MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Weleda, a leading manufacturer of homeopathic preparations, is, according to their own judgement, a ‘unique organisation – economically thriving, kind at heart and committed to the well-being of our planet, our environment and our people. We’ve grown into that role through the adoption of seven basic principles which are unchanging, binding for everyone who works with us, and which clearly underpin the way we work.’

The first of these 7 principles is the ‘Fair treatment of customers, partners and suppliers‘. Fair treatment and being ‘kind at heart’ would include telling the truth, wouldn’t it? But reading what Weleda state about homeopathy, one might wonder!

The Weleda article entitled ‘An introduction to Homeopathy’ contains many statements worthy of some critical analysis, I think. Here is a selection of 10 just quotes:

  1. … a [homeopathic] remedy [is] made from a natural substance… in a tiny dose which has been ‘potentised’ to be effective.
  2. Many people choose this approach for every-day family ailments, with a homeopathic ‘first aid kit’…
  3. … allopathic medicine works against the disease and its symptoms using “anti” drugs…
  4. Homeopathy works by stimulating the body’s own natural healing capacity.
  5. If you do experience complex, persistent or worrying symptoms then please seek the advice of a doctor who specialises in homeopathy.
  6. Today there are four homeopathic hospitals offering treatment under the National Health Service – in London, Glasgow, Liverpool and Bristol.
  7. Homeopathy can be used to treat the same wide range of illness as conventional medicine, and may even prove successful when all other forms of treatment have failed.
  8. … the fact that the remedies are widely used on animals dismisses the idea that the success of a treatment is all in the mind.
  9. Occasionally, symptoms become worse on first taking a homeopathic medicine. This is called an ‘aggravation’, and is a good sign that the remedy is working.
  10. … some homeopathic remedies will successfully treat many people with the same symptoms. For example, arnica is usually used for muscular bruising …

And here are my thoughts on these 10 statements:

  1. I had always thought that homeopathics can be made from any substance (including Berlin Wall) and not just natural ones. Moreover, the dose is often not ‘tiny’ but non-existent. Finally, the assumption that ‘potentisation’ renders remedies ‘effective’ is pure wishful thinking.
  2. A homeopathic ‘first aid kit’ is a contradiction in terms. If someone needs first aid, she surely must avoid homeopathy.
  3. The term ‘allopathy’ is a derogatory term created by Hahnemann to defame the heroic medicine of his time. The notion of ‘anti-drugs’ is popular in homeopathy, but evidently, it is pure nonsense.
  4. This notion is wishful thinking by homeopaths at its best; there is not a jot of evidence that it is true.
  5. If you do experience complex, persistent or worrying symptoms then please seek the advice of a doctor who practices evidence-based medicine but NOT homeopathy.
  6. This statement is untrue; a footnote to the article states ‘Copyright 2017 Weleda UK’, it is thus odd to see that Weleda is so ill-informed.
  7. The claim that homeopathy is a panacea is dangerous nonsense.
  8. This notion is endlessly being promoted by homeopaths. Sadly the repetition of a falsehood does not create a truth (see for instance here).
  9. ‘Homeopathic aggravations’ are a myth.
  10. Yes, homeopathic arnica is used for muscular bruising – but it not effective for that or any other indication.

It is only fair, I think, that I declare my conflicts of interest in relation to Weleda.

While at Exeter, I ran during 14 years an annual conference for researchers in alternative medicine. One year, I accepted a modest sponsorship from Weleda for this meeting [I forgot how much and which year precisely this was, possibly around 1999 and probably around £ 3 000].

More importantly, Weleda was one of the companies that financed the German journalist Claus Fritzsche who then spent much time and effort to attack and defame me. This story that ended tragically with Fritzsche’s suicide.

Needless to say that I regret both events.

Arguably, I therefore have two opposing conflicts of interest, one pro and one contra Weleda. This is why I tried to focus my comments purely on demonstrable facts. They show, I think, that Weleda’s claims about homeopathy should be take with more than a little pinch of salt – or perhaps even with a dose of NaCl, C200?

93 Responses to Weleda’s statements on homeopathy … in need of NaCl, C200, I think

  • But the Berlin Wall is effective because it too is essentially composed of natural elements.
    Similarly, one could be treated by a dilution of ‘tractor’,or ‘marmalade'(Frank Cooper’s Blood Orange is good, though seems to be out of production, thanks probably to the fears of Big Pharma ), or ‘toy bunny’.

  • Weleda continue to have year-on-year growth in turnover and profit. Current annual UK turnover UK is approx. £8 million with a nice 350 grand or so in profits for the owners. (based on 2016 figures)

    Meanwhile, one E. Ernst continues writing blogs to promote himself and his books.

    Which one is doing better?

    • Greg, you are priceless.
      But do you have any real arguments relating to the content of my post?

    • LOL!

      But since you raised it, I checked Weleda UK’s 2016 accounts. They had a turnover of £7,282,223, but they made a LOSS before tax of £538,358, £393,873 after tax, not a profit of £350,000 as you claim. Do you agree?

      • in this case, I might be doing better after all!

        • Ha!

          It should also be remembered that Weleda sells a large number of hair, body, face, dental and perfume products as well as homeopathy and anthroposophic products. Their accounts don’t differentiate between any product ranges, unfortunately.

      • Good grief Alan, you are right! Thank you for pointing this out. Finally, you have a winning point which suggests that sticking to financial matters and not commenting on homeopathy is for you.

        Seems like Weleda UK is in a spot of trouble economically.

        • so ‘economically thriving’ should be added to their list of porkies!

        • Oh! Have you spotted something I’ve said about homeopathy that wasn’t correct? Please do tell.

          • For critics of homeopathy that attack without substance, the dictum from the Sermon on the Mount can be applied: “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

            This does not at all apply to you Mr Henness; in your case, it seems to me, it is more of a person that knows the words of a song but does not understand their meaning. How can something like this be explained to you? I could attend a masters level physics lesson, hear the words spoken but not understand their meaning and significance. In your case, homeopathy seems to be the subject and, comically for me, you want to be its critic.

            If you have read Hahnemann and Kent’s works and still don’t understand homeopathy then there is nothing else I can say that will help you to do so.

          • LOL!

            My request to you was quite simple: can you point out anything I’ve said about homeopathy that you believe is incorrect?

          • It is amusing after all, to watch a defense of homeopathy revolving around everything but homeopathy. The premises of homeopathy are extremely simple. If an analogy should be made, it would be hard to find a subdiscipline of any branch of science to provide a theory that is so simple. Perhaps first order logic, but this one is also more complicated, so propositional calculus would be a better fit. It is a great analogy, because it works pretty much like that, only ignoring the validity of prior propositions.

            Simple. Set a few basic propositions as valid (when they are not) and you have your (non-) axioms to begin with. Then give birth to further propositions by (misusing) applying logical operators. Whenever feeling like it, set extra propositions as valid to get more non-axioms, to be able to fit additional propositions. And you have homeopathy. Nothing is valid, of course. All the way to the end.

            Hahnemann is no authority with respect to that matter and there is nothing that proves homeopathy in his works. Having fun with a flawed logical system is amusing, until one starts believing in it.

          • It is quite extraordinary, James.

          • Greg – “If you have read Hahnemann and Kent’s works and still don’t understand homeopathy then there is nothing else I can say that will help you to do so.”
            This statement has same worth as “If you have read Rowbotham works and still don’t understand flat earth then there is nothing else I can say that will help you to do so.”

    • Which is doing better?

      I’d go with;
      * the one with a shred of human decency
      * the one with a reasonable grasp on ethics
      * the one not profiting of the ignorance of others
      * the one that can defend their position with evidence and research
      * the one not encouraging education through process rather than doctrine
      * the one that isn’t driven by profit

      I doubt Weleda could claim even one of these qualifiers.

  • The Magic Circle’s first president, David Devant had a catch phrase.
    He said the effects he demonstrated were “All done with kindness.”

    And that is how the magic of Waleda works – they are simply kind to the gullible folk who fall for their guff and appreciate being taken advantage of, kindly.

    TCL = £millions.
    Good trick!

  • LOL! As I stated: if you knew what you don’t know then you would be able to answer your question without me saying anything.

    The answer to your question is: write anything about homeopathy and that will do the trick.

  • “For critics of homeopathy that attack without substance, the dictum from the Sermon on the Mount can be applied: “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.””

    Why are you dissing innocent animals? You have something against veterinary medicine? At least god knew not to recommend using homeopathy on animals.

  • Don’t hold your breath on that one Alan; it is not for me to say what you should think about homeopathy or any other topic. If you think homeopathy is rubbish, why should that matter to me or anyone else?

    • LOL!

      That, of course, is not what I asked you. But never mind…

      • Oh for goodness sake Mr Henness, what does ‘never mind’ mean? Do you need a tissue?

        I suggested above that you read Hahnemann and Kent’s works because the answers to your questions will be found there. Your silence to this suggestion may mean that you have not read Hahnemann and Kent’s works. If that is the case then read what they wrote and come back with substantive points of discussion.

        Ps: your comments on Arnica were juvenile.

        Good grief.

        LOL!

        Have a good day Alan.

        • Do you need to take some sugar pills to calm down and focus?

          But still you fail to point out anything I’ve said you believe is wrong. Instead you tell me to go and read some books.

          Oh! Wait! A (misnamed) PS:

          your comments on Arnica were juvenile.

          Goodness knows why you’re finding this so difficult. Greg. I’ve not mentioned arnica on this page. There are well over a thousand pages on this website so please be a good chap and point to the actual comment you’re having difficulty with and say exactly what you believe I got wrong. I’m not a mind reader…

          • “I’m not a mind reader…”

            Shame on you, Alan. The stream of ever-arrogant, babyish, petulant comments from Greg positively require mind-reading talents. If, like me, you lack those you might follow my own approach: ignore all comments from Greg.

          • Alan, it is a pity that your memory does not seem to work so well. We had a lengthy discussion on Arnica (by standards of this blog) a few months back, and then afterwards I had to remind you of this discussion on a subsequent one of Edzard’s blogs.

            In the space of a few comments, you have demonstated

            1. Silence regarding whether you have read Hahnemann and Kent’s works.

            2. Denial: (don’t recall, can’t recall), I did not comment on Arnica on this page.

            Then fellow sceptics appear and provide comments to support you. All this further evidences the ardent, arbitrary and non-scientific approach of homeopathic sceptics.

            I prefer to keep it straight: fools paradise this blog is.

            Lol!

          • Wot, Greg? I correct quacks and their apologists all the time here and elsewhere so it’s a bit mean to expect me to remember every single occasion – and particularly not the one you seem to have in your mind. But why is it proving so difficult for you to provide a link. Just a link, Greg… Just one link… Please don’t fail me again.

          • I find it entertaining that Greg expects Alan to recall a conversation from another part of the site with no context and yet refuses to actually answer a simple request for clarification from Alan.

            Greg,
            1) If you want to continue a conversation from another part of the site continue it there. If there’s unanswered questions reference them with a link to that comment and a challenge to address them. It’s the polite thing to do.
            2) Please point out where Alan is wrong. If you can’t point out specifics we’ll accept that as you being unable to explain your claim. It will also demonstrate that you don’t know the topic you are talking about.

            Alan, I have to agree with Frank Odds. Greg appears to be a disingenuous participant here. If he’s not going to live up to the challenges he expects others to address then ignore him. Currently he’s failing to meet your very simple requests.

        • If Hahnemann were here today, I suspect he would be appalled that some people were ignoring a couple of hundred years of scienitific and technological progress and still promoting his model. At the time when Hahnemann created his model, orthodox medicine was also pre-scientific and pre-technological. Medicine has advanced dramatically, however, with technology how allowing us to understand the structure of the cell wall, the electrical properties of cardiac muscle and the pathophysiology of infectious disease. To stick to pre-technological models, while spouting about it on the internet, is simply comical.

  • @Greg: “attack homeopathy without substance…”
    Do you mean to say: “attack homeopathy, of which there is no substance…”?
    Or: “attack homeopathy, whose remedies have no substance…”?
    Or: “attacks on homeopathy with substance will be denied as having no substance….just like homeopathy…”?
    Perhaps quoting Moe-the-Howard vs Jesus-the-Christ is more apt: “every time you open your mouth you weaken the nation”.

  • Edzard

    ‘Homeopathic aggravations’ are a myth.”

    ” We conclude that this systematic review does not provide clear evidence that the phenomenon of homeopathic aggravations exists.”

    Realized the truth as soon as I saw your name in the list. Which trials did you leave out?

    • you are just great!
      please don’t give up making a fool of yourself.

      • Edzard

        Did you miss the Critique of your critique or over looked it purposely?
        https://homeopathyusa.org/uploads/Research/SebastianErnst.pdf

        “In summary, it appears to me that Dr. Ernst was reluctant to make any positive judgments about these three RCTs which were, in fact, extremely well-designed and which yielded some statistically significant results. When a critic writes multiple articles about the poor methodology of homeopathic research but then fails to characterize a well-designed research project in an objective manner, his reliability as a critic must be questioned. It is ironic that Dr. Ernst warned of a “phenomenon that.seems to be common in this line of investigation…relatively weak data tend to be over- or misinterpreted to such an extent that the casual reader of such publications can be seriously misled.”(3) I, too, would caution the casual reader – it seems to me that anyone who reads Dr. Ernst’s critiques should be advised to read the original research.”

        Another R Hahn? Something to say?

        • if you insist:
          published by the ‘American Institute of Homeopathy’ – they would say that, wouldn’t they?
          http://edzardernst.com/2013/02/they-would-say-that-wouldnt-they/

          • Edzard

            No requirement to go on a tangent. Specific questions require specific answers.

            1) Dr. Ernst commented, “No power calculations were provided.” Given the above description, this is clearly a misleading criticism because they explicitly stated that the power was calculated with the PESTTM software. It is unclear to me how further details would be helpful in the discussion of this research.
            2)
            3) Dr. Ernst acknowledged that “the third RCT did demonstrate a significant reduction of 1.8 percent,” but he failed to mention the “p<0.02” value (which is the usual manner of reporting a statistically significant finding). I can only assume that his failure to disclose the p<0.02 level of significance is a way of minimizing the significance of this finding.
            4) Dr. Ernst mentioned that a post-hoc pooled analysis of all three RCTs had been done which revealed a “borderline significant effect (p=0.04).” It has been a generally accepted convention since the early 1900’s to accept “p<0.05” as the most common criterion for a “statistically significant” finding. To describe a p-value of 0.04 as “borderline” is again a misuse of language to minimize the finding of a statistically significant result.
            5) Dr. Ernst noted that Brinkhaus et al., concluded that “patients receiving Arnica showed a trend toward less post-operative swelling compared to patients receiving placebo” and that the observed effects “seem to justify the use of homeopathic Arnica in cruciate ligament reconstruction.” Their data do in fact support these conclusions, and Ernst provided no reason to dispute their conclusions.
            6) Dr. Ernst then stated, “The authors did not critically discuss the clinically irrelevant reduction in knee circumference.” This is not an accurate criticism ‒ there is a considerable amount of discussion given to the relevance of the knee circumference as an indication of swelling as well as the advantage of using Arnica montana for treating post-operative pain and swelling. In particular, they
            discussed other methods for treating pain and swelling (such as oral narcotics and NSAIDs, intra-articular medications, cold therapy, and compression) along with their -effects and expense. Dr. Ernst also failed to appreciate the researchers’ efforts to use an objective measure as their outcome variable (as opposed to subjective measures of pain).
            7) Dr. Ernst also criticized Brinkhaus et al., because their sample size was too small to find “rare adverse effects.” By definition, “rare” means that something is highly unusual or uncommon ‒ a sample size would need to be very large to find such “rare adverse effects” and such a large sample size would be an unreasonable expectation for this type of research. It is not uncommon for allopathic medications to be taken off the market after several years of widespread use — if discovering all adverse side effects could be done in the initial phases of research, then it would not take years to remove all harmful drugs from the market.
            8) Finally, Dr. Ernst commented that there was no mention of “conflict of interest” for this research study. Brinkhaus et al., referred to a “sponsor” in their publication, but the sponsor was not identified. Providing such information would in fact be advised. Dr. Ernst did not mention any conflict of interest for his own article (which represents one of many strong critiques of homeopathic research).
            It would be helpful to know if the work of Dr. Ernst is now, or has ever been, supported by any institution or pharmaceutical company.

            Which of your lackey has some lowdown on this writer as Björn Geir had on R Hahn?

    • here are 2 systematic reviews that have nothing to do with me:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11824436
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16425108
      and the 2nd one is even from the pro-homeopathy ‘Carstens Stiftung’!
      convinced?

    • Iqbal said:

      What should one make of it?

      What, do you think, are the possibilities?

      • Alan Henness

        “What, do you think, are the possibilities?”

        “The reader of this literature must be aware that ideology plays a part in these meta-analyses. For example, Ernst [7], makes conclusions based on assumed data [6] when the true data are at hand [3]. Ernst [7] invalidates a study by Jonas et al.[18] that shows an odds ratio of 2.19 (1.55–3.11) in favor of homeopathy for rheumatic conditions, using the notion that there are not sufficient data for the treatment of any specific condition [6]. However, his review deals with the overall efficacy of homeopathy and not with specific conditions. Ernst [7] 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 by the reader.”

        OR ask Edzard : “How much did ‘Big Pharma’ pay for my (your) soul?”

        • LOL! Am I right in thinking your possibilities are limited to: Edzard is corrupt? That’s a particularly closed mind, don’t you think? But if it is the case (and you’ve not read the relevant posts here), instead of just throwing nasty allegations about, you actually try to back them up with evidence, not opinion. Let’s see what you’ve got… lay out your case here in detail.

          • Alan Henness

            I copied the paragraph. And the last line. My only addition was (your).

            Case is pending for long.
            https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/355916

            Allow Edzard to reply.

          • oh dear, oh dear – not again!
            how often do I have to go this: http://edzardernst.com/2015/09/how-much-did-big-pharma-pay-for-my-soul/
            IQBAL AND LABQI SEEM TO BE ONE PERSON – enough reason to get expelled from this blog?

          • Alan Henness

            This case is pending for long. https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/355916

            I picked up only the relevant “Edzard paragraph.”

            Allow Edzard to reply.

          • oh dear, oh dear – not again!
            how often do I have to go this: http://edzardernst.com/2015/09/how-much-did-big-pharma-pay-for-my-soul/

            IQBAL AND LABQI SEEM TO BE ONE PERSON – enough reason to get expelled from this blog?

          • Alan Henness

            This is not an accusation. This comment made by Dr R Hahn is pending for long with Edzard avoiding direct answer.

            Corrupt? I am sure you are aware that money is a big motivator.

            Allow Edzard to reply.

          • oh dear, oh dear – not again!
            how often do I have to go this: http://edzardernst.com/2015/09/how-much-did-big-pharma-pay-for-my-soul/

          • Edzard said:

            IQBAL AND LABQI SEEM TO BE ONE PERSON – enough reason to get expelled from this blog?

            Indeed. Very strange behaviour.

          • Iqbal/LABQI said:

            Allow Edzard to reply.

            LOL! I’m not stopping him! But will you reply to my questions?

            I picked up only the relevant “Edzard paragraph.”

            Do you not agree with what you copied, then?

            Corrupt? I am sure you are aware that money is a big motivator.

            I’m sure it is, but perhaps you can see your way to answering the question I asked?

          • Alan Henness

            “Am I right in thinking your possibilities are limited to: Edzard is corrupt?”

            You don’t know? I am sure you are in it as a partner. Ernst has time to write about 2 cases of Epsom salt poisoning, in 12 years, because in one case he can read “naturopath” tagged along with. Remarkable. ” my goal is to provide objective evidence and reliable information.”

            One reader puts up a BBC report showing 288,000 Brits dead from avoidable reasons during these 12 years, and what the 2 of you do:
            “it seems to me that you are barking from the tree of logical fallacy.”
            “I see your arguments here in long form are no less fallacious than they are on Twitter.”

            Fallacious arguments!!!!!!!!!!! Poor diabetic neighbors getting killed, and that was the best you could do? Show concern about one poor guy dying in India? Britain is not responsible for India since 1947.

            Is it because this is the normal fate of patients that take your advise and use REAL SCIENTIFIC MEDICINE and you guys could not care less?

            Or you are compromised to write as per your master’s voice?

          • @Iqbal

            Why do you seem to have so much trouble with understanding multiple very simple issues, particularly ones that have been explained to you over and over again?

    • I was waiting for something else and clicked at random on this reference from Iqbal:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16415448
      I should not have done so but anyway, here is my take on this…

      There is almost everything wrong with this paper, that purports to show the efficacy of homeopathic arnica fro bruising.
      I wonder if Iqbal even tried to read the full text paper, much less evaluate it?
      The article is in itself an interesting case of misuse of the scientific approach for commercial marketing. It is unfortunate and hard to understand why the trademark JAMA is associated with this?

      The authors had a look at only 29 women after a facelift operation and compared homeopathic Arnica with placebo taken from the morning of surgery. They evaluated the postoperative bruising using a complex novel method of their own invention.

      Apart from the total lack of prior probability and credible mechanism of action of the commercial, homeopathic “drug” being tested (i.e. “tooth-fairy science”), almost everything about this paper is wrong.

      Here are only a few of the problems:

      The project is funded by the manufacturer of the product used.
      No declaration regarding the author’s conflict of interest is provided.

      The method for evaluating the endpoints is homemade by the authors, neither validated, nor calibrated. The paper is really a first description of a new method, not a test of the efficacy of a drug.
      There is no way of knowing the precision and therefore the validity of the results of this complex and in my mind dubious methodology involving photographic manipulations. (My father was an expert in photographic colour processes, both chemical and digital and I learnt enough from him and my own photographic interests in photography to know to be very suspicious of the stability, sensitivity and reproducibility of this method). Therefore the results, notwithstanding the power of the trial, cannot be evaluated statistically.

      The cases are by far to few to draw any conclusions from the statistical tests used. If the expected difference cannot be reliably estimated to support a calculation of statistical power, a common rule of thumb in trials like this is 50 individuals in each group, here we have 29 total.

      The wrong statistical method (t-test) was used. A non-parametric method might have been acceptable but it is plain wrong to draw conclusions from any statistical analyses on data from groups to small for power and unvalidated, uncalibrated methods.

      The claim in the conclusion found in the abstract is not supported by the results, it is plain false:
      (In the two versions of conclusion, the authors begin by talking about their novel photographic method of measuring ecchymoses. This is irrelevant to the results regarding efficacy of the product tested. I have boldened the relevant parts in both cases)

      This computer model provides an efficient, objective, and reproducible means with which to assess perioperative color changes, both in terms of area and degree. Patients taking perioperative homeopathic A montana exhibited less ecchymosis, and that difference was statistically significant (P<.05) on 2 of the 4 postoperative data points evaluated.

      Here is the full text conclusion:

      We have developed an objective computer model that is a useful tool for the analysis of skin color changes. This model is widely available, easy to use, and provides the investigator with precise, reproducible, and objective data. Thus far, our application of this model has been limited to the analysis of the degree and area of postoperative ecchymosis. While future improvements will certainly be made, in its current state it provides a much needed tool for objectively evaluating color changes. As such, its potential applications for evaluating surgical outcomes are numerous, and its use in future studies will provide much needed objectivity.

      In our prospective study, we found no subjective differences between patients undergoing elective rhytidectomy who were given perioperative homeopathic A montana and those who were given a placebo. Objectively, we found no significant difference in the degree of ecchymosis, as measured by the extent of color change found. Patients in the A montana group did, however, have a smaller area of ecchymosis than those in the placebo group. This difference was found to be statistically significant on POD 1 and 7 (P<.05) but not on POD 5 and 10.

      Note how the authors tortuously try to fake the results to imply that the “drug” may have been effective. In my mind the abstract is fraudulently written to support commercial interests. The conclusion found in the full text version is closer to the truth (that no difference between the groups can be established) but still not correct.

      At any rate, this was a nice little exercise in refuting pseudoscience.
      I doubt it will do me any good to spend time on more of Iqbal’s references.

      • There are some minor language errors in my last comment but only one that I think warrants correction:

        “notwithstanding the power of the trial” Should read: “notwithstanding the serious lack of power of the trial”

      • Yes, a great exercise in top-quality incredible research, I would say. Let me add a few things that caught my eye as well:

        1) The declaration of conflict of interest is interspersed all over the text as hints, e.g.:

        The homeopathic formulation retailed as SINECCH (Alpine Pharmaceuticals, San Rafael, Calif) is often endorsed by surgeons before elective surgery.8 Therefore, there are 2 dilemmas: (1) there is controversy over whether A montana is effective, and (2) the debate over homeopathy persists, with almost religious advocates for both sides.

        where…

        Ref. 8: Alpine Pharmaceuticals: SinEcch information. Available at: http://www.alpinepharm.com. Accessed May 29, 2002.

        So the authors reach the conclusion that the product is often used, by using information from the company. Very reliable. Not to talk about the “debate” and “dilemma”…

        2) The area of ecchymosis appears to have increased initially for the Arnica group.. This is assumed to reflect the homeopathic aggravation… I feel an urge to laugh at this point. This is incredible.

        However, what is more incredible, Björn, is that they TRULY MANGLED all hope of obtaining a reliable result with their digital methodology. Allow me to explain, but allow me, also, to be a bit harsh, although I really don’t know if they did all that on purpose, maybe they really didn’t know better. The true act of butchering has nothing to do with medicine, which is probably one of the keyholes for making it through JAMA.

        Get ready for some digital homeopathy…

        I will take this one step at a time, I hope you enjoy

        (A)

        The file was “zoomed” to fit entirely on the screen (to 25% of its original size) and converted
        into the CMYK mode (under the “image” pull-down menu, “mode” and “CMYK” were selected).

        So they zoomed (like it matters), and they converted back to CMYK from RGB. Great?
        NOPE. Terrible actually.

        RGB and CMYK are models of color representation. CMYK is a color space that is necessary for printing, which is just one reason why their using CMYK is an absolute failure.

        You may be thinking, then, so what…CMYK uses a combination of four elements to represent colors, and RGB uses only three, so CMYK must be more extended, right?
        NOPE. This one is not only wrong, this goes beyond wrongness for someone who does not have at least some experience with this stuff. So, we need to talk about a color gamut.

        The color gamut is a subset of colors, specifically for us, it is the range of colors that can be represented by use
        of a specific color model. It is, in simpler words, the color space of our models. How do RGB and CMYK fare with respect to all known (cf. visible) colors? Let’s see:

        This is a fine schematic representation of which colors each color model can precisely represent. The complete circle is the entire visible spectrum. Two observations from that:

        Obs. 1) CMYK covers arguably less than half of the colors actually representable using the RGB model. Converting to CMYK from RGB entails a serious BUTCHERING of the color range of an image. This, of course, means that the variance of the values (or entropy, for those who know) of an image, is irrevocably reduced. It is like chopping off IMPORTANT information (needless to add, at this point, “when there’s absolutely no need to“).

        Obs. 2) Check out how the CMYK color model fares with respect to the tones of red in terms of colors. Watch a little more… RIGHT! Our dimension of interest, RED, is trimmed beyond hope of meaningful information reconstruction.

        It cannot be stressed enough that the fact that RGB was converted to CMYK immediately renders this method not only suboptimal, but strongly unreliable.

        On the fun side, check what the authors stated as a major reason for this choice:

        The CMYK color mode (as opposed to laboratory or redgreen-blue mode) was selected for 2 major reasons. First, ours is an analysis of a 35-mm slide, which was created with a processor that uses cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks.

        In case this does not ring any bell, let me point out that we just became witnesses to homeopathic photography. Like cures like. Because it was originally printed in CMYK (as I said earlier, CMYK is necessarilly used for printing, though I can’t go over this at this point, it is irrelevant), they thought they should treat it using like. But, apart from the fun of it, this brings us to another point:

        (B)
        The authors “reversed” 35 mm slides to digital photos! I would have to use wild analogies to picture how this is absurdly less optimal to simply using a digital camera to take the photos in the first place. Don’t be fooled by the high resolutions referenced in the text, all the digital information came from an area of 35 mm, which was already “butchered” (necessarily) in CMYK, resulting in a very low red-dimension entropy in the image. It is not like we can say that they couldn’t do better. They HAD digital cameras, why didn’t they use them to capture the original photos in the first place? Strange… However, the second major reason they mention is even more of a slaughter.

        (C)
        They state:

        Second, after the color composition of a number of ecchymoses was analyzed, it became apparent that each of these components increases with bruising; the so-called black and blue components are obvious, but the presence of increased blood and its breakdown products yields an increase in magenta and yellow as well. Since our ultimate goal was to measure the change in a composite color based on changes in its components, it made sense to use a mode in which each of the components changed, not one in which 2 color changes (eg, an increase in blue and yellow in the laboratory mode) might offset one another and yield no numerical difference.

        Nice one, the technical jargon aside! However, this proves that when you don’t know (cf. knowledge), trying to play expert can lead to terrible outcomes. By the above explanation, the average reader gets the idea that the authors have some fair expertise in digital image processing and mathematics, in my opinion. See:

        the presence of increased blood and its breakdown products yields an increase in magenta and yellow as well.

        They got that right, but…

        it made sense to use a mode in which each of the components changed, not one in which 2 color changes (eg, an increase in blue and yellow in the laboratory mode) might offset one another and yield no numerical difference

        that far, they screwed up.

        Once again, when people don’t know, pretending to know leads to terrible results. No benefit of the doubt anymore. They simply didn’t know (I’m actually being easy on them, otherwise they would have commited fraud).
        They were correct to assume that the components of the color space, as different dimensions have something more complicated to them. One cannot simply check the four components in CMYK (or the three components in RGB) and infer “how much difference” there is to two colors. You can always use a correctly defined metric (as they did later, but that’s another miserable story). The authors understood that sometimes, colors with even a relatively large component-wise difference (either in RGB or CMYK) may appear to be quite similar because some changes counter some other changes. This HARDLY is the case made by the authors anyway, because they base their concern on blue and yellow, when blue is a dimension of the RGB system, whereas yellow is a dimension of the CMYK system. The assumption that CMYK better fits the byproducts of blood and actual body fluids and colors is not very rational. Why not choose RGB where Red would clearly correlate with the presence of blood? The authors simply “dig deeper” when there is no need to (they just did it to justify the CMYK choice obviously).

        (D)
        For those who have a fair grasp of linear algebra, the RGB space dimensions are probably not linearly dependent, but the CMYK color space dimensions are linearly dependent. The reason is simple.. CMY converts to RGB in an one-to-one fashion. It is precisely a dimension shift.

        But black is an additional dimension that is linearly dependent because it extends in all other dimensions (CMY) as a scale factor. Therefore, the authors are attempting to calculate differences (cf. distances for metric, see below) of linearly dependent vectors (a failure in all respects). In a not-so-intuitive attempt of an analogy, it is like calculating the area of an upright square as a function of its width, its height, and a combination of the two (e.g. width+height), when it is, clearly, only a function of the two dimensions, the third one is totally redundant.

        What perfectly sums it up as a fractally wrong attempt, however, is that they use not one but TWO linearly dependent variables in the metric. If the authors had performed a Principal Component Analysis on their image values, it might stand out clearer that the extra variables K and L are totally correlated with CMY.

        It is not strange that one does not encounter the words “cyan”, “magenta” and “yellow” in here. CMYK is ONLY used for printing…

        Also, it is fairly complicated to see that L (luminosity, which is simply Lightness of the Lab color space) is connected to the CMYK values and is dependent on some complex combination involving them. The authors seem to misunderstand that some of the additional information is, in a sense, redundant (though maybe not entirely). What makes matters worse, is that the CMYK model is device-dependent, but that is another bedtime story… Sadly, things are far more complicated than this here exhibition.

        By now, the average reader is probably wondering, what should they have done in the first place? They should have:
        1) captured the photos using the DIGITAL CAMERAS directly, all along, rather than to-35-mm-slide-and-back.
        2) not converted to CMYK for ANY REASON WHATSOEVER. Just because Photoshop provides the color space does not mean it is the advised color space for digital image processing.
        2) stuck to the sRGB model for higher representational accuracy and formality.
        3) simply calculated a CORRECT metric in the chosen space (i.e. 3d vector in sRGB space, just R, G, B differences, squared, and a square root of the sum).
        4) probably used PCA decomposition or some other correlation analysis to check if C,M,Y,K and L were substantially uncorrelated (which they are not), prior to involving them all in the metric.

        They failed MISERABLY in doing this. Maybe they are great people, but this paper is a fraud regarding the homeopathic Arnica fairytale. Their methodology DID have a chance as an idea, but the conversion to CMYK and the metric destroyed pretty much any possible result. The funniest thing of all, however, is that even after having done things perfectly, the results (which are based on differences of average values of thousands of pixels) would still have a high probability of being affected by artifacts… such is the nature of digital image processing, unfortunately.

        Iqbal appears as if he would believe just about ANYTHING that fits his prior beliefs, while thoroughly keeping a safe distance from facts, reality, rationality and, unfortunately, knowledge.

        • Thank you James !

          My thoughts revolved around the same incredible idiosyncrasies that you have so aptly analysed. But I thought: “fuck it!”, no one, least of all the simpleton ignoramus who posted the link as proof of the purported power of shaken water, is going to read my lengthy elaborations about the fecundity of using film, all the factual errors and the ridiculous manipulations with colour spaces etc. So why even try to explain that. Let`s assume the authors, despite their incompetence had managed to devise a decently stable workflow and do a proper randomized, blinded pilot comparison… then they might be able to get a somewhat decently representative sampling. BUT! (a big but) it remains to validate the method and calibrate it and test the method independently and so on before they can even begin to draw conclusions from trials using it! These clowns made enough blinders in this shitty paper without going into details of their stupidly bloated image workflow so I quickly listed some of the simpler blunders… or is this not a case of stupidity, but of wilful, fraudulent obfuscation for financial gain? Smoke and mirrors to sell snake oil? I am afraid it might very well be 🙁

          • Another thought James…

            How about a letter to the ´Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery´ With a call for retraction of this parody? Enough arguments have been prepared already. 🙂

          • The truth is that we didn’t really need to read the paper. In retrospection, I took a much quicker look at the telltale signs (usually, they are ubiquitous in such treatises). Even being as lenient as possible with my assessment, even putting aside the limitations of their method, which might be attributed to simple incompetence, to an extent (they should have looked for advice however, which they apparently didn’t), I find it hard to overlook the following simple facts:

            1) They cite 23 references!

            2) References 1-5 are almost relevant to face, plastic, or surgery (so to speak).

            3) Of those, only reference 3 really has something to do with the study. It is, after all, the method they set out to “improve”. The “bummer” is the following paragraph:

            In 1998, van der Horst et al5 published their results using an objective analysis to evaluate color changes in portwine stains after treatment with aflashlamp-pumped pulsed dye laser. They used a reflectance photometer that measured the color reflected off of the subjects’ skin and quantified its composition with respect to the amount of red, green, and blue present. This method uses the L*a*b* system, wherein a value between 0 and 100 is assigned to each parameter. Here, L* denotes lightness (0 represents black and 100 white); a* denotes the spectrum from green (0)
            to red (100); and b* denotes the spectrum from blue (0) to yellow (100). We chose to use the same general approach, as van der Horst and colleagues’ analysis was very logical and was found to have good reproducibility. However, we modified it to be more precise through the use of digital imaging, and we minimized variability using control regions within the photographs with an approach similar to that used by Rah et al.3 We used our model not only to assess the degree of color change seen but also to measure the exact area affected.

            4) References 6-22 are references to studies directly related to homeopathy. Reference 23 is with reference to the CMYK color space.

            5) They even commit the Linde et al. (1997) fallacy:

            One major metaanalysis of 89 placebo-controlled studies concluded that the effects reported could not be attributed solely to chance and thus advocated further investigation. [22]

            Where, of course, Linde et al. (1997) was referenced without any mention, whatsoever, of Linde et al. (1999).

            6) 7 out of 23 references point to websites. Most of them are bold descriptions of homeopathy. The relevant paragraphs in the introduction are also pieces of proof of bias in favour of homeopathy.

            7) The most important question to the methodology is “how did they assess the area of ecchymosis? In the complete text, I only came after one TINY mention as to how the study area was selected:

            After the data for the control area were collected, the complete process was repeated after the study area was outlined, thus yielding the numbers for comparison (Figure 1B).

            I think the caption of Figure 1B sums it up perfectly:

            B, Anticipated area of ecchymosis

            ANTICIPATED? Am I to understand that they chose an area in advance, in each image, and they just calculated its area in the end? And, based on that result, they found out that the areas were different in the end? YES, I am afraid that is what they did. Because they don’t mention ANYTHING else as to how they assessed the area ACTUALLY affected with ecchymosis. They also reference it as a surgical field. In any case, there is no actual mention as to how they discerned the extents of ecchymosis. The subjective measures are far more reliable in this paper than the objective ones.

            8) Even so, the area was calculated… how? Well:

            The last piece of data collected was the area of ecchymosis. After a square of known area on the color bar within a given image was traced out, and the histogram feature on that area was used to reveal its pixel content, the exact density of pixels per square centimeter for that image was calculated. This density was then extrapolated to the study area, which had a known number of pixels, and thus an exact area of ecchymosis was calculated, despite its markedly irregular borders.

            I hope they know that photos don’t have a uniform scale because they are based on a central projection. Even if the scale changes are very small, the numbers they are manipulating are quite large (cf. 30000 pixels) and the results can actually be very sensitive.

            9) The conclusions after having only two statistically significant differences in some subset of a small dataset:

            For our initial investigation using this model, we evaluated homeopathic A montana. No subjective differences were noted by either the patients or the evaluators, and perhaps the most telling aspect of these data are their wide variability (Figure 5), which underscores the need for objective
            evaluation. Nonetheless, one could certainly argue that, despite all of the intricacy and science behind the model, the most telling statistic is the lack of effect of A montana on expediting patients’ recovery to the point that they feel comfortable enough to go out in public.

            This is the correct side of the story. It wasn’t enough, however. Immediately after, there comes the hocus pocus:

            With respect to objective color changes, the trend is of interest.While no significant differences existed at any point, the patients in the A montana group showed greater ecchymosis
            on POD 1, and then got progressively better. The patients in the placebo group got worse by day 5, and then better. While measuring edema was beyond the scope of this study, it is at least theoretically possible that A montana could account for a decrease in edema immediately after surgery, which may coincide with more obvious (less hidden) ecchymosis, followed by recovery—a phenomenon that might occur relatively later in the placebo group. A formal study would be needed to evaluate the role of edema, and larger sample sizes would be helpful.

            To reach THIS conclusion:

            it is at least theoretically possible that A montana could account for a decrease in edema immediately after surgery, which may coincide with more obvious (less hidden) ecchymosis, followed by recovery—a phenomenon that might occur relatively later in the placebo group. A formal study would be needed to evaluate the role of edema, and larger sample sizes would be helpful.

            You have to, first, consider that it is practically possible that the data contained TOO many artifacts. Taking into account the aspects of the methodology, there are LOTS of steps, in which data consistency could be disturbed. They reverted 35mm slides back to digital, they “chose” an area with the lasso tool of Photoshop, then another area with the lasso tool, then they averaged values using the histogram, they used a wrong metric, they calculated the spatial density of pixels (to get the area) using visible squares that were diagonal… GOD KNOWS whether they didn’t miss some pixels along the edges of the selected areas or the tilted squares. What did they use, the magic wand with a specific tolerance value? Did the squares perfectly face the camera? Why did they not simply also put a calibrated ruler, for example? Their final euphemism of a dataset is utterly meaningless when attempting to detect such small differences in any possible outcome. The “theoretical possibility” they cite is pure wishful thinking.

            It is, therefore, very clear, this is a paper about homeopathy, not about a novel method to detect skin improvement after face-lifts. It says so in the title, after all. What is more, the authors set out to prove the efficacy of homeopathy. They only got two statistically significant results out of a not-so-large dataset. They mention TOO MUCH INFORMATION with respect to irrelevant features, and they fail to mention the criteria, with which they selected the study area. I have a couple of nice ideas as to how they could or should have made lots of things in this paper, but the paper itself fails me on every aspect.

            Yes Björn, I have taken some time to consider more aspects of this paper and I find it puzzling, with respect to the premises, on which it was accepted for publication in the corresponding journal. I really don’t think it has any place in the journal, maybe some journal of digital photography, maybe also journals of alternative medicine or homeopathy, but no way in there. The authors are clearly biased, their references are TOO limited, 17 out of the 23 references point to homeopathy and incredible research… this thing has no reason to be in the journal. Maybe the authors are well-respected, but then again, they could have done MUCH to improve this piece of research. As they didn’t, I am afraid this would have ended up being a proposed method to “forge” positive results for homeopathy.

            I would be more than willing to set the record straight on that one… Let me know how you suggest we should proceed. I can send you an e-mail if you wish, so we can take it on from there.

  • Professor Odds, is it possible that the fungi have affected your brain? How can you PRETEND to be a scientist and the IGNORE comments that you don’t like.

    I am not sure how well your memory works, but you may recall me saying that I think you could replace Bjorn Geir.

    Congratulations, you may just have succeeded.

    • How can you PRETEND to be a scientist and the IGNORE comments that you don’t like.

      If ignoring comments is good enough for you why should anyone take you seriously when you call out others for doing that? Why should anyone even believe that your accusation is valid?

      Note: At the time of this comment Greg has yet to address Alan’s request for specific points where his claims could be challenged. He’s responded,but only to dodge the actual request.

  • Mr Henness is lost in the mist: he wants me to provide him with a link to HIS Arnica comments.

    He is a funnier man than I originally thought but he seems to mean well (which counts for something).

    There is no point in directing my comment to him: it is a ‘hopeless cause’.

    • Oops! Another fail – and still no link, of course. Are you being deliberately obtuse or do you need me to explain it to you?

    • @Greg:
      Who exactly are you performing your linguistic and logically impecunious bombast for??
      If embarrassing yourself is the goal then well played.
      Perhaps a bit of Shakespeare might help you:
      ‘If you have not a virtue, adopt one’…..’me thinks silence would be most appropriate’.

    • Ignore. Obfuscate. Splutter. Hoist a Straw Man. Misrepresent. False equivalence.

      Same ol’ same ol’, Greg.

      No matter how hard you wish it to be otherwise, your pet quackery will remain that way.

      I have not read Arabian Nights. But the evidence tells me that magic carpets do not exist.

      I’ll leave it to you to make a logical extrapolate the point I’m making. I’ll be prepared to wait seeing how you and logic are not concepts known to be intimately related.

      • Too much alcohol may affect the brain and impair the capacity to read.

        If you read Arabian Nights, would you understand it?

        • Too much alcohol may affect the brain and impair the capacity to read.

          Ah! I think we have the explanation for your posts now.

      • Lenny, it seems that someone else has adopted your pen name, or this it your comment?
        Lenny on Thursday 12 October 2017 at 19:28
        Bluster, sputter, ignore the question, misrepresent, obfuscate, cherry-pick, avoid the question again, ignore conclusions, deploy fractured and bizarre logic, make misguided and unfunny attempts at wit.. Greggy-boy appears to have learned at the knee of Master Dana himself. All we need are for Greg’s posts to contain a few random words in capitals and their work will be indistinguishable.

        End of quote

        It makes sense that Dr Martin L. Law would use a pen name to write on this blog as it provides some privacy from search engines accumulating data that prospective patients could access.

        I will wait for your message to find out if you are the same ‘Lenny’ as the one quoted here before responding further to you. (the link to your profile is not connected to the Lenny quote I have provided)

        Understandably, you finish work early on Fridays, so maybe you will be able to respond asap?

        Thank you

        • Ooh well done Sherlock Greggy. You’ve found out my name and had a look at my practice website. That must’ve taken at least thirty seconds on Google. What a clever boy you are. Now what’s that got to do with the ongoing debate?

  • I see Dr Martin Law has returned, nice holiday then or too busy filing teeth?

    Here is the reminders for Mr Alan Henness who has difficulty with his memory:
    Alan Henness on Monday 10 April 2017 at 15:50
    Nux Vomica does seem to be something of a panacea…
    Greg on Monday 10 April 2017 at 16:53
    Wrong
    Alan Henness on Monday 10 April 2017 at 17:16
    It’s not like Arnica, then…

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

    Then the reminder later in April:
    Greg on Saturday 29 April 2017 at 06:09
    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?

    From: http://edzardernst.com/2017/04/a-chat-with-a-homeopath/

    This is repeated again on this blog, Mr Henness can’t recall again.

    Good grief!

    • OMG! Your response is hilarious! Truly hilarious. You really think the problem was with my memory, don’t you? You just don’t see it, do you, Greg?

      BTW, did you know you can link directly to any comment rather than giving the page, date and time? Let me know if you need some help with that. Blockquotes are also useful. You should try them sometime.

      • The levels of failure to interpret reality demonstrated far exceed those of most diagnosed cases of serious cognitive impairment.

        So, Alan, it seems that you were wrong(!), Arnica is not a panacea, and Nux Vomica ain’t too. Especially in homeopathic dilutions, I would add. Your attempts at humor seem to have raised serious concerns with respect to your knowledge on homeopathy. So, as I suppose you have probably found out in the past quite a lot of times, humor is hard to interpret and tough to justify against a folly.

        • I know, James. I ask Greg to point out something I got wrong about homeopathy and he highlights that time I had fun with him over arnica. I do live in hope, however…

          • Alan, it is hopeless having a discussion with you.

            Good-bye.

          • Awww. Please don’t go, Greg… I was having so much fun.

          • Alan, it is hopeless having a discussion with you.

            Conversations tend to have multiple participants. A comment is made, and opinion is expressed, a clarification is requested, an explanation is presented, an opinion is updated…

            In your case though, when asked for clarification by Alan you dodge the request and introduce an unrelated thing from a different conversation from months ago on a comment thread on a different a article.

            I can understand why you think having a discussion with Alan is hopeless. What I don’t think you realise is that it’s your inability to converse in a respectful manner that is ruining the experience for you. And you can’t even see that.

          • Yes. For some reason, while seemingly reasonable occasionally, he appears to blend together distinct interpretations of various aspects, exhibiting a rationale that usually stands on the borders between reality and imagination. The bad thing is that he has proven time and time again that he lacks a reasonable level of self-awareness. Besides trolling around, he seems to be in a genuine constant search for true and detailed discussions, which means he values this type of interaction. However, he has a severely limited ability to engage, carry-on or cease discussions in a behaviorally smooth manner.

            Things fall into place though when taking into account the behavioral profile of his interactional capabilities when stimuli fit to a fair extent his preconceived perceptions, in which cases he is
            quite condescending and pleasant as an interlocutor. This is an almost stereotypical manifestation of cognitive dissonance. What appears to transcend the typical manifestation in his case, however, although it is fully compatible with the “clinical” presentation (one can suffer from two things at the same time, so it seems), is that his case extends beyond symptomatic belief perseverance, he appears to be unable to discern small nuances of expressive coloration and exhibits a small resolution capability with respect to analytical siklls. His sense-of-humor covers the expected dose-response range, but lacks the minimum cause-effect validity level required to acquire an attribution of “physiologically normal” status. At least, this is what appears to be the case with the persona incarnated in the whole series of comments bearing the name…

            112_What can I say, it’s the wonderful world of cognitive dissonance!

  • In the film: How Awful About Alan, Alan suffers from hysterical blindness.

    Yes Alan, it is about memory:

    You wrote above:

    Alan Henness on Wednesday 11 October 2017 at 13:55
    Wot, Greg? I correct quacks and their apologists all the time here and elsewhere so it’s a bit mean to expect me to remember every single occasion – and particularly not the one you seem to have in your mind. But why is it proving so difficult for you to provide a link. Just a link, Greg… Just one link… Please don’t fail me again.

    End of quote

    Good grief Alan, are you in denial too?

    • Just a link, Greg, just a link. Yet you failed.

      • Bluster, sputter, ignore the question, misrepresent, obfuscate, cherry-pick, avoid the question again, ignore conclusions, deploy fractured and bizarre logic, make misguided and unfunny attempts at wit.. Greggy-boy appears to have learned at the knee of Master Dana himself. All we need are for Greg’s posts to contain a few random words in capitals and their work will be indistinguishable.

  • Let me fix that for you. What Alan actually wrote was:

    Oh! Have you spotted something I’ve said about homeopathy that wasn’t correct? Please do tell.

    This very simple and clear request has still gone unanswered by you Greg.

    At this stage I think it’s very clear that you don’t know enough about the topic to actually address Alan’s points with anything resembling a clear challenge.

    Another alternative is that every time you actually look into a statement Alan made you have found it to actually be correct but you can’t accept it, or reveal it as such. While this is another alternative I find this one less plausible as it would require effort on your part.

    It could also be the case that you’ve not bothered with any investigation at all and just refuse to accept any challenge to your position at all. But that would be a mindset held by someone with irrational and/or fanatical adherence to a belief even in the face of irrefutable evidence.

    There may be other explanations, but these sound reasonable.

    • Gold, if you read the comments it would help: Alan has been mentioning Arnica since April; he may even have put this in his Nightingale submission to the Charity Commission?)

      Alan Henness on Monday 10 April 2017 at 15:50
      Nux Vomica does seem to be something of a panacea…
      Greg on Monday 10 April 2017 at 16:53
      Wrong
      Alan Henness on Monday 10 April 2017 at 17:16
      It’s not like Arnica, then…

      • You are a laugh a comment, Greg. But there comes a time for every homeopathy fan when they need to decide whether to stop digging…

        Still, if you come across anything I’ve said about homeopathy that you believe is wrong, please do say. With as clear an explanation as you are able to muster as to why you believe it to be wring, of course – that should go without saying, but you can never be too careful.

      • Gold, if you read the comments it would help:

        And if you’d read mine you’d understand the point. That being that the appropriate place to continue a conversation, without context, would be back on the post where the conversation was happening in context. This one is the specific comment I’m meaning.

        I see you still have not answered Alan’s challenge though:

        Oh! Have you spotted something I’ve said about homeopathy that wasn’t correct? Please do tell.

        You do realise that this would be in context of what he’s said on this post yeah?

        • Gold:

          John Benneth stated:
          in the Nov. 2nd entry you may notice along the way I am harried by cynics nipping at my pedagogues. Here is a troll who has harassed me on Twitter. Here, writing in my Journal, he is more respectful.

          “Gold” (?) writes “If you really have finally explained the quantum chemistry of homeopathy in conventional ionic theory then the research must have been replicated by others. Can you provide links to the studies that validate this?”
          A reasonable question for the uninformed . .

          John concluded:
          So if you still have doubts about an ionic asymptote in homeopathic dilutions, conduct your own tests, publish your findings and post YOUR links.

          https://johnbenneth.wordpress.com/

          It may well be that after much effort on this blog to provide his input to people like ‘Gold’ and others that he decided to STOP casting wide. It took him a while to get there but he did it.

          Gold, Dr Richard Rawlins and even Dr Martin Law (aka Lenny) have knowledge about medicine. People like you, Alan Henness: he turned out to be disappointing in the end as it became clear that he had been playing silly man all along but I believed that due to his role of Director of Nightingale that would eventually take the discussion to a more academic level. His final words ‘aaw Greg don’t go’… says it all. Twitter is his place. Others like James are more serious but difficult to read through the monologues with poorly disguised ‘wit’ but you Gold, you are a failure at the outset.

          • I see you’re still around. Never mind. Still unable to point to anything I’ve got wrong about homeopathy, Greg. Very disappointing. All bluster and no substance, it seems.

          • Greg,

            I see you have still failed to actually respond to Alan’s request.

            Oh! Have you spotted something I’ve said about homeopathy that wasn’t correct? Please do tell.

            Note, that the context for this request would be the posts relating to this article.

            Again, if you want to continue that conversation then continue it on the actual thread it resides on. Try to not be an idiot all of the time.

  • Dr Ernst, please would you publish my reply to Dr Martin Law aka Lenny so that I can continue my discussion with him.

    My post is factual with supporting quote evidence, and the links to Dr Law’s discussion method with those of Thomas Mohr and Frank Collins is clear. Professor James Alcock could provide an opinion on this and discuss what he thinks it means when sceptics get down to the ‘Greggy-boy’ level of discussion.

    I have it saved so if you need me to re-post it I can.

  • Greg is a believer in condimentary medicine.
    Condiments give him a nice feeling, but add no substantial benefit to any pathological or physiological condition.

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