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

In the true Christmas spirit, I decided that I will give away presents to fans of homeopathy.

Here is the deal:

It is almost 2 years now that I asked all homeopaths, particularly those who believe that homeopathy works because it is ‘nano-medicine’, to answer the questions below:

  1. How (by what mechanism) does a nano-particle of coffee, for instance, affect the sleep centre in the brain to make the patient sleep? Or how does a nano-particle of the Berlin Wall or a duck liver affect anything at all in the human body? 
  2. Most homeopathic remedies are consumed not as liquids but as ‘globuli’, i. e.  tiny little pills made of lactose. They are prepared by spraying the liquid remedy on to them. The liquid subsequently evaporates. How is it that the information allegedly retained in the liquid does not evaporate with the diluent?
  3. The diluent usually is a water-alcohol mixture which inevitably contains impurities. In fact, a liquid C12 remedy contains dimensions more impurities than homeopathic stock. These impurities have, of course, also been vigorously shaken, i. e. potentised. How can we explain that their ‘potency’ has not been beefed up at each dilution step? Would this not necessitate a process where only some molecules in the diluent are agitated, while all the others remain absolutely still? How can we explain this concept?
  4. Some stock used in homeopathy is insoluble (for instance Berlin Wall). Such stock is not diluted but its concentration in the remedy is initially lowered by a process called ‘trituration’, a process which consists in grinding the source material in another solid material, usually lactose. Assuming that potentisation works in the way homeopaths think, how is information transferred from one solid material to another during trituration?
  5. Everything we drink is based on water containing molecules that have been inadvertently potentised in nature a million times and therefore should have hugely powerful effects on our bodies. How is it that we experience none of these effects each time we drink?

So far, I have not received any answers that stand up to scrutiny. Therefore, I now offer a present, free book on homeopathy,

to anyone who can provide a rational, scientifically sound answer to at least one of these questions. Just post your reply in the comments section. If it fulfils the above criteria, I will contact you, ask you for your postal address, and send you a free copy of my book.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

36 Responses to TO ALL MY FRIENDS IN HOMEOPATHY: In the true Christmas spirit, I am giving away presents to homeopaths

  • Mmmh… why do I think that challenging people who:
    * belief in an undetectable, supernatural power that can heal any illness
    * put disproportionate trust in a specific old book of their choice
    * perform nonsensical, antiquated rituals

    is not in line with “the true Christmas spirit” ?!
    😉

  • Let me try to answer the questions.

    #1 – Easy: The virtual homeopathic nanoparticles interact with ordinary particles in the brain’s (or the body’s) biochemical receptors in a non-localized manner, consistent with Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. This latter also involves the observer effect, which states that observing a phenomenon will always change the behaviour of that phenomenon. As an added bonus, this explains why homeopaths invariably and clearly observe effects where normal scientists don’t; the latter group simply employs the wrong way to observe phenomena. (As a starting point, one would typically use a somewhat extended definition of ‘causality’ – one that is also hypothesized in quantum-mechanical entanglement.)

    #2 – As explained above, the effects of virtual homeopathic nanoparticles are by their very nature non-localized to some extent, and their properties can be transferred easily from one medium to another. This transfer can extend beyond mere macrophysical contact, as this homeopath clearly observed:
    “I experienced strong symptoms from the remedy even though I did not take it …

    #3 – This one is a no-brainer. The explanation of course is that water does not only have a transferable memory (see above for the details), but also some degree of intelligence – it simply knows which substances the homeopath wants to potentize, ignoring everything else. No, we don’t know exactly how this intelligence works or where it resides, but its presence can be confidently inferred from the observations on which this question is based.

    #4 – See #1 and #2.

    #5 – See #3

    I’ll be anxiously awaiting your book!

    • I met a man upon the stair
      I met a man who wasn’t there
      He wasn’t there again today
      I wish that man would go away

      The only link that I can see between the Heisenberg principle and your assertions is that a normally developed 6 year old would find them both incomprehensible but for different reasons.

      The observer effect is not a theory that excuses the absence of rational proof, it is a commentary on the inherent bias that exists in all scientific processes, it is the detail that must be cornered and confronted and which drives the effort then to produce reproducible measurable conclusions and not ones based on speculation and gibberish.

  • 1 & 2) Skeptics of homeopathy and many homeopaths are always trying to shoehorn homeopathy into the conventional mechanistic paradigm. IMO (and Dr Hahnemann’s) homeopathy does not work by way of nano-particles or whatever. The impact of a remedy on the energy of the living being whether human, animal, plant, whatever, is too broad to be explained by a few nano-particles. In fact the impact of all drugs is too broad to be explained mechanistically, as much as conventional doctors might like. Homeopathic remedies are acting through some energy that we have not identified yet, except by its effects on the living being. And the more diluted the remedy is, the objectively stronger the impact that we see on “provers” and patients. Homeopathic provings are a repeatable scientific experiment that anyone can do to see or experience this energetic response.

    3) Impurities are not a problem according to an energetic model of homeopathic potentization because each time a dilution occurs the signal energy is increased and very few impurities are added, so the signal to noise ratio is always in favor of the signal.

    4) During trituration information is not transferred in a materialistic way from one material to another. The energy signal of the original substance is released and strengthened.

    5) In the normal conditions of water flow in a river or wherever, at each stage of dilution and succussion new impurities are added, so the signal to noise ration always stays noisy.

    You have not bothered to scrutinize this answer which has been available for 200+ years, which you could do by doing a homeopathic proving. I wont hold my breath.

    • you obviously could do with the book!
      alas, BS does not win it.
      sorry

    • Sorry, Roger, but this is just pathetic.
      My foolish gibberish is WAY better than yours, AND it quotes sources with real scientific evidence, as per Dr. Ernst’s request in the page header!

      We know you can come up with far more insane and far-fetched things than this – after all, you’ve done it lots of times before. So come on, give it another try, and put some real backbone in it this time!

      • Sorry, Richard, when you put some skin in the game and do a proving, I will put more effort into it.

        • Serious question, what is a ‘proving’? Is it a sample of one?

          • @Nathan

            Yes and almost as reliable. You know, like anecdotes.

            According to our good friend, Dana Ullman’s book, a proving is “a trial on healthy human subjects to determine what a substance causes in overdose.”

            The patients take a highly diluted substance once or twice a day until they get sick. They are then told to “stop and carefully observe what symptoms the substance elicits.”

            “This careful cataloging of symptoms helps homeopaths develop texts and computer software, even expert systems, that enable them to prescribe the homeopathic remedy accurately for sick people who have similar symptoms as the substance’s.” Even expert systems.

            In other words, it doesn’t really prove anything. When someone gets sick in real life, they get some of this highly diluted stuff (so diluted that, in fact, not a molecule of the original substance can be found in the water) and, viola! the heavens open up, the angels sing and everyone lives happily ever after. Especially the homeopath.

            Or something like that.

            My analysis leads me to understand that the only thing you need to buy into homeopathy is a highly flexible set of beliefs and a wholly absent sense of the real world. Nothing else really matters.

        • @Richard

          You’re quite new to this blog I think, Richard. Roger will always ask about “Provings”. I’ll leave it to you to pick apart the foolishness that this represents. Perhaps you will be able to explain to Roger the errors in his thinking in a way that he will be able to understand because thus far he has been unable to grasp where his miscomprehensions lie.

          • @Lenny
            “You’re quite new to this blog I think…”
            No, I’m the same as RichardR – but when Dr. Ernst was kind enough to let me contribute the news story about French homeopaths filing complaints against real doctors, I decided to go by my full name from then on.
            And of course I know all about our jolly Roger and his predilection for proving – perhaps the silliest thing in an already very silly belief system. We’ve had several exchanges in the past.

          • @Richard. Aah.. That makes sense now.

        • @Roger

          When I visit a homeopath I expect to be prescribed a remedy that’s already been through one or more provings by experts in homeopathy. Why on earth you keep banging on about complete tyros doing their own provings I just don’t know.

        • @Roger
          I have a much better idea: we’ll let you do the proving. And yes, I’m kind of serious about this.

          Here’s the set-up: you pick 10 homeopathic types of sugar crumbs globuli of the nature and dilution potency of your choosing. I shall order these from a homeopathic supplier (and believe me, this will be very hard for me, actually paying for homeopathic stuff for the very first time in my life).
          These products shall be randomly put into new, identical vials numbered from 1 to 10, documenting which homeopathic product ends up in which numbered vial by taking a picture.
          You will then receive the 10 numbered vials, plus an encrypted version of the JPEG file, so that you have the randomization key in your possession without being able to read it yet. This file will also be made public for anyone else who is interested.
          And yes, you guessed it: you’re then expected to correctly identify the homeopathic products. After you’ve publicly guessed which is which, the picture is decrypted so that anyone can see that you’ve just proved the viability of homeopathy by means of proving. Hooray! And I shall henceforth refrain from calling you a deluded fool.
          The main weak point in the procedure of course is the step of relabelling those products – if I were less than honest, I could do it deliberately wrong. But I’m sure we can work something out, e.g. through an intermediary we can both trust.

          But now I have to go, prepare dinner for the family – and as luck would have it, we’re having green globuli, brownish-yellow globuli, some vegetarian brown globuli, and for dessert pinkish globuli sprinkled with smaller globuli in yet other colours.

          Merry Christmas!

    • Roger said:

      homeopathy does not work by way of nano-particles

      Ssshhh! Don’t tell Dana he’s wrong!

      What ‘energy signal’?

    • @Roger

      “The energy signal of the original substance is released and strengthened.”

      Also:

      “. . .at each stage of dilution and succussion new impurities are added, so the signal to noise ration always stays noisy.”

      These are examples of the kind of whack-job utterances that make my head hurt.

      My New Year’s resolution for 2020 is to be kinder to those who lack common sense. You know, people and trolls like Roger.

      It’s not 2020 yet.

      Merry Christmas.

      • @Ron Jette

        My no. 1 resolution for 2020 is to stop feeding the trolls. We know who they are. The temptation to respond to their guff is sometimes very strong. But the best response is almost certainly no response at all. Please feel free to join me.

        • @Frank Odds, Ron Jette, Les Rose,Dr. JMK, Lenny, and Bjorn

          You’ll never stop feeding the trolls, or there would be no purpose to this blog forum.

          A few retired MD’s, led by an unqualified homeopath…. lol. Keep patting yourselves on the back…. and keep deluding yourselves.

        • You’re on, Frank!

          Happy New Year to you and yours!

    • @Nathan

      If you back up a couple of sentences, it also says “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a man to make sense of homeopathy.” Context. You need context.

  • If we told you how Homeopathy works.. we would have to kill you.. it’s like that I am afraid..
    regards
    Mr Hahnemann

  • Samuel Hahnemann posting on here?
    If he has time to enlighten us with an updated 2020 version of the organon then I would be very grateful.

  • The SS (So-called Skeptics) amaze me with their profound incuriosity. Homeopathy has been around for over 200 years with probably millions of well-documented cures of chronic and serious acute diseases, many which conventional medicine can only dream of curing. And the SS are like weather researchers who are not willing to walk out in the rain but would rather read about it on Wikipedia, and pretend they know all about it, like they pretend to know all about homeopathy.

    I managed to convince one actual skeptic to do a homeopathic proving and he was quite shocked at the changes to his health during the proving period. Go on; get wet. Those who have, even profound skeptics, are quite surprised.

    • The SS (So-called Skeptics) …

      I sincerely hope that you are stupid enough not to be aware of the more commonly known meaning of this abbreviation.

      I managed to convince one actual skeptic to do a homeopathic proving and he was quite shocked at the changes to his health …

      I went to a magic show, and I was quite shocked at seeing a woman being sawn in half … (and with the audience clapping and cheering, instead of calling 911!)

      • So you are saying that someone profoundly skeptical of homeopathy (to the point of conducting a lawsuit against homeopathic pharmacies for consumer fraud) is going to experience _anything_at_all that they could attribute to taking a remedy repeatedly?

        In that case you have nothing to fear from doing the same.

        Rasker, Your ad hominum attacks reveal clearly your lack of integrity.

        • @Roger
          Ah, this is already much better gibberish – unhinged, vile, and betraying a serious lack of comprehensive reading skills!

          But no, what I am proposing is something that should be a walk in the park for you, judging by your colossal arrogance: YOU do a double blind proving of a number of homeopathic (haha) ‘remedies’ that we’ll send to you, and tell us what they are. If you succeed, you will henceforth be treated with all due respect and reverence, for showing that we were quite wrong. And should you take up the similar GWUP version mentioned by Jashak, you could earn yourself a neat little fortune as well.

          But I’m quite certain that you will refuse to do this, because you KNOW that you will fail pathetically. I’m even pretty sure that you will completely ignore this proposal, and resort to your usual trollish diversion and provocation tactics such as the above.

    • @Richard Rasker

      Roger used “SS” precisely because of that. He is struggling to be relevant. Shock, the final frontier.

      He’s like a bad smell. If you ignore him, over time he usually goes away.

    • Homeopathy has been around for over 200 years with probably millions of well-documented cures of chronic and serious acute diseases

      Not well-enough documented to constitute convincing evidence, unfortunately.

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