Wintering about Homeopathy

Right now, though, a fierce debate is raging between those, like me, who trust homeopathy because it works for them, and those who call it shamanistic claptrap, without clinical proof or any scientific base.

Err, Jeanette, it\’s possible for both to be true. That it is shamanistic claptrap andthat it works for you. Because you are gullible to shamanistic claptrap.

12 comments on “Wintering about Homeopathy

  1. Why “shamanistic”. Does she honestly think we need to link homeopathy with pagan / animist priesthoods to take the piss out of it?

    It’s bollocks ’cause it’s bollocks, not because we have identified a fallacious “argument from authority”.

    Show me a proper double blind test …

  2. If homoeopathy works for you, then that’s great.

    However, what the real debate is how it can be regulated if it has been endorsed by official authorities. If homoeopathy does screw up, seeing as its a load of bollocks in the first place, just exactly what procedures should be taken to show where it has gone wrong ?

    Mr Gullible: “That homoeopathy advice I was given was a load of bollocks and cost me a lot of money”
    Official: “Your point being … ?”

  3. An awful lot of medication of all kinds is shamanistic claptrap. And sometimes it works. Homeopathy may well have a bad side-effect on your wallet but less likely to have a bad side-effect on your health.

  4. “However, what the real debate is how it can be regulated if it has been endorsed by official authorities. If homoeopathy does screw up, seeing as its a load of bollocks in the first place, just exactly what procedures should be taken to show where it has gone wrong ?”

    I looked into the NHS clinic offering this. Very interesting philosophy the director has: “the placebo effect is real, real healing takes place (although not due to therapy), ergo if we offer this rubbish to people then they will actually get better, but I can’t admit it’s rubbish because then the patients will know it’s rubbish and the placebo effect will fail.”

    If a tree falls on a patient in a forest but they are told it’s a healing system, does it actually cure them?

  5. “but less likely to have a bad side-effect on your health.”

    I beg to differ, seeking alternative therapies instead of ones that work will eventually kill you.

    “… and the placebo effect will fail.”

    Is this not the problem in the first place ? Who is accountable for the failure, would a homoeopath actually prescribe non-working homoeopathic medicine if they knew they’d be held responsible if it did not work (like it is supposed not too) ?

    The placebo argument is facile, it removes the responsibility from the clinician, that is not good, if it were then the entire NHS would benefit from smarties instead of expensive drugs.

  6. “The placebo argument is facile, it removes the responsibility from the clinician, that is not good, if it were then the entire NHS would benefit from smarties instead of expensive drugs.”

    It seemed to me that the majority of the satisfied patients were just ditzy “worried well” types, who of course are best dealt with by a pat on the head (and some “magic water”).

  7. Why should it be regulated? Should people be insulated from their mistakes? Won’t that mean they will make them again and again?

    I say lets let people risk their lives and spend their money doing what they like rather than taking my money to tell people what they can and can’t do.

  8. By all means let idiots with too much time on their hands and a few bats in the attic waste their time on absolute arse like homeopathy. There s no good reason to subsidise it from taxation though.

  9. I’ve never understood this argument that because of its ‘holistic’ nature, ordinary scientific tests can’t work. It’s always said with a sense of regret, as if they’d love to have a scientific test really.

    But Jeannette starts with an account of being sent some magic snakey water by post. So all we have to do for a double-blind trial is to introduce a random substitution of water for snakey water 50% of the time, at the postal sorting centre, without telling the sender or the patient which it is. Then you get about 1000 patients (entirely subjectively) to report whether they got relief from symptoms, and if the group with the snakey water do significantly better than the others then homeopathy works. If not, it doesn’t.

    Jeannette doesn’t seem to get that the objection to homeopathy is not the lack of evidence on how it works. It’s the lack of evidence that it works at all. Plenty of approved drugs out there for which the precise mechanism of working is unknown.

    Oh, I know I’m speaking to the converted on this blog but it just makes me fume, this stuff. Hope Ben Goldacre comes back at her – he’s a star.

  10. “it may well be that nanoparticles offer a clue.” says the lady who takes New Scientist every week.

    She clearly has no understanding of what nanoparticles are if she thinks they are in some way involved in homeopathic dilutions which do not even contain a single molecule of the original solution let alone a nanoparticle.

  11. mikepower:

    I’m in total agreement with the gist of your statement but, still, its not quite factually correct.

    Just as there’s no way to detect such a minute amount of the original “X” subjected to a large number of repetitive dilutions, there’s no way to assure it’s totally absent, either; the best that can be said is that it’s unlikely (expressed as the probability or the statistical likelihood) that y “x” is present in the dose or even the entire package.

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