Instructions on how to be a homeopathic bioterrorist…

… are here.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure that Paul quite understands how homeopathy supposedly works. He’s gotten the claim that dilution and succussation make a substance more potent right, but I think he’s misinterpreted the homeopathic principle of “like cures like.” (As I’ve pointed out before, this concept is no more than an adaptation of sympathetic magic.) Instead, he’s generalized in homeopathy that the diluted substance causes the opposite of its usual effect. This is not quite the full story. In homeopathy, the cure for a symptom or illness is indeed usually something that causes the same sorts of symptoms. The problem is that vitamin C doesn’t cause any symptoms like those of scurvy–or any symptoms at all except at extremely high doses. Under the principles of homeopathy, that would make it in essence useless as a homeopathic remedy. Also, since scurvy is caused by the lack of vitamin C, it’s hard to see how homeopathic vitamin C can cure it. Remember, in homeopathy, symptoms are all. There is no concept of biochemical mechanisms by which disease can occur; consequently in homeopathy what vitamin C does at a biochemical level is irrelevant to determining whether it can be an effective remedy. Only the symptoms it can cause (or not cause) matter.

I could be wrong in my interpretation, though. The whole “like cures like” bit in homeopathy is so ridiculous and prone to so many different interpretations that I don’t always know if I’m getting it right.

Perhaps my readers could come up with better examples of how to be a homeopathic terrorist. I’ll start.

Take magnesium citrate or, even better, Go-Lytely. Dilute it homeopathically to 30C with proper succussation. Because these are both purgatives that will cause diarrhea in a person who is not constipated, under homeopathic principles, we would expect that homeopathic dilutions of these substances would be the cure for a patient suffering from diarrhea. In a healthy population, though, this would be a disaster. Everyone would become seriously constipated and “toxic” from their constipation. If they didn’t get colon cleanses forthwith they’d all become sick and many would die.

Damn. I have to be careful. So do you, as the power is in your hands to come up with more examples of how to be a homeopathic terrorist. I just hope this post doesn’t result in the FBI knocking on my door. Just in case, though, I’ll end by saying: Guys, it’s a joke. Go find out what homeopathy is and you’ll see why.