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How insane is too insane? (21/1/2012)
Here is a suggestion from a site promoting homeopathy. It goes beyond the usual uselessness of this form of magic healing and crosses over to doing deliberate harm to anyone foolish enough to take any notice. Sometimes I think that they just make this stuff up to see how far they can go before potential customers start questioning what they are being told. Still, when the light from Saturn can be homeopathically captured I suppose that nothing goes too far.
How do you treat a burn? Almost everyone, if you ask them for the first response required in the treatment of a burn, will tell you, "Put it in cold water!".
In my first year of homoeopathic training a general discussion led the lecturer to describe a treatment for burns. He explained that he had been dining with a friend who had burnt herself and had immediately, to his horror, held the burnt area of her hand in the heat of a candle for a little while. The friend had then explained to him that the normal treatment of using cold water was ineffective, but that the application of heat to a burn meant that it would not blister, and although it did hurt more on the initial application it healed far more quickly and painlessly thereafter. This she demonstrated a little while later when he saw to his amazement that the burned area was not even red and she was experiencing no pain.
His explanation was that left alone a burn, 'burnt', as in the vital force would produce heat. By applying cold water this burning effect was reduced and the vital force had to summon even more heat. If instead we assist the vital force by applying heat the job would be done more quickly.
This is really nothing more than elementary homoeopathy: like cures like 'similar similibus curentur'. And yet some in the group were surprised, and some argued that this would be dangerous with anything other than a very slight burn.
You can read more of this madness here.
Homeopathy - so diluted there's no evidence left. (24/3/2012)
My latest article at Yahoo!7 was about homeopathy;
I woke up this morning to my usual radio station to hear a discussion about the pros and cons of homeopathy. There was the President of the AMA being careful to say that homeopathy is "implausible" (he probably wanted to say "impossible" and "ridiculous", but was being polite) and the obligatory phone callers who had had marvelous results from using magic water.
This was the result of an internal document from the National Health And Medical Research Council that had somehow fallen into the hands of a journalist. The draft statement from the NH&MRC suggested that it was "unethical for health practitioners to treat patients using homeopathy, for the reason that homeopathy (as a medicine or procedure) has been shown not to be efficacious".
This is a joke, right? (23/6/2012)
Every time I think that homeopathy can't get any more ridiculous, something new comes along that triggers a LOLWUT reflex. Professional comedy writers would have trouble making up the stuff that homeopaths say, and if they did audiences would walk out because they felt insulted. Science fiction writers who have no trouble with instantaneous faster-than-light travel between planets light years apart would refuse to include homeopathic principles in their stories because of the lack of plausibility and credibility. People locked inside asylums would say "That's nuts. Don't be silly". Children in kindergarten would ask their teachers to talk sense and treat them like five-year-olds, not little babies. In short, some of the things that homeopaths say are so unbelievable that saying them is almost evidence of the multiverse that physicists speculate about. Homeopaths live by the rules of a universe different to ours.
In the past I've mentioned such insanities as a homeopathic use of the light from Saturn, and there's Dr Werner and her new physics. This week I found another example, although it has been hiding since 2004. It is a proving of the Peregrine Falcon. That's right - homeopathic raptor bird can cure things. I am not making this up. I couldn't.
First to the proving. This is when homeopaths test things to see what symptoms they cause so that treatments can be developed. This had to be done to see what Falco peregrinus might be useful for. Here are some reports from provers, with comments about falcons in italics. I have selected a sample here. You can read more at the link above, but make sure you have a bottle of Baseballbat headbashus handy to treat the resultant brain damage. (Baseballbat headbashus is a homeopathic remedy proved by hitting people hard on the head with a baseball bat. Under homeopathic principles it is therefore useful to treat brain trauma caused by blunt force instruments.)
Falco peregrinus is the homeopathic remedy produced from the Peregrine Falcon. A small piece of feather and a sample of blood were taken from Nesbit, a captive bred Peregrine Tiercel, 2 years of age, to produce the remedy.
You will read short statements on the Peregrine Falcon taken from different reliable sources (in italics). Each statement is followed by observations of provers after having taken the remedy.
Breeding habitat for Peregrine Falcons was historically restricted to natural cliffs, especially those near water. - generally favouring wetlands."
"Went to look at a hill, felt that I was on top of the world. Felt optimistic about moving."
"By the sea. Strong emotional response to looking at the sea; the waves and the sun reflecting off the water. Felt like crying. Much stronger response than I've had in the past."
"My feeling welled up in me and I rushed off into the night with a sleeping bag and spent the night in my car on the moor."
"There needs to be more freshness and more air and space around."
The falcon eyesight is 8 times better than human eyesight and can spot a bird flying 1000 feet below. They have very good eye sight ~ they can spot a meal up to a mile away.
"Upon opening my eyes, Vision brighter and more clarity."
"Vision clearer, brighter"
"Vision quite clear - more sharp clarity than normal"
"Everything felt very sharp visually"
"Vision really sharp - kept looking at some bright yellow flowers outside."
"Everything still sharp (vision) - it's a bit like being a child again, and seeing everything super-sharp and bright."
"Sharp, outlines seem quite definite. Eyes getting caught by bright colours more than usual."
"People said I had a 'faraway look in my eye'."
"Eyes feel shiny, looking outside, things seem sharper, clearer."
Their eyes are black
"People at the restaurant observed that I looked "spaced out", and that my pupils were so enlarged that they could not tell my eye colour."
The legs end in long toes with strong hooked claws.
"My nails, which have always broken and flaked, had become stronger."
"Desire to grow nails long. Grew very long and strong. Have not had them long for about six years and used to be much softer and flakier."
"Nails have been much stronger."
That's enough. My psychiatrist doesn't like me calling at the weekends with a mixture of crying and giggling.
Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2013 01:18:45 +0000
From: Matthew Hanson
All swans are white.
So everybody thought until someone went to Western Australia and saw black ones.
Homeopathy is Bolloxs.
That is correct, specially when it is correctly spelled as "bollocks"
Ah! Madeleine Ennis. 2001. Never been replicated, but still cited as evidence of something. It is evidence of error in laboratory practices but that doesn't seem to suit believers in magic.
And What? What does this mean? I've been to Devon. Not all swans are white.
Nobody has thought all swans were white for a very long time. And, unlike people who believe that one suspect experiment done a long time ago throws over all known science, when presented with contrary evidence in the form of black swans all sensible people stopped saying they were all white. Science is like that.
Can you explain the difference to me between Skepticism and Dogma?
The fact that you have to ask the question suggests that it might not be possible to explain the difference in terms that you might understand, so I'll do it by example. Skepticism (and science) is like rejecting the hypothesis that all swans are white when an example of a black swan is detected. Dogma is like refusing to recognise that a single experiment done badly proves nothing and continuing to cite it as if it means something.
How does a man interested in Science differentiate the opinions of those who call themselves Skeptics from Dogmatists?
Quite easily, as it happens.
I appreciate the question mark, because I don't know what "decorator" has to do with anything either.
The mail rolls in (11/5/2013)
Now here's a coincidence for you. The television program tells me that if I turn on the TV now I can watch the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan classic "You've Got Mail". I check the computer, and sure enough, I have mail. I don't know if it's the sort of mail that triggers a love affair though.
Date: Sun, 12 May 2013 18:44:14 +1000
I was just curious as to how you would explain to me why this so called 'ridiculous' claim that homeopathy is 'ridiculous' in the first place ?
Because the principles of homeopathy deny everything we know about physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, logic and common sense.
As a patient who was bed ridden after having a severe case of food poisoning, the a severe case of adult chickenpox , resulting in chronic fatigue syndrome . I was bed ridden for almost a year . After countless visits to drs , I still had no answers . They were completely useless . Only until I seeked out a homeopath did I start to come good and made a full recovery within weeks.
So, two things that people recover from without much medication or treatment and one that has a large psychological component. And you got better. And homeopathy had nothing to do with either the food poisoning or the chicken pox and provided the placebo that is often necessary for people to get off their arses and stop feeling sorry for themselves. By the way, I had adult chicken pox. It felt far worse than a really bad case of the flu. I think I took a week off work, although it might have been two weeks.
The information I just read sounds like it was written by an ignorant , miss informed teenager who clearly likes to write off who are an obvious threat to them.
Homeopathy is no threat to me. The only way it could harm me would be if I were silly enough to use it instead of real medical care.
The only thing I got from that information was that your a complete tosser and have no 'scientific' evidence to back up that homeopathy does not help autism or help breast cancer .....
It's not up to me to prove that homeopathy or any other form of quackery doesn't cure something. It is up to the sellers of the stuff to prove that it does. So far they haven't even come close, not that they have ever really tried. The quacks know the truth and they know that any properly conducted research would reveal homeopathy for the ridiculous nonsense that it is.
Thankyou for reading you wanker .
Sent from my iPhone
Replied to from my Dell Vostro 460
Homeopathy. Crazy or just insane? (7/9/2013)
Every so often someone tries to tell me that there is some science underlying homeopathy. It often seems to me that this science is much like the study of unicorn biology or the physics of ghosts passing through walls, but then some really sciencey stuff comes along. Here is someone explaining how the homeopathic properties of elements are influenced by their positions on the Periodic Table. I won't quote it all, just until I can't control my hysteria.
Experiences with the Periodic Table
David A. Johnson
Hpathy Ezine, February, 2010 | February 15, 2010
This paper discusses the author's experience in using elemental compounds from the periodic table in practice. It also explores the use of Scholten's themes, that is, looking at related themes running across and down the table, as well as the use of lanthanides.
During my time in homeopathy school, while trying my best to remember Latin names of different remedies, our class was introduced to the use of mineral salts. Grounded in the indications learned through provings and clinical experience, we saw how a mineral compound of two elements could be further understood through the synergism of the individual elements. In other words, if a history seemed to fit a common compound such as natrum muriaticum, we�d explore the patient's history to see if certain nuances fit more closely with natrum phos, natrum carb, natrum sulph, etc. Similarly, if a calcarea carbonica theme was evident throughout the history, and yet other facets of the history pointed to sulphur, phosphorus or silica, then the salts of calcarea (eg., calcarea sulph, calcarea phos, etc.) could be considered. At the time this approach was thought to be stretching the bounds of classical practice, yet our results were improved by �fine-tuning� remedy choices in this manner. Michael Quinn at Hahnemann Labs in California remarked that another consequence was an immediate scramble in the homeopathic pharmacies to keep up with the new demands!
Jan Scholten's book "Homeopathy and Minerals" is often considered to be the first exploration of these mineral salts, yet these same ideas were debated over a century ago (see: http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/synthetic-remedies-%E2%80%93true-homeopathy-or-heresy/) In Scholten's book he outlines themes of well-known elements, and is able to describe some potential dynamics when two elements are combined. For instance, if natrum tendencies include reserve and closed grief, and phosphorus themes include sociability, the dynamic theme might fall along the lines of "To what extent shall I interact with others and to what extent shall I retreat?" My experience has been that Scholten's themes for each mineral compound are just a starting point, as there are many potential facets of interaction between any two elements. But the attempt to further understand how two elements interact should not result in poorly conceived prescriptions, so how can one learn to accurately recognize these salts?
Many homeopaths have noted a particular language of structure and performance found in the histories of those needing remedies from the mineral kingdom. Order, sequence, logic, goal-setting, and "refined performance" are all representative of what can be found in a "mineral history". After it's clear that a client is using mineral "language", one "side" of the mineral salt (eg., cation or anion) usually reveals itself more easily, and a more subtle presentation of the other element (anion or cation) eventually makes itself known. For example, a client could give a history which includes fears of dark, ghosts, disease, insanity, and others seeing witnessing their lack of competence or confusion, and it sounds very much like calcarea carbonica. Yet as the client continues, they may gradually reveal fears of doing something wrong (or being perceived as doing something wrong), being accused, blamed, persecuted and punished. In this case, one could consider prescribing Calcarea bromatum.
Below are selected examples of basic themes of the more commonly known elements:
Left side of table (eg., cations):
Natrum = reserve, closed, private; holding on to unprocessed hurt or grief; averse to consolation; holding on to relationship vs. broken relationship; desires strong 1:1 relationship or otherwise needs time alone.
Magnesium = averse to conflict including conflict between others, when it occurs in the immediate environment � prompting mediation and peacemaking; forsaken feeling and fear of abandonment; search for identity: �I please others but in the process lose myself and a sense of my needs and boundaries�.
Kali = relationship to rules, order, family, community, right and wrong, "black and white" (concrete and somewhat inflexible) beliefs and solutions to life's challenges.
Calcarea = fear of vulnerability; horrible stories affect profoundly; protection within a structure; fear of being observed or others seeing their confusion.
Right side of table (eg., anions):
Sulphur = desire to be acknowledged and appreciated; tendency to run warm; tendency towards disorder; censorious; theorizing
Phosphorus = fear of thunderstorms, ghosts, darkness; vivid imagination which may also include imaginary fears; lack of boundaries: social, intuitive, clairvoyant; sympathetic, affectionate; bleeding problems; love for animals.
Nitrogen = desire for freedom vs. fear of losing control; fear of narrow places vs. one's impulses; fear of heights, running late; may like or dislike surprises; themes of crisis, urgency, sudden, emergency, out of control; obstinate (dislike of control by others)
Carbon = issues of self-worth and value; energy and "value" increasing and decreasing; productivity (eg., work, metabolism) with associated expenditure and depletion."
Because our instructors had employed mineral compounds for many years in practice, it wasn't difficult for us to accept that they were valid and useful. However, Scholten's ideas took an even bigger step when he described the possibility of themes of life running across and down the periodic table. For example, in the 4th, 5th and 6th horizontal rows of the periodic table�which include copper, silver and gold, respectively�each of these rows or series was described in terms of specific performance themes: "task" in the 4th row (copper series), "creative expression" in the 5th row (silver series), and "heavy responsibility and influence" in the 6th row (gold series). Similarly, the vertical columns from the left towards the middle of the table were progressive states of aspiring to peak performance (peak performance represented by the elements nickel and copper in the 4th, palladium and silver in the 5th, and platinum and gold in the 6th) followed by progressively declining performance represented by remedies towards the right side of the table
That's enough. You can read the rest here.
Homeopathy Awareness Week (19/4/2014)
We have just passed through Homeopathy Awareness Week, an international celebration of all that is ridiculous in the world of nonsensical nonscience. I am greatly in favour of raising awareness of the fraud of homeopathy, because the more people who become aware of its uselessness, the fewer people might be tempted to waste time, money, and their health on it. Here is a statement from the official WHAW web site:
In celebration of all those who have healed with Homeopathy, homeopaths and supporters share education and accessibility of homeopathy around the world, beginning on Dr. Samuel Hahnemann's Birthday every year.
During World Homeopathy Awareness Week (WHAW) free public events such as lectures, media interviews, volunteer first-aid at sports events, free & reduced clinics, written materials, pieces on Twitter and Facebook, publication articles and much more are shared in over 40 countries.
Through more awareness and access to homeopathy resulting in profoundly improved health, the paradigm in the understanding of healing and healthcare can truly shift.
To celebrate the week, Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council had a look at the uses of homeopathy to treat various medical conditions. The result: don't waste your money, it does nothing.
A draft of the report has been released for public discussion. You can read it here.
People have until May 26 to comment on it before it is released as an official Information Paper. Details about the comment process together with some background information can be found at the NH&MRC web site
Please remember that this is only a draft, and NH&MRC are already being inundated with complaints, anecdotes and appeals to antiquity (and possibly even threats of legal action) in defence of this absurd quackery. Think about making a submission in favour of the Information Paper to show you care.
Speaking of homeopathy ... (14/3/2015)
Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council has just wasted a rumoured $800,000 to produce a report telling us what all honest people have always known - homeopathy is useless. I'll be writing about this for Australasian Science magazine so I'll just put the media release here for the time being. More detailed reports can be found by clicking on the images below.
|Media Release||Statement||Information Paper||Administration|
And are the homeopaths whining and complaining? Well, of course they are, but there is a reason I used the word "honest" above. They know, they really know, that homeopathy is a scam of quintessential purity. It has never worked. It does not work now. It will never work in the future. Its sole purpose is to move money into the pockets of quacks.
MEDIA RELEASE MARCH 11
NHMRC releases statement and advice on homeopathy
The National Health and Medical Research Council today released a statement concluding that there is no good quality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy is effective in treating health conditions.
Its release follows a thorough review of the evidence, conducted as part of NHMRC's responsibility to provide advice and support informed health care decisions by the Australian community.
The conclusion is based on the findings of a rigorous assessment of more than 1800 papers. Of these, 225 studies met the criteria to be included in NHMRC's examination of the effectiveness of homeopathy.
The review found no good quality, well-designed studies with enough participants to support the idea that homeopathy works better than a placebo, or causes health improvements equal to those of another treatment.
Although some studies did report that homeopathy was effective, the quality of those studies was assessed as being small and/or of poor quality. These studies had either too few participants, poor design, poor conduct and or reporting to allow reliable conclusions to be drawn on the effectiveness of homeopathy.
According to CEO Professor Warwick Anderson, "All medical treatments and interventions should be underpinned by reliable evidence. NHMRC's review shows that there is no good quality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy works better than a placebo."
He drew particular attention to the NHMRC Statement on Homeopathy's advice that homeopathy should not be used to treat conditions that are chronic, serious, or could become serious:
"People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness. People who are considering whether to use homeopathy should first get advice from a registered health practitioner and in the meanwhile keep taking any prescribed treatments."
He emphasised that health practitioners should always offer treatments and therapies based on the best available evidence.
"Each year NHMRC funds research to test treatments and procedures offered to patients, with more than $320 million spent on clinical and health services research in 2014," Professor Anderson said.
"NHMRC conducts reviews of evidence on a range of health topics which is developed into guidelines or advice. Examples include clinical practice guidelines on the management of overweight and obesity and the Australian Dietary Guidelines," he said.
"It is important that the public has access to independent, high quality advice when it comes to
making decisions about their health care."
"From this review, the main recommendation for Australians is that they should not rely on homeopathy as a substitute for proven, effective treatments."
"This statement was the result of a rigorous examination of the evidence and used internationally accepted methods for assessing the quality and reliability of evidence for determining whether or not a therapy is effective for treating health conditions."
"NHMRC is also aware of strongly held views on this topic so it is important to note that the process was thoroughly consultative and that the public was invited to submit information and evidence, all of which was considered by our expert working committee."
The findings of the homeopathy working group's review are summarised in the final NHMRC Information Paper: Evidence on the effectiveness of homeopathy for treating a clinical condition also released today. Its release follows public consultation on the draft information paper in 2014.
Haw! Haw! Haw! Keep laughing (13/6/2015)
It's Homeopathy Awareness Week again, and as I do every year I encourage everyone to become aware of what a ridiculous fraud homeopathy is. If only more people were aware of the uselessness of this pretend medicine the world would be a better place and honest people might have more money in their pockets. Homeopaths would have less, of course, but this would be a good thing.