The Crock That Is Homeopathy

Filed in Science and Health by on September 2, 2011

Oh my, this is a good one. This post at Respectful Insolence first delves into two principles of homeopathic care: the Law of Similars and the Law of Infinitesimals. First the Law of Similars:

The concept is that the way to choose a homeopathic remedy is to choose something that causes the symptoms the practitioner wants to alleviate. Of course, there’s no general scientific or biological principle to support the Law of Similars. In reality, it’s nothing more than a variant of ancient concepts of sympathetic magic. Yet it is the main basis of all of homeopathy.

And it gets funnier with the Law of Infinitesimals.

This is the most famous principle of homeopathy that states that the way to make a remedy stronger is to dilute it, a principle that laughs at chemistry, physics, and biology. Indeed, common dilutions of homeopathic remedies (for example, 30C, which is 30 serial 100-fold dilutions, or a dilution of 1060) have been diluted so much that the odds that even a single molecule remains in the remedy are, well, infinitesimal.

But let’s get on the main topic of this post – the memories of water. But first a little about “proving”.

One of the sillier aspects of homeopathy that skeptics frequently forget is how homeopaths determine which remedies are appropriate for each disease or condition. This is accomplished through a mechanism known a “proving.” In a homeopathic proving, healthy subjects take the remedy and then report their symptoms, and through these reports the profile of a homeopathic remedy is discovered. Of course, given that most provings use the highly diluted form of the remedy, rather than the undiluted form, what is being described are reactions to ingesting water.

A company provides a product that is supposedly new water. From their website

By way of example, we are coming to appreciate that water as well as being the best solvent at a chemical level, is also a ‘solvent’ at a subtle level, being exquisitely impressionable to influences: it carries memories. So, how to find water that has not a trace of memory, so that the proving should be of H2O untainted by the reminiscences of where it has been or what it has touched? Is this possible?

Facepalm. I coud on and on, but you really should read the article. But I’ll leave you with this little video.

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A Dad, a husband and a data guru

Comments (6)

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  1. I can’t stand these charlatans.

  2. Nancy Malik says:

    204 human studies published in 86 peer-reviewed international medical journals out of which 96+ are FULL TEXT out of which 94 are PDF which can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/b3uvDW

  3. Geezer says:

    How much of it do I have to read before I conclude it’s bullshit? Because I can conclude that already.

  4. Truth Teller says:

    This reminds me of the TV add buy one and will give you another just pay the shipping.

  5. Frank says:

    It’s the medical equivalent of teabaggery.

  6. Dana Garrett says:

    The so-called Law of Infinitesimals sounds law a marketing ploy to charge the same high price for a small amount of product (as one would for a larger amount) under the pretext that smaller is better for the patient.

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