the decision not to ban medical ghost writing? here’s an article from the NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/25/health/25ghost.html. or perhaps you prefer some articles from pubmed on the topic:
    -Ghostwriting: The Dirty Little Secret of Medical Publishing That Just Got Bigger
    -How ghost-writing threatens the credibility of medical knowledge and medical journals
    -Ghost Management: How Much of the Medical Literature Is Shaped Behind the Scenes by the Pharmaceutical Industry?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pmc.Pmc_LimitsTab.LimitsOff=true&db=pmc&cmd=search&term=ghost%20writing

    my point here is that i wonder why you place so much emphasis on a drug approval system that is well-known to be compromised. if this yardstick is broken, then why bother applying it to homeopathy when there is sufficient clinical evidence found in the treatment of real patients as recorded by hospitals and governments during epidemics. as i mentioned, when the book comes…it comes…and believe me, my interest in the book’s publishing is greater than your interest in it for the sake of an internet argument/rant on your part. in my estimation, these official recorded mortality/efficacy rates that compare homeopathy and western medicine are far better measures and confirmations of homeopathy’s efficacy than bought-and-paid for peer-reviewed journals because they explicitly state that patients had greater survival rates through homeopathic treatment than allopathic treatment, of which there was usually a homeopathic and allopathic wing in some hospitals in earlier days.

  66. #67 Chris
    September 7, 2010

    Dude, you cannot show homeopathy works by talking about the well known problems with real medicine. That is why those are written up, and bad researchers are exposed, and why peer review is important.

    To show homeopathy works is to show it works. What part of this did you fail to understand:

    If you want to show homeopathy works, show that it works. Don’t bring up vaccines, other pharmaceutical drugs or the failure of any other medical system. Show it working for a non-self-limiting condition, without any other medical intervention.

    What “official recorded mortality/efficacy rates that compare homeopathy and western medicine”? Who are they being compiled by and where? Who is checking on the checkers?

    Surely you have the answer to what is a more effective treatment for a bacterial infection: homeopathy or antibiotics? Give us some real evidence, not “it will come soon to a bookstore on my site!”

    Why should we trust anything written by Andre Saine, Not a Doctor? Are you working for him trying to drum up sales for his vaporware?

  67. #68 sesli
    September 7, 2010

    If you want to model how the nervous system works, better to use the modern version where MRI and CT scanning are available than a tenth century misunderstanding saturated with religious nonsense. I’ve voiced my other thoughts on this subject before and see no reason to rehash that.

  68. #69 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 7, 2010

    i’ll put it simply for you again for 4th time, chris:

    andre saine is not presenting anecdotes. he is presenting official government and hospital records that he has compiled comparing the efficacy of homeopathic and allopathic treatment during epidemics. the comparison of mortality rates, i.e., how many died and thus lived with each treatment is outlined in these records thus, as redundantly stated by you again, able to “Show it working for a non-self-limiting condition, without any other medical intervention.”

  69. #70 Chris
    September 7, 2010

    I still do not believe you. You are telling me this book has all the answers, but there is one big glaring problem:

    Saine claimed homeopathy works for rabies better than conventional medicine. Rabies is just about 100% fatal, and it is a testable claim (see above). That is an extraordinary claim, and it needs something better than listing century old records that may or may not have been bungled.

    The reason for this is quite clear for anyone who has looked for basic information in a census, or other historical documentation. And those are typically better than the record keeping put forth by modern homeopaths in the hpathy forums and elsewhere.

    The typical homeopathic evidence is usually a list of how much better a person felt, or some other non-specific symptom. The “research” is muddled because they claim great success with conditions that get better on their own (like the flu study that showed those on homeopathy get better six hours sooner, for something that typically lasts a week or two!).

    If you want to show homeopathy works, show that it works. Don’t use century old handwritten records. Don’t use conditions that wax and wane, or get better with time. Use a non-self-limiting condition and treat it with only homeopathy.

    See how far you get by treating a raging bacterial infection with homeopathy. Or how long mice with rabies live when only treated with homeopathy.

  70. #71 Chris
    September 7, 2010

    Here is a description of a classic homeopathy “study”, which involved:

    The study basically asks people how happy they are after having some homeopathy. The first thing that strikes you about their methods is that there is no control group to compare with, so it’s quite possible that everyone is just getting better naturally, at the same speed that they would have anyway.

  71. #72 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 7, 2010

    re: “I still do not believe you.”

    i’m not asking you to believe me. belief has nothing to do with anything in science.

    i’m letting you know that if you choose to be objective, you can wait for the clinical evidence that will be forthcoming.

  72. #73 Chris
    September 7, 2010

    Dude, Saine’s survey of century old records is not “clinical” evidence!

    Also, lying has nothing to do with science. When I said “I don’t believe you”, I was saying you are a liar. Though, perhaps you just don’t understand what this blog and comment thread is a about.

  73. #74 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 7, 2010

    from the Independent newspaper in the UK:

    A senior executive with Britain’s biggest drugs company has admitted that most prescription medicines do not work on most people who take them.

    Allen Roses, worldwide vice-president of genetics at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), said fewer than half of the patients prescribed some of the most expensive drugs actually derived any benefit from them.

  74. #75 Chris
    September 7, 2010

    Again I ask, what part if this do you fail to understand that:

    If you want to show homeopathy works, show that it works. Don’t bring up vaccines, other pharmaceutical drugs or the failure of any other medical system. Show it working for a non-self-limiting condition, without any other medical intervention.

  75. #76 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 7, 2010

    i’m glad that U.S. medical historians have found the references valid.

  76. #77 Chris
    September 8, 2010

    You see, that last statement has to be an outright lie.

    It seems you have seen and read the book. This mystical book that I have been told would be publish “anytime soon”! This means you are either Saine yourself, or some kind of acolyte who is being paid by him, or just basks in your worship.

    Since you know so much about the book, what is the medical expertise of these historians?

  77. #78 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 8, 2010

    homeopathic treatment is individualized, this is to say that ten people could have arthritis and that each of them could walk out with a different remedy because homeopathy does not select a drug according to disease name. homeopathy is prescribed according to a patient’s individual expression of a disease, i.e., one person’s arthritic symptoms is different from another’s. for example, patient A may have there symptoms worse at night and better daytime, while another patient’s arthritis is aggravated in the day and is better at night. patient A’s arthritis may also be worse on motion and better rest while patient B’s arthritis is better motion and worse rest. we may also see better cold applications vs. worse cold applications. these individual differences guide a homeopath to select a remedy and not just indiscriminately give an “arthritis drug” to all patients.

    thus with individualization of symptoms in mind, a standard double-blind trial, which prescribes one drug only, divests a homeopath of their ability to prescribe whichever remedy from their pharmacy that best fits an individual picture of symptoms of an arthritis patient. double-blind trials, in essence, don’t allow homeopaths to prescribe based on their principles of prescribing. thus, a double-blind trial where one remedy is given to a sample of patients may not be the correct remedy for any of the patients. to measure homeopathy this way is to evaluate apples by the characteristics and measures of oranges.

    regardless of this fact, there have been many homeopathic clinical trials performed that showed homeopathy was better than a placebo. i believe many were referenced in an early post by another person.

    to have a double-blind clinical trial where a homeopath could prescribe according to homeopathic prescribing methods with the full pharmacy at their disposal while another sample of people received placebos…would be a fair test of homeopathy’s efficacy.

    the reason i bring up big pharma’s problems is because you ask to measure homeopathy by their yardstick that you deem to be useful and reliable, yet it is known to be unreliable and thus limiting in its usefulness. can you agree that if you claim homeopathy should be measured by this yardstick that it’s utility and reliability should first be proved?

  78. #79 Chris
    September 8, 2010

    regardless of this fact, there have been many homeopathic clinical trials performed that showed homeopathy was better than a placebo. i believe many were referenced in an early post by another person.

    And they were responded to since it was a cut and paste from Iris Bell. The list was essentially worthless, several are from Bell herself.

    Nothing about curing a non-self-limiting disease in the absence of other conventional treatment.

    Show me that homeopathy can cure syphilis without antibiotics, rabies without vaccines, and Type 1 diabetes. Until then you are just a bunch of (lots) of hot air.

  79. #80 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    September 8, 2010

    ocno:

    It’s just water! What part of that is eluding you? Rustam Roy notwithstanding, water has no “structure” that can be maintained for yada-yada hours. It’s a liquid—that’s what the word “liquid” means. Furthermore, if the crap homeopaths add to that water did any good in the first place, why dilute it a kajillion times until there’s none left? Are you even aware that matter consists of atoms and molecules? Obviously Rustam Roy is not.

  80. #81 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 8, 2010

    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge,

    you obviously don’t follow the science.

  81. #82 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 8, 2010

    the countless people helped by homeopathy enjoy the hot air.

  82. #83 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    September 8, 2010

    I don’t know what the fuck “science” you’re talking about, but any “science” that tells you water has a “structure” is lying to you. Water is a liquid! That’s what the word “liquid” means—no “structure.” You dilute a mixture until there is none of your “active” ingredient left and all you have is water. It’s Just Water !

  83. #84 Militant Agnostic
    September 8, 2010

    to have a double-blind clinical trial where a homeopath could prescribe according to homeopathic prescribing methods with the full pharmacy at their disposal while another sample of people received placebos…would be a fair test of homeopathy’s efficacy.

    It’s been done and it showed homeopathy was no more effective than the placebo. Homeopathy studies show the basic “curve” of an ineffective treatment – the bigger and more rigorous the study the less the effect.

    If you actually followed the science you would realize that for homeopathy to work, nearly everything we know about physics and chemistry would have to be very wrong. You are the one with the extraordinary claim and you are providing weaksauce for evidence.

    Your arrogant claims that we don’t follow the science are hilarious when you bring up old studies and papers that were dissected months or years ago here or on other skeptical blogs like SBM and Neurologica. You are like those “Born Again” Christian’s that show up on Pharyngula and tell the regulars there that they would believe if only they would read the bible, not realizing that a sizable chunk of the Pharynguloid horde are ex-Christians who often became atheists after really reading the Bible.

    I wouldn’t say you are bringing a knife to gunfight here, it is more like you are bringing a plastic spork to an artillery duel. The host of this blog is a scientist. You don’t even know what the word means. Come back when you understand concepts like confirmation bias, regression to the mean and the file drawer effect.

  84. #85 Calli Arcale
    September 8, 2010

    One thing to be wary of in studying homeopathy’s effectiveness purely by comparing mortality rates at hospitals is confounders. It’s a very crude measure, as is often demonstrated in studies looking at the safety of different forms of birth; hospitals with higher c-section rates often have higher mortality as well, but when more closely examined, a significant number of the high c-section rate hospitals are also the ones with state of the art NICUs — that is, they’re the ones willing to take on high risk pregnancies, which are already more likely to wind up in c-sections. So that data ends up being unrevealing, because it’s not a straightforward comparison.

    In the 18th and 19th Centuries, there were entire hospitals devoted to homeopathy rather than what Hahnemann termed “allopathy”. (Note: medicine was far less standardized in that day, so these “allopathic” hospitals were often quite different from one another.) Some early supporters of homeopathy looked at the death rates and found that mortality was much lower at the homeopathic hospitals. This data isn’t fudged; it’s actually entirely true. But you have to be careful of confounders. Was homeopathy actually more effective? No. It simply killed fewer people.

    There are three reasons why homeopathy killed fewer people. #1, you didn’t go to a homeopathic hospital for trauma, and in those days, severe trauma was rarely survivable anyway. Surgery was primitive and, frankly, rather horrific — as anesthetics had yet to be invented, surgeons were rewarded for speed more than accuracy. So the homeopathic hospitals were missing out on a whole class of likely-to-die patients.

    #2 Homeopathy consists of giving a person various medications, whether orally or as a tincture or whatever. It does not involve breaking the skin, and this greatly limits the risk of infection. Regular hospitals, meanwhile, performed surgical interventions and even injected things intravenously without any infection control to speak of, since the germ theory was not yet widely accepted. The results are predictable.

    #3 Lack of infection control wasn’t the only problem in non-homeopathic hospitals of the day. Medicine didn’t involve science or evidence much, and had developed a bewildering range of therapies to try — and “kill or cure” was considered a reasonable idea. The concept of “heroic medicine” was in vogue, probably driven by the idea that suffering is noble; it was felt that medicine was most effective if it made you hurt. They tried everything, and I do mean everything. Mercury, arsenic, emetics, bloodletting, and enemas were popular, even though in many cases they really did no good at all. You really can’t compare the medicine of those days with modern medicine.

    Putting those together, homeopathy wasn’t saving more patients; it was simply killing fewer of them.

    You can, of course, do the same comparison with modern hospitals — but bear in mind that there aren’t many countries with homeopathic hospitals anymore. Where there are, bear in mind the same effect as with the c-section rates — are they simply not taking on very many potentially fatal cases, or discharging them to another hospital when they take a turn for the worse, so they wind up on that hospital’s mortality rates instead? It’s extremely easy for a hospital to play the numbers on that particular game, and the results tend to be bad for patients, not good, which is why I am opposed to using simple mortality rates as a metric in healthcare.

  85. #86 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 8, 2010

    The history of medicine is a small and specialized branch of history that focuses upon the health professions. Historians of medicine most commonly teach in universities, either in the history department or the medical school. They can teach courses in their specialty or in other areas of history; they also may teach within the health fields, depending upon their training and expertise.

    The manuscript was shown to a medical historian at Harvard University. Unfortunately, as I’ve said before, I’ve not read the book yet. I have heard the author speak on the book.

    Chris, you’ve claimed that you’re more credible(?) than the physicians’ and professors who presented their arguments and evidence in a debate, except of course for the physician who’s in agreement with your position. You fail to understand that evidence, whether presented in a 3-year-old debate or from medical records 100-years old is valid. In the end, your “credible” comments are nothing more than opinions and, fortunately, reality is not based on the wisdom of your internet-blog opinions. Good day.

  86. #87 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 8, 2010

    Calli, you should read your history. re: “In the 18th and 19th Centuries, there were entire hospitals devoted to homeopathy rather than what Hahnemann termed “allopathy.”

    There were many hospitals in the US that had both allopathic and homeopathic wings. These are where the data come from.

  87. #88 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 8, 2010

    re: “I don’t know what the fuck “science” you’re talking about, but any “science” that tells you water has a “structure” is lying to you. Water is a liquid! That’s what the word “liquid” means—no “structure.” The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    H20? polar covalent bonds?

    liquid = has volume and takes the shape of its container.

  88. #89 Vicki
    September 8, 2010

    Ocno–

    “Objective confirmation” would mean, at minimum, that you showed us the data. A book published last year that people can get at the bookstore or library might count; one that is going to be published does not, because it’s not available.

    Also–From what you say, you should agree that most of the “homeopathic” “remedies” currently in use are worthless and should be counted as fraud or malpractice. The person who goes to their local drugstore and grabs something off the shelf isn’t getting that hypothetical remedy specific to their body, history, and symptoms: they’re getting something that is supposed to help anyone with a sore throat, or jet lag, or some other defined condition. If that’s not amenable to double-blind testing because it needs to be individualized, it’s unethical to sell these things.

  89. #90 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 8, 2010

    re: “I don’t know what the fuck “science” you’re talking about, but any “science” that tells you water has a “structure” is lying to you. Water is a liquid! That’s what the word “liquid” means—no “structure.” The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    H20? polar covalent bonds?

    liquid = has volume and takes the shape of its container.

    vicki, ethical?

    a drug’s efficacy is approved by the FDA, a government regulatory body that is largely funded by the very industry that it is supposed to be regulating, that is big pharma itself.

    medical ghost writing? pharmaceutical companies authoring their own reports on yet-to-be approved drugs that they then have doctors sign off on for a bursary of cash. if you’re unfamiliar…here’s an article from the NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/25/health/25ghost.html. or perhaps you prefer some articles from pubmed on the topic:

    -Ghostwriting: The Dirty Little Secret of Medical Publishing That Just Got Bigger
    -How ghost-writing threatens the credibility of medical knowledge and medical journals
    -Ghost Management: How Much of the Medical Literature Is Shaped Behind the Scenes by the Pharmaceutical Industry?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pmc.Pmc_LimitsTab.LimitsOff=true&db=pmc&cmd=search&term=ghost%20writing

  90. #91 Chris
    September 8, 2010

    Dude:

    Chris, you’ve claimed that you’re more credible(?) than the physicians’ and professors who presented their arguments and evidence in a debate, except of course for the physician who’s in agreement with your position.

    Where did I claim this?

    There were many hospitals in the US that had both allopathic and homeopathic wings. These are where the data come from.

    You don’t know much about history, do you? Perhaps you should look up why there are no longer anymore homeopathic hospitals in the usa: Abraham Flexner (take note he was not a doctor, but an educator).

    Again, century old records are not evidence homeopathy works, especially when compared to actual modern medicine. What you need to do to show homeopathy works, it to show it works with a non-self-limiting disease in animals.

    Come on! Don’t you get it? One of Hahnemann’s miasms was “syphilis.” What exactly is the present mode of treatment for syphilis? Did that method exist a century ago?

    Exactly how well did homeopathy work for Gloria Thomas and Penelope Dingle?

  91. #92 Vicki
    September 8, 2010

    Chris, your link is malformed and got me to a “What’s the harm in a bad hyperlink?” page. I got more or less what I wanted by stripping off the “rel=” at the end.

  92. #93 Chris
    September 8, 2010

    Oops… should have checked it in preview:
    http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html

    Sorry. Though I don’t think he has added Penelope Dingle.

  93. #94 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 8, 2010

    chris, “My credibility comes from explaining the reasoning behind the conclusion – indeed, this is the only reason ANYONE should be given credibility.”

    in science, credibility is given by objective confirmation of results..not explaining the reasoning as you’ve stated, not your deductions. way to go, chris.

    “Exactly how well did homeopathy work for Gloria Thomas and Penelope Dingle?” How well does western medicine work for 200 000+ people dying a year from iatrogenic disease?

    Medical Errors – A Leading Cause of Death
    The JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000 article written by Dr Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, shows that medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States.

    The report apparently shows there are 2,000 deaths/year from unnecessary surgery; 7000 deaths/year from medication errors in hospitals; 20,000 deaths/year from other errors in hospitals; 80,000 deaths/year from infections in hospitals; 106,000 deaths/year from non-error, adverse effects of medications – these total up to 225,000 deaths per year in the US from iatrogenic causes which ranks these deaths as the # 3 killer. Iatrogenic is a term used when a patient dies as a direct result of treatments by a physician, whether it is from misdiagnosis of the ailment or from adverse drug reactions used to treat the illness. (drug reactions are the most common cause). http://silver.neep.wisc.edu/~lakes/iatrogenic.pdf

  94. #95 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 8, 2010

    Again, century old records are not evidence homeopathy works,…ok mr. credibility

  95. #96 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 8, 2010

    re: “any “science” that tells you water has a “structure” is lying to you. Water is a liquid!”

    ?? H20? polar covalent bonds? hydrogen bonds?
    a liquid = has volume and takes shape of its container. you sure have butchered basic chemistry, The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge. perhaps a name change?

  96. #97 AnthonyK
    September 8, 2010

    Ironically named commentator – so tell us, oh knowledegeable one, which diseases has homeopathy ever cured? Leprosy…cholera…syphilis….smallpox….surely one leetle disaese apart from “a vague sense of hurty”? Oh, wait, no those don’t exist: yeah, but if they did?
    ‘Cmon just one…

  97. #98 objective confirmation, not opinion
    September 8, 2010

    the proof in the pudding, i.e., clinical efficacy of homeopathy found in the objective confirmations of epidemiological records, will come soon. look out for the release of “the weight of evidence.” at that time, i’ll resume discussions. so with that, take care, all.

  98. #99 AnthonyK
    September 8, 2010

    clinical efficacy of homeopathy found in the objective confirmations of epidemiological records, will come soon

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha – what?
    Oh, the proof – soon, but not yet?

    Oh yes, the historical record of….pseudo history.
    No proof for you nonsense – homeopathy: now and always nonsense.

  99. #100 Chris
    September 8, 2010

    ocno:

    chris, “My credibility comes from explaining the reasoning behind the conclusion – indeed, this is the only reason ANYONE should be given credibility.”

    Where did I say that?

    Also, the old paper by Starfield is not evidence that homeopathy works.

    Now answer the question on how your century old records can compare the treatment of syphilis with the method used today. Do not reference that book you keep shilling.

  100. #101 Calli Arcale
    September 8, 2010

    objective confirmation:

    Calli, you should read your history. re: “In the 18th and 19th Centuries, there were entire hospitals devoted to homeopathy rather than what Hahnemann termed “allopathy.”

    There were many hospitals in the US that had both allopathic and homeopathic wings. These are where the data come from.

    Actually, the study I read was looking at British hospitals, not American ones. In any case, the point still stands — the data can be explained simply by homeopathy not killing as many of its patients. That homeopathy is safer than 19h Century medicine is not really an endorsement of it in comparison to 21st Century medicine. 21st Century medicine is a hell of a lot safer than 19th Century medicine too, and it’s got efficacy going for it as well.

    There’s a side point in that. Medicine has undergone several revolutions since then, and is constantly improving itself. It is never satisfied. Homeopathy hasn’t changed substantially since Hahnemann’s time. Why is that, I wonder?

  101. #102 Chris
    September 16, 2010

    Dr. Novella has an article on Rustom Roy, who died a few weeks ago.

  102. #103 :0)
    September 16, 2010

    and here’s my response to novella:

    First, thanks for responding to my question.

    re: “There is no evidence that water can retain these structures for a biologically meaningful amount of time.”

    Second, your review of existing literature on the topic is unfortunately limited to but one paper. This citation does not refute the experimental data on huge changes in the structure of water retainable under lab conditions for SEVERAL HOURS. It only serves to add more information to existing data. If you can refute the existing science (and leave the “side issues” off to the side), then you will have refuted…well, the science.

    Here’s a powerpoint presentation that directly addresses your argument, “It’s just water…”

    http://www.rustumroy.com/MST%2008%20Presentation%20WATER%20Roy_Rao_NOVoice.ppsx dachille water thermodynamics

    You can also watch a vid where a response shows you the science that changes can be for extended periods of time, at 22:55 of the video. Specifically, go to the accompanying slide 47 of the presentation.
    http://mediasite.uchc.edu/Mediasite41/Viewer/?peid=407916ea-6301-4ede-b04f-c3650e4073a7#

    Thanks.

  103. #104 Chris
    September 16, 2010

    And you are just as lame there as you here, Roy Fan Boy. You have not read or understood that the water molecules do not even keep the same atoms, much less have memory of any structure. The only advantage to moving the “discussion” over there is that since you must register to comment you can no longer be the Mighty Morphing Poster.

  104. #105 :0)
    September 16, 2010

    and you’ve read roy’s work, let alone have the knowledge to understand it?

  105. #106 @chris
    September 16, 2010

    as Orac says, let’s just focus on the science presented (as it was in #103):

    “science-based medicine…Developed as a response to the concept of “evidence-based medicine” (EBM), SBM postulates that clinical care should be based on the best science available, including the consideration of basic sciences and prior probability. EBM relegates such considerations to the lowest rung of the ladder of data and elevates the randomized clinical trial to the highest form of data. This latter aspect of EBM is not what I generally have a problem with; rather it is how EBM treats randomized clinical trials as the be-all and end-all of evidence.”

    please provide details of any flawed with the works presented. (and let’s agree to keep side issues to the side)

  106. #107 Chris
    September 16, 2010

    I have taken material science, and know about metal and ceramic crystal structures (it is part of being a structural engineer). Roy did not show that liquid water has structure, nor that it contains memory. He used flawed and sometimes contaminated experiments and found anomalies. Nothing else.

    The flaws were presented to you by Adam_Y and Dr. Novella. You are ignoring the answers possibly because:

    1) You do not understand them.

    2) They do not tell you what you want to hear.

    3) Or your memory works as well as water memory.

    Which is precisely the behavior you have shown here, on both the homeopathy and the Doctor’s Data thread.

    Over, and over and over again you have been told that in order to prove homeopathy works you need to actually show it works (and animal studies have been suggested, and since many homeopaths claim it works on animals any argument that it is not individualized is a cop-out), but you still bring out the very flawed 2000 study on hospital deaths. You have been told over and over and over again that what a judge said on one case does not affect the more recent case (especially with the difference between witness and defendant), but you keep repeating the same cut and paste.

    If you are going to ask questions, be prepared for answers you do not like and open up your mind to the new information. The answers are not going to change just because you keep asking them. If you keep asking when the sun will set in the east will not change the direction of the earth’s rotation. Deal with it.

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