Raise your awareness: World homeopathy awareness week
Yes, this is the World Homeopathy Awareness Week, 10-16 April 2008. So raise your awareness on homeopathy.

Raise your awareness on how implausible and ridiculous homeopathy is. When it goes against well established science. When it resorts to “life forces” and “life energies” to explain the unexplainable. When the homeopathic remedies typically have absolutely no molecules left of the original substance because of the successive dilutions!

Raise your awareness on how they support it. Since there is no science behind it, they claim success on clinical trials. But for every positive clinical trial there are multiple negative ones. And each rare positive clinical trials is never conclusive, never repeated, and can easily be explained away with prior probabilities and Bayesian statistics. Yet they go on unfazed.

Raise your awareness on how it all started. By a (well motivated) medical doctor in an era when blood letting was killing patients like flies. Who came to the arbitrary conclusion that substances that cause a symptom in normal dosages will fight the same symptom in infinitesimal dosages! And who went on to create a list of “provings”: checking what symptoms each substance caused on him. If he sneezed, he attributed that to the substance. If he felt anxious: it is the substance. Hungry? You guessed it: it is because of the substance. Science in all its glory!

Raise your awareness on how they make their diagnosis: not by using any modern scientific machinery of course (x-rays, MRI etc). Instead they prefer the ever-reliable way of… asking the patients! Yes, they ask the patients about their symptoms and then they match these reported symptoms against the book of “provings” in order to find the substance that *causes* these symptoms in healthy people! Who needs high tech expensive machines when you can simply ask the patient?

Raise your awareness on how homeopathy has advanced since its creation: it hasn’t. Back then neither the Atomic theory nor the Germ Theory of Disease existed (amongst others of course). Yet homeopathy has not changed at all despite all these scientific advances.

Raise your awareness on how it is being promoted. By a well orchestrated attack on proper medicine and vaccines, as if this would make homeopathy more credible! By anecdotes from client satisfaction surveys! By mentioning the benefits it has on animals and plants (and therefore how it can not be placebo). But without explaining how the “proving” is done on animals or plants! By mentioning how cheap and efficient it is compared to the overpriced drugs of the Big Pharma.

Raise your awareness on homeopathy regulations: anyone can prescribe and sell homeopathic remedies without a medical degree! Further, we pay part of our taxes to support homeopathic treatments within the National Health Service! Why? Because people were asking for it. As if the public knows what is good medicine…

Raise your awareness on the people that usually promote it, and how stupid and/or ignorant they are.

Raise your awareness on the bad consequences that homeopathy can have on people that deny proper treatment to favor alternative woo-woo. Or those that believe the homeopaths lies about vaccines and proper medicine.

Yes, please raise your awareness on homeopathy this week…
4 Responses to this post
The New Scientist did a piece on homeopathy a few years ago and came to the conclusion that there was evidence that it worked but for reasons that cannot be fully explained.
2. sciencebitches
that’s great Trevor. any references? was it peer-reviewed? was it a proper systematic review? My guess is: no and no.

So, what’s your point?
[...] Awareness Week, I might be spending more time on this particular well of credulity. I will also re-post my piece from last year’s WHAW. But today, I’ll be talking about Melanie Grimes, a homeopath who writes [...]
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