Posted by c. wagner on November 1, 2009
Was reading Superstition by Robert Park the other night and came across this description of the invention of homeopathy.
Unfortunately, some of the side effects associated with the use of these substances were serious, bringing Hahnemann perilously close to the sort of medicine he had earlier condemned. In an effort to reduce the severity of the side effects, he took the rather obvious step of diluting the medicine. As you would expect, dilution reduced the side effects, but to his astonishment Hahnemann also observed that patients given the dilute medication recovered more quickly from their illness.
At this point, you and I might have concluded that the medicine was preventing them from getting better. Perhaps that’s why you and I have never discovered a new principle of medicine. Hahnemann reached the opposite conclusion. He thought it showed that the more medicine is diluted, the more potent it becomes. He called this the Law of Infinitesimals, and declared it to be his second great discovery. [page 148-9]
I’ve probably ranted enough about homeopathy on this blog already. I’ll sum up: it’s total bullshit. Save your money. I promise I won’t say anything more about homeopathy unless there’s big news about it.
But this excerpt was just too snarky to pass up.
Posted in Recent reading | Tagged: homeopathy, medicine, Robert Park, Samuel Hahnemann, side effects | Leave a Comment »
Posted by c. wagner on October 29, 2009
Because I’ve been asked, I’m posting this video. This is a homeopath trying to explain the physics behind homepathy.
Most of the science blogs I follow have been running surveys about how long their readers can stand the video before they are forced to turn it off because their heads start to hurt from the stupid. I made it about a minute thirty-five before I had to take a break.
You’ve been warned.
Read a fun reaction at Respectful Insolence.
Posted in Videos | Tagged: homeopathy, humor, physics, quackery, science, WTF | Leave a Comment »
Posted by c. wagner on October 26, 2009
Okay. If you’re reading this, you probably know that homeopathy is a crock of Grade-A crap. But every day I seem to be learning that it’s even crappier than I had imagined.
Take this example: Trituration Proving of the Light of Saturn. An astrologer and homeopath put a bunch of lactose underneath the eyepiece of a telescope she had aimed at Saturn. She then mixed the star-gazing lactose with lactose straight out of the bottle and fed the powder to a bunch of people. Then she took notes about how the lactose-eaters felt and what they talked about.
So, apparently lactose molecules can talk to each other just like water molecules can. I wonder if the butane molecules in a lighter talk to each other and decide whether they’re going to ignite or not?
And, apparently, topics of conversation are “symptoms”. As opposed to just being topics of conversation. What a bunch of morons.
I’ll let these people test their lactose tolerance and go read about the newly-discovered Phoebe ring around Saturn.
Read the “proving”.
Posted in Recent reading | Tagged: homeopathy, Saturn, science, space, WTF | Leave a Comment »
Posted by c. wagner on October 21, 2009
Here’s another edition of “I have no idea what these people are thinking”!
Homeopathy! No side effects! All natural! Available over the counter!
But how does it work?
The folks at Depleted Cranium give the long answer.
The short answer is “it doesn’t”.
Posted in Pictures | Tagged: health, homeopathy, medicine, science, WTF | Leave a Comment »