MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

On this blog, we have had (mostly unproductive) discussions with homeopath so often that sometimes they sound like a broken disk. I don’t want to add to this kerfuffle; what I hope to do today is to summarise  a certain line of argument which, from the homeopaths’ point of view, seems entirely logical. I do this in the form of a fictitious conversation between a scientist (S) and a classical homeopath (H). My aim is to make the reader understand homeopaths better so that, future debates might be better informed.

HERE WE GO:

S: I have studied the evidence from studies of homeopathy in some detail, and I have to tell you, it fails to show that homeopathy works.

H: This is not true! We have plenty of evidence to prove that patients get better after seeing a homeopath.

S: Yes, but this is not because of the remedy; it is due to non-specific effect like the empathetic consultation with a homeopath. If one controls for these factors in adequately designed trials, the result usually is negative.

I will re-phrase my claim: the evidence fails to show that highly diluted homeopathic remedies are more effective than placebos.

H: I disagree, there are positive studies as well.

S: Let’s not cherry pick. We must always consider the totality of the reliable evidence. We now have a meta-analysis published by homeopaths that demonstrates the ineffectiveness of homeopathy quite clearly.

H: This is because homeopathy was not used correctly in the primary trials. Homeopathy must be individualised for each unique patient; no two cases are alike! Remember: homeopathy is based on the principle that like cures like!!!

S: Are you saying that all other forms of using homeopathy are wrong?

H: They are certainly not adhering to what Hahnemann told us to do; therefore you cannot take their ineffectiveness as proof that homeopathy does not work.

S: This means that much, if not most of homeopathy as it is used today is to be condemned as fake.

H: I would not go that far, but it is definitely not the real thing; it does not obey the law of similars.

S: Let’s leave this to one side for the moment. If you insist on individualised homeopathy, I must tell you that this approach can also be tested in clinical trials.

H: I know; and there is a meta-analysis which proves that it is effective.

S: Not quite; it concluded that medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects. Findings are consistent with sub-group data available in a previous ‘global’ systematic review. The low or unclear overall quality of the evidence prompts caution in interpreting the findings. New high-quality RCT research is necessary to enable more decisive interpretation.

If you call this a proof of efficacy, I would have to disagree with you. The effect was tiny and at least two of the best studies relevant to the subject were left out. If anything, this paper is yet another proof that homeopathy is useless!

H: You simply don’t understand homeopathy enough to say that. I tried to tell you that the remedy must be carefully chosen to fit each unique patient. This is a very difficult task, and sometimes it is not successful – mainly because the homeopaths employed in clinical trials are not skilled enough to find it. This means that, in these studies, we will always have a certain failure rate which, in turn, is responsible for the small average effect size.

S: But these studies are always conducted by experienced homeopaths, and only the very best, most experienced homeopaths were chosen to cooperate in them. Your argument that the trials are negative because of the ineffectiveness of the homeopaths – rather than the ineffectiveness of homeopathy – is therefore nonsense.

H: This is what you say because you don’t understand homeopathy!

S: No, it is what you say because you don’t understand science. How else would you prove that your hypothesis is correct?

H: Simple! Just look at individual cases from the primary studies within this meta-analysis . You will see that there are always patients who did improve. These cases are the proof we need. The method of the RCT is only good for defining average effects; this is not what we should be looking at, and it is certainly not what homeopaths are interested in.

S: Are you saying that the method of the RCT is wrong?

H: It is not always wrong. Some RCTs of homeopathy are positive and do very clearly prove that homeopathy works. These are obviously the studies where homeopathy has been applied correctly. We have to make a meta-analysis of such trials, and you will see that the result turns out to be positive.

S: So, you claim that all the positive studies have used the correct method, while all the negative ones have used homeopathy incorrectly.

H: If you insist to put it like that, yes.

S: I see, you define a trial to have used homeopathy correctly by its result. Essentially you accept science only if it generates the outcome you like.

H: Yes, that sounds odd to you – because you don’t understand enough of homeopathy.

S: No, what you seem to insist on is nothing short of double standards. Or would you accept a drug company claiming: some patients did feel better after taking our new drug, and this is proof that it works?

H: You see, not understanding homeopathy leads to serious errors.

S: I give up.

306 Responses to A chat with a homeopath

  • I sense a novel coming on: “Homeopaths and the Turin Shroud”

  • The enjoyable part of butting your head against a brick wall is when you stop.

  • This post is an excellent précis of the last 15 years of my life!

  • Edzard

    “I don’t want to add to this kerfuffle; what I hope to do today is to summarise  a certain line of argument which, from the homeopaths’ point of view, seems entirely logical. ”

    Coming from you: impressive: “The reader of this literature must be aware that ideology plays a part in these meta-analyses.” (Dr. Robert Hahn commenting upon Edzard’s review.) I modified it to be more representative.

    “I do this in the form of a fictitious conversation between a scientist (same as you? (E) and a classical homeopath (H). My aim is to make the reader understand homeopaths better so that, future debates might be better informed.
    If you have no understanding of homeopathy, how do you propose to understand homeopath? Did you ever try talking to your father and grand father about their practice of homeopathy?

    E :“I have studied the evidence from studies of homeopathy in some detail, and I have to tell you, it fails to show that homeopathy works.
    H: You have not studied homeopathy! The evidence that shows homeopathy does not work is usually manipulated. For example, Dr. R Hahn singles out Ernst for such activity. “Ernst makes conclusions based on assumed data when the true data are at hand.”
    E: “….this is not because of the remedy; it is due to non-specific effect like the empathetic consultation with a homeopath.”
    H: This lie has been repeated many times. Few old and cranky homeopaths, are extremely rude and have been known to misbehave with their patients. Their patients still get well. Also, if this is true, why is it that allopaths have not been able to use this process for improving results.

    E: “I will re-phrase my claim: the evidence fails to show that highly diluted homeopathic remedies are more effective than placebos.”
    H: This is possible if Edzard evaluates the study. “Ernst still adds this statistically significant result in favor of homeopathy over placebo to his list of arguments of why homeopathy does not work. Such argumentation must be reviewed carefully before being accepted.”
    E: “We must always consider the totality of the reliable evidence. We now have a meta-analysis published by homeopaths that demonstrates the ineffectiveness of homeopathy quite clearly.”
    H: The ineffectiveness comes from people like Edzard. “Ernst invalidates a study by Jonas et al. that shows an odds ratio of in favor of homeopathy for rheumatic conditions, using the notion that there are not sufficient data for the treatment of any specific condition.”
    E: “This means that much, if not most of homeopathy as it is used today is to be condemned as fake.”
    H: The law of similars is the basis. New ideas continue to open additional ways to treat a patient and provide a cure. Nosodes, combination remedies are part of these new ideas.
    E: Let’s leave this to one side for the moment. If you insist on individualised homeopathy, I must tell you that this approach can also be tested in clinical trials.
    H: I know; and there is a meta-analysis which proves that it is effective.
    E: Not quite; it concluded that medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects….……….. New high-quality RCT research is necessary to enable more decisive interpretation.
    If you call this a proof of efficacy, I would have to disagree with you. ….. yet another proof that homeopathy is useless!”
    H: Your disagreement is not new. And you are not alone. “The most believable of the meta-analyses is still Linde et al.’s work from 1997 along with the associated consideration of study quality as the authors appear to maintain a reasonable balance between exclusion and statistical power. The follow-up analyses by Cucherat et al. and Shang et al. rest on such extensive exclusion of data that the conclusions are based on only a tiny fraction of the published studies. These meta-analyses are good examples of how the same data can yield results that are statistically in favor and not in favor of homeopathy, and having a negative result is most likely when making conclusions based on as little material as possible.”
    E: But these studies are always conducted by experienced homeopaths, and only the very best, most experienced homeopaths were chosen to cooperate in them. Your argument that the trials are negative because of the ineffectiveness of the homeopaths – rather than the ineffectiveness of homeopathy – is therefore nonsense.
    H: If doctors cannot make mistakes, could you explain the reason why deaths due to doctor’s error are the 3rd most important reason in the USA? (Over 251,000 killed every year.) Incidentally, the doctors in the USA are using the latest diagnostic technology available in medicine.
    E: No, it is what you say because you don’t understand science. How else would you prove that your hypothesis is correct?
    H: Killing patients is not science. We follow a proven theory. And that is why deaths due to homeopathy are minuscule over many years.
    E: Are you saying that the method of the RCT is wrong?
    H: I do not have to say anything. If you will carefully look up studies from the scientific medical world that you belong to, you would stop spreading false information about homeopathy.
    “REPRODUCIBILITY is the cornerstone of science. What we hold as definitive scientific fact has been tested over and over again. Even when a fact has been tested in this way, it may still be superseded by new knowledge.”
    Pharmaceuticals company Bayer, for example, recently revealed that it fails to replicate about two-thirds of published studies identifying possible drug targets
    Bayer’s rival Amgen reported an even higher rate of failure – over the past decade its oncology and haematology researchers could not replicate 47 of 53 highly promising results they examined Because drug companies scour the scientific literature for promising leads, this is a good way to estimate how much biomedical research cannot be replicated. The answer: the majority.
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528826.000-is-medical-science-built-on-shaky-foundations/#.VG9IYlXF9Yk
    “Be that as it may, the cohort studies of matched controls are flawed from its beginning. Control studies, claimed to be the best way to study drug effects and many other areas in medicine, do not reflect the real future events. As discussed earlier time evolution being dependent on the complete organism-genotype, phenotype and consciousness, controlled studies only match the phenotype. Many of those studies, if not all of them, have given wrong signals.”
    E: So, you claim that all the positive studies have used the correct method, while all the negative ones have used homeopathy incorrectly.
    H: This is your propagation of false information.
    E: I see, you define a trial to have used homeopathy correctly by its result. Essentially you accept science only if it generates the outcome you like.
    H: False information.
    E: No, what you seem to insist on is nothing short of double standards. Or would you accept a drug company claiming: some patients did feel better after taking our new drug, and this is proof that it works?
    H: Double standards!!!! Drugs have continued to kill patients with regularity to an extent you have derived a new statement “ adverse effects are part of scientific medical drugs.” An estimated 43 million people were killed in 2012 around the world by medical profession. Vioxx, Actos and similar drugs kill hundreds of thousands of patients. I am sure you follow a single standard: how to make sure the patient continues to return over and over again to the doctor.
    “ Many of the quick fix drugs have also shown disappointing results. Comparing the antioxidant vitamin combinations of AC and E given to post menopausal women in Canada compared to a similar cohort of matched controls given extra fruits and vegetables over a period of five years showed the futility of those quick fixes in preventing cancer and heart diseases. On the contrary the incidence was significantly less in the fruit and vegetable-eating group.”
    E: I give up.
    H: You know that is not the truth. Your sole purpose of existence is to run down all alternative forms of medicine. You have continued for past 20 years with zero success against homeopathy.
    http://edzardernst.com/2017/04/the-unpopularity-of-homeopathy-worldwide/
    This is when you start with the ruse:
    “As many of you know, my own verdict on homeopathy has changed over time. As a young clinician straight out of medical school, I was taken by homeopathy. Years later, as a researcher, I had to realize that the scientific evidence spoke quite clearly against it. Since then, I have expressed this in several ways.”
    You will give up only when technology will advance to show real effect of medicines in curing patients and your semantics will be over ridden by objective results.

    • I wanted to give an insight into the illogical thinking of homeopaths – but you do this far better than I do.
      THANK YOU

      • Edzard

        I am glad you like it. Your name appears for all the right (or is it wrong) reasons.

        For some reason I saw only part of this post and tried to put in the balance write up. Regret error.

      • Dr. Edzard,unfortunately patients generally turn to a homoeopath when your faculties “GIVE UP”.. And your medicines and treatment which according to you are the only scientific means to treat fails.
        We have seen the highly qualified and expert doctors of medicine and greatest surgeons visit a homoeopath for their ailments which they themselves were unable to take care of with their medicines.
        We have Doctors who are themselves postgraduates in medicine or are graduated in modern medicine(allopathy) but are dedicated homoeopathic practitioners since they know that homoeopathy works on planes where the chemical agents are unable to reach and hence cure.
        Dr. Edzard we have a request with due respect, kindly stop posting such articles.. they confuse the people. Or try “understanding” homoeopathy for a while.. you will be stunned for sure!!

        • why don’t you look me up before you write such nonsense?
          at least, then you would know my name.

          • Done looking up for you in wiki.. quiet surprised to know All your life you have worked vandalise alternative medicine!! Hats off!

          • Struti wrote, “Done looking up for you in wiki.. quiet surprised to know All your life you have worked vandalise alternative medicine!! ”

            My best guess is that this means, “Done looking you up in wiki…quite surprised to know that for your whole life you have worked to vandalise alternative medicine!!”

            But I could be wrong because Edzard hasn’t spent his whole life doing that and it doesn’t say anything of the kind in wikipedia.

        • Hey Shruti nicely said. It’s so true. When people have tried every drug, treatment etc. Only to be worse off and sicker, then they try alternative, complimentary, natural medicine. But for many the damage has been done. Then as humorous as it sounds alternative medicine gets labelled ineffective. For example this science paper on chemotherapy admits 2.7% 5 year survival rate… Meaning 97 out of 100 people are dead due to chemo. But still it is pushed as a major effective treatment when it is the worst. You guys need to back off age old treatments and remedies that have been around for a long time. If people say homoeopathy has worked for them then why try and discredit it take a harsh reality check into conventional medicine that’s the industry doing the most damage to people’s life, health and bank balances.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630849

          Edzard your so rude to people that have a differing opinion. It’s very rare that people go through there entire life without consulting a natural health/medicine practitioner when conventional treatment has failed them.. Let’s hope karma doesn’t bite back at you for misleading all the people you have deceived with your scientific intellect post nominals when you need it most…

          • Jeff, I am trying to explain this calmly to you. Aside the data of this paper being 20 years old (that is stone age), a 2.7% contribution of chemotherapy to survival does NOT mean that 97 out of 100 people are dead due to chemotherapy. This is utter nonsense. If you would have read the paper it would have become clear to you that it means that 2.7% of patients where cured by chemotherapy *alone*. Normally cancer therapy is a combination and within that field chemotherapy has tremendously contributed to the survival rates we have now. In breast cancer it has risen to 80%, partly due to early diagnosis, but also due to chemotherapy. In Leukemia it is the same.

            Especially in breast cancer the success rate of alternative treatments is known. With CAM alone, the chance of surviving 5 years is 40%, with state-of-the-art treatment it is 80%. That means the probability to die within 5 years is three-fold higher with CAM alone compared to state-of-the-art treatment.

            With regard to homeopathy, testimonials are NEVER EVER valid evidence. Why ? Because many factors affect this, among them the natural cause of disease, observational bias, placebos, etc. Clinical studies have shown since 1835 (!!!) that homeopathy does not work. Even how homeopathy was invented was bad science. Homeopathy is based on a hypersensitivity reaction of Hahnemann towards cinchona bark, a fact that was already noted by his contemporaries.

            There you have the explanation why Prof. Ernst (and I) may sometimes get really rude. Aside from ethical considerations, research is expensive and resources are scarce. Doing research in homeopathy is a huge waste of money. If one hears the same arguments again and again, brought forward by people who apparently have not read and understood the studies they are citing (with all respect Jeff, that includes your post) one really can get angry.

          • I am particularly skeptical of homeopathy anecdotes. Several times, ‘evidence’, such as blood chemistry has been produced to bolster the veracity of these stories only to be found to be in error.

          • Well said Jeff… If you notice the comments below that responded to you have been switched off so no one else can respond to what has been dictated, it’s fairly easy to put two and two together and figure out that this website and the author is blinded by studies paid for in full by opossing industry. I personally can no longer stomach the hypocrisy and won’t be reading the authors views and opinions anymore. Natural medicine as a stand alone treatment works best. Your all being deceived.

          • ” it’s fairly easy to put two and two together and figure out that this website and the author is blinded by studies paid for in full by opossing industry.”
            CAN YOU PLEASE DO THAT AND TELL ME?

          • @Farley S

            You said

            If you notice the comments below that responded to you have been switched off so no one else can respond to what has been dictated, it’s fairly easy to put two and two together and figure out that this website and the author is blinded by studies paid for in full by opossing [sic] industry.

            If you look around this blog for a few moments, you’ll swiftly realize it has only five levels of indentation for replies to comments. Any replies past level five just form a long line of posts that are increasingly difficult to put into context. There are several other ways blogs handle replies to replies, all of them a trade-off. No-one has ‘switched off’ anything specially for your benefit, so please abandon that particular conspiracy theory.

            As for your other suggestion, don’t you think it would be desperately simple for the ‘opposing industry’ — presumably you mean the pharmaceutical industry — to manufacture homeopathic remedies? They have all the equipment and processes necessary, they wouldn’t lose any sales of their drugs, just gain more from folks who think pharmaceuticals are nothing but side-effect generators and who prefer witchcraft to science.

            They could wipe the floor with the companies who currently specialize in altmed, yet they don’t do it. Hmmm. Could it be a huge conspiracy called ‘ethics’ that stops them?!

          • @farley.

            In the absence of any evidence for homeopathy you conclude that everybody who points this out must be paid. Who needs education when you can just make it up.

          • @Frank Odds

            It is both entertaining and bemusing to see the SCAM advocates resort to silly conspiracy theories at the least stimulus.

            Farley S hasn’t worked out how this page functions, so The Man is silencing criticism.

            Several of us have posted on Edzard’s page over several years. This cannot be because we all share a sane and evidence-based view of the world and find quackery offensive. Instead it must be because none of us is real and are all sock puppets of Edzard Ernst who also isn’t real. Or, we are paid agents of Big Pharma. There is additionally, of course, the sockpuppet/shill combo in which our puppet master gets paid for the actions of the all of his puppets.

  • “I do this in the form of a fictitious conversation between a scientist (same as you? (E) and a classical homeopath (H). My aim is to make the reader understand homeopaths better so that, future debates might be better informed.
    If you have no understanding of homeopathy, how do you propose to understand homeopath? Did you ever try talking to your father and grand father about their practice of homeopathy?

    E: “….this is not because of the remedy; it is due to non-specific effect like the empathetic consultation with a homeopath.”
    H: This lie has been repeated many times. Few old and cranky homeopaths, are extremely rude and have been known to misbehave with their patients. Their patients still get well. Also, if this is true, why is it that allopaths have not been able to use this process for improving results.

    E: “I will re-phrase my claim: the evidence fails to show that highly diluted homeopathic remedies are more effective than placebos.”
    H: This is possible if Edzard evaluates the study. “Ernst still adds this statistically significant result in favor of homeopathy over placebo to his list of arguments of why homeopathy does not work. Such argumentation must be reviewed carefully before being accepted.”

    E :“I have studied the evidence from studies of homeopathy in some detail, and I have to tell you, it fails to show that homeopathy works.
    H: You have not studied homeopathy! The evidence that shows homeopathy does not work is usually manipulated. For example, Dr. R Hahn singles out Ernst for such activity. “Ernst makes conclusions based on assumed data when the true data are at hand.”

    https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/355916

    • Robert Hahn might be a good anaesthesist, but he is NOT a good statistician/biologist. This is especially visible in this sentence:

      “For example, Ernst [7] makes conclusions based on assumed data [6] when the true
      data are at hand [3].”

      The beautiy of Prof. Ernst’s assumption is that he tries to answer the question how big would the effect be if the study design would be perfect ? The problem is that the perfect RCT does not exist, therefore it can only be determined by approximation and extrapolation of existing data. In fact tho assess the real effect size by extrapolating the regression of effect size vs study perfectness is a very clever approach. This works akin to the Michaelis Menten Kinetics where the maximum velocity of an enzyme reaction is determined by extrapolation of the Michaelis Menten Curve into infinity.

      What Hahn essentially claims is that approaches as used f.i. Michaelis and Menten are invalid because they operate with extrapolations – that is clearly not the case.

      • Thomas Mohr

        Explain to Bayer and ………….

        “REPRODUCIBILITY is the cornerstone of science. What we hold as definitive scientific fact has been tested over and over again. Even when a fact has been tested in this way, it may still be superseded by new knowledge.”
        Pharmaceuticals company Bayer, for example, recently revealed that it fails to replicate about two-thirds of published studies identifying possible drug targets
        Bayer’s rival Amgen reported an even higher rate of failure – over the past decade its oncology and haematology researchers could not replicate 47 of 53 highly promising results they examined Because drug companies scour the scientific literature for promising leads, this is a good way to estimate how much biomedical research cannot be replicated. The answer: the majority.
        https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528826.000-is-medical-science-built-on-shaky-foundations/#.VG9IYlXF9Yk

        Edzard is theoretically able to determine outcomes these guys spend millions on and know not what to do next?????????????

    • What professors can’t do… They teach… The more letters they have after their name the more out of touch they are with the real world. What is most hilarious is that the people who use homoeopathy and have found it works are criticised for being wrong, whereas all the scientists, professors, and anti industry who have a clear financial interest to oppose such results are correct. Come on really people it’s so obvious

      • ” Come on really people it’s so obvious”
        I AGREE!!!
        Almost as obvious as blood-letting – used for millennia and both ineffective + harmful.
        ” a clear financial interest ”
        PLEASE, DO TELL! WHO IS PAYING MY BILLS [I WHOULD LIKE TO SEND THEM TO SOMEONE!]

        • Like someone else pointed out on here, when you get sick and give your blind faith to the medical system so you can be pumped full of toxic synthetic drugs and have rounds and rounds of toxic treatments and you get sicker and sicker and begin to realise that you can’t get healthy by taking drugs and treatments that make you sick. Then what are you going to do?

          “Why are half of doctors (by their own admission) routinely prescribing drugs they know won’t work and despite the fact that 85% of new drugs hitting the market have been found through research to provide little to no benefit to their patients?”

          Why don’t you do some research on these truths Edzard and present your findings or would that undermine your community a little bit too much.

          • “when you get sick and give your blind faith to the medical system so you can be pumped full of toxic synthetic drugs and have rounds and rounds of toxic treatments and you get sicker and sicker and begin to realise that you can’t get healthy by taking drugs and treatments that make you sick…”
            are you feeling alright?
            it sounds as though you have taken too many of those toxic drugs.

          • I would like to reply to Edzard comment on this comment but comments were turned off as usual. Edzard when you have nothing better to add because you literally have nothing better to add you just be sarcastic and insult people. It is your comments like this that point to your inadequacy and biast as a researcher. Your not an expert in complementary medicines because any positive data attained is quickly dismissed by you. But you are an expert in degrading people and filling peoples minds full of more scientific junk. Congratulations jack of all trades master of none.

          • “Congratulations jack of all trades master of none.”
            USUALLY, I MERELY REACT TO INSULTS LIKE THIS ONE.
            “Your not an expert in complementary medicines because any positive data attained is quickly dismissed by you”
            WHY DON’T YOU LEARN A LITTLE BIT HOW SCIENCE WORKS?
            perhaps then you might understand that scientists must try to prove a hypothesis false; only when all attempts of doing this have failed, the hypothesis can be accepted as being correct.

          • @Farley S:

            …you can’t get healthy by taking drugs and treatments that make you sick.

            Correct: homoeopathy doesn’t work.

          • groupkyu said:

            I would like to reply to Edzard comment on this comment but comments were turned off as usual.

            Sigh. Nope. Comments are not turned off. How many times does this have to be explained? Almost as many times as homeopathy fans have to be told that anecdotes are not evidence. But oh! Look! You’ve been able to comment…

          • I was particularly impressed by Groupkyu’s ability to post a comment complaining that comments were turned off.

          • Can’t you see Edwards reply to comment is off therefore I am replying to Farley S comment, are you blind. Hey Edzard please leave your reply button on to your own comments so people can reply to your rants. Come on everyone knows how science really works, it’s a bit like baking a cake that’s full of fudge.

          • hey groupku – I never switch any reply button off – in fact, there is none to be switched off.

          • groupkyu said:

            Can’t you see Edwards reply to comment is off therefore I am replying to Farley S comment, are you blind. Hey Edzard please leave your reply button on to your own comments so people can reply to your rants.

            It’s already been pointed out to you that comments have not been switched off. Evidence for this is the fact that you were able to erm…post a comment. But what you’re referring to – but failed to articulate previously – is that not all comments have their own reply button. This is a common feature on many blogs – including this WordPress site – to maintain a reasonable width for comments so they are readable and not too narrow. That’s done by allowing four indented levels of comments. Once you get to this level, all you have to do is click on the reply button at the level above. If you need to make it clear what exactly you’re referring to, you can quote what the person has said, preferably using blockquote tags – that’s what they’re there for. Most people don’t need to be told this as it’s fairly obvious and well within the comprehension of most commenters here. It’s odd that those who haven’t understood and who have complained, claiming thinking it’s all a big conspiracy, are supporters of quackery. Do you think there might be an explanation for that?

            Come on everyone knows how science really works, it’s a bit like baking a cake that’s full of fudge.

            Well, I can’t say I’ve heard that analogy before.

          • @groupkyu:

            Can’t you see Edwards reply to comment is off therefore I am replying to Farley S comment, are you blind. Hey Edzard please leave your reply button on to your own comments so people can reply to your rants.

            I’ve seen this complaint here before. It’s just the way the blog software works: it only allows 5 levels of threaded indentation in the replies, so after that the individual comments don’t have a reply button. Nothing is being turned off.

            You either have to reply to the one before (so your comment is added to the end of the replies indented below it) or start a new thread. Just indicate who you are replying to and/or quote what you are replying to and it should all be quite clear.

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-39711137: Cancer Drugs Fund ‘huge waste of money’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37557083: £5 million ‘ball park figure’ expenditure p/a by NHS on homeopathy.

    1.27 billion/5million = 254

    at constant rate of spend: 254 years of NHS funding gone in ‘one blow’. And the comments on this site express concern about ‘wasting money on homeopathy’.

    ???

    • Because homeopaths only defraud a little bit they should be allowed to continued?

      • That must rank as the stupidest comment I have read on this blog.

        Also, you did not comment on: Cancer Drugs Fund ‘huge waste of money’

      • That would seem to be Greg’s argument, Acleron: it’s not very much money in the scale of things so why is anyone bothering about it? Bizarre.

        • What is bizarre is that Mr Henness does not know about homeopathy yet he attempts to join in making a case against it. Further, that he fails to see that wasting £1.2 billion is bizarre.

          • Greg said:

            What is bizarre is that Mr Henness does not know about homeopathy yet he attempts to join in making a case against it.

            Oh? What is it I don’t know about homeopathy and how have you concluded that?

            Further, that he fails to see that wasting £1.2 billion is bizarre.What is really bizarre is that I’ve not given my view on the £1.2 billion yet you seem to have formed an opinion on my view of it. Truly bizarre.

          • Greg: What is bizarre is that many intelligent and scientific minds do know about homeopathy, voodoo, chiropractics, witch craft, faith healers, naturopathy, acupuncture, palm readers, and the like but are still unable to convince the perpetrators of such scams and your prey of the pure unethical nonsense you espouse. You have much in common with our con man in chief with all your fake medicine and his fake news. You must be enjoying his attacks on science and reality.

  • All potency dose use details acute & chronic case & children dose

  • “H: You see, not understanding homeopathy leads to serious errors.” Rightly said

  • I agree Dr James, not understanding homeopathy leads to atrocious errors!

  • some of the above comments are just too marvellous to be true!
    they make my point so much better that I ever could.

    • Rightly said Edzard, you have been struggling for years to make your point: your perspective on homeopathy is not clear.

      How do you KNOW that homeopathic remedies DO NOT have an effect on the human organism?
      How do you KNOW that the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment IS DUE to placebo effect?

      You admitted that homeopathic remedies MAY!!! have small specific effects.

      Hopefully, you are now finally getting to the point of being able to state what your case is? Or do you need a few more years to think it about it?

      • “you have been struggling for years to make your point: your perspective on homeopathy is not clear”
        sorry, but it probably requires a minimum of intelligence

        • I know, it requires a minimum of intelligence to state a case clearly.

          What IS the case against homeopathy? RCT’s? That is funny Edzard. But, you would not know why it is funny which makes it funnier.

          Thank you Edzard.

  • I am suffering from nasal polyp. Which medicine to take?

  • You dont really know the principles of homoeopathy and how it works… So rather den taking this topic and trolling it on internet u shud first study abt its efficacy and den open ur mouth against it… And dont really act like a mongrel sect like many homoeopaths which i guess u have taken for ur trials..

    • interesting!

      • It’s pretty incomprehensible really.

        • Alan, you are pretty incomprehensible: spending all this time struggling against something that you know little about.

          Do the Nightingale Collaboration pay you a salary for your work, or are you a volunteer for them?

          • Greg opined:

            Alan, you are pretty incomprehensible: spending all this time struggling against something that you know little about.

            I find it very comprehensible, but yet again, you have not pointed out any gaps in my knowledge of homeopathy.

            Do the Nightingale Collaboration pay you a salary for your work, or are you a volunteer for them?

            LOL! You don’t say why you think it’s at all relevant, but I’m more than happy to help you out here: no one is paid by the Nightingale Collaboration.

          • it is important to him – because the thing he understands best is AD HOMINEM

    • You are totally correct, we don’t know any plausible mechanism by which it could work. But first we have to know if it works, so far, the indications are not good.

    • Priya

      You appear to be unfamiliar with the details of Prof Ernst’s career.

      Here;

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edzard_Ernst

      Look for the word ‘homeopathy’

  • from an editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine (18/4/2017), slightly off topic but still relevant:
    The scientific process demands an objective gathering and assessment of evidence to understand cause and-effect relationships and to guide the subsequent design and evaluation of interventions when necessary. It aims to get at the truth, no matter what it might be. Unfortunately, social and political pressures can interfere with scientific advances when some dislike or fear what the truth might be.

  • Sorry MD, PhD. This is arrogant flamebait. Talk to the people like myself that have benefited from the medicine.

  • Just stop trying to discredit things you clearly don’t understand. It can be very effective if used properly. If you don’t find it helpful​ then don’t use it.

    • Missy said:

      Just stop trying to discredit things you clearly don’t understand.

      What, specifically, is it that Prof Ernst doesn’t understand about homeopathy?

      It can be very effective if used properly.

      I was chatting to someone who sat next to me on the bus yesterday. She said that homeopathy is not effective for anything, whether used properly or not. Who should I believe and why?

    • Missy, you clearly don’t understand science. There is a big difference between fact and fiction.

  • @ Alan: reading your comments suggests this to me. I found your example of Arnica as an example (seeming to infer that it failed its non individualised homeopathy RCT (this is something I would expect to happen.)

    The £1.2 billion wastage was the point I made and you did not respond to it (silence is golden). What is your response to this wastage?

    Are you paid director fees by Nightingale, or do you do this work free of charge?

    • “the 1.2 billion was the point I made and you did not respond – silence is golden”
      only the dimmest of the dim have not yet realised that we are discussing alt med on this blog!

      • Edzard; one of the main points that the anti alt-med commenters make is that it is a waste of money to have alt-med on the NHS and a waste of money to research homeopathy. The general consensus by this team on your site is that there is no further need to research homeopathy: it is ‘rubbish’, ‘pure placebo’ etc.

        So, the point is that conventional medicine wastes a lot more money, and you are not bothered by this.

        It is known as ‘double standards’ or ‘hypocrisy’.

        Your statement: ‘we are discussing alt med on this blog’ is a diversion from a discussion that you don’t want to engage in: the progress of conventional medicine and its consumption of £100 billion plus public funds in the UK. Are these funds achieving value for money?

        As always, you are so much fun.

        • thank you
          not nearly as much fun though as someone who cannot get a simple point!
          you want me to say that IT IS A SCANDAL HOW THAT MONEY HAS BEEN WASTED. however, I cannot say that because I don’t know the story well enough. if it was wasted, it sure is a scandal, but I did not study the case in detail. why?
          BECAUSE IT IS NOT MY AREA OF EXPERTISE!
          …and even if it is a scandal, how does that justify wasting some more money on homeopathy?
          got it?

          • Edzard: What is your area of expertise, if you don’t mind me asking?

          • oh, you are funny; this time, you got me in stiches
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edzard_Ernst

          • Greg said:

            Edzard: What is your area of expertise, if you don’t mind me asking?

            No one knows. It’s TOP SECRET…

          • Edzard

            Wikipedia is open source and full of false information.

            Did you write this for your self or have Alan write it for you? Or may be Björn Geir?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edzard_Ernst

            They must have done it free of charge. The quality of content is poor.

          • Hello Greg. I sense you don’t know much about Edzard, in which case I recommend his book or, if you don’t want to read a whole book, here is a rather good review of it, which should help fill the gaps in your knowledge http://www.skepticat.org/2015/04/a-scientist-in-wonderland/

            And here is a page of FAQs about the Nightingale Collaboration. http://www.nightingale-collaboration.org/about/faqs.html

            Hope that helps.

          • Iqbal said:

            Wikipedia is open source and full of false information.

            Are you saying everything in Wikipedia is false or just some of it? But that’s not what’s important here, is it? The question is whether the information on Edzard’s page is false. If you spot something that is false, please feel free to point it out or correct it yourself. It’s open source, you know (but they do have strict rules).

            Did you write this for your self or have Alan write it for you? Or may be Björn Geir?

            Woah! Where did that come from? But if you knew anything about Wikipedia, you’d know you can look up every person who’s ever edited that page and see for yourself who the authors are.

            They must have done it free of charge. The quality of content is poor.

            Please, please, please point out any errors…

          • where does he come from, indeed!!!
            a different planet?

          • Greg said:

            Alan, my identity is not ‘Top Secret’, it is ‘private’. This is a BLOG and not a professional association or scientific forum. I thought you knew that.

            Good grief. That’s a massive comprehension failure.

            So you use up your valuable time campaigning against homeopathy as charity work, what a fine man you are.

            I’d like to think my time is valuable but I’ll leave that to others to decide. However, you’re failing to grasp what it is I am doing.

    • Greg said:

      @ Alan: reading your comments suggests this to me.

      I’m not sure to what you’re referring but perhaps you need to restrict your conclusions to what is actually said?

      I found your example of Arnica as an example (seeming to infer that it failed its non individualised homeopathy RCT (this is something I would expect to happen.)

      You failed to say where I mentioned arnica: can you link to it and say why you mentioned it?

      The £1.2 billion wastage was the point I made and you did not respond to it (silence is golden). What is your response to this wastage?

      Your comparison – as has been pointed out – is fallacious, and, as has also been pointed out, irrelevant to this blog.

      Are you paid director fees by Nightingale, or do you do this work free of charge?

      You don’t say why you were so interested or what difference you believe it makes (as far as I’m concerned, any conflicts of interest you have don’t affect the arguments you’ve put forward) but I thought I was clear earlier when I said that no one was paid by the Nightingale Collaboration. However, I’m happy to clear up any lingering doubt you might have: no one –
      including myself – receives any income from the Nightingale Collaboration. There, I hope that settles the matter.

  • The question has now been asked three times and no reply has been given.

    What exactly do the homeopaths here consider to be an example of the rest of us not understanding homeopathy?

    In my experience, a number of my sceptical friends seem to understand its rules and principles better than the homeopaths. The existence of those rules, by the way, seems to be used by homeopaths as implying that homeopathy itself works. Their endless evidence-free theological textual disputes over the works of their prophets are hilarious.

  • The real responses from the homeopathists to this blog post are even more hilariously dimwitted than the invented ones in the OP! There are lots of courtiers’ replies (how can Edzard Ernst say homeopathy is wearing no clothes when he’s not even read the literature on the exquisite curative quality of invisible homeopathic fibres). There are several tu quoques, prompted by today’s story of huge waste on ineffective cancer treatments*. The ‘no true homeopath’ problem rears its head yet again in several comments.

    Yet all this and more is covered in the fictional account of an interaction between a scientist and a homeopath. Homeopathists, you’re showing yourselves as almost totally devoid of the ability to reason. But then, that’s clearly begging the question.

    *For those who find it unreasonable for Edzard not to respond to this matter and are tired of people like me just shouting “tu quoque!” in response, I’m really concerned that he’s not yet said anything about the outrageous scandal of the surgeon found guilty today of performing unnecessary breast operations, and I’m personally furious that he hasn’t said a word about the scandal of Volkswagen not recalling their Zafiras promptly when it became clear months ago that they were at risk of bursting into flames. I realize that neither of these has anything to do with the focus of his blog, but it’s clearly a character defect that Edzard doesn’t automatically cover every single aspect of the world in detail here.

  • I am ready to show my all well documented cases responded to homoeopathy treatment only. Also where allopathic treatment has spoiled case badly and patients were treated with homoeopathic effect only. Well I must confirm the cases are of organic diseases. I want to convey to critics group that inspite of using ur least knowledge about homoeopathy to prove homoeopathy dont works. Please consult me for treatment in homoeopathy i will sure cure your problem… Well My Patients are enough to give you your remedy.

  • Alan, my identity is not ‘Top Secret’, it is ‘private’. This is a BLOG and not a professional association or scientific forum. I thought you knew that.

    So you use up your valuable time campaigning against homeopathy as charity work, what a fine man you are.

    With regards to conspiracy theories, see: Edzard’s take on ‘RUSSIAN INFLUENCE’ on the US Presidential election.(Edzard cites the relevant sites to obtain the corroborating evidence, p.s. you need to scroll back through the blogs to find it: treasure trove of conspiracy it is.

    Edzard does it again!

    • Greg wrote, “Alan, my identity is not ‘Top Secret’, it is ‘private’. This is a BLOG and not a professional association or scientific forum. I thought you knew that.”

      May I humbly suggest you read things more carefully? If you look again at the comment this refers to, you will realise that Alan is saying nothing about you or your identity and the fact you evidently think he is doing so is truly bizarre.

      “So you use up your valuable time campaigning against homeopathy as charity work, what a fine man you are.”

      As I helpfully linked you to the Nightingale Collaboration FAQs, I am mystified as to why you would think that the NC is a charity and that Alan campaigns against it as part of his work for the NC.

  • Edzard: just to let you know, with regards to your area of expertise, I looked you up on Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edzard_Ernst

    Full story of your career in short.

    The Wiki (fn 4) links to The Independent site: ‘It is 15 years since he was appointed as the world’s first professor of complementary medicine, at the University of Exeter.’

    So the University of Exeter appointed you ‘Professor of Complementary Medicine’ and then years later let you go (2011).

    You were appointed as Professor of Exeter University department of Complementary Medicine and this was transmuted later into ‘World’s first Professor of Complementary Medicine’.

    Is this correct?

  • A review of the titles that Dr Ernst presents on this blog:
    M.D: Doctor of Medicine

    PH.D:Doctor of Philosophy (usual requirement to get a teaching post as professor, researcher, or scientist (wiki))

    The above two are Edzard’s qualifications. Wiki mentions that he did some courses in acupuncture, autogenic training, herbalism, homeopathy, massage therapy, and spinal manipulation. Given that most of these usually require between 3 – 6 years of training to gain competence, the courses that Edzard did are likely to be the equivalent of weekend seminars.

    The training that Edzard has specialism is conventional medicine and yet he refuses to engage in discussion in these topics, averring that his area of expertise is alternative medicine.

    The credentials that he has established is via his many published analyses of research done by others (including meta-analysis). What qualifications in mathematics and statistics does he hold? Including, his first piece of research with the ‘actor’ playing the ‘healer’, my research finds that Dr Ernst has done 4 original pieces of research (one other being the poor asthma study: homeopathy as an ADJUNCT to asthma treatment)

    Dr Ernst’s view of mainstream medicine:
    “Mainstream medicine is pretty awful, too. Doctors lack empathy and time. There is plenty of evidence that people using alternative medicine don’t even expect effective treatment – they are just looking for a therapeutic relationship. They are not getting it from their GP, so they look for it elsewhere.” http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/health/complementary-therapies-the-big-con-28387089.html

    Dr. Edzard Ernst’s professional association memberships

    FMEDSCI: The Academy of Medical Sciences (est. 1988 UK)

    FSB: Formoson Society of Biomechanics

    FRCP: Fellowship of the Royal Society of Physicians

    FRCPED: Fellow, Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh

    Is the myth of the world’s first ‘Professor of Complementary Medicine’ unraveling? Dr Ernst is a member of the medical profession, and not, by qualification, an expert in ANY field of complementary medicine.

    • “my research finds that Dr Ernst has done 4 original pieces of research”
      no need to do this… we already knew that you cannot conduct research adequately, but thanks anyway.

      • Is it more than 4, please let us know what your thesis topic was and how many pieces of research YOU have done.

        Thank you for the clarification. More checking needed here then.

        • no, you carry on your ‘research’. I don’t want to spoil your fun nor hinder your learning curve. maybe, one day, you’ll be great!

        • Greg, let me lecture you: As long as you do not reveal your qualifications you are in NO POSITION WHATSOEVER to criticize. However, we have established beyond doubt that you are not able to assess the quality of clinical studies from a statisticians point of view. This, Greg, precludes you from having a valid say in these matters. In simple words, the things you say here are hokus pokus.

    • Prof Ernst received a warm welcome from altquackery while they thought his job was to prove their individual money making schemes. But Ernst had a quality that you don’t recognise, integrity. Like all religions, the greatest ire is directed at the apostates.

    • Greg

      Google “Interview with Professor Edzard Ernst, Exeter1”

      “Question: What kind of research do you carry out at your chair?
      Ernst: We research mainly the effectiveness and safety of complementary methods. We have
      published around 30 clinical studies and more than 100 systematic reviews
      (http://sites.pcmd.ac.uk/compmed/research.html).
      Question: Are you fundamentally of the opinion that someone who researches complementary
      medicine should have trained and practised in at least one of these methods?
      Ernst: Yes, at least one person of the research team should have the relevant knowledge.

      Question: Do you have the additional medical title ‘Homeopathy’?

      (Translator’s note: To be able to add ‘homeopathy’ to one’s medical title in Germany, one has to have passed an exam at the relevant regional branch of the German Landesärztekammer [medical council])

      Ernst: I acquired the prerequisites for it, but never applied for the title.
      Question: So is it correct that you did not acquire the additional medical title ‘Homeopathy’ but took further medical education courses in homeopathy? If yes, which ones?
      Ernst: I never completed any courses.
      Question: Did you learn any other method of complementary medicine?
      Ernst: I learned, among others, homeopathy, phytotherapy, massage, manual medicine, acupuncture
      and autogenic training.
      Question: Where were you able to get experience in homeopathy, and to what extent?
      Ernst: After my state exam I worked under Dr Zimmermann at the Munich Krankenhaus für Naturheilweisen [Hospital for Natural Healing Methods]. After that, during my training as
      Consultant for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, I had a good look at some methods of complementary medicine. For the last 17 years I have led a team of about 15 researchers with
      different specialisations.
      Question: Is it correct that you worked for half a year at the Hospital for Natural Healing Methods?
      Ernst: I am not sure for how long I worked at the Hospital for Natural Healing Methods, it is some time ago!”

      • Contd.

        “Question: Are you fundamentally of the opinion that someone who researches complementary medicine should have trained and practised in at least one of these methods?
        Ernst: Yes, at least one person of the research team should have the relevant knowledge.”

        Does Ernst have homeopathic training?

        Contrary to his repeated statements, Edzard Ernst is not a qualified homeopath, and has also not acquired the prerequisites for the additional medical title of ‘Homeopathy’. In the interview with DZVhÄ it becomes clear that he did not take any further education courses in homeopathy and therefore did not fulfil the requirements to acquire the additional medical title of ‘Homeopathy’. And his medical practice in the area of complementary medicine? After his state exam Ernst worked for just half a year as an intern at the Munich Hospital for Natural Healing Methods.

        “…after that I changed to the laboratory and became a researcher, and that clearly changed my view”, he told Stern in March 2009. Ernst has rarely said so clearly that he only has marginal therapeutic experience. During the DZVhÄ interview he could not remember the duration of his medical activity. We can only take a guess about his training in “phytotherapy, massage, manual medicine, acupuncture, and autogenic training”.

        “KNOWLEDGE OF HOMEOPATHY in SIX MONTHS!!!!!!!”

        • yes, yes, yes! there is a lot of stuff around that has been taken out of context or even invented. therefore I have some time ago written a post about my background: http://edzardernst.com/2016/03/about-my-controversial-qualifications/
          a good example is this “…after that I changed to the laboratory and became a researcher, and that clearly changed my view”,
          after what?
          after several years of clinical work in various medical fields.
          and then?
          after my time as a more basic scientist, I went back into clinical medicine and eventually headed the largest clinical dept at the med school Vienna.
          so, your conclusion that ” Ernst has rarely said so clearly that he only has marginal therapeutic experience.” is as stupid as the rest of your comment.
          BUT I FORGOT: YOU ARE A HOMEOPATH AND THEREFORE YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN THE TRUTH

        • Having seen courses leading to ‘qualified’ homeopaths of one weekend a month for ten months a year for three years then Prof. Ernst’s experience is more than enough.

          • Like you, I have all the qualifications I need to practice homeopathy. Only my principles and morals prevent me…

          • Alan,

            Likewise, I have all the qualifications I need to practise homeopathy and several other branches sCAM, aka: complementary medicine; integrative medicine.

            It is only my integrity that precludes me from becoming a practitioner.

          • ‘Anonymous Acleron’. Edzard wrote that people who run out of rational argument resort to ad hominem. Dr Rawlins has added to this to his debating arsenal: a new tactic: suggesting that not revealing identity and credentials on this site is ???. The man at the top of the table suggests it is ‘cowardly’.

            In my opinion, since you have not been referred to in this manner, it is likely that they know who you are but if not then be careful: Geir and Rawlins may be working on: The hunt for Acleron!

          • @greg Try substantiating your claims.

        • Iqbal

          I have asked several times now for one of you lot to give a concrete example where one of your sceptical opponents on this site has demonstrated they do not understand homeopathy.

          You have posted lengthy comments but have said effectively nothing do far.

          • Simon Baker

            “……concrete example where one of your sceptical opponents on this site has demonstrated they do not understand homeopathy. ”

            If you understand homeopathy, you could for starters explain the difference between chemistry and medicine.

            Why would Vioxx kill with reason as cardiac failure?

            Or, why would a patient operated for kidney problem die of heart failure? Before beibg operated, a check would have been made for all parameters to be OK or operation would have been deferred?

            Can you reply with your homeopathic knowledge?

          • Iqbal

            I have asked several times now for one of you lot to give a concrete example where one of your sceptical opponents on this site has demonstrated they do not understand homeopathy.

            Asking silly amateurish questions about real medicine does not answer that specific question. I can discuss medicine with you, but will do so only once you have given a straight and honest answer to that one single simple question. The constant evasion displayed by homeopaths in these discussions is universal and very very boring.

            Try again.

          • Simon Baker 11th May : I have asked several times now for one of you lot to give a concrete example where one of your sceptical opponents on this site has demonstrated they do not understand homeopathy.

            I may not qualify as ‘one of you lot’ but in the absence of any response ( understandable as I think it unlikely many homeopaths read this blog judging by the absence of responses) I have been a user of Homeopathy for 50 years.

            I think it is demonstrated frequently that sceptics do not understand Homeopathy : leaving aside that scientific experts have failed to discover an avenue to trial homeopathy honestly and accurately, despite there being mounting evidence for its efficacy, may I comment as follows? I do know that on this site nothing commented will ever change the sceptics’ mindset, but here is my contribution :

            It is repeated time and time again that homeopathy is a placebo: it may work because the Homeopath is a counsellor and gives time to listen, which is healing in itself. So far so good: I am a counsellor/healer and I see often positive results. I don’t dispense homeopathic remedies, I am not a Homeopath. Conflation of homeopathy and counselling does not help your cause. The first Homeopath I consulted had no counselling skills : he listened to the medical concern and very quickly prescribed a remedy that worked: hence the beginning of many years of using homeopathy. Honestly, if it hadn’t worked at that initial appointment, my guess is I would not have tried it again. I took my 2 year old to a.very well known GP/Homeopath for an ear condition. He was known for having no bedside manner, and after a very quick consultation, prescribed belladonna (mm I Know Belladonna) with the instructions that if no improvement within a day see your GP. My 2 year old had not a clue what was happening, and I felt a little short changed at the brevity of the consultation but the remedy worked.

            Conversely I Have had long consultations – sometimes very enlightening and comforting with homeopaths who have failed to prescribe the correct remedy. A good homeopath is the first to recognise this and direct accordingly: maybe you need another Homeopath as I am missing something.

            Accusations of gullibility do not ring true: I am not gullible and nor are the many people who use it. And like it or not, and despite the comments by the Sceptics’ team, homeopathy is growing in popularity from my experience and observations. a good Homeopath is a Godsend to many people.

            What else do sceptics fail to understand? : Homeopaths are in it for financial gain. Mm – I can obtain 4 remedies for less than £20; a couple of consultations a year and plenty of free advice in between : in my book that fails to make a millionaire of my homeopath, albeit considering his popularity,

            Sceptics are fond of using expressions like ‘regression to the mean; personal anecdotes are not evidence/data,’ . Regression to the mean coinciding with homeopathy over 50 years: now there is a worthwhile study, as is anecdotal evidence: I have a vision of a percentage of homeopathy users filling Wembley Stadium presenting their evidence to a judge – would he tell them after summing up ‘you are deluded or liars’? No, because that volume of experiences cannot all be wrong. And sometimes the Sceptics forget that they are nice human beings, open minded and able to debate as (when the moderator departs the building, despite protestations by the Blog’s owner that he is on the case) shockingly abusive comments are aimed at those who believe in complementary medicine. Little wonder the very people you hope to convert are getting on with their lives which excludes this blog. Maybe a little more balance in the Sceptics’ views would attract a wider following by those you seek to convert.

            The Sceptics’ Club admires ‘proper’ medicine, so do many who use complementary therapies. But there is a lot of information out there for those who do rigorous research that shows there are grey areas, areas, suppressed by mainstream media, which for the good health of our children and grandchildren needs to be addressed. Complementary therapies, compared to some mainstream drugs, vaccinations etc, are harmless, I hear you say : of course they are not harmless – your perogative and repeated many times here, but not in my 50 years’ experience,

            I do hope that anyone who wants to respond remembers the ‘Good Prof’ as he is sometimes referred to is attempting to obtain a mature discourse and not facilitate an abusive one. Thank you Professor Ernst for the space.

          • ‘One of you lot’ said:

            I think it is demonstrated frequently that sceptics do not understand Homeopathy

            I can’t seem to find a link to precisely where any homeopathy skeptic here has got something wrong…

            To save Simon Baker the trouble, I’ll post his question again:

            Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

            Do you actually understand the question?

          • *sigh*

            Anyone fancy a quick game of Spot The Logical Fallacy? A pound for each one. Anyone not claiming a fiver isn’t trying hard enough.

          • Lenny

            Funny you should say that.

            We posted at about the same time.

            http://edzardernst.com/2017/04/a-chat-with-a-homeopath/#comment-90718

            🙂

          • @Lenny on Saturday 13 May 2017 at 17:54

            “*sigh*

            Anyone fancy a quick game of Spot The Logical Fallacy? A pound for each one. Anyone not claiming a fiver isn’t trying hard enough.”

            lol, well said. I also find the superior, supercilious manner amusing, coming, as it is, from someone who isn’t terribly clever or a critical thinker. If he or she had any brains, they might have seen the error of their thinking, but it never happens.

      • you forgot who published and conducted this interview. it was Claus Fritzsche who was paid by 5 homeopathic firms to defame me and altered this interview substantially – it never happened as published!!! when found out, Fritzsche committed suicide. are you proud to have found such a good source for defaming me?
        read more here:
        http://edzardernst.com/2014/03/thoughts-about-claus-fritzsches-suicide/
        https://richarddawkins.net/2012/07/german-homeopathy-companies-pay-journalist-who-smears-uk-academic/
        http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2012/07/german-homeopathy-companies-pay-journalist-who-smears-uk-academic.html
        there is more in German – but, of course you don’t read German, you only copy translations by libellous homeopaths.
        only a real evil moron who is unable to do even the most basic research for getting to the bottom of something would bring this miserable and tragic story up again!!!
        CONGRATULATIONS

        • Edzard

          “you forgot who published and conducted this interview. it was Claus Fritzsche who was paid by 5 homeopathic firms to defame me and altered this interview substantially – it never happened as published!!!”

          You have had ample time to fix the record.

          “Ernst: I learned, among others, homeopathy, phytotherapy, massage, manual medicine, acupuncture
          and autogenic training.”

          “After his state exam Ernst worked for just half a year as an intern at the Munich Hospital for Natural Healing Methods.

          “…after that I changed to the laboratory and became a researcher, and that clearly changed my view”, he told Stern in March 2009. Ernst has rarely said so clearly that he only has marginal therapeutic experience.

          IN SIX MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!!!! And we waste time telling our children about Einstein!!!

          • Edzard

            “……t was Claus Fritzsche who was paid by 5 homeopathic firms to defame me …”

            He seemed to have done a fair job. He dug out your lack of knowledge about homeopathy and alternative medicine that explains your “misunderstanding” of homeopathy/ alternative medicine.
            What did you put in your resume about knowledge/experience about alternative medicine that allowed you to become chair of alternative medicine at Exeter?

            “….there is more in German – but, of course you don’t read German, you only copy translations by libellous homeopaths.”

            “Mit tiefer Bestürzung habe ich aus dem Internet die Nachricht wahrgenommen, dass der Internet-Journalist Claus Fritzsche sich im Januar dieses Jahres das Leben genommen hat.

            Jeder, der vom großangelegten Cyber-Mobbing persönlich betroffen ist oder mitverfolgt, das vom anonymen Internet-Pranger Esowatch ausgeht, kennt Claus Fritzsche als das schwerste und am brutalsten misshandelte Opfer unter den ca. 2000 Personen, die von diesen abscheulichen Leuten angeprangert werden. Die entsetzliche Hetze gegen seine Person über Jahre hinweg durch Esowatch und befreundete Webseiten offenbart Abgründe, die man nicht für möglich halten kann.

            Als ein weiteres Opfer dieses Internet­prangers (wegen meiner Vorstellung der Kritik der Relativitäts­theorie und meinem Einsatz für den Tierschutz) kam ich in den letzten Jahren zu persönlichen E-Mail-Austauschen mit Claus Fritzsche, der mehrere Jahre seines Lebens dazu gewidmet hat, sich gegen Esowatch zu wehren und verzweifelten anderen Esowatch-Geschädigten durch eine Art informelle Selbsthilfe-Organisation bei diesen zum Teil schweren Straftaten zu helfen. Ich war nicht nur beeindruckt von der Sorgfalt und der Ausgewogenheit seiner privaten Ermittlungen zur Aufdeckung der Verantwortliche dieses kriminellen Wirkens, sondern auch von seinem hohen moralischen Denken und seiner Empathie. Er hatte Würde und er hatte Niveau, in allem was er schrieb.
            Nicht zuletzt Claus Fritzsche hat mir durch seinen mutigen Kampf gegen kriminelle Energie aus dem Internet die Kraft gegeben, die Aus­sicht­losig­keit der rechtlichen Lage von Cybermobbing-Opfern zu verarbeiten und persönlich zu verkraften. Dass am Ende die Kraft für sich selbst nicht mehr ausreichte, empfinde ich mit tiefer Traurigkeit. Ich trauere um ihn und kann mich nur bei seinem tragischen Schicksal den Worten anschließen, die Freunde in einer seiner Selbsthilfe-Webseiten als Nachruf geschrieben haben: Ruhe in Friede, lieber Claus.”

            Would you like to translate this for all, or shall I?

          • can I remind you of this post ?
            http://edzardernst.com/2016/10/and-this-is-what-it-takes-to-get-evicted-from-this-blog/ ?
            I will not allow any more comments that are about your obsession with this ad hominem theme. it is off topic.
            if you refuse to read what I have said here or in my memoir (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scientist-Wonderland-Searching-Finding-Trouble/dp/1845407776) about my background, it is your problem, not mine.

          • Edzard

            “BUT I FORGOT: YOU ARE A HOMEOPATH AND THEREFORE YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN THE TRUTH”

            I am not a qualified homeopath. I have seen it being practiced at close quarters for over 50 years now and being used within family for over 60 years. So I know something about Homeopathy.

            We have never had reason to use allopathy, while living in India, speaks volume of effectiveness of homeopathy.

            Four of my classmates became “Scientific doctors”, 3 married doctors. I know these 4 doctors up close for over 40 years. When we meet, the discussion veers around medicine. I have some inkling about the mess that allopathic system is: and I specifically read doctors trained in the allopathic system who explain this mess. I have never had to ask these doctor friends for any “medicine” for any ailment. This, these doctors cannot say for me. THIS IS THE TRUTH.

            My brother spent 5 years to complete his course in homeopathy and is a doctor working in government hospitals. Most of his regular patients are his allopathic colleagues. This is the ground reality.

            And in 6 months you learnt about homeopathy and ……..and…..and …………………

            I am extremely doubtful if this is the truth.

          • why do you think anyone cares whether you are ‘extremely doubtful’?
            you have given us ample evidence as to the calibre of your skills, intelligence and abilities not to care a hoot about you.

          • you cannot even understand the simplest text properly. the time span between the hon hospital and the basic research was about 5 years.

    • Greg, let me lecture you: as long as you do not reveal your professional credentials, we assume you are NOT qualified and just a snotty little homeopath.

  • Alan, as Director of the Nightingale Collaboration, I would expect that you would be mindful of your public statements on matters related to the mission of your organisation:
    The Nightingale Collaboration challenges questionable claims made by healthcare practitioners on their websites, in adverts and in their promotional and sales materials by bringing these to the attention of the appropriate regulatory bodies.

    We also strive to ensure that organisations representing healthcare practitioners have robust codes of conduct for their members that protect the public and that these are enforced.

    Since your memory fails you here, here is the record of your statement on ‘Arnica’:
    What’s your problem, Iqbal Krishna? Isn’t Nux Vom 30C a suitable homeopathic remedy for nausea? Are Hyland’s wrong?

    Iqbal: Nausea from a THOUGHT requiring Nux Vom? This is not allopathy- RCT involving 150 zombies.

    http://www.homeoint.org/books1/clarkeprescriber/d.htm#dyspepsia

    You should join Ernst for a presentation to homeopaths: everyone welcomes comic relief.

    Greg: Yes Alan, you have joined the list with Thomas: they are wrong

    Alan: LOL! Odd that Hyland’s did seem to think it important enough to mention that. However, I note Boiron say their Nux Vom product is good for nausea caused by ‘stress and feeling out of control’. Are they wrong too? Or are they just saying that to make a sale?

    Alan:Nux Vomica does seem to be something of a panacea…

    Greg: Wrong

    Alan: It’s not like Arnica, then…

    Greg: Alan: What do you mean, it is not like Arnica? Oh I know, maybe you are implying that Arnica is for ‘Bruising’.

    Keep it up, this is so much fun.

    Alan, spare yourself more humiliation and go and do some studying before you jump into the deep end.

    Alan: Oh, no need to worry about me: I’m having great fun here.

    Greg: That is good to know, I enjoy reading your comments, especially on homeopathy.

    Quote

    The Nightingale Collaboration was set up with the help of Simon Singh to challenge misleading claims in healthcare advertising, to share our knowledge and experience and to encourage anyone who is concerned at protecting the public from misinformation in healthcare promotion to join us in challenging it.

    Together we can work to improve the protection of the public by getting misleading claims withdrawn and those responsible held to account.

    We will do this by challenging misleading claims made by practitioners on their websites, in adverts and in their promotional and sales materials and subjecting these to scrutiny by the appropriate regulatory bodies and striving to ensure that organisations representing healthcare practitioners have robust codes of conduct for their members that protect the public and that these are rigorously enforced.

    Unquote

    Surely, in order to do this, you need to have some idea of what you are talking about?

    Alan: LOL! That’s almost funny. But not entirely unexpected.

    Above extracts: http://edzardernst.com/2017/04/homeopathy-just-one-drop-and-quite-possibly-the-last-drop/

    Is your memory working again now Alan?

    • A totally bizarre lack of comprehension…

    • Greg

      You have started acting like Edzard. Bad taste.

      If you have to do so, follow a genuine open minded creative writer.

      • Excuse me Iqbal, I take exception to you comparing me to Dr. Ernst. It is bad taste on your part, I am sorry to say. I understand that you are a homeopathy follower but that does not excuse you from being tedious and obnoxious.

        You need to understand that the debate on this site does get hot from time to time, ad hominems fly around the site, but then most people have a laugh or feel a bit sorely and move on.

        I am pleased that homeopathy has worked for you and your family but, in terms of what you have disclosed about your involvement in it – not scientific, not practical – you may have a testimony of how great it is but there are limitations on your credibility for persuasion.

        So, if you have comments about me that are disparaging, I recommend that you keep them to yourself.

    • Greg, Firstly, Alan has not made any “statement” on Arnica. If you really can’t see why the exchanges you’ve c&p’d above don’t amount to anything resembling a “statement”, let me know and I’ll explain as simply as I can. Secondly, Alan knows a great deal more about homeopathy than you do. So do I, in fact. So does Edzard, Acleron and many other commenters here. The most important thing we know that you apparently don’t, is that homeopathy is nonsense. That is why the most extensive investigation ever carried out concluded that there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.

  • A couple of points;

    1. None of the homeopaths here have offered a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    2. The tu quoque fallacy employed in citing the example the Cancer Drug Fund as a failure of conventional medicine is actually more interesting than was intended. It does appear to have been introduced and managed incompetently. This is because it was motivated by the same concerns that have turned into the ‘right to try’ movement that has gained traction mainly in the US. ‘Right to try’ allows companies to sell to the consumer inadequately tested drugs of unproven safety and efficacy. It is dumbing down real medicine to the level of homeopathy. So, it is no wonder that it goes wrong. The failure of the Cancer Drug Fund was cited fallaciousjy as a criticism of. conventional medicine, but it gives us an excellent example of the problems that arise from following the business practices of homeopathy and other forms of alternative medicine.

    More succinctly, the Cancer Drug Fund was a failure because it worked the way that homeopaths do.

  • Iqbal cited the Linde meta-analysis from 1997

    http://edzardernst.com/2017/04/a-chat-with-a-homeopath/#comment-89750

    Curiously, he does not mention Linde’s follow-up analysis from 1999 in which they said;

    The evidence of bias [in the primary studies] weakens the findings of our original meta-analysis. Since we completed our literature search in 1995, a considerable number of new homeopathy trials have been published. The fact that a number of the new high-quality trials… have negative results, and a recent update of our review for the most “original” subtype of homeopathy (classical or individualized homeopathy), seem to confirm the finding that more rigorous trials have less-promising results. It seems, therefore, likely that our meta-analysis at least overestimated the effects of homeopathic treatment.

    I’ve been at this for a long time, and it is easy to still think of work like Linde’s as recent. It is not. And in the subsequent 20 years, homeopaths have added no more positive evidence. I wonder why.

    • You have to wonder whether their cherry-picking is through ignorance or stupidity.

      • Could be both and you can include intent for more than a few.

      • If it was you, it would likely be ignorance.

      • I think it’s both. I think these various studies have become ‘tokens’ deployed by homeopaths in discussions although they are completely unaware of their content and have either not read them or, if they have read them, not understood them.

        Iqbal, for instance, citing Linde 1997 and not mentioning the 1999 retreat is notable.

        • I have once tried to look into this phenomenon systematically: homeopaths in general cite the Lancet paper by Linde et al at least one dimesion more often than their paper in J Clin Epidemiol. This was years ago, and I never came round to publishing this – someone should re-do this and write a paper about it!

      • Mr Henness, you mentioned above that you have all the qualifications needed to practice homeopathy but choose not to do so because only your ‘principles and morals’ prevent you from doing so.

        Your lack of clarity on what you mean by your principles and morals prevent you from doing so, means you except that others can infer your meaning: you think homeopathy is quackery and you will not practice it.

        I have mentioned a few times before that I consider that you not to have an understanding of homeopathy so, since you have disclosed holding a qualification to practice, may I ask what the qualification is? Since, I consider that you lack understanding of homeopathy, perhaps it is better that you don’t mention where you obtained the qualification.

        As this is a BLOG, I am at liberty to disclose or not disclose my personal information. If you choose not to answer the question: that is fine, but don’t use my preference for privacy as YOUR reason not to answer.

        Thank you

        • Good grief, Grieg. You really don’t understand that I never asked you for any personal information, do you? Please, please go back and re-read what you wrote and my reply and stop making a complete fool of yourself.

          But you continue to demonstrate you inability to read and understand what was said. At least you managed to work out what stops me charging punters for homeopathy, but why then go on about me having a ‘qualification to practice’ (whatever that is). I have disclosed no such thing!

          There does seem to be a recurring theme here: the inability of many homeopathy fans to understand precision in language.

          • Alan, you have not asked for personal information from me but Tom and others are whining like stuck drains about this. I only mentioned that if you chose not to disclose personal information it would be fine, and I did not want to engage in another ‘you show me, i show you’ tit for tat.

            You stated above:
            Alan Henness on Saturday 29 April 2017 at 18:37

            Like you, I have all the qualifications I need to practice homeopathy. Only my principles and morals prevent me…

            End of quote

            I don’t care whether you have qualifications in homeopathy or not but some people commenting on this site seem to think that qualifications are a debate winner, even when they don’t have qualifications in homeopathy.

          • Greg said:

            Alan, you have not asked for personal information from me

            Or anyone else…

            I don’t care whether you have qualifications in homeopathy or not but some people commenting on this site seem to think that qualifications are a debate winner, even when they don’t have qualifications in homeopathy.

            Remember this?

            Edzard: What is your area of expertise, if you don’t mind me asking?

            And some people think you need to be a qualified homeopath to be able to criticise homeopathy. What a bizarre notion.

        • Greg

          I think you may have misunderstood Alan. He is as qualified to practice homeopathy as is required by law. So am I. So is my cat.

          • I think you’re wasting your time…

          • Simon, I just clarified that above.

            In the UK, anyone can practice homeopathy whether they have qualifications or not (astonishing situation, I must say).

            Other countries have different approaches to regulating the practice of homeopathy, so it is important to be clear about what we mean.

            I understand: Alan can practice homeopathy in the UK, if he chose to but he won’t.

            Good.

          • @Greg

            What are the qualifications required to practise scientology? astrology? religion? paganism? spiritualism? paranormal investigation? ufology? mysticism? transcendental meditation?

            What do these practices have in common with CAM?

            “I understand: Alan can practice homeopathy in the UK, if he chose to but he won’t.” No, you clearly don’t understand (as ever).

  • Greg

    Would you care to address any of the substantive points I’ve made instead of make silly snippy remarks?

  • I have not had a discussion with you Simon and you may notice that ‘silly snippy little remarks’ are standard on this site.

    What ‘substantive point’ have YOU made?

    • I have asked for a concrete example of a sceptic here demonstrating that they don’t understand homeopathy.

      You could have read my posts, but no matter, I’ve asked again now.

      • Simon, this blog is about all types of alternative medicine. People have debated these subjects on this site since 2013 so your request for ‘a concrete example of a sceptic here demonstrating that they don’t understand homeopathy’ is easily answered.

        Start here:http://edzardernst.com/category/homeopathy/page/27/ and read through to all the pages to

        here: http://edzardernst.com/category/homeopathy/

        It will take some time to read but I don’t want to spoil your journey of discovery.

        There are particular people that have advanced my understanding of the perspective of those who don’t understand homeopathy but you will discover your own favorites.

        Enjoy!

        • Nicely patronising, Greg, but I asked for one concrete example. You wave around vague insinuations about what you claim to be your opponents’ incompetence. Please provide the example that makes it clear.

          Inviting me to trawl (?troll) this whole site then read your mind as to where you think there is a problem doesn’t cut it.

          I’m not a psychic. Try again.

          • Dr Baker, that is not the response I expected. You have been around for some time and I expected that you would provide a concise summary of ‘your substantive points’ for me to respond to.

            Seeing that you have responded the way you have done, let me ask:
            Did you know Dr. Edzard Ernst prior to your massage adverse event in 1999 or where you already engaged in critical thinking about alternative medicine before this time?

          • Of course it is not the response you expected, Greg. You have been asked a specific question, namely to name a specific example and explain it. Others have asked specific questions too, namely your qualification. You have dodged them all.So how about living up to your standards and answer these questions first ? Can you answer them or not ?

        • You are not psychic, that is for sure. What about thick?

          How long have you known Dr Edzard Ernst? Is that a difficult question?

          What is your SUBSTANTIVE POINT?

          You have a question about ‘concrete example’ of how skeptics don’t understand homeopathy? Are you serious?

      • To a homeopath it is not possible to have a true ‘understanding’ of the subject without believing in it; anyone who doesn’t believe in it, by definition, doesn’t ‘understand’ it. By the same token sceptics are people who just aren’t trying hard enough!

        Niall

  • Iqbal

    I alluded to it previously, but here’s the question directly.

    Why did you cite Linde’s 1997 meta-analysis but not his 1999 reappraisal with its significantly weakened claims for homeopathy?

    It’s a simple question. I expect a brief answer.

  • Iqbal

    This;

    http://edzardernst.com/2017/04/a-chat-with-a-homeopath/#comment-89907

    does not constitute an answer to the questions I gave you.

    Try again:

    1. Provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    2. Why did you cite Linde’s 1997 meta-analysis but not his 1999 reappraisal with its significantly weakened claims for homeopathy?

    Please understand how Copy & Paste works. Every time you or Greg evades these questions the original unanswered question can simply and efficiently be pasted below your non-answer.

    • Simon baker

      https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/355916

      “…. but not his 1999 reappraisal with its significantly weakened claims for homeopathy?”

      By 1999, the pressure was so intense, that there was no option. Are you aware of Jacques Benveniste? He had to run for his life!!!!!!!!

      • What pressure was Linde under?

        All Benveniste had to do was blind, randomise and draw the correct conclusions from good data. He didn’t, he was incompetent.

      • “Are you aware of Jacques Benveniste? He had to run for his life!!!!!!!!”

        Please elaborate when, why and by whom Benveniste’s life was threatened.

      • Pressure to do what?

        As it stands, the best you can produce is a 20-yr old meta-analysis that its authors subsequently revised downwards in its conclusions. Since then, nothing positive and a number of well-run trials with negative outcomes while homeopaths put their fingers in their ears and shut their eyes lest they be forced to learn the truth.

      • Of course, Benveniste wasn’t a homeopath…

  • Greg

    Dr Baker, that is not the response I expected. You have been around for some time and I expected that you would provide a concise summary of ‘your substantive points’ for me to respond to.

    Done that already.

    Here we go (yet) again

    Provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    • Thank you Simon, you have not answered the question I asked you.

      What IS your ‘substantive point’. You are sillier than Bjorn Geir, and that is some achievement.

      You have moved to the top of the table!

    • Simon Baker

      “……concrete example where one of your sceptical opponents on this site has demonstrated they do not understand homeopathy. ”

      If ANY of YOU understand homeopathy, you could for starters explain the difference between chemistry and medicine.

      Why would Vioxx kill with reason as cardiac failure?

      Or, why would a patient operated for kidney problem die of heart failure? Before beibg operated, a check would have been made for all parameters to be OK or operation would have been deferred?

      Can you reply with your homeopathic knowledge?

  • The other substantive point concerned the apparent incompetence with which the Cancer Drug Fund was managed. The problem with it appears to be that it applied to Big Pharma the principles of Big Stupid, the ‘right to try’ and ‘health freedom’ movements whose methods and philosophies slight very closely with those of more explicitly alternative medicine.

    Everything that appears to have been wrong with the CDF continues to be, and always has been, wrong with all modes of SCAM.

    You have conveniently not chosen to comment on this problem either.

  • Ah, the curse of autocorrect struck;

    The other substantive point concerned the apparent incompetence with which the Cancer Drug Fund was managed. The problem with it appears to be that it applied to Big Pharma the principles of Big Stupid, the ‘right to try’ and ‘health freedom’ movements whose methods and philosophies ALIGN very closely with those of more explicitly alternative medicine.

  • A story to cheer up May Day.

    This is a story about an intelligent fellow that naivety enabled the following event to occur?

    One in three people now uses alternative medicine, according to Which?, but it appears that some complementary therapists should carry a health warning. Simon Baker, a 36-year-old systems administrator from west London, would vouch for this, after having had a Thai massage while on holiday in Thailand. He says: “I went to a place recommended by the in-flight magazine. I was massaged in the open air by a man who looked about 100 years old and didn’t speak a word of English. There was a lot of manipulation and clicking of my joints and at one point he tied me up in a knot. He also did some massage with his feet – putting his foot on my shoulders and stretching and pulling my arms out of their sockets.

    “Afterwards, I felt a bit weird but I thought it was because I was very relaxed. The next day, I flew to Sydney and started feeling sick and dizzy, and thought I had food poisoning. My neck started to seize up and I was in a great deal of pain. At that point I suspected it might be something to do with the massage so I went to a chiropractor, who said that one of the vertebrae in my neck had been pulled out of line. He said that sometimes happened with manipulative massage. He tried to correct it with chiropractic and ultrasound.

    “I subsequently had to visit a chiropractor at each stage of my trip, making it a world tour of chiropractors. It probably cost me about pounds 300; I visited experts in Australia, New Zealand and the States. Now, if I see an advertisement for Thai massage in London, I wince.”

    End of first quote

    Strangely enough the ‘Simon Baker’ that suffered that massaging adverse event appears in the same article as one ‘Edzard Ernst’ (who was getting going with his new alt med research venture).

    Second quote

    ‘Professor Edzard Ernst, director of the department of complementary medicine at Exeter University, and author of Complementary Medicine: an Objective Appraisal (Butterworth-Heinemann, pounds 18.99), warns: “There is no effective complementary treatment without risk; it is just a question of how big the risk is. Not all massage therapists know the limits of their treatment and if you apply a high level of force you can fracture bones.”‘

    End of second quote

    Source:http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/health-trust-me-im-a-witch-doctor-1125059.html
    Trust me I’m a witch doctor, Louise Manson, 11 November 1999

    End of quote

    Is it not marvelous to live in the information age that enables 18 year old information to be recovered and shine light in the darkness?

    • “Greg” seems to have spent the weekend Googling for dirt to throw around 😀 Cutting and pasting with the rhetorical prowess of a preschooler as usual.
      If the person hiding behind “Greg” wants to be taken seriously, it would have to start by verifying its identity so we can at least know it has passed puberty.

      • You seem to have spent the past 4 YEARS commenting on this site and elsewhere on the Web about a topic you are not qualified to discuss?

        You are my favorite commenter Bjorn, but others are now competing for this position.

        Do you think you can hold on to top spot?

  • Greg and Iqbal

    Ungraded to bold;

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    By the way, Greg, on starting to read your recent comment I assumed your story about a systems administrator called Simon Baker was merely a fictional rhetorical flourish. As I read on, it appears that you actually think it’s me. The tendency of alt med defenders to tackle the man not the ball is as reliable as it is tedious. In this instance, you’re not even on the right playing field. To be clear, I neither know nor care who you are, I’m happy to deal with your arguments such as they are. I do have a slight interest in the bona fides of homeopathy advocates but only insofar as they insist the sceptical side has to be in some sense qualified in homeopathy before they are allowed to comment but then themselves turn out to be mere dilettante dabblers.

    • Are you stating that you are not the ‘Simon Baker’ in the article – Trust me I’m a witchdoctor?- with ‘Edzard Ernst’?:

      Are you the vet ‘Simon Baker’?

      To answer your question:
      Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

      All you need to do is read Bjorn Geir’s comments on this site and elsewhwere on the Web, and you can start with the most recent: there is no need to go back to the beginning posts of this site.

  • The second point, Greg, is that you have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

  • Mr Thomas Mohr, skiils and expertise:

    Skills and expertise (56)

    Cell Culture
    Cell Migration
    Cell Signaling
    Proteomics
    Cell Isolation
    Bioinformatics
    Cytoscape
    R
    Microarray Analysis
    Statistics
    Transcriptomics
    mass throughput data in biological context
    Endothelial Function
    Endothelial Dysfunction
    Angiogenesis
    Inflammation
    Endothelial Cells
    RNAseq Analysis
    PCR
    Flow Cytometry
    Endothelial Cell Biology
    Vascular Biology
    Lymphangiogenesis
    Apoptosis
    Cell Proliferation
    Cancer Biology
    Gene Expression
    Cell Adhesion
    Biomarkers
    Biomarker Discovery
    Immunohistochemistry
    Oncology
    Next Generation Networks
    Cancer Biomarkers
    Next Generation Sequencing
    Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
    Clinical Proteomics
    Cancer Proteomics
    Tumor Angiogenesis
    Protein Mass Spectrometry
    Chronic Inflammation
    Signaling Pathways
    Protein Microarray
    Proteome
    Cell Line
    Proteins
    Cancer Cells
    ELISA
    Bioinformatic Software
    Bioinformatic Tools
    Keratinocytes
    Cells
    Serum
    Cell Cycle
    Mascot
    Tumors

    Topics (26)
    View all

    Oncology
    Bioinformatics
    Cell Culture
    Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
    Signaling Pathways
    Next Generation Sequencing
    Cancer Biomarkers
    Bioinformatic Tools

    Source: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Thomas_Mohr/info

    Impressive? yes.

    No mention of ‘Homeopathy’?
    Homeopathy qualification?

    Mr Mohr, do you consider that your qualifications enable you to give expert opinion on homeopathy (science) and homeopathy (practice)?

    I look forward to your upcoming talk on homeopathy, please would you upload it to Youtube (comedy section).

    I look forward to further discussion with you.

    Thank you

    • Mr Greg, skiils [sic !] and expertise:

      Null, nada, zero.

      No mention of homeopathy. Homeopathy qualification ? More importantly, computational biology and statistics qualification ?

      Mr Greg, do you consider that your qualifications enable you to give expert opinion on the assessment of the validity clinical studies ? Or the assessment of the validity of *any* science ?

      Nope ? Thank you, dismissed.

      • “Greg is a licensed professional member of the Australian Register of Homeopaths, Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Assocation, and the Australian Homeopathic Assocation.”
        I for one am impressed – if he now learns to use auto-correction on his computer, he would be a well-rounded professional.

        • Determined by IP tracking ? Since I know of no Australian Homeopath that even remotely qualifies for doing real science, much less analysis of clinical studies….. he must be one of those john sixpack practicioners. He should go back to the sandpit and let the *real* scientists do the work.

      • Mr Mohr, I look forward to your talk. When it is done, I will add that it was presented by someone without qualifications in homeopathy.

        You act like tough man online, but, in my opinion, you would not be so tough in a personal discussion.

        You should stick to food Mr Mohr.

        • Greg, in personal discussion I have brought Jehovas Witnesses to leave the discussion – within 15 minutes. What you are seeing here is the velvet glove.

          “You should stick to food Mr Mohr.” You yourself showed my qualification. Are you aware that you now have consistently proven your learning resistance ? You talk about tough men? I am not a coward like some others here not wanting to reveal their qualification. You do not know what a tough man is and you have no qualification at all – because this is the *only* thinkable reason not to reveal it.

          Now go and play with the other kids.

        • BTW Greg, I have read Hahnemann in the original. German that is. Did you ? Do you know his description of the original cinchono bark experiment ? Do you know his paper on why he uses these ridiculously low concentrations ? Have you read it ? Do you know the reactions of clinicians to it who pointed out every flaw ? Have you studied the Nuremberg salt trial ? Have you studied the response of some of the best clinicians of their time to his assumption that cinchona bark causes fever ? Have you studied Hahnemanns Belladonna prohphylaxis ? The positive papers on it ? The damning final verdict by JW Begbie ? No ? You have not ? What a pity. It seems your homeopathy knowledge is restricted to parroting the organon. Oh, sorry, I forgot. The learning resistance is convincingly demonstrated.

          • Thomas Mohr

            “BTW Greg, I have read Hahnemann in the original. German that is. Did you ? ”

            I am sure every second child reads Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and now many of these children have the advantage of seeing these classics in cinemas.

            How many of these children make it to Scotland Yard?

            Your elementary deducting logic beats Sherlock Holmes. It seems you missed reading Sherlock Holmes- do I have this right?

          • @Iqbal:

            Thomas Mohr

            “BTW Greg, I have read Hahnemann in the original. German that is. Did you ? ”

            I am sure every second child reads Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and now many of these children have the advantage of seeing these classics in cinemas.

            How many of these children make it to Scotland Yard?

            There is a crucial difference here, though. Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books were a work of fiction dreamed up by a rather gullible man with odd mystical beliefs, whereas Hahnemann’s Organon, er …

            OK, as you were.

        • Well Greg, and now lets test your homeopathy knowledge. What is the recommended number of probands in a homeopathic proving and how many of them have to display a particular symptom in order for it to be considered drug induced ? Which consequence do these numbers have on the power of a proving ? What is the particularity of Organon edition 5 and why is the organon edition 6 most likely NOT Hahnemanns intention ?

        • Now lets get a bit deeper. How is the important symptom of elevated blood sugar determined in classic homeopathy and which consequences does this have ? Is the very important symptom of elevated blood pressure part of a homeopathic proving or not ? Which consequences does this have ?

          • Thomas Mohr

            Now lets get a bit deeper. How is the important symptom of elevated blood sugar determined in classic homeopathy…………evated blood pressure part of a homeopathic proving or not ? …

            A personal example:

            My wife suffered from stomach bloating. Any thing eaten will convert into gas. We went for investigation to a large scientific medical hospital in Delhi to a senior doctor recommended by my surgeon friend.
            The check started with height, weight, blood pressure and stopped. Her blood pressure read 160/110. The doctor re-checked, asked her to lie down and the blood pressure now was 170/110. The cross check : symptoms linked to blood pressure-headache, blacking out etc. nil; who in the family has blood pressure, (her elder brother) and presto: start on blood pressure tablets and we will look at your stated problem after 2 weeks once the more important problem is under control.
            Our next appointment was with a classic homeopath (not in the real sense: 10 minute interview). His questions revolved against when does it happen, what eaten leads to etc.
            His reason for problem: The 6 small meal concept to reduce weight followed by my wife was wrong. His recommendation: 3 square meals a day with a gap of 5 hours and Anacardium 200 once a day. Eat anything and every thing.
            http://www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/a/anac.htm

            We tracked her blood pressure. In about 2 weeks the blood pressure dropped to 130/80. It is over 3 years now. It has stayed there since. No blood pressure tablets. Bloating problem also resolved.

          • when will you understand that your ‘personal examples’ are utterly irrelevant?

          • Iqbal, I am not interested in your fairy tales. The correct answer to the question whether the blood pressure is part of a homeopathic proving is NO. It is not. Why ? Because Hahnemann could not measure it. I.o.W. a real killer – elevated blood pressure – which has practically NO symptoms – goes unnoticed by homeopaths.

            As for your wife: The blood pressure of 160 is easily explained by the stress of a hospital visit. Had you any knowledge on medicine you would know this effect.

          • Thomas Mohr

            “…I am not interested in your fairy tales.”

            Homeopathic cures are usually fairy tales when seen by people like you.

            “The correct answer to the question whether the blood pressure is part of a homeopathic proving is NO. Because Hahnemann could not measure it. I.o.W. a real killer – elevated blood pressure – which has practically NO symptoms – goes unnoticed by homeopaths.”

            You have no clue. I remember my gynecologist friend telling me about her very sick mother: “by 4 am the blood pressure became normal, her heart stabilized, her pulse was regular and she died!”

            Blood pressure is ONE of the many symptoms of a sick person. It can also be the body’s mechanism to compensate for an existing problem. By reading it as “out side normal” and pushing it down, you kill more people than you save.

            “Doctors have been predicting the unpredictable future of a human being assuming linear relationships, based solely on certain parameters of the human body, ignoring the mind and the genes! More dangerous have been our interventions to alter those initial states, in an otherwise healthy person, with the hope that changing the initial state would maintain the benefit over a period of years and decades. Here is the crux of our problem in medicine. Most of such interventions in healthy people have not borne fruit in real life situations! Lowering healthy people’s raised blood pressures and blood sugars have not been useful in the long run in apparently healthy asymptomatic people. Recent audits have shown that this kind of linear interventions have done more harm than good!”

            Hahnmann was not the only allopath doctor who left bad medicine and went for homeopathic proving and curing patients. He proved only about 60 remedies of the over 2000 remedies available today.
            http://www.homeoint.org/morrell/articles/firstprovings.htm

            “As for your wife: The blood pressure of 160 is easily explained by the stress of a hospital visit. Had you any knowledge on medicine you would know this effect.”

            False assumption. My wife goes for executive health check every 3 years as part of the health insurance offered by my company.

            Doctors who assume like you end up killing patients.

            Time you change your thought process.

            https://wakeup-world.com/2013/05/27/why-is-obesity-associated-with-so-many-diseases/

          • Iqbal, once again, I am not interested in your fairy tales. I have analyzed homeopathic provings. The blood pressure was *never* measured desppite that it is a very relevant symptom of a disease as you correctly say.. Homeopaths do not even define what elevated blood pressure is. I.o.W. the claim that they take all symptoms is a lie.

          • Iqbal Krishna said:

            Homeopathic cures are usually fairy tales…

            Well, that statement is progress of sorts, I suppose…

        • @Greg on Monday 01 May 2017 at 14:38

          “Mr Mohr, I look forward to your talk. When it is done, I will add that it was presented by someone without qualifications in homeopathy.”

          He doesn’t have a qualification in fairy poo either but he knows it doesn’t exist, except in the minds of the delusional. Sugar water was invented by a crackpot, in the same way as chiropractic; it was pulled out of someone’s arse, with the same outcome, nonsense.

          “You act like tough man online, but, in my opinion, you would not be so tough in a personal discussion.”

          Ooh, you are vewwy tough, Gweggy. Why do you feel the need to be so tough from behind a remote keyboard? You are in Australia, as am I, so if you want to be tough with someone, I’ll volunteer.

          Of course, you won’t disclose your website because you know full well the consequences; you will be torn another one when everyone sees the crap you spout.

          • @Frank Collins:
            Frank Collins, Allan Henness, Bjorn Geir, Pete Attkins, Richard Rawlins Frank Odds, – all these people plus more have been commenting on this site since 2013.

            Are any of you paid by edzardernst.com to provide support and research input to this site?

            Frank: Now get off your high horse before you fall off.

          • Greg, so now we are on the paid by edzard ernst inquiry. You must be really desperate. Ceterum censeo, you have no expertise in homeopathy otherwise you would be able to name your qualifications.

          • Greg on Tuesday 02 May 2017 at 19:38

            “@Frank Collins:
            Frank Collins, Allan Henness, Bjorn Geir, Pete Attkins, Richard Rawlins Frank Odds, – all these people plus more have been commenting on this site since 2013.”

            What’s your point, apart from pointing out some people believe the prof is shining light into the dark corners where it is needed?

            “Are any of you paid by edzardernst.com to provide support and research input to this site?”

            Why do you ask, Two Dogs? Of course the answer is no. Are you really as thick as you seem?

            “Frank: Now get off your high horse before you fall off.”

            You certainly are as aggressive as you seem, particularly behind an anonymous keyboard. It is a pity because I would like nothing better to tell you directly why you are wrong and a bonehead. You are in Australia; everyone knows that.

          • @greg
            When all else has failed the irrationalist will play the shill card, totally unaware that to a thinking person it just confirms their abject failure.

          • @Acleron:

            It isn’t just the shill card: he’s gone full tinfoil hat on us, and is implying that this blog is part of a government conspiracy. See his comments about the ECHR.

      • Cinchono, wtf is that?

        • MIGHT BE CINCHONA
          as you make no spelling errors, you cannot possibly know!

          • Dear Edzard Ernst, it is normally better to stay out of conversations when you have not been following them.

            Mr ‘iron man’ tough guy was trying to make fun of my spelling error:
            Quote

            Thomas Mohr on Monday 01 May 2017 at 14:14

            Mr Greg, skiils [sic !] and expertise:

            Null, nada, zero.

            End of quote

            Going back to Gunpowder, I recommend you use 30C suppository, it may help with your explosive outbursts (talking out of your arse).

            As for ‘Mr Tom’, what a dullard!

          • dear Greg, you are more limited than I thought. this is my blog and I feel quite entitled to comment when and where I want to.

          • In other words, Greg, you failed to answer *any* of my questions. That is a clear F- in homeopathy. It is now established beyond any reasonable doubt that you have no idea on this subject. This, and only this is the reason you are not revealing your credentials.

        • Well, Greggyboy, “Cinchono, wtf is that?” is the wrong answer to my questions. You failed the test. Miserably. F-. So we have now established that you are not only incompetent with regard to analyzing clinical studies, but also with regard to the most basic homeopathic knowledge.

          As other have put it, this disqualifies you from any further comments on this matter.

          • Hello Mr Thomas Mohr, in my opinion, you are the type of person that will ‘tremble’ and be ‘inclined to wet themselves’ if you in a real situation rather than a cyberspace engagement. Please continue with the discussion Mr Thomas Mohr, this is interesting. Thank you

            With regard to your comments and Edzard’s intervention on Cinchono: you should be careful about checking your terminology and spelling if you are going to point out misspelling that others do: is it Cinchono, bozo?

            Edzard has used a variation of this before: ‘dear Greg, you are more limited than I thought. this is my blog and I feel quite entitled to comment when and where I want to.’

            The limitation is this case is Edzard’s lack of getting up to speed on the story before commenting.
            Also he states: ‘this is my blog’, really, does Professor Edzard Ernst own this blog?

            For Mr Mohr and Edzard Ernst:
            The story of Cinchona (China) has been retold thousands of times:
            China is the name of the homeopathic medicine used in that first experiment by Samuel Hahnemann. Originally known as Cinchona (or Peruvian) bark, it now has the Latin name of China officinalis. The physical symptoms that Hahnemann experienced after taking a dose of China were: cold feet and finger tips; drowsiness; palpitations; quick hard pulse; intolerable anxiety and trembling; weakness in all limbs; unpleasant sensation in the periosteum of bones; rigidity of joints;pulsation in the head; redness of cheeks; fever; and thirst. These symptoms are very similar to those experienced by malaria sufferers and act as a guide to the symptoms China can treat.

            http://homeopathyplus.com/tutorial-2-law-of-similars-discovered/

            If one does not this story or how to spell the word, then one truly does not have a clue.

          • Well, Greg, Thanks for lecturing me about something I have read in the German original and thanks for confirming your ignorance. The symptoms Hahnemann felt are today well known as quinine hypersensitivity or allergy against quinine. Cinchona bark does normally NOT cause these symptoms as noted already by Hahnemann’s contemporaries.Thanks for confirming that Hahnemann was a crappy scientist. Had he repeated the experiment with some other people, homeopathy would not exist.
            As for a personal discussion. it would be like a cross examination with a very aggressive attorney.

          • Also he states: ‘this is my blog’, really, does Professor Edzard Ernst own this blog?

            Yes.

          • I look forward to your talk Mr Thomas Mohr, a scientist without qualifications in the topic he aims to dissect. This is too good to be true!

            Put ‘Homeopathy’ on your list of skills.

          • Well, Greg, we all know now that you have no qualifications whatsoever with regard to homeopathy or medical science in general. You have confirmed that beyond doubt.

            You know how a life discussion with me would look like ? It would for you like a cross examination in court where you would be thrown out in 10 minutes. You would not have the slightest chance to lay smokescreens like you do now. You are dismissed.

    • BTW Greg, I am fully competent to assess the validity of clinical studies. I also know that Hahnemann was a very, very bad scientist. I have read his writings in original. The nonsense he writes let one his editors (Hufeland) write (paraphrased) we don’t know what to do with this nonsense but we’ll present it anyways, let the reader be the judge.

      You on the other hand have not given *any* credentials, therefore I assume there are none. Not even in homeopathy since you repeatedly fall in a cult like manner for the no true scotsman fallacy.

      • This is the point that all homeopaths avoid. The question of the validity of of homeopathy is a scientific one, a discipline that all homeopaths are totally unsuited to understand.

  • @Alan ROFL, good man. Me too.

    • It’s probably good that you can laugh at your own failures (although putting your comments in the right place would help). Now. Can you learn from them?

      • Could you try learn something about homeopathy to help you with your commenting and work as Director of Nightingale?

        • I’m always more than willing to learn but there certainly isn’t any homeopathy fan here who seems to be able to answer even simple questions about homeopathy. They are past masters at obfuscation, misunderstanding, diversion and logical fallacies, though, whether or not they realise it.

  • Bjorn Geir: conducted an online search for me an posted his finding on this site:
    Greg Cope (Australia

    http://www.gregcope.com.au/about.php

    To: Greg, in Australia, Bjorn should apologise to you for posting you here but I suspect he won’t. Sorry Greg (Australia).

  • Greg and Iqbal

    Ungraded again in the face of persistent evasion and attempts at diversion;

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    The second point, Greg, remains that you have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

    Your obsession with personalities and qualifications is very dull. And irrelevant. By your own standards you would have to be a competent scientist and a homeopath to be permitted to have any opinion on the topics under discussion. You may wish to consult a dictionary for the definition of ‘oxymoron’. In the meantime, please feel free to address the issues at hand.

  • Well, Greg has been back, to no useful effect.

    Greg and Iqbal

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    Greg, you still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

  • Greg. Thomas has done to you what he did to Benneth a while back. Handed you your arse on a plate. What is known as a pwning. All of your pathetic debating points now hang in tatters. A wise man would know that he was beaten. But, unfortunately, you are not wise and so I suspect your stream of blustering, evasions and logical fallacies will continue.

  • How many times does it need to be repeated: this site: edzardernst.com is the volume of evidence (2013 – 2017).

  • Possibly by now, the skeptic commenters have considered why I have continued on this site for so long? Because you are so much fun!

  • Edzard’s comment this morning indicates he may have taken the medicine?

  • Mr Thomas Mohr, for a little guy, your big boy manner of communicating is pathetic.

    Please do continue to post your comments, they are educational.

    • Greg, you will find yourself as an example of how homeopaths think. Given the fact of your posting times, it is extremely likely you *are* in fact a homeopath from Australia.

      • Mr Mohr

        The matter of my identity has been raised by several commenters on this blog. This is a BLOG and my personal details are irrelevant.

        You should check: ECHR Article 8.

        It is not a requirement to share personal information in order to have an online discussion. Bjorn Geir erred by posting the link to Greg (Australia) and commenters should desist from perusing it. I will not share my personal information on this site and I will not provide free homeopathy education. There are numerous institutions in Europe that provide homeopathy education, maybe you would like to do your training and become an expert critic?

        • Greg, you where not able to answer my questions, ergo you have established beyond doubt that you have no competence in homeopathy at all. No amount of Rumpelstiltzken-dance will change that.

          • Mr Thomas Mohr: if you consider yourself to have the expert skills to present a critical analysis of homeopathy, why don’t you add this detail to your list of qualifications/skills/areas of expertise?

          • Greg: if you consider yourself to have the expert skills to present a critical analysis of homeopathy, and judge others why don’t you reveal your qualifications to us ? Are they not there or are you too yellow for that ?

        • Greg

          If personal details are ‘irrelevant’ why was it so important to you to try to confirm whether I was a systems administrator who featured in an article from 1999 or ‘the vet’ of the same name.

        • Understandably. “Greg” wishes to remain comfortably anonymous. However, it would help if “Greg” verified its age at least. It is impossible to take someone seriously who claims, with the rhetorical prowess of a preschooler, that shaken water is medicine. Hitherto we have not seen anything that indicates this person has more than elementary education.

          • Your ‘detective’ work is poor. You posted the wrong man – Mr Greg Cope- from Australia as being me: even Edzard Ernst and Thomas Mohr have taken your word for it.

          • Poor”Greg” may have spent day’s trying (in vain?) to find the instance where I asked it the following question:

            Björn Geir on Sunday 19 February 2017 at 21:52
            Is this you Greg?:
            http://www.gregcope.com.au/about.php

            Not that it matters, but if so then we are obliged to feel pity with your predicament in having to support your subsistence selling such a mixture of medical imitations. Dodging the dissonance with reality must be demanding.
            No wonder you are bitter and exasperated at those who pound your precious products.

            It is always better to check the source before making asinine assumptions or misquote from memory.
            Perhaps “Greg” simply wasn’t smart enough to locate my old comment? It is quite easy if you know how to narrow down Google search terms and use site-searches.

            This Greg Cope fellow is or was the president of the Australian Homeopathic Association if memory serves me right. So if our “Greg” is from down under (s)he is either not a real homeopath or just pretending not to know the high-priest of its little congregation 😀

            I never pretended to know they were the same and I seriously doubt that our “Greg” is that Cope fellow because the latter seems degrees smarter, even for a homeopath. He also buffs up business with TCM, which our “Greg” doesn’t seem to like.

        • *Adds the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms to the list of things Greg doesn’t understand.*

        • Greg, ECHR Article 8 reads:

          Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life

          1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

          2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

          Now let me lecture you – again. Article 8 – as the entire ECHR applies to *public authorities* aka governments. It is flattering that you think I have such a power, but I am not a public authority. It is very clear why you are too yellow to give your qualifications. You would be ridiculed to the bone, plainly and simply. As a consequence it is assumed that your qualifications are zero, null, nada.In a public face to face discussion you would be placed between a rock and a hard place. When pointing out that I have no qualification you either would have to reveal yours – in which case I would ride a rodeo on you or – more likely – you would not – in which case I would just say so your qualification is … none ? Dismissed.

          • Indeed, Thomas. This is very basic human rights stuff I thought everyone knew.

          • Mr Thomas ‘Cinchono’ Mohr, your reply indicates a rational response, and that is preferable to the histrionics previously.

            Law embodies culture, and this ECHR highlights the value that Europeans place on *privacy*.

            You have already accepted Bjorn Geir’s finding that I am Mr Greg Cope (Australian Homeopath and Acupuncturist). This highlights your lack of understanding of verification of FACTS.

            Mr Mohr, please update your skills profile but as you are not experienced as practitioner or qualified in the subject: your expert witness testimony is DISMISSED.

            I look forward to your talk on homeopathy. It will be fun and you are entitled to talk about it, without QUALIFICATIONS.

          • Greg, could you answer my questions ? No because of lack of competence ? The dogs bark, the caravan moves on.

          • “Gregh” must have missed my comment from last night where I cited the facts. (Or conveniently ignored it 🙂 )
            “Greg” was never IDENTIFIED as being the same as Greg Cope, a well known Australian homeopath. “Greg” was ASKED whether it was Greg Cope but neither denied nor acknowledged as far as I have seen. As I said last night, I seriously doubt “our Greg” is that Cope fellow, the latter seems very much smarter (for a homeopath) 😀

  • Greg continues to wave vaguely in the direction of the entire content of this site as if it answers the two very specific questions I have asked him. It doesn’t.

    Greg, try again.

    Iqbal, try.

    Well, Greg has been back, to no useful effect.

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    Greg, you still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

    • Morning Simon

      You seem not to understand: if you want homeopathy education then go to homeopathy school.

      This blog (2013 – 2017) is the volume of evidence for:Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

      The story is £1.2 billion wasted on research, any comments?

      • Let me lecture you: If a scientist asks you for a concrete example, the answer is NOT this whole blog is an evidence. The correct answer is: On XY, John Doe posted this and that and this is wrong because ….”

        Another example is if one asks me if I have evidence that you have no idea about homeopathy I will answer “on May 1st, Greg failed to answer even the simplest questions re homeopathy.”
        Got that how it works ?

        Aside that, in your case you do not need to answer this question anymore because it is now established that you have no idea about homeopathy which disqualifies you for *any* assessment.

  • Greg

    I have asked you a simple pair of questions. You have descended into distinctly Trumpian efforts at deflection and diversion.

    I’m not disagreeing that there may well be a scandal behind the possible waste of £1.2Bn by the NHS on the CDF. I have simply suggested that the reason for the waste is that the NHS applied the principles of Big SCAM rather than EBM. Why they would do so is for complex reasons, but the rise and normalisation of quack medicine under the pressure of various vested interests appear to have set the scene for this bad policy.


    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    Greg, you still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

  • Greg

    Since you’ve reappeared and ignored another direct question, I’ll repeat it. In bold.

    If personal details are ‘irrelevant’ why was it so important to you to try to confirm whether I was a systems administrator who featured in an article from 1999 or ‘the vet’ of the same name.

    There’s also an actor called Simon Baker. I wonder if I’m him.

    • @Simon Baker

      The story refers to ‘one’ Simon Baker.

      It is addressed to Dr Baker.

      Is it interesting that Edzard Ernst and ‘Simon Baker’ appear in the same newspaper article on the very topic of this website: altmed and its dangers?

      If you check, you will notice that Bjorn Geir started this reveal whois who but got it wrong by pasting an Australian: Greg Cope’s website on one of Edzard’s posts. (Bjorn did this weeks ago)

      I am not interested in who you ‘really are’ but the article is interesting, is it not?

  • I see Iqbal has been back with a charming and utterly pointless anecdote;

    http://edzardernst.com/2017/04/a-chat-with-a-homeopath/#comment-90049

    But still no response to the question he’s been asked several times.

    Iqbal;

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

  • To admin: thank you for confirming that Professor Edzard Ernst is the owner of this blog.

    • @Greg

      Why would it be in any doubt and why would it matter?

      While I have your attention, Simon Baker has been asking you some simple questions. Perhaps you missed them?

    • @Greg on Tuesday 02 May 2017 at 19:48

      “To admin: thank you for confirming that Professor Edzard Ernst is the owner of this blog.”

      You really are as thick as you seem; of course the prof owns this blog, the URL is http://edzardernst.com/, while at the very bottom of the pages is this, Copyright © 2012–2017 Edzard Ernst. All Rights Reserved.

      The “admin” is the prof in his admin role. Gawd, you are dopy.

  • Hello all

    I can’t say I’ve read all of the above, or anything like it. But I feel I have read enough to make the following observation.
    I very much doubt whether ‘Greg’ has any interest in homeopathy, or any interest in the content of the, er, discussion. Or, if he does, homeopathy just provides a useful vehicle with which to achieve his real purpose.

    ‘Greg’ strikes me as a classic example of the person who engages in exchanges such as the above, so that he can show to us that he is invariably right. It is this need―this overweening attachment to being right which is the big thing here. It doesn’t really matter whether the subject in hand is homeopathy or the price of fish.

    Greg is actually playing a game (a game in the sense of transactional analysis) which I have already written on―humorously, I hope―in the context of LinkedIn ‘discussions’. Permit me to draw attention to it *.

    The game is called Bring it on! There are two players: White and Black (many people can be Black, but White stands alone). The choice of colours is taken from chess. White’s first play is to make a statement which is simple, and either stupid or contentious or both. If it’s not contentious, he won’t be able to goad others into responding. If it isn’t simple, he won’t be able to contribute himself and will soon be found out by a piscine expert.

    Black cannot resist and piles in with posts. The description of the game is quite long, so may I refer you to the webpage on my site already cited.

    Anyway, the nature of the subject (say, homeopathy) is so slippery and so rich with pseudo-science that White will always be able to craft a superficially plausible reply to anything Black posts. This will just infuriate Black who cannot resist responding, possibly with a less than judicious reply which White can then gun for with his self-righteousness.

    It is a game that Black will find almost impossible to win. For it is always possible for White to come up with something to avoid answering a direct question or avoid providing explicitly requested evidence, whilst introducing new obfuscating material. As a last resort, White will resort to questioning Black’s parentage.

    It’s important to see that, once Black makes his/her second response he/she is colluding with White in the fight and might ask him/herself whether this is, in fact, the best use of their time (given they won’t win unless White gives in which, short of illness, is highly unlikely).

    * http://www.emotionalintelligenceatwork.com/games-people-play-on-linkedin-2/

    • Jeremy, this is not black and white.

      You are mistaken:I very much doubt whether ‘Greg’ has any interest in homeopathy, or any interest in the content of the, er, discussion. Or, if he does, homeopathy just provides a useful vehicle with which to achieve his real purpose.

      Bjorn Geir has identified me as the wrong person: Mr Greg Cope, Homeopath and Acupuncturist (Australia). Mr Thomas Mohr and Edzard Ernst accepted this erroneous finding and now disseminate this incorrect information on this website.

      Thank you for adding your name here: one more clueless man.

    • Hello Jeremy, please would you provide a link to the *scientific evidence* for your science of ‘games people play’.

      This is such old stuff Jeremy but I look forward to discussing it with you.

    • Jeremy, That’s a good explanation, but in some cases I think the following applies:

      “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” — Hanlon’s razor.

    • Jeremy’s analysis is spot on. “Greg” even (inadvertently) confirms it by its vapid responses that are precisely in line with what Jeremy predicted 😀
      I do not recall the”Greg” ever posting something that suggests it is a real homeopath.
      Whether the fool ever shook water or administered sugar pills, at least we can continue to dismiss the “Greg” with even more confidence after Jeremy’s well argued diagnosis.

  • Greg

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    You still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

  • Greg, on Tuesday 02 May 2017 alone, has thus far posted 15 comments on the article entitled: A chat with a homeopath.

  • Greg appears. Greg fails to answer a couple of simple questions.

    Copy and paste…

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    You still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

    • Simon

      We show Greg why his favourite quackery is utter hogwash. We provide evidence. We dissect his arguments showing the myriad obfuscations, prevarications and logical fallacies. We make him look the fool he is.

      This, in Greg’s eyes, will be the concrete evidence of our lack of understanding of homeopathy.

      Greg has his head so far in the sand that there is only one orifice available for him to talk out of.

      • or perhaps he is paid by the homeopathic industry to make homeopathy look more stupid than it already is?

      • Lenny

        I see the picture you paint. But given that this medium requires typing rather than speaking from an orifice, the image you conjure for me is, frankly, disturbing.

  • Björn Geir on Tuesday 02 May 2017 at 22:23
    Poor”Greg” may have spent day’s trying (in vain?) to find the instance where I asked it the following question:

    Björn Geir on Sunday 19 February 2017 at 21:52
    Is this you Greg?:
    http://www.gregcope.com.au/about.php

    Not that it matters, but if so then we are obliged to feel pity with your predicament in having to support your subsistence selling such a mixture of medical imitations. Dodging the dissonance with reality must be demanding.
    No wonder you are bitter and exasperated at those who pound your precious products.

    It is always better to check the source before making asinine assumptions or misquote from memory.
    Perhaps “Greg” simply wasn’t smart enough to locate my old comment? It is quite easy if you know how to narrow down Google search terms and use site-searches.

    This Greg Cope fellow is or was the president of the Australian Homeopathic Association if memory serves me right. So if our “Greg” is from down under (s)he is either not a real homeopath or just pretending not to know the high-priest of its little congregation 😀

    I never pretended to know they were the same and I seriously doubt that our “Greg” is that Cope fellow because the latter seems degrees smarter, even for a homeopath. He also buffs up business with TCM, which our “Greg” doesn’t seem to like.
    End of Bjorn Geir

    Edzard on Monday 01 May 2017 at 14:33
    “Greg is a licensed professional member of the Australian Register of Homeopaths, Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Assocation, and the Australian Homeopathic Assocation.”
    I for one am impressed – if he now learns to use auto-correction on his computer, he would be a well-rounded professional.
    End of Edzard Ernst

    Thomas Mohr on Tuesday 02 May 2017 at 07:02
    Greg, you will find yourself as an example of how homeopaths think. Given the fact of your posting times, it is extremely likely you *are* in fact a homeopath from Australia.

    End of Thomas Mohr

    Frank Collins on Tuesday 02 May 2017 at 10:28
    @Greg on Monday 01 May 2017 at 14:38

    “Mr Mohr, I look forward to your talk. When it is done, I will add that it was presented by someone without qualifications in homeopathy.”

    He doesn’t have a qualification in fairy poo either but he knows it doesn’t exist, except in the minds of the delusional. Sugar water was invented by a crackpot, in the same way as chiropractic; it was pulled out of someone’s arse, with the same outcome, nonsense.

    “You act like tough man online, but, in my opinion, you would not be so tough in a personal discussion.”

    Ooh, you are vewwy tough, Gweggy. Why do you feel the need to be so tough from behind a remote keyboard? You are in Australia, as am I, so if you want to be tough with someone, I’ll volunteer.

    Of course, you won’t disclose your website because you know full well the consequences; you will be torn another one when everyone sees the crap you spout.

    End of Frank Collins: by the way, the quote ‘get off your high horse’ is from your comment (2013)

    Who will Bjorn Geir be searching for next: Mojo, Acleron?

  • And again.

    Greg reappears. Greg fails to answer a couple of simple questions.

    Copy and paste…

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    You still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

    Putting those questions in bold does make them stand out to show how often Greg has slithered away from them instead of attempting honestly to answer them.

    • @Simon Baker

      Greg said:

      There are plenty or you and your fellows to respond to and each person gets a reply.

      But not to your questions. Or to mine when I asked, after Greg went on about homeopathy qualifications and licensing to practise, “What are the qualifications required to practise scientology? astrology? religion? paganism? spiritualism? paranormal investigation? ufology? mysticism? transcendental meditation?

      What do these practices have in common with CAM?”

      Is it because he doesn’t have an answer? Hasn’t realized the sentences were questions? Considers a response too bleeding obvious for him to waste his time? Too busy dreaming up new insults? Other reason?

      • I’m inclined to accept Jeremy Marchant’s analysis of this exchange. The Brits among those reading this page will be familiar with the phrase ‘pulling my plonker’. I think ours have been pulled repeatedly.

        However, the evident, repeated and abject failures of SCAM defenders to stick to the point, give honest answers, follow a logical argument and understand what counts as meaningful evidence are always worth demonstrating to any bystanders.

  • @Simom Baker

    ‘Simon Baker is inclined to accept Jeremy Marchant’s analysis of this exchange’.

    Simon, thank you so much for writing that statement. Mr Marchant’s ‘analysis’ is incorrect and based on conjecture. He has no idea of what is actually the case.

    The opening line of Robert Marchant’s ‘analysis’:
    I can’t say I’ve read all of the above,
    or anything like it.
    But I feel I have read enough to make the following observation.

    It speaks for itself, no further comment required. But, if he would like to return here and have an online discussion regarding his ‘analysis’, I will discuss it with him.

    Regarding Simon Baker’s repeated requests to answer his two question:
    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the skeptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    You still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

    I know it is frustrating to ask questions and have them ignored, deflected or partly answered, this has also happened to me on this site.

    Question1
    I asked Professor Edzard Ersnt, the world’s first ‘Professor of Complementary Medicine’, to answer what I consider to be a central question and he has not answered it. I asked this question in a previous post and provided quotes from Edzard regarding his view on homeopathy and the ‘pure placebo’ effect. I asked the question again on this post but without the details in the original question:
    How do you KNOW that homeopathic remedies DO NOT have an effect on the human organism?
    How do you KNOW that the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment IS DUE to placebo effect?
    You admitted that homeopathic remedies MAY!!! have small specific effects.

    Question 2
    I asked Dr Richard Rawlins a question and reposted it:

    Is Dr. Richard Rawlins biased against homeopaths?
    Dr Rawlins, you have not replied to this topic from previous blog:
    Dr. Rawlins, the problem is that you don’t know for certain that homeopathic remedies do not have a medicinal effect. (See: Robert Mathie’s study)

    Therefore, if it is not certainly known that remedies are pure placebos, why should homeopaths state that they are?

    You have not addressed this:
    Greg on Thursday 13 April 2017 at 06:53

    Dr Rawlins, please go through these comments and explain:

    10 April
    Greg: After a lifetime of investigating homeopathy, Edzard should be able to provide a concise ‘head of argument’ for the case against homeopathy. Perhaps he could also try to do this in a dispassionate scientific manner to support his prosecutorial rhetoric: homeopaths are ignorant, corrupt, charlatans, frauds, quacks, criminals, ‘kill your entire family’ (see your listed article above).

    What if his case is wrong? Perhaps he would not feel any sense of shame for insulting so many people?

    Dr Rawlins: ‘Homeopaths are ignorant, corrupt, charlatans, frauds, quacks, criminals.’
    What evidence is there that they are not?

    Greg: Dr Rawlins, I would not have thought of you as the type of person to jump into this with your statement:
    ‘Homeopaths are ignorant, corrupt, charlatans, frauds, quacks, criminals.’
    What evidence is there that they are not?

    What if the model and method of ‘investigating’ homeopathy is wrong? I have stated several times on this site that I consider the method (RCT) and model allopathic/clinical homeopathy used in most of the investigations into homeopathy are likely to fail P=F.

    If someone devises a way to test homeopathy properly and evidence of efficacy is found, what will you say then?

    Greg: Crimen injuria is a crime under South African common law, defined to be the act of “unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another. (Wikipedia)

    Does this law apply in the UK?

    11 April
    Dr Rawlins:
    I made no allegations.
    I was quoting another post.
    That is why my comment was in quotation marks.
    I have no idea whether any homeopath is ignorant, corrupt, a quack, charlatan, fraud or criminal.
    Do you?
    How do we tell?

    We are dealing here with probabilities and likelihoods, That’s why a proper scientific approach is necessary.
    Which is more likely, that homeopaths are ignorant, quacks or frauds – or that they have discovered a quite remarkable phenomenon which requires all current knowledge of natural sciences to be set aside?
    Which do you think more likely?

    Dr Rawlins: No – nor in SA either.
    Folks in the categories we are considering here have no dignity which can be impaired.

    End of quotes

    The conflicting statements in the text are:

    I have no idea whether any homeopath is ignorant, corrupt, a quack, charlatan, fraud or criminal.
    Folks in the categories we are considering here have no dignity which can be impaired.
    What evidence is there that they are not?

    These statements appear inconsistent, please would you clarify, thank you.

    Simon Baker’s questions:
    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy. Q1: answered: ‘this entire blog’, particularly the writings of Bjorn Geir. Q2: answered: purpose of the citing of the story is to highlight hypocrisy. Simon Baker’s statement is his own to dissect and comment on:You still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine. (I never mentioned WHY I considered the money was wasted.)

    Talk about the British saying: pulling my plonker. Many visitors has come to this site to discuss topics, and usually end up being abused by ‘team skeptics’. Dr Mathie and Mr D.Ullman (especially Mr D.Ullman) were treated disrepectfully here. The good thing: readers of this blog (Edzard believes that to win this ‘war’ on alt med it is the ordinary citizens, not doctors and scientists, that must be won over.) is that so far I have not SEEN ONE CASE OF AN ALT MED BELIEVER THAT HAS VISITED THIS SITE AND BEEN SAVED BY THE EXPLANATIONS OFFERED TO THEM.

    Not one person in 4 years: that is so HILARIOUS!

    Pete Attkins quote, fits precisely what this site has been doing since its inception:Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    • When there is no difference between placebo and homeopathy products then any effects are exactly placebo which is what is expected when using sugar or water.

      You can cherry pick as much as you like, all the data show placebo effects.

      It’s not as if we haven’t seen the special pleading before. The infamous ‘Swiss’ report was composed entirely of it.

      Do you think that the dignity and respect of people who promote homeopathy is more important than the injury caused to people by delaying proper treatment and directly injuring them as in the Belladonna tragedies? If so, check your ethics.

      So the evasion of questions asked continues.

    • What if the model and method of ‘investigating’ homeopathy is wrong? I have stated several times on this site that I consider the method (RCT) and model allopathic/clinical homeopathy used in most of the investigations into homeopathy are likely to fail P=F.

      All a controlled trial of a therapy does is to measure the difference in outcome between subjects given the therapy and subjects not given the therapy. If a therapy makes a difference to outcomes, that difference will be detectable in RCTs. If a therapy makes no difference to outcomes, it is the therapy that has failed.

    • Greggyboy: Quote: “How do you KNOW that homeopathic remedies DO NOT have an effect on the human organism?
      How do you KNOW that the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment IS DUE to placebo effect?”

      Greggyboy, Prof. Ernst did not answer your question because that is NOT how science works. If YOU claim homeopathy works, YOU have to demonstrate it. So far you have not even demonstrated your qualifications – which you likely do not posess. So, dismissed, Greggyboy.

  • Wow, Greg! Such a lot of words to say so little.
    It would help as well if you would use some of the mark-up tools that are available to make your comments more readable.

    I use bold to highlight elements. Blockquote is another. Here’s an example of their use, which, by no coincidence at all, show the questions you have still not answered.

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    You still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

    You said;

    (I never mentioned WHY I considered the money was wasted.)

    I agree. You haven’t.

    You don’t accept Jeremy Marchant’s analysis of online exchanges such as these. My 15 years’ experience of debating in this area have conformed very well to his description.

  • What if the model and method of ‘investigating’ homeopathy is wrong?

    Yes, ‘what if’. Fortunately, the methods of the RCT are eminently applicable to homeopathy. There are therapies (physical or ‘talking’ therapies) for which there are genuine difficulties in this regard, but homeopathy with its little pills and drops of alcohol/water is not one of them. That’s why the trial data has become better with time, which in turn is why people like Iqbal have to resort to citing 20-yr old meta-analyses that are dominated by poorly run trials.

    To put it more succinctly and to resort to vernacular Strine, with which you may or may not be familiar:

    ‘What if RCT methods could not apply to homeopathy?’ Well, if my Aunty had balls she’d be my Uncle.

    • Simon Baker

      ‘What if RCT methods could not apply to homeopathy?’ Well, if my Aunty had balls she’d be my Uncle.”

      It seems over time, aunt does become Uncle.

      “Pharmaceuticals company Bayer, for example, recently revealed that it fails to replicate about two-thirds of published studies identifying possible drug targets
      Bayer’s rival Amgen reported an even higher rate of failure – over the past decade its oncology and haematology researchers could not replicate 47 of 53 highly promising results they examined Because drug companies scour the scientific literature for promising leads, this is a good way to estimate how much biomedical research cannot be replicated. The answer: the majority.
      https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528826.000-is-medical-science-built-on-shaky-foundations/#.VG9IYlXF9Yk

      “Be that as it may, the cohort studies of matched controls are flawed from its beginning. Control studies, claimed to be the best way to study drug effects and many other areas in medicine, do not reflect the real future events. As discussed earlier time evolution being dependent on the complete organism-genotype, phenotype and consciousness, controlled studies only match the phenotype. Many of those studies, if not all of them, have given wrong signals.”
      Dr BM Hegde

      • Well done, Iqbal, for missing the point completely.

        None of what you have just said means that RCT methods cannot apply to homeopathy.

        Do you actually not understand that very simple principle or do you do this deliberately?

        • Simon Baker

          Replication/reproducibility is a test of basic science. See results defined by Bayer and Amgen. This would be no different for Pfizer or Merck. So what is done during RCT?

          Change the constituent of the sample group or repeat after 10 years and result will not match 100% of the time. Replace American sample with Japanese, result will not match 100% of the time.

          And then ask your self, if the RCT is so crucial to drug behavior, how did Actos find its way into the market?

          And off course, what is the outcome, achievement? What has been the advantage of doing RCT for patients?

          https://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/new-prescription-drugs-major-health-risk-few-offsetting-advantages

          • OK, Iqbal, if you don’t regard RCT as sufficiently reliable and reproducible to allow us to work out what treatments work, please present your alternative proposal that addresses and solves those problems. Illustrate your answer, specifically, with example/s of your method being applied to homeopathy.

      • The non effectiveness of homeopathy has been demonstrated many times in meta studies of high quality clinical trials.

      • Well, Iqbal, so RCTs are not reproducible and therefore irrelevant evidence. Do you know what you just did ? Imagine you are in the midst of the Atlantic, in a bathtub and you pulled the plug and threw it overboard. I.o.W. you have sunk your entire argumentation. If you don’t know how, I will gladly explain it to you.

        • Thomas

          I said earlier, you have zero clue about medicine.

          • Iqbal, I do not care what you have said earlier. So let’s serve another fool’s arse on a plate. I have peer reviewed scientific publications in medical science, you have not. I work as a staff scientist at a medical university you do not. I have a proper education with regard to computational biology, biotechnolgy and statistiscs, you have not. In summary, I know a lot about medicine, you do not. Got that ?

            The reason why you have just sunk yourself is that you admitted the RCTs in homeopathy are no real evidence. That means that only the fairy tales by Boericke and the other homeopaths remain. In other words, you have pulled away the carpet under yourself.

  • Is that the best you can offer for your concluding argument Mr Baker?

  • Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    You still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

  • Has Greg gone?

    I’ll leave these here as his memorial.

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    You still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

    • No, he’s still active elsewhere on the blog, complaining about Professor Ernst describing people as liars, frauds or charlatans, without, of course, giving any concrete examples of this.

  • Ah, Greg is back

    Continuing to focus on identities instead of anything of substance.

    http://edzardernst.com/2017/04/a-chat-with-a-homeopath/#comment-90585

    Here’s some substance;

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    You still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

  • I am not focussing on identities: wrong again Mr Baker?, don’t you get tired of it?

    Mr Baker
    Here’s some substance: the questions have already been ANSWERED (did I spell that correctly? nada, dada…yes)

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    You still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

  • No, Greg, you do not focus on identities. Except when you do.

    http://edzardernst.com/2017/04/a-chat-with-a-homeopath/#comment-90585

    http://edzardernst.com/2017/04/a-chat-with-a-homeopath/#comment-90066

    Anyway, since you’re back;

    Please provide a single concrete example where any of the sceptical side has demonstrated a lack of understanding of homeopathy.

    You still have not commented on the fact that the CDF seems to have been mismanaged because it applied the standards of SCAM to actual medicine.

    You’ve waved vaguely st this whole site for the former and steadfastly refused to engage with the latter. And Copy & Paste still work.

  • “One of you lot” wrote a lengthy post. Here it is dissected.

    I have been a user of Homeopathy for 50 years.

    The Aztecs sacrificed people to keep the Sun rising for rather longer. It was also useless.
    Fallacies: argument from authority and antiquity

    I think it is demonstrated frequently that sceptics do not understand Homeopathy : leaving aside that scientific experts have failed to discover an avenue to trial homeopathy honestly and accurately,

    Why so? You can’t just airily assert this. Explain exactly what is wrong with an RCT of little white pills [You will fail]
    Fallacy: begging the question.

    despite there being mounting evidence for its efficacy,

    Untrue. Witness poor Iqbal’s resist to a 20yr old meta-analysis

    Fallacy: bald assertion

    It is repeated time and time again that homeopathy is a placebo:

    and there is no good evidence that placebos are useful to change the outcome of physical disease. So the next chunk of your comment is pointless as well as unsound.

    Fallacy: post hoc ergo propter hoc, use of anecdote

    Honestly, if it hadn’t worked at that initial appointment, my guess is I would not have tried it again.

    Survivorship bias

    Accusations of gullibility do not ring true: I am not gullible and nor are the many people who use it.

    We are all gullible. That’s why we use methods to address gullibility.

    And like it or not, and despite the comments by the Sceptics’ team, homeopathy is growing in popularity from my experience and observations.

    Argument from anecdote. Citation needed

    What else do sceptics fail to understand? : Homeopaths are in it for financial gain. Mm – I can obtain 4 remedies for less than £20; a couple of consultations a year and plenty of free advice in between : in my book that fails to make a millionaire of my homeopath, albeit considering his popularity,

    Still fails any cost-benefit analysis and, oh boy, it really is easy money

    Sceptics are fond of using expressions like ‘regression to the mean; personal anecdotes are not evidence/data,’ . Regression to the mean coinciding with homeopathy over 50 years: now there is a worthwhile study, as is anecdotal evidence: I have a vision of a percentage of homeopathy users filling Wembley Stadium presenting their evidence to a judge – would he tell them after summing up ‘you are deluded or liars’ No, because that volume of experiences cannot all be wrong.

    Ask an Aztec

    Maybe a little more balance in the Sceptics’ views would attract a wider following by those you seek to convert.

    False balance.

    ” ▪ Do you think I don’t understand what my friend, the Professor, long ago called the hydrostatic paradox of controversy?
Don’t know what it means? – Well, I will tell you. You know, that, if you had a bent tube, one arm of which was of the size of a pipe-stem, and the other big enough to hold the ocean, water would stand at the same height in one as in the other. Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way, — and the fools know it.”

    Complementary therapies, compared to some mainstream drugs, vaccinations etc, are harmless, I hear you say :

    Not from me you don’t.
    Fallacy: strawman
    The harms are, however, small in most cases. But, unfortunately if your chiropractor kills you with a vertebral arterial dissection it is particularly sad since that harm was not balanced by any possible benefit; you will have died literally for nothing except to fill the chiropractor’s pocket and fulfill their need to play at doctor. You might also ask about Penelope Dingle who was denied even palliative pain relief lest it interfere with the homeopathy that was signally failing to treat her cancer.

    Thank you OOYL for such an excellent display of fallacious reasoning.

    And you did not even attempt to answer the questions that Greg has been ducking.

    • Simon

      Why is it, do you think, that the supporters of all sorts of quackery never seen to understand logical fallacies – or never see why they automatically lose them the argument?

      • I literally do not know. The flaws in their thinking are so screamingly obvious, yet I am reluctant to conclude people are that stupid or so corrupt. But I struggle to find a third explanation.

        • “I am reluctant to conclude people are that stupid or so corrupt. But I struggle to find a third explanation.” Perhaps just everyday folk going about their everyday business and failing to understand why we sceptics make such a fuss? Not everyone even considers the “flaws in their thinking”, which is one of the reasons to admire diversity?

          But this doesn’t explain why some folk come on this blog to vent obvious anger in their comments.

          • When I had only a passing acquaintance with homeopathy, I’d have been a ‘shruggie’ and I think many people would be the same.

            The curious aspect are the ardent advocates who take time to comment in places like this and who see their arguments demolished but persist. They don’t have the excuse of not knowing.

      • That’s a really good point. When has a AltMed type pointed out our logical fallacies? Is it because we’re perfect and never make any? No. (Well.. slightly..) I’m convinced it’s because there’s a certain type of disordered thinking at work. It’s the same way of thinking that makes them very poor at humour. Finer minds than mine will no doubt be able to explain this more fully.

    • I would like to add a couple of small points to Simon’s excellent and extensive rebuttal:

      “What else do sceptics fail to understand? : Homeopaths are in it for financial gain. Mm – I can obtain 4 remedies for less than £20; a couple of consultations a year and plenty of free advice in between : in my book that fails to make a millionaire of my homeopath …”

      Homeopathic companies bear none of the cost of research and development of real pharmaceutical companies. Or even quality control, as we’ve seen with the contaminated/tainted homeopathic products released to the marketplace and recalled.

      Boiron et al are selling nothing but sugar and water for the equivalent of hundreds of dollars per kilo. A typical package of that duck liver cold stuff here in Montreal is about $20. Based on the amount of product in the package, that extrapolates to plain old sugar at something like $375 a pound.

      The homeopathic companies are indeed in it for financial gain and do a great job accomplishing that goal. They are worth billions annually (in any currency).

      If a local homeopath isn’t getting rich it’s only because not enough people are gullible (yes, sorry) to fall for his routine. That’s why so many homeopaths have to diversify and sell supplements, nutrients (sic), reiki, reflexology and acupuncture. To add revenue streams.

      “I have been a user of Homeopathy for 50 years.”

      To what extent would you trust homeopathy? What if you get cancer? AIDS? Rabies? A life-threatening infection? Would you stick to homeopathy exclusively? Why, or why not? What about birth control? Is there anything in the materia medica on how to prevent conception?

      For that matter, how would you even know if you had one of the diseases above if you don’t see (real) doctors? Can a homeopath even diagnose cancer?

      And while we’re asking, what about vaccinations? Do you trust the homeopathic versions that are said to be just as effective as pharmaceutical vaccines?

      I have a vision of a percentage of homeopathy users filling Wembley Stadium presenting their evidence to a judge – would he tell them after summing up ‘you are deluded or liars’ No, because that volume of experiences cannot all be wrong.

      Judges do not decide science and in fact several judges’ decisions in recent memory have spotlighted their blatant ignorance of science.

      • As far as I am aware, homeopaths never diagnose anything. They just treat the totality of symptoms with the appropriate variety of shaken water.

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