Homeopathy

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Homeopathy

The ultimate homeopathic remedy

It’s one of those things that can’t be repeated too many times, but homeopathy is ridiculous. In fact, so ridiculous is homeopathy that I don’t usually write about it all that often. The reason is that, like homeopathic dilutions, a bit of skeptical blogging about homeopathy goes a long, long way (although I’m not sure…

One of the things that distinguishes evidence-based medicine (EBM) and science-based medicine (SBM) is how the latter takes into account prior probability that a therapy is likely to work when considering clinical trials. My favorite example to demonstrate this difference, because it’s so stark and obvious, is homeopathy. Homeopathy, as regular readers of this blog…

On the evolution of quackery

Once upon a time, there was quackery. It was the term used to refer to medical practices that were not supported by evidence and were ineffective and potentially harmful. Physicians understood that modalities such as homeopathy, reflexology, and various “energy healing” (i.e., faith healing) methodologies were based either on prescientific vitalism, magical thinking, and/or on…

What did the poor Haitians ever do to deserve this? Think about it. A year and a half ago, they suffered through an enormous earthquake that will take them decades, maybe even a lifetime, to recover from fully; that is, if they ever do recover from it fully. Since then, they’ve received massive amounts of…

Homeopathy for malaria? Again?

I know I’ve said it many, many times before, but it’s something that, in my opinion at least, can’t be repeated too often. Homeopathy is ridiculous. Arguably, it’s the most ridiculous of “alternative” therapies ever conceived. And that’s saying a lot. After all, among “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integrative medicine” (IM), we have…

It’s grant crunch time, as the submission deadline for revised R01s is July 5. However, in a classic example of how electronic filing has actually made things more difficult, the grant has to be done and at the university grant office a week before the deadline if it is to be uploaded in time. So,…

It’s grant crunch time, as the submission deadline for revised R01s is July 5. However, in a classic example of how electronic filing has actually made things more difficult, the grant has to be done and at the university grant office a week before the deadline if it is to be uploaded in time. So,…

Taking the “e” out of homeopathy

It’s been a rough week. No, it hasn’t been rough here on the blog; personally I think I’ve managed to serve up heaping’ helpings of the usual expected Insolence–and then some–if I do say so myself. Rather, it’s been a bit rough at the old job. Ah, well, it can’t all be sweetness and light.…

Naturopathy invades the heartland

Many are the times I’ve referred to homeopathy as The One Quackery To Rule Them All. Because homeopathic remedies diluted greater than 12 C (12 serial hundred-fold dilutions) have been diluted more than Avagadro’s number, they are incredibly unlikely to have even a single molecule of starting compound in them. That makes them water. Given…

More quack ads on ScienceBlogs

I get it. Seriously, I really do. Advertising is a deal with the devil. I understand that and have come to accept it–to a point. For example, I can (sort of) tolerate ads for Cancer Treatment Centers of America showing up on ScienceBlogs; I even understand that outside of those of us who promote science-based…

Apparently something’s going on here on ScienceBlogs. It’s something that I don’t like at all. You, my readers, have been informing me of it. Oddly enough, it also jibes with potential blogging material that appeared on that wretched hive of scum and quackery, The Huffington Post. You’ll see what I’m talking about in a moment.…

It figures. I don’t know if it’s confirmation bias or not, but it seems that every time I go away on a trip, some juicy bit of blog fodder pops up. So, right here, right now, while I’m at the AACR meeting soaking up the latest and greatest in cancer science, inevitably someone posts something…

Over the years, I’ve pointed out just how horrible British libel laws are. If there is a set of laws more designed to be used and abused by the wealthy to silence criticism, it’s British libel laws. Indeed, I was pointing out the travesty that is British libel law in the context of David Irving’s…

Naturopathy versus science

Naturopathy has been a recurrent topic on this blog. The reasons should be obvious. Although homeopathy is the one woo to rule them all in the U.K. and much of Europe, here in the U.S. homeopathy is not nearly as big a deal. Arguably, some flavor of naturopathy is the second most prevalent “alternative medical…

It’s Friday. That means I’m in the mood for something more amusing. In the past, I used to use Fridays to have some fun with some particularly outrageous bit of woo, such as quantum homeopathy or DNA activation. Lately, I haven’t done Your Friday Dose of Woo nearly as often as I used to, but…

Challenging homeopathy

Lest I be left out of the fun, I can’t help but point out that over the weekend the Amazing One himself, James Randi, issued a challenge to homeopathy manufacturers and retail pharmacies that sell homeopathy, in particular large national chains like Walgreens and CVS and large national chains that include pharmacies in their stores,…

Sometimes a comment in the comment thread after one of my posts ends up turning into the inspiration for another post. This is especially likely to happen if I respond to that comment and end up writing a comment of myself that seems way too good to waste, forever buried in the comments where, as…

Bravo! Homeopathy deconstructed by the CBC

Something amazing happened on Friday. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to blog it as soon as I would have liked because (1) it happened on Canadian TV and the video wasn’t available to anyone outside of Canada until it showed up on YouTube and (2) Craig Willougby’s changing his mind about Andrew Wakefield really did gobsmack…

I’m tired. Well, not exactly. I think I’m just suffering a case of what I like to call “anti-vax burnout.” It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the antivaccine front, given the new set of revelations about Andrew Wakefield, including even more detail about the nature of the scientific fraud he committed and previously…

As a blogger, every so often I come across a link, file it away, and then when I look through my link collection looking for topics to blog about I rediscover the link but totally forget where I got it from. This is just one of these times. However, since it’s less than three weeks…

Homeopathy in Cuba?

Homeopathy is among the most ridiculous of so-called “complementary and alternative medicine therapies.” I realize that I’ve made this point over and over and over again, but it bears repeating because, no matter how often homeopathy is shown to be utter and complete woo, homeopaths always seem to bounce right back, Gish galloping between the…

Luc Montagnier: The Nobel disease strikes again

They call it the Nobel disease. Linus Pauling is the prototypical example. A brilliant chemist who won two Nobel Prizes, one for chemistry and the Nobel Peace Prize, in his later years Pauling became convinced that high dose vitamin C was a highly effective treatment for cancer and the common cold and, expanding upon that,…

Taking the piss out of homeopathy

Silly Crispian, any homeopath will tell you that this isn’t a valid test of homeopathy because you didn’t adequately succuss at each step. (Of course, then there’s the issue of succussing it against a Bible, which Hahnemann himself favored.) I also would have recommended using a different pipette for each dilution to make sure there…

Homeopathy remains the perfect quackery because it is nothing but water. Even homeopaths seem to recognize this implicitly. If they did not, then there would be no need for all the mental mastubation they engage in to imbue their magic water with “memory,” such that, as Tim Minchin so famously put it, it “remembers” all…

At a local Target store…

Yesterday my wife and I were doing a bit of shopping for various household supplies at one of our favorite stores, our local Target. Having already been disturbed by the sheer volume of Christmas decorations and items on sale two weeks before Thanksgiving, I was even more disturbed to see this: Yep, it’s everywhere. Oscillococcinum.…