Respectful Insolence

Periodically, I like to make fun of homeopathy and homeopaths. I realize that to some that might seem like the proverbial shooting of fish in a barrel, but it is amusing and educational. However, it’s not always amusing. For instance, I am not amused when I see The One Quackery To Rule Them All (my favored term for homeopathy these days) being used either in areas where a lack of treatment can result in great harm (and, given that homeopathy is nothing more than water shaken up a bit with a magic spell, that’s what homeopathy is, a lack of treatment) or when I see homeopaths promising what they can’t deliver. If there’s anything that deserves–nay, begs for!–a heapin’ helpin’ of not-so-Respectful Insolence, it’s homeopathy and homeopaths.

And that’s just what something known as CEASE Therapy is going to get. I first found out about CEASE Therapy from a news article sent to me by a reader. This article describes an upcoming event in May listed on the Irish Society of Homeopaths website called Treating Autism And The CEASE Method. Here’s what the news story says:

On May 12th in the Clayton Hotel, Galway, Kelly Johnson will hold a training day on Treating Autism and the Cease method. Cease stands for Complete Elimination of Autistic Spectrum Expression. The event is of interest for a number of reasons. First because autism has received wide exposure following Tony Humphrey’s article in the Examiner on February 3rd and the public outcry that ensued; second, because the Cease method contains some very controversial views on the causes and treatment of autism; and third because the attitudes of many homeopaths to vaccination is often quite hostile.

And:

The Cease method was developed by homeopath Dr Tinus Smits who died in 2010. Smits said “autism is an accumulation of different causes and about 70 per cent is due to vaccines, 25 per cent to toxic medication and other toxic substances and 5 per cent to some diseases”. This view is not shared by modern science and is reminiscent of the Andrew Wakefield debacle in which autism was associated with the MMR vaccine – a claim now thoroughly refuted.

Well, yes, that’s certainly true, but being scientifically refuted has never, to my knowledge, ever stopped a homeopath from, as Richard Dawkins once put it, paddling bravely up the river of pseudoscience. Of course, homeopathy doesn’t even really qualify as pseudoscience given that there’s nothing scientific about it and that in reality it shows far more similarity to sympathetic magic than anything else. In other words, there isn’t even enough of patina of science slathered over the quackery to qualify as pseudoscience. It’s magical thinking, pure and simple, in which homeopaths believe that diluting a remedy makes it stronger, but only if it is shaken vigorously (succussed) between each serial dilution step. Even more magically, they believe that it is possible for a compound that has been diluted many orders of magnitude more than Avagadro’s number, such that it’s exceedingly unlikely that even a single molecule of active substance remains, to have a therapeutic effect. They justify this by claiming that water has “memory” and retains some sort of “imprint” of the substance that it’s been in contact with. Never mind that there’s no evidence that water has “memory” beyond an extraordinarily brief period of time. Homeopaths are impervious to reason.

Apparently Tinus Smits was no different. I’ll give him credit, though. If you’re a homeopath and believe that autism is caused by vaccines, toxic medicine, other toxic substances and “some diseases,” what would you treat autistic children with? If you know the Law of Similars, you know the answer. The Law of Similars states that the way to treat a symptom is to use a diluted substance that causes the symptoms. So, if you’re a homeopath, it’s rather obvious. If you believe, against all science, against all reason, against all medicine that vaccines, “toxic medicine” and other “toxic substances” cause autism, then there’s only one thing to do, isn’t there. Yes, that’s right:

The treatment of autistic children and even adults has matured through 300 cases over the last three years and is called CEASE Therapy, which stands for Complete Elimination of Autistic Spectrum Expression. Step by step all causative factors (vaccines, regular medication, environmental toxic exposures, effects of illness, etc.) are detoxified with the homeopathically prepared, that is diluted and potentized substances that caused the autism. Currently we use the 30C, 200C, 1M and 10M potencies to clear out the energetic field of the patient from the imprint of toxic substances or diseases.

OK, let’s take a look at this. First off, a 30C dilution means 30 serial 100-fold dilutions, or a 1060-fold dilution. A 200C dilution means 200 serial 100-fold dilutions, or a 10400-fold dilution. 1M means 1,000C, or a 102000-fold dilution. Well, you get the idea, and I’m sure most of you can do the math.

So what? I’m sure some of you not familiar with homeopathy are saying. To which I reply: you do realize, don’t you, that Avagadro’s number is approximately 6 x 1023? That means if you dilute a one molar solution of something by approximately 12C (1024), then the odds are only approximately (and I am approximating for simplicity’s sake; so let’s not get pedantic here–you know how pedantry annoys me) 50-50 that a liter of solution wil have a single molecule of active substance in it. Take the dilution up to 30C, 100C, and beyond, and the odds are vanishingly small that a single molecule remains. How small? Well, for a comparison that I frequently use when I’m giving talks that include a section on homeopathy, there are only estimated to be between 1078 and 1082 atoms in the observable universe.

Perusing the CEASE Therapy website is to peruse a cornucopia of quackery, both homeopathic and not homeopathic. For instance, we have this video describing how Smits came to the realization that vaccines cause autism:

If you believe Smits, there isn’t a chronic disease or problem that vaccines don’t cause. Autism? Of course! Asthma, bronchitis, ADHD, epilepsy, and others. In light of yesterday’s post, I particularly like the part where Smits is asked about how he knew this, and his response is that he “sees it in his practice.”

The hilarious thing about Smits is that he seems to be combining homeopathy with “energy healing” quackery. In fact, in Smits’ view, those evil vaccines are so nefarious that they pass their malign influence down through the generations through their dark energy:

During pregnancy and the first two years of life the brain is extremely vulnerable and should be protected as much as possible. Medication during and after pregnancy, especially vaccinations are very toxic to the young child’s brain. Even illness, medication and vaccination in the energetic field of the father and mother before pregnancy can be transmitted to the child by energetic transfer. In the book “Autism, beyond despair” you will find several examples of this.

And here’s an example of how Smits’ treatment works:

He has been vaccinated according to schedule from three months on. Apart from the DTPP/HIB and MMR he also received the Meningococ-C vaccination. I decide to detoxify both the MMR and the DTPP/HIB and to give three series of a month each of every shot. The MMR series lead to violent reactions and seemed to aggravate his autism, but after each DTPP/HIB series he clearly improves. Contact has increased, he looks you in the face, makes jokes and engages in question and answer games. Language comprehension improves and he displays a more extrovert attitude.

I prescribe three additional short series of the MMR as well as three of the DTPP/HIB. I don’t see him again until a year later. The series have had much effect. He talks a lot more and contact has greatly increased. Things no longer obsess him. He has found his place in the family. Serious behavioral disorders no longer exist. Before detoxification he would often spend hours in a corner of the room turning the wheel of a toy car. At times, he still flutters when very excited. His developmental retardation has not been fully restored, neither his motor skills or his cognitive abilities are up to par. His speech is somewhat staccato. Playing with other children than his sister still proves to be problematic at times. Now, after a meal he is satisfied, whereas before he continued eating.

In other words, this child shows no real signs that anything Smits threw at him is working, and everything described here could easily be consistent with the natural course of autism. Remember, autism is associated with developmental delay, not developmental stasis. Even the parents only rate the “healing process” as a 6 or 7 out of 10, and the child at the end of the anecdote later in the is clearly not “recovered.”

One thing I don’t understand, probably because it makes no sense, is how this homeopathic “detoxification” occurs. That’s just the reductionist “Western” scientist in me speaking, I guess. So while Smits (well, these days Smits’ followers because apparently Smits died in 2010) is using vaccine components, medications, and various toxins all diluted to nonexistence to cure autism, he apparently also thinks that “orthomolecular medicine” needs to be used as well. Orthomolecular medicine, for those who don’t remember, is the quackery popularized by Linus Pauling that involves megadoses of vitamin C and other vitamins and nutrients This strikes me as profoundly odd. After all, homeopathy is nothing if not about, well, diluting the alleged remedy away to nonexistence. Orthomolecular quackery is about the exact opposite: Megadoses of vitamins, in particular, megadoses of vitamin C:

When I witnessed that autism often improved by detoxifying the vaccines, the thought soon came to my mind that vitamin C could not only be useful in preventing autism in vaccinations, but that it could possibly play an important part in curing it as well. When I first prescribed the fat soluble vitamin C for a 4 year old autistic child, both speech and comprehension improved dramatically. His mother was deeply impressed by the significant improvement. Since then, ascorbyl palmitate plays an essential part in my treatment protocol for autistic children. It fully meets it’s expectations.

So let’s see. On the one hand, Smits’ disciples carrying on his work are diluting remedies to nonexistence at the same time they’re following the pretexts of a form of quackery that advocates using doses of things like Vitamin C that are far, far beyond what we need.

Makes perfect sense to me.

Comments

  1. #1 NJ
    April 17, 2012

    CEASE and desist subjecting healthy children to harmful vaccines.

    awww. How cute. Orac references the late great fake Richard Dawkins. A crackpot loudmouth fraud if there ever was one. There are three great fraud holes in the world and here thye are in order of existance:
    Karl marx, a drunken pedophile satan conspirator
    Charles Darwin, a drunken slave owning Godophobic maniac
    Richard Dawkins, a drunken Godophobic loudmouth kook

    There are others on the list of fraudulent kooks in the realm of secular depressive “science” subjects. One is Al Gore. A bitter almost president fake scientist that knows as much about weather and climate as my pet rock, however to make things fair he is considered a God since he has so many blind faith followers to his billions of dollars per year global warming ponzi scheme/population control program/new world order fund.

  2. #2 Kriss
    April 17, 2012

    CEASE and desist subjecting innocent healthy children to harmful vaccines.

    I see the great wizard of orac has referenced the late great fake richard dawkins. What a fraud kook if there ever was one. Almost as much a fraudulous criminal as al gore the almost president weather boy. Someone should give him some crayons and let him draw the weather so he will get it out of his system and shut up already.

    Everyone already knows climate chnage is a ponzi scheme designed to fund population control programs and world government. only frauds, kooks, criminals, and assholes belive this global warming and evolution garbage.

  3. #3 Narad
    April 17, 2012

    The only difference in herbal medicine and prescription medicien is that both have to come from a plant resource on earth.It’s just that the prescription blend has government backup to ensure profits while the herbal blend has government death squads to ensure no one knows about it.

    Kind of like creating an engine to run on hydrogen. The government may allow this engine to exist ONLY if THEY CONTROL the source of hydrogen. So, in the end hydrogen, like OIL with be a monopoly and the mess starts all over again. Except one thing… Man can make his own hydrogen at home and power his own vehicle. That’s when the government hitmen start to take down some independent thinkers.

    We can’t have sovereign independence now can we? Ever hear of Genepax? A car that runs on water. Actually it runs on hydrogen, but has the capability of producing its own hydrogen. You just fill it with water. It was a potentially successful experiment in japan until HAARP destroyed the pnat with the earthquake/tsunami. Convenient that some miracle machine arrivs and is destroyed by nature the very week it is to be introduced to the public. Very convenient indeed. Almost as convenient as Russia’s probe to phobos exploding. 33 unsuccessful launches to phobos means either their rocket science is flawed beyond repair or someone doesn’t want them to know what is on phobos. You make the call.

    Same as the moon. Rumors of nazi moon bases and crashed alien ships about in moon conspiracies but one thing is strange. Why did the US send a warhead to the EXACT location of the supposed crashed alien craft on the moon? Of course apollo 20 recovered the bodies of the crash an some of the wreckage but thye craft was extraordinarily large and could not be brought back so it had to be destroyed. Oddly enough the aliens on board were not aliens at all. They were human. There were even mummies on board. Odd. Perhaps the God of egypt were not God at all…

  4. #4 NJ
    April 17, 2012

    I am NJ and I apologize for my previous comment. Obama took away my meds and I am now delusional and keep daydreaming about Robin Hood. I am from Nottingham so I guess that goes without saying.

    It is not unreasonable to hypothesize that I drink fluoride from a lead cup and daydream about pusting on blobs about my Robin Hood fetish.

    Give that my real name is Willie Flowers and I am an african-canadian and will. The force is trong with my family, but trapped gas is no laughing matter. I enjoy making vaccinated babies cry, wetting my pants, staring into toilet turd water at lethal range, and voting secular oppressives into power so that world government can control us all. I enjoy contrbuting my fair share to global warming by farting megatons of pollution into the atmosphere. I can make more gas than Mt. St. helens ever dreamed of. I also playin with hop scotch with other homeless hobos in my canadian neaghborhood. I need medicien but Obama won’t approve it since I contribute to global warming.

    I am NJ and I apporve this message.

  5. #5 Antony Macarty
    April 17, 2012

    Milicent Assnostic (hobo with a square rectum @98)

    I skeemed over the readings and there was nothing out of the ordinary. However, this NJ fellow is a strange one. I wonder if his rectum has some hidden object lodged right below the uvula?

  6. #6 lilady
    April 17, 2012

    Hi. I am lilady and I am crippled from the neck up due to government run schools. I enjoy sharing Robin Hood fetishes with NJ (Willie Flowers) and staring at smart people for hours. My IQ is almost as high as my pet rock’s IQ. Only my pet rock has more real life experience than I do. Now excuse me while NJ and I share fluoride from our lead cup and toast our pet rocks. PS. I think NJ has a pet turd. I saw him walking it this morning. It illegally crossed the canadian border when it got loose from its leash.

  7. #7 Narad
    April 17, 2012

    Why, yes, I am Sodom’s Finest possum burgler and perennial science underachiever. I enjoy defrauding the masses with talk of made up conspiracy theories like global warming and evolution. I thoroughly enjoy sending teams of FBI Division 5 masked death squads to raid raw milk farms. Raw milk is an unforgivable sin and the penalty is death for its manufacture. it must be replaced with nutritious GMO stuff and fluoride and delicious nutricious aluminum vaccines. I am goverment and I know best.

  8. #8 Vladamir Kloskesvy
    April 17, 2012

    Why so confusion? Where a parcel? American science site makes no sense. Why argument so much? Understand about homopathy. It is illegal in my country. Homopathy illegal in my province. Only man and woman marry. Where a parcel? Why so confusion about marry?

  9. #9 Cathy
    April 17, 2012

    The job market in Europe is slim. However I hear a position is open for rectitorious maximus. maybe you should apply for uvula scraping cermonies. Gone …but not forgotten. I hereby leave all my worldly goods to lilady. My gnat uvula collection along with my collection of heathen pictures of a once hairy hominid known as NJ and a few table scraps left from last night’s Republican banquet in honor defeating secular oppressives and putting the world back to a pre-1955 worldview.

    I being of slightly sound mind and a sleepy disposition I hereby leave Narad his my dried dog turd collection on a rope. Wear them with pride my wrinkled spotted hairy friend. Don’t smoke them in the sunlight or the side effects will be similar to overdose of fluoride. See NJ for further instructions in case of emergency.

  10. #10 NJ
    April 17, 2012

    Actually for real, I had a friend in high school that crumbled an old dog turd in an old mans tobacco. He smoked it. Never laughed so hard in all my laugh. The old man was a hateful old ass and my friend got him good. I was never very good at payback but did do a few payback things like pissing on someone’s car door or taking a crap on their property or carving a pecker image into someone’s private tree for payback. I never put anyone’s health at danger like making them smoke a dog turd.
    I suppose I still would never put someone’s life or health in danger for payback. A nice turd in the driveway and seeing the look on their face is plenty good enough for me. It’s the WTF look through my binoculars that makes it all well worth it. As far as physically harming someone, that is ridiculous and totally not worth it.

    My wepaon of choice has always been a slingshot. A soft projectile such a pile of crap or a 5 day old boiled egg is weapon enough. Lessen learned. Never sligshot a frozen Baby Ruth at a muscular agressive enemy. It never works out well.

  11. #11 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    April 19, 2012

    DLC: “If you ask me, CEASE is Completely Asinine Ridiculous Poppycock.”

    If you ask me, the inventor of CEASE is a Totally Worthless Asinine Trickster.

  12. #12 Vuffy
    April 19, 2012

    Wow… I thought Astarel was a really, really good Poe until the Facebook page came up. No troll is ever *that* dedicated. Not quite sure if that makes me feel better or worse…

    @155 They’ve been doing that for live Vocaloid concerts for a couple years. Computer-generated singer, real band. All over youtube, etc. Don’t tell the rap fans that they’re fawning over technology first used to display vocal synthesis programs anthropomorphized as cute Japanese girls, though.

  13. #13 MI Dawn
    April 19, 2012

    @robertc: thanks for posting about your son’s experience with the Melody valve. The insurance company I work for has just added this to our approved medical policies, so it’s always nice to hear from those who have had the procedure (or whose child has) and know it worked out well!

  14. #14 RobertC
    April 19, 2012

    @MI Dawn: You are more than welcome.

    Melody is a great thing, AND it is cheaper than the alternative and easier on the patient.

    It can’t be used in all cases, but where it can, it is a wonderful little bit of science and innovation.

  15. #15 lilady
    April 19, 2012

    Thanks to MI Dawn and RobertC for posting about the Melody Valve. I have now looked up this innovative minimally invasive cardiac procedure…and it is amazing.

    And RobertC, best wishes to you and your son.

  16. #16 Tim
    April 29, 2012

    Homepathic remedies for autism is a complete fraud. Just another con job. Just like gluten free diets. AUtism is genetic.

  17. #17 Autism
    April 29, 2012

    Is this pseudoscience?

    PMID 22350104

  18. #18 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    Flawless research on ultradilutions:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2759025/

    “Our results confirm and build upon the hypothesis that high dilutions of biologically active compounds may indeed have an effect which mimics that of lower dilutions/higher doses. So far there is no satisfactory or uniting theoretical explanation for these observations, but recent evidence seems to point to organization of the solvent water on a mesoscopic scale: the nano-heterogenous structure of water can be determined by interactive phenomena such as coherence [43, 44], epitaxy [45], temperature–pressure processes during strong agitation, and formation of colloidal nanobubbles containing gaseous inclusions of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, silica, and possibly the remedy source material [46–48]. So far, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies of homeopathic solutions have yielded controversial data, but recently high histamine dilutions (beyond 10−20 mol/l) were distinguished from water solvents on the basis of their NMR relaxation rates [49]; moreover, after heating of the histamine samples, all the relaxation observed as a function of dilution vanished. It was suggested that histamine molecules might act as nucleation centres, amplifying the formation of stable supramolecular structures, involving nanobubbles of atmospheric gases and highly ordered water around them. In the future, the possible existence and the nature of clathrate-like hydrate nanostructures formed during the dilution and succussion process might be explained by cluster science, in which different geometrical structures of clusters composed of the same chemical species may differ in their chemical reactivity [50]. These unusual properties of high dilutions, which merit further investigation, are potentially relevant not just to homeopathic pharmaceutical practice, but also to basic research into cell sensitivity to regulation.”

    Orac, man, your article is bad. You don’t know anything about homeopathy or CEASE. Still you feel like you do. It’s good for the people who follow you, they feel vindicated. They spend their days refuting people’s opinions or the lack of evidence behind certain theories just for the sake of it. This sort of thing makes you people happy. Because you are sad.

    Autistic kids who have improved (all of them, to some extent, and even 100%) with homeopathy and CEASE, you people say they were NOT really autistic, or they would develop eventually anyway (haha).

    All the other autistic children who never had homeopathy nor CEASE, and COINCIDENTLY never progressed or very little – with biomedical and whatever treatments – oh yes, these kids are really autistic.

    What a curious coincidence. You skeptic people happen to be really unlucky, don’t you?

    @Tim
    Autism is genetic. Excuse me, where did you see this sort of finding/research? I have never seen it. Please can you enlighten us with your knowledge and post where you saw it?
    Thanks.

  19. #19 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 12, 2012

    “Flawless research”…that was paid for by Boiron!

    Sorry, try again.

  20. #20 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    @Marc Stephens is Insane
    Really? well, it has to be paid by someone.
    And?
    It was never refuted. Find one critic.

    Oh please, take your time, I’m not in a hurry.

  21. #21 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 12, 2012

    Would you believe a study showing health benefits of eating hamburgers funded by McDonald’s? Your statement is naive.

    And why didn’t they just use real homeocrapic medications in the tests instead of histmaines? That’s something that no one, to this day, has yet been able to do.

  22. #22 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    Papers are published. Anyone can refute it. No one did.

    So we should never take allopathic medicines because… the medications were tested by the Pharmaceutical company that produces them…?

    Sorry, your MacDonalds analogy is so weak it makes me laugh.

  23. #24 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    @Marc Stephens is Insane (nice nick) er…

    Don’t try so hard. This is a paper proving the efficacy of ultradilutions. It’s a fact. Published. Never refuted.

    “tests instead of histmaines? That’s something that no one, to this day, has yet been able to do”.

    Well, they have, mate. This research was not funded for homeopathic purposes and YET, and YET…

    I know, I know, it’s hard to swallow. But you will, eventually.

    Wishing all the best to “Orac”.

    PS: if you don’t post an article challenging these findings, I will not even bother to reply, sorry.

  24. #25 novalox
    May 12, 2012

    @julie anderton

    Your stupidity is quite amusing. Keep on posting your idiocy, I do need a laugh, and you seem like the perfect dunce to provide some.

  25. #26 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    @novalox
    Sorry, you don’t have any argument. Why did you get into the conversation, may I ask?
    hahah

  26. #27 novalox
    May 12, 2012

    @julie anderton

    Sorry about your lack of basic science education. But please do keep playing the fool, your idiocy amuse me.

  27. #28 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 12, 2012

    Julie Anderton – has it ever been replicated?

    1 mole solute in 10^20 liters of solvent is pretty dilute – but nothing like 15c or larger.

  28. #29 squirrelelite
    May 12, 2012

    Julie,

    I noticed that the event discussed in the article is happening today. Are you attending it by any chance?

    Since you think Orac’s article is bad, would you clarify please by citing some quotes and explaining where his reasoning is wrong?

    I would really like to know.

    Also, you stated that

    Autistic kids who have improved (all of them, to some extent, and even 100%) with homeopathy and CEASE

    while

    All the other autistic children who never had homeopathy nor CEASE, and COINCIDENTLY never progressed or very little – with biomedical and whatever treatments

    Could you please provide a link to the study where these results are documented?

    In the mean time, your best evidence for the effectiveness of CEASE therapy is a 3 year old study which found some unusual results in test tube cell samples.
    And that study disagreed with another study of the same phenomenon:

    The lack of significant inhibition of CD63 expression by histamine at high dilutions in our experimental conditions (Table 2) may apparently be in disagreement with the data of CD203c and with the findings of other authors who detected high-dilution effects also using CD63 marker [11].

    The results table was blurry and hard to read in your link, but when I double-clicked on it to blow it up I could see the results clearly and noticed that all the individual test series histamine and water comparisons overlapped at about the 1 SD range.

    It’s been a little while since I studied statistics, but that hardly seems a strong enough difference to justify the P value < 0.05 which the report claims.

  29. #30 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 12, 2012

    The fact is, Julie, that no one has ever been able to take actual homeocrapic medications off the shelf of a pharmacy and show any active ingredients.

    That’s a simple test; but there’s another open challenge for a homeopath to identify six common homeo remedies in unmarked vials. If there’s anything in there beside water ans sugar, this should be easy, right?

    To this day no one has ever accepted the challenge. Why not? There are a lot of excuses but no scientific proof.

    Are you aware of the worldwide class action lawsuits against Boiron for making false claims? Their house of cards is about to crumble.

  30. #31 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    Stop everyone please, now!

    @Novalox has something veeeery relevant to say about the article I posted, he is not here ONLY to offend people.

    We are waiting.

  31. #32 Chris
    May 12, 2012

    Ms. Anderton was spamming this nonsense earlier here and here.

    She denies she was spamming, but she put that same common on about seven threads. Her idea of data is amusing (random website).

  32. #33 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    @squirrelelite
    @Marc Stephen is Insane

    Nice try.
    You find one – only one – person refuting this paper, and I will bother replying.

    And oh, shame Glaxo and Merck are not interested in funding some research on homeopathy to find out whether it actually works.

    Its the same with the vaccine palaver. There are countless parents who also report that their children fell ill after receiving the MMR. But hey, you people dont believe these “desperate” parents, do you.

    BYE.

  33. #34 Vicki
    May 12, 2012

    Julie–the paper you’re so pleased with and demanding a refutation of can come up with nothing stronger than “may indeed have an effect.”

    As for the genetics of autism, it’s not a single gene, but there’s a strong genetic linkage: that is, the siblings of people with autism are a lot more likely to have autism than people whose siblings don’t have autism. Try this article from Genetics: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/113/5/e472.full and take a look at Wikipedia. No, not all autism is inherited. Some may not be genetic (and some is de novo or new mutations). [I’m only giving one link in the hope of avoiding moderation.]

    Very few things are the results of single genes: even eye color is determined by multiple genes, and that’s a much simpler trait than whether someone is autistic.

  34. #35 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    @Chris good stalking
    In that forum, they could not argue anything too. Thanks for posting.

    @Marc Stephens Is Insane shame
    so there is a lawsuit against Boiron because “falsely advertises that Oscillo has the ability to cure the flu because it contains an active ingredient it claims is proven to get rid of flu symptoms in 48 hours.”

    Oh Boiron, guys, you could never have advertised that!

    This never happens, man.

    Did anyone shout Thalidomide… hahaha

  35. #36 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 12, 2012

    I found this on the CEASE website Twitter feed. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad:

    Donate for Dr. Smits’ homeopathy education project in Nepal before they get invaded with drug based healthcare.

    AND

    Contributors to autism: vaccination, xylometazolin, antibiotics, antiepileptics, antacids, smoking, anaesthesia, glutamate, phthalates…

  36. #37 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    @Vicki

    There is, perhaps, a genetic predisposition. Thats why siblings may develop autism.

    Right now the studies could only get as far as finding that deficiency in gluthatione affects methylation.

    Which means, not being able to excrete heavy metals.

  37. #38 novalox
    May 12, 2012

    @julie anderton

    My announcement is that julie anderton is an idioctic spammer, whose idea of evidence is to spam science blogs so much, that through some homeopathic bull, her argument somehow becomes stronger .

    But seriously, please keep posting your stupidity. Your idiocy is LOL worthy

    Dance, little puppet, dance!

  38. #39 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    @novalox

    no. It didnt work this time either.
    google anger management

  39. #40 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 12, 2012

    Which means, not being able to excrete heavy metals.

    Did someone say chelation?! :-)

  40. #41 novalox
    May 12, 2012

    @julie anderton

    Oh, do please keep amusing me with your whining. It is rather amusing at your rather buffoonish attempts at trolling.

    While you are at it, please google “avogardo’s number”.

  41. #42 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 12, 2012

    Novalox:

    I don’t usually nit-pick on spelling but Julie probably won’t find it if she looks it up using your spelling. You transposed the r and d par erreur.

    Julie: look up Avogadro’s number.

    And why do I always feel like having a bagel and cream cheese when I read your ‘nym? Are you near the NA east coast?

  42. #43 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    Well @Marc Stephens is Insane

    Are you saying that injecting an 8 hour old child (mandatory Hep vaccine) with an amount of mercury that is difficult for an adult to process, will not affect the development of their brain…

    *sigh*

  43. #44 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 12, 2012

    Julie Anderton – you didn’t respond to my question – has it ever been replicated?
    If nobody’s bothered to replicate it or attempt to refute it, perhaps it just isn’t significant enough for someone to care about. There are an awful lot of bad papers that nobody bothers to try to refute because, well, why bother?

  44. #45 Shay
    May 12, 2012

    Marc@183 — they left out latex! How could they leave out latex?

    (pearl clutch).

  45. #46 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    “Marc”

    Sorry whats your point about avoga-R-dos number. lol

    … Gosh, but I posted an article about it for Gods sake.

    Oh people, honestly, you are not following the thread.
    I give up.

    @Novalox, dont beat your wife tonight because of me lol

    byebye!!

  46. #47 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 12, 2012

    Shay,

    And the monkey pus! What about the monkey pus?!

  47. #48 Chemmomo
    May 12, 2012

    Julie Anderton,
    You really don’t understand how modern science works, do you?

    Why would someone need to publish a refutation of an in vitro study? By itself, it does not show that homeopathy works.

    It just doesn’t.

    And besides, the scientific literature doesn’t work like the high school debate club. The next step is not some opposite side refuting a scientist’s work. The next step is scientists – either the same scientists, or a different group – replicating and expanding on the results, and publishing that.

    So Julie, as Mephistopheles O’Brien, has asked, twice, where’s the replication?

  48. #49 Shay
    May 12, 2012

    And Julie bids us good-bye for the third time. What are the odds she sticks the flounce?

  49. #50 Julie Anderton
    May 12, 2012

    @Mephistopheles O’Brien

    I dont know why no one replicated. But you can rest assured that Merck will not fund it.

    They are still very busy trying to sort out the s*** that Gardasil has been doing around the world.

    Now, I AM going to sleep.

  50. #51 novalox
    May 12, 2012

    @julie anderton

    Wow, you finally decided to show your true colors? Shows how real immoral you are your ilk really are.

    But at least you are becoming more honest on how morally bankrupt you really are. Also shows your true stupidity

    But do please, keep saying your stupidity. Show the world your true side. Keep up your pathetic attempts at trolling, I’ll keep having a laugh at your expense.

  51. #52 Shay
    May 12, 2012

    Julie: citation needed for the alleged damage that Gardasil has been doing. That’s how real science — as opposed to unsubstantiated innuendo — works.

    (how many more times is she going to say good-bye? This is like that song from the Sound of Music….so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, etc).

  52. #53 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 12, 2012

    Think she’s gone? S-h-h-h…

    She keeps changing the subject in each response but never addresses the realities that homeopathic remedies contain nothing but sugar and water and cannot possibly work.

    She’s “curing her child of autism” with homeocrapic voodoo so it must work. Period.

    She also defends used-to-be-a-doctor Andy Wakefield to the death, so logic and science are words not in her vocabulary.

  53. #54 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 12, 2012

    Shay,

    Have you ever heard of a song called “How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away”? By Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks, but covered by many.

    It applies to Julie, y’think?

  54. #55 Militant Agnostic
    May 12, 2012

    Marc Stephens Is Insane

    Have you ever heard of a song called “How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away”? By Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks, but covered by many.

    I linked to it on the interminable AMC thread. He didn’t take the hint.

  55. #56 Vicki
    May 12, 2012

    Julie @184:

    That is, of course, not what methylation means. The question is, are you trying to fool us, or are you actually that confused?

  56. #57 squirrelelite
    May 12, 2012

    I agree with chemmomo at 195. At best, this is a minor in vitro result and until it is replicated, preferably by a different team of researchers, that is all it is.

    And, even if replicated it is still just an interesting result until it is translated into a useful therapy with demonstrable results. And, that requires a lot of research which somehow never gets done for homeopathic remedies.

    And is it even relevant to the article? Does CEASE therapy use homeopathic histamine?

    Actually, Julie, I’m inclined to believe the researchers really measured the numbers they reported. I just don’t see how they show that CEASE therapy works.

    And that leads to one of my questions which Julie didn’t answer: where is the evidence that CEASE therapy works? That is much more important than a minor in vitro test result and is conspicuously lacking.

    And, Julie, the homeopathic principal that diluting a substance increases (potentiates) its effect is contrary to the chemical principle of mass effect, that the chemical effect of a substance is proportional to its quantity (mass). This principal is tested and repeated by thousands of chemistry students worldwide many times each week. One unusual and unreplicated lab result is vastly insufficient to even consider overturning that principle and start thinking homeopathically.

    To give a practical example, I like lemonade. To make lemonade, I mix a can of concentrate with a little over 4 cans of water (sometimes I actually do it the hard way). The lemonade tastes pretty good. But homeopathy tells me if I take 1 ml of lemonade and mix it with 100 ml of water, it will taste better. And, if I take 1 ml of that diluted lemonade and add it to 100 ml of water, it will taste even better, etc., etc., until it will taste so good I will be ecstatic!

    But, when I test that by adding water to my cup that had lemonade in it, it just tastes watered down. And, if I do it again, it just tastes like water.

    Sorry, Julie, but to overturn the basics of chemistry, we all need really convincing evidence, not just one curious lab result.

  57. #58 Militant Agnostic
    May 12, 2012

    Vicki @203

    The question is, are you trying to fool us, or are you actually that confused?

    I vote for the latter – her extreme nastiness is just an add on.

  58. #59 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    May 12, 2012

    Hey look! This homeoquack in London can “cure” masturbation (which he calls an evil habit) with homeocrapcy:

    http://www.homeoint.org/site/ahmad/masturbation.htm

    (He also claims he can cure nymphomania with homeocrap. Seems like all he needs to do is put the masturbators and the nymphomaniacs together in a closed bedroom and let nature takes its course…)

    Look at the list of ailments he claims he can cure with homeocrap, including a course of action for HIV/AIDS. Surprisingly, nothing about curing cancer.

    http://www.homeoint.org/site/ahmad/index.htm

    People like this make me sick.

  59. #60 Militant Agnostic
    May 12, 2012

    Marc Stephens Is Insane

    Hey look! This homeoquack in London can “cure” masturbation (which he calls an evil habit) with homeocrapcy:

    It is amazing how these assclowns are stuck are in the 19th century. There is no kooking19t century idea too stupid for them to recycle.

  60. #61 Militant Agnostic
    May 12, 2012

    Marc Stephens Is Insane

    Hey look! This homeoquack in London can “cure” masturbation (which he calls an evil habit) with homeocrapcy:

    It is amazing how these assclowns are stuck are in the 19th century. There is no kooky 19th century idea too stupid for them to recycle. And they always claim to be out ahead of SBM.

  61. #62 Chris
    May 12, 2012

    Julie:

    @Chris good stalking

    Yet another person who does not understand the definition of that word. She posts (spams) for the first time on two blogs I frequent and accuses me of stalking!

  62. #63 JFK
    May 13, 2012

    The research @Julie posted

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2759025/

    is a replicated study of a previous scientific paper by J. Beneviste

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v333/n6176/abs/333816a0.html

  63. #64 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 13, 2012

    Julie,

    I dont know why no one replicated. But you can rest assured that Merck will not fund it.

    If homeopathic remedies really were effective, don’t you think all of the major drug companies would want to get in on it? After all, how much can one duck liver per year cost?

  64. #65 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 13, 2012

    JFK – I have a personal failing that I’m not about to spend $35 to view the article and can’t tell what it says without even an abstract. However, I’m perfectly willing to accept that some very dilute solutions can have a biological impact, particularly with large quantities of that solution. How dilute is “very dilute” in this case?

  65. #66 Marry Me, Mindy
    May 13, 2012

    The patent on aspirin is long expired. That’s why no one sells it anymore.

    And MOB, it’s not like they even need an actual duck liver. All they have to say is that they used one. Who could tell that they were wrong?

  66. #67 Science Mom
    May 13, 2012

    I see Julie has found her way here to spam her magic water nonsense. Julie, if it works so well, then publish a study until then, no one is interested in your woo bullshit.

  67. #68 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 13, 2012

    Marry Me, Mindy – I’m shocked to hear someone suggest such a thing. If there was never a duck liver, then all those 200C Oscillococcinum pills might have well just been sugar…
    Oh.
    I’m reminded of the episode of MASH where they described the world’s driest martini – you pour six jiggers of gin, and you drink it while staring at a picture of Lorenzo Schwartz, (the inventor of vermouth.) If they had a picture of a duck liver in the factory, would that upset the dilution?

  68. #69 Science Mom
    May 13, 2012

    I see Julie has found her way here to spam her magic water nonsense. Julie, if it works so well, then publish a study until then, no one is interested in your woo bullshit.

  69. #70 squirrelelite
    May 13, 2012

    JFK, now that I’ve put the chocolate-ricotta ice box cake in the refrigerator to chill for tonight’s dessert, I’ll get back to the less serious front.

    Like Mephistoles, I can’t afford to spend $35 to view the 24 year old study you linked to. I did note that Chirumbolo et al listed it as their 3rd reference. They also commented that:

    This work was published in the journal “Nature” and had considerable resonance as a presumed demonstration of “water memory”, but was heavily criticized on theoretical grounds and due to the difficulty of reproducing the results [4–6].

    They discussed other follow up work and noted:

    the authors report that not all the laboratories involved were able to observe the phenomenon

    and some research on the CD203c marker they used but wrote that

    the literature in this field is not always consistent, with some experiments showing that highly diluted histamine activates rather than inhibiting the same cells [18], while another group failed to replicate the reported inhibitory effects of high histamine dilutions [19].

    and also that

    Even where many experiments of high methodological standard have demonstrated an effect of high dilutions, there has been no positive result stable enough to be reproduced by all investigators [20–24].

    and their experiment was not a direct attempt to duplicate the optical measurement of degranulation that Davenas et al reported since

    we used quantitative analyses and objective evaluations, a procedure that makes performing experiments in blinded fashion less necessary as it would be when performing the optical detection of basophil degranulation.

    and the histamine experiments reported in table 1 failed to show an increasing effect with increased dilution:

    Mean Expression SD
    10C 3936.9 1353.3
    11C 4248.3 1819.3
    12C 4163.5 1911.8
    13C 3858.7 1469.4
    14C 3818.7 1757.5
    15C 4000.7 1597.5
    16C 3899.9 1660.9

    AVG 4132.4 1652.8

    So, all these results fit easily within the average +/- 1 SD. In other words, there is no effect from potentiation/dilution.

    And the water only results average to 5733.4 +/= 1806.6.

    So, there is a huge overlap between the histamine results and the water results. Because of this overlap, there is no basis for presuming that the homeopathic histamine has any real or useful effect.

    Which leaves me with the questions I asked Julie:
    Does CEASE therapy use homeopathic histamine?

    Where is the evidence that CEASE therapy works?

  70. #71 MartinM
    May 13, 2012

    You should be able to find a free copy of Benveniste’s paper on google scholar. Though, frankly, I wouldn’t bother. This is the same paper which prompted Nature to send a group to check out Benveniste’s lab. They basically found that his methods were shoddy, and when corrected, his claimed effect disappeared into the ether.

    As for Chirumbolo et al, the statistics are just plain wrong. The headline results come primarily from multiple pairwise comparisons without any correction; fixing that makes most of the positive results disappear, and the remaining one is borderline. The huge difference between the two untreated samples in table 1 is one hell of a red flag, too.

  71. #72 herr doktor bimler
    May 13, 2012

    As for Chirumbolo et al, the statistics are just plain wrong. The headline results come primarily from multiple pairwise comparisons without any correction

    What MartinM said. In addition to the lack of any correction for the post-facto nature of the multiple Wilcoxon comparisons, the authors took three bites of each apple — comparing lowest, middle and highest results from the experimental sample against the counterpart from the control sample. This strikes me as an odd thing to do because the numbers being compared are no longer independent, in violation of the prerequisites for testing for significance at all.

    Anyway, to compensate for the multiple comparisons, the authors needed a very stringent significance level. Instead they stuck to a *loose* significance level (p < 0.05), that’s generally considered “indicative” rather than “conclusive”.

    They use Friedman’s non-parametric test for multiple samples. Trouble is that Friedman’s test assumes matched samples, which is simply not the case here — different batches of cells were used for each experimental and control measurement. The Kruskal-Wallis test is the appropriate one.

    “Inflammation Research” claims to conduct peer review but the peers evidently do not include statisticians.

    There you go Julie; there’s your sought-after refutation. An expression of gratitude is not essential but would be appreciated.

  72. #73 herr doktor bimler
    May 14, 2012

    An afterthought about Chirumbolo et al.: the Discussion section of the paper invokes the idea of quasi-crystalline water structures that form around histamine molecules in the original dilution, and which somehow have the same biological and chemical properties as the original histamine — including the capability of forming more quasi-crystalline clusters of the same form. The clusters replicate, in other words, as the water is successively diluted — always replicating just enough to maintain some biological activity without overdoing it and turning into Ice-9.

    So this paradigm for homeopathy invites us to believe that water has many of these quasi-crystalline allotrope states… one for histamine (obviously), but also another one for each of the preparations that homeopaths have used as the starting point for a remedy. And each of these states has the same capacity for replicating… but never in excess.

    It all comes across as cargo-cult science. Full of sciency phrases and terms like “cluster science” that sound as if they mean something but do not in fact hang together in a coherent picture.

    It was suggested that histamine molecules might act as nucleation centres, amplifying the formation of stable supramolecular structures, involving nanobubbles of atmospheric gases and highly ordered water around them. In the future, the possible existence and the nature of clathrate-like hydrate nanostructures formed during the dilution and succussion process might be explained by cluster science, in which different geometrical structures of clusters composed of the same chemical species may differ in their chemical reactivity

  73. #74 Matt F
    May 14, 2012

    @Julie”All the other autistic children who never had homeopathy nor CEASE, and COINCIDENTLY never progressed or very little – with biomedical and whatever treatments – oh yes, these kids are really autistic”
    Really because I am almost perfectly functional, without your without one of the biggest quackery homeopathy. Thankfully, my parents, used science based treatment, and it worked. Two years ago for support at college, that I don’t use, I still was diagnosed as autistic. So, you might want to shut up about your BS that homeopathy works, because if it did. All water everywhere would be a cure for everything known to man.

  74. #75 herr doktor bimler
    May 26, 2012

    Julie Anderton
    May 12, 5:48 pm
    Flawless research on ultradilutions: [link to Chirumbolo et al.]

    Further research reveals that Chirumbolo has ‘prior form’, being one co-editor (along with Dana Ullman) of the “Journal of Homeopathy and Ayurvedic Medicine”. He seems to have made a career of smuggling fringe medicine into respectable journals by claiming to have observed in-vitro effects of naturopathic or homeopathic preparations, in ultra-diluted or “nano-molar” concentrations, while carefully avoiding words like ‘naturopathy’ or ‘homeopathy’ that might alert editors.

    Here, for instance:
    http://www.frontiersin.org/Neuropharmacology/10.3389/fneur.2011.00031/full

    There seems to be a network of like-minded people in Italian academia, who are when they aren’t co-authoring papers on ultra-diluted phytochemicals, are writing approving but disinterested commentaries about one another’s papers on ultra-diluted phytochemicals

  75. #76 John
    July 11, 2012

    Have none of you heard of the placebo effect? It works just as well for homeopathy as it does for anti-depressants, both of which have shown placebo-effect difference in people, especially those suffering from non-medical/physical illnesses problems.

    So, if there’s research showing that homeopathy has had an effect compared to nothing, the placebo effect could account for that.

    Now, to say the placebo effect could work for physical illnesses, or autism, would be wrong.

    I might add, to say homeopathy cures autism is morally corrupt, as it plays on the hopes of parents who cannot accept that they’ve had an autistic child. The only one suffering in this is the autistic child, who is not being accepted as he (or she) is, but is seeing his parents trying to cure him of being himself.

    This is morally corrupt.

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