MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

I have already posted challenges to homeopaths. For instance, in a previous post, I asked the ‘homeopaths of the world’ to answer a few questions satisfactorily. In return, I promised to no longer doubt their memory of water theory. If they cannot do this, I contended, they should to admit that all their ‘sciency’ theories about the mode of action of highly diluted homeopathic remedies are really quite silly – more silly even than Hahnemann’s idea of a ‘spirit-like’ effect.

And then there is the challenge to correctly identify their own remedies. In return, they would even earn the neat sum of Euro 50 000.

So far, none of these challenges have been met. But one must not give up hope!!!

Meanwhile, I have decided to issue another one. Let me explain:

One argument that the ‘defenders of the homeopathic realm’ love and almost invariably use, when someone states that it is time to move on and ban homeopathy to the history books, is this one:

IF WE BANNED HOMEOPATHY FROM OUR CLINICAL ROUTINE, WE WOULD ALSO HAVE TO BAN MANY OF THE TREATMENTS USED IN CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE WHICH ARE EQUALLY POORLY SUPPORTED BY SOUND EVIDENCE FOR EFFICACY.

This looks like a good argument!

I am sure that politicians, journalists, consumers and even many healthcare professionals find it convincing.

We know that lots of conventional treatments are less well supported than many of us would hope or think.

But less well-supported than homeopathy?

Let’s see: Homeopathy has been around for ~200 years. Controlled clinical trials of homeopathy have been conducted since 1835. Today, we have about 500 controlled clinical trials of homeopathy. The totality of these data fails to convincingly demonstrate that homeopathy is more than a placebo.

Are there many other therapies that fulfil these criteria? Personally, I am not aware of such a therapy, and if I did know one, I am fairly certain that I would advocate its elimination from our clinical routine.

But I am, of course, not an expert in all fields of healthcare.

Perhaps such treatments do exist!

I want to find out, and – as always – the burden of proof is with those who use this argument.

Which brings me to my challenge.

I HEREWITH CHALLENGE HOMEOPATHS AND THEIR FOLLOWERS TO NAME THERAPIES THAT ARE AS USELESS AS HOMEOPATHY!

To be clear, they ought to fulfil the following criteria:

  1. The treatment must be about 200 years old (plenty of time for a thorough evaluation).
  2. It should have been extensively tested in about 500 controlled clinical trials.
  3. The totality of this evidence should be negative.
  4. The treatment should be part of the clinical routine and have ardent proponents who insist it should be paid for by public funds.

I hope lots of homeopaths can name lots of such therapies.

Failing this, they should think twice before they use the above argument again.

 

74 Responses to My new challenge to the ‘defenders of the homeopathic realm’: name treatments that are as useless as homeopathy

  • And that’s coming from a person who himself was a homeopath and swore by it and as a child you had homeopathic treatment. Do us all a favour fella. I think you’re just on a power trip. As long as the treatment works who cares about trials and all the other bullshit.

    • Do us all a favour fella: STOP TALKING TOSH!!!

      • I just wonder what made you wait 20 years before you decided it didn’t work Edzard. Smell that? Smells like bullshit to me. 20 years and you soldiered on knowing it didn’r work. Tut, tut.

        • I just wonder what made you wait 20 years before you decided it didn’t work

          Most homeopaths keep deluding themselves (and diluting plain water) their whole life.

          And even if 20 years seems like rather long to conclude if something does or doesn’t work, it shows that Prof. Dr. Ernst has given homeopathy every chance thinkable to prove itself, and didn’t exactly jump to conclusions. This is a good thing.

          And oh, be so kind as to adopt a somewhat more polite style of conversation, there’s a good boy?

          • Well, where I grew up we said what we meant in a way that would let people know what we meant. “Every chance?” And it took 20 years to come to that conclusion? loooool. Surely the Prof would have known after a year or so. Oh, and close the door on your way out. There’s a good lad.

      • Actually I am talking tosh. I called you a Homeopath but you’re not are you. Didn’t you say so yourself in an interview.

        Ernst: “I never completed any courses.”

        “In short, it appears that the leading ‘authority’ on homeopathy, and perhaps its most referenced critic, has no qualifications in homeopathy.[2]” LOL, that is laughable.

        • yes, you ARE talking tosh!
          1) HOMEOPATH = “a person who practices or accepts the principles of homeopathy ” [https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/homeopath]
          2) I practised ~ 40 years ago
          3) therefore I am an ex-homeopath
          4) I do not call myself an authority on homeopathy
          5) I am a researcher of homeopathy

          • Butter it up any way you like. But by your own admission you have no qualifications in Homeopathy or any other therapy. You didn’t finish any courses remember? And to call yourself a Proffessor of CAM is side splittinginly laughable.

          • got it wrong again! [you do impress me with the multitude of mistakes you are able to do in such short comments; is it the foam in front of your mouth that does prevent you from seeing clearly?]
            I do not call myself a Proffessor of CAM [never did], I was appointed as professor of complementary medicine and held this position for almost 20 years [like it or not];
            now I am emeritus professor [butter it up any way you like].

    • Please define “works” in a clinically testable way.

    • As long as the treatment works…

      Ah, but exactly therein lies the problem: how can you know if a treatment actually works?

      In case you’re unaware of this: the human body has this amazing capability of dealing with medical problems; it can heal itself in many, many cases.
      So how can you tell the difference between the body’s own healing mechanisms and the effects of a treatment? To the best of my knowledge, there is only one way: scientifically conducted trials.

      who cares about trials and all the other bullshit.

      That’s an easy one: all those people who appreciate proven effective treatments, so that no time, money and effort is wasted on useless quackery that doesn’t really do anything except perhaps talk people into feeling better(*).

      *: Which can actually be detrimental to their health, as making people feel better without addressing the underlying issue may cause a dangerous delay in them seeking proper, effective treatment.

    • 1. Unlike homeopathy Edzards position has changed based on the best available understand of the research at the time.
      2. If something implausible “works” then trails and “other bullshit” should be demanded. It will either result in “oh, it’s not working after all” or “Oh! New physics to explore.”

      Sadly, in the case of homeopathy, we are finding that it is “on, it’s not working after all”

  • … we would also have to ban many of the treatments used in conventional medicine …

    I don’t know where homeopaths have been the past 200 years (my guess would be under some damp rock), but this is what happens ALL THE TIME in conventional medicine.

    Just compare regular treatments from, say, the 1930’s to today’s treatments, and one will notice that the vast majority of old treatments have been abandoned. And this is still going on – I can even name one example from personal experience: until the 1980’s, the default recommended treatment for severe lower back pain was 2 weeks of bed rest with painkillers. And yes, I can tell that this was no picnic in the park. It Hurt.All.The.Time, and indeed it could take those full two weeks to get pain-free again, even though the condition itself wasn’t actually serious.
    All this changed when research showed that the problem resolved much, much faster with moderate activity. Instead of being bed-ridden for the better part of a fortnight, I simply went about my business as usual, just taking it easy, and only popping a painkiller when things really became unbearable (or if I wanted to attend a meeting without wincing and grimacing all the time). In most subsequent cases, the problem fully resolved within 5 days.

    Admittedly, not all regular treatments have trial evidence backing them up. Some treatments are so very obviously effective that no-one (except perhaps homeopaths) would dream of proposing a trial where a large group of patients is left untreated. Among these are many surgical interventions (although still a surprising number have been found ineffective when actually researched) and interventions to address acute problems (e.g. blood transfusion in case of severe loss of blood), but also quite a few medicinal interventions such as antibiotics treatments for many infections.

    And for treatments that are less obviously effective (including a large number of medicines), a number of initiatives have been undertaken in the past decades to gauge their effectiveness. OK, this takes time and effort, so there are indeed quite a few treatments with dubious effectiveness, and there always will be.

    But in general, progress is being made, and the medical profession as a whole is actively trying to weed out ineffective treatments. Now show me even one homeopath who does the same…

    Oh, wait, I found one, and his name is Edzard Ernst.

  • The vast majority of modern surgical procedures have no randomized double-blind and placebo controlled trials. I therefore assume that these surgeries should be considered “quackery” and no governmental funds should pay for any such “unproven” procedures.

    In contrast, there have been randomized double-blind and placebo controlled trials showing the efficacy of homeopathic medicines published in the BMJ (multiple trials), Lancet, Pediatrics, Chest, Cancer, Rheumatology, European Journal of Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, and others.

    • name interventions that fulfil the criteria I listed

      • There have been 3 studies on childhood diarrhea, a condition that leads to dehydration and that the World Health Organization has deemed to be one of the most serious public health problems in the world, in which homeopathic medicines have been deemed to be effective. Although the lead researcher, Jennifer Jacobs, MD, MPH, was involved in all 3 studies, she utilized different homeopaths in each trial to prescribe the individually selected homeopathic medicines.

        And for the record, every review of homeopathic research has deemed this research to be of a “high quality.”

        Jacobs, J, Jimenez, LM, Gloyd, SS, “Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea with Homeopathic Medicine: A Randomized Double-blind Controlled Study in Nicaragua,” Pediatrics, May, 1994,93,5:719-25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8165068

        Jacobs, J, Jimenez, LM, Malthouse, S, et al., Homeopathic Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea: Results from a Clinical Trial in Nepal, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, April 2000,6,2,:131-140. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10784270

        Jacobs, J, Jonas, WB, Jimenez-Perez, M, Crothers, D, Homeopathy for Childhood Diarrhea: Combined Results and Metaanalysis from Three Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trials, Pediatr Infect Dis J, 2003;22:229-34. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12634583

        Now, I ask you to provide references to randomized double-blind and placebo controlled trials in the usage of the top ten surgical procedures commonly used in the UK. If you cannot do so, I assume that you’ll agree that the NHS should deem such surgeries as “quackery,” as without “scientific evidence” (as you have commonly defined it), and as not worthy of any governmental or insurance financial support.

        • so you do not know an intervention that is as useless as homeopathy by the criteria described?

          • My point was that your criteria are flawed…but you already KNEW that. Setting up a false equivalency is a false standard…but you KNOW that.

            High impact medical journals have a rigorous peer review process, and their standards for accepting research on homeopathic medicine have a history of being even higher. And yet, at least a dozen different leading medical journals that are high impact have published clinical trials testing homeopathic medicines showing significant and sometimes highly significant results.

          • “High impact medical journals have a rigorous peer review process, and their standards for accepting research on homeopathic medicine have a history of being even higher.”
            THAT IS YOUR OPINION! IT’S A REMARKABLE OPTINION BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT PUBLISHED ANY RESEARCH TO SPEAK OF.
            “…at least a dozen different leading medical journals that are high impact have published clinical trials testing homeopathic medicines showing significant and sometimes highly significant results.”
            BY NOW YOU SHOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD THAT I AM TALKING OF THE TOTALITY OF THE MOST RELIABLE EVIDENCE; WE ALL KNOW HOW MUCH YOU LIKE CHERRY-PICKING, BUT I AM NOT HAVING IT.

          • That’s right…I have not conducted research because THAT is not what I do. However, I do report on research.

            Your intellectual dishonesty is evidenced by your claim that I am “cherry-picking.” If that is your argument against me and homeopathy, you are bankrupt…thanx for verifying that. If “cherry-picking” means that I reference high quality research published in high impact journals, that’s what I’m doing.

          • “That’s right…I have not conducted research because THAT is not what I do. However, I do report on research” (without the slightest understanding of it)

          • Dana Ullman said:

            I do report on research.

            Like that time you reported on the ‘research’ done by that group of homeopathy apologists in Switzerland when about the only thing you managed to get right was the country?

            That ‘neutral’ Swiss homeopathy report

        • Dana

          You’ve tried the double-blind placebo surgery argument repeatedly and we’ve repeatedly explained the gaping flaws in it and why you are foolish to make it. Why have you done so again? Oh yes. I know. Because you’re THAT DAFT. Each time you make it, you just look more stupid. As ever.

        • Well, Dana must have missed the definitive take-down of Jennifer Jacobs research attempts.
          The most elaborate critique of this mockery of medicine of is by the late Wallace Sampson in a four part article series on SBM

          • If THAT is a “take-down,” I’ll like to sell you Manhattan.

          • I am sorry if you don´t understand long and complicated texts Dana, I couldn´t find a special needs version.

          • If Dana read those pieces, he certainly didn’t understand them. It would be nice of Dana to point out exactly where Professor Sampson’s analysis was wrong. And also explain why homeopathy isn’t now a front-line therapy in treating childhood diarrhoea following the ground-breaking “research”. Could it be because Jacobs’ work was recognised for the nonsense it is and rightly ignored?

        • ‘There have been 3 studies on childhood diarrhea… Jennifer Jacobs, MD, MPH, was involved in all 3 studies… And for the record, every review of homeopathic research has deemed this research to be of a “high quality.”’

          Just for the record the Jacob trials were very poor quality and proved nothing about how useful or not homeopathy is against childhood diarrhoea and the results, weak as they were, were actually contradicted by her final, fifth paper on the subject (http://www.rationalvetmed.org/papers_i-j.html#Jacobs2006), a paper which surprisingly is never mentioned by homeopathic cheerleaders!

          She admitted the statistical power of the studies was low and the papers and her analysis of them was criticised on multiple levels, including the statistics used and the ethics of testing an unproven therapy on vulnerable, IIIrd world children although fortunately for them all the serious cases of diarrhoea were treated properly, with real medicines. In short this series of studies is a disgrace and homeopaths should be ashamed of them:

          http://www.rationalvetmed.org/papers_i-j.html#Jacobs2003

          Niall

        • Dana Ullman said:

          And for the record, every review of homeopathic research has deemed this research to be of a “high quality.”

          Jacobs, J, Jimenez, LM, Gloyd, SS, “Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea with Homeopathic Medicine: A Randomized Double-blind Controlled Study in Nicaragua,” Pediatrics, May, 1994,93,5:719-25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8165068

          Jacobs, J, Jimenez, LM, Malthouse, S, et al., Homeopathic Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea: Results from a Clinical Trial in Nepal, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, April 2000,6,2,:131-140. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10784270

          Jacobs, J, Jonas, WB, Jimenez-Perez, M, Crothers, D, Homeopathy for Childhood Diarrhea: Combined Results and Metaanalysis from Three Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trials, Pediatr Infect Dis J, 2003;22:229-34. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12634583

          Oh dear. I hope you’re not trying to rely on Mathie et al. 2014, Randomised placebo-controlled trials of individualised homeopathic treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis, for this ‘high quality’ declaration?

          Let’s take a look…

          Jacobs 1994, Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea With Homeopathic Medicine: A Randomized Clinical Trial in Nicaragua

          This was a small study (n=81) of children with a history of acute diarrhoea given either homeopathy or re-hydration treatment plus homeopathy.

          It should be noted that Mathie et al. claim:

          “We conducted a systematic literature search to identify RCTs that compared individualised homeopathy with placebos…”

          It is therefore not clear why Mathie chose to include this trial because it fails this inclusion criterion: the control arm was not a placebo, but was an active treatment to which was added the homeopathy treatment. This is an A+B versus B trial design and these will always generate positive results.

          However, it concluded:

          “The statistically significant decrease in the duration of diarrhea in the treatment group suggests that homeopathic treatment might be useful in acute childhood diarrhea. Further study of this treatment deserves consideration.”

          Mathie rated this as having an uncertain risk of bias and rated it as B1.

          __________

          Jacobs 2000, Homeopathic Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea: Results from a Clinical Trial in Nepal (n=126)

          Mathie rated this as having a high risk of bias and only rated it as C2.0. He didn’t include this in his meta analysis because it was so poor.

          __________

          Jacobs 2003, Homeopathy for Childhood Diarrhea: Combined Results and Metaanalysis from Three Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trials

          She simply re-analyses her three previous papers – including the two other ones you cite here!

          __________

          So, Dana, who is it who deems these ‘high quality’? For the record, of course.

        • Hey, Dana. What does the NHS do with treatments not supported by evidence? It discards them. Be they homeopathy or surgery. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/nhs-chiefs-to-cut-host-of-routine-operations-9k9sn3zpm?shareToken=3d5585c2135585b0492552c752584a83

    • So you consider regular procedures with a very high a priori plausibility but no actual RTC’s (e.g. appendectomy) ‘quackery’, but you expect us to accept treatments with no prior plausibility whatsoever and even a huge body of research (including RCT’s) finding them ineffective as ‘effective’?

      There’s an expression for this … wait a mo’, let me look it up (I’m Dutch) … ah, here we are:
      https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/double-standard

      And perhaps we could even say that this one applies:
      https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/hypocrisy

    • Dana wrote:

      The vast majority of modern surgical procedures have no randomized double-blind and placebo controlled trials.

      https://www.bmj.com/content/327/7429/1459

  • @Edzard

    Rather than challenge “the defenders of the homeopathic realm”, I suggest you challenge the defenders of the pharmaceutical industry who have been responsible for the over-prescribing of antibiotics and opioid drugs.

  • The bottomline is that homeopathy does NOT fit your criteria.

    You assert that the “totality of this evidence should be negative” and everyone knows that a large percentage of clinical trials have been positive to homeopathic treatment.

    Is circumcision supported by governmental funding? What evidence exists for its “therapeutic” benefits?

    • “… everyone knows that a large percentage of clinical trials have been positive to homeopathic treatment.”
      AND EVERYONE KNOWS THAT THE TOTALITY OF THE RELIABLE EVIDENCE FAILS TO BE POSITIVE.

    • @Dana

      …a large percentage of clinical trials have been positive to homeopathic treatment.

      A large part of children’s litterature is about four-legged animals that walk on two legs and converse in English, talking locomotives with a human face or about fairies, elves and similar creatures That does not mean there are such creatures to be found anywhere. Many of these books are even published by well respected publishers. That does not mean they claim that animals can speak

      Welcome back Dana. Since you’re here again you can have a look at an important question that you missed while away:
      https://edzardernst.com/2017/03/dana-ullman-the-mass-murderers-and-death-by-homeopathy/#comment-103494

      It’s about public health. You should be familiar with that, right?

  • As a skeptic and hater of pseudoscience, I like this kind of content. But I find something about it a bit confusing.

    By asking homeopaths to find something “as useless” you’re telling them it is useless, which they don’t believe of course, which puts them on the defense. But I get it, and I also appreciate you fighting the good fight by pointing out that the totality of evidence regarding homeopathy is negative. However, homeopaths tend to reject studies as being motivated by something other than the truth, with such an assertion being based on the fact that it doesn’t agree with them, and therefore the studies are invalid to them. They pretty much never bother to do the work to investigate the true “motives” of the researchers by actually talking to them, or they are quick to assign motive based on the researchers associations or imagined evil intents, despite the fact that they might have been hired by companies who want to create products that work, however profit motivated they may be. Funny enough, the best way to make lots of money is to make products that not only people want, but also work. Homeopathic products meet only that first criteria of demand, while desperately trying to cover up the fact that they don’t work through lies and pseudoscientific principles.

    I would add that banning medical treatments which are supported as poorly as homeopathy would be a good thing for medicine in general, but I don’t think any sane person disputes that.

    Understanding people who support and use homeopathy is really a simple phenomenon – it’s a placebo, and placebo’s work, until you know it’s a placebo, because the nature of the placebo effect is based upon not knowing whether what you have is “real” and thinking it could be. Homeopaths have an astonishing ability to deny reality, and believe what they are using is “real” due to the fact that it really does have an ingredient in it – however diluted it may be. This nano-thin thread helps them hang on to the placebo effect and benefit from it, to some extent. The literal dilution and extremely miniscule amount of active ingredient is like a metaphor for how little they need to believe something is real, which makes the placebo effect extremely strong for them, and which also explains why it’s so hard to convince them otherwise – they’re easy to fool. Literally one molecule’s worth of easy. Many pseudoscientists and woo-woo peddlers have this ability of self-delusion, which grants them the magical power of retaining the advantages of placebo effect for themselves, despite having been told the truth. The risks they run, self-medicating with placebos all day long, are extensive, and fairly obvious when you realize they are simply taking things that don’t work instead of things that do.

    I would offer a similar challenge: Please demonstrate the homeopathic principles somewhere outside the realm of homeopathy. For example, if you take a seed from a melon, and shave off 1/100,000th of it and plant it, can you grow a plant? Can you use water memory to change water in such a way that will help or harm a group of plants, against a control group, and demonstrate a clear difference in their growth? Now that’s a really nice challenge. If the water-memory principle can be believed to have such a clear effect on people, they should definitely believe it would affect the plant world as well – perhaps even more easily so. Two sets of plants, one fed with an extremely diluted water solution containing some ingredient known to affect plants in some way, and the other with clean water. Someone do it – I’m too lazy. 🙂

    • “Two sets of plants, one fed with an extremely diluted water solution containing some ingredient known to affect plants in some way, and the other with clean water. ”

      It’s been done many times. See, for starters, this and this. Homeopathy for plants is precisely as well established as homeopathy for animals (including people) with precisely the usual characteristically slovenly research design and implementation.

    • Dear Erik…you WIN for showing the GREATEST ignorance and plain-old stupidity on this page! WooHoo! You win!

      You might consider curing yourself of this ignorance by reading this study in LANGMUIR that verifies that nanodoses of six different homeopathic medicines persist in double-distilled water even when diluted 1:100 200 times.

      Chikramane PS, Kalita D, Suresh AK, Kane SG, Bellare JR. Why Extreme Dilutions Reach Non-zero Asymptotes: A Nanoparticulate Hypothesis Based on Froth Flotation. Langmuir. 2012 Nov 1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23083226

      And this article below verifies that nanodose levels that our bodies are known to operate…UNLESS you think that hormones are placebo! You may be that daft.

      Eskinazi, D., Homeopathy Re-revisited: Is Homeopathy Compatible with Biomedical Observations? Archives in Internal Medicine, 159, Sept 27, 1999:1981-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10510983

      • are you sure Dana that the winner is not you?

      • Dana, it will make no difference what you show the people on here they will never agree with you. Never mind I suppose the dear leader will turn to his 20 years experience of Homeopathy and tell us why he spent so much time on a therapy that didn’t work apparently.

        • Barry. We have often said what you would have to show us for us to change our mind about magic shaken water. Robust, well-conducted, replicated, highly-significant clinical trials. There are, of course, plenty of these types of trials out there and – guess what – they show your magic shaken water to perform exactly as we would expect an inert therapy to perform. If homeopathy were as wonderful as you, Dana, Benneth and all the rest claim, such evidence should be easy to provide but all you seem to be come up with is a load of piss-poor and easily-derided studies.

          On the other hand, Barry, what evidence would persuade you that homeopathy is nonsense? It’s a question we often ask of homeopathy fans and it always seems to go unanswered.

          • I know nothing about the efficacy of Homeopathy TBH as I have never had cause to go to an Homeopath.
            What I am interested in is why someone would give 20 years to a therapy that clearly doesn’t work according to Edzard. Sorry, but if I was a therapist I wouldn’t carry on in a therapy for 20 years knowing it wasn’t helping anyone. Why would anyone do that?

          • I don’t see what is wrong with getting things right…

        • Barry,
          simple answer:
          sceptics will believe that homeopathy works as soon as JUST ONE out of the MILLIONS of homeopathy believers wins the €50.000 GWUP challenge:
          https://www.gwup.org/challenge-home

          Interestingly, still not one of you believers has even agreed to TRY it!
          I´m so confused… can you (or any other CAM believer) explain why that is ?!

          • I haven’t a clue what you are on about. Perhaps you should read my post again and try to take it in. Ether that or go to the beginning of the thread.

          • Barry,
            Bad memory? You were defending Mr. Ullman’s position.
            Quote:
            “Dana, it will make no difference what you show the people on here they will never agree with you.”

            I was referring to this comment.

      • Chikramane and his nanofloaties? Again Dana you stamp, shout and wave long-derided twaddle. What did people show you the last time? And the time before? Your powers of memory seem to be departing you. Again. Or perhaps this is yet another display of the prime ignorance and plain-old stupidity you repeatedly demonstrate to us.

      • Hehe… Mr. Ullmann, MPH cannot be beaten. He’s been made to don the dunce cap countless times for citing Chikramane’s incompetent fiddling with an electron microscope and here he comes dragging with a single author opinion piece from 1999 that in effect refutes the possibility of homeopathic efficacy.

        Keep them coming Dana, you are the best support for the hypothesis that it takes a blocked intellect to promote homeopathy.

      • Chikramane? Again? Ugh…

  • This theme is about homeopathy.
    We do not need to consider the red herring of other ‘therapies’.

    In much of surgery we do not need placebo controlled RCTs because the effects of surgery are compared with the outcomes of not having surgery.

    There is an element of placebo in some surgery of course. E.g.Much cosmetic surgery. It’s proponents might well be quacks – but that consideration is for another post.

    • @ Richard Rawlins

      I think there are at least some surgeons who would disagree with the notion that no RCTs are required in surgery.
      I recommend Ian Harris’s 2017 book “Surgery – the ultimate placebo”. He is both an orthopedic surgeon and researcher.

      • I would not be surprised if somewhere there is not a surgeon who believed in homeopathy.
        I even worked for a consultant who arranged an exorcism for a patient.
        But let us go with commonsense, rationality and sound, if not perfect, evidence.
        RCTs are an ideal, but not strictly necessary unless claims are implausible and do not stand initial scrutiny.

        And today you will have seen that the NHS is abandoning a number of procedures which have poor evidence of benefit. e.g.: arthroscopic lavage for osteoarthritis of the knee; breast reduction; tonsillectomy.
        Individual cases excepted.

        It’s called progress.
        Homeopathy is anachronistic.
        Please move on.

        • But…but… there has been progress in homeopathy too! A remedy has been developed based on the common housefly and even water has been proved[sic] as base for a potent remedy. It is a rather intricate process whereby water is electrically separated into hydrogen and oxygen and then made to assemble into water molecules again by setting fire to the mixture of hydrogen and oxygen resulting in a whopping bang. The newly formed water vapour that is the product of this violent reaction is then serially diluted, sorry, potentized in (who’d have guessed it?) water.
          An highly scientific process indeed.
          Who’d have thought that such a simple remedy made simply by shaking water diluted in water could produce such profound experiences as described in the ‘proving’ protocol.
          I sincerely recommend spending a few minutes scrolling down through this document, reading a few tidbits and experience the mirth-inducing sentiment that I am sure most people will find when reading this risible report of the prover’s experiences induced by taking in the water-shaken-in-water remedy. I certainly had a good laugh.
          Anyone thinking “hysterical” is probably right in more ways than one.

  • Edzard said. got it wrong again! [you do impress me with the multitude of mistakes you are able to do in such short comments; is it the foam in front of your mouth that does prevent you from seeing clearly?]
    I do not call myself a Proffessor of CAM [never did], I was appointed as professor of complementary medicine and held this position for almost 20 years [like it or not];
    now I am emeritus professor [butter it up any way you like].

    Like I said before. “Laughable”

    • what is LAUGHABLE?
      your own failed attempts at ad hominem attack?
      sorry to say, but you are hopeless at that as well.

      • Oh, shut up you silly little man. You’re not even qualified to have an opinion. Close the door behind you. Watch out for the back swing.

        • What is it with the CAM-ists and their utter inability to string together a coherent argument, combined with their unevidenced feeling of superiority? You’re just another of the inconsequential halfwits who surfaces periodically on this blog, Barry. If you’ve got something intelligent to say, please say it because you’ve managed nothing of the kind so far.

        • I don´t recall BT having anything relevant to contribute. Probably wouldn´t know a remedy from roast pork. BT is just here for the self gratification of trolling so we can safely ignore this sourpuss.

          • Wow, looks like I am hittng a few nerves lol.

            “I don´t recall BT having anything relevant to contribute. Probably wouldn´t know a remedy from roast pork. BT is just here for the self gratification of trolling so we can safely ignore this sourpuss.”

            A Troll? well if you think I’m a troll then just get rid of me. That’s what I do to trolls on my page. If not then you’ll have to put up with what I say. Easy really isn’t it?

          • “Wow, looks like I am hittng a few nerves”
            you might be right: the BS-detector nerve!

  • Well, you should know about BS.

  • I meant worry not wotty. Before you pull me up on my spelling.

  • I JUST LEARNT THAT THERE HAS BEEN AN APPLICANT!!!
    watch this space.

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