Good news: Homeopathy degrees closing down
As I have learned from Prof. Colquhoun, there is currently not a single homeopathy degree left in English Universities! The last one standing was offered by the University of Westminster at their (ridiculous) School of Integrated Health -which tries to integrate proper, tested medicine, with alternative unproven treatments. But that one has just been halted too!

Obviously this is good news for science education in this country. It is also good news for the apparent prevalence of common sense! Alas, this is not the case I am afraid: the underlying reason for Westminster halting the homeopathy course, was not founded on a critical reconsideration of the course, but rather it was a financial decision (as was, no doubt, the original decision to start the School of Integrated Health):
They say that they have done so because of “poor recruitment”. It was a purely financial decision. Nothing to do with embarrasment. Gratifying though it is that recruits for the course are vanishing, that statement is actually pretty appalling It says that the University of Westminster doesn’t care whether it’s nonsense, but only about whether it makes money.
One can only feel sad thinking that decisions affecting the educational standards of millions of people are not based on reality and science, but are only made on the basis of the potential income…

Westminster, however, still easily gets top spot in the quackery league, as Prof. Colquhoun has some rather funny (and hopefully embarrassing to some) information on the contents of some of their other alt-med courses:
Here are a few slides from a lecture on how good spider venom is for you. It is from Course 3CTH502 Homeopathic Materia Medica II. No need to worry though, because they are talking about homeopathic spider venom, so there is nothing but sugar in the pills. The involvement of spiders is pure imagination. No more than mystical gobbledygook.
You’ve GOT to have a look at the slides at DC’s blog! It makes you wonder…
5 Responses to this post
1. Sam Burgess
I am curious to know if you are including western herbal medicine in these comments? There seems to be a considerable amount of evidence available about the efficacy of various plants; much of which appears to be used by pharmaceutical research and developing.
The majority of the Herbal Medicine degree is science based with much emphasis placed on recent primary research. I feel it is unfair to generalise about all of the degrees which the School of Intergrated Health offers, they are not the same.
Sam, true, some herbs have some documented medicinal powers. Others are potentially very harmful. And “the majority” of a degree might indeed be science-based. But what about the rest of it? Is it “pseudoscience-based”?

And of course the problem arises even before start talking about the course: what does it mean “Integrated Health”? To integrate what? It is my understanding that it tries to integrate proven science-based medicine with unproven medicine. Otherwise (as is the case with many herbs) if something works, it quickly becomes part of the mainstream medicine.

Are you connected to the school by any chance?
3. Jamie Taylor
Is your main complaint with homeopathy that there is nothing in the medicine and yet it is touted as having medicinal agency in it?
Jamie, my complain is partly what you mention.

But it is a multi-faceted issue: despite going against established science; despite having no medicine; despite all high quality trials and all meta-analyses being either negative or inconclusive; despite having no solid evidence after 200 years (!);

they still cannot accept the fact that their pet treatment is just an elaborate placebo; and they still promote it as validated medicine; and they still gamble with human health; and they still invoke all kinds of fantasies, fallacies, and pseudoscience in an effort to assign credibility to it.

When it comes to public health, you have to be sure; you have to satisfy and pass all scientific tests. And homeopathy has clearly failed at that, and has been failing at that for two centuries now. Don’t you think it’s time to move on and let it go?
5. Sam Burgess
I am just coming to the end of the 2nd year of the Herbal Medicine Bsc. And, no, the rest is not “pseudoscience-based”, it is mainly learning about communicating with patients and the theraputic relationship, which may sound unnecessary but is important.
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