I have always been the kind of person who can get really rather irritated with people who hold a particular view, in these cases it tends not to be an area which is particularly subjective and most of the time they related to science. Recently the area that has really started to irritate me is Homeopathy, though you may have already guessed from my less than subtle title.
Now I don’t know how common the knowledge of how Homeopathy “works” but it is very well explained by James Randi in this clip:-
If you don’t feel like watching a 10 minute clip i’ll try to sum it up quickly for you:
1) Like Cures Like :- The basic idea of Homeopathy is that something that causes certain symptoms in a “healthy” person will cure a person that already has the symptoms
2) The more diluted the stronger! :- They don’t give the person with the symptoms the actual substance, no they dilute it in water to a point where there isn’t a single molecule left of the original solution ( the more diluted it is the bigger volume of water you would need to find this single molecule increases)
3) Its ok if you shake water it has memory! :- Now this could be my favourite claim about anything ever, water has memory but only of this one small atom and only if you shake the water (in the correct way of course it has to be a magic kind of shaking.) Doing this doesn’t cause it to remember any of the impurities in the water though, no water not only has a memory it has a selective memory!
So perhaps you can see from that the ways in which Homeopathy doesn’t really fit with everything else we have observed in science and if we had some randomised, double-blind trials (if you’re unfamiliar with these terms i really must recommend Ben Goldacre’s Book – Bad Science) that showed the efficacy of Homeopathy then there would be some really intrigued chemists and physicists. The problem is when you look at the good data from trials without gaping methodological flaws and the meta-analyses then it becomes painfully clear that Homeopathy works no better than a placebo. Regardless of how blue in the face, angry and upset the Homeopaths may get while showing you all their “evidence” that it works that they have so carefully cherry picked (The effort is almost endearing, but not quite)
Now just believing you’re right in the face overwhelming evidence to the contrary is kind of Ball Bag behaviour but some Homeopaths even manage to act even more scrotal with suggestions you use water instead of vaccinations to protect children from disease, I mean water doesn’t have any side effects it must be better! They’re also peddling their quackery to people with AIDs and Cancer and quite frankly that inflates them to a level of Ball Bag that has not yet been covered here in this blog before.
Now i don’t know if this blog will attract any Homeopath attention, it isn’t exactly well read but just to pre-empt the possible “it worked for me so it must work” anecdotes, the “look at this report” cherry pickers and all round deluded people i have something very simple to say to you: Science is never set in stone and is indeed open to debate, the scientific method is based on critical appraisal of evidence. The thing is not everyone has a valid opinion and unfortunately if you think Homeopathy works, you don’t have a valid opinion on the matter.