MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Homeopaths assume lots of things; one of their main claims is, for instance, that the process of repeatedly diluting a remedy and vigorously shaking it at each step – they call this potentisation – renders it more potent. This is the famous MEMORY OF WATER’ theory of homeopathy. In Hahnemann’s own words: ‘…the power of a medicine in solution is much increased by intimate mixture with a large volume of fluid…’ And elsewhere he stated that ‘as the smallest quantity of medicine naturally disturbs the organism least, we should choose the very smallest doses, provided always that they are a match for the disease… hardly any dose of the homeopathically selected remedy can be so small as not to be stronger than the natural disease…’

Hahnemann’s explanation for this extraordinary assumption (which he claimed to have observed empirically) was that his remedies do not work through any material effects but via spirit-like energies. As this sounds a little silly in the light of modern science, homeopaths have been keen to find more rational support for their theories. Thus they have developed several ‘sciency’ concepts to explain the mode of action of their highly diluted homeopathic remedies. For instance that postulated that water can form secondary structures that hold some information of the original substance (stock), even if it has long been diluted out of the remedy. Alternatively, they claimed that the shaking of the remedy generates nano-particles or silicone-particles which, in turn, are the cause of the clinical effects.

Today, I want to assume for a minute, that one of these theories is correct – they cannot all be right, of course. Homeopaths regularly show us investigations that seem to support them, even though it only needs a real expert in the particular field of science to cast serious doubt on them. I will nevertheless assume that, after potentisation, the diluent retains information via nano-particles or some other phenomenon. For the purpose of this mind-experiment, I grant homeopaths that, in this respect, they are correct. In other words, let’s for a moment assume that the ‘memory of water’ theory is correct.

As I have been more than generous, I want homeopaths to return the favour and consider what this would really mean: information has been transferred from the stock to the diluent. Does that prove anything? Does it show that homeopathy is valid?

Could the homeopaths who make this assumption be equally generous and answer the following questions, please?

  1. How does a nano-particle of coffee, for instance, affect the sleep centre in the brain to make the patient sleep? Or how does a nano-particle of the Berlin Wall or a duck liver affect anything at all in the human body? The claim that information has been retained by the diluent is no where near to an explanation of a rational mode of action, isn’t it?
  2. Most homeopathic remedies are consumed not as liquids but as ‘globuli’, i. e.  tiny little pills made of lactose. They are prepared by dropping the liquid remedy on to them. The liquid subsequently evaporates. How is it that the information retained in the liquid does not evaporate with the diluent?
  3. The diluent usually is a water-alcohol mixture which inevitably contains impurities. In fact, a liquid C12 remedy most certainly contains dimensions more impurities than stock. These impurities have, of course, also been vigorously shaken, i. e. potentised. How can we explain that their ‘potency’ has not been beefed up at each dilution step? Would this not necessitate a process where only some molecules in the diluent are agitated, while all the rest remain absolutely still? How can we explain this fantastic concept?
  4. Some stock used in homeopathy is insoluble (for instance Berlin Wall). Such stock is not diluted but its concentration in the remedy is initially lowered by a process called ‘trituration’, a process which consists in grinding the source material in another solid material, usually lactose. I have granted you that potentisation works in the way you think. But how is information transferred from one solid material to another?
  5. Everything we drink is based on water containing molecules that have been inadvertently potentised in nature a million times and therefore should have hugely powerful effects on our bodies. How is it that we experience none of these effects each time we drink?

Now, homeopaths, let me propose a deal.

If you can answer these questions satisfactorily, I will no longer doubt your memory of water theory. If you cannot do this, I think you ought to admit that all your ‘sciency’ theories about the mode of action of highly diluted homeopathic remedies are really quite silly – more silly even than Hahnemann’s idea of a ‘spirit-like’ effect.

 

140 Responses to Homeopaths of the world: I herewith offer you a deal – please think about it

  • This is a loaded challenge. without the proper level of funding for research acceptable to both sides, the results will always be unacceptable to you. Maybe we will have to wait for the scientific community to agree on a number of “spirit-like” effects to be explained such as:

    1. What is the function of the 80% or so, human un-coded DNA previously referred to as “Junk DNA”
    2. What is the function of 70-80% of the so called “dark matter” defined on Google, as “a hypothetical type of matter comprising approximately 27% of the mass and energy in the observable universe that is not accounted for by dark energy, baryonic matter, and neutrinos”?
    3. The human body contains a somewhat similar % volume of water and obviously serves an important function to the human existence, bearing in mind that science tells us that we evolved from the sea which covers a similar % proportion of the surface of this planet.
    4. Why do dogs, that have demonstrated exceptional skills to assist mankind, sniff dried out urine from other dogs, that many consider to be a form of communication that is well beyond the scope of human beings.
    etc, etc………

    If science has yet to find the answers to this important questions, how can it rule out the possibility that these are the realm of the “spirit-like” effects to which you refer and according to your own words cured you of hepatitis as a teenager.

    All of these unanswered questions should be researched in the spirit of co-operation that I have previously referred.

    • ” the “spirit-like” effects to which…according to your own words cured you of hepatitis as a teenager” – oh really? where did you get this from?

      • Extract from THE GUARDIAN Thursday 25 September 2003
        The alternative professor

        “If you study medicine and pharmacology, you know [homeopathy] can’t work,” he says. The active substances in homeopathic medicines are so diluted that pharmacology says they cannot have an effect. “Then you start working in a homeopathic hospital and people get better. Is that a miracle? It certainly is very impressive for a young doctor.”…………. He treats his French wife with homeopathy, he says. “We were both brought up with it.” But he adds: “People mistakenly think I must be a promoter of complementary medicine – that I should have an allegiance to the camp. I don’t. My allegiance is firstly to the patient – I feel that very strongly as an ex-clinician – and secondly to science. If in the course of that I have to hurt the feelings of homeopaths I regret that, but I can’t help it.” ………………..His biggest frustration is over the lack of funding for the research he wants to do. It matters. A quarter of the population and close to 100% of cancer patients use complementary medicine, and yet 0.5% of charitable funds and 0.8% of NHS grants go to CAM studies. “That to me is pretty outrageous.” They have submitted more than 200 grant applications and roughly one in 20 is funded. “I’m a pretty tough guy and highly motivated, but when the young researchers have been turned down three or four times I find it hard to motivate anybody.” He is scathing about the grant review panels who reject applications because his researchers cannot use standardised doses of their therapies. “They are demonstrating that they are reviewing applications they should not be reviewing in the first place,” he says. ………”. Ernst insists he did not set out to use his academic position to become a famous debunker. His German father and grandfather were both doctors, and like many German doctors, his father prescribed homeopathic remedies. As a teenager in Munich he was treated for hepatitis with homeopathy by a family doctor, and recovered. After he completed his medical training his first job was in a homeopathic hospital. “The evidence 20 years ago wasn’t so negative,” he says. “I personally felt it might well go the other way. Of course, the assumptions on which homeopathy are based are utterly implausible, but the clinical evidence at one stage, when I started looking at this, seemed much more positive. I thought this [would be] an interesting field to investigate. Maybe there’s something fundamental to discover which means it becomes plausible, if you see what I mean?”

        Are you suggesting that you were misquoted?

        • no, I am suggesting that you cannot read/understand properly!
          “As a teenager in Munich he was treated for hepatitis with homeopathy by a family doctor, and recovered. ”
          this is very different from saying I was cured by homeopathy
          in fact, I recovered despite homeopathy – see a full account here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scientist-Wonderland-Searching-Finding-Trouble/dp/1845407776?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

          • The Guardian article does not include that information that you now have provided! so what about the rest of the article?

          • 1) the Guardian article was obviously not written by me.
            2) the Guardian article is nevertheless quite clear and does not claim that I recovered or was cured BECAUSE of homeopathy.

          • 1. Given that the Guardian is generally anti-homeopathy, was the article a fair interpretation of the interview?
            2. It is certainly implied though!

          • 1) ” …the Guardian is generally anti-homeopathy…” I doubt the correctness of this statement when applied to the Guardian of 13 years ago.
            2) “It is certainly implied though!” No it isn’t – only if you are devoid of the ability to think critically and a master at jumping to conclusions.

          • I have merely quoted an extract from an article which certainly does not include any reference to any other form of treatment that aided your recovery. For the sake of clarity, it would help if you could outline any other treatments involved in your recovery and at the same time, point out any inaccuracies or misrepresentations contained in the article that may cause a reader to jump to a wrong conclusion.

          • you stated an untruth, I corrected it, and now you are banging on about trivialities. if you are so keen to know the full story, read A SCIENTIST IN WONDERLAND.

          • The truth is not a trivial matter and that it is important to know if your remarks in the Guardian article were a true representation of you views at that time particularly as they are now diametrically opposite without any real explanation. I have ordered your book and will read it as you have suggested as this conversation, whilst revealing, is obviously leading us nowhere at this time and answers none of the points I have raised.

          • perhaps not trivial but certainly off topic!
            “… know if your remarks in the Guardian article were a true representation of you views at that time particularly as they are now diametrically opposite without any real explanation…” again, this is simply not true: my views may have changed but, 13 years ago, they were NOT diametrically the opposite of today. and if they changed, they did so because the evidence changed. this is what we do in science: we change with the evidence; dogmatists, cultists and homeopaths never change their views. is that not a good explanation? what else do you want?

          • Part of the problem with the Guardian statement ‘As a teenager he was treated for hepatitis with homeopathy, and recovered’ is that it’s rather clumsy. As Paul Merton says, It could confuse a stupid person’.
            As to Colin’s whinge ‘Whatever happened to free speech?’, I think that what he means is ‘Whatever happened to the idea – which I made up – that my beliefs should be taken seriously?’.
            It’s a bit like the way that some people – on this site and others – stamp off in a petulant huff, shouting ‘I have never encountered such aggressive, bad-mannered people as on this site’.
            Meaning – ‘I can’t tell the difference between the right to hold an opinion, and the right to have that opinion respected’.
            My favourite was the woman who angrily sulked ‘I thought this was a site where people could exchange ideas about different alternative therapies’.

          • “homeopaths have been keen to find more rational support for their theories. Thus they have developed several ‘sciency’ concepts to explain the mode of action of their highly diluted homeopathic remedies.”

            Homeopaths??????

            1. As you know’s. Jacques Benveniste was not a “homeopath”.

            2. In your old book “Homoeopathy a critical appraisal”, page 153-66, chapter: Theory and experiments on high dilutions. Leading author:

            -Gerasimus S. Anagnostatos was a highly respected nuclear physicist in Greece. He is not a “homeopath”.

            3. Prashant Chikramane is a PhD chemical engineer, not a “homeopath”.

        • Any board certified Hepatologist will tell you there was no cure for acute viral hepatitis(assuming that was the etiology) just like patients recover from viral respiratory infections with or without treatments, because there is no effective therapy. Dishonest frauds claim their magic cured disease that resolved spontaneously from an intact immune system. And do not try to claim your magic “boosts immunity.” We know that is also a lie. His hepatitis would have resolved if some quack had soaked his feet in milk or any other form of voodoo.

      • Colin has obviously vigorously shaken your book and then rapped it sharply against a horsehair pad in order to potentise it and cause new words to appear.

    • @ Colin on Monday 20 June 2016 at 11:24

      Nothing mysterious about the items you list:

      1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noncoding_DNA#Junk_DNA
      2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter
      3: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_water
      4: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olfaction (or read about pheromones as Pete A. suggested)

      Now please tell us how the ‘memory’ of contact with tiny amounts of a substance is propagated through serial dilutions of water at room temperature to the cumulated order of 1/1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 (30C) or even
      1/100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
      00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
      000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
      0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
      0000000000000000000000000000000000000000
      0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
      000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 (200C)
      …and how this ‘memory’ might be retained after the final dilution has evaporated (again at room temp) from the sugar pills.
      …and how the ‘memory’ in the dry sugar pills is retained, even for decades (see below) without any degrading effect.
      …and how the ‘memory’ then affects biological processes to affect a remedy for physical ailments?
      …and you could also explain how this ‘memory’ can be successfully applied in the form of electronically extracted RF signals (from 44 year old sugar pills), converted to sound files and delivered telephonically from sound files altered by lossy data compression (.mp3 files loose a lot of sound information in the compression process).

      When you have shown us how these serial ‘mysteries’ might be explained, we can continue to explore the matter of how this ‘memory’ may possibly exert its effects on the human body to remedy ailments in a reliable and consistent manner.

      • Mutually agreed research protocols, adequately funded and conducted in a spirit of open minded cooperation, may well resolve this issue, the very cause of your earlier frustration!

        • YOU MEAN LIKE THIS STUDY:
          Schmerz. 1992 Jun;6(2):134-40.

          [The efficacy of classic homeopathic therapy in chronic headache. Study protocol.].

          [Article in German]

          Gaus W1, Walach H, Haag G.

          Author information

          Abstract

          The efficacy of classic homeopathic therapy is scientifically not well proven. Few of the studies available are acceptable from a scientific point of view. In this paper we will describe a study protocol for a trial of classic homeopathy in chronic headache, which not only is in accordance with currently accepted scientific research standards but also accounts for the special needs of homeopathic therapy. The prescribing practioners are allowed to use any homeopathic drug at any potency or dosage, this enables them to ful fill the homeopathic principle of individuality. At the same time, the study is strictly controlled, randomized and double blind. The prescribing physician sends the homeopathic medication selected for a patient to a notary public, who either forwards it to the patient or substitute placebo, according to the randomization plan. Hence, the trial is not testing a specific drug, but the rationale of individual homeopathic drug selection and the efficacy of the selected drugs in headache patients in general. Patients suffering from chronic headaches for at least 1 year and with headaches at least once a week on average are eligible for the study. Exclusion criteria follow the generally accepted standards and account for the special needs of homeopathic therapy. Data are to be recorded in a patient’s diary containing the outcome variables occurrence, duration, intensity of headaches and use of analgesic drugs. After a baseline period of at least 6 weeks the first consultation will take place, with the proper remedy selected and sent to the patient via the notary. After 6 weeks a first follow-up will allow the physician to modify the treatment if necessary. After another 6 weeks the final examination will take place. The duration of the homeopathic treatment, then, is 12 weeks. A total of 100 patients in two groups of 50 are to be treated in the study. The study started in the later part of 1991, and is scheduled to last for 2 1/2 years. We expect a critical discussion of the results from conventional medicine or from homeopathy, depending on the outcome of the study. The study protocol is being published in advance to enable the reviewers of the study to check the original study design and the a priori hypotheses adopted.

          GAUS WAS THE SCIENTIST AND WALACH THE HOMEOPATH [IT’S PERHAPS THE MOST RIGOROUS STUDY OF HOMEOPATHY EVER]
          INTERESTED IN THE RESULTS?
          HERE ARE THE RESULTS FROM THE LONG-TERM FOLLOW-UP

          Cephalalgia. 2000 Nov;20(9):835-7.

          The long-term effects of homeopathic treatment of chronic headaches: 1 year follow up.

          Walach H1, Lowes T, Mussbach D, Schamell U, Springer W, Stritzl G, Haag G.

          Author information

          Abstract

          Little is known about the long-term effects of homeopathic treatment. Following a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of classical homeopathy in chronic headaches, we conducted a complete follow-up study of all trial participants. All patients enrolled in the double-blind study were sent a 6-week headache diary, a follow-up questionnaire. Eighty-seven of the original 98 patients enrolled returned questionnaires, 81 returned diaries. There was no additional change from the end of the trial to the 1-year follow up. The improvement seen at the end of the 12-week trial was stable after 1 year. No differential effects according to treatment after the trial could be seen. Patients with no treatment following the trial had the most improvement after 1 year. Approximately 30% of patients in homeopathic treatment will benefit after 1 year of treatment. There is no indication of a specific, or of a delayed effect of homeopathy.

          • interesting!
            are you trying to show us how really dreadfully poor research can look like?

          • I find it more convincing than that you produced. Headaches are not verifiable and are subjective. We need to have results verified by MRI scans and Xrays as demonstrated in Cancer treatment using the Banerji Protocols. I would like to see proper studies replicated under conventional medical supervision in the UK, so please give a good reason why you would not want to support such an initiative.

          • “please give a good reason why you would not want to support such an initiative”
            here it is:
            research funds are scare. therefore we must use them wisely. that means we should use them where there is the greatest chance of productive results. this is not the case for homeopathy. its axioms are not plausible, and the ~400 clinical trials available to date have failed to show that it is more than a placebo therapy.

          • Thank you for brining this discussion to a close.

          • you are welcome!
            and thank you for admitting that you cannot answer the fundamental questions posed in my article.

          • Likewise!

          • YES!
            I TOO CANNOT EXPLAIN HOW HOMEOPATHY WORKS – BECAUSE IT DOESN’T

          • Having long wondered what homeopaths do with the rest of the duck, I strongly suspect the fat is being used to grease the wheels beneath their goalposts. So much for only needing one bird!

          • @Colin
            Why don’t you contact Boiron? I am sure they would love to fund a large scale study into these issues. Their net income was 74 million Euro and their value gained over 6.7% only today. They have the money you want for research.
            http://markets.ft.com/research/Markets/Tearsheets/Business-profile?s=BOI:PAR

            If they don’t have enough, I am sure many other companies profiting from homeopathy remedies would love to join in
            http://www.homeopathyheals.me.uk/site/front-page/111-frontpage/3263-sales-of-homeopathic-medicines-to-reach-116-billion-by-2015

          • Colin said:

            https://homeopathyonline.org.uk/8-2/new-research/

            1) How was the outcome measured and what was it compared to and 2) how many was the (conventional) prophylactic vaxSpiral administered to and why?

          • I was not there, so I can only repeat what I have been told and like you I can search the Internet. I understand that this was not set up for research purposes it was designed by a pharmaceutical company to solve a huge problem that they could not fund using conventional vaccine so they made an affordable homeopathic version which produced extraordinary results which were documented for publication and blocked by conventional publishers. Why?

          • I think that, by now, others are discovering what I did some time ago – that trying to have a sensible discussion with Colin is like trying to nail jelly to the wall, or eat a bowl of fog.

          • Colin said:

            I was not there, so I can only repeat what I have been told and like you I can search the Internet.

            The answers are in the paper and are easily discoverable without ‘searching the Internet’. But perhaps you haven’t read the paper?

            I understand that this was not set up for research purposes it was designed by a pharmaceutical company to solve a huge problem that they could not fund using conventional vaccine so they made an affordable homeopathic version which produced extraordinary results which were documented for publication and blocked by conventional publishers. Why?

            The organisation that conducted the trial was the Finlay Institute in Cuba and was run by someone who appears to believe in homeopathy, Gustav Bracho and Australian homeopath Isaac Golden claims to have been involved, though his name does not appear on the paper. It was published in the trade publication, Homeopathy, which was recently criticised for excessive self-citations.

            But perhaps you could detail this blocking by conventional publishers so we can understand the situation and the extent of any bias against homeopathy?

            My two questions still stand.

          • Oh heavens! You again Henness. Finlay Institute is a leading pharmaceutical industry experts and researchers of the vaccine formulations in Cuba island. Again liying? In the Australian:

            –Dr Golden, however, denied he was against immunisation and said he was simply advocating for parents to be able to choose homoeopathy as an option.–

            “It was published in the trade publication, Homeopathy, which was recently criticised for excessive self-citations.”

            Only the Homeopathy journal? How this affect the conclusions of individual papers?

            “Gustav Bracho and Australian homeopath Isaac Golden claims to have been involved, though his name does not appear on the paper. It was published in the trade publication”

            1. The paper “Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control” was published in Homeopathy. The silly old critique come from the physicist Adrian Gaylard.

            2. Their names does not apper on the paper? In the pseudodebunk of Gaylard?

            No, in debunking to Adrian Gaylard they appear:

            http://chp.sagepub.com/content/19/3/155.abstract

          • Egger said:

            Oh heavens! You again Henness.

            Eh? Do you have a problem with me commenting here?

            Finlay Institute is a leading pharmaceutical industry experts and researchers of the vaccine formulations in Cuba island.

            Yup. Did you think people didn’t already know that?

            Again liying?

            What are you accusing me of now?

            In the Australian:

            –Dr Golden, however, denied he was against immunisation and said he was simply advocating for parents to be able to choose homoeopathy as an option.–

            I’ll see your newspaper article and raise you the Federal Court of Australia, which ruled that a lot of the ‘expert’ evidence on homeopathy and vaccines submitted by Golden in the trial of Fran Sheffield for the vaccine claims she made on her website was deemed inadmissible by the judge. [1] It seems he’s not up to scratch as a homeopathy expert.

            “It was published in the trade publication, Homeopathy, which was recently criticised for excessive self-citations.”

            Only the Homeopathy journal? How this affect the conclusions of individual papers?

            It could show that its editorial control and peer review are not up to scratch, casting doubt on the while process. Indeed, it’s not just me who has concerns over that publication.

            “Gustav Bracho and Australian homeopath Isaac Golden claims to have been involved, though his name does not appear on the paper. It was published in the trade publication”

            1. The paper “Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control” was published in Homeopathy. The silly old critique come from the physicist Adrian Gaylard.

            2. Their names does not apper on the paper? In the pseudodebunk of Gaylard?

            No, in debunking to Adrian Gaylard they appear:

            http://chp.sagepub.com/content/19/3/155.abstract

            What are you on about, Egger? That’s a different paper.

            Now, to get back to the questions I asked, can you answer them?

            __________
            1. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Homeopathy Plus! Australia Pty Limited [2014] FCA 1412. http://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/single/2014/2014fca1412.

          • “Eh? Do you have a problem with me commenting here?”

            Meec!

            “Yup. Did you think people didn’t already know that?”

            Yes, you’re a liar.

            “I’ll see your newspaper article and raise you the Federal Court of Australia, which ruled that a lot of the ‘expert’ evidence on homeopathy and vaccines submitted by Golden in the trial of Fran Sheffield for the vaccine claims she made on her website was deemed inadmissible by the judge. [1] It seems he’s not up to scratch as a homeopathy expert.”

            What is the “judge”? Friends of Science?

            “It could show that its editorial control and peer review are not up to scratch, casting doubt on the while process. Indeed, it’s not just me who has concerns over that publication.”

            Again, only for homeopathy?

            “What are you on about, Egger? That’s a different paper.”

            Yes.

            “Now, to get back to the questions I asked, can you answer them?

            Oh dear, show me the evidence!

          • The only sensible response to that, Egger, is: ROFL!

    • Colin,

      It’s been 200 + years since Hahnemann came up with his “theory” on homeopathy, isn’t that enough time for followers of this “discipline” to come to the table to explain it? This challenge has nothing to do with research (nice non-sequitur). The challenge simply posited a scenario where main points of homeopathy were acquiesced to in order to facilitate gaining answers to straight forward question on the base propositions and circumstances that follow from those. Why so much effort at diversion rather than simply answering the questions? Is it possible you aren’t able to answer?

      As to your point on research, what is stopping Boiron (among many companies) from funding such endeavours you suggest? They are the corporate proponents of this discipline and take substantial monies from their effort. Maybe ask them why they don’t fund what you propose? These are better questions for you to deal with than what you are on about.

    • Hey, if you’re that short of a bob, just ask Boiron. That one bunch of grifters alone hauls in well over half a billion Euros a year just flogging magic water and sugar pills.

      Anyone who says AltMed doesn’t have the funds to do real research is lying. What they really mean is they don’t have the balls to do it, because no guesses what the results will be.

    • Colin said:

      This is a loaded challenge. without the proper level of funding for research acceptable to both sides, the results will always be unacceptable to you.

      I’ve asked before, but why don’t homeopaths raise the money for their own research? Do some high quality, robust, repeatable trials and we’d take notice.

      • As you well know, any research funded by the homeopathic community would be rejected ‘out of hand’ by the science community on the basis of bias so would not progress the debate even if it was perfectly undertaken. As with all research one has to take a close look at who funded it and what is their agenda? The Pharmaceutical Industry has poured billions into research for their own drugs, much of which as you know have since been discredited or the drug has later been withdrawn.

        The funding for meaningful research MUST be neutral and without bias, so a single source of finance cannot resolve this problem, so I offer you a challenge to establish a 50/50 funding opportunity. If you can obtain a genuine offer from the Pharmaceutical Industry to match the funding raised by the CAM community, I will do my best, as an experienced mediator, to take this forward on the basis that the participants are equally matched in number to first of all research the Banerji Protocols in respect of Cancer treatment, which I have so far observed to be best suited for such a trial with conventional medical involvement to monitor patient progress with MRI scans and Xrays etc.

        • No – only those that do not understand and take methodology as a measure of an investigations worth discards research “out of hand” due to the financial source. The rest of us actually reads the studies in total before making our minds up.

          • History confirms that research reviews by scientists who have fixed preconceived ideas do nothing to take this debate forward. Research is expensive and time consuming and as such should be undertaken in a neutral environment so as to maximise the value of the outcome in terms of investment return and should prevent the endless rankling over the outcome which does nothing for the patient. So why wouldn’t you support such a proposal?

          • @Colin

            Are homeopaths currently undertaking much high quality research?

            If not, why not?

          • Definitely in India and probably elsewhere.

          • So – Colin reckons serious research is being done into homeopathy ‘certainly in India, and probably elsewhere’.
            As Trevor and Simon used to say on Saturday morning TV – ‘Blimey! That’s good!’.

          • @Colin
            Can you explain why the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) came to the conclusion they did.

            Why did they not, as you seem to have done, come to the conclusion that homeopathy works and should be funded? What is wrong with their analysis in your opinion?

          • The Homeopathic Research institute submitted a lengthy critique prior to the Australian report being published which was totally ignored, very helpful!

          • Colin said:

            Definitely in India and probably elsewhere.

            Are they? Please tell us more.

            But what about the UK? Considering the pressure homeopaths are under here, you’d have thought they’d be scrambling to do good research, wouldn’t you think?

          • The intent exists but not the money, however, there must be a neutral approach that provides objective and provable results based on mutually agreed protocols to take this debate forward.

          • Colin said:

            The Homeopathic Research institute submitted a lengthy critique prior to the Australian report being published which was totally ignored, very helpful!

            Perhaps you mean they commented on the draft Information Paper (and a good bit of that was just griping about the way it was worded)? But that submission was hardly lengthy at only 15 pages. And their response to the report was a mere four pages.

            But why do you say it was totally ignored?

          • Please give me the links to the papers to which you refer so that I can investigate properly?

          • Why do you say it was ignored Colin? It says very clearly in the NHMRC report that one of three main sources of information assessed and analysed was:

            • evidence provided by homeopathy interest groups and the public at the beginning of the process, before the commissioned overview of evidence (preliminary submitted literature) and during review of the draft Information Paper (public consultation submitted literature).[3, 4]

            I am afraid this says your statement is wrong.
            If you have evidence that important evidence was ignored, please provide it.
            You might at the same time tell us why the UK House of Commons committee came to the same conclusion five years previously.

            Responses I have seen from homeopaths after publication of the report have not added any information, only unsubstantiated and easily refuted claims and classic fallacies.

          • My comments are based on previous third party information, so I will respond when I have established the full facts in this respect.

          • Colin said:

            Please give me the links to the papers to which you refer so that I can investigate properly?

            I already have.

          • Colin said:

            The intent exists…

            Does it? I see little sign of any intent. Perhaps you could say why you believe this intent exists?

            but not the money

            I don’t understand. Why isn’t there money for this?

            however, there must be a neutral approach that provides objective and provable results based on mutually agreed protocols to take this debate forward.

            That’s up to those conducting trials, but, given the many deeply flawed that have been highlighted on this blog and elsewhere, I really doubt the will is there to conduct robust trials. Am I wrong?

          • Colin: “The intent exists but not the money,”

            Stop lying. Big Homeo is rolling in cash. Borion alone turns over half a billion Euros each year. Are you seriously telling us they won’t devote a few million, or even tens of millions, or your paradigm-smashing research that would turn them into a fifty billion business overnight?! Have you even asked them? If not, enough whining: go do it, and don’t come back till you have.

        • Colin, Where is the research to show which type of cheese the Moon is made of? Can you think of a valid reason why this research is not being funded? Perhaps it is too expensive; but it is also, perhaps, somewhat pointless because the research would be rejected ‘out of hand’ by the science community.

          My Pink Unicorn Therapy has accumulated evidence to show that it is more effective than homeopathy. Can you think of a valid reason why this research is not being funded? Perhaps it is too expensive; but it is also, perhaps, somewhat pointless because the research would be rejected ‘out of hand’, not by the science community, but by the *homeopathic community*.

          • There is actually a(nother) reason why homeopathy should be researched (and your pink unicorn therapy shouldn’t): a large percentage of our population uses homeopathic medicine; many to complement a conventional treatment, but many as their sole treatment. Assuming that homeopathy does not work, this last group does not get the treatment they should…

    • “without the proper level of funding for research acceptable to both sides, the results will always be unacceptable to you.”

      Almost immediately in your reply you make a fundamental error. There are no “sides” in science and results in one field can and do feed into another. It is not necessary to study homeopathy to demonstrate the properties of chemical substances claimed by homeopaths. Studies in pure physics, chemistry and biology would do just as well.

      The rest of your “argument by ignorance” nonsense merely compounds your error and clearly demonstrates you have no understanding of science, the scientific method or the nature of knowledge.

      • There shouldn’t be any sides, but unfortunately there is just as I am sure Einstein experienced when he changed science forever.

        • Same fallacy as ever. Sure, some physicists got a different view at the time, but when the proof came everyone accepted the truth. It took less than a decade… Homeopathy have been tested and refuted for 200 years now, maybe it’s time to accept the truth : it is an error.

        • This is Colin;

          http://www.homeopathyworldcommunity.com/profile/ColinFarley?xg_source=activity

          He has a monetary interest in this quackery, so self-interest prevails. In short, Col is a crackpot.

          • Frank-
            Yes I remember this now.
            So Colin is, as I remembered, the homeopathic bobby I’d encountered before on Quackometer.
            He’d tried to get Andy Lewis to agree to be interviewed in a ‘film’ he wanted to make on homeopathy-since he now likes to think of himself as a film-maker – but unsurprisingly the feller Lewis didn’t go for it, being not so gullible as PC Colin had hoped.
            By the way Colin, it’s ‘complementary’ medicine, not ‘complimentary’, which would be a different thing altogether.
            Or would it?
            Maybe we can help Colin with a few title ideas for his ‘films’?
            ‘LA Complementary’?
            ‘Homeo Is The Hero’?
            ‘Quackermass’?
            At any rate, I don’t think anybody will be taking him up on his offer to be the moderator/mediator in his proposal to collect funds to establish his proposed homeopathy trials.

    • 1 – Junk DNA is a term that was used like… 30 years ago ? Today all molecular biologists know that junk DNA is not junk and bear sequence that regulates the transcription of the coding part. Where have you been the last decades ? In a grotto ?

      2 – I’ll copy-paste what i’ve wrote to one another homeopath trying to shadow play people with big word : Dark energy is what makes universe expending (at least, it seems so). It is not missing, or the universe would not expend at all, such a sloppy way of thinking. Dark matter is a complete different thing. So do not mix things up. Both are macro-scaled effect, dark energy is offset by gravitationnal force at our scale (hopefuly or we would be all be dispatched). Dark matter behave like normal matter with no coupling (or very weak) to EM force, human body exist and interact through EM force, so it is unlikely that dark matter would do anything about our health. Now i know that clueless homeopath like to use big words like “quantum” “dark matter” and the like to try to mystify people around them… But you know nothing…

      3 – This one of the most dumb point i’ve ever read… Of course we got a lot of water in our body… It’s one of the greatest solvent, it’s perfect for a big range of chemical reaction, hence life, no need of homeopathy here.

      4 – Yah so what it have to do with homeopathy ? Dog got better olfactory sense, like most predators.

      Science got the answers of those. Or at least, enough answers to say that homeopathy is tooth fairy.

  • Unfortunately Ed the more you ridicule idiotic ideas the more you reinforce them and make the holder even more determined to justify them

    • possibly – but I do not aim to influence the dogmatists. I hope to influence the large percentage of people who have not yet subscribed to the dogma.

      • What ever happened to open debate and the freedom of choice? There is more evidence of a plausible mechanism of action today than existed 13 years ago.

        • Colin – Nothing much happened to ‘open debate’. It’s what you’re currently engaged in.
          As to ‘freedom of choice’ – again, I believe that nobody has deprived you of this.
          If by this you mean however ‘freedom of choice to have homeopathy provided by the NHS’, then I think you’re being more than a little disingenuous. Anything provided by the NHS costs money, and since there’s no evidence to support this particular cult – any more than there is for voodoo – then I believe you should exercise your ‘freedom of choice’ at a homeopathic establishment, at your own expense. Your use of the phrase is as loaded as when it’s used by Tory politicians. It doesn’t exist in a cost-free vacuum.

        • “There is more evidence of a plausible mechanism of action today than existed 13 years ago.”

          Well, I’m certainly convinced. If a homeofan says it, it must be true, for even his citations are Homeopathic in strength!

    • Substitute “prove” for “justify” and you are somewhere near the truth. “Force is always met with resistance” Surely it is time to step outside the realm dualistic thinking such as we are seeing in the current EU debate.

      • @Colin on Monday 20 June 2016 at 14:46

        Substitute “prove” for “justify” and you are somewhere near the truth.

        Do you mean to say homeopathy should be justified but not proven?

        That would be similar as justifying the imaginary existence of Santa Claus for his cultural and historical value.

        I am afraid the matter of disease and death is more serious than what the entertainment and interest value of homeopathy is able to justify.

  • Colin – Did I encounter you previously on the Quackometer site?

  • Colin won’t answer me – there’s a surprise – but I think I encountered him before on Quackometer.
    Is he the fellow who now thinks of himself as a ‘film-maker’ and who – as an argument clincher – recommended that everyone watch the ‘Truth About Cancer’ hogwash, and then promptly admitted he’d not even seen it himself? If I’m wrong. I’m wrong – an admission I certainly don’t expect to hear from a homeopathy cultist.
    As to the point made above about the Boiron set-up, I think it’s unanswerable. Whenever people ask cultists why they don’t grab James Randi’s 1 million dollar prize – a doddle if, as they claim, homeopathy’s efficacy is so evident and only the wilfully blind or malicious won’t see it – they often claim that any necessary trials would be so expensive that 1 million dollars wouldn’t make it worthwhile to them.
    Well – there’s your answer. Get Boiron to fund them. In fact, it would be a win-win, since when homeopathy triumphed then Boiron would overnight become a reputable company, and would multiply their already vast profits.
    At which point the homeopaths could revel in their victory, Science would enter a new era, and they could move on to prove that the rest of us are dolts for refusing to believe in unicorns.

    • I don’t think homeofans actually want that though. If everyone believed in homeopathy, Colin & co wouldn’t be such special snowflakes any more.

      Nor Boiron, for that matter – just imagine their outrage once every Big Pharma factory on the planet started churning it out, driving their boutique prices into the generic gutter.

  • https://www.theguardian.com/science/2009/feb/02/science-mysteries
    If 96% of the universe is missing how can a scientist not remain curious of phenomena the natural world throws at them and refuse to study and reflect on manifest events. Preferring to declaim with a fixed opinion on any subject, including homeopathy, would be unscientific magical thinking.

    • ” how can a scientist not remain curious of phenomena the natural world throws at them and refuse to study and reflect on manifest events.”
      PRECISELY!
      therefore, as a homeopath, you should at least try to answer the questions posed in my article.

      • Answers might lie in the unfathomable 96%.

        If anyone chooses to learn 100% of the 4%- which is impossible for a single human anyway- they will still only know 4% at best.
        Read this: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/mar/19/four-percent-universe-richard-panek-review

        Here’s a couple of scientific questions for you Professor Ernst: What and where is dark matter and dark energy? Where is your scientific proof that the explanations of how, for example, the mechanisms of action of anaesthetics, paracetamol and homeopathy do not lie within the 96% of the unknowable universe?

        • Ahhh yes!
          the dark energy etc…
          the actions of anaesthetics and paracetamol may not lie within your knowable universe but many of us do know about those.
          thank you for confirming that you are unable to answer the most fundamental questions about homeopathy which is, after all, your trade.
          as I wrote at the end of my article: “If you cannot do this, I think you ought to admit that all your ‘sciency’ theories about the mode of action of highly diluted homeopathic remedies are really quite silly – more silly even than Hahnemann’s idea of a ‘spirit-like’ effect.”
          COULD YOU PLEASE ADMIT THAT NOW?

          • Lil Eddie.

            “the actions of anaesthetics and paracetamol may not lie within your knowable universe but many of us do know about those.”

            How? Could you explain me with the inequivocally evidence published in High impact journals? Not speculative theories, facts.

            “COULD YOU PLEASE ADMIT THAT NOW?”

            Transactional Occam’s Razor Fallacy: the false contention that a challenging claim or observation must immediately be “explained”.

          • How coy of you to avoid publishing my last reply!?

          • I am in the habit of electing to discard stupid and insulting comments, or comments which are off topic – I have always done so.

        • “Can’t explain it. Can’t even show it works. But perfectly happy to inflict it on other people with life-threatening illnesses anyway.”

          @Andrew: Do you and your homeopathic ilk ever stop for a moment to consider that your priorities, ethics, and obligations might be – to use a polite phrase – utterly fucked up?

    • Universe is not missing… Dark energy is what makes universe expending (at least, it seems so). It is not missing, or the universe would not expend at all, such a sloppy way of thinking. Dark matter is a complete different thing. So do not mix things up. Both are macro-scaled effect, dark energy is offset by gravitationnal force at our scale (hopefuly or we would be all be dispatched). Dark matter behave like normal matter with no coupling (or very weak) to EM force, human body exist and interact through EM force, so it is unlikely that dark matter would do anything about our health. Now i know that clueless homeopath like to use big words like “quantum” “dark matter” and the like to try to mystify people around them… But you know nothing…

      • Hey man! Can you show me the double blind randomized experiment about of the “Dark energy is what makes universe expending (at least, it seems so).”. You know’s, for the Science Based Evidence.

        • You are embarassing yourself… You know that this dicovery is related to a nobel prize in physics (Perlmutter and Reiss), it is not just some fancy words. Even if you are not ‘buying it’, if Dark matter is just an artifact, then homeopathy can’t use it to save his ass. Choose one, you can’t have both.

          Plus, your statement about double blind is cute (double blind of who ? who is the patient ? This is not pharmaceutical research). You have no clue.

          • Well said!
            I think Egger is paid by BIG PHARMA to discredit homeopathy even further.

          • Oh heavens, I apply the same pseudological tactis as you. Please, show me the evidence of the paper of high quality about of the existence of dark matter.

          • Black matter is not dark energy. Keep diggin’ your black hole, it’s entertaining =)

    • Lil Eddie Ernst cannot explain this. Deniers deny denial. He ignores the high quality evidence about of high dilution bioeffects demostrated by russian scientist’s as Alexander Konovalov:

      http://link.springer.com/article/10.1134%2FS0016702914130072

      Abstract Based on experimental data obtained using a combination of physicochemical techniques (dynamic light scattering, microelectrophoresis, conductivity, surface tension, pH, dielectric constant, polarimetric measurements, atomic force microscopy, and UV and EPR spectroscopy) a previously unknown fundamental phenomenon was discovered: the formation of nanometer-sized molecular assemblies (nanoassociates) in low-concentration aqueous solution, which were prepared by serial dilution. The formation and rearrangement of nanoassociates in solutions of different concentrations can be considered as a major factor controlling the physicochemical and, probably, specific biological properties of diluted aqueous solutions. The formation of nanoassociates is triggered by the solute under certain conditions, the most important of which are the specific solute structure, the presence of external physical fields (geomagnetic and low-frequency electromagnetic), and the solution preparation procedure.

      Or the Montaigner replicated experiments:

      http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/15368378.2015.1036072

      Abstract: The experimental conditions by which electromagnetic signals (EMS) of low frequency can be emitted by diluted aqueous solutions of some bacterial and viral DNAs are described. That the recorded EMS and nanostructures induced in water carry the DNA information (sequence) is shown by retrieval of that same DNA by classical PCR amplification using the TAQ polymerase, including both primers and nucleotides. Moreover, such a transduction process has also been observed in living human cells exposed to EMS irradiation. These experiments suggest that coherent long-range molecular interaction must be present in water to observe the above-mentioned features. The quantum field theory analysis of the phenomenon is presented in this article.

      • We seem to have a newbie here who thinks we haven’t heard of all that silly nano-something pseudoscience before. Or of poor Nobel-disease afflicted Luc Montagnier’s self-reviewed, DNA-signalling experiments, which have long since been debunked as laughably amateurish.
        These nano-believers just keep crawling out of the woodwork parroting the same childish fallacies and pseudoscience!
        Montagnier by the way denied himself that his playing with diluted DNA could coroborate homeopathy in any way. Egger must have missed that part. Maybe we will be hearing about Benveniste and Emoto next? 😀

      • Oh yes Montaigner… ‘High quality evidende’… You mean, the guy that only publish in is own journal. You seems to like big sciency words.

        • he is a good example for the notion that a Nobel Prize does not protect you from folly.

          • Well his nobel prize is not for this recent ‘work’. There is other exemple… Like Kary Mullis who engineered PCR reaction (and got Nobel for it) and believe that Aliens gift him this knowledge.

          • Quark – I must admit I enjoyed the Kary Mullis story about his midnight meeting with a glowing green raccoon, and his adamant denial that his LSD consumption may have had something to do with it.
            It reminds me of the Simpsons episode where, after a chilli cook-off, Homer goes on a psychedelic trip for the rest of the episode.
            A good example – Mullis, not Homer – of a scientist being given credence in other areas than that of their expertise. Like for instance the ‘global warming’ denialist who’s constantly referred to by Jeremy Clarkson and others.

        • Oh heaves quarck, you again smeating against Montaigner?

          Electromagnetic, biology and medicine journal is a peer review journal, not a Montaigner journal. You fail to understand the basic level of logic.

          • Tell me more about basic level of logic and a publishing journal. This must look very logical, indeed.

            Then you may ask the question about how, such a ground breaking work, is only published in a impact factor 1 journal. The answer may displease you =)

            Note that, peer review mean not much without replication. But this is a ‘sciency thing’, something that you have a hard time to grasp. I think you cannot even get it !

  • If homeopathy works, a number of us around the world could be prescribed x remedy (if enough people took part citing the same symptoms,surely enough candidates would be prescribed the same remedy)

    if we then suffered the same damaging side effects (wink) could we not sue ?,a class action. How could Boiron,for example,be able to defend themselves? They do not provide any contra indications,or list side effects for their “drugs”.

    I think only an expensive law suit would put paid to all this nonsense.

  • And I will issue a rather weaker challenge, for what it’s worth:

    Show me evidence that any homeopath is even interested in the answers to these questions. Interested enough to do even the simplest kind of honest investigation, and discuss the results.

    What does that say about homeopathy and homeopaths?

  • Colin – you’ve had your answer.
    There’s nothing more to test.
    Homeopathy is based on out and out foolishness not necessary to repeat here.
    Let Boiron sponsor these tests that you insist on. They could front up the money, then step aside and let reputable scientists do the testing. Let reputable people then assess the results.
    Boiron have everything to gain, should what they claim turn out to be true.
    The trouble is -even charlatans of their type know that they have everything to lose should things go against them. Which they know very well would be the case.
    Stop claiming that evidence exists, but you can’t remember where you put it.
    Stop claiming ‘Somebody once told me something, but I forgot what it was’.
    You’re in a silly hole, which you are feverishly digging deeper using the Shovel of Daftness.

  • I laid out this challenge to a large number of active homeopaths on twitter.

    https://twitter.com/ExecCanuck/status/744907600467230720

    Responses so far are abysmal. Seems homeopaths do not wish to deal with straight forward questions nor provide any insightful answers:

    https://twitter.com/ExecCanuck/status/745274961749811200

    Ernst, apparently you know of Venkatesh & have chosen to block him (perhaps wisely, given the incessant drivel he spews.) In any case, the link may provide you with some humour on his attempt to apply science terminology to homeopathy mysticism (deep sarcasm on my part.)

  • If you can answer these questions satisfactorily, I will no longer doubt your memory of water theory. If you cannot do this, I think you ought to admit that all your ‘sciency’ theories about the mode of action of highly diluted homeopathic remedies are really quite silly – more silly even than Hahnemann’s idea of a ‘spirit-like’ effect.”

    Challenge accepted!!!

  • I did not read every single comment, so I might be repeating things, but

    1. Are you familiar with Cosic’s resonant recognition model which explains absorption and re-emitting of EM radiation by proteins, RNA and DNA; and with Del Giudice’s QCD theory of Coherent Domains?
    Your questions 1 and 3 seem to be referring to nanoparticle/ silica hypotheses only.

    2. In my opinion, your questions 2 and 4 can never be of any use to disprove the entire homeopathy. You’re taking a taking a specific case to disprove the whole thing.

    3. Your last questions is kind of circular reasoning, is it not? You are ASSUMING that ‘ordinary water’ does not have any effect and go on from there on… I am not saying it DOES have an effect. But if we want to adhere to the scientific principles, then we have to proof first that it does or does not have an effect. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think this has ever been properly investigated.

    To be clear, I am not making the case here that homeopathy works. I’m only trying to point out that the 5 questions you choose to disproof the entire discipline with are rather poorly chosen:-s If the main critique on homeopaths is that they are not consistently using the scientific method, then shouldn’t we set the bar higher?

    • I did NOT aim at disproving ‘the entire discipline’, I merely wanted to point out that, even if one accepts the ‘memory of water’ theory, there is no plausible explanation HOW homeopathy works.

      • I’m a little confused as to what the difference is between both… If we accept that there is no plausible explanation for how homeopathy works/could work, we are at the same time disproving the discipline, aren’t we?

        • disprove as in proving a negative is an impossibility, particularly in homeopathy, I think.

          • I think I understand what you mean: even if ‘the scientific community’ accepts there is no plausible mechanism of action, there will always be a core in ‘the homeopathic community’ that claims this does not proof that homeopathy can not/ does not work. “It works, even if we don’t understand how…” Is this what you meant?

            But even then, my 3 questions remain:
            1. Are you familiar with the QCD hypothesis (Del Giudice-Cosic); what are your thoughts?
            2. Your questions 2 and 4 are irrelevant in showing “there is no plausible explanation HOW homeopathy works” in it’s entirety, since these only deal with a very specific subset, right?
            3. Your question 5 implies an argument with an unproven assumption, rendering it useless, no?

    • 1 – No you missed it. The point 1 is that even if there is memory of water, then there is also the like cure like principle of homeopathy that is totally non-sensical (let’s take Berlin’s wall dust to treat depression).

      2 – Specific case ? Are you living in the same world as us ? The majority of homeopthic remedies are sold in this state (Boiron, Booth…. And more). Are you agreeing that this is contradictory to memory of water ? Are you agreeing that all those homeopathic sellers are liars ?

      3 – Strange, you have nothing about this one ? So impurities in water are amplified but still, they do no effect (but dust do !)

      4 – You want to conveniently discard it but still, a lot of those remedies are sold, so do you agree that all those remedies are fake ?

      5 – The scientific ‘principles’ said one thing : you can’t prove that something does not work. So keep running… Then this is what Ernst ask : a proof that indeed, water got an effect (beside hydratation, of course).

      Then two things, of course you believe that homeopathy work, that or you are entirely clueless about how chemistry, biology and physics. Plus, you do not seems to be able to get those questions right and miss the point (or put them under the carpet), so this isn’t helping.

      • Hi Quark,

        First of all: I am not a homeopath, and have almost no knowledge/experience on how homeopathy is performed in practice. I am not defending any homeopaths or companies, but since I do not have enough facts, I do not think it would be right for me to attack them. My (limited) knowledge comes from a student who wrote a thesis about the subject that I supervised. I find the tone of your last paragraph rather insulting. I can assure you that I am much more knowledgeable in chemistry, biology and physics than most people in the academic community. Since this thesis I’ve had many conversations with intelligent people that claim that homeopathy is ridiculously impossible, and unfortunately I’ve witnessed on most of these occasions a complete lacking of the basic knowledge of homeopathy and proposed mechanisms of action. Both then and now my point was/is not that homeopathy works, and I think I made that very clear in my original post. The reasons why I posted is because this article made me formulate some questions and I’m curious what the author thinks about them since I assume he is more knowledgeable than the other academics I have conversed with; NOT because I claim that I have the absolute answers to his questions!

        In of the previous posts I read a short debate on whether or not there are ‘2 sides/camps’ in science. I have to say that I understand the homeopath’s statement that this is in fact the case. Science should not be in ‘camps fighting each other’, but even I, even after I’ve very clearly stated that my point is NOT that homeopathy works, very often can’t help but feeling attacked/insulted by non-believers simply because I try to keep an open mind… I find this very sad because it says a lot about the general attitude of researchers (not just about this specific subject, but in general).

        The whole homeopathy debate can simplified like this:
        Step 1. DOES homeopathy (in certain contexts) work? After having carefully read the references of my student’s thesis, there are definitely clinical trails that suggest that (sometimes) it works. I have a background in clinical research, so I can assure you that I understand these are not conclusive proof that homeopathy works. These articles can be flukes, of poor methodological quality, fraud,… However, for several of these articles this does not seem to be the case. On the other hand, for several articles proving that homeopathy does not work, substantial errors have been demonstrated. Again, am I completely convinced that it does work? NO! However, people claiming there is not a single double-blind randomized study out there with positive results have not done their homework properly.

        It is of crucial importance to attempt to answer step 1 without even thinking about step 2! If a scientist is confronted with empirical facts that contradict his belief system, it is the beliefs that should be adapted to fit the facts, and not the other way around. Leaving step 2 out of the equation, there are enough clinical results that at least suggest that more research is warranted.
        This is how the subject, with these questions in exactly this order should be investigated. I find there’s many people who are doing it the other way around: not seeing a plausible mechanism, coming to the conclusion that homeopathy can theoretically never work and stating that all clinical trails coming to any other conclusion are fake…

        Step 2: HOW could homeopathy possibly work? Obviously this is where most people get stuck. And this is what the author’s 5 questions are about, right?

        1: If the point of question 1 concerns the like cures like principle, then could it not be better formulated instead of asking for a mechanism of 2 random examples? Is the like cures like principle really that impossible? Is this not exactly what is used in vaccination? A small dose to initiate a counterreaction…
        Off course I have to admit that when I hear the Berlin wall example, I raise my eyebrows. But the general principle that states that a small stimulus can elicit an opposite reaction of a bigger stimulus is not such an extraordinary thing (hormesis). So again, I think question 1 should be formulated a little clearer. If it only concerns those specific examples, then the question is not very useful with regards to the bigger picture. If it concerns the like cures like principle in general, then we can refer relatively easy to classical pharmacology (biphasic response)… Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the majority of scientists are sceptical because of the high dilutions, not because of the like cures like principle.

        2. As already stated, I am very unfamiliar with how homeopathy works in practice. No idea how they formulate/administer their products. I have not even met a fraction of all homeopaths, so I don’t think it would be fair to call them all liars or frauds. Apart from whether homeopathy works or not, I think it is very likely that most of them do believe in their own work. This does not make them disingenuous. Quark, I don’t think it is very wise to convert a scientific debate into a personal one, this clouds rationality and distracts… If we respectfully treat each other as human beings, we, as a society in it’s entirety, will get to the truth so much faster!

        3. “Strange, you have nothing about this one ?” Again, I did not try to answer ANY of the 5 questions, I am rather trying to find out what the author does or does not know. With respect to this question I am curious whether he is familiar with the forementioned hypotheses of Cosic and Del Giudice. If these were true, transfer and storage of specific information for some categories of molecules but not for others could be explained relatively easily…
        Specific electromagnetic information emitted by molecules and stably stored as coherent oscillations in coherent domains would only occur for (linear macro-)molecules with semi-conductor characteristics.

        4. I am not claiming any remedies are fake or real nor do I want ‘to conveniently discard’ (you really seem to have me placed firmly in the ‘pro-homeopathy cubicle’, don’t you?)! I am merely pointing out that this question can not be used to disprove the entire discipline. Which seems to be the goal of the author when reading his last paragraph, even though he claims otherwise in an earlier comment?
        If a mechanism of action for homeopathy would ever be found and proven (I know, for many here even considering this scenario is impossible, but for the sake of thought experiment…), obviously at least some commercial products will be proven to not work, right? So what’s the point of pointing out certain categories of products right now without a concrete hypothesis for mechanism of action in mind?

        5. For 2 reasons this question simply does not make sense (at this point!).
        -Similarly as for question 4: If you don’t have a concrete hypothesis for a mechanism of action in mind, then what are you basing your assumption on that every drop of water in nature has been potentised and has to have huge effects.
        -You are ASSUMING that ordinary water (potentised by nature) has no effects. I am not saying it does, but this is something that should be proven before relying on it to formulate an argument against homeopathy.

        • No you do not know a lot about chemistry or physics, otherwise you wouldn’t have wrote this absurd piece. You admit your limited knowledge, nice, maybe then you can agree that you are wrong. Yes i’m harsh, because you know nothing and act like you do, then i know that you will hear nothing because of this.

          One of your statement is rather ‘fun’ : “If a scientist is confronted with empirical facts that contradict his belief system, it is the beliefs that should be adapted to fit the facts, and not the other way around”

          -> You don’t say ! Maybe it’s time for homeopath to accept the facts. You are this type of guy who act like there is grey area about homepathy. But it is wrong, the thing is investigated, over and over, for 200 years now (200 !), and still, nothing at all. Maybe it’s time to say ‘well yes, Hanneman was wrong’. Do you realize that homeopathy claim to be able to cure disease like Ebola, or cancer ? If this was true some homeopaths would got a nobel prize about it ! Still nothing… There is no proof to show… Yeah some clinical trials, good, nice, like we give a damn about this, there is absolutely no prior plausibility about homeopathy (something that usually doesn’t ring a bell in homeo mind) so statistically, after X number of trials over 200 years, you surely got some false positives. Those trials doesn’t even need to be fake to be wrong, you are just oblivious to statistics. Then you are just discarding the TONS of negative one and keep 1 or 2 (with small and barely significant effect – aka natural course of the disease – while homeopthy is claimed to be a powerful remedy). Such science !

          1 – This question is clear, you are the only one not getting it… Maybe it’s you and not question ? Then i correct you because you are wrong. Hormeosis (another concept out of context) have nothing to do about how vaccine works. Vaccines use immune system (you need proteins called epitopes that are recognized and processed by the immune cells), hormeosis is about sensibility to some toxic material and is dependant on some intracellular mecanism, no need of epitopes and immune system memory. Then, i know that you doesn’t do your homework because the only hormeosis effect shown in human is in the case of irradiation. So no, it doesn’t explain the like cure like principle. Then you are again wrong, we discard homeopathy for all the absurd axioms, the like cure like principle too. You have to prove it, and you have nothing to prove it. Worst, it doesn’t make any sense.

          2 – Stop the sophism here and answer the question if you want to debate. Homeopath talk about memory of water, then WHY do they sell homeopathic remedies as solid granules ? ? ? This make no sense, even by their own rules ! And yes, the vast majority of the homeopthic remedies are sold in this state.

          3 – Don’t bring Cosic and Del Giudice, those two have nothing to do together and they do not explain how homeopathy work. I clearly see that you understand not much about homeopathy – you said it yourself – and basic concept of science like vaccine are stranger to you, so don’t bring hard physics here, i will probably cringe at your explanations.

          4 – Yes i put you in the pro-homeopath cubicle. As i said, you are either clueless about science, either homeopath (both come together usually). I think you are both to be honest. What you know about the goal of the author ? The only goal is to see what homeopathy have to say. Then it annoy you and you discard it, because there is no good answer (no answer that fit you) to this question… The only real answer is : yes this is true, those mannufacters are frauds. The best part is that you keep denying it while admitting that you know nothing about production of homeopathic remedies, but in fact, most of the homeopathic remedies are produced the wrong way (according to homeo guiderules) – and people pay for it.

          5 – Well, you do not have any concrete hypothesis for a mecanism of action of homeopathy, that doesn’t stop you from seeing it as possible. It doesn’t stop homeopath from selling it and make wild claims about it. They cannot prove that their remedies are actually potentised, still it doesn’t bother you… Unidimensional thinking is real here.

          • Quark- You should look up whom you are communicating with mate. He gives his name, unlike you, and it appears to all you are shitting on your own front doorstep. Do yourself a favour mate. He is your Iceland to your England.

          • Andrew : I don’t give a damn about his name or what he is doing for a living, really, how is that interesting ? He is wrong, that’s all. Then you are also clueless (your gloubi-boulga about dark energy is the proof that your like to speak about things that you do not understand, at all), so if you have something interesting to say, go on, otherwise stop embarassing yourself.

          • @Andrew – who are you??? Before smearing your excrements on others for not using their full name, please start with yourself.

            You should look up whom you are communicating with…

            I did and found nothing about educational merits for “Phillippe Elskens”. No publications, no academic profile, no CV… Nothing that indicates there is a person who has supervised a student thesis. Only three LinkedIn accounts, two of which were empty apart from the titles “PhD” and “PhD student”.

            The person using that name writing the nebulous drivel in a comment above seems to be a fake.
            E.g. (s)he keeps repeating how (s)he knows nothing about how homeopathy is made or used but then loses composure in the end and writes:

            -You are ASSUMING that ordinary water (potentised by nature) has no effects. I am not saying it does, but this is something that should be proven before relying on it to formulate an argument against homeopathy.

            Most likely a member of the homeopathy-cult trying to fake an outside view.

          • YOU DON’T KNOW ANDREW?
            his full name is Andrew Sikorski.
            when I gave a lecture in Eastbourne last year, the organiser told me that he tried to buy all the tickets so that there would be no audience.
            here is an article (http://www.hippocraticpost.com/integrative/nhs-homeopathy-not-less/) where he describes himself [say no more!]
            The debate about whether homeopathy should be available on the NHS invariably sees the opposing sides citing numerous research papers in support of their argument. Both sides will claim their evidence to be the most reliable, while condemning that of their opponents as seriously flawed. I’m sure for many people this resembles two crusty old academics squabbling over some esoteric philosophical question that has little or no relevance to their lives.

            But this debate is important for the public and the health service, for I have experienced how homeopathy can be of huge benefit to patients suffering a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, and can help to reduce the NHS’s ever-spiralling drugs bill.

            As a doctor I am highly trained in medical science. From this standpoint I can fully understand the arguments of those who oppose NHS homeopathy, for I once shared their views. That is until I was persuaded by clinical experience how homeopathic medicine can produce a genuine beneficial treatment effect.

            Early in my career a colleague had been trying to convince me of the curative possibilities of homeopathy. Although sceptical, I agreed to go along to a number of talks on the subject given by medically trained homeopaths who impressed me with their clinical knowledge and depth of expressed compassion and concern for patient wellbeing. At one of these events I came away with what was described as a homeopathic First Aid kit.

            At the time I was working in ENT surgery and late one night I was called to see a patient who had arrived as an emergency with advanced quinsy (peritonsillar abscess), a rare and potentially serious complication of tonsillitis. Saliva steadily dribbled out of his mouth and trismus of his jaw prevented lancing. Both temperature and pulse were raised in a plethoric and toxic patient who had not responded to GP prescribed antibiotics for a week.

            Purely by chance I had the homeopathic First Aid kit in the pocket of my white coat. Although my knowledge of homeopathy was limited, I could see that the patient’s presentation indicated the homeopathic medicine Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade). With the consent of the patient and that of his partner I popped a Belladonna pill into his mouth, more out of curiosity than conviction, before setting off to prepare a drip and IV antibiotics.

            On returning 10 minutes later, I was astounded to see the patient sipping water and talking freely. His pulse and temperature had reverted to near normal, and on examination there was no quinsy to see, just a superficial mucosal red flush. Such an extraordinary, rapid and complete response was curious to say the least. The clinical team, myself included, all expected a relapse but none occurred.

            This experience changed my view of homeopathy. I am now a full-time NHS GP in a group practice with about 9,000 patients and continue to use homeopathy when appropriate. I have found homeopathic medicines to be particularly effective at the extremes of age. Infants respond very rapidly with the correct remedy, while elderly patients with chronic disease or multiple-pathology can receive safe, effective homeopathy alongside usual care, often resulting in a reduction in the amount conventional drugs they are prescribed.

            My positive experiences of using homeopathy in general practice are replicated by other GPs who have found it to be an additional and very useful clinical tool. In Europe, where homeopathy is more widely accepted by the medical profession, doctors who integrate the therapy into their practice report lower prescribing costs and fewer hospital referrals. These are the very things the Department of Health is constantly calling on GPs to deliver.

            At a time when the health service is under extreme financial pressure, any therapy which doctors see improving the health of patients and is relatively inexpensive, should be being supported and embraced by the NHS rather than investigated.

          • Quark, I will not respond to your post since it is barely more than insults. I’m happy to debate in an adult respectful way, but not like this.

          • Hi Bjorn,

            I don’t think who I am is of crucial importance here. What matters is the content of the debate.
            I can assure you though that I am not a homeopath. Whether you believe that or not is obviously your own choice.

          • I don’t think who I am is of crucial importance here. What matters is the content of the debate.

            I take this as further support of my suspicion that you are misusing a real persons name. I wonder if that is illegal?

            I can assure you though that I am not a homeopath.

            That would be a matter of definition. You are certainly not very convincing in your efforts to hide your beliefs.

            Whether you believe that or not is obviously your own choice.

            Duh…

          • @Philippe Elskens : Sure it is easier than be wrong ! As i’ve said, you’ve heard nothing. Then, you put yourself alone in this uncomfortable position by writting outright wrong statements and hope that no one see through. Also, thanks for not adding more absurdity about Cosic and Del Giudice, it would have been too much to bear i fear.

          • Bjorn,

            I can not believe you misinterpret my answer this heavily…
            I am saying exactly what I mean!!!
            I am not a homeopath: I do not hold the believe that homeopathy works, in every single one of my posts I have stated this several times explicitly!!! I believe in the scientific method, and when I follow this consistently, I can not say that there is no data to back up the claim that homeopathy seems to work in certain contexts. If I am wrong, then I will be happy to admit that! But instead of shouting that I am wrong, please provide me with an explanation why a specific meta-analysis with positive results should be dismissed?
            I am not pro homeopathy, but pro science and pro open mindedness. Yes, I understand perfectly that in your opinion my open mindedness goes beyond what you consider reasonable. But this does not give you the right to insult or accuse me! The debate is not about who I am, so that’s why I replied in this way. You are accusing me of doing something illegal!?! If you really suspect that I am misusing someone else’s name, than please contact this person by every possible way. Every lead will lead you to me.

            Accusing me of something illegal not only has nothing to do with the debate, but you simply have not just reason to do this! This is something an honorable person should understand and apologize for.

        • @Philippe Elskens

          Sadly, your comments come over as an example of someone so open-minded his brains have fallen out.

          Homeopathy originated, more or less full blown, from the back of the neck of Samuel Hahnemann in 1810. In more than 200 years there is not a shred of convincing clinical evidence that homeopathy works beyond placebo effects, disease regression to the mean, and the tendency of many illnesses to cure themselves with time.

          Some decades before Hahnemann first published his Organon, James Lind, in the first-ever example of a randomized clinical trials demonstrated unequivocally that citrus fruits cured scurvy. So the general homeopathic principle that ‘like cures like’ had an existing example of its untruth even before Hahnemann pulled his fanciful ideas out of his imagination.

          Hormesis has zilch to do with homeopathy: please take the trouble to read about things before you comment on them.

          “I am very unfamiliar with how homeopathy works in practice. No idea how they formulate/administer their products.” Once again, please take the trouble to find out before you make your comments: they only amplify your admitted ignorance of the subject. Whatever ridiculous theory homeopathists come up with to explain their miracle dilutions, they need to apply equally to the ethanol used as initial solvent for many of the starting materials and to lactose, used to formulate final dilutions as homeopathic pills, as well as to the water used to make the dilutions.

          “You are ASSUMING that ordinary water (potentised by nature) has no effects. I am not saying it does, but this is something that should be proven before relying on it to formulate an argument against homeopathy.” No, sir. The burden of proof always lies with the person proposing the hypothesis.

          “Science should not be in ‘camps fighting each other’…” Agreed. But homeopathists have proved repeatedly (and for more than 2 centuries) that they are not scientists. Over that long period of time they have consistently refused to bow to the weight of scientific evidence. They are therefore working from a faith, just like believers in the many forms of deities humans have invented over the years.

          Please advise us at what stage you consider we can relegate homeopathy to the state of history. Do you think we should still be investigating Perkins’ metallic tractors, Abrams dynamizers, glyoxilides, Bates’s eye exercises? All of these had devoted followings in their day (some still do) but I suspect you’ve never heard of them: they’re nonsense that, like homeopathy, claim to cure all illnesses.

          “My (limited) knowledge comes from a student who wrote a thesis about the subject that I supervised.” How did you manage to supervise a student’s thesis if you didn’t have a clue about the topic? How did you judge whether or not the student’s thesis makes rational sense or was full of horse manure? Your lengthy post comes over to the reader as an argument from ignorance. Remember, if you think you’re good you’re almost certainly comparing yourself with the wrong people.

          • “Science should not be in ‘camps fighting each other’”
            There is only one ‘camp’ that can be defined as ‘science’. Homeopathy does not contain elements that can be associated with science – no more than the Anglican church. Any application of the scientific method to supporting the belief system of homeopathy falls flat on prior probability, the same as the application of scientific methods to defining God or to finding the type of cheese the Moon is made of – a long since disproven hypothesis.

  • Hi Frank,

    “You are ASSUMING that ordinary water (potentised by nature) has no effects. I am not saying it does, but this is something that should be proven before relying on it to formulate an argument against homeopathy.” No, sir. The burden of proof always lies with the person proposing the hypothesis.
    -> When it comes down to proving homeopathy, yes the burden lies with the believer, totally agreed! But if the author states that ordinary water has no effects, that in itself is a hypothesis/assumption as long as it has not been empirically proven.

    “My (limited) knowledge comes from a student who wrote a thesis about the subject that I supervised.” How did you manage to supervise a student’s thesis if you didn’t have a clue about the topic? How did you judge whether or not the student’s thesis makes rational sense or was full of horse manure?
    -> The main focus of the thesis was the possible mechanism of action: HOW could homeopathy ever work. As a molecular biologist, I was definitely the right person to oversee this. The last part of the thesis was an overview of meta-analyses of clinical trails. Having a clinical background, and being involved in clinical trails on vaccination in the past, I was more than capable of judging the quality of these papers. Granted, I do not know a lot about homeopathy practices, but to judge the quality of clinical studies, that is not what is most crucial, as long as you understand proper experimental design and statistical analysis.

    “Science should not be in ‘camps fighting each other’…” Agreed. But homeopathists have proved repeatedly (and for more than 2 centuries) that they are not scientists. Over that long period of time they have consistently refused to bow to the weight of scientific evidence. They are therefore working from a faith, just like believers in the many forms of deities humans have invented over the years.

    Please advise us at what stage you consider we can relegate homeopathy to the state of history. Do you think we should still be investigating Perkins’ metallic tractors, Abrams dynamizers, glyoxilides, Bates’s eye exercises? All of these had devoted followings in their day (some still do) but I suspect you’ve never heard of them: they’re nonsense that, like homeopathy, claim to cure all illnesses.
    -> Don’t get me wrong Frank, I am not at all under the impression that homeopaths know what they are talking about. My experience is that they are not interested in understanding how their medicine works, which is off course very unfortunate.
    However, although this obviously brings more doubt to the table about their practices, this is not a full proof reason to discard the discipline. To judge the discipline we need to look at the discipline itself, not at the knowledge of their practitioners. And we do that by in the first place looking at the clinical trails, which DO suggest that at least in some contexts there might be an effect higher than placebo. And no, I am not looking at the single studies who by coincidence show positive results as Quark suggests. These are flukes, and I mentioned explicitly in my previous post that I take this into account. I look at meta-analyses which are by their very definition executed to get around flukes! The Linde study for example is the largest meta-analysis performed so far, and only performed it’s statistical analysis on studies exceeding a pre-determined quality standard. And again, I do understand the possibilities why even a meta-analysis could be a false positive. However, no adequate critique has been given so far to explain a false positive, so dismissing it simply because you don’t like it’s conclusion is not scientific. The reverse can be said about the Shang meta-analysis; here several critiques to explain a false negative have been formulated. AGAIN, I am not convinced that homeopathy works, but purely based on the clinical data, there is reason to warrant more research. I try to empathize with both sides of the debate, and I think you should too: for a typical homeopath, the Linde study and the controversy about the Shang study are reason enough to keep believing. So more research should be performed, even if it is to proof beyond any single shred of doubt that it does not work. With debates like this, where people are being attacked and insults thrown, you will not convince a single homeopath, which should be your goal as a non-believer!!! I definitely get your question when we should relegate homeopathy to the state of history! To answer it we should reformulate the question into ‘how could we do this exactly, practically speaking’. We should realize that in order to do this, we have to convince believers with very very hard and abundant data. There are still too many positive results in order to do this! If a proper critique to these studies is not formulated, they will always be used to justify the practice… If any of you does know why these studies are invalid, please enlighten me. But simply saying they have to be fake (remember, flukes are out of the question with meta-analyses) because you do not believe the results is not adequate!

    I understand perfectly what hormesis is. I did not say that vaccination is a form of hormesis, at all! That it only applies to radiation is simply untrue! It is a general concept that addresses a biphasic response of a certain agent. Nevertheless, if the Cosic-Del Giudice hypothesis is correct, then homeopathy is a form of radiation! This hypothesis states that proteins, RNA and DNA molecules behave as semi-conductors who emit an electromagnetic signal which is the result of electron propagation through the backbone of the molecule. Accordingly to the electron ion interaction pseudopotential of the amino (or nucleotide) sequence, this emission will be molecule specific. The resonant recognition model predicts (and there is empirical data to back this up; inter alia photobiomodulation) that specific biological responses can be elicited with these EM signals. Del Giudice’s theory predicts, based on quantum chromo dynamics, that these EM signals will be stored stably in dynamic water structures called coherent domains and reemitted by external perturbations without loss of information.
    The ONLY reason why I joined this forum was because I wanted to know what the author thought about this hypothesis, since I believe him to be more knowledgeable than myself. Instead, I have not gotten any response to the content of this hypothesis, and not much more than insults…
    Therefore from now on, I will not react to insulting responses, but if someone wants do discuss the content, I’m very happy to!

    • Good grief!

    • But if the author states that ordinary water has no effects, that in itself is a hypothesis/assumption as long as it has not been empirically proven.

      If you indeed are a molecular biologist it is rather unfortunate that you fail to comprehend the basic principle of logic and science that states the obvious: you can not ‘prove’ a negative.
      Did you miss the lectures on basic research methodology where they talked about hypothesis testing? You can only try to prove the opposite, which has consistently failed in the case of homeopathy. Any attempt (e.g. Chikramane, Benveniste, Ennis, Josephson, Montagnier, Emoto… etc.) at explaining how pure water might have such an effect has been shown to be erroneous and unskillful.

      As a molecular biologist you should also acknowledge the fact that prior probability of a biological effect of pure water, whether shaken or stirred and especially when (as is most common) evaporated from sugar pills, is astronomically[sic] low.
      Add to that the devout desire of homeopaths to be “the special healer” (“Sanatiophilia”?) which further deteriorates their judgement and you will find that their attempts at research can seldom be taken seriously.

    • “as long as you understand proper experimental design and statistical analysis. ”

      -> So again, what about prior plausibility ? You can do whatever you want with statistics, but if your hypothesis is non sensical it mean nothing – you seems to have hard time about this one – . Hence, this is why thoses clinical trials are worthless here.

      “I understand perfectly what hormesis is.”

      -> No… Otherwise why would you bring it here ? Hormeosis need that there is a dose in the first place, if there is nothing (water) there is no hormeosis. Then, hormeosis is not a stronger effect when you dilute the compound (opposed to homeopathy, again). So tell again why you think it is of interest here ?

      Then your story about Cosic-Giudice is Luc Montaignier story over and over… But strangely you are not talking about him ? It is almost word for word his ‘famous’ paper (Giudice is also author i believe). The thing is, as him, you are making very very stretched link between two models, but it doesn’t work like that. I’ll not get into lenghty explanations about coherent water domains and why it is not what you think, but i will just tell the facts straight : There is no experiment that show that if you put whatever molecule in water, and dilute it ad nauseam, you get an EM imprit of it (Benveniste tried, Montaignier tried, and surely less notorious one, nope). The only experiment done by those groups are exposing cell to low frequency EM fields for days, and it show that it could reduce cell proliferation in cultured media… Even if it’s true, it is most likely trough alteration of calcium uptake at cell membrane, nothing specific. Otherwise let’s be real for 5 min here, it would be nobel prize worthy ! Why can’t you just see that there is no experimental proof ?

  • Dearest Edzard
    You really could post that reply I sent in a while back now and allow your readership to see and judge what an arse I am.
    I am in the habit of electing to discard stupid and insulting comments, or comments which are off topic – I have always done so. arse. Thanks for the ad hominem, and for the promotion of homeopathy over the decades and attracting the interest of Professor Robert Hahn to your research methodologies.
    All blessings
    Andrew

    • it seems that there is no homeopathic remedy against conceiving weird comments.
      as to Robert Hahn, you might have missed this which was posted here (http://edzardernst.com/2015/09/how-much-did-big-pharma-pay-for-my-soul/):

      PROFESSOR HAHN

      Here I can rely on a comment posted on my blog some time ago by someone who can read Swedish (thank you Bjorn). He commented about Hahn as follows:

      A renowned director of medical research with well over 300 publications on anesthesia and intensive care and 16 graduated PhD students under his mentorship, who has been leading a life on the side, blogging and writing about spiritualism, and alternative medicine and now ventures on a public crusade for resurrecting the failing realm of homeopathy!?! Unbelievable!

      I was unaware of this person before, even if I have lived and worked in Sweden for decades.

      I have spent the evening looking up his net-track and at his blog at roberthahn.nu (in Swedish).

      I will try to summarise some first impressions:

      Hahn is evidently deeply religious and there is the usual, unmistakably narcissistic aura over his writings and sayings. He is religiously confident that there is more to this world than what can be measured and sensed. In effect, he seems to believe that homeopathy (as well as alternative medical methods in general) must work because there are people who say they have experienced it and denying the possibility is akin to heresy (not his wording but the essence of his writing).

      He has, along with his wife, authored at least three books on spiritual matters with titles such as (my translations) “Clear replies from the spiritual world” and “Connections of souls”.

      He has a serious issue with skeptics and goes on at length about how they are dishonest bluffers[sic] who willfully cherry-pick and misinterpret evidence to fit their preconceived beliefs.

      He feels that desperate patients should generally be allowed the chance that alternative methods may offer.

      He believes firmly in former-life memories, including his own, which he claims he has found verification for in an ancient Italian parchment.

      His main arguments for homeopathy are Claus Linde’s meta analyses and the sheer number of homeopathic research that he firmly believes shows it being superior to placebo, a fact that (in his opinion) shows it has a biological effect. Shang’s work from 2005 he dismisses as seriously flawed.

      He also points to individual research like this as credible proof of the biologic effect of remedies.

      He somewhat surprisingly denies recommending homeopathy despite being convinced of its effect and maintains that he wants better, more problem oriented and disease specific studies to clarify its applicability. (my interpretation)

      If it weren’t for his track record of genuine, acknowledged medical research and him being a renowned authority in a genuine, scientific medical field, this man would be an ordinary, religiously devout quack.

      What strikes me as perhaps telling of a consequence of his “exoscientific” activity, is that Hahn, who holds the position of research director at a large city trauma and emergency hospital is an “adjungerad professor”, which is (usually) a part time, time limited, externally financed professorial position, while any Swedish medical doctor with his very extensive formal merits would very likely hold a full professorship at an academic institution.

      END OF QUOTE

      • I’ll have a glass of whatever Andrew’s drinking.

        • There I was, a conventional GP trainee when my trainer took me to the cafe at Yeovil hospital where I met the recently appointed professor of Complementary Medicine at Exeter University…and was smitten…..and how he has repaid my devotion these years past………………..Yes Edzard, YOU turned ME on ……..to complementary Medicine- thank you, thank you, thank you

          All blessings

          • I remember Yeovil but not you. could I now turn you on again? USE YOUR BRAIN FOR CRITICAL THINKING

          • Andrew-
            You’ll have heard the phrase
            ‘You can take a horse to water….’ or in your case ‘Nothing but water’.
            Seems you chose to swallow it all though.

  • I already do, darling, as a consulting full time clinical doctor in the NHS.
    When will you start demonstrating any evidence that you can be a true scientist, rather than what appears to be a broken record repetitive predictable dull mudslinger? Forgive me if I am wrong?
    To first do an ad hominem on Professor Hahn, then mention his extensive formal merits is a sad and predictable act and an action of last resort in the face of challenging scientific debate. It is also abusive. Take Qark’s responses to Philippe Elskens as an example of abuse too?
    Do you know about the dynamics of abusers and abused and the temporal consequences of issues being unaddressed which lead to projection and persistence of torment by those unable to safely disclose? Thought not. There’s a field of study to explore for you, especially with recent political events in Austria, a seam to richly mine. It even lies within the 4% of the known universe, dontcha know?
    All blessings

    • when and how did I do an ad hominem on Hahn [I thought he did one on me!]?
      what has Austria got to do with anything we discuss here?
      why don’t you just stop embarrassing yourself?

    • Dear Andrew,

      I have never seen a comment on this blog I would regard as abusive. You’re stretching the definition of ‘abuse’ too far. There are hostile comments, ad hominems (usually in response to persistent stupidity), sarcastic comments and irony, but not abuse. Look to places like YouTube and Twitter for truly abusive comments. I am sure that Edzard’s dedicated monitoring of all comments removes those that are abusive or offensive. He has occasionally posted exceptions when comments are abusive to himself, but the foul language, threats of assault and death, and truly abusive ad hominems that characterize some websites are (thankfully) missing here.

      “Do you know about the dynamics of abusers and abused and the temporal consequences of issues being unaddressed which lead to projection and persistence of torment by those unable to safely disclose?” I’m not sure exactly what this means in English, but if someone experiences ‘torment’ as a consequence of choosing to comment on this blog, they were either foolish to comment in the first place, given their over-sensitive nature, or (unlikely) they have come to realize they were wrong about a belief they have cherished for a long time.

    • Hehe i’m a monster now. I promise, i won’t come at night haunt your sleep or hide in the closet to scream about how you are clueless about science. I sincerely hope that you will not get a PTSD because of me. But you know, if people like you would stop spew non sense, it would help a lot too.

      At least you give me a good laugh !

    • “I already do, darling, as a consulting full time clinical doctor in the NHS.”

      I shudder at the thought of Andrew being a consulting full time[sic] clinical doctor in the NHS.

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