It’s homeopathy awareness week. So be aware: it’s total nonsense

Homeopathy amazes me by the number of otherwise intelligent people that believe in it. Some others do too, such as the UK’s Minister for Health Jeremy Hunt. How he keeps such a job while advocating such beliefs is a mystery.

Homeopathy is total nonsense. Proper scientists agree that it doesn’t work. There is no reliable scientific evidence for it, and no means by which it could possibly work other than invoking a placebo effect. It supposedly relies on dilution of some agent to such a point that not a single molecule of that agent remains.

If you believe in it, try this thought experiment, or do it for real if you prefer. Either way it will be at least as effective and much cheaper than paying for homeopathic treatment: collect a small bottle of seawater next time you go to a beach, preferably not at a sewage outfall (if you don’t live near the sea, best do the thought experiment). Seawater is of course a very highly diluted solution of anything that has ever flowed into it, including waste remedies from homeopathists at the various stages of dilution, so presumably every drop of it would work for all of the possible ailments that homeopathy can be used for, except that one drop will cover all of them, so it’s far better. So add a tiny drop of the seawater to a glass of fresh water and drink it – no more than that in case your local seawater is polluted. The glass of water must have the same molecular entanglement or quantum interconnectedness or magic or whatever it is as every possible homeopathic remedy and therefore cure every possible thing that homeopathy can cure. Treatment complete. Spend your savings on something more useful. If you have a real ailment, go and see a real doctor.

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6 responses to “It’s homeopathy awareness week. So be aware: it’s total nonsense

  1. Reblogged this on The Gospel According to the Romans and commented:
    Jesus’ miraculous cures fall into this category. He wasn’t able to restore a missing limb… or to put John the Baptist’s head back on!

  2. Jesus’ miraculous cures fall into this category. He wasn’t able to restore a missing limb… or to put John the Baptist’s head back on!

  3. I completely agree. However as a thought experiment, If the placebo effect works (which it does to some degree) then shouldn’t the people who are stupid enough to believe in it be able to benefit from it?

    Some of the homeopathy practitioners end up just being councilors with a different name. Meaning they spent vital time talking with patients (instead of having a cold medical ‘get them out the door’ view some doctors have). Sure it’s not a permanent solution (and should probably be stopped) however I think we can take some peace of mind in that people are benefiting from this sort of treatment, even if it’s in the same way people benefit from religion. (I am in no way condoning it, i’m just offering up an potential answer to the question of why the man still has his job).

    My overall point is that stupid people will do stupid things. It’s impossible to counter an argument with someone who ‘believers’ in something. Most of the time it’s entangled in their own problems and mental anguish.

  4. I do not believe in homeopathy and can agree to a certain degree to your story. However, I also don’t believe in, what you call, a real doctor.
    Given the fact that only in the US every day 270 people die due to medical mistakes, wrong diagnoses or illtreatment, and in a small country as the Netherlands 5 every day. Also given the fact that the pharmaceutical industry and health insurance companies often dictate the docter’s attitude and remedies, this does not encourage me to often visit these “humanitarians”. The risk of dying in the hospital is considerably higher than dying on your way through traffic jams to reach that hospital. Time and nature will cure most illnesses. As my grandmother always said: If you treat your flu with medication, it will last one week, without medication it will last seven days.

  5. Upto the end of year 2010, there have been 318 studies published in 124 medical journals including 11 meta-analysis, 8 systematic reviews including 1 cochrane review (out of approximately 20 systematic reviews published) and 93 RCT (83 DBRPCT + 7 DBRCT + 3 RCT) out of approx 225 RCT published) in evidence of homoeopathy to produce significant to substantial health benefits in a wide array of conditions.

    • As Einstein said, if it was true, one would be enough.

      If you are picking 2010, here is an opposing article also analysing papers: https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2010/192/8/homeopathy-what-does-best-evidence-tell-us

      It is also easy to find large numbers of papers published on alien abductions, perpetual motion machines, telekinesis, fairies and many other areas that scientists accept as nonsense. Getting papers published is not in itself evidence. Cherry-picking some that have been published in journals of dubious quality, peer reviewed by other homeopaths or based on subjective experience rather than clinical trials is not remotely impressive. As I said earlier, if you could prove that homeopathy based on extreme dilutions has a genuine effect beyond placebo, it would represent such a challenge to our existing scientific understanding that it would almost certainly qualify for a Nobel prize.

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