Here they come to save the day! Homeopaths vs. Ebola, again

epidemics

If there is one thing that the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Africa has revealed to the world, it’s the full extent of quackery that is out there and advertised as being able to treat deadly diseases such as Ebola. The deadlier the disease, the more quackery is out there, amplified by the scariness of the disease. And, make no mistake about it, Ebola is scary. No, it’s not scary here in the U.S., where the odds of the average person catching the disease, particularly if he’s not a health care worker who’s directly cared for a patient with Ebola, is vanishingly tiny. If you happen to live in west Africa, it’s a different matter entirely. If I lived there, I’d be worried. But here in the U.S.? Not so much. Even so, we have a veritable cornucopia of quackery that, or so its proponents say, can cure Ebola. Examples include quackery like essential oils, “natural biopreparedness,” high dose vitamin C, drinking one’s own pee, and, of course, The One Quackery To Rule Them All, homeopathy. Indeed, one homeopath, Ken Oftedal, had the temerity to actually propose a homeopathic remedy in which he recommended taking actual blood, saliva, or other bodily fluids from patients with Ebola and doing homeopathic dilutions, a proposal that was too quacky even for Mike Adams.

I had a lot of fun ridiculing homeopaths claiming that their magic water can cure a viral disease as deadly as Ebola. Indeed, one of my favorite go-to jokes was a riff on Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). Basically, what I and others have pointed out is that, if homeopaths have so much faith in homeopathy, why aren’t they heading over to west Africa in droves in order to help patients with Ebola. I admit that it was a joke, a schtick meant to call out homeopaths for promoting their quackery from the safety of the U.S. or European countries in which the threat of Ebola is minimal or nonexistent. There is an actual group that calls itself Homeopaths Without Borders, patterned after Doctors Without Borders, a group that I made fun of when they invaded Haiti after the devastating earthquake a few years ago. As much fun as tweaking homeopaths was, I never expected that any of them would actually be crazy enough to actually put their quackery to the test. Apparently, I was wrong. Apparently, a team of homeopaths have actually arrived in west Africa to peddle their magic water and try to find a cure. So sayeth the National Center for Homeopathy:

The Ebola epidemic raging through West Africa has become a humanitarian crisis of great proportion. Homeopaths worldwide have been mobilizing their efforts toward gaining entrance in those countries affected, in order to provide homeopathic medical intervention to those individuals stricken with Ebola. The overriding goal is to investigate Ebola firsthand, and thereby determine which remedy or remedies are best for treating this disease.

The homeopaths there are so deluded that they actually state:

While there is ample reason to expect that such a remedy can be found for Ebola, to date our homeopathic world community has not yet determined what that remedy or remedies might be. Once such a remedy is found and administered empirically to patients, if it is shown to be effective, we will have in our hands both a treatment for Ebola victims and, very likely, an effective remedy to help prevent or dramatically diminish the spread of the disease to those exposed or at risk of contracting it (homeoprophylaxis). Discovering such a remedy and applying it successfully for Ebola is still unproven, though completely in line with our historical experience with epidemic diseases, both for their treatment and prevention.

The good news is that a small international team of experienced and heroic homeopaths have arrived in West Africa, and are currently on the ground working hard to examine patients, work out the “genus epidemicus,” and initiate clinical trials. This work is being done alongside the current conventional supportive measures and treatments already in place. We applaud and congratulate this team’s dedication and courage in joining the front lines in treating Ebola with homeopathy. The answer to whether homeopathic medicine has an important role in the Ebola epidemic could be forthcoming quite soon.

“Heroic”? I wouldn’t use that word to describe these homeopaths. “Deluded” is much closer to the mark. Don’t believe me? Check out this article by a homeopath, Ebola Virus. It is not an untreatable disease!:

But I am also aware of much discussion going on at the moment within the homeopathic world about the treatment of this 'new' killer disease. One homeopath has undertaken an extremely valuable, and quite exhaustive repertorisation of the known symptoms of Ebola, and she has come up with another remedy, Cinchona Offiicinalis. Looking at the known symptoms of both Cinchona and Crotulus, they could both be useful in the treatment of the disease.

  • So, if the conventional medical establishment has no treatment for Ebola, can the homeopathic community expect a knock on its door, in the near future, asking for assistance?
  • Will the Media, in search of anything that can avoid the dreadful scenario they are painting, be interested in publicising this possible treatment?

The answer to the first question is, “No.” Actually, it’s closer to: “Hell, no!” Why would science-based medicine have any interest in vitalistic magic to fight a real disease caused by a real virus? In any case, I’ve discussed the incredibly dubious “reasoning” that homeopaths use. Ebola virus causes bleeding and other symptoms? So does the venom of Sicarius (Six-Eyed Crab Spider)? So obviously Sicarus venom must be a homeopathic remedy for Ebola. After all, homeopathy is all about the symptoms, contrary to the claims of homeopaths that homeopathy treats the root causes of disease.

The Ebola outbreak in west Africa is a humanitarian crisis. it’s truly depressing to behold how willing quacks are to glom on to a humanitarian crisis such as what is occurring right now, taking advantage of the fear of a disease in order to ply their quackery. Remember, homeopathy is based on two major principles. First, homeopaths believe that “like cures like.” In other words, to treat a symptom requires the use of something that causes that symptom. Second, diluting a remedy makes it stronger. of course, as I and many others have pointed out, homeopathic dilutions involve diluting remedies to nonexistence.

to be honest, I’m actually a bit concerned. Homeopaths heading into a zone where Ebola is running rampant are unlikely to help a single person with the disease, nor is their adventure likely to end well. That’s putting it mildly. Think of it this way. Here are a bunch of inexperienced purveyors of magic water and sugar pills (many homeopathic remedies are pressed into sugar pills), with no experience dealing with outbreaks or even taking proper precautions against infected bodily fluids heading into the heart of an outbreak in Africa, where medical resources are tight. If they actually come into contact with patients ill with Ebola to the point of vomiting and bleeding, what is most likely to happen is that they will join the list of Ebola victims. Worse, any patient who relies on their magic rather than the best supportive care that can be provided is likely to suffer the consequences of relying on fantasy medicine rather than real medicine. Real medicine might fail to save Ebola patients half the time, but think of it this way. As we’ve learned before, untreated Ebola has a case fatality rate of around 90%. Any Ebola patient who is fooled into believing the homeopaths will go from a 50-50 chance of dying to a 90% chance of dying. That’s a rather big deal.

I’ll never understand how anyone can take the delusion that is homeopathy seriously, but its believers produce real world consequences.

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Actually, the worst part is that the epidemic will die down (as epidemics do, either as a result of conventional treatment or just the natural history of the disease) and the homeopaths will take credit for it. Mark my words.

By NH Primary Car… (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

The homeopaths may actually do some good. Not from magic medicine, but by providing additional labor and their experience in comforting the sick. If they are careful, work with the real medical staff, and follow the protocols for care and protection, then they could take on some load from doctors and nurses and provide a role not dissimilar to a chaplain.

As to their trials, I will go out on a limb and make some predictions:

1. If a person receives both homeopathic and conventional treatment, survival will be due to homeopathic treatment while death will be due to the non-homeopathic treatment.
2. Any treatment provided by the homeopath will be claimed as homeopathic, regardless of whether it follows the underlying principles of homeopathy.
3. Success will be claimed, but the statistics will be dubious.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

And as NH Primary Care Doctor predicts, the arrival of the homeopaths will be claimed as the beginning of the end of the epidemic.

This assumes, of course, that the homeopaths involved don't do something stupid and succumb to Ebola themselves within a month.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

I happen to believe that actual doctors and nurses traveling to West Africa to fight the epidemic is the best way to stop the humanitarian crisis there and save the rest of the world from Ebola. The occasional worker leaving infected is a manageable risk.

These punks, though? Throw 'em in quarantine and throw away the key. They are clearly too stupid and superstition-driven to be trusted with any other option. Better still, throw them in quarantine before they even leave, because you know they'd spread around the virus if they went there.

By Young CC Prof (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

The quacks that are homeopaths can do nothing to treat Ebola. They can, however, bring Ebola back to their country of origin. And, knowing the rarity with which homeopaths seek real medical treatment, they would almost certainly spread Ebola within their home communities.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

To me this is an example of why nothing is useless. Bear with me.

Something that works, works. It may work more or less well but it works. But as we examine the category I've noticed that hings that work less well don't slide toward uselessness. As soon as they become close to useless, they become less than useless, a detriment.

To get anything done you have to get the useless items out of the way. To do that takes time and effort. Effort better used to bring those things that work to bear.

There is a fine line between bravery and foolhardiness, and this crew have managed to erase that line.

I'd like to hear from somebody who knows more about this than I do, whether somebody who should have known better approved visas for these people, or whether it's a pro forma process, either at the embassy or even on arrival at the airport. I have done three trips where I had to apply for visas in advance (I've never been to a country where I could get the visa at the airport, but I know such countries exist). In one case the conference organizers did most of the legwork and I simply had to mail my passport to the consulate; in another case I went through an agency that specializes in such things, and in the third I handled myself. For the last I had to go to the consulate (in Boston, not too far from where I live) for an interview, which proved to be pretty much pro forma: they verified that I had an invitation letter, a roundtrip ticket, a completed visa application form, and a money order for the visa application fee, and then informed me that my visa would be ready in three business days. But none of these countries is in Africa. Some countries are more serious about visa applications than others (the US is notorious for being especially serious--unless you are specifically applying for an immigrant visa, you must overcome a presumption of intent to immigrate). If the country this crew went to is one of the more serious countries, and the visa applications were approved anyway, that's not good news.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

Over the past few weeks, Mike Adams has perseverated upon Ebola: nearly every day he writes a post about it and he has created a free 'course' about surviving it.

Fortunately, my computer, in its wisdom, has adamantly refused to play the course's videos/ audios ( not sure what they are) and I have been spared hours of loathesome drivel-encased tripe
HOWEVER I was able to watch yesterday's 'interview'( in his post) in which he manages to ramp up fear about 'air-borne' Ebola, bio-weapons, Obama being doused with bleach after meeting the recovered nurse, governmental malfeasance, compromised virologists and 'easy-to-spread' Ebola** amongst other tropes.

Mike Adams is the antidote to reasonableness in public safety education.

** sounds like a new margarine.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

The homeopaths who went to Liberia and are probably now doing their unethical stuff at Ganta Hospital are: dr. Richard Hiltner (US), dr. Edouard Broussalian (Switzerland), dr. Medha Durge (India) and dr. Ortrud Lindemann (Germany, living in Spain). The probably went in a bigger group of 20 doctors (regular ones, I hope) sent by a German foundation 'Freunde Liberias'.

Broussalian has been on Haiti in 2011 during a cholera epidemic and the way he operated there doesn't predict anything good for this trip to Liberia.
They're trying to remove all blogs and Facebook updates with too much details. I've saved as much as I could on my blog http://www.pepijnvanerp.nl/2014/10/homeopaths-in-liberia-mission-ebola/

Also tried to get into contact with the Methodist Church (which runs Ganta Hospital) and this German organisation, but they do not respond.

By Pepijn van Erp (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

Worse, any patient who relies on their magic rather than the best supportive care that can be provided is likely to suffer the consequences of relying on fantasy medicine rather than real medicine.
To be fair they did say
This work is being done alongside the current conventional supportive measures and treatments already in place.
So this kind of scenario looks unlikely to me.
Like Mephistopeles I do hope they will be at least useful for additionnal labor (provided they correctly follow the protection protocol). But yeah, I'd be curious to see the results of their trial ; especially since I have had difficulties finding details on their experience with epidemics.

I have a couple concerns about this:

1) Are these homeopaths recently trained in proper PPE protocols? If not, and they directly interact with ebola patients, they have a pretty high chance of being infected.
2) Homeopathy is quite big in India. As noted by Pepijn, one of the homeopaths that has gone to Liberia is from India. Among science-based individuals, an infected person bringing the disease to India would be a major catasrophe. Compound that with the fact that the infected person is a homeopath who is unlikely to seek proper medical care and containment.
3) Also as noted, homeopaths tend to be rather averse to "conventional" (aka real) medicine. How likely are they to comply with being asked by legitimate health officials to quarantine themselves?

I'm all for extra hands who have the proper training getting in there and helping. God knows they need it. But a bunch of homeopaths there to make a point does not instill me with confidence or hope for preventing the exportation of the disease more than has already happened.

Apparently the National Center for Homeopathy didn't read their email from the Society of Homeopathy! That venerable group recently released this statement:

"There is no evidence to support the use of homeopathy in the prevention or cure of Ebola and to suggest otherwise hands our opponents a golden opportunity to renew their attacks against homeopaths and homeopathy." (Reported by the Quackometer)

“There is no evidence to support the use of homeopathy in the prevention or cure of [any injury or illness whatsoever] and to suggest otherwise hands our opponents a golden opportunity to renew their attacks against homeopaths and homeopathy.”

Fixed that for them. No need to thank me.

Apparently the National Center for Homeopathy didn’t read their email from the Society of Homeopathy!

Why should they? You must understand that the biggest enemy of the People's Front of Judea is the Judean People's Front.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

It could be worse.

I'm surprised that homeopaths haven't announced plants to build a hospital in Ebola country to treat patients with 30C dilutions of Ebola-laden secretions or similar good stuff. After all, didn't homeopathic hospitals cure oodles of influenza patients back in 1919? It would be easy for homeopaths to release similarly startling statistics on their superiority to mainstream medicine in treating Ebola. I'm sure there are open-access journals that would jump at the chance to publish this game-changing data.

Skeptics may want to check out another sure cure for Ebola - Rife therapy. I know most of Orac's readers already have their own machines, so here are the frequencies - program them in and stop worrying!

http://the-tap.blogspot.com/2014/08/rife-frequency-machines-ebola-virus…

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

@Denice Walter #9,
'Easy-to-spread' (sounds like a new margarine): homogenization is succussion without requiring the leather-bound book!

Any one of following could make a homeopath's brain deluded enough to believe that they are able to cure Ebola: homogenization; succussion; concussion; a dire lack of critical thinking skills; a refusal to comprehend elementary science.

Far be it from me to attempt diagnosing the idiosyncrasies of homeopaths' brains. However, I do wonder if Samuel Hahnemann was a master of satire using obscurantism: perhaps "increasing dilutions" was his satirical connotations of "increasing delusions". A form of satire that has been, and still is, highly lucrative.

BTW - Dana Ullman has another article over at HuffPo... All they usual tropes - Complaining about Wiki again!

From the CDC - treating Ebola:
Providing intravenous fluids (IV)and balancing electrolytes (body salts)
Maintaining oxygen status and blood pressure
Treating other infections if they occur

That's it. No current standard for vaccine or medicinal treatment.

So... sounds like these folks will head over there, provide additional hydration therapy (er., I mean homeopathic medicine), maybe vitamins, and then do the same thing, 'watch, comfort, care'.

so, I see little additional harm that will be done to patients unless they start really diving down into the crazy. Agreeing with everyone else above that they'll basically do nothing, but claim great success and use it to bolster their already depressingly large support it the alt med world.

Cinchona officinalis, eh. So that's why the colonial British were always drinking gin-and-tonics: it was prophylactic against Ebola.
But seriously, Homeopaths without Borders should become Homeopaths without Visas and stay home.
There comes to mind only one worse possibility than homeopathy, and that's acupuncture.

By Derek Freyberg (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

Are these homeopaths recently trained in proper PPE protocols?

This is a broader issue than training in donning, monitoring integrity and doffing.
I have seen reports suggesting that adequate PPE is in short supply in "the zone." I don't know whether this is due to general poor availability or matters of paying for it. If it is a question of poor availability and the prats don't bring their own supplies for the entire duration of their visits, then they may be making things worse. If they are able and willing to jump in and do the tasks of others without adequate PPE, then they could actually be of some positive value. I'd be surprised if they were unwilling, but the ability is another matter. Most probably know less about actual patient care than a hospital orderly.
Used PPE must be safely disposed of or cleaned and sterilized for re-use. I wonder if the prats are prepared to handle those issues, or will be part of the problem. Even experienced lab and hospital people who have not done "field work" are probably somewhat green on these matters, having been accustomed to support staff who cart things away to the autoclave and/or incinerator and swab the decks with disinfectants. I'm reminded of someone I knew who was in med school. He'd drop things on the floor of a research lab like someone in and ER on TV might do, neglecting the fact that one of the other research staff would have to clean up after him. He'd have lasted about 20 minutes in the field before someone suggested he take a break with a nice IV of saturated potassium chloride.

Why haven't they considered 30C heparin (harvest your own leeches!) or warfarin?

Why haven’t they considered 30C heparin (harvest your own leeches!) or warfarin?

Actually used as a treatment for the disseminated intravascular coagulation that causes the hemorrhaging, BTW.

I've made two assumptions, one charitable and one not necessarily so charitable.

The charitable one is that while homeopaths may be misinformed, have bought into a Bizzaro version of medicine, and may even be slightly delusional about their abilities, they're not necessarily stupid. I'd think they would be as cautious as anyone else in using PPE and in following personal protection protocols. After all, they don't know that they currently have a cure. While the threat of imminent death may sharpen the mind wonderfully, I'd like to think thy would want more than a month to find that cure.

The less charitable assumption is that the treatment centers won't let anyone work on patients if they a) don't have available PPE, b) the person has not shown they are trained in necessary procedures and follow them to a T, and c) don't think these people can do something useful.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

Great question, Eric. Who vettes the visas? The country of departure? The destination? Both? Todd seems to have the probable scary scenario: India approves homeopath travel; West Africa accepts any offer of help they get, not being too discriminating; Indian homeopath contracts disease, returns home...

Does anyone know what India is doing for either ebola preparedness or policy on screening travelers from West Africa or others who may have contacted an infected patient?

I wonder if the Dutch have put any additional limits on travel?
It used to be that many flights to Africa went through Amsterdam, although I know commercial service lately into Africa has been really reduced if not eliminated.

gosh Eric Lund #8,

That's alotta headroom to go through just to get the quick advanced tutorial in triage-situation sanitation engineer...

Just tell your travel agent that you want to "visit a country that doesn't have any ebola in it at all"... and you're sure to get that six-week layover at the luxourious Ziare International airport landing strip, motocross, and minigolf resort...

It's you, and people like you that make life boring for the rest of us.

By Priceline negotiator (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

"Looking at the known symptoms of both Cinchona and Crotulus, they could both be useful in the treatment of the disease."

If course that won't work! You need Crotalus (rattlesnake) venom.

They can't even spell the species correctly!

By Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

He’d drop things on the floor of a research lab like someone in and ER on TV might do, neglecting the fact that one of the other research staff would have to clean up after him.

I encountered an intern like that ... newly arrived from somewhere where doctors are GODS and interns are demi-gods. He ripped off the patients dressings and dropped them all over the place, ignoring the labelled trash container, peered at the incision and snapped "I'm finished here, you can redress the wounds now."

I told him ... "I'm from the lab, and if those wounds need to be dressed, ask Dr Whatzisname (head of surgery) what the protocol is." And promptly called on Whatzisname and asked him to get his interns on a leash. Dr Diety had to clean up the room and learn how to do dressings, under the supervision of the charge nurses until they were satisfied with his skills.

By Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

There are Level 3 Advisories up for prospective travelers to Ebola virus-endemic countries, on the CDC Travel Advisories website. Those countries are restricting travel within their borders and I cannot imagine a scenario where those countries' consulates would provide visas for these clowns.

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

Who vettes the visas? The country of departure? The destination? Both?

It's almost always the destination country that sets the rules. The country of which the traveler is a national can in principle decide whether to issue a passport, but as long as the paperwork is in order and there are no pending criminal charges/investigations, most countries will issue the passport, and of course this group (especially the EU nationals) probably had passports already. (Some countries will not issue passports to political dissidents, but none of this crew are from any of those countries.) If the traveler lives in a third country, that country has no say in whether the traveler can make the trip, although they may have rules about whether he can return to that country (e.g., if you are a foreigner studying in the US, and you travel to a conference in another country, you probably have to renew your US student visa before you return).

Beyond that, the degree of scrutiny your visa application gets will depend on your nationality, the destination country, and the purpose of your visit. Tourists and short-term business travelers will in some cases (e.g., US to Japan or vice versa) not need a visa. But if your purpose is to work at hospitals caring for people, as in this case, you shouldn't be on a tourist visa--if you are, then you are probably committing visa fraud, which can result in some combination of hefty fines, jail time, or deportation. Details depend on the destination country's laws. In the case of Liberia, the US State Department Consular Information Sheet says that, at least for US citizens, visas are required and must be obtained in advance of travel (i.e., no airport visas). I don't know whether that applies to other nationalities. I also don't know the degree to which Liberia would vet visa applications, particularly from people claiming to have a medical background who say they are coming to help with the Ebola outbreak.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

Not homeopathy but Ozone therapy is parallel in many ways.

A knight has just returned from his crusade to Sierra Leone where he (according to himself) fought a heroic battle against the ebola virus and cured many suffering along his way using the miraculous OO2 molecule.
Dr Robert Rowen's website at http://healthydoctors.com/ contains a verbose account of his battles:
Ebola Battled By Health Hero Robert Rowen MD In Sierra Leone With Ozone
In his last blog on saturday he was waiting for the plane home. I sure hope he does not bring the little filiform bastards out of there and spread them to others.
The pompous accounts reveal a man who is totally devoid of any doubt that he is a hero and saviour and his OZONE therapy is a panacea:

I developed a few sniffles on the third day (yesterday), and received ozone yesterday and today. In the last few years my colds seems to only come on with long jet travel. Suffice to say, the treatment worked like a charm. I felt terrific today, and was screened for temperature to enter an Ebola government meeting. My temperature was a mere 94.8, even in the sweltering heat.

Dr Rowen injects people with something called Prolozone for anything from painful knees to aching keloids.
He describes how he miraculously cures the most difficult cases and frees dignitaries and damsels from distress, reminding us distinctly of another noble and heroic knight whom we know only from the works of Cervantes:

This day, the chief doctor of the SL Doctors and Dentists Association, who was mighty skeptical at first, actually received intravenous ozone herself after doing mine, and then quickly came up to have me treat her knee, which turned out to be a tendon problem.
She left very pleased, as did an OB/GYN doctor who had pain going down his right leg to his foot. He was amazed that an injection into his SI joint fixed the entire problem. Few others were surprised. They had expected the results. I have posted the video on my you tube channel

The video entitled "Prolozone Comes to Sierra Leone" is to my mind an interesting study in how a man with delusions of grandeur uses persuasion and suggestion to charm and dupe the audience. Note also his trainee performing a knee-injection at 0:51, happily fondling the needle at the injection site with bare fingers.
Browsing through Dr. Rowen's self obsessed narrative I understood that he left behind ozone producing apparatus for the locals he trained to continue the miracle and is expecting reimbursement for future use of them.
(this comment is slightly adapted from another made at Edzard Ernst's blog)

By Björn Geir (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

I think a cage match between Rowan with his super-oxidant and someone from the vitamin C antioxidant crowd might be amusing.

@ Bjorn Geir I located the clown and his Ozone therapy machine:

http://www.ioicp.com/directory/name/robert-rowen/

Biography

Meet Dr. Robert J. Rowen — the groundbreaking M.D. who’s trained over 400 doctors… cured over 5,000 patients…and helped pass the nation’s first medical freedom law

Now he has a new mission: to make sure YOU never become one of his patients!

To the doctors he’s trained and the patients he’s cured, Dr. Robert Rowen is known as something of a miracle worker. Indeed, Dr. Rowen receives over a dozen calls and emails a week from fellow physicians, seeking advice on how to cure their most challenging cases. Sometimes, the doctors fly their patients across the country to have Dr. Rowen examine and treat them.

Many of these patients suffer from deadly diseases like cancer…or from stubborn ailments like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease that have plagued them for years. Yet over half of them leave Dr. Rowen’s care symptom-free. And many leave completely cured! This includes even the toughest cases other doctors give up on!

As it turns out, Dr. Rowen has considerably more experience practicing alternative medicine than just about any of his peers. He spent 22 years practicing in Alaska, the first state to provide statutory protection to alternative physicians.

Since Dr. Rowen was protected by law, he could use all kinds of treatments doctors in other states couldn’t use at the time. So he got at least a 5-year start on everyone else.

But Dr. Rowen wasn’t just a beneficiary of Alaska’s Medical Freedom Law. He actually helped draft the bill…and was instrumental in getting it passed.

During hearings, he incurred the wrath of the state’s organized medical community, who threatened to revoke his license. They even flew in a famous “quackbuster” to debate Dr. Rowen and try to embarrass him.

When it was all over, Dr. Rowen was still practicing…the bill had passed…and Governor Hickel had appointed him to the State Medical Board.

Um, not quite:

http://www.casewatch.org/board/med/rowen.shtml

In 1997, after pleading guilty to a federal felony charge of "corrupt endeavor to impede" an agent of the Internal Revenue service, Dr. Robert Rowen was sentenced to 10 months of probation that included 2 months in a halfway house and 8 months in home detention and was ordered to pay $10,003.91 in restitution and a $2,000 fine. According to a report in the Agricultural Law Digest, while practicing in Alaska, Rowen (a) set up a three-tiered "asset protection" trust in an attempt to avoid federal income tax, (b) did not file returns for 1992 through 1997, and (c) was not permitted to discharge his tax debt even though he filed for bankruptcy. [In re Rowen 2003-1 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) ¶ 50,502 (Bank. Alaska 2003)]. In 1996, while the charges were pending, he applied for a license to practice medicine in the State of Washington. When the licensing commission challenged his application, he withdrew it, but the commission decided that "sufficient grounds" existed to deny his application. Rowen now practices in California.

I think a cage match between Rowan with his super-oxidant and someone from the vitamin C antioxidant crowd might be amusing.

Doug is hopelessly naive. With the Gazoogle it is easy to find whole intertube communities who swear by their homebrew protocols [white-suity terms like "protocol" are an important part of the cargo cult] of DMSO + bleach + colloidal silver because one's a super-oxidant and one's an antioxidant so in combination they will cover all bases.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 29 Oct 2014 #permalink

@Dangerous Bacon #17: I will give those to Mr Woo as a just in case, but I believe his machine just cycles through all of them the way he usually uses it. Better safe than sorry and all that.

The phrase "be careful of what you wish for" comes to mind.

The overriding goal is to investigate Ebola firsthand, and thereby determine which remedy or remedies are best for treating this disease.

If it weren't so tragic I'd be gleeful in counting the number of different causes/cures they'll come up with. The worst part is that a tally will most likely end up being one of how many homeopaths get sick. I may not agree with them, but they don't deserve to get Ebola.

@LouV

But yeah, I’d be curious to see the results of their trial ; especially since I have had difficulties finding details on their experience with epidemics.

I doubt they are actually studying anything. As you say, they're offering 'remedies' alongside SBM, and my guess is they'll do just that, make themselves feel better about helping, come home at the tail end of the epidemic but before it completely peters out, and then announce 'success' without so much as a glance back. I doubt they could successfully pull off a well designed trial whilst piggybacking other organisational efforts/treatments, during an epidemic, in a place with limited resources.

@NickJ

so, I see little additional harm that will be done to patients unless they start really diving down into the crazy.

How about wasted resources, potential infection of homeopaths *and* whoever they contact, and just generally adding more barriers to those who need proper treatment?

@Mrs Woo

Long time no see. I've been away for a bit, it's good to see you. Have missed your comments.

herr doktor bimler,

A concern I have is that Browning, the politician who endorsed homeopathy for Ebola, is his Party’s spokesperson for genetic engineering, agriculture, fisheries, biosecurity, etc. I’ve written a few thoughts on this - linked in #40. It seems to me that the party should remove him from briefs that have strong science content - ? This gaffe of his and his defense of it illustrates that he’s not suitable for science material if they want to hold to their promise to use an evidence-based approach…

Talk about quackery! We are a fat and over fed society who threw money rather than solution at problems. To think as sick society we have an answer to world crisis that is the state of delusion. We need not worry about ebola as we summon death with a knife and fork and teach our children to do so more efficiently than we do. We have divided government that do nothing and our solution this November make it more divided so that it work better. There are societies namely China that have integrated medicine models that work successfully. Are those the same people that will be the world largest economy next year. My suspicion we can learn from naturopaths who are full of quack like ourselves. With pharma-ebola prescription deaths at 200K a year may be we should have an imbecile joint task force of naturopaths and allopaths. May be then as delusional society we will make some progress rather than have a state medicine modelled after radicalism where naturos are opposed allos.

By Fat and Sick Society (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

@Fat & Sick - well, don't go holding up China just yet....pollution is so bad in most places that it makes Los Angeles Smog look like a small brushfire....most waterways have some form of contamination & clean drinking water is in very short supply. There are industrial sites in China that won't be habitable for decades, if ever.

And going back to the "Allo" arguments, just shows how deluded you are. Life expectancy in this country is at an all-time high, so we're obviously doing something right.

There are societies namely China that have integrated medicine models that work successfully.

Citation needed.

As to the rest - do you have a point, or are you a) being a fitness scold and b) spouting gibberish?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

The point is every body have something to offer whether we like them or not. What is amazing many of our parents and grand parents have employed naturopathic protocols and we are here today. Yet I don't anticipate anybody going to thanksgiving dinner and ridiculing grandma as a quack. At least you better not as you may need that home remedy after that tummy ache after stuffing yourself just so you can make a new years resolution to stop stuffing yourself. I support any MD or ND who encourage us to be curious and take responsibility for our health. Humans have survived millions of years without MDs or NDs. What got us here curiosity what works and does not. Take the best of both worlds. Intelligent medicine involves most all you having and open mind. Life expectancy is up in US yes but we just resorted to being buried in parts. A limb yesterday (diabetes). A kidney today and May be a heart tomorrow hoping someone not as wreckless as us who meets unfortunate end will be a donor and for CHinese in their smog infested country the more they adapt our lifestyles the worse their health become. Yeah their cancer rates rising. Thank God since we are such big consumer of their junk that we will be footing the bill as they get sicker!

By Fat and Sick Society (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

many of our parents and grand parents have employed naturopathic protocols and we are here today. Yet I don’t anticipate anybody going to thanksgiving dinner and ridiculing grandma as a quack.

Well, no, of course not. That would be impolite. It would also likely be an improper use of the word "quack", unless grandma is practicing unproven or disproven medicine.

we just resorted to being buried in parts. A limb yesterday (diabetes). A kidney today and May be a heart tomorrow

In previous generations people with diabetes also lost limbs and died. People who now survive due to organ transplants simply would have died without them.

for CHinese in their smog infested country the more they adapt our lifestyles the worse their health become.

Citation needed. Also, are they to be held up as an example of wonderful integration of medicine and "traditional medicine", or are they rapidly dying from pollution?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

When people complain about the increase in chronic diseases, they completely miss the fact that people are now surviving long enough to get chronic diseases, instead of dying of regular old diseases (like Typhoid, Diphtheria, Measles, Smallpox, Polio, Yellow Fever, Rubella, etc, etc, etc.)

So, Fat and Sick, when are you going over to west Africa to help with Ebola? Perhaps you can tell those people how there lifestyle was the cause for them getting sick.

I love freedom of religion no matter thechoice. Most religion regard the body as sacred. Like religion I like freedom of medicine. I'm all for someone taking a pill and someone getting truck loads of mula on that pharmaceutical. Im also comfortable with someone with a cold taking elderberry verses antibiotic to treat a viral infection. If you want to be fat quack with a fork. I'm for that. If you want to be pharmaceutical taking quack. I'm also for that! If you want to be a quack that follow the advice of your Nutritionist or Naturopath hell yeah I'm for that. Hell I love pharmaceutical portfolios.You would be dumb not to have one yourself. One thing I understand smart money and smart living may not be great bed fellows. My portfolio needs people like you to worship at the altar of Walgreens. I have no naturopathic holding. If you can't patent I'm not investing but I'm going to put my money where mouth is and figure what is the best for family. I will draw from the well of Naturopaths and Allopaths to keep my family healthy. But when it comes to pharmaceuticals I'm building that dam because they are on to something. Who else has a customer from the cradle to grave. Make no mistake we both are inlove with conventional medicine for different reasons. Pimping people out on pills legally by doctors is ursome and now obamacare have created million more pharma-prostitutes. We just need to create better apps so that people remember to take their medication and fill prescription on time. I need to push to have more virtual remote doctor visits. Can I have an Amen brothers and sisters!

@Chris. I don't have to go to West Africa to tell them about lifestyle changes. The WHO is already doing that. Dont eat bats and monkeys. Don't bath the dead. I would like to add don't fly here even if our government allows you to do so because we have pharma-ebola that kills 200K a year!

By Fat and Sick Society (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

Because I've heard it before ...
thousands of times.

Alright, exactly who is responsible for people being 'fat and sick'?
Doctors? Society? The government? Corporations?

Well, from the sources I hear ( the usual suspects), you would think that the people themselves are not accountable in the least bit. No one forces you to eat unhealthy food. It's easier to point a finger at culprits than to get people to acknowledge that they have unhealthy habits and to change them. Since when have doctors NOT told people to eat healthier foods and to exercise more?

Most alt med advocates who blame 'society' for poor health outcomes and obesity prescribe their own- often impossible to maintain- dietary regimes and frequently sell products like supplements, vegetable/ fruit powders and 'superfoods' for exorbitant prices. They don't 'educate' people out of the goodness of their hearts- if they have hearts.

It's an advert: tell people that someone else if responsible for their problems, tell them that you're their best friend and then, sell them stuff they don't need.

SBM

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

leave off that SBM

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

"What is amazing many of our parents and grand parents have employed naturopathic protocols and we are here today."

This is one of my favorite altie justifications for virtually any idiotic practice or belief.

The best example was when a poster on another board argued that infectious disease was no big deal (and thus no reason to vaccinate), citing the example of bubonic plague only killing a third of the world' population in the Middle Ages.

Hey, we're still in existence as a species, so any old remedy must be fine.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

Fat and Sick: "@Chris. I don’t have to go to West Africa to tell them about lifestyle changes."

Aw, isn't that sweet of you. You just want to share your knowledge to those of us who live where can safely drink the water out of a tap, get to have our waste products flushed away and actually have access to medical care. That is just so adorable!

You really don't care about the situation in Gunea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. All you care about are those who actually managed to live long enough to suffer from old age. Because you just love to judge others.

Hypocrite.

Hey, we’re still in existence as a species, so any old remedy must be fine.

"Remedy"? No, it's been jazzed up: they were protocols.

No one forces you to eat unhealthy food.

Geography (food deserts) and grinding poverty don't much help, though.

Pimping people out on pills legally by doctors is ursome and now obamacare have created million more pharma-prostitutes.

Oh, well, if it's ursome, I guess that is a grave concern.

Sounds like they were practicing Traditional Chaldean Medicine.
http://www.cosmovisions.com/Williams010303.htm

"they believed that the world was swarming with noxious spirits, who produced the various diseases to which man is liable, and might be swallowed with the food and drink which support life."
...
sometimes divine images were brought into the sick-chamber, and written texts taken from holy books were placed on the walls and bound around the sick man's members. If these failed, recourse was had to the influence of the mamit, which the evil powers were unable to resist. On a tablet, written in the Accadian language only, the Assyrian version being taken, however, was found the following:

1. Take a white cloth. In it place the mamit, 2. in the sick man's right hand. 3. Take a black cloth, 4. wrap it around his left hand. 5. Then all the evil spirits (a long list of them is given) 6. and the sins which he has committed 7. shall quit their hold of him 8. and shall never return.

The symbolism of the black cloth in the left hand seems evident. The dying man repents of his former evil deeds, and he puts his trust in holiness, symbolized by the white cloth in his right hand.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

@Viane:
Quack: "a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, or qualifications he or she does not possess; a charlatan" or "fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill".

I say this because you're using the word wrong.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

I say this because you’re using the word wrong.

C'mon, that's a perfectly cromulent usage.

Thanks, Narad. A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

Most religion regard the body as sacred

My body is a temple. However, it turns out that my mouth is an atheist.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ Narad:

Yeah, I know but I have a feeling that our critic is not up to that level of depth yet.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

How many pills does it take until you get to center of the ...? How many prescriptions does it take until you get center of the ...? How many antibiotics does it take until you get to the center of the ..FLU? The answer.....

By Fat and Sick Society (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

Viane: "I love freedom of religion no matter thechoice. Most religion regard the body as sacred"

Homeopathy is not a religion. Now for the rest of your rant, I recognize the words as English, but the way they are arranged in makes no sense.

Fat and Sick: "How many antibiotics does it take until you get to the center of the ..FLU?"

Actually none, because it is a viral disease. Antibiotics don't work for viruses.

Now this explains your nonsensical off topic rant: you have a severe reading comprehension problem and do not even understand what the above article says.

@F&S - what Chris said. None. I get the vaccine & I have very little to worry about.

Also, I take no prescriptions & am a very good health. But, I'm not an idiot & if something did happen, I would listen to the experts, not some anonymous internet moron.

@chris Your smart cookie. I don't think you are a doctor but you know you don't prescribe antibiotics to treat flus. So why the hell are MDs still doing it. CHRIS I think we have discovered some quackery paid for by insurance companies. Then again insurance pay for nothing.The premiums gets passed on to u CHRIS. That sounds like some SNAKE OIL to me, CHRIS! Shout out to Chris! CHRIS knows how licks it take to the center of the......

By Fat and Sick Society (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

@F&S - maybe because the "sheeple" demand antibiotics because they don't know any better?

Actually, there is a huge push by the MD community to "not" prescribe antibiotics unless absolutely necessary - because of the indulgences that were made in the past.

Do you know how much anti-biotics cost nowadays? They are cheaper than dirt - so profit certainly isn't a factor.

Five will get you ten that "Viane" is a sockpuppet of "Fat and Sick"

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

Aw, poor hypocritical Fat and Sick. You are obviously too thin skinned to venture out on to the Internet.

A couple of suggestions:

If you are overweight and suffering from consequences of that weight, then get up and take a walk. Also watch your diet. Add a few veggies, and skip the sweets.

Take some classes on science and reading comprehension.

Grow a backbone. If you are going to posts nonsensical rants on a science blog, expect to get comments on what you say.

@Lawrence. The over prescription of antibiotics have led to the rise MRSA. Doctors need to stand up their sheepies and tell them no.

By Fat and Sick Society (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

Dear "Fat and Sick", antibiotics are not being used for Ebola. The ones that survive are because they are given fluids to replace those lost due to diarrhea and bleeding.

Obviously you have not read any of the above article, nor kept up with any of the actual medical news.

Wait a minute, if they are 'sheep' ( i.e. followers) how can they dictate to drs?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

Fat and Sick: "May be a heart tomorrow hoping someone not as wreckless as us who meets unfortunate end will be a donor."

You do realize that there are these things called genes that impact organ systems, yes? And that there are other conditions that might apply?

Of the two people I know who are either on the donor list or now have donated organs, one is four(needed a lung transplant) and the other has had life-long problems with her heart. Neither are obese.

I don't know why I'm bothering, really. It's fairly obvious that your heart doesn't work. Also, learn grammar.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

Also, learn grammar.

Muphry strikes again.

@Denice Walter. Roles are fluid. Not in every instance when antibiotics are provided by MDs or NDs that it is at the behest of the patient. But I do admit that some patients can be insistent and request antibiotics for a cold. For economic reasons MDs or NDs may oblige even though the practice may 'harm the patient'. This practice is quackery at its best whether its by a ND, MD or DO.

By Fat and Sick Society (not verified) on 02 Nov 2014 #permalink

Life expectancy is up in US yes but we just resorted to being buried in parts. A limb yesterday (diabetes). A kidney today and May be a heart tomorrow hoping someone not as wreckless as us who meets unfortunate end will be a donor

I see this claim all the time, but it's just not true. Quality-adjusted life expectancy in the US has been increasing too, by about 2 years just between 1987 and 2008. People in the developed world enjoy more years of active health than ever before, and this has little or nothing to do with naturopaths. Why do CAM proponents so often insist that everything is getting worse and worse when the evidence shows the exact opposite?

BTW, being wreckless is a good thing, isn't it?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

This practice is quackery at its best whether its by a ND, MD or DO.

The unnecessary prescription of antibiotics is by no means the only cause of MRSA. Patients not finishing prescribed courses, use of over-the-counter antibiotics in some countries, widespread use of antibacterial soaps, poor hand washing in hospitals by both staff and visitors, and the agricultural use of antibiotics are other causes.

Fat and Sick's argument seems to be that conventional medicine is not perfect and some doctors do not follow prescribing rules therefore naturopathy is better. That's the nirvana fallacy.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned that, frequently, viral illnesses ( colds, flu, most bronchitis) can be followed by SECONDARY bacterial infections which respond to anti-biotics.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

The two cases that I have experience with are prescribing antibiotics for a sore throat which is likely to be step, but might just be a virus without a throat culture, and follow-up after oral surgery to prevent an infection.

I've never had a doctor prescribe antibiotics for a cold, but then I usually don't bother going to the doctor for that anyway.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

The point I'm trying to make is life is not simply black or white. We have to remain engaged and that sonetimes involve in listening to other point view that unlike ours. NATUROPATHS, DO AND MDS all have something to offer!

By Fat and Sick Society (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

Fat and Sick: That's a fallacy: you're going from "nobody has all the answers" (which might be true, depending on the topic) to "therefore everyone has some of the answers, and there are no charlatans," which is false.

Fat and Sick: "NATUROPATHS, DO AND MDS all have something to offer!"

Fixed it for you.

No, Chris, Fat and Sick was correct. Naturopaths do have something to offer. Magic water. It's not medicine, but it is something.

Johnny: Uh, that's homeopaths. Naturopaths give you magic leaves- or better yet, magic leaves steeped in water. (Though I'd rather go to the friendly neighborhood tea shop for that,)

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 03 Nov 2014 #permalink

Yes, I was talking about homeopathy.

It is true that all homeopaths are not naturopaths, however, all naturopaths are homeopaths. It's a core component of the job description. Sure, naturopaths might study other things, but it's in addition to homeopathy. You can't be a naturopath without taking and passing courses in homeopathy.

@Krebiozen

Why do CAM proponents so often insist that everything is getting worse and worse when the evidence shows the exact opposite?

For the same reason that some people insist we're living in a society of increasing lawlessness - they're selling the solution to the fear they're creating.

By The Grouchybeast (not verified) on 04 Nov 2014 #permalink

Johnny: Fair enough. Sorry for getting on your case.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 04 Nov 2014 #permalink

Apology not needed - it wasn't one of my better jokes.

NATUROPATHS, DO AND MDS all have something to offer!

But what these different cohorts offer are not equivalent in value.

MD's offer treatments which have been shown to be appropriately safe and effective for specific indications. Naturopaths on the other hand offer treatments which have either not been shown to be safe and effective or have actively been shown to be ineffective (e.g., homeopathy, a required subject ibn naturopathing training).

your an idiot, do your research, if its a joke why were there so many homeopathic hospitals and colleges in the US at the turn of the century? , Nano technology before its time... , some people are slower than others to get awareness

If not even one molecule of the active ingredient is present in a solution, which mostly happens to be the case with homeopathic solutions, there is nothing that can be related to nano technology, just magical thinking.

Nano technology before its time…

Err, no.

Nano-technology is the use of very (very) small things.
They could be small in size, but generally not in number.
When someone sells you one pound of nanorobots, you get one pound one nanorobots.

Homeopathy is about "likes cure likes" and diluting things until none remains.
When someone sells you one pound of homeopathic remedies, you get one pound of sugar.

why were there so many homeopathic hospitals and colleges in the US

Money.
As long as people are willing to buy it, there will be people to sell it.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 10 Nov 2014 #permalink

Lisa: "h, if its a joke why were there so many homeopathic hospitals and colleges in the US at the turn of the century?"

And why were they shutting down after 1910?

Lisa,

If there's something to homeopathy, please tell us:
- what is the best study that proves that homeopathy has a significant clinical benefit, in particular better than a placebo?
- how someone could distinguish two different remedies at 30C or "stronger" from each other and from a placebo without looking at the label?

Thanks.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 10 Nov 2014 #permalink

Oh come on you guys, have you not heard of INTEGRATED medicine? It is the way forward. No one is right or wrong, the big pharma don't have to have such a strangle hold on us. We are too smart to think they will come up with a cure that doesn't ultimately damage the liver. But safety and common sense are the order of the day. The homeopaths will not blunder into west Africa unprepared, just as the medics will not. Isn't it best to just accept that we should all be working together to help in every epidemic? And by the way, how many of you anti homeopathy advocates have actually tried it?

By Sue townsend (not verified) on 13 Nov 2014 #permalink

Tried occilococcinum (a.k.a; chopped duck liver) once. Didn't felt any benefit.
I prefer real canard à l'orange.

have you not heard of INTEGRATED medicine?

"integrated" presupposes there is something to integrate.
Any robust evidence that any true homeopathy remedy is working?

But safety and common sense are the order of the day

From that I can see of human endeavor, this order has been lost in the mail.

Homeopathy goes against common sense. The less there is, the more effective it is?
Safety? How much good does it do to have something safe if it's totally ineffective?

By Helianthus (not verified) on 13 Nov 2014 #permalink

>Crotalus

Wow, literal snake oil...

By Nemo_of_Erehwon (not verified) on 13 Nov 2014 #permalink

And by the way, how many of you anti homeopathy advocates have actually tried it?

Sue, you're not seriously suggesting that if we haven't personally tried homeopathy, all the large body ofdemonstrating it works no better than placebos, goes away, or an equivalent body of evidence demonstrating it does work better than placebos (now absent) suddenly springs into existence, are you?

I've never presonally tried sacrificing goats to Chango to cure illness. Would you also argue that until I did it was inappropriate of me to note that there was no evidence that ritual animal sacrifice constituted an effective medical intervention?

Sigh--should read 'all of the large body of evidence demonstrating...'

have you not heard of INTEGRATED medicine?

As Tim Minchin notes, when you integrate cow pie and apple pie it doesn't make the cow pie any better. It makes the apple pie far worse.

JGC,
I believe the cow pie aphorism should be credited to Mark Crislip, not the venerable Minchin.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 13 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ Heliantus
I don't mind some duck liver on my steak, but preferably not rotten and not diluted till non-existence.
i'm affraid occilococcinum doesn't bring the same enjoyment.

Sue Townsend: "And by the way, how many of you anti homeopathy advocates have actually tried it?"

I'm drinking a glass of water right now. Doesn't seem to do anything but quench my thirst, even though I'm sure it is 30C for all kinds of stuff that had been in that water in the past.

And by the way, how many of you anti homeopathy advocates have actually tried it?

I have, as I have confessed here before. Over the years I've tried a number of commercial homeopathic remedies given to me by well-meaning friends that I tried out of politeness and curiosity. I have also tried remedies I made myself using a nosode (aka washings from infected sinuses - don't worry they were diluted out of existence) and gallons of distilled water , most of which ended up poured down the drain, and endless succussions*.

It didn't work, and the exercise added a visceral feeling of futile foolishness to the intellectual sense of foolishness I already had (perhaps that's why I didn't even enjoy a placebo effect). It's just water and wishful thinking for goodness sake!

*Maybe I should have used a copy of the Bible instead of a copy of the Koran (it was that, the Book of Mormon or Das Kapital) for the succussions, but it appealed to my perverse sense of humor ;-)

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 13 Nov 2014 #permalink

Sue Townsend, its like trying to convince a rock to move. Do what I have done make a point and jump in when someone says something allowing you to make an additional point. When necessary move on to the next topic. Your goal is to put the info out there so the non rocks have a different point view.

By Fat and Sick Society (not verified) on 13 Nov 2014 #permalink

Is there a logical fallacy to the effect of "if you haven't tried it you can't critizise it"?

Is there a logical fallacy to the effect of “if you haven’t tried it you can’t critizise it”?

There are obvious counterexamples, like incest and Morris dancing.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 13 Nov 2014 #permalink

Fat and Sick: "Sue Townsend, its like trying to convince a rock to move."

Actually, no. All you have to do is provide real scientific evidence. Just give us a good study that shows homeopathy has cured without any other intervention a non-self-limiting disease.

And I have eaten lots of sugar pills. When the kids were little I'd buy the small sugar balls, nonpareils, to decorate holiday cookies. Those are just like the little sugar pills sold by Boiron for lots more money.

For instance, Andre Saine says that homeopathy works better for rabies than the modern vaccine. So just give us the PubMed Identification Number of the animal study that proves his contention. There should be at least three groups: one with no treatment, one with the modern vaccine and the last with homeopathy.

Sue townsend
Botswana

Why do I not really trust the Maun Homeopathy Project to be completely honest about the advice they're dispensing?

I'm very much in favor of integrated medical facilities, and you're right, segregation and the tendency for nonwhites and women to get poorer care, later, than white men is a real problem in the United States. I'm glad to hear that it's better in Botswana. But we're not going to solve that--or other real problems--by wasting time and money on worthless quackery.

And by the way, how many of you anti homeopathy advocates have actually tried it?

I've not tried homeopathy, but I've seen video of people (James Randi, in particular, but not limited to him) taking an overdose of homeopathic sleep aids. They did not seem the least bit sleepy in the ensuring hour.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 13 Nov 2014 #permalink

Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections.
Why would it be different for Ebola ? Once the right epidemic remedy were determined with a serious repertorisation of the specific symptoms experienced by the patients.
The action of potentized high dilutions on living organisms is a fact, even if no proper reductionist mechanism for its action is fully understood today.
Facts are the first bread ans butter of good science. People who say "I have no theory for what I observe so my observations are pure illusion" are not real science people, they are poor scientists with a bureaucratic mind.

I love Mathematics, I love Science and I love Homeopathy. It is a pity to forbid people sick of Ebola to try the treatment proposed by experienced homeopaths !!! With the today mortality rate of Ebola patient, this attitude is a second murder.

Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections.

Prove that. Thanks.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ John:

If you truly love science and mathematics you should make use of them to understand why you shouldn't love homeopathy.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections.

Since you characterize homeopathy's record at curing influenza, gonorrhea and antibiotic resistant infections as 'excellent', can I assume you're speaking of well designed and appropriately controlled clinical trials demonstrating efficacy, published in first or second tier peer-reviewed journals?

If so, please provide citations so i can review the evidence for myself. If not, please reconsider your decision to use the phrase "excellent record".

The action of potentized high dilutions on living organisms is a fact, even if no proper reductionist mechanism for its action is fully understood today.

How exactly have potentized high dilutions been factually established to act on living organisms to any greater degree than placebos? Describe the experiments/clinical trials.

I was under the impression homeopathy was all theory and no facts.

By justthestats (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

John: I love Mathematics, I love Science and I love Homeopathy.

I think you severely misunderstand what math and science do. Or you're trolling.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

I gather the answers to the last 5 comments :

@ Mephistopheles O'Brien & JGC : On yellow-fever this historical testimony is worth to be analyzed : http://pdf.lu/9834

@ Denice Walter & Politicalguineapig : True far seeing mathematicians (not bureaucrats) have a high consideration for Homeopathy. Cf the writings on homeopathy of the Great, Great mathematician Alexander Grothendieck who passed away this last Friday in France.

@ justthestats : You wrong : Homeopathy is based on a pure inductive method of knowledge. Theory has nothing to do with homeopathy which rely only on serious observation of the phenomenology of the patient. When theories are used to select remedies in homeopathy, the results are most often very deceiving.
In homeopathy you spent your time to compare the symptoms of your patient to the symptoms of the artificial diseases induced by homeopathic remedies.

Why my messages / answers of last Saturday have not been published ?

First time comments automatically go into moderation to avoid spam. But I see this one from a "John":
"Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections."

Hmmm, it seems that you did not read any of the previous comments. The ones that request verifiable scientific evidence for those claims.

Do provide us those Pubmed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers who are not homeopaths that homeopathy is effective for syphilis and other bacterial inventions.

And since Ebola is a viral disease, then provide the PubMed indexed animal studies from less than fifty years ago that prove Andre Saine's claim that homeopathy works better for rabies than the modern vaccine. See my Comment #115.

Ok, messages seem to be accepted today. I gather the answers to the last 5 comments :

@ Mephistopheles O'Brien & JGC : On yellow-fever this historical testimony is worth to be analyzed : http://pdf.lu/9834

@ Denice Walter & Politicalguineapig : True far seeing mathematicians (not bureaucrats) have a high consideration for Homeopathy. Cf the writings on homeopathy of the Great, Great mathematician Alexander Grothendieck who passed away this last Friday in France.

@ justthestats : You wrong : Homeopathy is based on a pure inductive method of knowledge. Theory has nothing to do with homeopathy which rely only on serious observation of the phenomenology of the patient. When theories are used to select remedies in homeopathy, the results are most often very deceiving.
In homeopathy you spent your time to compare the symptoms of your patient to the symptoms of the artificial diseases induced by homeopathic remedies.

John:

Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections.

This excellent record is conspicuous by its absence.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 17 Nov 2014 #permalink

It seems that my answers to comments have some difficulties to pass the moderation stage !!!

John - you might retry. I've seen some messages vanish without a trace before, presumably either because of a glitch in the software or I used some phrase that was picked up as spam.

I'm sure we'd be interested in any evidence you have to back up anything you've stated.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 17 Nov 2014 #permalink

Sure, John. Comments with more than two links get put into moderation. So just provide the PubMed Identification numbers of those studies to support your claims.

I am particularly interested in the animal studies that prove homeopathy works better rabies instead of modern vaccines. Especially after listening to a conversation on rabies and animal studies recorded at the University of Georgia. So show us your stuff!

I don' t understand the censure on the contributions of John contributions !! Do you want to make these people the victims of your ostracism ?

@Milano,

I'm not sure I understand your comment. It appears that John's messages went to moderation and that our esteemed host has recently released them (as I see them now, while I did not see them yesterday). What people have asked John for is evidence, and people have discussed his contributions.

In what way has he been ostracized?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

The answers of John are finally arrived !! # 128
The testimony of 1867 on yellow fever show that homeopathy can be a kind of miracle in some situation.
Do you have something similar concerning the epidemic of influenza in 1918 ? I have been said that the new and massive use of aspirin during this epidemic explained its enormous mortality by pneumonia of young people.

@John - sadly, the link you sent on historical testimony is private and does not allow me access. Do you have a recent double blind, placebo controlled study of significant size that shows that homeopathy has any clinical benefit for yellow fever?

In regard to your statement that "Homeopathy is based on a pure inductive method of knowledge. Theory has nothing to do with homeopathy which rely only on serious observation of the phenomenology of the patient." If you look up any really decent homeopathy web site, you'll find that it is based on the following principles:
1. like cures like (if a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, a dilute version of that substance will treat the same symptom in a sick person).
2. Shaking the remedy in a certain way (succussion) will potentiate the remedy, making it in some way more effective.
3. Increasing the dilution increases the effectiveness of the treatment. Hahnemann advocated 30C dilutions, which would be one part original substance in 10^60 parts water. Note that according to modern chemistry and physics, that would mean you'd need to drink 10^37 liters of cure to get even a single molecule of the original substance.

There is no good evidence to back up any of those postulates. Without some theory, then, there is no particular reason to believe that homeopathy as a general system is effective. We are then left with evaluating each remedy individually. Homeopathic provings tell us nothing, as they are looking at the symptoms caused by an undiluted substance, not how well the diluted remedy treats disease.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

@Mephistopheles

I managed to retrieve the document but I had to enter a Captcha code in a dedicated small window. Provided you renter this code the document is freely accessible and is worth to be read with attention.

@John:

Cf the writings on homeopathy of the Great, Great mathematician Alexander Grothendieck

I wonder if homeopathy only works in an algebraic extension of the real world. How would you encode "homeopathy works" as the root of a polynomial so that we could use his eponymous construction?

who passed away this last Friday in France.

A loss for this world.

Homeopathy is based on a pure inductive method of knowledge.

Sounds like theory to me.

When theories are used to select remedies in homeopathy, the results are most often very deceiving.

How are these results deceiving? How can they be distinguished from non-deceptive results?

@Chris
You don't understand. The homeopaths have infinitely diluted the evidence that their wares work consistently better than other kinds of placebos. so it is infinitely powerful!

By justthestats (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

John, may I assume your link was meant to direct me to William Holcombe’s 1856 publication Yellow Fever And Its Homeopathic Treatment ?

If so, i have to ask: is a non-peer reviewed publication--one that is more than 150 years old--really the best evidence you can come up with to support a claim that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for non-self-limiting illness or injury?

Theory has nothing to do with homeopathy which rely only on serious observation of the phenomenology of the patient.

That's actually an accurate and telling criticism of the foundations of homeopathy: you're correct that homeopathy is not grounded in theory (i.e, in unifying and self-consistent explanatory models of fundamental natural processes or phenomena, totally constructed of corroborated hypotheses).

Instead, homeopathy is founded in postulates--the Law of Susceptibility, the Law of Similiars, and the Law of Infinitessimals--all of which are not only scientifically implausible but have been proven to be physically impossible.

To put it as simply as possible, for homeopathy to work as claimed literally everything we know about physics, chemistry, physiology and biology would have to be not only wrong, it would have to be specatacularly wrong.

@milano - Thanks. That is the first time I've seen an advertisement used as a security code.

That document certainly seems to show how poor medical treatment in general was at that time.

I am intrigued by this paragraph:

It may be asked, How do we know that these infinitesimal doses of Lachesis and Crotalus exert any curative influence in yellow fever? We can only say that we believe that medicines, given in accordance with the homœopathic law, act in the line of the disease itself, insensibly modify the operations of the morbid cause, and finally neutralize its power. We can only prove the effect of these medicines by seeing hundreds and thousands of cases recover under their use, without the nervous prostration, the precordial anguish, the hæmorrhagic tendency, the jaundice, &c., which characterize the full action of both the remedy and the disease.

This would seem to say, "I think it works, and according to homeopathic principles it should work. However, more study is needed."

Where is the evidence that homeopathic principles, as it were, work?

Where is the data showing that the particular preparation used in this paper was tried on hundreds or thousands of patients and found more effective than placebo?

Thanks.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

I can testify the efficiency of an homeopathic treatment on my case with first Sepia followed with Sulfur. I suffered from a very painful reccurring endometriosis (menstruation cells in uterus which spread outside uterus) that classical treatment with oestrogens, cortison could not cure. In 9 months I have progressively recovered normal menstruations an pain has desappeared.

God bless homeopathy and thank you to my homeopath who has carefully listen to the little symptoms very specific to my person.

Milano, I see John's answer, but mine were ignored. Why is that.

Milano, can you please provide the PubMed indexed studies that showed homeopathy worked for antibiotic resistant bacterial infections? Make sure that that they are less than fifty years old, because antibiotics did not exist a century ago and antibiotic resistance is about half that old.

Also, where are those less than fifty year old animal studies proving Andre Saine's claims that homeopathy works better for rabies than the modern vaccine?

John, I found the yellow fever paper here. I am sorry but I am not convinced by a more than century old anecdote. If it worked so well in 1867 (with about 6% mortality), then why did it fail so miserably in the1878 Memphis, TN epidemic? And how did it fail so horribly in Panama when the French were attempting to build the canal?

By the way, I was born in Gorgas Hospital when there was a Panama Canal Zone. Why do you think they named a hospital after that particular Army doctor?

I forgot to say, to be honest, that the first time I took Sepia I experienced a very strong aggravation of my physical and even emotional state. This aggravation lasted close to one week and let the place progressively to a better condition. High potentized dilution which entails such aggravation : all the mysterie of homeopathy is here !!
If you want a proof of the action of high dilutions : try an aggravation of your symptoms with a well selected remedy ...

Shirley - interesting anecdote and I'm glad you're feeling better. That said:

- What would have happened if you'd simply discontinue all treatment?

- It's my understanding that the intensity of symptoms of endometriosis vary over time. How do you know that your use of sepia either caused your symptoms to get worse or improved them afterwards?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

Shirley: "If you want a proof of the action of high dilutions : try an aggravation of your symptoms with a well selected remedy …"

Really? And you think this would be a good treatment for Ebola?

You know what would really be convincing: some actual evidence. I am not asking for anything that is too complicated, just the evidence to prove Andre Saine's contention that homeopathy works better for rabies than the modern vaccine. Where is it?

Also, John said: "Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections."

The only thing he brought was a 150 case series that showed even with homeopathic treatment there was 6% mortality for yellow fever. Which is unspectacular since "It is estimated the yellow fever mortality rate is between 5 and 10 percent and that half of the toxic-phase patients die within two weeks."

And how can anyone say it works for antibiotic resistance infections with sources that predate antibiotics?

I'd like to add my voice to Chris's. If someone would provide the evidence that homeopathy works well for rabies that would certainly give me reason to reconsider my views.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

Mephistopheles O'Brien : For me it is not at all an anecdote. There is nothing amusing in this experience. It is my life and a story of suffering which hopefully is now finished. I wish nobody to suffer this disease.

In fact to avoid the severe secondary effects of the treatments (danazol...), I discontinued for a while all allopathic treatments and the things were going worse and worse : the uterine cells were migrating in the digestive tractus. I was urged to undergo a surgery with no guarantee of a definitive cure (in addition I wanted to have a baby). Then I received the advice to consult an homeopath who had already cured this kind of disease (more and more frequent nowadays...). Today with 2 years of good health since my cure, I intend to have my new baby.

For the aggravation I was warned of this possibility by the homeopath. I must say that I didn't take too seriously his warning and I took the whole tube of sepia the first time instead of putting few pills in a glass of water and take a spoon of this water as prescribed. At this time I was not so convinced by homeopathy having no experience of it.

M O'B, Ii believe that there's a fairly high incidnece of spontaneous remission associated with endometriosis as well, ~ 20%.

Chris : Really ? And you think this would be a good treatment for Ebola ?

Of course and hopefully I have no experience with Ebola ! But what is sure is that it was a very very good treatment for my endometriosis, that for sure !

Aggravation could have been avoided or more probably limited with a reduced dosage of the first intake. My doctor told me that aggravation must be avoided as far as possible by reducing the quantity of medecine (it was his prescription to do like that) or by using lower dynamisation at the beginning of the treatment. On the other side my doctor said that the presence of aggravation means that the remedy is well chosen and is well in line with the symptoms of the patient.

Obviously if John's best evidence is a case series that shows homeopathy has the same effectiveness for yellow fever as placebo, we would really like to see the results for rabies. Because the mortality rate for rabies is much much higher than 6%.

JGC : M O’B, Ii believe that there’s a fairly high incidnece of spontaneous remission associated with endometriosis as well, ~ 20%.

This disease affects women between 25 and 40. There is a regression of the minor form of the disease after menoposis. This disease is associated with a high risk of sterility. But sometimes cells migrate in other part of the body (even in the brain) and the tissues made of these cells are sensitive to the menstrual cycles, drawing blood or making kystes. A true horror.

Shirley, what does that have to do with Ebola?

I mean, at least yellow fever and rabies are actual viral infections. Ebola is a viral infection. So if John claimed that homeopathy works well for viral infections, there should be better evidence than it working just as well as placebo.

Oh, and while endometriosis is painful and has lots of problems, it is not a viral infection and your anecdote is not data.

So where is those studies showing homeopathy works for rabies or even Ebola?

@Shirley - I can see you're convinced that this treatment worked for you. I'm curious - what concentration pills were you taking? It is conceivable that something below, say, 10C could have some sort of effect. Anything more dilute is unlikely to have any effect at all.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

But what is sure is that it was a very very good treatment for my endometriosis, that for sure !

But this <i isn't sure at all, Shirley, as it has not been established that the homeopathic preparations you took were resposnsible for the resoplution of your symptoms.

In fact, as far as I can tell your personal belief that it was the homeopathy derives from nothing other than a post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy, liberally sprinkled with a bit of "But what else could it have been?!"

This disease affects women between 25 and 40.

And it affects women younger than 25. And women older than 40.

Yes, many individuals who have suffered from endometriosis exhibit symptomatic relief following menopause, but guess what? These recoveries are not included in the instances of spontaneous remission I noted: in such cases cause can be assigned.

I took the whole tube of sepia the first time instead of putting few pills in a glass of water and take a spoon of this water as prescribed.

So dilution increases the strength of homeopathic preparations except when it reduces the strength? Now I am confused.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

Shirley:

For me it is not at all an anecdote. There is nothing amusing in this experience.

I'm sorry, but you seem to misunderstand what "anecdote" means. It doesn't mean "funny story told to amuse", although some anecdotes are used to craft funny stories and sometimes are told to amuse. An anecdote is just a reporting of an incident. Anecdotes are useful; their part of the human practice of storytelling to convey information. I can tell an anecdote of problems I encountered with my computer, in hopes of sharing my experience with others who might learn from it. Which is basically what you're doing with your story of using homeopathy. You are recounting how you were in misery, and then you used homeopathy, and things at first got worse, but after you corrected the dose, it got better.

The reason we want more than anecdote is that anecdotes are without context and do not control for variables. So while they are good for illustration, they can't test a proposition like "homeopathy works". How do you know you wouldn't have gotten better anyway? The answer is that you don't. That is also true of a person who takes Advil for pain. They don't know that the pain was actually treated; maybe it would've gone away on its own. But systematic study of ibuprofen showed that it is effective at relieving pain in many cases. That's the difference. Except in very dramatic cases, you generally can't tell if a treatment is working if you only try it on one person. And in an anecdote, only one person's case is being considered. (Note: ten anecdotes aren't much better than one, because they have no connection to one another, unless they are collected systematically and controlling for variables so that you can pick out genuine patterns in them.)

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

ten anecdotes aren’t much better than one, because they have no connection to one another, unless they are collected systematically and controlling for variables so that you can pick out genuine patterns in them.

Calli, you forgot to mention that the system for collecting the anecdotes and controlling for otherwise-misleading variables is called science, as in Science-Based Medicine.

By Bill Price (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

Bill Price: "controlling for otherwise-misleading variables"

And to have enough samples to see if there is some significant effect. Even an N=10 is too small.

Chris, I guess I wasn't clear enough. I intended "system for collecting the anecdotes" to include "collecting enough anecdotes". I wanted to keep it simple enough for the woo-besotten to comprehend, but I went too far. Sorry 'bout that, Chief. Thanks for pointing it out.

By Bill Price (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

No problem. It is just that the "It worked for me" stories are offensive to me when the subject is a disease that is affecting thousands in countries without much medical infrastructure.

I am also tired of the "it worked in the 1850s" stories.

herr doktor bimler : So dilution increases the strength of homeopathic preparations except when it reduces the strength ? Now I am confused.

There is no reason to be confused. In homeopathy, simple dilution without dynamisation by shaking it, reduces simply the amount of remedy and so limits the risk of aggravation of the patient at the beginning of the cure. The strength of the remedy comes essentially from its additional mechanical dynamisation (succussion).

@Shirley

Thank you for your testimony. I am very happy that you recovered from this disease which is all except anecdotal. You can see how a poor consideration for the patient and his own story have the pure tenants of allopathy.

All the medecines like Danazol aim only at the superficial suppression of the symptoms, not at a real cure. You have seen that when you stopped to take it the disease restarted and you made the right choice in going to see a serious homeopath. In fact you were also lucky that Danazol did not suppress the symptoms by replacing them by a deeper disease which would have been more difficult to treat by homeopathy.

I wish also that your homeopath did not limit his cure to the symptoms of endometriosis but that he cured also your miasmatic state. I think that may be Sulfur after Sepia did this job, but I am more accustomed to see anti-sycotic remedy like Thuya, Nitric acid or Medorrhinum indicated in these situations (all cases are different in homeopathy and only the observed situation matters).

I can say that it is well known that good homeopaths manage to treat endometriosis and that this is only possible with pretty high dynamisations or LM doses.

All the medecines like Danazol aim only at the superficial suppression of the symptoms, not at a real cure.

This is one of the funniest things I hear from homeopathy supporters. 'Allopathic' medicine only treats symptoms. When of course the whole point of homeopathy is that you treat symptoms with materials that produce the same symptoms (only the latter are diluted out of existence).

And homeopaths think they are treating the cause of a disease? It is so ludicrous, it is hilarious.

Yoo hoo, John! Any chance you'll answer my questions about your claims? The yellow fever bit was cute, it proved that homeopathy worked just as well as placebo.

So what about viral infections with a higher than 6% mortality rate like rabies, and Ebola where there is very little chance of intensive medical care?

Chris : Oh, and while endometriosis is painful and has lots of problems, it is not a viral infection and your anecdote is not data

All the ignorance of the principles of homeopathy is summarized in this sentence.

Homeopathy doesn' t care of the today theories (viruses, intoxication, hormones ...) supposed to explain the reasons of disease. For homeopathy these nice stories are not fundamental. Only is fundamental the phenomenology of the symptons experienced by the patient and if the homeopath manages to find in his Materia medica a remedy whose proving was sufficiently similar to these particular symptoms of this patient, he is sure (because for him it is a law of Nature confirmed by all generations of homeopaths) that the state of his patient will improve.

It is why in homeopathy the experience from 150 years ago, especially if transmitted as pure observation and not polluted by theoretical descriptions existing at this time, is precious. Experience from Hahnemann time (more than 200 years old now) is still considered as first class homeopathy still today.

This is of course totally different from the allopathic paradigm which relies on the today available theories to describe things and which laugh of the theories of yesterday. The reason of that perpetual change is that mainstream medecine is not a real science : it has absolutely no principle of what is a real cure. In fact it does not know what it is and when by chance a real cure occurs it is because by chance the use medecine has acted in reason of its homeopathic properties with respect to the patient : it has cured symptons that it is able to produce.

But all these things are difficult to be understood by a sclerosed and bureaucratic mind, I acknowledge ...

Only humility and real practice of the homeopathic discipline can bring the evidence to our mind.

@Chris : it proved that homeopathy worked just as well as placebo.

Homeopaths are very comfortable with Placebo. It may be a surprise for you but Placebo use was for the first time introduced by Hahnemann himself in his treatment of patients. It was even his second most prescribed remedy !! Placebo help the main remedy to act, it gives time to the cure to establish. A good homeopath knows to recognize what is due to Placebo and what is due to homeopathic remedy in the evolution of his patient : Placebo does not produce aggravation and is not associated with the evolution of symptoms that actual homeopathic remedies induce.

The discredit given on Placebo by the today mainstream medecine is a real pity.

@ And homeopaths think they are treating the cause of a disease? It is so ludicrous, it is hilarious.

No you wrong, homeopaths don' try to find an hypothetical cause to a supposed disease. These concepts (cause and disease) are not relevant for his practice. Only the observed symptoms are the subject of his thinking. If an homeopath says : "I have identified that this cause has produced this disease and so I give this remedy to my patient" he will most of the time not cure his patient because the chosen remedy will not cover the specific symptoms of this patient.

@Chris : This is one of the funniest things I hear from homeopathy supporters. ‘Allopathic’ medicine only treats symptoms.

To be more precise most of the time allopathic remedies are employed for their capability to counteract the symptoms they are supposed to cure. If you have a diarrhea an allopath will give you a substance know to be able to paralyse the intestinal tractus. If you suffer or palpitations of the heart he will give you a substance able to slow the heart. If you have fever he will give you a substance which suppress the fever. If you suffer from stomach acidity he will give you a substance which neutralize this acidity or he will give you a substance knows to limit the production of this acidity (omeprazole).

Cool! Lots of words and absolutely no evidence to support any of your claims.

You said (and I quote): "Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections."

You have yet to provide evidence to support the claims in the above sentence. You did not include anything about "antibiotics resistant infections."

"Placebo help the main remedy to act, it gives time to the cure to establish."

If you are going to claim that homeopathy worked for Yellow Fever, you need to prove it. The documentation you provided showed that the homeopathic treatment had a 6% mortality, which is exactly what happens with no treatment.

News Alert! That means it didn't work! Now, compare that to preventing Yellow Fever with the vaccine. How does a 6% mortality with homeopathy compare with actually preventing the disease with the 90% lifelong effective vaccine?

And really, how well does homeopathy work for rabies? Do you really think the placebo argument works well for a disease that has an over 99% fatality rate? Come on! Provide the data that Andre Saine has refused to come up with!

John:

@Chris : This is one of the funniest things I hear from homeopathy supporters. ‘Allopathic’ medicine only treats symptoms.

I am not ChrisP, he lives in Australia, which is almost a day ahead of where I live.

John:

If you have a diarrhea an allopath will give you a substance know to be able to paralyse the intestinal tractus

Citation needed. Ever have a kid in your house suffering from rotavirus? Apparently there is no cure. The treatment is the same as cholera: lots of fluids. And in my kid's case, it was from an IV.

"If you suffer or palpitations of the heart he will give you a substance able to slow the heart."

Is that so? That same child also had obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The beta blockers worked on the abnormal electrical activity (which is what the "palpitations" are), it moderated the flow that had damaged the mitral valve. The "cure" was open heart surgery to remove the extra muscle that was close to blocking the aortic valve. So exactly how is that surgery just "treating the symptoms"?

So what exactly is the "homeopathic" cure for obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopahy?

"If you have fever he will give you a substance which suppress the fever."

And that is problem why? Just provide a good citation.

"If you suffer from stomach acidity he will give you a substance which neutralize this acidity or he will give you a substance knows to limit the production of this acidity (omeprazole)."

??? Are you getting medical information from 1960s antacid commercials. Really, citation needed.

But, really, just concentrate on providing actual PubMed indexed studies by non-homeopath researchers to support your original claim. If homeopathy worked so well, why is it not the standard of care for gonorrhea?

@John

To be more precise most of the time allopathic remedies are employed for their capability to counteract the symptoms they are supposed to cure.

And what's wrong with this?
Do homeopaths deny our body's amazing ability to heal itself?
Alleviating symptoms gives the body the time it needs to heal itself.

But for someone defending a system in which diagnostic is done and cure is chosen in function of the symptoms, you come out as hypocritical when lambasting "allopathic" medicine for doing the same. Pot, meet kettle.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

@Chris

Sorry for the confusion between ChrisP and Chris.

Homeopath have nothing against surgery when it is the only way to treat a situation where the organism is not able to recover by itself. The same for reanimation.

Homeopath will rely also on allopathic drug if he was not able to identify the right homeopathic remedy because he was not been able to identify the right symptoms in the patient or has not the right remedy available. But instead of using 95% percent of the time an allopathic remedy it will be only 5% of the time.

To be more precise concerning the way allopathic medecine acts : the physician identifies a chain of causality and use a substance or an action which is supposed to suppress or counteract the last stage of causality chain. And this chain change according the last fashion theory. Of course today the anti-acid of the 60 seem outdated as the today treatment will appear outdated for our grand sons. In Homeopathy things are different : what is true today will be true tomorrow.

Concerning Yellow Fever the mortality rate with allopathic treatment was far higher than the 6% obtained by homeopaths. The right figures are given in the documentation (more than 40% if I am not wrong).

Allopathic remedies are today more and more powerfull in the counteract of the last stage of identified causality chain. but the drawback is that there is an explosion of the number of chronic diseases induced by these treatments. Evidence based medecine from this point of view is a real fake prone to manipulations and falsifications. Most of the studies of real secondary effects of remedies are not independant from the manucfacturers of the remedies.

The same for reanimation.
Speaking on behalf of my colleague Dr Herbert West (Miskatonic U.), I am glad to learn that homeopathy is not opposed to certain medical breakthroughs.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

Only is fundamental the phenomenology of the symptons experienced by the patient and if the homeopath manages to find in his Materia medica a remedy whose proving was sufficiently similar to these particular symptoms of this patient, he is sure (because for him it is a law of Nature confirmed by all generations of homeopaths) that the state of his patient will improve.

Strangely, Dana Ullman has never been able to explain why homeopathy can't cure male pattern baldness. Perhaps you could help here, John.

the homeopath [...] is sure (because for him it is a law of Nature confirmed by all generations of homeopaths) that the state of his patient will improve.

The homeopath's dogma-driven level of certainty is not really the issue here.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 18 Nov 2014 #permalink

@John

To be more precise concerning the way allopathic medecine acts : the physician identifies a chain of causality and use a substance or an action which is supposed to suppress or counteract the last stage of causality chain.

I'd say that the inhibition of acid secretion is the first stage of the causality chain.
The disease works like this: Hyperacidity > Gastric inflammation > Gastric ulceration.
Or like this: Hyperacidity > Acid reflux > oesophageal inflammation > oesophageal ulceration.

So reducing excessive acid production with a proton pump inhibitor like omeprazole is a cure for gastric or oesophageal ulceration (symptoms = severe pain, perforation possibly).

We know that for some gastric pathology, there are other factors like H. pylori infection, but that is another part of the story.

Concerning Yellow Fever the mortality rate with allopathic treatment was far higher than the 6% obtained by homeopaths.

Which is not significantly different from the ~7.5% CFR for untreated yellow fever.

No you wrong, homeopaths don’ try to find an hypothetical cause to a supposed disease. These concepts (cause and disease) are not relevant for his practice.

Well this bit is true anyway. Because really the practice is about transferring as much money from the marks patients' wallets to the homeopath's wallet for as little effort as possible.

If an homeopath says : “I have identified that this cause has produced this disease and so I give this remedy to my patient” he will most of the time not cure his patient because the chosen remedy will not cover the specific symptoms of this patient.

That is because the homeopath is simply guessing and if the first 'remedy' doesn't work, they move on to the second, the third and so on until the mark patient either dies or recovers on their own.

@John.

Concerning Yellow Fever the mortality rate with allopathic treatment was far higher than the 6% obtained by homeopaths. The right figures are given in the documentation (more than 40% if I am not wrong).

I'd be a bit sceptical of the reliability of reports on the fatality rates for yellow fever dated 1869 if I were you. Not that I disbelieve the integrity of those reporting the deaths, but the uncertainties suppounding the diagnosis and the accuracy of the data numbers must be rather suspect.
However, the report you cite gives an overall fatality rate for "yellow fever" of 3,100 deaths from between 40-60,000 cases. That means the case fatality was between 5% and 7%.
Nowhere in the document do I see a claim to 40% mortality with allopathic treatment.

"Placebo use was for the first time introduced by Hahnemann himself in his treatment of patients. It was even his second most prescribed remedy !!"

And his first most prescribed remedy. And the third, the fourth, the fifth...

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

In Homeopathy things are different : what is true today will be true tomorrow.

I suppose that's true: homeopathy was useless in 1835, is useless today and will still be useless in a century from now. I have little doubt that homeopaths and their patients will still be falling prey to a combination of cognitive biases and regression to the mean and deluding themselves for many decades to come. It isn't as if we don't understand how it is possible to fool ourselves in this way, and how to avoid it; we do, just as those 'truth-loving men' back in 1835 did. I find it sad that there are still people who have fallen and continue to fall for this nonsense.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

The only thing that changes in homeopathy seems to be the reasons why it works. We have had quantum and nanoparticles and what will be next?

Of course I should have said why it's supposed to work.

Has anyone else noticed that John, milano and Shirley share a similar grammatical style and choice of words?

At any rate, this bit amused me:

It is why in homeopathy the experience from 150 years ago, especially if transmitted as pure observation and not polluted by theoretical descriptions existing at this time, is precious. Experience from Hahnemann time (more than 200 years old now) is still considered as first class homeopathy still today.

This is of course totally different from the allopathic paradigm which relies on the today available theories to describe things and which laugh of the theories of yesterday. The reason of that perpetual change is that mainstream medecine is not a real science

So, because homeopathy does not change means that it is really scientific, whereas self-reflective examination of medicines that change with new evidence is not science. Imagine what the world would be like if this conception of science were applied to all areas of life as of the 1850s. We would have no computers on which to be having this discussion. Cars would still be rudimentary death-traps. Smog would be rather a bit of a problem due to the lack of cheap, widespread electrical power. We would not have powered flight at all. Pretty much any industry that today relies on automated mass-production would be reduced to tiny little sweatshops with significantly lower productivity.

If only we had applied homeopathic notions of science to everything in life, we could still be living with all those antiquated conveniences rather than burdened with the woeful technology around us today.

And I notice that John still hasn't provided any evidence that homeopathy works besides a 150-year-old paper that shows homeopathy is no different than doing nothing.

@John - Please tell me how you reconcile your disdain for medicines that only treat the symptoms ("most of the time allopathic remedies are employed for their capability to counteract the symptoms they are supposed to cure.", "All the medecines like Danazol aim only at the superficial suppression of the symptoms") while also saying that "in homeopathy you spent your time to compare the symptoms of your patient to the symptoms of the artificial diseases induced by homeopathic remedies."? Are you saying that treating symptoms via something known to actually reduce the symptoms is not as good as treating the symptoms with a dilute version of something believed to cause similar symptoms? If so, why? If not, how can you say that homeopathy cures anything if you're only looking at symptoms?

You state that "A good homeopath knows to recognize what is due to Placebo and what is due to homeopathic remedy in the evolution of his patient". If a patient is given a homeopathic remedy and a placebo, how does a good homeopath recognize whether the remedy had any effect?

Without looking at the label, is there some method that you someone could differentiate between two 30C (or higher) remedies, or between such remedies and a physically identical placebo? If so, how?

Thanks.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

@John,

Your complete failure to provide any published support for the efficacy of homeopathy for treating a non-self limiting disease such as rabies or even male pattern baldness speaks much louder than all your repeated claims and attempts at explanation.

My challenge for supporters of homeopathy (and pretty much any of the other methods of alternative medicine) is to answer these questions.

1. What is the biggest improvement in your method in the last 100 years?

2. What treatment has your methodology abandoned because it was found not to work?

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

Homeopathy doesn’ t care of the today theories (viruses, intoxication, hormones …) supposed to explain the reasons of disease.

Of course it doesn't, because Hanhemann already identified the causes of all diseases: they're due to one of three "infectious principles" he termed miasms: psora, sycosis and syphilis.

Psora ('itch') apparently causes 85% of all illness, which includes but is not limited to diseases of a chronic nature, all skin diseases, most mental illness other than syphilitic ones, allergies, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, most dysfunctional diseases of organs and systems, catarrhs, asthma, pleurisy, haemoptysis, hydrocephalus, stomach ulcers, scrotal swelling, jaundice, swollen glands, cataract, diabetes, tuberculosis, epilepsy, fevers and 'suppressed' urine (whatever than might be).

@Todd W (185),

I pretty much agree with all of that.

It's fun to play those "what if we were stuck with this level of technology" games, though.

If we stuck with 1850's technology, we'd probably be living a sort of Amish meets Steam Punk lifestyle. The farmers would be using teams of horses to haul the community's steam tractor from farm to farm to do their plowing and harvesting. We kind of do that today, except you can see caravans of all-in-one harvesters traveling the highways from county to county during harvesting season to perform the service for farmers who have decided to skip the capital and maintenance expenses.

And we'd be using Babbage Difference Engines programmed using the Ada code with Hollerith cards to break the newest Russian version of the Vigenere cipher.

http://www.computerhistory.org/babbage/

I suppose we could transmit those results using telegraphs using cables laid down under the oceans.

But, we'd probably forgo the difficulty of punching cards to get the difference engine to print out our messages to take to the Western Union office in favor of just typing them up ourselves with one of Giuseppe Ravizza's scribe harpsichords.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

Thanks for the info, JGC!

I always wondered why I had both eczema and epilepsy.

Now I know! (well, not really)

Fortunately, my fifth epilepsy medication seems to work really well and the eczema has stopped recurring after I eliminated it with a steroidal cream and have been using plenty of moisturizer on my legs.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

Has anyone else noticed that John, milano and Shirley share a similar grammatical style and choice of words?

John and Shirley do share a certain preference for the word 'tractus' versus the more commonly used word "tract" (Shirley: "migrating in the digestive tractus", John: "paralyse the intestinal tractus").

Could be worse, squirrelite. Thank god you don't sufer from catarrh...

Doctor Luc Montagnier has shown that high potentized dilution of DNA where the initial DNA has disappeared by a dilution factor greater than the Avogrado limit, is still able to mimic the DNA presence. The experiences supporting this fact have been reproduced by several independent laboratories.

How can I discredit this information as I don't want that homeopaths take profit of it to promote their medicine which is very dangerous for the financial profit of our medical industry ?

Please help me.

“If you have fever he will give you a substance which suppress the fever.”

And that is problem why? Just provide a good citation.

Well, there is a school of thought that suppressing a fever may result in a longer illness. See -
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/780-6/
Because the world needs more Mark Crislip.

Dr. Crislip has also modified his standard "Me find bug, me kill bug, me go home" to "Me find cause of fever, me treat cause of fever, fever goes away, me go home".

Homeopathy has not been shown to treat the cause of fever, as water, in the amount homeopaths prescribe, does not kill anything that causes fever in vivo.

No doubt the homeopath defenders will claim, in a denial of germ theory, that infection does not cause fever. Such claims are silly.

I will stipulate that high body temperature can also be caused by exposure to high ambient temperature, and chilled homeopathic remedies in very large quantities may be indicated. But on a hot day, I'd rather have a beer.

John: "Concerning Yellow Fever the mortality rate with allopathic treatment was far higher than the 6% obtained by homeopaths. The right figures are given in the documentation (more than 40% if I am not wrong)."

What document? And explain why it is more accurate than the one I linked to. Or the one Narad linked to.

Where are those verifiable studies that show homeopathy works better than placebo for viral infections, antibiotic resistant infections and obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?

@squirrelelite : I always wondered why I had both eczema and epilepsy.

Can you tell us when happened your eczema and epilepsy and in what circumstances ?

Concerning Yellow Fever the mortality rate with allopathic treatment was far higher than the 6% obtained by homeopaths.

John: given that the 5 to 7% mortality obtained by homeopaths isn't significantly different than the mortality rate for untreated victims, this would argue that the 'allopathic' medical care given for yellow fever 150 years ago was worse than doing nothing, not that the homeopathic medical care was better than doing nothing.

Agreed?

Doctor Luc Montagnier has shown that high potentized dilution of DNA where the initial DNA has disappeared by a dilution factor greater than the Avogrado limit, is still able to mimic the DNA presence.

Uhhh...no, he hasn't. See
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-montagnier-homeopathy-study/

From the article linked:

1.By filtration, they were able to determine the particle size of the components that were associated with positive results. There were particles of DNA present, in contrast to high homeopathic dilutions where no molecules of the original substance remain.
2.Homeopathy postulates effects at most dilutions, with increasing effects as the dilutions become greater. In this study, there were no effects at low dilutions. There were a series of positive effects at high dilutions but the effect size did not increase progressively as the dilution increased. At the highest dilutions, the effect vanished.
3.They talk about water structures and polymer formations, but acknowledge that these associations appear to be very short-lived. In this study they found that the effects lasted for several hours, sometimes up to 48 hours – but not longer. Homeopathic remedies are not administered within hours of their preparation. They supposedly remain effective for long periods. Most homeopaths say that homeopathic remedies do not require expiration dates and will remain effective indefinitely as long as they are properly stored.

John, all I am doing is asking you to back up the claims in your first comment: "Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections."

So far all you have done is shown that homeopathy works just as well as placebo for Yellow Fever from a 150 document written by a homeopath.

Now all you have do is prove the rest using PubMed indexed studies by non-homeopaths those other claims, especially the bit about antibiotic resistant infections. You obviously cannot use stuff from 1800s because there were no antibiotics then.

By the way, have you figured out what significance William Gorgas, an Army doctor, has with Yellow Fever? Do please tell us you know something from the 20th century.

@Chris : It is always a pleasure to learn you something Chris !

Wikipedia writes : In severe epidemics, the mortality of Yellow Fever may exceed 50%.
This link
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408360490497474
talk of a fatality case rate higher than 50%

You see that I was a bit short with my 40 and that the comparison with Ebola is fully pertinent. I think that now you will ask with me to experiment Homeopathy on Ebola patients in order to try to reduce the mortality at 6%.

Do not hesitate to transform the information I give to you. It will be always my duty to reestablish the truth !!!

@Chris - of course, 200 years ago people either got better or died.....since no disease is 100% fatal, there will always be survivors - whether they were treated or not.

Homeopaths trying to use survival statistics from before the advent of modern medicine (and things like antibiotics and vaccines, for example) are basically just comparing one placebo against another....

@JGC : Thank you very much GJC for your answer but it is not exactly what I need . I want to demolish the idea that the record of potentized DNA dilution electromagnetic signal can be used to induce the synthesis of a copy of the initial DNA in a separate glass container. This experience is shown in a movie where Luc Montagnier put all his reputation of Nobel Prize of Medecine.
My opponents talk always of this experiment and I really want to stop that : it is too dangerous for my investment in the health sector of the Nasdaq. I dont want to see the price of my share going down.

Please help me

Answer my questions. Prove homeopathy works better than placebo for viral infections like Ebola and/or rabies.

In severe epidemics, the mortality of Yellow Fever may exceed 50%.

Yes--did you have a point, John? The untreated mortality in the epidemic Holcombed documents wasn't 50%.

The only valid comparison we can make is between the mortality in patients who received homeopathic and the mortality observed for untreated patients during this specific epidemic, which are not significantly different.

We don't know what the mortality associated with homepathy would have been in one of the severe epidemics where untreated motilty approached 50% (well, okay, we do--it also would have been 50% since homepathic remedies consist of nothing other than water.)

@JGC : Thank you very much GJC for your answer but it is not exactly what I need .

John, are you here explicitly admitting that you were also posting as carlos? I'm curious--were you also the author of the posts appearing uner teh name shirley?

This experience is shown in a movie where Luc Montagnier put all his reputation of Nobel Prize of Medecine.

Because the forum in which working Nobel Prize Laureate scientists present their data and defend the conclusions they derive from them are popular movies...no, wait. That isn't the forum at all: instead, they present the findings in first tier peer-reviewed journals.

I've directed you to everything you need to demolish their claims: a detailed explanation of how the Montagneir experiment failed to demonstrate that "the record of potentized DNA dilution electromagnetic signal can be used to induce the synthesis of a copy of the initial DNA in a separate glass container".

Experience from Hahnemann time (more than 200 years old now) is still considered as first class homeopathy still today.

This reminded me that the very basis of homeopathy is Hahnemann's proving of cinchona bark, which caused him fever-like symptoms. It seems likely that these symptoms were due to a hypersensitivity to cinchona, since this amount of quinine doesn't have these effects in most people..

I must share this article from 1947, in which a doctor recommends proving homeopathic remedies on otherwise healthy patients, he gives the example of a patient with a broken arm, without telling them. This way imagination is eliminated from the equation, and the doctor is justified in doing this because it's good for the patients, or at least it isn't as bad as a typhoid vaccine: "I should know whether it confers a benefit or not as I am qualified to pass judgment", he writes. There's no arguing with that voice of authority.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

@JGC : No I am neither Carlos nor Shirley but yes I did this Pastiche in an open manner ! Don't you deserve it with your insinuations ?

John, are you here explicitly admitting that you were also posting as carlos?

That should be "accidentally revealing," and the answer is of course "yes."

@Krebiozen : It seems likely that these symptoms were due to a hypersensitivity to cinchona.

You right, in homeopathy provings are preferably performed on healthy people and among these healthy people only a fraction which is sensitive to the substance (in general a 30 CH dynamisation) will experience the symptoms of the remedy.
It looks like allergy but as these sensitive people most of the time have never met the substance it is preferable to talk about idiosyncrasy.

The other people which are sensitive to the remedy are the sick people who have symptoms similar to some of the remedy. During the cure with the remedy they can show in addition to their sick state some of the other symptoms of this remedy. Hahnemann certainly used this source of information in addition to normal provings to establish his Materia Medica.

John, c'mon, where are the homeopathic successes for alopecia universalis? "Allopathy" already has one, so you, Carlos, and Shirley had better get cracking.

Maybe you can divide the labor among yourself.

I talk you through the cloud from the Paradise of Physicians. I fully support my friend John in his battle for Ebola and the Glory of Homeopathy.
JGC & Narad may the light of truth enlighten you !!!

What have I insuated, John? I've stated that the Holcombe publication from 150 years ago provides no evidence in support of your claims, but did so explicitly. I've stated that the Montagnier experiment doesn't support calims of homeopathy's efficacy, but again I've done so explicitly.

And I haven't insuated that you posted as a sockpuppet under the name 'carlos', but i asked you directly whether that was the case when you thanked me for my response to a post under that name.

My question regarding whether you've also posted as shirley is a consequence of the use of the word 'tractus' rather than 'tract' in both posts. It is, after all, an uncommon word choice.

But let me ask you a direct question again: is the 150-year old Holcombe publication --a publication that indicates taht homepathy performs just as well as no treatment whatsoever--really the stongest evidence you can offer in support of your claims?

My question regarding whether you’ve also posted as shirley is a consequence of the use of the word ‘tractus’ rather than ‘tract’ in both posts.

Note also the characteristic space before an exclamation point, here used exclusively by John, "Milano," "Shirley," and now "Samuel."

It's sockpuppeting.

No I am neither Carlos nor Shirley but yes I did this Pastiche in an open manner !

...and don't call me Shirley.

@John (196),

The answer is in the rest of my comment #190.
You just have to read it.

Would you like to answer one of the many substantive questions and requests that have been put to you?

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

Also, John, the 50% mortality your reference in #200 states:

The case fatality rate of severe yellow fever is 50% or higher.

So, this rate is for the subset of yellow fever cases that fall into the "severe" category, not for all yellow fever cases observed.

Without knowing what percentage of cases were categorized as severe, you cannot compare it with survival numbers from other outbreaks whether using homeopathy, placebo or any other treatment.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

I think it's less that he doesn't want to answer than it is that he's unable to.

John,

You right, in homeopathy provings are preferably performed on healthy people and among these healthy people only a fraction which is sensitive to the substance (in general a 30 CH dynamisation) will experience the symptoms of the remedy.

That's not what I have read in numerous accounts of homeopathic provings. For example, the North American Network of Homeopathy states that (PDF):

A healthy person who takes a medicine (potentised agent) in the process of a proving will develop symptoms.

The New York School of Homeopathy describes a similar response to provings, with all ten provers reporting reactions to a 30C homeopathic preparation of a house fly (yes, really). Some even reported reactions from merely sleeping with vials of the remedy under their pillows. If the 'true' response to a homeopathic remedy is only experienced by an idiosyncratic fraction, the vast majority of homeopathic provings and thus remedies must inevitably be wrong. Luckily, since they consist of nothing but water or sugar pills, this doesn't matter a bit.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

@John. Your source for your claim says this:"The case fatality rate of severe yellow fever is 50% or higher."
Yes, but it does NOT say the case fatality for all cases of Yellow fever is 50%, does it? Because that is clearly what you thought it said. Are you man enough to admit your mistake?

Coupled with the fact that your other source said the deaths in the 1867 epidemic were between 5% and 7% (ie the same as with the well known placebo, homeopathy), I think you should back down from your silly claims.

@MOB - Hey! I prefer the light of Venus. Far more romantic.
http://homeopath.x10.mx/venus.htm

PS: Hasn't someone told these whackos that the light from all planets is identically composed - namely reflected sunlight?

"A healthy person who takes a medicine (potentised agent) in the process of a proving will develop symptoms."

So you mean..... homeopathy .......has .....side effects?
Oh dear, dear..

John: "You right, in homeopathy provings are preferably performed on healthy people and among these healthy people only a fraction which is sensitive to the substance (in general a 30 CH dynamisation) will experience the symptoms of the remedy."

Then how do you know they work for sick people? Also, where is the animal testing data proving Andre Saine's claim that homeopathy works better for rabies than the modern vaccine?

Samuel, where is the data from your work on patients with Ebola?

All planet light is not identical. The planets are different colors, and different colors of light do carry different energy and therefore would have different effects.

I am also willing to state (and I believe that a majority will agree) that homeopathic planet light and starlight are just as effective as any other homeopathic remedy.

One of my favourites is the homeopathic proving of a shipwreck, which had the result of those taking the remedy getting stuck in traffic.

I can see this particular remedy being a big favourite.

I am also willing to state (and I believe that a majority will agree) that homeopathic planet light and starlight are just as effective as any other homeopathic remedy

I can see starlight and planet light as the equivalent of very dilute sunlight, and therefore homeopathically effective for conditions cause by excess sun exposure (sunburn, porphyria, malignant melanoma). Succussion might be a problem, though.

One of my favourites is the homeopathic proving of a shipwreck

For the rest of the day I will be declaiming "Naufragium... Helvetia!", at regular intervals, in Harry-Potter spell-casting tones.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

I believe that a majority will agree... that homeopathic planet light and starlight are just as effective as any other homeopathic remedy.

No-one will disagree with that!

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

Johnny stated

All planet light is not identical.

Absolutely correct. Different planets will show sunlight affected by their absorption spectrum. Pure sunlight will, of course, be a superset of the reflected light of all the planets, plus!

In defense of homeopathic light of Saturn - did homeopathic light of Venus rate a Get Fuzzy cartoon at http://www.gocomics.com/getfuzzy/2011/10/31?

Thought not.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

Naturally, I meant "their absorption spectra" above.

Bad grammar, thy name is bourbon.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ Mephistopheles O'Brien:

Really? It does that?
I always thought that alcohol summoned forth the Muse of poetry.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

@Denice Walter

Aye, lassie, that it does. But it also summons forth the Muse of bad grammar. Which, of course, describes some poetry to a T.

Speaking of which, I was in Glasgow recently for the first time and heard someone refer to Robert Burns as a "poyet", which I found quite charming.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

I am also willing to state (and I believe that a majority will agree) that homeopathic planet light and starlight are just as effective as any other homeopathic remedy.

I wholeheartedly agree--but you're selling homeopathic starlight short. I'm sure with zero effort we can come up with a very long list of things homeopathic starlight is just as effective as.

I'll start: homeopathic starlight is just as effective as wearing your underwear outside the rest of your clothes.

Try 'backlight', or you can't prove it didn't happen.

the theory being that, since every action has an equal and opposite reaction, then light must have a complementary negative light, or backlight, that makes the return journey at the same speed.

http://www.isegoria.net/2012/02/a-voyage-to-arcturus/

@JGC

Hi JGC, it is time for me to give you as promise some instruction on how to read an article.

In is paper on Yellow Fever of 1867 Holcombe writes :

page 6 : (In 1867) ... The general virulence and consequent mortality were FAR LESS than in any previous epidemic ... (1853, 1855, 1858).

page 10 : In the GREAT EPIDEMIES of 1853, 1835, 1858, Dr. Davis, of Tatchez, Miss, and myself (Holcombe) demonstrated, by a practice including over a thousand cases ... a mortality little exceeding SIX PER CENT ... by using Aconite, Bryonia, Belladonna, Arsenic, Lachesis, Argentum nitricum.

The 6% homeopathic recovery was for the previous far more severe epidemics whose normal rate of death was around 50% (close to Ebola).

It is why it is urgent to try homeopathy on Ebola patients (along with the only palliative treatment (hydratation...) used today)

@ ChrisP : One of my favourites is the homeopathic proving of a shipwreck, which had the result of those taking the remedy getting stuck in traffic.

Thank you for this link ! I did not know it. Very amusing...

@Krebiozen : That’s not what I have read in numerous accounts of homeopathic provings.

Dear Krebiozen if you only know what you read, it is not a surprise that you have gelatine instead of normal brain in your head.

Do by yourself some provings (as I did). Talk with people who did the same proving than you (as I dd). Compare your feelings, sensations, emotional states, physical symptoms, characteristics of your pains if any (as I did).

And then you will better know what is really a proving. You will see the difference between someone sensitive to a remedy and some one not in idiosyncrasy with it.
Homeopathy has suffered a lot from only a written teaching. True homeopaths have a personal knowledge of at least some remedies to well know their phenomenology.

@squirrelelite

Sorry your post #190 does not provide the answers to my questions. Make an effort please ...

By the way the discusion on provings shows that Hahnemann was the first to report in a precise manner biological phenomena related to what we call now : Allergy (may be with a more limited scope).

Hahnemann has also discovered the Placebo effect.

Hahnemann has given also all the modern laws of hygienic life.

Hahnemann was also the first to describe Cholera as an infectious disease transmitted by small invisible agents.

This guy was a real Genius.

In defense of homeopathic light of Saturn

Readers of Gustav Meyrink are all aware that the rings of Saturn were in fact crocheted by the spirits of deceased wives of clergymen. I have no idea how this will affect their healing properties.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

John, where is the evidence from less than fifty years ago that homeopathy works better than placebo for viral diseases. Rabies should be an easy one since it can be quickly done with studies on rodents.

Where is that data?

And seriously, you claimed homeopathy worked for antibiotic resistant infections and have provided absolutely nothing to prove that.

What are you hiding? Or are you just lying?

John,
Citation needed for all your claims in #238. Or we'll assume you're pulling your claims out of thin air.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ Chris

Chris you will receive your instruction at a pace compatible with your ability to assimilate new things and apparently you have some difficulties in understanding written matters. So be patient and learn your lessons. Next stage will be Influenza but before I want to be sure that you have well understood the matter on Yellow Fever, so could you answer this question :

"at what epidemics refer Holcombe when he writes about a reduced mortality rate of 6% thank to homeopathic treatment ?"

Readers of Gustav Meyrink are all aware that the rings of Saturn were in fact crocheted by the spirits of deceased wives of clergymen.

Didn't I just quote from The Colossus of Maroussi?

Chris you will receive your instruction at a pace compatible with your ability to assimilate new things and apparently you have some difficulties in understanding written matters.

John, etc., see if you can understand this "written matter":

Put the fυck up or put one of your socks in it.

John, you are really an unsufferable, pretentious, stuck-up pissweasel, aren't you?

Please provide evidence the natural mortality rate for yellow fever epidemics in the mid 19th century was greater than 50%, or STFU.

Your own precious Holcombe cites a natural mortality rate of 5%-7% for the major 1867 epidemic (3,100 deaths from 40-60,000 cases)

I think it is time to introduce John to the ultimatum question.
John, you have claimed that:

Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections.

...good homeopaths manage to treat endometriosis...

Hahnemann discovered the Placebo effect...has given all the modern laws of hygienic life...was also the first to describe Cholera as an infectious disease transmitted by small invisible agents.

If you do not provide supporting evidence for your claims within your next three comments, we will take that as proof that you have no evidence and are making stuff up.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

By the way the discusion on provings shows that Hahnemann was the first to report in a precise manner biological phenomena related to what we call now : Allergy (may be with a more limited scope).

That would have been tricky given the term was first used by Clemens von Pirquet in 1906, some time after Hahnemann had died.

Hahnemann has also discovered the Placebo effect.

Again hard. The first recorded use of what was known to be sham medicine was by Ambroise Paré in the 16th Century, a full 100 years before Hahnemann was born. The first description of what is now known as the placebo effect was by John Haygarth in 1799. Hahnemann used sham medicine; he was just unable to understand the identity between that and the medical system he invented.

Hahnemann has given also all the modern laws of hygienic life.

No he didn't. The importance of public hygiene was known to the Romans, and probably the Egyptians before them.

Hahnemann was also the first to describe Cholera as an infectious disease transmitted by small invisible agents.

He described it as a miasma, i.e. an unwholesome atmosphere. Many infectious diseases were similarly described at the time when the cause was unknown. He also described it as an invisible cloud and as an organism. Apparently, he couldn't make up his mind exactly what it was. He, like others before him, did recognise a relationship with poor quality water.

dingo199:
So you mean….. homeopathy …….has …..side effects?
I used to be regularly exposed to a homeopathic preparation of hop tincture in water and alcohol -- better known as "DB Export Lager" -- and yes, there were side effects.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

Hahnemann was also the first to describe Cholera as an infectious disease transmitted by small invisible agents.

Ah. So 'Germ theory' is a good thing if one of Hahnemann's varying theories can be construed as an acceptance of its tenets; but it's a bad thing if mainstream doctors claim to have "treated" a disease by killing the "germs' which were causing it (or by using vaccines to help the body kill those "germs"), because they're really only addressing the symptoms.
Have I missed anything?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 19 Nov 2014 #permalink

I read the entire report on the yellow fever epidemic of 1867, as John demanded. One thing I note is that Holcombe stated that this was a very atypical epidemic, where even people who had had the disease before got it again. Since yellow fever normally produces immunity, I wonder if there were several somewhat similar diseases at work in that case. 

Holcombe went into detail about harmful "allopathic" treatments. No one here, I think, will dispute that medicine in 1867 was quite primitive and, in desperate efforts to find cures or relieve suffering, doctors at the time did at times cause harm to their patients. But "allopathic" medicine (that is to say, not-homeopathic medicine) in 1867 was entirely different from "allopathic" medicine in 2014. Homeopathic medicine is, as John proudly proclaims, exactly the same as it was in 1867, having learned nothing at all in the interim.

At any rate, Holcombe gave extensive instructions for proper nursing and feeding of the patient, with occasional homeopathic treatments recommended but often at "3" and "6" and even "first" dilution. Such dilutions could very well contain the supposed remedy and have real effects but apparently they were not too harmful. 

The real benefit of Holcombe's recommended treatment is the nursing, feeding, and trying to be as gentle as possible while waiting for the patient to either die or recover on his own. Given that yellow fever is a viral disease, that is pretty much all that could be done. Even today treatment of a viral disease is largely (as I understand it) nursing the patient until he recovers or dies, though these days nursing may involve dialysis or respirator. 

John,

Dear Krebiozen if you only know what you read, it is not a surprise that you have gelatine instead of normal brain in your head.

Someone who has managed to delude themselves into believing in magic water accuses me of lacking a brain? That's more than a little ironic.

Do by yourself some provings (as I did).

I have taken so-called homeopathic remedies in the past, and they did nothing at all.

Talk with people who did the same proving than you (as I dd). Compare your feelings, sensations, emotional states, physical symptoms, characteristics of your pains if any (as I did).

I have also experimented with hypnosis and suggestion, and I know that such a discussion is guaranteed to result in people finding shared "feelings, sensations, emotional states, physical symptoms". It's a recipe for self-delusion.

And then you will better know what is really a proving. You will see the difference between someone sensitive to a remedy and some one not in idiosyncrasy with it.
Homeopathy has suffered a lot from only a written teaching. True homeopaths have a personal knowledge of at least some remedies to well know their phenomenology.

If the symptoms experienced during a proving are so unmistakeable, why is it that homeopaths cannot distinguish unlabeled belladonna 30C globules from unlabeled cinchona 30C globules? You could even assemble a group of people who were sensitive to a remedy, and have them distinguish the remedy they are sensitive to from another remedy, or pure lactose pills. If they could do this reliably they would be eligible for James Randi's $1 million.
They can't, because these symptoms are the result of suggestion and of paying close attention to every sensation, not due to any effects of the remedies, which contain nothing but water or lactose. That's why the most rigorously designed clinical trials of homeopathy show no effects.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 20 Nov 2014 #permalink

I have had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time with believers of illogical claims. At some point, if that belief has cost them dearly enough, they seem to "double down" and hold even more strongly to it.

I find it perplexing. It also makes me struggle to maintain belief in much of anything, and that makes me feel uncertain and sad.

It's good to have these discussions to help the lurkers, but poor John and his imaginary friends might be beyond reaching.

It's odd that homeopaths never can figure out how to set up a slam-dunk demonstration of their magic water. Remember the one who came in here during the California pertussis outbreak and sneered that she had a homeopathic cure that would work in something like two minutes? We pointed out what a great and convincing video she could make and how wrong it was for her not to share that knowledge as widely as possible, and somehow she disappeared without ever proving her claims.

So here's John with more big talk, but he won't make the most elementary efforts to prove his claims. Sad, really.

I noticed something about Jean's typing: Space before punctuation, again. That's the same typing quirk, even three years ago. Coincidence?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 20 Nov 2014 #permalink

I was just thinking the same thing: Jean/John. Hmm.

#239 You could replace 'Hahnemann' with 'Kim Jong Il' or 'Un' in this post and see what they say in North Korea about medicine.

By NumberWang (not verified) on 20 Nov 2014 #permalink

John: "Next stage will be Influenza but before I want to be sure that you have well understood the matter on Yellow Fever, so could you answer this question : "

So you just lying when you made this claim: "Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections."

This explains why you can't provide any real evidence.

The general virulence and consequent mortality were FAR LESS than in any previous epidemic

That’s a point I made, if you’ll remember, noting that It isn’t valid to compare the mortality rate for patient treated with homeopathy during the 1867 epidemic to mortality rates for previous epidemics where it was seen to be much greater.

In the GREAT EPIDEMIES of 1853, 1835, 1858, Dr. Davis, of Tatchez, Miss, and myself (Holcombe) demonstrated, by a practice including over a thousand cases … a mortality little exceeding SIX PER CENT

I do see where he asserts this claim. Nowhere, however, do I see any data supporting this claim. Not a single table providing the actual numbers of patients treated with homeopathy, patients treated with ‘allopathy’, and patients left untreated, for example. Holcombe is offering a testimonial, not evidence.

The 6% homeopathic recovery was for the previous far more severe epidemics whose normal rate of death was around 50% (close to Ebola).

And again: this is only asserted, without evidence in support.

It is why it is urgent to try homeopathy on Ebola patients (along with the only palliative treatment (hydratation…) used today)

Because 150 years ago someone claimed without evidence “Hey it worked for me with yellow fever”?

Direct question, which you keep ignoring: is this really the best you can offer in support the efficacy of homeopathy?

Hahnemann was also the first to describe Cholera as an infectious disease transmitted by small invisible agents.

Which is what a miasm is. Let's quote from The Mode of Propagation of the Asiatic Cholera:

"The only fact brought forward by Hufeland against my proofs (viz., that on board an English ship in the open sea, about the latitude of Riga, that had had no (?) communication with the town, two sailors were suddenly seized with the cholera) proves nothing, for it is not known how near the ship came to the infected town, Riga, so that the sphere of the miasm-exhalation from the town, although diluted, might yet have reached and infected the sailors, who were still unused to the miasm, especially if they, as is often the case, were rendered more susceptible to it from intemperance."

Jeezums, if you just read the first two paragraphs, it's blindingly obvious that Hahnemann wasn't the "first" anything here.

^ Hahnemann "contribution" to the subject seems to have been the contention that cholera was a short-range miasm.

Short range miasm-
sounds like a good name for a band
" Dirk plays keyboards for Short Range Miasm and Jade sings"

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 20 Nov 2014 #permalink

I imagine tactical miasm and strategic miasm as two different spells in a D&D rulebook.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 20 Nov 2014 #permalink

Now that you have seen the efficiency of homeopathy on Yellow Fever more than 150 years ago (hopefully it is difficult to found now this kind of epidemics except may be the close in symptoms Ebola), I propose than you read and study (seriously this time Chris) this report on the great superiority of homeopathy on the allopathy prevailing at this time for the cure of influenza during the epidemic of 1918 : http://pdf.lu/PBkd

Let's see - the standard treatment for influenza today is to rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat a healthy diet, stay warm, and avoid spreading the disease. There are also antiviral drugs that, according to the CDC, "can shorten the duration of fever and illness symptoms, and may reduce the risk of complications from influenza (e.g., otitis media in young children, pneumonia, respiratory failure) and death, and shorten the duration of hospitalization. Clinical benefit is greatest when antiviral treatment is administered early, especially within 48 hours of influenza illness onset." Additionally, there are influenza vaccines which can substantially reduce the risk of catching the flu and reduce the severity if caught. What would be the results today of that treatment compared to homeopathic treatment? Or is all the best data for the effectiveness of homeopathy 96 years old?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 23 Nov 2014 #permalink

Now that you have seen the efficiency of homeopathy on Yellow Fever more than 150 years ago

If this is John's response to repeated requests that he show the evidence he promised -- simply waiting a while and then pretending that the evidence has been shown -- then he's just trolling.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 23 Nov 2014 #permalink

@Gray Falcon : I noticed something about Jean’s typing: Space before punctuation, again. That’s the same typing quirk, even three years ago. Coincidence?

You know : We have in homeopathy some good remedies which cover recurring Paranoia provided some other symptoms are present. There is a lot to do for people on this forum...

I was not aware of the so-called responsability of aspirin in the huge mortality of influenza in this famous epidemic after the First World War.
Is this something well known ? And if true what is its modern scientific explanation ?

Do you have a remedy for sockpuppetry?
Maybe Marionetta C30 or something?

I imagine John / Milano / Shirley / Donald organising a dollies' tea party as a child, doing all the voices as Bear agrees with Dolly.
Most kids grow out of that, is all.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 23 Nov 2014 #permalink

John: " I propose than you read and study (seriously this time Chris) this report on the great superiority of homeopathy on the allopathy prevailing at this time for the cure of influenza during the epidemic of 1918 "

Do you have a homeopathic remedy for lack of reading comprehension and basic arithmetic? Because I very clear said: "John, where is the evidence from less than fifty years ago that homeopathy works better than placebo for viral diseases."

Newsflash, John, 1918 was more than fifty years ago.

Also, it has to be real evidence, not a series of unverified anecdotes. This is where an animal study by non-homeopaths to prove Andre Saine's contention that homoepathy works better for rabies than the modern vaccine.

Unless you answer with real evidence from the PubMed index, not some download from an unknown website, we will assume you do not have that data. It is either because you are clueless, or just a liar.

Thank you John for this document published a short time after the end of the 1918 flu pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920) which was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus. It infected 500 million people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and killed 50 to 100 million of them—three to five percent of the world's population—making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.

We can see that at least in the USA when properly administered, homeopathy has made quasi miracles in reducing drastically the mortality.

Massive usage of Aspirin (more than 5g per day) has been associated with induced pneumonia in young organisms. This was certainly one of the first massive "industrial disaster" of the petroleum/medical industry acting on an allopathic level.

Certainly other kind of more natural treatments of H1N1 has led to intermediate mortality (10% to 20%s) similar to the one observed during recent H1N1 epidemic. Homeopathy clearly has had the best results where competent physician could cure with it.

John you are very courageous to bring these informations in this Forum where is spread a kind of epidemic of Stupidity Fever.

I am convinced that Homeopathy should be tried urgently for Ebola !!! The risk of this trial would be null and the potential benefits enormous.

@ herr doktor bimler

I would prefer that you give an answer to my question rather than trying to disqualify my presence on this Forum. I represent only myself but I am not sure of this on your side.

Once again Herr doktor himler, what is known today of the real effect of massive Aspirin usage during a flu ?

@ Chris : not some download from an unknown website

Once again Chris I will help you to understand what is written in a document. Chris read once more the article and try to answer this question :

"In what revue has this article on influenza been published and in what year and month ?"

That's three comments with no evidence from you, John.
You have no evidence to support your claims, several of which have been refuted already by other commentators here. We can now state that you are pulling your "data" out of thin air.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

@John/Shirley/Milano/Donald

Your link for the 1918 flu pandemic goes to an article that was originally published in the Journal of the American Institute of Homœopathy, the May 1921 issue. It is a collection of out of context quotes and lacks any controls. It is not a published study, but just a series of testimonials.

In short, it does not constitute evidence that homeopathy works.

Now, do please provide the evidence Chris asked for.

“In what revue has this article on influenza been published and in what year and month ?”
I'll save Chris the trouble of pointing out that this is apparently a series of anecdotes from homeopaths published in the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy in May 1921, 93 years ago. Why anyone would think this is useful evidence I don't know. We have only the words of homeopaths for these figures, and the claim that the "average old school mortality is 30%" is absurd; if that were true over 8 million Americans would have died, whereas the true figure is 675,000. Stanford reports a mortality rate of 2.5%. We also don't know if these patients had influenza or just a flu-like illness. We don't know if they really survived. We don't even know if they or the homeopaths named in the article existed at all. Given the claims that aspirin causes pneumonia, something that we know is not true, I would say this document is as compelling as the claims that thousands of Americans have been abducted by aliens.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

I would say this document is as compelling as the claims that thousands of Americans have been abducted by aliens.

What? They haven't?

By palindrom (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

What? They haven’t?

They have, of course, but by military black-ops, not by aliens ;-)

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

But seriously, John Mack collected stories about alien abduction that sounded eerily similar so it must be true!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

That's why the UK secret services arranged to have him run down by an alleged drunk driver when he visited London. He was too close to The Truth. That or he forgot we drive on the 'wrong' side of the road.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

John: "Once again Chris I will help you to understand what is written in a document. Chris read once more the article and try to answer this question :"

I did understand that is was not less than fifty years old because I can subtract 1918 from 2014, and comprehend the answer. I also understood it was not indexed on PubMed because the link did not go to a URL that in any way shape or form resembled "http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/."

John, I did find that paper elsewhere. It was a series of unverified anecdotes that were well over fifty years ago.

Again, please provide the PubMed indexed study by a non-homeopath (unbiased) that is less than fifty years old that shows homeopathy works better for a viral infection than placebo. Proving Andre Saine's contention that homeopathy works better for rabies than the modern vaccine should be easy with rodents.

Refusal to come up with actual evidence will prove that you are either clueless or a liar. I am voting for the latter.

90 years after the US homeopaths, the confirmation of the more than suspect role of aspirin in huge mortality of Spanish flu is revealed :

In a 2009 paper published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, Karen Starko proposed that aspirin poisoning had contributed substantially to the fatalities. She based this on the reported symptoms in those dying from the flu, and the timing of the big "death spike" in October 1918 which happened right after the Surgeon General of the United States Army, and the Journal of the American Medical Association both recommended very large (by today's standards) dosages of aspirin.[66] Further, Starko suggests that the wave of aspirin poisonings was due to a "perfect storm" of events: Bayer's patent on aspirin expired, so that many companies rushed in to make a profit and greatly increased the supply; this coincided with the flu pandemic; and the symptoms of aspirin poisoning were not known at the time.

The observations of US homeopaths were not mere anecdotes. They were luminous testimonials well in advance on their time of men who knew how to use their senses, their intelligence and who always though in the pure interest of their living brothers. They deserve the medal of honor.

John: "The observations of US homeopaths were not mere anecdotes."

Sorry, they are. The plural of anecdote is not data.

Also, why should I care about the stories from almost a century ago, when I am asking about homeopathy compared to modern medicine?

If you keep avoiding answering the question with PubMed indexed studies less than fifty years old, I am going to lop off a decade each time you bring up the 1918 pandemic.

Again, John, please provide the PubMed indexed studies by qualified reputable researchers that are less than fifty years old that show homeopathy works better for viral infections than placebo.

One can find no shortage of testimonials for the effectiveness of cupping and bleeding, and patent medicines (mostly alcohol, a few herbs) were always sold with a large number of glowing testimonials.

This is why we need controlled studies. Understand, "John"? Oh, and pointing out your little typing quirk isn't paranoia, in criminal court, that would count as strong supporting evidence.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

John, I will again remind you of the first sentence you posted here: "Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections."

I also want you to give me the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that homeopathy works for "antibiotics resistant infections" that are less than fifty years old. You may note that antibiotics did not even exist in 1918, so again, don't bring up anything less than fifty years old.

Again, any mention of the 1918 flu pandemic and I will lop off a decade from that request. Now get cracking with those real citation to support that glorious claim.

@ Gray Falcon & Chris

Sorry, I associated the word science to intelligence, vision, creation and not to stupid bureaucracy made by blind people acting according mechanical procedures in which there is no hope to see the Truth and really new things occurring.

Sciences of Archimede, Galilee, Newton, Leibnitz, Pasteur, Mendel, Einstein, Grothendieck etc were true science and unfortunately for you they did not follow your prescriptions of short short range bureaucrats !!
They were able to listen to the voice of things and you are deaf-and-dumb ...

Sorry Guys, you don' t match the expected standards !!

@John

Re: your Karen Starko notion

Interestingly, Starko is the only one who has really pushed the aspirin idea. Her idea was called into question, as well (see http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/50/8/1203.1.long). The authors of that letter note that the U.S. had a relatively low case-fatality ratio as compared to India, where salicylates would have been less available to rural patients. If salicylates were to blame, we would expect to see the opposite: more deaths in the U.S. and fewer in India.

Meanwhile, Paulo et al. propose a dose-response explanation for increased influenza severity in the fall-winter of 1918-1919: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2909907/. Their hypothesis makes much more sense and is based on somewhat more rigorous data.

Your continued lack of quality evidence is noted.

John: "Sorry Guys, you don’ t match the expected standards !!"

That is because we expect evidence and not lies. It seems you would not recognize real science if it gave you a kick in the bum. I sincerely doubt you understand what that list of people you posted did, especially Pasteur.

Make sure you stick the flounce!

I'll also note that Starko admits that "these pathology findings [i.e., the ones she attributes to salicylate intoxication] have been induced with the 1918 influenza virus in models".

So, we know that the virus can cause the exact symptoms that Starko attributes to aspirin, but rather than saying that the virus is responsible, she decides it is aspirin. Indeed, her entire article is speculation.

She concludes not by saying "aspirin caused this", but that experiments should be done in models to see if aspirin could have caused the increased deaths:

To determine the proportion of virus-induced pathology, subsequent bacterial infection, and overall 1918 pandemic mortality attributable to salicylate, experimental models and analysis of primary consecutive individual treatment and pathology records are needed. Prospectively, aspirin should be investigated in countries where aspirin is used for influenza.

Even if Karen M. Starko was correct about the contribution that aspirin may have made to the influenza mortality rate in 1918, it says nothing about the efficacy of homeopathy.

Incidentally, the letter that Todd cited suggests a 0.5% influenza mortality rate in the US, making the homeopaths claims of a 1% mortality look very much like one would expect from no treatment at all, which is of course precisely what they got.

The observations of US homeopaths were not mere anecdotes. They were luminous testimonials [...]

That nearly cost me a keyboard. Back in 1918 the role of cognitive biases was not widely understood, but today we understand how confirmation bias makes anecdotes, however "luminous", of little value. That's why we have randomized clinical trials, which aim to eliminate the effects of bias. The best quality clinical trials of individualized homeopathy (to avoid complaints about one-size-fits-all remedies) find no evidence of any effect whatsoever.

Sorry Guys, you don’ t match the expected standards !!

Credulous acceptance of ancient and clearly biased anecdotal evidence is not science.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ Todd W.

A simple question : how many times the word aspirin occur in the testimonies of US Homeopath 90 years ago ?
Why did these homeopath employed so often this name ? You have absolutely no idea of their reasons ?

My God, times are really difficult for intelligence and common sense !!

John mentions a bunch of real scientists who would be rolling over in their graves if they could see the insane ramblings of this homeopathic lunatic.....

Too funny that he relies on the names of real scientists, who would demand extraordinary proof for the claims that John is making....

The observations of US homeopaths were not mere anecdotes. They were luminous testimonials

That's a keeper.

@John/Milano/Shirley/Donald

It doesn't matter how many times they mentioned the word "aspirin" in their stories. It still does not constitute rigorous evidence that a) aspirin contributed to any deaths nor b) that homeopathy is any better than doing nothing at all.

Now, could you please provide evidence from the last 50 years showing that homeopathy is better than placebo in the control of a viral infection, as requested by Chris?

Sciences of Archimede, Galilee, Newton, Leibnitz, Pasteur, Mendel, Einstein, Grothendieck

What the hell is Alexander Grothendieck doing in that list? Did you just tack him on because you saw an obit?

John: "My God, times are really difficult for intelligence and common sense !!"

And yet you have failed repeatedly to support the claims in your first sentence with any real evidence: “Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections.”

Again, where are the PubMed indexed studies dated less than fifty years old by reputable qualified researchers that homeopathy works better than placebo on viral and/or antibiotic infections?

Narad: "What the hell is Alexander Grothendieck doing in that list?"

Sadly, John is so out of touch with reality that he does not know the difference between mathematician and scientist. And only one on that list had anything to do with biology.

What the hell is Alexander Grothendieck doing in that list?

You might ask the same about Leibnitz. Good mathematician, good philosopher and diplomat, but strictly a theoretical scientist.

I'm also intrigued by this "science of ... Galilee". Perhaps this is a branch of meteorology, dealing with those rare conditions which enable unaided locomotion upon the Galilean Sea.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

You might ask the same about Leibnitz.

Well, at least he came up with the Butterkeks.

One man's Archimede is another man's archipersian.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

The documents shown by John are fantastic because they show on the largest scale of epidemics the excellent results of homeopathy.

On a more narrow scale we have these studies which by chance have a pubmed number. Number which in fact does not make them more relevant than the testimonies of good homeopaths as those shown by our dear John :
For the few on this forum who can read written matters :

- Antimalarial potential of China 30 and Chelidonium 30 in combination therapy against lethal rodent malaria parasite: Plasmodium berghei.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23652641

-The potentized homeopathic drug, Lycopodium clavatum (5C and 15C) has anti-cancer effect on hela cells in vitro.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23972240

_http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22738995

-arnica for prevention of pain and bruising: randomized placebo-controlled trial in hand surgery.[/url] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12562974

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15892486 BACKGROUND : Mortality in patients with severe sepsis remains high despite the development of several therapeutic strategies.

-Integr Cancer Ther. 2012 Jun;11(2):172-82. doi: 10.1177/1534735411400310. Epub
2011 Jul 19.
Induction of apoptosis of tumor cells by some potentiated homeopathic drugs:
implications on mechanism of action.
Preethi K, Ellanghiyil S, Kuttan G, Kuttan R.

By Lethal Allopathy (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

Pubmed: Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2012 Mar;10(3):337-46. Potential of the homeopathic remedy, Arnica Montana 30C, to reduce DNA damage in Escherichia coli exposed to ultraviolet irradiation through up-regulation ...

By Lethal Allopathy (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

The documents shown by John are fantastic because they show on the largest scale of epidemics the excellent results of homeopathy.

On a more narrow scale we have these studies which by chance have a pubmed number. Number which in fact does not make them more relevant than the testimonies of good homeopaths as those shown by our dear John : For the few on this forum who can read written matters :

- Antimalarial potential of China 30 and Chelidonium 30 in combination therapy against lethal rodent malaria parasite: Plasmodium berghei. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23652641

-The potentized homeopathic drug, Lycopodium clavatum (5C and 15C) has anti-cancer effect on hela cells in vitro. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23972240

By Lethal Allopathy (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22738995

-arnica for prevention of pain and bruising: randomized placebo-controlled trial in hand surgery.[/url] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12562974

-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15892486 BACKGROUND : Mortality in patients with severe sepsis remains high despite the development of several therapeutic strategies.

-Integr Cancer Ther. 2012 Jun;11(2):172-82. doi: 10.1177/1534735411400310. Epub 2011 Jul 19. Induction of apoptosis of tumor cells by some potentiated homeopathic drugs: implications on mechanism of action. Preethi K, Ellanghiyil S, Kuttan G, Kuttan R.

By Lethal Allopathy (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

@John:

Sciences of Archimede, Galilee, Newton, Leibnitz, Pasteur, Mendel, Einstein, Grothendieck etc were true scien[tists]

Do you know what made them scientists? They meticulously recorded their results, formulated hypotheses, designed sound experiments to test those hypotheses and had their results reviewed and checked by other trained people. What you have given us does not rise to that standard, and it is laughable that you play that card.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

In a 2009 paper published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, Karen Starko proposed that aspirin poisoning had contributed substantially to the fatalities.

Let us assume for the moment that Dr. Starko's analysis is correct. This hurts the case for the effectiveness of homeopathy in treating influenza rather than helps. After all, if one set of patients is actively being poisoned, then all one needs to do to avoid those deaths is not poison them.

Any success attributed to homeopathy would be better assigned to not giving treatments that are actually harmful.

There were a great many things wrong with medicine from the early part of the 20th century and before. There are probably still things that modern conventional medicine does not do as well as it should. This in no way validates homeopathy.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

Do we have enough material from John for Sockbot yet?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

paranoia

The most amusing thing is that John has at least three other tells that no one has mentioned so far. Obvious sockpuppets are obvious.

Grothendieck

Division and exponentiation are the same operator in F2, so there's a chance that homeopathy works there. Not so much in the field of objects that really exist.

I hereby define all integral domains in which division and exponentiation are the same operator to be "homeopathic domains."

By justthestats (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

I hereby define all integral domains in which division and exponentiation are the same operator to be “homeopathic domains.”

I love the smell of higher mathematics in the morning.

By palindrom (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

The Luminous Testimonials sound like a gospel group

Do we have enough material from John for Sockbot yet?

Mebbe. Orac has informed me that John and Shirley have different IP addresses, but without seeing them, I'm not ruling anything out yet.

the Journal of the American Medical Association both recommended very large (by today’s standards) dosages of aspirin.[66]

Pro-tip: If you're going to copy-paste straight from a Wikipage, either
(1) attribute the source, or
(2) strip out the in-line footnote links '[66]' so that the plagiarism becomes less obvious.

They deserve the medal of honor.
Like "luminous testimonials", this sounds better in the original French.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

"They deserve the Medal of Honor"

A statement for which you deserve to have your ass booted up around your ears.

Do I recall, Shay, that you may have had some experiences in the realms in which real Medals of Honor are won? If so, I sure don't blame you for reacting angrily to such a cheap remark.

By palindrom (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

The Journal of the American Medical Association both recommended very large (by today’s standards) dosages of aspirin

One of those 1918 testimonials mentions 100 grains over 24 hours, which is just over 6 grams, and another 10 grains every 3 hours, which is just over 5 grams over 24 hours. Wiki tells us:

Moderate toxicity occurs at doses up to 300 mg/kg, severe toxicity occurs between 300 to 500 mg/kg, and a potentially lethal dose is greater than 500 mg/kg.

So a 70 kg patient (as found on the Clapham omnibus) exhibits moderate toxic symptoms after 21 grams, and an acute lethal dose is in the region of 35 grams. Wiki further enlightens:

Chronic toxicity may occur following doses of 100 mg/kg per day for two or more days.

That's 7 grams in our 70 kg patient, so a patient taking 100 grains every day might experience some symptoms, but death due to the aspirin, as suggested in the article, seems somewhat unlikely.

If you'll forgive an anecdote, when I first started working in biochemistry labs, patients with arthritis were given large doses of aspirin, until they experienced tinnitus IIRC, though we also did therapeutic monitoring of blood levels as well as overdoses. As acetaminophen, ibuprofen and other NSAIDs became more popular, salicylate overdoses became less and less common. So did paraquat and barbiturate overdoses, thankfully, as these were horrible to measure, especially barbiturates which required a chloroform extraction of whole blood - the worst part was cleaning the glassware afterwards.

Incidentally, we would measure serum salicylate by adding mercuric chloride to serum, which precipitated out the proteins, then centrifuging and measuring the purple color that developed in the supernatant. Maybe it was sloshing all that mercury about (I would also make up the reagent) that turned my brain to gelatine.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

The paraquat ODs, by the way, were because I trained in Cambridge, a rural area with lots of farmers with access to this weed-killer, many of them suicidal, apparently. Paraquat and shotguns were the favorite MO, the latter not usually requiring much assistance from the pathology laboratory. It amuses me, again incidentally, that some people are so upset by the use of Roundup, when much, much nastier herbicides are still in widespread use.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

That’s 7 grams in our 70 kg patient, so a patient taking 100 grains every day might experience some symptoms, but death due to the aspirin, as suggested in the article, seems somewhat unlikely.

Indeed. The very Wikipeed entry which John / Donald / Milano plagiarised at #284, goes on to note that "This hypothesis, insofar as it sought to provide an explanation to the universally high mortality rate, was questioned in a letter to the journal published in April 2010."

One more reason not to make it so obvious when you're copy-pasting from the Whackyweedia!

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

At the behest of President Reagan and the sanction of Congress, the DEA again sprayed Paraquat on marijuana in national forests in Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee in 1983, despite public protests and a restraining order by US District Court Judge Charles Moye. The Environmental Policy Act prohibits the use of Paraquat in national forests. ...that the spraying, which cost nearly $1 million and involved only about 60 plants, cost $16,666 per plant. Money was not the object, however; officials acknowledged that one reason for the spraying was to impress the government of Columbia with videos of American efforts to control cannabis with Paraquat, in order to convince them to do likewise. Georgia's Governor Joe Harris was not concerned about the potential health hazard:

"We don't have any responsibility to those persons. They are doing something illegal." ...

When White House drug advisor Carlton Turner appeared on national television to justify the action, he said that if anyone died from Paraquat-poisoned pot, it would be deserved punishment!

During the Paraquat panic of 1978, Carlton Turner worked for the University of Mississippi Marijuana Research program, which was chartered to synthesize THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis. At that time, Turner persistently tried to advertise a "Paraquat Tester" in High Times magazine. The magazine was not accepting ads for Paraquat test kits because none had been proven to work. High Times associate editor Dean Latimer entertained Turner's daily phone calls for a month, and finally asked for a sample. Turner delivered a useless "Rube Goldberg" kit. He went on to become the White House "drug czar" under President Reagan in 1981. In April 1985, Turner called for the death penalty of drug dealers in his address to a PRIDE conference in Atlanta. He resigned in December 1986 after being discredited in Newsweek and other publications for his stated belief:

"Pot smoking may lead to homosexuality... gays who use marijuana are disking damage to their immune system and vulnerability to AIDS."

http://www.rexresearch.com/hhist/hhist4.htm
--------------
http://www.tv.com/shows/quincy-me/no-way-to-treat-a-flower-42281/

John / Donald / Milano

Don't forget Carlos.

Krebiozen -- the mention of paraquat recalled the Great Paraquat Weed Panic of 1978. At the time, my housemates were working at PharmChem, the Menlo Park lab that was licensed to test street drugs for purity and contaminants. Overnight (in hindsight) the lab was inundated with marijuana samples) and the lab ran 24 hours to process the deluge.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1310&dat=19780326&id=PfJVAAAAIBAJ…

today we understand how confirmation bias makes anecdotes

The other problem with anecdotes is that homeopaths evidently feel entitled to adopt new pseudonyms and simply make them up.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

On a more narrow scale we have these studies which by chance have a pubmed number. Number which in fact does not make them more relevant than the testimonies of good homeopaths as those shown by our dear John : For the few on this forum who can read written matters :

Hey, what does that remind me of? Oh, yes:

Chris you will receive your instruction at a pace compatible with your ability to assimilate new things and apparently you have some difficulties in understanding written matters. So be patient and learn your lessons. Next stage will be Influenza but before I want to be sure that you have well understood the matter on Yellow Fever, so could you answer this question :

Potential of the homeopathic remedy, Arnica Montana 30C, to reduce DNA damage in Escherichia coli exposed to ultraviolet irradiation through up-regulation …

... of nucleotide excision repair genes.

Say, John "Lethal Allopathy," could you explain why UV irradiation is used to kill E. coli? Is this some sort of homeopathic threat directed against the water supply?

That is all very well, Narad, but suppose it turned out that 'John' is not consciously setting up invisible friends sock-puppets to tell him how great he is and what significant opinions he has, but instead suffers from undiagnosed multiple-personality syndrome, with 'Milano' and 'Samuel' and 'Donald' and 'Lethal' as various alters emerging in quick succession every time he sits down in an e-mail cafe. Wouldn't you feel bad then? *

* Rhetorical question; answer is probably 'No'.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

I see that John had actually pulled this one before (with an answer by justthestats):

True far seeing mathematicians (not bureaucrats) have a high consideration for Homeopathy. Cf the writings on homeopathy of the Great, Great mathematician Alexander Grothendieck who passed away this last Friday in France.

So, John, do you have any citations to these writings?

The documents shown by John are fantastic because they show on the largest scale of epidemics the excellent results of homeopathy.

I want to assimilate new things Cholera, Yellow Fever Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections. All except anecdotal : bureaucrats, have a surprise for their senses, their living Yellow fever so be patient !!

Or has given in severe epidemics the substance which laugh of the close to describe Cholera, Yellow Fever, of causality chain of Ebola : I have the medecines like Thuya (Nitric acid sycotic remedy, to take it is a written matters I am more true today will be confused).

By Homeobot Orbiter (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ justthestats : Division and exponentiation are the same operator in F2, so there’s a chance that homeopathy works there.

It is still today the normal rate of what is a law of the homeopath says : I give to manipulations and really a real science. No proper reductionist mechanism for reanimation.

By Homeobot Orbiter (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

Why PubMed I have cited have not been published on this forum ? Yes: Why ?

By Wonderfull Hom… (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

Out of curiosity, I went and read dear John - I mean "lethal" #304 - second link.

The potentized homeopathic drug, Lycopodium clavatum (5C and 15C) has anti-cancer effect on hela cells in vitro. [PMID: 23972240]

It sounded familiar and I should have taken some bet as to what I was going to find. I was not disappointed. I believe Orac has already treated this article or a similar one with his patented respectful insolence.
From the abstract:

Cells were exposed to either LC-5C (diluted below Avogadro's limit, i.e., 10(-10)) or LC-15C (diluted beyond Avogadro's limit, i.e., 10(-30)) (drug-treated) or to 30% succussed ethanol ("vehicle" of the drug).

Let me get this straight: you are adding a solution in 30% ethanol to cell cultures and then are surprised when some cells die?
The experience may as well has been labeled: "this is your brain - and this is your brain under the influence".
The experiment may show that white blood cells are more resistant to alcohol than Hela cells, but that's about it. Until this big confunder is addressed, the results are not really convincing.

Anyway, you know what else kill cancer cells in vitro? A handgun.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

The potentized homeopathic drug, Lycopodium clavatum (5C and 15C) has anti-cancer effect on hela cells in vitro.

I am SHOCKED SHOCKED SHOCKED to discover homeopaths abandoning the entire philosophical underpinnings of homeopathy -- all that organismic vitalistic holistic bafflegab about "addressing real causes rather than symptoms" -- and focussing on a mere symptom, the survival of HeLa cells, the moment they see an opportunity to pretend to be real doctors in white-labcoat cosplay.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

Should note also that if the experimenters are to be believed, a homeopathic preparation kills the organism to which it is administered (the organism being an in vitro culture of HeLa cells). I get the impression that intellectual coherence is not a high priority.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

Dear all,

Do you know that our beloved President Abraham Lincoln, the man who delivered our country from the infamy of slavery, was a staunch supporter of homeopathy ?

Abraham Lincoln [puffery omitted] was a staunch supporter of homeopathy

Demonstrating nothing beyond the fact that scientific illiteracy plagued politicians 150 years ago, much as it does now.

By Bill Price (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

Do you know that our beloved President Abraham Lincoln, the man who delivered our country from the infamy of slavery, was a staunch supporter of homeopathy ?

Please John, don't distract us from our current amusement with the "written matters" you have blessed us with so far. We were having so much fun.
Can you not leave this particular rhetological fallacy for a later date, when we have grown weary of your current homeoquacking pre-occupations?

John:

President Abraham Lincoln...was a staunch supporter of homeopathy

Citation needed.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 24 Nov 2014 #permalink

Do we have enough material from John for Sockbot yet?

Mebbe Yes.

It's up to management whether they appear.

Do you know that our beloved President Abraham Lincoln

"Our"? Pull the other one.

Citation needed.

It's Dullman. The closest it comes to the real world is this.

And Prince Charles seems to be a supporter of homeopathy, so it must be good.
Or not?
Royals are just as prone to quackery as other people.
We Dutch have a princes that talks with trees.

Do you know that our beloved President Abraham Lincoln, the man who delivered our country from the infamy of slavery, was a staunch supporter of homeopathy ?

Did you know that George Washington bought a set of Perkins Tractors? Thank goodness people today aren't gullible enough to believe in magic wands. Oh, wait!.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

Do you know that our beloved President Abraham Lincoln, the man who delivered our country from the infamy of slavery, was a staunch supporter of homeopathy ?

Did you know that George Washington bought a set of Perkins Tractors? Thank goodness people today aren't gullible anough to believe in magic wands. Oh, wait!.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

I hope this doesn't appear more than once - I'm having trouble posting.

Do you know that our beloved President Abraham Lincoln, the man who delivered our country from the infamy of slavery, was a staunch supporter of homeopathy ?

Did you know that George Washington bought a set of Perkins tractors? Thank goodness people today aren't gullible enough to believe in magic wands. Oh, wait!.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

Renate - you mean, as in Paint Your Wagon

I talk to the trees
But they don't listen to me
I talk to the stars
But they never hear me

Or is it more like The Famous Eccles?

I talk to the trees
That's why they put me away
By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ Shay : They deserve the Medal of Honor

No problem Shay, I have always my pills of Arnica 200 K with me and I know how to give a correction to the bastards like you. As a medical doctor I will offer you some Arnica after the correction you will receive.

John, what part of less than fifty year ago do you faili to understand. And yet you have failed repeatedly to support the claims in your first sentence with any real evidence: “Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections.”

Yet, again, where are the PubMed indexed studies dated less than fifty years old by reputable qualified researchers that homeopathy works better than placebo on viral and/or antibiotic infections?

Anecdotes from lawyers, presidents, and others from over a hundred years ago do not count.

Ah, mucked the bold tag.

John, you have failed repeatedly to support the claims in your first sentence with any real evidence: “Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections.”

Again, where are the PubMed indexed studies dated less than fifty years old by reputable qualified researchers that homeopathy works better than placebo on viral and/or antibiotic infections?

What part of dated less than fifty years old do you not understand? Or are you just hard wired to lie?

Do you know that our beloved President Abraham Lincoln, the man who delivered our country from the infamy of slavery, was a staunch supporter of homeopathy ?

Did you know that George Washington bought a set of Perkins tractors? Thank goodness people today aren't gullible enough to believe in magic wands as well as magic water. Oh, wait!.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ Chris

Chris I am always waiting your answers to the questions i ask to you.
We have not yet finished to study the report of Homeopaths on Spanish influenza of 1918. You have noticed the actuality of this report fully in line with the today concern with overdose of Aspirin. I think you are learning a lot of things, but as already said, we need to match your intellectual capability to absorb new facts, concepts and knowledge in general.

I can tell you that after the final review of your assimilation of Influenza matter and a control on the solidity of your knowledge on Yellow Fever, we will have a deep look to Cholera.

So be serious in your student work, do not hesitate to ask questions on Homeopathy and its principles and I think that with the help of God we will manage to draw something from you.

I'm having trouble posting a comment today, despite several attempts. By way of a test I will observe that the only thing worse than an arrogant twit is a deranged arrogant twit.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

Do you know that our beloved President Abraham Lincoln, the man who delivered our country from the infamy of slavery, was a staunch supporter of homeopathy ?

Did you know that George Washington bought a set of Perkins tractors? Thank goodness people today aren't gullible enough to believe in magic wands as well as magic water. Oh, wait!. That's why arguments from authority or popularity are worthless.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

This is about my 6th attempt to post this comment today, having changed one of the links to see of that is what stopped it appearing before.

Do you know that our beloved President Abraham Lincoln, the man who delivered our country from the infamy of slavery, was a staunch supporter of homeopathy ?

Did you know that George Washington bought a set of Perkins tractors? Thank goodness people today aren't gullible enough to believe in magic wands as well as magic water. Oh, wait!. That's why arguments from authority or popularity are worthless.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

John, we have very much finished with the 1918 influenza pandemic. It is not my fault you have reading comprehension issues, since I told you very clearly the data had to to be less than fifty years old (after 1964, since you have issues with basic arithmetic). Now I will lop off a decade from the time span of acceptable dates of the papers.

Influenza and yellow fever are both viral infections, which are best prevented by vaccines. I've been vaccinated for both. My first Yellow Fever vaccine was given at an Army base clinic not for from Gorgas hospital. Have you figured out the significance of William Gorgas with Yellow Fever yet?

Cholera is bacterial, which is often cured by making sure the person does not die. This is accomplished by making sure they are hydrated with a solution that contains salts and sugars (in non-homeopathic solutions). It can also be prevented by treating the water, at a minimum boiling it before drinking it.

So again:

John, you have failed repeatedly to support the claims in your first sentence with any real evidence: “Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections.”

Again, where are the PubMed indexed studies dated less than forty years old by reputable qualified researchers that homeopathy works better than placebo on viral and/or antibiotic infections?

Since rabies is a viral infection, you can provide the animal studies proving Andre Saine's claim that homeopathy works better than the modern rabies vaccine.

So nothing before 1974. Now get cracking, prove you understand the difference between bacterial and viral infections, and how science is down. Or at least drag yourself into the 21st century.

@MOB
In the tree-hugging way. She also seems to talk with mice or so, to tell them she doesn't hate them, but wants them out of the house.

The potentized homeopathic drug, Lycopodium clavatum (5C and 15C) has anti-cancer effect on hela cells in vitro

Uhhh...no, LA: what Samadder et al actually demosntrated was that 30% ethanol (the vehicle in which the lycopodium was 'succussed') kills Hela cells in culture.

Maybe read the article next time?

“Our”? Pull the other one.

John has lied about everything else. You can't expect him to be honest about his nationality.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

@Chris : So nothing before 1974

Chris, this is impossible and completely irrelevant to what is the science of homeopathy.
The principle of homeopathy and the laws of cure discovered and established 200 years ago are still valid and the best demonstrations have their roots at this time.

In opposition to current medicine which has no principle of cure on which to rely and which destroy today what it has magnify yesterday, we are talking of Truth in homeopathy. Truth does not belong to a period as the law of mechanics found by Newton are immortal, as the mathematics of Euclides and Grothendieck are immortal. You cannot say seriously : talk me only of theorems establishe after 1971. It is the same for homeopathy. The description of a cure made 90 years ago is still valid today.

Thank for your question Chris. If you want you can develop, discuss on the fact that current medicine has no principle of what should be a cure to establish good health. In other words : current medicine is not a science as having no basic law.

re Pubmed: Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2012 Mar;10(3):337-46., again: read the enitre article. The author's claim "In the UV-exposed E. coli administered AM-30C, there was less DNA damage as determined from the analysis of data through comet assay and DNA gel electrophoresis." They only see suggestions of efficacy in the lleast-quantitative estimates of damage--all other measurements of DNA damage the authors performed however--cell viability, Intracellular ROS measurements by FACS analysis, SOD and catalase specific activity, etc.--fail to show significant reduction in DNA damage.

There's cherry-picking of articles, and then there;s cherry picking within your own article...

John, from now on, I will no longer accept anything from you except clay tablets. If they worked five thousand years ago, they should work just as well now.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

The principle of homeopathy and the laws of cure discovered and established 200 years ago are still valid and the best demonstrations have their roots at this time.

Nonsense, John. If it works at all it can be demonstrated to work today--the only difference is taht today the dmonstrate would involve a valid methodology, include appropriate controls, and address known confounders (regression to the mean, confirmation bias, palcebo effect, etc.)

If you can't identify evidence demonstrating that it 'works today', it argues that it never really worked 200 years ago either.

Holcombe's report fails to be evidence--he offers no evidence--not even a single table of figures--only assertions that he sw what he claims he saw. What else have you got?

John: "Chris, this is impossible and completely irrelevant to what is the science of homeopathy. The principle of homeopathy and the laws of cure discovered and established 200 years ago are still valid and the best demonstrations have their roots at this time."

Then it has become irrelevant. Especially since you made a claim that it works for "antibiotics resistant infections", which did not even exist two hundred years ago, and was not as much a problem in 1974 as it is now.

You now seem to be admitting that homeopathy has never worked, because you refuse to provide actual proof for your claims. This may be due to your lack of science/math education, and an unwillingness to be dragged into the 21st century.

Just don't make believe we will take your random declarations as evidence, or even truth.

have always my pills of Arnica 200 K with me

What, you don't insist upon proper immortal Hahnemannian dilutions?

John,

Truth does not belong to a period as the law of mechanics found by Newton are immortal, as the mathematics of Euclides and Grothendieck are immortal. You cannot say seriously : talk me only of theorems establishe after 1971.

Au contraire, piston puss. Newtonian mechanics are repeatedly tested and have been substantially updated (is the name Einstein familiar to you?). Euclid's geometry has been continually re-examined and extended - and certain of Euclid's postulates have been shown to be utterly arbitrary and different postulates used to generate different, valid systems of geometry. Grothendieck's work was in the last 50 years, the same timeframe that Chris is asking you for evidence from.

While Newton's work was in the 17th century, it is certainly possible to show data from recent experiments and applications of his systems that validate (or invalidate) his work.

So far, you have shown no credible evidence that any homeopathic remedy has a benefit over basic care without homeopathy. Your statement that "this is impossible and completely irrelevant" proves you cannot show any such evidence.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

@JGC

Homeopaths have nothing against Placebo effect !. They use it and Hahnemann was the first to include it speciffically in the cure he administrated between two homeopathic remedies.

You seem to confound the placebo during the cure and the placebo during proving of a remedy.

Once you have shown the law of dynamics : F=M A, you don't replay again and again its demonstration for any new mass you want to move. You consider it as a universal law of nature : it is the same for homeopathy.

@Narad -- he's lying about being an MD, so why expect any of his other claims to be consistent?

Of course homeopaths perform new studies : the proving of new remedies and the better proving of old remedies. In this sense it is a living science. On the other side the art of homeopathic prescription is a matter of continual training and improvement for homeopaths but this is not a matter of laboratory experiment it occurs in the relation of the homeopath with his patient.
Dont ask an homeopath to perform double blind homeopathic prescription : he should not know his patient which is totally irrelevant. It would be the same as if you requested double blind surgery : the surgeon don't know who he is operating on and the patient don't know if he has undergone a surgery : Totally Stupid !!!

Once you have shown the law of dynamics : F=M A, you don’t replay again and again its demonstration for any new mass you want to move.

"Dynamics"? Whatever. Perhaps you'd like to explain how photons – which are massless, remember? – can exert mechanical force.

Like cures like is not a proven law. Potentiation by magic shaking is not a proven law. Strengthening by serial dilution is not a proven law.

It's good to know that homeopaths have no issue with handing out pills they know do nothing, while telling their patients that it's medicine.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

Dont ask an homeopath to perform double blind homeopathic prescription : he should not know his patient which is totally irrelevant. It would be the same as if you requested double blind surgery : the surgeon don’t know who he is operating on and the patient don’t know if he has undergone a surgery : Totally Stupid !!!

Jeezums, did you just fall off the turnip truck? All one needs for blinding is to have someone randomly switch out the remedy for a (*koff*) placebo before it's dispensed.

John: "Once you have shown the law of dynamics : F=M A, you don’t replay again and again its demonstration for any new mass you want to move. You consider it as a universal law of nature : it is the same for homeopathy."

You are so wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong. That is not the law of dynamics. That is the second law of motion, and in actuality the force is better explained as the change of momentum. And we test it all the time, especially since one of the thing that changes momentum is change of mass, and that causes interesting things (every see a rocket launch?).

Don't try to baffle with bovine excrement a structural dynamics engineer. All you have done is proven that you have never taken basic high school physics.

And finally: "You seem to confound the placebo during the cure and the placebo during proving of a remedy."

Except your first claim was (with added highlight): "Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections."

You have failed to provide any evidence of those cures. And if you claim we cannot test homeopathy in the last forty years, then there is no way you could have proven cures for antibiotics resistant infections. So please stop making stuff up.

John: "Dont ask an homeopath to perform double blind homeopathic prescription :"

Not an excuse. You don't need a double blind experiment to test the efficacy of homeopathy for rabies on rodents. Just choose three groups. In one group give them the modern rabies vaccine, then give all groups rabies. Treat one unvaccinated group with homeopathy and not treat the other.

See what happens. Then you will prove Andre Saine's contention that homeopathy works better for rabies than the modern vaccine.

You have no more excuses. So either say you were wrong when you said: “Homeopathy has an excellent record of successful cures for Influenza, Cholera, Yellow fever, Gonorrhea, antibiotics resistant infections.”

Or provide actual factual proof that homeopathy has cured both viral and bacterial infections, especially those that are resistant to antibiotics. All dated after 1974.

the proving of new remedies and the better proving of old remedies.

And can you show a study that demonstrates that a homeopathic remedy provides a better clinical outcome than a placebo? If not, why not?

prescription is a matter of continual training and improvement for homeopaths but this is not a matter of laboratory experiment it occurs in the relation of the homeopath with his patient.

How is this different from saying they make it up as they go along?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

We can haz Johnbot?

••licking lips in anticipation••

Of course homeopaths perform new studies : the proving of new remedies and the better proving of old remedies.

List them.

Homeopaths have nothing against Placebo effect ! They use it and Hahnemann was the first to include it speciffically in the cure he administrated between two homeopathic remedies.

But John, you do realize that placebo effects by definition aren't curative to any extent-- they only create a false impression of improvement without altering the underlying pathophysisology of disease states at all?

If they were curative, they wouldn't be placebo's.

@ sadmar:

If only!
Bots iz da bomb!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

With John's various sockpuppets copy-pasting from the same Wookiepedia entry on Spanish flu (#273, #284), I started wondering who was plagiarising it.
Turns out that perpetrators include bloggers aplenty, a prolific anti-immigration crank, but also a Christian autobiographer, and the author of a 2014 textbook on microbiology.

People are lazy.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

Once you have shown the law of dynamics : F=M A, you don’t replay again and again its demonstration for any new mass you want to move. You consider it as a universal law of nature : it is the same for homeopathy.

From the Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. 1, Chapter 12, 1963

In fact, the law F=ma is not exactly true; if it were a definition we should have to say that it is always exactly true; but it is not.

You need to update your thinking on medicine and physics to the 20th century. Then you will just be slightly out of date.

OT but seriously, is this crazy day around the woo-esphere or what?

... a little commentary whilst I struggle with my new 'editor', Mr Asus, wot is a b!tch -btw- and I attempt to circumvent his/ its vehement efforts to automatically restrain my creative language
F@ck him/ it any way.

I notice that Orac's minions are having fun @ Jake's new post about who's suing whom and the threatened re-appeal of AJW contra Brian et al
I congratulate them- : the interchange precisely illustrates JC's opacity, literalness and whatever else is wrong with him
This is a continued group effort to point him towards reality although I doubt that it'll work. I feel tempted to step in.
We'll see. Maybe when Mr A and I get straight.

Lots of other crap @ AoA, TMR, PRN and NaturalNews.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

If only!

See comments 326 and 327.

The guys at the Service Center inform me, though, that the E-mail address may have gone missing in the usual festivities after a successful orbit insertion.

I would also add to Denice's observation that it appears that Jake's articles can be commented on in their new home at the Epoch Times, without Jake's moderation.

I wonder if Jake thought of that when he crawled in bed with them.

the interchange precisely illustrates JC’s opacity, literalness and whatever else is wrong with him

Mulishness?

@ Narad:

*Mulishness* is apropo I'm certain.
As you know, I can't dx but I think that we might compile a list of descriptive adjectives.

@ Johnny:

Heh.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

It would be the same as if you requested double blind surgery

Fine.
Have two homeopaths sharing an office. Register all patients and compare.
Except one of the homeopaths is an actor and only give water.

It was done for acupuncture and Reiki. I wouldn't be surprised if, in some cases, the actor had better outcomes.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

@john

Whatever "god" you worship, I wouldn't want to believe in, since I believe that a God would want people to use treatments that actually work.

John,

Dont ask an homeopath to perform double blind homeopathic prescription : he should not know his patient which is totally irrelevant. It would be the same as if you requested double blind surgery : the surgeon don’t know who he is operating on and the patient don’t know if he has undergone a surgery : Totally Stupid !!!

I linked to this systematic review of individualized homeopathy above. It looked at individualized homeopathy in which patients received a full consultation and were prescribed specific remedies, but they were randomised into groups that got either the prescribed remedy or a placebo. It found no evidence of any effect whatsoever in the best designed studies i.e. the ones that eliminated various biases. This strongly suggests that any perceived effects are due to biases such as confirmation bias e.g. a patient rightly suspects that she has received a homeopathic remedy and not a placebo (oh the irony) and is more likely to report a positive result.

For example, in this study rheumatoid arthritis patients were randomised to either 1. a consultation along with prescribed individualized homeopathy, a fixed combination of remedies (complex homeopathy) or placebo or 2. no consultation, just complex homeopathy or placebo. There was no difference between the results in patients who had a consultation and individualized homeopathy and those who had a consultation and a placebo. The only significant differences were in secondary endpoints (subjectively assessed changes in symptoms) in those who did or did not receive a homeopathic consultation. This study elegantly demonstrates that any perceived effects of homeopathy are not due to the remedies but are simply a placebo effect.

Here's how the blinding worked, in case you have some objection:

Patients and study staff were aware of consultation allocation but were all blinded to treatment allocation. All patients received one bottle of tablets (individualized remedy or placebo as appropriate) and a bottle of liquid (either homeopathic complex or equivalent placebo) with a standardized dosing frequency ensuring blinding. All preparations were indistinguishable in appearance, taste and smell. The security of the blinding process was assessed by asking participants, homeopaths and the study nurse to guess which treatment they believed the participant received at Visits 4 and 8.

What possible explanation is there for these results other than that the homeopathic remedies do nothing at all? How is this study design, "Totally Stupid !!!"?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

Sorry, I was so careful to get the link tags right I neglected the blockquotes and omitted a /.
Incidentally, you can have double-blind surgery of a sort. The sham knee surgery study I have mentioned here before is an example. If the surgeon only sees the patient once they have been anesthetized and both the patient and the person assessing the patient later don't know if they received real or sham surgery have been performed this should eliminate the possibility of bias.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 25 Nov 2014 #permalink

the mathematics of Euclides and Grothendieck are immortal

I take it that you fail to realize that Euclid's "proof" of his very first proposition is demonstrably inadequate, because there's no axiom of completeness. It's not much different from the proof that all triangles are equilateral.

Once you sort that out, perhaps you'd like to explain where Euclid and Grothendieck part ways about the nature of a point.

Thank you for the post. Homeopathic treatment is best treatment to cure any kind of diseases. We are also deals with the same branch of medical science and have cure many patient with the help of homeopathic treatment. To know more about us you can visit our site.

By holachospital (not verified) on 03 Dec 2014 #permalink

"Homeopathic treatment is best treatment to cure any kind of diseases."

Prove it. Provide real scientific citations that show homeopathy works better than placebo.

"To know more about us you can visit our site."

Absolutely not. If you have the evidence you will present it here. Though you can start by actually reading the article and the several comments that follow. Many are from homeopaths who have failed spectacularly to provide real evidence.

Lies, lies and lies from that quack homeopathic "hospital's" website:

Homeopathy can cure cancer if detected earlier. Advance cases are better managed with Homeopathic Medicines along with conventional procedures like: Radio Therapy, Chemotherapy, and Surgery.

Holac HOSPITAL is driving a vigorous campaign for the awareness and homeopathic treatment of all type of gastric diseases like acidity, flatulence, peptic & esophageal ulcers, constipation, irritable bowl syndrome, jaundice, hepatitis, cancer of liver, gall bladder esophagus & stomach. We have reason to proud for the cure of such diseases.

By Woo Fighter (not verified) on 03 Dec 2014 #permalink

"Radio Therapy"???

Is that any good for lack of "Morning Drive"?

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 03 Dec 2014 #permalink

If homeopathy did work for flatulence, I'll send some to my oldest sister.

(She has two English bulldogs, for those of you familiar with that breed's...ah....peculiarities).

Okay, Holahospital, one direct question since your site claims that homeopathy is an effective treatment for hepatitis (which viral strain isn't specified):

What body of clinical evidence supports this claim? Be specific.

Homeopathy can cure cancer if detected earlier.

Translates into "Rely on the scammers at Holahospital to diagnose you with cancer and sell you magic pills; then when no-one else can find any trace of a tumour, you'll see how well the magic pills worked."

I am SHOCKED SHOCKED SHOCKED to discover that the Hola scammers are stealing a stock image for their gravatar.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5TBUfddCaQs/UtbZVYSsTqI/AAAAAAAAArQ/…

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 Dec 2014 #permalink

Dont ask an homeopath to perform double blind homeopathic prescription

John's claims that homeopaths do not provide standardised diagnoses or treatments (and are therefore unsuitable for empirical tests) flatly contradict his earlier insistence, that homeopaths cured an epidemic of yellow fever by providing the patients with standardised diagnoses and treatments.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 Dec 2014 #permalink

It's recently hit The Spudd as well. I've yet to figure out what the "grow taller" image is doing on their site; perhaps their SEO guy knows.

I'm not familiar with this metaphor:

"Although homeopathy is linked with german but india and china seem to be even older horses than german in the field of homeopathy."

india and china seem to be even older horses than german in the field of homeopathy.
It is almost as if the holachospital grifters will spout any old bullsh1t if it will help them separate gullible fools from their money.

Is it their SEO guy who came up with the genius idea of comment-spamming on skeptic sites?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 Dec 2014 #permalink

“Homeopathic treatment is best treatment to cure any kind of diseases.”

Yet the Holachospital scammers also offer acupuncture and Ayurvedic heavy-metal toxicity*, almost as if they do not trust homeopathy after all.

* Apparently this is a branch of homeopathy, or vice versa, I lost track.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 Dec 2014 #permalink

It is almost as if the holachospital grifters will spout any old bullsh1t if it will help them separate gullible fools from their money.

I'm suddenly reminded of a rather odd undergraduate that I knew long ago. Before he saw Scarface and went completely bonkers (attempting to emulate Tony Montana by, inter alia, trying to become a cocaine dealer), he insisted that "I will tie your grandmother to a tree!" was a well-known insult in his native Hong Kong.

The last I saw of him, he was sleeping under a cement bench on the sidewalk in front of the main campus library.

@herr doktor bimmler

John Dev just showed up again in the comments on my blog (which you linked to at #404). I'd pointed out to the guy that he had worse ethics than the Nazis, who were at least prepared to test homeopathy.

He just repeated the usual blurb and passed on.

I thought homeopaths were famous for being "good listeners". They're worse than friggin spambots.

If he's *not* a spambot, I'm not seeing the difference.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 03 Dec 2014 #permalink

What's wrong with trying any homeopathic material or other therapy? Trying and serching for other treatment is better than just waiting and ridiculing. What is the perfect method and treatment?

He only "comments" on that one post - with the word "Nazi" prominently in the title, and has changed his handle but not his email address, so he's even useless at spamming. I only let him through moderation because it was funny.

JayJay,

What’s wrong with trying any homeopathic material or other therapy?

a) There is no rational basis for homeopathy, and no plausible mechanism by which it could possibly work.
b) Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that homeopathy does not work. The only clinical trials that show any effects are badly designed ones. At least one trial clearly shows that it is the lengthy consultation that has placebo effects i.e. effects on patients' subjective assessment of their condition, but no objective effects, and no effects at all from the remedies prescribed.
c) The use of nosodes, i.e. infective material from Ebola patients, is potentially very dangerous.
d) Allowing homeopathic doctors to attend to Ebola patients exposes them and others to unnecessary risk of infection.

Trying and serching for other treatment is better than just waiting and ridiculing.

No one is "waiting and ridiculing". Millions of dollars are being spent on developing an effective treatment and vaccine.

What is the perfect method and treatment?

A cheap, safe and effective vaccine, wouldn't you say? Neither is going to be developed by homeopaths. No effective treatment for anything has been developed by homeopaths in the last 200 years, so why would anyone expect it to be any different for Ebola?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 04 Dec 2014 #permalink

Having wandered over to Yakaru's blog and read the comments, all I can say is this guy writes the way Boris Badenov talks.

(Is best in world for Moose and Squirrel!)

What’s wrong with trying any homeopathic material or other therapy?

What's wrong with trying homeopathy is that it has already been proven not to work (or if you want to nitpick, to work no better than do placebo treatments.)

There's nothing wrong with trying other therapies, when there's a body of evidence providing prior plausibility. And guess what? That's already being done.

@Johnny (384)

To be fair to Jake, he doesn't seem to censor comments on his blog - although he does obsessively reply to them, continuing to doggedly hang on to his point, no matter how often he's been demonstrated to have misunderstood something.

By Rebecca Fisher (not verified) on 04 Dec 2014 #permalink

JayJay: "What’s wrong with trying any homeopathic material or other therapy?"

Because no one in their right mind would take pretend medicine from an illiterate buffoon like you and your sock puppets.

@ Rebecca Fisher:

re 'obsessive' replies
Oh yeah.

I'm trying to find adjectives that accurately describe his style of thought and/ or writing- opaque, recursive thought deficient, perseverative, stuck in a rut, ... are amongst those which immediately come to mind.

Since you visit- what's your take on him?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 Dec 2014 #permalink

I would agree that Jake seems to let more unfavorable comments past his gates that he did at AoA, but still -

According to Narad (I believe it was Narad, I apologize if I'm wrong) Jake moderates every comment, and no comment shall be posted without his stamp of approval. In the Epoch thread, Ruben states that Jake will not allow any of his comments to pass. Argus states that Jake often censors his post at AI, and Jake admits he does.

It's lite moderation by anti-vax standards, I agree, but it's far from a free speech zone.

As far as his near obsessive replies, I see he carries that over to the Epoch thread also. At a quick scan, it looks like about 40% or so of the post are Jakes.

@Johnny - he really needs to understand how to stop replying....it really doesn't look for for the article author to obsessively respond to everything.

I just read through the posts on Epoch Times. OMFG.

What you guys say flies right over his head, doesn't it?

I have just up-graded AI( both loci) to my Top 5 in Woo apps.

And oh, wasn't Jake really miffed that AoA censored his comments ( amongst other things)?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 Dec 2014 #permalink

@denise - Jake reminds me of "Drax the Destroyer" from Guardians of the Galaxy....he is so literal-minded.

Jake's Comment Response Obsession Disorder (CROD) doesn't bother me as much as the fact that his responses are as pointless and content free as his blog post. I would suspect that most bloggers would use comments to amplify or clarify their positions. Jake could be replaced with a simple script that posted "Yes/No it is/isn't" as needed, and the signal to noise would remain the same.

Maybe he thinks that whoever posted last wins the argument?

JayJay (@409):

What's wrong with charging sick people good money for something that we already know can't possibly help them?

That's what you're asking us.

The absolute best case, if the homeopath charges nothing for their magic water and pays the patient's travel expenses, is that the patient is no worse off than if they hadn't gone to the homeopath. In the real world, the patient is wasting time and usually money.

So, on what basis do you defend charging sick people for something that cannot help them, while taking a nonzero chance of spreading a dangerous disease?

@ Lawrence:

Being very literal minded is often a sign of....**
oh wait, I'm not supposed to diagnose so perhaps everyone will have to look that up independently.

** more than one thing actually.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 Dec 2014 #permalink

Jake’s Comment Response Obsession Disorder (CROD) doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that his responses are as pointless and content free as his blog post.

This is one of the most peculiar things about his behaviour on blogs. He never brings any new evidence in to support his negation of whatever point is made. Which leads to the rather odd comment thread that appeared on the Epoch Times article.

It is also interesting that none of his supporters from AI have bothered to come across and post.

While I agree with this post, I think it's important in a science blog - and especially one debunking pseudo-science - to be absolutely scrupulous with using statistics correctly. You say:

"As we’ve learned before, untreated Ebola has a case fatality rate of around 90%"

I'm not sure whether this is correct.

"The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks."

NPR says: "in the current outbreak, it's about 50 to 60 percent." (The implication is that this is the untreated figure, but that's not made clear). http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/16/347727459/which-contag…

I appreciate that you're discussing the untreated fatality rate but the treated and untreated figures all appear to be muddled up, including the 90% figure.