Respectful Insolence

…then how come there are so many believers in homeopathy?

i-a1cbde883d8dc547d6e203319555f905-dilution.png

Truly, a scientific mystery…

Comments

  1. #1 Todd W.
    July 12, 2010

    Someone ought to tell the stick figures that their solution would act as a contraceptive…

  2. #2 Rene Najera
    July 12, 2010

    I’d make a joke here about how water would definitely remember if any of my semen was in it, no matter the dilution, but I am above that.

  3. #3 Jarred C
    July 12, 2010

    Considering that pregnancy was once known as “sick with child,” shouldn’t a homeopathic solution of semen be the cure for pregnancy?

  4. #4 Aaron Golas
    July 12, 2010

    Fun fact: some homeopaths actually offer homeopathic contraception. The favored treatment appears to be natrum muriatricum (dilution of SODIUM CHLORIDE).

    So even if belief in homeopathy were something that could be selected for (*grumble*), I suspect the failure of homeopathic contraception would help offset the failure of homeopathic fertility aids (including homeopathic insemination). :-P

  5. #5 Esteleth
    July 12, 2010

    The best part of that comic is the alt text: “Dear editors of Homeopathy Monthly: I have two small corrections with your July issue. One, it is spelled “echinacea,’ and two, homeopathic medicines are no better than placebos and your entire magazine is a sham.”
    XKCD won my heart with this comic some time ago: http://xkcd.com/385/
    Of course, this one rocks too: http://xkcd.com/435/

  6. #6 Esteleth
    July 12, 2010

    The best part of that comic is the alt text: “Dear editors of Homeopathy Monthly: I have two small corrections with your July issue. One, it is spelled “echinacea,’ and two, homeopathic medicines are no better than placebos and your entire magazine is a sham.”
    XKCD won my heart with this comic some time ago: http://xkcd.com/385/
    Of course, this one rocks too: http://xkcd.com/435/ (I think PZ might be in there…)

  7. #7 Esteleth
    July 12, 2010

    Aah, sorry for the double post. Go ahead and delete one of them. I de-lurk to post for the very first time and I mess it up. Sheesh.

  8. #8 Scote
    July 12, 2010

    At first glance I wanted to say that homeopathic semen should be a powerful contraceptive or an abortifacient, but then I remembered that homeopathic provings are generally based on **swallowing** the test substance–so I’m not so sure anymore :-o

    I wonder if there is something more to Samuel Hahnemann than we suspected?

    “Liebchen, tonight we will perform one of mine Homeopathic provings!

    “You mean thing where you treat my nausea by giving me **more** of what makes me nauseous? Great…

    “Ja, und now less is more! The smaller the dose, the more **powerful** it is!!!”

    “Right, the smaller the better. More powerful. MmmHmm… What ever you say dear. You just keep thinking that… I’ll be thinking of England, or something, maybe beige, yes, I’ll paint the ceilings in beige…

  9. #9 LovleAnjel
    July 12, 2010

    “…then how come there are so many believers in homeopathy?”

    Because they are very well-hydrated.

  10. #10 Scott
    July 12, 2010

    but then I remembered that homeopathic provings are generally based on **swallowing** the test substance–so I’m not so sure anymore :-o

    That could be a very… interesting… proving. Depending on how the samples were provided.

  11. #11 Composer99
    July 12, 2010

    And here was me, thinking to share the link to this cartoon on the previous thread about homeopathy, only to be beaten to the punch(line).

  12. #12 Andreas Johansson
    July 12, 2010

    Hm. Belief in homeopathy being a transmissible disease, it should be under selection to make it less dangerous to infectees.

    I guess the predction here would be that homeopaths become less adverse to combine homeopathy with medicine as time goes by?

  13. #13 jon w
    July 12, 2010

    I believe homeopathy is a transmissible disease…

    I also wonder if the water I drink every morning used to be part of Jesus’ urine. That could explain why it makes me feel so good. Or it could be the coffee that I add to the water. hmm.

  14. #14 Andrew
    July 12, 2010

    It IS selected for once it’s established.

    If you believe in homeopathy, the placebo effect is stronger and you’re more likely to survive.

  15. #15 JKW
    July 12, 2010

    Nice turkey baster.

  16. #16 Jack
    July 12, 2010

    What’s funny is that this comic doesn’t even truly encompass how ridiculous homeopathy is. A 30x dilution is a homeopath’s placebo. That semen needs to be diluted 10030x to have any real effect!

  17. #17 Ray C.
    July 12, 2010

    @5, 6, 7: how on Earth could you forget http://xkcd.com/285/ ?

  18. #18 Pieter B
    July 13, 2010

    how on Earth could you forget http://xkcd.com/386/ ?

  19. #19 David N. Brown
    July 13, 2010

    Something I’ve wondered about: Could anomalies in conception have been an inspiration of homeopathy? There are enough anecdotes about women get pregnant despite “withdrawal” and other measures to establish that sperm can fertilize an egg even in minimal concentrations. So, it seems conceivable that homeopathy could have been arrived at on the assumption that any substance could have similar properties.

  20. #20 Andrew F
    July 13, 2010

    Andreas Johansson:

    Belief in homeopathy being a transmissible disease, it should be under selection to make it less dangerous to infectees.

    It’s been suggested previously that homeopathy is the culmination of woo evolving to have less effect and thus less side-effect, but this doesn’t seem to jibe with the continued use of black salve or the rise of chelation therapy.

  21. #21 Sophia
    July 13, 2010

    Actually, the “succusion” (vigorous shaking of the medicine in the liquid) may be equivalent to “in and out” shaking. It may be that lovemaking is the potentization of sperm. It seems that homeopathy IS in our DNA.

    Perhaps skeptics are the result of having mothers and/or fathers that just stuck it in and didn’t succuss (because they did not believe in shaking). Explains a lot…

  22. #22 Mojo
    July 13, 2010

    The guy in the cartoon only has a single flask, so presumably he used the Korsakov method:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semen_Korsakov