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First anthroposophy, now homeopathy? Quackademic medicine at the University of Michigan marches on.

A few years ago, it was anthroposophic medicine. This year, it’s homeopathy. Quackademic medicine at the University of Michigan marches on.

My favorite term to describe homeopathy is The One Quackery To Rule Them All. The reason for that, of course, is obvious to anyone who knows anything about homeopathy. Basically, homeopathy is based on two principles, neither of which is rooted in science, but rather vitalism and magic. That is why I was quite shocked to see this Tweet the other day about talks about homeopathy given by Peter Fisher and Iris Bell at my alma mater, the University of Michigan:

Which led me to this Facebook post:

I love how this post includes a stock photo of a scientist in a lab in front of a large instrument, all in order to imply that homeopathy is scientific. It’s not. As was the case when I discovered that the Department of Family Medicine at U. of M. had embraced Rudolf Steiner’s incredibly quacky philosophy of medicine, anthroposophic medicine, I most definitely do not love that somehow the American Institute of Homeopathy hosting Peter Fisher, who is a famous physician and homeopath in the UK because he’s the Queen’s physician and homeopath and very prominent in British homeopathy, given his positions at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (which used to be the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital). Nor do I love that, included in this session was Iris Bell, a believer in homeopathy based at Andrew Weil‘s integrative medicine program at the University of Arizona. I also have to wonder what, exactly, it was that the American Institute of Homeopathy hosted, given that the YouTube video shows both Peter Fisher and Iris Bell giving their talks by teleconference. There was no travel expense. Maybe there were honoraria. Maybe the American Institute of Homeopathy paid for lunch, given that this sounded like a lunchtime lecture. (Near the end of the two talks, both of which ran long, it’s mentioned that a lot of the physicians attending had to leave to get to their afternoon clinics by 1 PM.) Who knows?

Homeopathy: The One Quackery To Rule Them All

Before I discuss the horror of seeing committed believers and practitioners of homeopathy giving a talk for the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan, my alma mater, I feel obliged to explain briefly why, in case there are any newbies who don’t know what homeopathy is. Basically, homeopathy was invented by a German physician Samuel Hahnemann in 1796 (as described by Peter Fisher in the talk itself). The first law of homeopathy is the Law of Similars, which states that you treat a symptom using something that causes that symptom. Of course, there is no physiologic, biochemical, or medical basis for such a principle, and in fact what the first law of homeopathy resembles more than anything else is, as I alluded to above, the principles of sympathetic magic, specifically Sir James George Frazer’s Law of Similarity as described in The Golden Bough (1922) as one of the implicit principles of sympathetic magic.

The second “law” of homeopathy, the Law of Infinitesimals, is even more ridiculous and pseudoscientific (or even mystical). This law states that homeopathic remedies become stronger with dilution. Actually, the process of making a homeopathic remedy involves serial dilution, usually 1:100. The mother tincture (or original compound) is diluted 1:100 and then shaken vigorously (succussed), the succussion step being claimed to be necessary to “potentize” the remedy. After that, it’s diluted again in the same way. Each 1:100 dilution is designated by “C,” such that a 6C dilution equals six 1:100 dilutions. The problem comes with the higher dilutions. For instance, a 12C solution is on the order of a 10-24 dilution ((10-2)12 = 10-24). Many homeopathic remedies are on the order of 30C, which is a 10-60 dilution, or more than 1036-fold greater than Avogadro’s number. Some homeopathic remedies go up to 100C or more, or 10-200. Here’s a hint: The number of atoms in the known universe is estimated to be around 1078 to 1082. The math just doesn’t work, and remedies over around 12C are basically water. “Lesser” dilutions contain so little remedy that it’s highly unlikely that they have a pharmacological effect.

First up, the Queen’s homeopath

The funny thing is that Peter Fisher describes these two laws in detail and admits quite freely that, thanks to Avogadro’s number, a homeopathic dilution greater than 12C (or 23X) is highly unlikely to contain even a single molecule of starting material left. Then, however, he goes on to say on more than one occasion variations of, “The fact that there is no starting substance present doesn’t mean there is nothing present” or “Do not confuse that [the lack of starting material after serial dilutions” with ‘nothing is present.'” When I heard that, I had a feeling I knew where the talks were going to go, but I’m getting a head of myself here. First, let’s link to the video, which you are welcome to watch in its one hour, one minute quack glory if you so desire, but I do have to discuss its “high”—or should I say “low”—points.

So here’s the video:

The first 36 minutes or so of this woo-fest at the University of Michigan is Peter Fisher, and the remainder of the video is Iris Bell. Let’s dig in.

Since I already mentioned that Fisher described the invention of homeopathy by Samuel Hahnemann and how homeopathic remedies are made; so I’ll skip over those. He did, however, start by listing the topics he wanted to address:

  • Homeopathy is much misunderstood
  • Who uses homeopathy?
  • Comparative and cost effectiveness research
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses
  • Biological models of high dilutions response
  • Physical chemistry research

That’s a heck of a lot to pack into what presumably was supposed to be a 30 minute talk! Of course, given that the talk is about homeopathy, I was seriously tempted to make any of a number of homeopathy jokes about the brevity of the talks. I restrained myself. I will give him credit for defending vaccination, but will also point out that he’s deluding himself if he thinks that homeopathy is not antivaccine or that homeopaths don’t claim that homeopathy can substitute for vaccinations. Homeopathic nosodes, anyone?

Hormesis abused

Given the utter implausibility of homeopathy based on chemistry, physics, and biology, Fisher spent an awful lot of time on topics #2 and #3, who uses homeopathy and comparative and cost effectiveness research. This allowed him to cherry pick multiple uncontrolled studies. Before he does that, though, he invokes hormesis as the principle that allows “ultralow” concentrations of molecules to have biological effects. Basically, hormesis is a term to describe how some compounds can have nonlinear dose-response curves. He used examples of chlordane against crickets, showing graphs where very low concentrations of this pesticide induce greater weight gain in young crickets before the curve turns south and increasing doses cause slower weight gain and ultimately weight loss and death.

I once discussed hormesis in the context of radiation after the Fukushima nuclear spill after an earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan. Basically, Ann Coulter and the usual suspects who try to downplay environmental catastrophes were trying to argue that Fukushima wasn’t a big deal because a little (or even more than a little) radiation is actually good for you based on—you guessed it—hormesis. Let’s just say that she cherry picked her studies and exaggerated hormesis, while misrepresenting the reasons for the model used by regulatory agencies with the relatively self-explanatory name of the linear no-threshold (LNT) model, which describes a model in which any radiation is a hazard in a linear fashion. As I pointed out, at very low doses, it’s hard to distinguish between an LNT model and hormesis, and the radiation levels at Fukushima were above any reasonable estimate where hormesis might be possible. (As an aside, just the other night I watched the episode of the Netflix series Dark Tourist in which David Farrier visits Fukushima, which is now deserted because of radiation, and is forced to cut his tour short because radiation readings were much higher than advertised and higher than what was deemed safe.) Let’s just say that Fisher, like Coulter, oversold hormesis as being a near-universal phenomenon (it’s not). Let’s just also say that, given that there is no starting material left in most homeopathic remedies, invoking hormesis as a basis of homeopathy is—shall we say?—completely irrelevant.

Observational studies and bad systematic reviews and meta-analyses

As for the observational papers, holy hell! He started going through several observational, uncontrolled studies. One showed that homeopathy use is most prevalent in France (10% of the population) and might be higher in India. Given what I’ve learned recently about the popularity of homeopathy in France, I was not surprised. He also noted that in the US, only 2.1% of the population has used homeopathy in the last year, but that homeopathy use was associated with high levels of education, female sex, a “healthy lifestyle,” and multiple complementary therapies. He noted a study from France, which compared conventional family practices versus homeopathic family practitioners, versus “mixed” (practices where homeopathy was integrated). The claimed finding was that homeopathy use was associated with less use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, less use of antibiotics, less use of psychotropic drugs, and that it cost 20% less. He cited another study from Germany that claimed better results with homeopathy for the same cost. Another study cited by Fisher of “homeopathy in the real world” claimed to show that the use of homeopathy could avert the use of antibiotics for acute otitis media. Of course, given that antibiotics are not always necessary for acute otitis media and in some cases “watchful waiting” plus treatment of symptoms are appropriate, it would take a randomized controlled trial to tell whether homeopathy is doing anything, and this wasn’t it. The same could be said of a study cited by Fisher that purported to show that homeopathy could decrease antibiotic use in acute upper respiratory infection. (Most URIs don’t require antibiotics.) I also couldn’t help but note that a lot of these studies were old, too. The otitis media study is from 2001, for instance.

Interestingly, Fisher also cited the Swiss Health Technology Assessment from 2012. This is, as Jan Willem Nienhuys put it, a case of “homeopathic optimism” and, as Edzard Ernst puts it, a report that only homeopaths take seriously any more. Fisher also cites a database supposedly at this URL: https://www.carstens-stiftung.de/core-hom, where, he claims, as of May 2018 there were 1,210 clinical trials of homeopathy, of which . I clicked on that link and got a 404 page not found error. Maybe it will be there for you by the time this post publishes. Be that as it may, I can’t help but point out that Edzard Ernst had a look at this database three years ago and was less than impressed:

In the podcast that accompanies the articles Fisher insists that, on this database, there are well over 300 RCT, and I had to admit that this was new to me. Keen to learn more, I registered with the database and had a look. What I found startled me. True, the database does claim that almost 500 RCTs are available, but just a very superficial scrutiny of these studies reveals that

  • some are not truly randomised,
  • some are not even clinical trials,
  • the list includes dual publications, re-analyses of already published studies as well as aborted trials,
  • many have never been peer-reviewed,
  • many are not double-blind,
  • many are not placebo controlled,
  • the majority are of poor methodological quality.

Surprise! Surprise!

Fisher also cites a meta-analysis by Mathie et al from 2014 that claimed (hilariously) that not only is homeopathy effective, but the effect size increases with better-designed studies, which is the exact opposite of what we would expect for any treatment, conventional or alternative, because that’s how it goes. Initial, less rigorous trials often yield more impressive results, which often “decline” in later, more rigorous trials. That raised my eyebrow right away. Fortunately, again, Edzard Ernst is familiar with this nonsense and has discussed the Mathie meta-analysis in detail. Basically, he’s noted that this meta-analysis somehow managed to omit “the two most rigorous studies which happen to be negative.” More specifically:

It is not an overall meta-analysis but merely evaluates the subset of those trials that employed individualised homeopathy. Crucially, it omits the two most rigorous studies which happen to be negative. Its conclusions are as follows: ‘Medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects. Findings are consistent with sub-group data available in a previous ‘global’ systematic review. The low or unclear overall quality of the evidence prompts caution in interpreting the findings. New high-quality RCT research is necessary to enable more decisive interpretation.’

And, looking at other meta-analyses by homeopaths:

MY CONCLUSIONS FROM ALL THIS:

  1. Some systematic reviews and meta-analyses do indeed suggest that the trial data are positive. However, they all caution that such a result might be false-positive.
  2. None of these papers provide anything near a proof for the effectiveness of homeopathy.
  3. Homeopathy has not been shown to be more than a placebo therapy.
  4. To issue statements to the contrary is dishonest.

Let’s just say that misleading by meta-analysis is a common tactic of homeopaths. Sadly, faculty at the University of Michigan were unable to pick up on this.

Fisher finished rushing through a bunch of the usual suspect studies for mechanisms. I couldn’t help but laugh uproariously when he spent some time claiming that the studies in mast cell degranulation by Jacques Benveniste were good evidence of a biological effect of homeopathic remedies. Benveniste’s work was fatally flawed and shown to be nonsense by James Randi himself. Basically, Randi and the team of referees asked Benveniste to repeat the experiment, but went to extraordinary lengths to make sure that the people carrying out the experiments didn’t know what groups were the control groups and which groups were the ultradilute samples. Under these conditions, Benveniste’s results were not replicable. Basically, Randi showed how critical proper blinding was to experiments involving homeopathy. Fisher also blew through a few other papers, which I might have to look into if I get the time, but they all looked to suffer from similar issues.

Iris Bell: Nanoparticles prove homeopathy!

Enter Iris Bell. Bell, as you might know, is a physician and homeopath (and emeritus professor at the University of Arizona) whom I first noticed ten years ago when I noticed that she had gotten a grant to study homeopathy from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), now known as the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and from her debate appearance in 2007 at the University of Connecticut. She’s clearly unhappy with skeptics, because she declares right at the outset, “Skeptics keep saying, “There’s nothing there, so this is ridiculous.'” Why, yes. Yes we do. Then she goes to a straw man, claiming we say, “If you have a positive finding, so what? It’s an accident.” Actually, our arguments about Bayesian considerations are quite a bit more nuanced than that. But whatever.

Her response is to say her argument is a striking set of data that “allow you to put together a potential model for how this all works. The emphasis is that you’re going to find, truly, structures in the material that generate signals that have been demontratied that will then trigger nonlinear responses in the organism, a complex adaptive system that is self-organized and actually has self-similarity (?) at certain levels.” Her overview of the “healing process” is as follows”

Pick correct remedy for diseased organism and organ, which leads to a self-amplified adaptive response across the networks, which leads to healing and a healthier organism. She emphasizes that skeptics misunderstand homeopathy because homeopathic remedies are “not acting like a drug,” but are rather “acting like a signal that tells the body that it can heal” (whatever that means).

Here’s where Bell gets into what I knew was coming from the beginning, when Fisher said that just because homeopathic remedies don’t contain any original remedy doesn’t mean that there isn’t something there. Yes, we’re talking nanoparticles, baby! Not only are nanoparticles the One True Cause Of Disease in some alternative medicine, they’re also the cure because they make homeopathy work! It’s one of the favorite “explanations” for homeopathy out there other than the “memory of water” and it’s just as plausible and convincing (as in not at all plausible). I remember when I first heard of this gambit back in 2010 when I encountered a paper published by homeopaths in India that confused what were almost certainly heavy metal nanoparticle contaminants from the manufacturing process for particles arising de novo as a result of the succussion (shaking) between each dilution step. I later heard about how homeopaths were invoking silica nanoparticles as “proof” that homeopathic remedies were not just water. Of course, as I put it at the time, I wonder where silica nanoparticles could come from, if in fact they have actually been detected in homeopathic remedies. It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that most homeopathic dilutions are made in glass vials, could it? Perish the thought! In fact, hilariously, I discussed that study in the context of discussing a paper by—you guessed it!—Iris Bell herself!

I think I’ll quote myself here, as what I said then perfectly applies to what Iris Bell said in her talk at the University of Michigan:

According to Bell, all that grinding and succussion generates nanoparticles, and these nanoparticles do things. All sorts of things. Magical things. Like homeopathy things. They can even emit electrical signals! Oh, wait. The paper Bell cites to justify that claim is the infamous paper by Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier, who, unfortunately, appears to have fallen prey to the Nobel Disease and become a crank. Indeed, that particular paper was roundly criticized (including, of course, by me) for its poor methodology and conclusions not supported by its data, and these days Montagnier is subjecting autistic children to long term antibiotic treatment and appearing at quack conferences like Autism One, along with women who think that giving autistic children bleach enemas is a good way to treat autism. In other words, as sad as it makes me to say it, Montagnier is no longer a good scientist, and I wouldn’t trust anything he publishes these days any more than I trust what Dana Ullman publishes—or, for that matter, Iris Bell.

Of course, in this talk, it’s not just silicates from the glass, but she even mentions how homeopaths use natural cork stoppers and speculates how cork might adsorb to the nanoparticles. Her explanation for how nanoparticles “get there” is epically hilarious:

Homeopathy and nanobubbles and  nanoparticles

Basically, it’s a whole lot of handwaving involving the lactose that is sometimes in ground up homeopathic remedies before they are placed in a water/ethanol solution to be diluted, combined with shaking, nanobubbles, interactions between nanobubbles on the surface of the glass with entrapped air bubbles and the formation of a layer of nanoparticles on the surface of the remedy. It’s all utter nonsense, as I’m sure any physicist, chemist, or materials scientist will be happy to back me up about.

Oh, and she cites Luc Montagnier’s claim of electrical signals from homeopathically prepared E. coli. That’s when she jumped the shark, even for a homeopath, although she did also invoke quantum entanglement, as all good defenders of quackery do. She even points out that silicates are used as adjuvants in some vaccines, which, as far as I can tell, is not exactly true, although they are being studied for that use. Maybe she was referring to aluminum adjuvants, which do form particles. In any case, she used that to try to make a connection between these nanoparticles and stimulation of the immune system because, of course she did. I also can’t help but point out that many of her slides showed no consistent dose-response curves, which tells a skeptic that what’s being seen is either noise or bias in the experiments, but is convenient to someone like Bell, who can invoke “nonlinear” dose-response curves, no matter how implausible.

Bell, too, had to rush through her last few slides, which left a couple of minutes for questions. To be honest, I was very disappointed. Not a single skeptical question was asked, and the last question let Bell go on about how she wants to find collaborators who have model systems she’s interested in and ultimately use “big data” to answer how homeopathy works.

Quackademic medicine at the University of Michigan

As I’ve mentioned before, back when I attended the University of Michigan in the late 1980s, U. of M. was really hardcore about science, so much so that it was viewed as seriously old-school. No new (at the time) organ system approach for us! During the first two years, ever four weeks, like clockwork, we’d have what was called a concurrent examination, which basically meant that we were tested (with multiple choice tests, of course!) on every subject on the same morning. At the time I was there, the medical curriculum for the first two years had been fairly constant for quite some time, with a heaping helpin’ of anatomy, histology, biochemistry, and physiology in the first year and the second year packed full of pharmacology, pathology, and neurosciences. Nowhere to be found in the curriculum was anything resembling “energy medicine” or anything that wasn’t science-based! Of course, back in the 1980s, the infiltration of quackademic medicine (the mingling of quackery with academic medicine) into medical schools and academic medical centers hadn’t really begun in earnest yet, although the rumblings of what is now called “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) and, more frequently these days, “integrative medicine” (IM) were starting to be heard in East Coast and West Coast schools.

How low U. of M. has fallen, at least the Department of Family Medicine, which is riddled with “integrative medicine” quackery, up to and including a willingness to be credulous to homeopathy. I also can’t help but note that the department has at least one naturopath on its faculty, Suzanna Zick, who is co-director of the integrative medicine program in the department. We’ve met her before, both doing an acupressure study and being part of the team who developed the Society for Integrative Oncology’s breast cancer guidelines. (She was SIO President from 2015-2016.)

It saddens me that even one department in the medical school that trained me has drunk deeply from the quackademic medicine firehose. I only reassure myself by telling myself that the department of surgery there is relatively free of this nonsense, as is (most) of the rest of the medical center. I only hope it doesn’t metastasize from the Department of Family Medicine.anthroposophic medicine’s assertion of relationships between the various bodies (physical, etheric, etc.) and astronomical bodies is far more akin to astrology than science. Would that it were only homeopathy U. of M. were teaching and practicing!

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

173 replies on “First anthroposophy, now homeopathy? Quackademic medicine at the University of Michigan marches on.”

It looks like some med schools are reverting to 19th Century medicine.

I may have to carefully check every doctor’s C.V. before going to an appointment and arrive with questionnaire to be administered and scored before the actual consultation.

At the beginning of video (Time 2:14), Peter Fisher was politely introduced and the audience was asked to give him a warm welcome.

Three people clapped for a total of ~ three seconds (Time 2:15 – Time 2:18).

At the end of Peter’s presentation (Time 37:23), no one clapped in appreciation.

Q. How is homeopathy like Peter Fisher.

A. It starts with very little and ends with nothing.

Sad to see where I did my pediatric residency exporting pseudoscience via Weil‘s integrative medicine program at the U of AZ.

What’s really depressing, as a pediatrician, is seeing that they are exporting their “Pediatric Integrative Medicine in Residency” program (which I’m sure is turning out lots of woo-filled new pediatricians there in Tucson) to other residency programs–including Stanford, University of Kansas, University of Chicago and Eastern Virginia Medical School. 100 hours of wasted time (including 1 on vaccinations) that residents could spend better learning actual science-based medicine instead of the utter bullshat that Weil shovels. https://integrativemedicine.arizona.edu/education/peds_imr.html

I hadn’t realized that the University of Michigan long housed two separate medical schools, one a “Homeopathic Medical College” until the schools merged in 1922:

http://umhistory.dc.umich.edu/history/Faculty_History/Homeopathic_History/Homeopathic_Medical_College.html

So there’s a rich, um, tradition of homeoquackery in Ann Arbor, only now it’s dressed up in pseudophysics. Maybe UM can establish a homeopathic division with its own building and invite Prince Charles to the ribbon-cutting (having the Queen would be more prestigious but it would tax the old lady to make such a journey, and there’s no good place to put up her corgis).

Sadly the corgis have all gone to the great meadow in the sky, and the Queen has said she won’t have any more. (Apparently she has some “dorgis” which are some kind of corgi/dachshund mix.)
Besides, I think it’s Chuck who’s way more into the homeopathy thing than his mum.

To apply first law of homepathy to pain: to reduce pain you must increase it.
About hormesis: response may be nonlinear, but it starts with zero, nothing in, nothing out. In case of radiation, it is possible, that DNA correction mechanism could fix the damage. But you certainly should not trust this happening. Any case, this has nothing to do with homeopathy.
Nanoparticles are everywhere nowadays. But do silicon nanoparticles cure everything, or anything. And nanoparticles cannot form, when there are no atoms.
Cost analysis here is curious: homeopathy is cheaper, but is has no effect. Cost benefit ratio is actually infinite.
Australia did very large study about homeopathy, result was not suprising. This got lots of publicity. There: https://www.nhmrc.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/cam02i_homeopathyoverviewreport140408.pdf
This study was reaction to a tragic death (a homeopath essentially tortured Penelope Dinge to death):
https://www.homeowatch.org/news/dingle_finding.pdf
This is coroner’s report.(she died because unoperable cancer).

“To apply first law of homepathy to pain: to reduce pain you must increase it.”

Oh dear, then to reduce burn you must apply more fire? If your incoherent sentences were applied by Hahnemann…. Then, you have recognized your lack of basis in homeopathy. Please, tell me about of grades of similia principle.

“Response may be nonlinear, but it starts with zero, nothing in, nothing out. In case of radiation, it is possible, that DNA correction mechanism could fix the damage. But you certainly should not trust this happening. Any case, this has nothing to do with homeopathy.”

Oh dear, hormesis was firstly established with low homeopathic potencies and highly diluted potencies. Your problem is your irrational Humean belied (debunked by many philosophers around the world, but the old CSICOP’s have not interest in this fact, poor charlatans). Please, why Novella reject the existence of low homeopathic potencies? In all pamphlets, Novella never identify the low potencies! In any case, many experiments with highly diluted systems were publicated around the world, it so esay to find this papers.

“Nanoparticles are everywhere nowadays. But do silicon nanoparticles cure everything, or anything. And nanoparticles cannot form, when there are no atoms.
Cost analysis here is curious: homeopathy is cheaper, but is has no effect. Cost benefit ratio is actually infinite.”

Oh, an software engineering trying deduce the healing effects of nanoparticles, it is like the tale of fox and hen. You must know the stupid “debunkings” published by pseudoskeptics around the internet. This “claims” were already debunked here: link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-319-58538-3_55-1

“Australia did very large study about homeopathy, result was not suprising. This got lots of publicity”

Oh, again the debunked and fraudulent NHRMC study denounced around the world: hri-research.org/resources/homeopathy-the-debate/the-australian-report-on-homeopathy/

“This study was reaction to a tragic death (a homeopath essentially tortured Penelope Dinge to death)”

Oh dear, if your best evidence is an anecdotal testmony, you have contradicted the legal laws of your sect (CSICOP). If “conventional medicine” were debunked with your logic, then you need a large list to fill the debunked damage by physicians, veterinary surgeons and pharmaceuticals.

There is so much wrong with that presentation that it is hard to know where to begin.

Hormesis: A response curve may be nonlinear, but as anybody who has taken calculus can tell you, it is approximately linear over a sufficiently small range. Which means that, as Aarno notes above, the response to a very small dose must approach the response to zero dose. Pathological functions do exist, but they are primarily of interest to mathematicians, not to people looking for applications of the math, and in particular I do not expect to encounter pathological functions in biochemistry.

Radiation response is a difficult example to use, because the asymptote is a nonzero background level. That will tend to make it hard to distinguish linear no threshold models from other models.

My experience with homeopathic products is admittedly limited, but at least for OTC remedies, homeopathic products tend to be more expensive than conventional products.

I don’t deny that there is something present in a homeopathic remedy whose alleged active ingredient has been removed by repeated dilution. That something is water. The alleged active ingredient cannot be incorporated into a nanoparticle if there is none of it present–talk of nanoparticles in homeopathy sounds like an attempt at buzzword-compliant handwaving.

There is something unusual in this Respectful Insolence post.

Orac uses the word “love” three times.

@Orac,

Although, quite often you write lovely insolence.

Will you let me out of auto-moderation for just 1-minute?

I’ve got something very important to say.

Please advise.

N’importe quoi…as the remaining rational 90% of French would say. It’s still outrageous that the country of Pasteur would fall for expensive and mostly dangerous water. Or whatever the Ponzi scheme in reverse this dilution offers as treatment.

It is as outrageous that anti-science, magical thinking and outright charlatanry is allowed at the highest academic level in our country.

What can be done to dilute this quackery out of existence?

Thanks for the 1-minute of freedom (i.e., auto-moderation), Orac.

Here’s an article about latex condoms from the School of Homeopathy (2001), England.

http://www.schoolofhealth.com/docs/SOH/Provings/Proving_of_Latex_Condom_BLK_FINAL.pdf

“The remedy was prepared by Peter Fraser, following Hahnemann’s instructions in the 5th and 6th
edition of the Organon. A grain of latex from a non spermicidal condom that had been cleaned of any traces of lubricant was cut into small pieces and triturated in a porcelain pestle and mortar with milk sugar. My experience of potentising the remedy was much stronger than I have ever experienced in running up a remedy and as it seemes to fit with the symptoms evinced by the proving it is worth recording. Within 5 minutes of beginning the trituration it was announced that the first air strikes had been made against Afghanistan.The trituration to 1c took more that two hours as it was necessary to break down the very resistant substance.”

MJD say,

Hmm…

What in the what?
1) Did Misha Norland actually think there was a causal relationship between trying to make a homeopathic AIDS “treatment” out of a condom with the beginning of the US war in Afghanistan? Wee bit arrogant there aren’t we?
2) I’m sorry, a homeopathic ‘treatment’ for AIDS?! Out, now. Homeopathic ‘treatments’ for self-limiting mild conditions are one thing, but global pandemics are quite another!
3) Dude, how high were these authors? Like, honestly, it reads like someone’s drug or fever dream. And this is supposed to be some kind of technical report?
4) The responses of the “provers” are even funnier.

Thank you, MJD, for something genuinely funny. It would be funnier if people didn’t think it could cure or prevent AIDS, but it’s still pretty damn funny.

Take a minute reading the debunked phampleth of Novella’s “article” (published in a marketing magazine called “Skeptikal Inquirer”). In the spanish community we have run many debunkers against CSICOP corporations.

explicandoalexplicador.blogspot.com/2015/06/el-sacerdocio-de-la-ciencia-xxxi.html

It’s not a mass spec, it’s some kind of plate reader, probably for ELISA.
Which is even less “appropriate” for “studying” homeopathy.
At least with a mass spec you can look at very, very low concentrations of things.

If that’s a plate reader, it’s the biggest plate reader I’ve ever seen. We have a plate reader in our lab that can do absorbance and fluorescence, and it’s MUCH smaller. It’s not new, either. It’s around five years old.

I’m somewhat curious about the credit to the (“Fotor”) Idaho National Laboratory. I mean, sure, there are similar images on the inl.gov site, but it’s a DOE installation.

I love your best credentials:

“Novella is an associate editor of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine”

Only cynical and hypocrite pseudodebunkers like you have questioning the status of Homeopathy journal based on a piece of opinion from a “editoral” pseudoexpert in a ghost magazine with pseudo peer review process, the SRAM fake journal (already dead) with vested interests from the CSICOP board. This poorly popular magazine is a jewel to any search an absurd claim based on autoquoting from an endogamic group. If you think in the lack of IF of the SRAM fake journal, the thing is more funny.

Your research “papers” are too poor quality, like “A case of inherited erythromelalgia” based on unblinded patien with zero statistical analysis. I will enjoy expose your cynical approach everytime I need talk about CSICOP. The rest of your references comes from “Skeptik” awards with zero value into the scientific community.

The original picture (which is popular with lots of sciency sites) is here https://www.flickr.com/photos/departmentofenergy/14115663414/in/album-72157634776568643/ with the description : “Taken on August 4, 2008 U.S. Department of Energy 404 064 001 BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH PROGRAMS AT IDAHO NATIONAL LABORATORY. For more information or additional images, please contact 202-586-5251” or here https://www.flickr.com/photos/inl/3637156598 with “Idaho National Laboratory Biotechnology Biotechnology For more information about INL’s research projects and career opportunities, visit the lab’s facebook site. http://www.facebook.com/idahonationallaboratory“. The INL doesn’t seem to have a biotechnology research group anymore https://www.inl.gov/research-programs/ and the contact number seems to be in Washington DC.
One sticker reads Applied Biosystems. The plate handling robot looks like the one with the Applied Biosystems 8200 Cellular Detection System http://www.go-dove.com/en/auction/view?id=13120136. However, the reading unit is much higher than the 8200 pictured.

My comment had too many links? or didn’t show up for some other reason.

The original picture (which is popular with lots of sciency sites) is here … with the description : “Taken on August 4, 2008 U.S. Department of Energy 404 064 001 BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH PROGRAMS AT IDAHO NATIONAL LABORATORY. For more information or additional images, please contact 202-586-5251” or here … with “Idaho National Laboratory Biotechnology Biotechnology For more information about INL’s research projects and career opportunities, visit the lab’s facebook site. …”. The INL doesn’t seem to have a biotechnology research group anymore … and the contact number seems to be in Washington DC.
One sticker reads Applied Biosystems. The plate handling robot looks like the one with the Applied Biosystems 8200 Cellular Detection System…. However, the reading unit is much higher than the 8200 pictured.

Enough with the plate reader, or whatever it is. I’m going to remove the FB and Twitter embeds if this keeps up. You know, I had a feeling when I mentioned that it might be a mass spec that someone would start obsessing about that stray remark and, as a result, almost left it out. I should’ve listened to my gut. Next time, I will.

I’m calling 7900HT based on the upper black vent and the, y’know, “high temperature” sticker on the side.

Sorry! I thought while I was typing “is this too close to pointing out a typo?”. I won’t do it again.

interactions between nanobubbles on the surface of the glass with entrapped air bubbles and the formation of a layer of nanoparticles on the surface of the remedy

IOW the dilution at each step is performed incompetently. If some of the diluted versions at each stage of succussion retain more than their share of the original placebo, then others contain less, and the fraudster has no way of telling which is which.

On the contrary, the debate of “water memory is a fraud” is over. Randi has lost credibility in some scientific sectors. CSICOP have lost, sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S147549161730067X

I really loved the sources that point out that there’s a limited amount of water in the world, and you really don’t want it remembering where it had been.

So, how does the water know not to remember the cholera bacteria, but that it should remember something else?

Oh dear, your question is very easy. You claim is based in profane reasoning and deductive inferences. If all pseudoskeptics claims the autorship of water memory in Benveniste. Can you provide evidence about Benveniste believed in the intelligence of water dilutions? This is an inmporta fact, if you are unable to provide this simply request, then you will failed and we need to conclude that your claim is a straw man fallacy. Please, provide the evidence.

Not to mention that there cannot be nanobubbles in water, because of high surface tension. That’s why there were never a bubble chamber containing water.

“Not to mention that there cannot be nanobubbles in water, because of high surface tension.”

Oh yeah, typical software engineer pseudoexpert believes that nanobuble cannot formed in water, because “defyes laws of physics” quoting the old and debunked book posted (and sold) by Robert L. Park. That’s is a joke, no? Tell me about the Demangeat blinded research:

sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167732210001637

This research was alredady replicated 4 times around the world, and more teams will publish more results with different homeopathic potencies in the next months in conventional journal (Please, move your influences agains the evil homeopaths and independent reasercers, when anti homeopathy campaigns are more stronger, paradoxically more benefits are generated into the basic research community). On the contrary, Novella published a piece of propaganda in marketing magazine called “Skeptikal Inquirer” (I would call like Spoofy Inquirer) without any logical sentence. When I already read his sloppy “paper” I printed a copy and used like a mop for clean my floor (real history).

Homeopathy is logically refuted, even under the false assumption that “potentiation” would work:

The “potentiation” is carried out with purified/distilled water and ethanol.

Water (also distilled) naturally contains all kinds of substances in a concentration that corresponds to low single-digit potencies in homeopathy. Arsenic, for example, in C4 or D8 together with all kinds of other minerals and heavy metals. Furthermore, water is guaranteed to contain the entire periodic table of elements up to D22. That is: at least one atom of an element.

How is “potentiation” supposed to know that it is only supposed to “potentiate” the original remedy and not the other substances in water on an equal footing?

And how do you actually produce “arsenicum album C30” when new “arsenicum album C4” is added from the drinking water with each step?

The logical conclusion would be that every homeopathic remedy C30 would have to be labeled uniformly with “Periodic Table C15-C30”.

One can save oneself all the anecdotes, studies, criticism of the placebo effect etc., because one knows that the propagated means are so not at all producible.

On vacation in France I stumbled upon homeopathic money in a museum gift-shop. You can buy zero-Euro notes for €2 each. They look and feel exactly like regular Euro-banknotes, with water-marks, interweaved security foil and all the apparent fixings of a Euro-note but are not valid currency of course – the denomination is clearly marked as €0.
They are sold as souvenirs gimmicks with images of local landmarks.

I admit that I bought a couple and was tempted to try to pay for a homeopathic remedy with one but I think I will add them to my collection of curiosa as a demonstration of the nature of homeoremedies.

That’s a Bolenesque example of site design, che. Now, if you’re going to pop by and promise el desenmascaramiento, I hope you will at least have the courtesy to, ah, translate it for the commentariat.

losseudoescepticos: Would you prefer that we read the machine-translated version?

I’m sorry, but I don’t understand how admitting that one does not speak a specific language is racist?

” Would you prefer that we read the machine-translated version?”

Why not?

“I’m sorry, but I don’t understand how admitting that one does not speak a specific language is racist?”

Oh dear, you have failed in understand the typical jokes with stereotypes.

The funny thing is that novell abuses quoting posts writen by his anonymous friends.

“Of course, there is no physiologic, biochemical, or medical basis for such a principle, and in fact what the first law of homeopathy resembles more than anything else is, as I alluded to above, the principles of sympathetic magic, specifically Sir James George Frazer’s Law of Similarity as described in The Golden Bough (1922) as one of the implicit principles of sympathetic magic.”

Oh dear, if your best evidence aginst similie principle is a old book already debunked by anthropologist, your lack of understanding is terrible.

“Initial, less rigorous trials often yield more impressive results, which often “decline” in later, more rigorous trials.”

Bad response, liar. In fact, the Mathie trial cleary says: ‘Unlike our predecessors, we found no evidence that lower-quality trials displayed a larger treatment effect than that of higher-quality studies: indeed, our ten ‘C’-rated trials with extractable data displayed a non-significant pooled effects estimate’

“Basically, he’s noted that this meta-analysis somehow managed to omit “the two most rigorous studies which happen to be negative.” More specifically:”

The metaanalysis was updated with the Ernst’s trials without change in the overall conclusion. Liar!

“This is, as Jan Willem Nienhuys put it, a case of “homeopathic optimism” and, as Edzard Ernst puts it, a report that only homeopaths take seriously any more.”

Thas so funny, Jan Nienhuys published a piece or propaganda discussing the relation of homeopathy with Hippocrates. However, I found many mistakes in his very poor paper published in a non peer reviewed journal. Ninehuys falsified many historical data. He is a fraudulente “mathematician” with vested interestes. LOL!

“Benveniste’s work was fatally flawed and shown to be nonsense by James Randi himself. Basically, Randi and the team of referees asked Benveniste to repeat the experiment, but went to extraordinary lengths to make sure that the people carrying out the experiments didn’t know what groups were the control groups and which groups were the ultradilute samples. Under these conditions, Benveniste’s results were not replicable.”

Really? Then an uneducated and fraudulent stage magicinan was too incompetent to manage the situation? Please, the “Maddox paper” was no peer reviewed, they can omit the positive trials during the Clamart visite, this is called cherry picking and bias.

If Novella is too desesperate, he love the papers that denounce his vested interest!

@losspeudoscepticos

“Logically impossible” is often used i nstead of “utter rubbish”. “There is cause without effect” is an example.
Orac’s opinion is that homeopathy persists because magical thinking. Mine is that a homeopath acquires debt when “educated”, and frauds people to recover them. And homeopathy a way for C student to be a health professional.
Randi blinded samples, which shows that he was more professional than Benveniste. When Benveniste’s laboratory did not know what sample was a homeopathic remedy, memory of water disappeared. Notice I do not claim that Benveniste was fraudulent. Wishful thinking is common, thus blinding.
Btw, do you believe that syphilis is caused by syphlitic miasm:
http://homeopathy360.com/2017/12/07/the-syphilitic-miasm/
Do you think that somebody saying that this is utter rubbish is pseudosceptic ?
Do you condone torturing people, as in link I posted.?

I love when a pseudoskeptic finished their presentation with rethorial questiones based on fear and words like “torture” or ofuscating the topic. Do you think that somebody saying lies around the world is not a pseudoskeptic? In the example, you can find the case not for one liar, the case is a applied in more than 100 pseudoskeptics analized. Think in this, the pseudoskeptics analized there are not the typical misfortune people caught in the sectarian webs, they are the sectarians “skeptics” with vested interests.
On the Memory water, it’so funny (or pathetic) to see trying to save the face of fraudulent and incompetente stage magician trying to implant a false memory registry around the people with simply lies. For example, you have said:

“Orac’s opinion is that homeopathy persists because magical thinking. Mine is that a homeopath acquires debt when “educated”, and frauds people to recover them”

Yes, your personal opinion (or Novella) is not based on evidence. Now, Novella cleary claims that homeopathy is false beceause he saw an old book already debunked by modern anthropologists. Then, Novella is like a racists trying to justify the social darwinist… Oh, dear, Randi is a declarated social darwinist! I now understand the philosophy behind the “humanist pseudoatheist” sects around U.S. Novella is so ridiculous trying “debunk” the similia principle based on quotemining from The Golden Bough. If you are honest, you can provide the rigorous evidence published by Frazer in a peer reviewed journal with moderate impact factor, can’t you?

“And homeopathy a way for C student to be a health professional.”

Again, personal opinions based on uneducated responses from an software engineerng are not evidence based. Sorry for this, it so hard for you.

“Randi blinded samples, which shows that he was more professional than Benveniste.”

If you read the sloppy “research”, non-peer reviewed, by debunker squad with vested interests (CSICOP, for example), you can see this fact: 7 experiments were executed. The fourth experiment with blind samples showed the typical non linear peaks, like the Benveniste’s original research Incredulous, Maddox himself assignated Steward to supervise the fifth trial violating the original protocolo. Then, is the act when Randi began to play trickcards in front of the techinicians during the experiment.

“When Benveniste’s laboratory did not know what sample was a homeopathic remedy, memory of water disappeared. Notice I do not claim that Benveniste was fraudulent. Wishful thinking is common, thus blinding.”

Oh dear, if you belief were true then the world must be corrupted like Novella or CSICOP sects. If you watch the pooled data, and you use the correct formula, then the trick is erased very easy. When you have applied correct statistical formula then, the dara behave according the Poisson law. Why Nature was embarrased whit the amateurism of Randi and Steward?

Do you condone fraud squad, as in the response I posted?

Most important, the early research published by Foremann et al in Nature (1993), was the Shang’s trial of in vitro test. When the pooled data is correctly analized, the data turn positive and behave normal non linear response. Like the Horizon BBC fraud (2002), when Bland found differences between groups, he decided to run an ad-hoc test to disscard the data based on spurious data of the non randomized sample. The end of this story ocurred in 2004, a multicenter research replicated the Benveniste findings using modern techniques: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15105967 If you are not “convinced” (probably not, a sectarian “skeptic” only know rethorical words like “quack” or quote blogs based on corporate ties influenced by CSICOP), you can explain the results based on fully automathic machine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2759025/ Or with a reproducible technique implemented in the Centre hospitalier universitaire à Limoges https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19945674

Dear pseudoskeptic trolls, your god Novella published a pamphlet in the Spoofy Inquirer, a marketing magazine profited by Michael Marshall and Simon Singh and the most ridiculous “skeptics”. The link is this: csicop.org/si/show/the_memory_of_water Please, help me!

Delirant claims:

‘The notion of water memory was first raised by French homeopath Jacques Benveniste in 1988’

Novella’s troll must be support this claim. When Benveniste was trained like an homeopath?

“One such research paper concludes: “Our results highlight the efficiency of energy redistribution within the hydrogen-bonded network, and that liquid water essentially loses the memory of persistent correlations in its structure within 50 fs” (Cowan 2005). That’s fifty femtoseconds, or fifty quadrillionths (10-15) of a second”

Novella calims that Cowan paper was a refutation of the Roy paper. Only an loon with vested interestes may think in this! Cowan paper never prove any homeopathic dilution, the paper is very poor without statistics or any control group. It is useless for “debunk” homeopathy.

“There are numerous problems with these studies, however. Prime among them is that Montagnier’s study design is laughably sloppy (see Myers 2011). Montagnier used a crude signal detection device hooked up to a computer and generated worthless noise-ridden results. His studies proved nothing (and, not surprisingly, have not been replicated), but that has not stopped homeopaths from seizing upon his work to claim vindication.”

Sloppy was the Myers comment published in… blog! Oh dear, claims based on opinions are not evidence. Your understanding in physicis is too pathetic, like the Harriett Hall claims.

“The sugar pill will be broken down in the homeopathy proponent’s stomach, and the sugar molecules will then be digested, absorbed into the blood stream, and distributed through the blood to the tissues of the body.”

Really? This research said the oppose: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23973403
Novella claims are ridiculous!

“The notion that water has memory is nothing more than a restating of Hahnemann’s superstitious notion that substances can transfer their “vital essence” to other substances. Water memory is another fiction of homeopathy; it is not based upon any science and is implausible in the extreme.”

Oh dear, your conclusion is called straw man, ad-hominem, cherry picking combo fallacy. I love use as an example of extreme bias and fraud this paper of Novella. Stress the importance of discuss this poor papers published in marketing “skeptikal” journals is an obligated tool to discuss topics in science and throw some jokes when read lunatic phrases written by a Yale (pseudo)researcher (or anything into the septic corporate movement).

Hmm, name calling, cherry picking, and spamming the comment thread. Why we have a troll! Time to ignore.

Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
Rawhide!
Trollin’ Trollin’ Trollin’
Though the threads are swollen
Keep them comments trollin’,
Rawhide!

Cherry pick!
(Head em’ up!)
Move goalposts!
(Move ’em on!)
More insults!
(Head em’ up!)
Rawhide!
Make stuff up!
(Paste ’em in!)
Change topics!
(Cut em’ out!)
Whine some more!
Paste ’em in,
Rawhide!
Keep trollin’, trollin’, trollin’
Though they’re disaprovin’
Keep them comments trollin”,
Rawhide!
Don’t try to understand ’em
Just rope, laugh, and ignore ’em
Soon we’ll be discussin’ right without ’em

@ Orac’s minions:

My god!
Can’t you guys admit you’ve been pwned by losseudoscepticos!
Not only does he/ she provide invaluable research BUT also identifies the true, hidden, secret identity of Orac!

Hmm, I don’t recall having ever raced against a troll, although from what I’ve seen on this blog they do seem to run fast. But in theory I think it would be okay to be racist against trolls.

Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear! How will Orac survive his outing, and on his very own blog, no less? Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear!

Amusing to see the usual pharma shill load along with citation of a paper from Boiron.

Orac identity is public. He is the best joker gratuated with honors from CSI(COP), FSMF, ACSH, Sense About Science, Genetic Literacy, and the rest of fake “scientific consensus” propaganda estipulated from NY headquarters of Center for Inquiry. I fell in love when this porkies (like Entine, Folta or Monsanto-Bayer guys) where debunked against Séralini case. Or the case of Simon Sigh losing his credibility when NY Times debunked his “neutral” position discovering their payment from Mr. Coke. Or the best thing, Ernst Edzard exposed as liar by Robert Hahn. If you saw the panoramic view, many authors can debunk with easy tools the all empire of CSICOP and CFI Rondald Lindsay Business. In the case, all Orca sectarian fellows only can post comments with typical semantic manipulation like “quack”, “conspiracy theorists” and rebobine the cassette repeating the same. Ofuscating the questions is the best watermark of the pseudoskeptical trolls. I love your comments!

Ernst Edzard exposed as liar by Robert Hahn

Actually, it was the other way around, but you can say what you want, facts prevail 🙂

“Wow, lossy, you are a lost little troll”

As we have expected, all pseudoskeptics loves use this ad-hominem attacks:

“Troll”.
“Conspiracy theorists”.
“Quack proponent”.
“Flath earth believer”.
“Anti vaccine proponent”.
“Anti GMO proponent”.
“Anti science fanatic”.

Then, the evidence against spanish satellite of CSICOP is ready avaliable in short format. For first time, we have objective and critical tools to disprove the CSICOP “arguments”. We expect the replication of this information in some languagues. Thank you for your information!

Social “Skeptics” (skeptopaths/pseudoskeptics/septic skeptics) of homeopathy will benefit from reading this article. The “implausibility” of homeopathy is now a dead topic, the “best good quality” books published in spanish were analyzed and debunked. They repeat exactly the same topics of Novella, Amadeo Sarma, Edzard Ernst, J. Randi, H. Hall, A. Borgo… exactly the same copy paste in each book!

https://losseudoescepticos.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/un-analisis-de-libros-escepticos-que-son-para-tirar-a-la-papelera/

I, on the other hand, am giving Orac a virtual wave while waiting for a connecting flight at DTW, where it is raining.

Airport designations are common, the fact you are not aware of that is quite telling. So what part of Connecticut is the airport with the DTW designation?

Chris,

I’m starting to think that we (tinw) should start designing an IQ test for the trolls. Orac’s identity first, then your question, where in CT can you find the DTW airport.

Al

So, lossy, have you figured out where the DTW airport is located?

Let me help you with your financial budget. The following is a recipe for a favorite homeopathic remedy. Enjoy!

Recipe for Nat Mur or Natrum Mur or Natrium Mur or Natrum muriaticum:

1) Take ½ teaspoon of sea salt and dissolve into 1 cup of distilled water in a bottle.

2) Shake well.

3) This is a 1C solution (ratio 1/100).

4) Take ½ teaspoon of the 1C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 1C solution.

5) Shake well.

6) This is a 2C solution (ratio 1/10000).

7) Take ½ teaspoon of the 2C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 2C solution.

8) Shake well.

9) This is a 3C solution (ratio 1/1000000).

10) Take ½ teaspoon of the 3C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 3C solution.

11) Shake well.

12) This is a 4C solution (ratio 1/100000000).

13) Take ½ teaspoon of the 4C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 4C solution.

14) Shake well.

15) This is a 5C solution (ratio 1/10000000000).

16) Take ½ teaspoon of the 5C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 5C solution.

17) Shake well.

18) This is a 6C solution (ratio 1/1000000000000).

19) Take ½ teaspoon of the 6C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 6C solution.

20) Shake well.

21) This is a 7C solution (ratio 1/100000000000000).

22) Take ½ teaspoon of the 7C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 7C solution.

23) Shake well.

24) This is an 8C solution (ratio 1/10000000000000000).

25) Take ½ teaspoon of the 8C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 8C solution.

26) Shake well.

27) This is a 9C solution (ratio 1/1000000000000000000).

28) Take ½ teaspoon of the 9C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 9C solution.

29) Shake well.

30) This is a 10C solution (ratio 1/100000000000000000000).

31) Take ½ teaspoon of the 10C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 10C solution.

32) Shake well.

33) This is a 11C solution (ratio 1/10000000000000000000000).

34) Take ½ teaspoon of the 11C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 11C solution.

35) Shake well.

36) This is a 12C solution (ratio 1/1000000000000000000000000).

37) Take ½ teaspoon of the 12C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 12C solution.

38) Shake well.

39) This is a 13C solution (ratio 1/100000000000000000000000000).

40) Take ½ teaspoon of the 13C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 13C solution.

41) Shake well.

42) This is a 14C solution (ratio 1/10000000000000000000000000000).

43) Take ½ teaspoon of the 14C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 14C solution.

44) Shake well.

45) This is a 15C solution (ratio 1/1000000000000000000000000000000).

46) Take ½ teaspoon of the 15C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 15C solution.

47) Shake well.

48) This is a 16C solution (ratio 1/100000000000000000000000000000000).

49) Take ½ teaspoon of the 16C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 16C solution.

50) Shake well.

51) This is a 17C solution (ratio 1/10000000000000000000000000000000000).

52) Take ½ teaspoon of the 17C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 17C solution.

53) Shake well.

54) This is an 18C solution (ratio 1/1000000000000000000000000000000000000).

55) Take ½ teaspoon of the 18C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 18C solution.

56) Shake well.

57) This is a 19C solution (ratio 1/100000000000000000000000000000000000000).

58) Take ½ teaspoon of the 19C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 19C solution.

59) Shake well.

60) This is a 20C solution (ratio 1/10000000000000000000000000000000000000000).

61) Take ½ teaspoon of the 20C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 20C solution.

62) Shake well.

63) This is a 21C solution (ratio 1 in 10^42 or 1/1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000).

64) Take ½ teaspoon of the 21C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 21C solution.

65) Shake well.

66) This is a 22C solution (ratio 1 in 10^44 or 1/100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000).

67) Take ½ teaspoon of the 22C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 22C solution.

68) Shake well.

69) This is a 23C solution (ratio 1 in 10^46 or 1/10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000).

70) Take ½ teaspoon of the 23C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 23C solution.

71) Shake well.

72) This is a 24C solution (ratio 1 in 10^48 or 1/1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000).

73) Take ½ teaspoon of the 24C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 24C solution.

74) Shake well.

75) This is a 25C solution (ratio 1 in 10^50 or 1/100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000).

76) Take ½ teaspoon of the 25C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 25C solution.

77) Shake well.

78) This is a 26C solution (ratio 1 in 10^52 or 1/10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000).

79) Take ½ teaspoon of the 26C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 26C solution.

80) Shake well.

81) This is a 27C solution (ratio 1 in 10^54 or 1/1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000).
(the zeros are running off of the page!)

82) Take ½ teaspoon of the 27C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 27C solution.

83) Shake well.

84) This is a 28C solution (ratio 1 in 10^56 or 1/100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000).

85) Take ½ teaspoon of the 28C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 28C solution.

86) Shake well.

87) This is a 29C solution (ratio 1 in 10^58 or 1/10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000).

88) Take ½ teaspoon of the 29C solution and put it a bottle with 1 cup of distilled water, throw out the 29C solution.

89) Shake well.

90) This is a 30C solution (ratio 1 in 10^60 or 1/1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000).

And then you are done! To make the pills, go to baking center of your grocery store and get some plain cake decorating sprinkles. You can try dropping some of the solution on the sprinkles, or just set the bottle next to the solution for it to absorb the energy (which is the typical method used for over the counter homeopathic remedies).

You can make up other remedies by knowing what the mother tincture is… For instance “Nux Vomica” (or Nux Vom) is from the Nux Vomica plant which contains the poison strychnine, Nux Sulph uses sulpher, and the stuff advertised on the radio for colds, Oscillococcinum is from a few duck bits.

FWIW, I finally got on my computer where I could use Google Translate to read through this blog. It’s basically a review of some general market science books written in Spanish which happen to explain what is wrong with homeopathy. Although he occasionally mentions references which supposedly show that homeopathy works, he never presents a prima facie case for that in his own words.

Instead, he devotes a lot of effort to nitpicking how the arguments against homeopathy are presented. The basic logic is that if he can find a flaw in your argument against homeopathy, then homeopathy must work. This ignores the burden of proof that if you claim treatment X works for condition Y, you must present replicated evidence from randomized double blinded controlled trials (RDBCT’s) that it is effective. Because of the underlying implausibility of homeopathy, replication is critical.

And the few “slam dunk” proofs he offers aren’t very impressive to me. For instance, he notes that the existence of NaCl in the final dilution has been demonstrated. So what? That’s quite likely if the water used wasn’t pure enough or the equipment properly cleaned. And even so, how does that correlate with the original undiluted remedy and how does the resulting dilute salt water actually heal?

And he makes a big deal out of microbubbles in water lasting a nanosecond in some specialized lab tests instead of just a femtosecond. Whoop-te-do! They need to last a LOT longer than that after they get put in a fancy microcapsule or a drop of water is added to a sugar pill. And then that tiny bubble needs to actually do something when it gets to the patient. Neither is demonstrated.

And here is his slam dunk conclusion:

Like the books criticized, Hormigo’s conclusions are not correct because he did not bother to cite more recent references and abuses cherry picking, practically anyone who reads the content of his work may find that it is another attempt to obfuscate and decorate with little words and “sociological” explanations that are taken out of the sleeve. So, now there is clear evidence that pseudo-skeptics are, to a great extent, tricksters. If the pseudo-skeptics of greater authority and weight fail, the smallest caliber demogogues who use the same excuses are automatically invalidated.

Therefore, what?

I give him a lot of margin for error with typos, language goofs, etc. on this blog because English is obviously not his primary language. So it’s rather funny that a repeated complaint about these books is for typos and misspellings!

So, losseudoescepticos, I have a couple questions for you.

A friend of mine was given a homeopathic “medicine” in the little glass or plastic nodules that contained 3 different potentiations of the same original substance. What is the purpose of that?
What homeopathic “medicine” has the best evidence for effectiveness against which non-self limiting disease (such as syphilis, cancer, etc.) as demonstrated in an RDBCT? Please provide a link to the published results or the Pubmed ID for the report. When was it replicated?

For instance, he notes that the existence of NaCl in the final dilution has been demonstrated. So what?

Well for one thing it says that homeopathic dilution does not work as intended. Or maybe it creates salt from nothing.

The whole “nano” thing is grasping at straws – a last gasp attempt to find something, anything, that hasn’t been blown out of the water already. Perhaps someday one of them will offer some explanation for how these nano things, that apparently are smaller than the intact molecules of the substance, retain the properties of the molecules. Presumably physicists and chemists find the notion … dubious.

Yes, you are corret in some points. However, you have failed in this points:

“The basic logic is that if he can find a flaw in your argument against homeopathy, then homeopathy must work.”

Ironically, this trick is used (and was used) by all pseudoskeptics in all books, from Prometheus books and spanish editorials, and by Randi and Wendell Holmes! So, if your argument is correct, then all marketing produced by CSICOP is fake.

“This ignores the burden of proof that if you claim treatment X works for condition Y, you must present replicated evidence from randomized double blinded controlled trials (RDBCT’s) that it is effective. Because of the underlying implausibility of homeopathy, replication is critical.”

Once again, pseudoskeptics ignores the burden of refutation. If you claim that “homeopathy is pseudoscience” you must be provide unequivocally evidence of homeopathy as pseudoscience. The case is rest, all “pseudoscience” criteria proposed by “pseudoskeptic” like Massimo Pigliucci are fake or ad-hominem attacks or simply misleading opinions. On the other hand, some evidence of replicated evidence exists. I have looking the all “arguments” against this trials, and the best popular match redirected to Novella’s blog. All pseudoskeptics in Spain are agree that Novell is the alleged best “expert” behind Edzard Ersnt. Unfortunately, I found bias and stupid allegations like “James Frazer said”, “Randi said” or “Oliver Wendell Holmes debunked homeopathy”. This claims are based on a priori beliefs, not in evidence or logic. Novella loves use the trick of ofuscation or ad-hominem attack (example: “Benveniste was an homeopath”, in Spoofy Inquirer).

“That’s quite likely if the water used wasn’t pure enough or the equipment properly cleaned. And even so, how does that correlate with the original undiluted remedy and how does the resulting dilute salt water actually heal?”

The alleged excuse based on improperly methods were the favorite excuse during the first period of pseudoskeptical books. This excuse have been proved false in recently systematic reviews on basic reseach, high quality experiments were not negative when skilled researchers analyzed the data. Ironically, experiments like the BBC Horizon test published without data in Significance journal were to poor to evaluate.

“Please provide a link to the published results or the Pubmed ID for the report. When was it replicated?”</i

Typically, all pseudoskeptics tryied debunked the evidence based on the “logical principles”. As you have seen, the “arguments” provided by the most “rigorous pseudoskeptics” were biased and contradicted by the logic, reason and evidence.

Doug:

“Well for one thing it says that homeopathic dilution does not work as intended. Or maybe it creates salt from nothing.”

Please, show me when I have said that “salt is created from nothing”. Provide references.

“The whole “nano” thing is grasping at straws – a last gasp attempt to find something, anything, that hasn’t been blown out of the water already. Perhaps someday one of them will offer some explanation for how these nano things, that apparently are smaller than the intact molecules of the substance, retain the properties of the molecules. Presumably physicists and chemists find the notion … dubious.”

When pseudoskeptics claims “Presumably physicists and chemists find the notion … dubious” you need provide the names of all physicists and chemists.

“I give him a lot of margin for error with typos, language goofs, etc. on this blog because English is obviously not his primary language. So it’s rather funny that a repeated complaint about these books is for typos and misspellings!”

Ironically, many typos were correted over the time! Not was this the case in any “skeptical” blog. All articles are revisited and if a mistake is founded the article is corrected. This is called a critical thinking. If an error is founded, the articles changes! When you have seen this in any “skeptic” blog?

Finally:

Ironically, is the same debunked argument by Novella and all “skeptics”. Nothing in the homeopathy world rejects the fact of “life time” of hydrogen bonds is extremely short, you have missed the point! I remember a piece or propaganda published by Robert Leslie Park, and ironically this book is quoted by Novella and other “prominent” skeptics like Randi, Coulqhoun, Ernst or Amadeo Sarma. You have add other excuse:

“And then that tiny bubble needs to actually do something when it gets to the patient. Neither is demonstrated.”

The blog is dedicated to debunk specific arguments by pseudoskeptics, the blog is not a research plataform. Then, your claim is irrlevant. If homeopathy do not have a full working mechanism, this fact never erase the mistakes and lies dispersed by pseudoskeptics.

@losseudoescepticos,

First, please answer these questions.

A friend of mine was given a homeopathic “medicine” in the little glass or plastic nodules that contained 3 different potentiations of the same original substance. What is the purpose of that?

What homeopathic “medicine” has the best evidence for effectiveness against which non-self limiting disease (such as syphilis, cancer, etc.) as demonstrated in an RDBCT? Please provide a link to the published results or the Pubmed ID for the report. When was it replicated?

@losseudoescepticos,

Second, let’s review your comments in order.

The skeptical method is all about carefully examining the evidence in support of a claim to see if the evidence supports that claim. If it does, then well and good. But if the evidence does not support it, then at a minimum further research is needed before we can accept the claim as valid.

And skepticism is integral to science. Whatever the results, they must be examined carefully to make sure the experiment was done correctly, the analysis was correct, and to see if the data support the conclusions claimed for it.

You talk about the burden of refutation, but first you must present a convincing argument that homeopathy works, that is preparation X works as an effective treatment or cure for disease or condition Y. You haven’t done that.

You stated that

some evidence of replicated evidence exists

and I asked for a link to the trials so I can examine the evidence. I couldn’t find that in your blog, but it might have been lost in translation. So would you please provide the link here?

Scientists and skeptics will often dispute experimental results because they do not meet “logical principles” which have been developed over 500 years of discovering ways that our tests can give us invalid or mistaken results and how to avoid fooling ourselves.

And since homeopathy is contrary to well established principles of science which thousands of people have tested and verified, any evidence supporting it needs to be very good.

For instance, I have been doing a little chemical test in my home as I develop a recipe for salsa. The first batch used 4 dried chile peppers and was rather bland. The second batch used 6 peppers and was a bit stronger. The third batch used 8 peppers and was about right, not too strong but very tasty.

That matches standard chemistry where adding more of an ingredient makes its effect stronger.

But according to homeopathy, the first batch should have been stronger!

Which am I to believe? Something written 200 years ago that disagreed with the results of many chemists working at the same time or the evidence of my own senses?

Also, losseudoscepticos,

Your spell checker seems to have a problem with the word “correct”.

“Ironically” is an adverb, not a complete argument. And usually it is used merely to comment on and perhaps disparage something the other person said. It isn’t usually needed or fitting when making a more important point.

And we talk about microbubbles and nanoparticles and water memory because supporters of homeopathy report finding them and say “Look, see, we found something! Therefore, homeopathy must work!”

So, if the microbubbles vanish before I can even blink my eye, how can they still be in a pill that has been shipped across the ocean and set on a store shelf for weeks?

And how can I tell what taste memory is stored in the microbubbles so I can add them to my salsa to make it taste better?

Oh dear, then you have not idea about the topic. Then, you need to search and go out!

You need define “best evidence”.
Oh dear, “skeptical method” is not a method. Please, don’t confusse skepticism with CSICOP propaganda.
Dear, CSICOP propaganda invented and redefined the Humean argument of extraordinary claim. You’re the proponet, you need to provide evidence to evaluate an extraordinary claim in quantitative term. I was unable to find any of this in any “skeptic” book! So, then CSICOP is a fraud.
Skeptical blogs are the worst exaplmes to carefully examination of evidence.
Define “convincing argument”. Your petition is based on subjetive opinion. Ironically, your claims are based on “logical principles” defined by you and your sect. For example, you are repeating the mantra: “And since homeopathy is contrary to well established principles of science which thousands of people have tested and verified, any evidence supporting it needs to be very good.” You need to provide what are the principles of sciences that homeopathy contradicts. Where is the argument?

The best example of the stupidity in pseudoskeptics is this:

“For instance, I have been doing a little chemical test in my home as I develop a recipe for salsa. The first batch used 4 dried chile peppers and was rather bland. The second batch used 6 peppers and was a bit stronger. The third batch used 8 peppers and was about right, not too strong but very tasty.”

Homeopathy has never said that if you dilute sauce this will be more “spicy”.
Microtubules? Ok, I need to clean your mind. In 1999 a stupid called Dr. Robert Park said that the biophotons are imaginary! This crack pot published his paper in Spoofy Inquirer. But, now, biophotons are currently accepted in mainstream journals! Why Robert Park never retracted his stupidity?

@losseudoescepticos,

Let’s see what you have figured out in the last month.

Your NMR study by the Belgian homeopaths is exactly the sort of thing I was referring to when I wrote:

“Look, see, we found something! Therefore, homeopathy must work!”

And since the relaxation time is 1300 picoseconds, it is highly unlikely any remaining memory could be detected in package of homeopathic remedy that had been shipped from France to the U.S. or Argentina and then sat on the shelf for weeks before being purchased.

But more to the point, I asked

What homeopathic “medicine” has the best evidence for effectiveness against which non-self limiting disease (such as syphilis, cancer, etc.) as demonstrated in an RDBCT?

and you haven’t even presented the links to the trials I had already asked for which you referred to in your blog!

Instead, you chose to quibble about

You need define “best evidence”.

I know that Spanish has superlatives and best it the “superlative of good”. I like the second definition:

most productive of good : offering or producing the greatest advantage, utility, or satisfaction

and evidence is “something that furnishes proof”. In this case I must insist that it be published in the scientific literature.

Of course it’s a bit pointless to ask for a superlative when you haven’t presented any evidence for effectiveness against a non-self limiting disease.

Nor have you answered my question about the multiple potentizations in the same pill.

I accept the burden of refutation, but you first need to make a case that homeopathy works.

And since my understanding of how a homeopathic remedy is prepared apparently differs from yours, I will ask two more questions.

Which has a stronger effect, a 10C or 20C remedy prepared from the same source material?

How would you describe the process of preparing a homeopathic remedy since you disagree with Chris’s explanation?

Then, the squirrel guy was unable to debunk the NMR trial.

“And since the relaxation time is 1300 picoseconds, it is highly unlikely any remaining memory could be detected in package of homeopathic remedy that had been shipped from France to the U.S. or Argentina and then sat on the shelf for weeks before being purchased.”

Oh dear, typically the hydrogen bond life time is about of 10 picoseconds or lees (50 femtoseconds). 1 300 picoseconds is much better than 50 picoseconds! The NMR trial is an independente replication and this clearly show anomalous behaviour in water under potentized conditions. This trial only measured relaxation times during the structuration, not over time like the Elia experiment. Clearly the motion in hydrogen bond changes and mantains the stability of the system during months!

“What homeopathic “medicine” has the best evidence for effectiveness against which non-self limiting disease (such as syphilis, cancer, etc.) as demonstrated in an RDBCT?”

Oh dear, you first need to shown the best evidence for this conditions, exactly for syphilis and cancer trials. Provide the best double blind trials showing curation in all cancer types. If you can not, your comparation is a non sense. Post the links.

“I accept the burden of refutation, but you first need to make a case that homeopathy works.”

Oh dear, read the second point.

“Which has a stronger effect, a 10C or 20C remedy prepared from the same source material?”

I love this stupid question. First answer this: James Randi said that diluted salt in water will more potent and you will obtain, according homeopathy:

a) More salad water

b) No more salad water

Choose a or b. Please.

I didn’t try to debunk the NMR paper you cited because I have no experience in using NMR to study water solutions and I have no reason to believe the Belgian researchers faked their results. Also the graphs were too small to read details and try to interpret. I did find their summary rather uninformative since they mainly discussed how well they were able to discriminate the slopes of the Dilution Integral line. There was no discussion of how the signal varied with the dilution/potentization of the substance.

Contrast this with the explanation provided by
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11212083

The efficacy of homeopathy is controversial. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) has been used to study homeopathic solutions, showing provocative results. We examined the reproducibility of one of the allegedly positive studies. 1H NMR spectra were recorded for Sulphur D4, diluted and succussed up to D30 (called potentization) at two different frequencies (300 and 500 MHz). The Sulphur solution had been potentiated according to homeopathic principles with deionized water and alcohol. Water proton T1 relaxation measurements were performed also at 20 MHz for the different potentiated Sulphur solutions. Furthermore, the homeopathic remedy Betula alba 30c (birch pollen extract) and appropriate control solution (deionized water, unsuccussed solutions and placebo globules) were measured analogously, both with frequencies giving spectra and T1 relaxometry. The Sulphur remedies showed identical one dimensional proton spectra (1H NMR) at 300 and 500 MHz, regardless of dilution/succussion stage, from D4 to D30. Furthermore, Betula 30c as a potentiated solution and its controls (ethanol dilutions and Betula diluted but not succussed) showed identical spectra. Nor were there any statistically significant differences in longitudinal (T1) relaxation times between deionized water and Sulphur D10 to D30 preparations. The shorter T1 of the Sulphur D4 preparation could be ascribed to the higher microviscosity within the sample matrix caused by the high concentration of dissolved material. Also, the T1 values of the Betula alba 30c preparation (in globular form) and control placebo globules were identical. In conclusion, published results from NMR research on homeopathy indicating differences between homeopathic solutions and control samples could not be reproduced.

And neither paper shows that homeopathic remedies have a therapeutic effect.

For an informed view by someone who led a team of researchers for 20 years studying homeopathic preparations, I really suggest you read this.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2012/apr/03/homeopathy-why-i-changed-my-mind

and this:
https://health.spectator.co.uk/i-used-to-think-homeopathy-was-helpful-now-im-a-critic-so-what-happened/

where he writes

After two decades of research, it had finally become undeniably clear that highly diluted homeopathic remedies are pure placebos. In a way, this finding was a disappointment to me; I would have been delighted if the evidence had led me in the opposite direction. Anyone who proves the basic assumptions of homeopaths to be correct simultaneously disproves entire chapters of the textbooks of physics, chemistry and pharmacology and therefore deserves at least one Nobel prize.

One of our investigations demonstrated quite clearly that homeopaths might be inflicting considerable harm through issuing wrong advice to their patients. We had shown that many UK homeopaths recommended to parents not to vaccinate their children. Instead, they advised them to use ‘homeopathic vaccinations’, or homeoprophylaxis, as they like to call it, for which there is not a shred of evidence. The phenomenon of homeopaths discouraging parents from vaccinating their kids is now well studied and has been confirmed in many parts of the world. It means that homeopaths endanger the herd immunity of entire populations which might bring back epidemics that we had long considered a thing of the past.

Aside to other commenters:

Last night I finished watching Justice League and saw the final scene where Lex Luthor escapes from the maximum security detention facility he is being held in. After hearing the Lex Luthor character talk, it occurred to me that having a discussion with losseudoescepticos was a bit like having a talk with Lex Luthor. The other person spends all their time making what they consider to be witty remarks while never actually answering your questions or giving due consideration to your statements.

I have a longer comment in moderation because I thought it was useful to include 3 links.

For the moment I will say this.

You still haven’t shown that homeopathic remedies are medically effective.

Also, what other study did your NMR citation replicate?

The pathetic gray squirrel was unable to choose an optinon, Why?
Again, James Randi said that diluted salt in water will more potent and you will obtain, according homeopathy:

a) More salad water

b) No more salad water

Choose a or b. Please.

“I didn’t try to debunk the NMR paper you cited because I have no experience in using NMR to study water solutions and I have no reason to believe the Belgian researchers faked their results.”

Obviously, your abilities in sciences are very poor.

“Also the graphs were too small to read details and try to interpret. I did find their summary rather uninformative since they mainly discussed how well they were able to discriminate the slopes of the Dilution Integral line. There was no discussion of how the signal varied with the dilution/potentization of the substance.”

Ok, then you have confirmed my suspictions! Explain now, why the Rational Wiki propaganda did not include this study in their “article” of homeopathy? The response is evident, they works to CSICOP machinery and CSICOP is the typical tobbacco agency of public relations. If the move like quackoskeptics and they love quote a fraudulent researcher like Edzard Ernst, Ben Goldacre and any “researcher” linked via CSICOP, then probably they are fake.

Sorry troll, but James Randi did not say what you think he said.

Yes, he and some other folks looked at a dilution of water based on a claim that homeopathy really worked. He, and James Maddox, the editor of Nature. A study submitted to Nature looked liked it proved that homeopathy could work based on the salt dilutions you speak of. So they met with the guy who wrote the study, and tried to reproduce his results since his methodology seemed to be sound. At first the results did seem to be what was claimed.

Then they realized that the author and his team had introduced sampling bias. They redid the experiment and blinded the test tubes so the author and his team didn’t know which sample was which and lo and behold the positive result went away. No independent researcher could replicate this author’s study either, so the guy got an Ig Nobel Prize.

Nice try.

I write on this blog and other sites for a couple reasons. One is that I try to seek a conversation even with those I disagree with. I don’t have a high expectation of persuading them to my point of view, but I do hope we can exchange some information and learn a bit from each other.

The other reason is my old high school debater training which gives me joy in presenting a well explained argument and examining someone else’s argument looking for flaws and to see how well it is supported (which is integral to the skeptical process).

I don’t in general try to ask “gotcha” questions, but do use questions to point out flaws or shortcomings. And sometimes I ask a question simply to clarify a point of confusion so we can better understand each other.

So, when an honest question looking for information is repeatedly ignored and even a simple attempt at clarification is replied to with another question, it is clear there is no hope for such a discussion.

However, I will add a couple of comments about the Belgian homeopaths’ NMR experiment.

First, the key question for any medicine is how well does it work to treat or cure a disease or condition, not can I detect anything in it which is what the NMR tests are trying to show. But since repeated tests of homeopathy under controlled conditions come up negative, they are doing these tests to try to show that there might be some plausibility to their remedies. At a minimum, they need to get their results independently replicated. And, as Aabel et al said in my earlier comment:

published results from NMR research on homeopathy indicating differences between homeopathic solutions and control samples could not be reproduced.

Second, if I were a scientist trying to do this sort of research, I would want to ask questions like:
…How is this information stored? All Wassenhoven’s group have to offer is:

A possible explanation for such a memory effect may lie in the formation of mesoscopic water structures around nanoparticles and/or nanobubbles mediated by zero-point fluctuations of the vacuum electromagnetic field as suggested by quantum field theories.

…….in other words, they don’t know.
…Can we read it back and identify blinded samples this way?
…How does this information get into a biological system like a human being?
…How does it somehow convey its healing effect?

etc., etc.

Without serious progress on those questions, I think my previous characterization of this sort of experiment is still accurate.

So even if I accept their measurements, SO WHAT?

Your research “papers” are too poor quality, like “A case of inherited erythromelalgia” based on unblinded patien with zero statistical analysis.

It’s a case report, shi twit. One. Case.

Are you really so completely and utterly clueless? Do you not hive the slightest understanding of what a case report is?

Oh, dear doug, your response is too ironically. When homeopaths post case reports all pseudoskeptics claim that “case reports are anecdotal evidence”. Please, provide the evidence published by Novella based on properly good and excellent RCDT replicated by researchers not involved in CSICOP.

The contents of the report are supported by scientific evidence. It is not an anecdote. It is not “I tried some magic sugar pills and cured something.” It is a report of a diagnosis. You really are profoundly ignorant or astoundingly stupid. And that is an inclusive or.

@lospseudoscepticos:
When I spoke about torture I referred Penelope Dingle case:
https://www.homeowatch.org/news/dingle_finding.pdf
A homeopath gave to a cancer patient plumbum metallicum as a pain remedy and forbade her to take other. In the end, Ms Dingle was 24 hours from the death,. which would take a form her vomitting her own feces. I would call this torture. Do you thiink this is proper ?
You did not and my question, do you believe that syphilis is caused by syphilic miasma. Homeopathy is very much 18th medicine, miasmas and all.
About Benveniste: do you know about statistics ? Repeated experiments can have different results. If water actually do have memory, all or at least most repetitions must gave same results. One would not do.
You thinking reminds me crimestop from Orwell’s 1984. If some argues against homeopathy, there must be plot. No need to comment his or hers opinions. As for Novella, this paper may interest you.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ana.21743
Finding was that there was not sufficient evidence to start phase iii trial. Trials do not always go as pharmaceutical companies want. Why conspiracy cannot prevent these ?

In short:

The Dingle case is anecdotal “evidence”. Pseudoskeptics calims that all anecdotal evidence is not evidence. Then, negative anecdotal cases are not evidence of nothing. If you are in disagree with this ugly fact, then you must be conclude this: All medicine is fake because many reports of AR or deaths caused by drugs are reported.
In Hahnemann, miasma is not a “bad air” as Wendell Holmes believed. Holmes lied! Soon, an international team of latin american historians must provied this fact in a indexed journals. Or this ugly fact, in this point Holmes was a fraud, for extension Randi is a loon!
The Phase II Novella paper is not under discussion, was the homeopathy “paper” published by him in Spoof Inquirer.

Wrong. Case reports are the lowest form of evidence. They have to be backed up with a correct understanding of the medical science: pathophysiology, pharmacology, differential diagnosis etc, etc.

From there further studies with multiple patients, while controlling for confounding factors.

A case study elicits interest in a possibility. Further studies with more patients can confirm or elminate a potential hypothesis.

What quacks do is say “see this patient took my snake oil and lived!” There’s no discuss of why the snake oil worked, no investigation of other factors that might have led to a good outcome ( like the disease being self limiting for example).

That’s why quack evidence is called anecdotal. There’s no exploration in a scientific manner of why the patient did well, only a claim that often cannot be verified that the patient did well.

Exactly, if case reports are the lowest form of evidence, the Dingle case is anecdotal and unuseful to determinate harm. In fact, pseudoskeptics rely on anecdotal cases in all pseudpapers, from parapsychology to acupuncture, agrochemicals and vegans. What the hell! CSICOP is the worst example of fraud and lies, and you had recognized this in your commentary. Pseudoskeptical quacks as you said “see, another people was harmed and this case and appeared in mainstream media and was confirmed by a skeptic tweet, then X is quackery”. XD

In Hahnemann, miasma is not a “bad air” as Wendell Holmes believed.

I prefer Ernest Holmes in any event. And believe you me, it took eight tries to find a copy of Psycho-Dietetics with the food-combining poster in cover 3. Watch out for too much carbon.

Oh dear, effectively you have been brainwashed by the sect of pseudoskeptics and their Spoofy Inquirer magazine (the Daily Motion of magazines or if your prefer the Mad Magazine). Wendell Holmes, a quack, rely on in anecdotal stories of unknowed physicians. No proof, he believed in his convictions based on false assumptions. There is not historical evidence, Holmes was spurious in their poor “debunked” phamplet. Curiosly, this pamphlet is quoted by James Randi in his first “papers” published in Spoofy Inquirer. Holmes was a fraud and cheat.

Pathetic Narad, I did on August 3: “The Dingle case is anecdotal “evidence”. Pseudoskeptics calims that all anecdotal evidence is not evidence.”

You have confirmed my commentary: ‘Wrong. Case reports are the lowest form of evidence. They have to be backed up with a correct understanding of the medical science: pathophysiology, pharmacology, differential diagnosis etc, etc.’

XD

OK, so you can’t write or read. Fenwicke Holmes. I was simply using your semicoherent comment (hint: the given name as used is not “Wendell”) as an opportunity to bring up something I find amusing.

You, on the other hand, I don’t give a flying fuck about, if the question is semantics.

The difference between a case report and an anecdote is the level of detail and the approach.

An anecdote is, “I remember once I took care of this patient who . . . ” with some general details of what happened.

A case report is a formal report of a patient’s care that contains very specific and detailed information, including the patient’s history, the history of what happened, what physical findings were present, vitals, labs, treatments, and how the patient responded. The care is related to what is known in the current literature.

Quacks don’t write case histories, generally. They might think they do but they write anecdotes (Orac did a hilarious article on a Not a Doctor’s bumbling attempt to write a case history: https://respectfulinsolence.com/2018/08/01/anke-zimmermann-neonatal-vitamin-k-shots/)

A well written case history is evidence, but by itself it proves nothing. Typically a case history is a call for further investigation. Sometimes it leads to something. Sometimes it doesn’t.

If you want to make broader claims, case histories, even well written ones, don’t help you.

Oh dear, your sect clearly claims “anecdotes are not evidence”, “the plurar of anecdotes are not evidence”. If you don’t agree with this, then you have been contradicted the famous dictum of pseudoskeptics. And it’s ironically, many homeopathy have published many case reports publishend in peer reviewed journals, but all pseudoskeptics rejected as “anecdotes”. Then, you have been applying double standards!

Oh, wait a moment, the Dingle case was not published in peer reviewed journal, was not independent, it is anecdotal “evidence” for you.

The most funny part of your comment is the reference, “repectful insolence”. Another media press fallacy of generalization based on the “skeptics” words. Ok,

Was the “RI” pseudoresearch published in a peer reviewed journal? No.
Was the “RI” web an independent source of pseudoskeptics “ECSO” or CSICOP marketing comissions? No.
Was the “RI” free of logical fallacies? No.

The typical marketing CSICOP propagand is notable to the structure of writing based on “quote” and “reply” based on hate, opinion or the same words in another form repeated ad naseaum in the rest of text.

XD

“Quacks don’t write case histories, generally.”

Oh dear, Quackospseudoskep

“Quacks don’t write case histories, generally. They might think they do but they write anecdote”

Oh dear, peer review case reports are ignored by cause of “Gorski or Novella said in my favorite article of propagand”. I love you stupid claim, it too pathetic.

“A well written case history is evidence, but by itself it proves nothing.”

Oh dear, you have dismissed the levels of evidence. The typical thinking of pseudoskeptical fanatics is think in black or white terms, they don’t think in gray areas becasue they are selective and extremely biased. They act exactly like a sectarian cult. Definitely, pseudoskepticism is the most bigger fraud in the world.

Oh, “Zimmermann”, but when liars like Goldacre with GSK, Kevin Folta with Monsanto, Dawkins and Laurence T sexual depredators, Shermer and their defense of war in middle east, and other cynical pseudoskeptics like Randi and his social darwinism, they rarely or never have exposed in their sectarian web pages. Like the catholicism, CSICOP is an attractive organization to invite pro-paedophiles in FSMF. CSIOP and their marketing sects are the worst example in the ideological level. Oh, you can charge the “conspiracionist” ad-hominem. XD

No, but it’s been around a long time, a decade at least (that’s how long I’ve been aware of it). Basically, it’s pseudoscience mavens trying to claim and redefine the word to throw back at skeptics.

I can sort of understand choosing that for his blog title but why for a pseudonym?

If I were setting out to expose all the fake Slim Shady’s, I’d want to call myself The Real Slim Shady!

Oh, there are pseudoskeptics out there with blogs who do just that, or variants. Look up the Ethical Skeptic if you want a combination facepalm and chuckle.

At least he writes in English. Getting into a discussion with Ginger Taylor was amusing.
But he’s even more loquacious than you with less to say.

Considering our troll is not even capable of finding out who Orac really is, I think I ignore him.

Not to mention lame. He’s trying to pretend that he knew all along I am not Steve Novella and he’s doing a very unconvincing job of it.😂😂🤦‍♂️

“Gordis”? I’m staring at the keyboard trying to figure out how this could have been a weird combination of typos, and it’s not working. Freaking rain delays in a double-header.

It’s just more evidence that Oh Dolt has picked up words without having the slightest comprehension of their meaning.

English is his second language. Probably why he has comprehension issues, but the arrogance of ignorance is genuine.

English is his second language. Probably why he has comprehension issues….

I presume that Aarno’s primary language is Finnish, and I’m not seeing any “comprehension issues” on his part. Quite the contrary.

Look, Lossy I defended your use of English (mostly because I have lived in South America without a functioning use of Spanish… been there, done that).

But seriously, I cannot defend you invoking conspiracy theories. This is where you become a ten year old showing that you do not even know how to argue yourself out of a paper bag. Lo siento, niño.

Grow up.

Narad: “I presume that Aarno’s primary language is Finnish…”

Lossy’s primary language is Spanish. He was the object of my comment.

I know that. I was referring to the “comprehension issues” part. Criminy, back when I was able to edit, I almost exclusively handled nonnative speakers.

Sorry, it was not clear to me. I admit my first language is not English, but I speak my “first” language as well as a any three year old 😉 …

(my mother handed me over to the maid that were common to have in the Canal Zone back in the 1950s, life for Americans in that area was very much like the “Mad Man” show with a colonial twist)

liars like Goldacre with GSK,

This seems to be an emerging theme among the antivaxxers and germ-denialists… Ben Goldacre has Sold Out, because he got GSK to sign up for his data-transparency initiative. Or if you believe AoA, he is part of the medical establishment, only pretending to criticise Big Pharma because managed opposition.

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