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

Yes, you read this correctly: 2/3 of the German population revealed themselves to be stupid – at least this is what a survey sponsored by the German Association of Homeopathic Doctors seems to imply.

Hard to believe?

Well, read the press-release for yourself [and if you are not reading German, let me fill you in below]:

Fast zwei Drittel der Bevölkerung in Deutschland würde den Einsatz homöopathischer Arzneimittel zur Behandlung von Covid-19-Erkrankungen befürworten.

Das ist eines von mehreren Ergebnissen einer repräsentativen Umfrage des Instituts für Politik- und Sozialforschung forsa, durchgeführt im Auftrag des Deutschen Zentralvereins homöopathischer Ärzte.

Angst vor Covid-19. Interesse an homöopathischen Methoden.

Befragt wurden insgesamt 1009 Bundesbürger, unter anderem zum Grad ihrer Besorgnis vor einer Erkrankung an Covid-19, ihrem Interesse an Vorsorgemaßnahmen gegen eine Corona-Infektion zusätzlich zu besonderer Hygiene, ihrer Einstellung zu einer Behandlung von Covid-19 mit homöopathischen Arzneimitteln, sowie zur Befürwortung oder Ablehnung staatlicher finanzieller Förderung von Forschungsprojekten zu homöopathischen Vorsorge- und Behandlungsmethoden von Covid-19-Erkrankungen.

61% ziehen homöopathische Behandlung mindestens ernsthaft in Betracht

Mehr als die Hälfte aller Befragten hat bereits Erfahrung mit einer homöopathischen Behandlung bei früheren Erkrankungen gemacht. Noch mehr, nämlich fast zwei Drittel aller Befragten, würden unter der Voraussetzung, dass es in der Vergangenheit schon positive Erfahrungen mit diesem Mittel gab, im Fall einer Erkrankung an Covid-19 eine homöopathische Behandlung für sich selbst oder ihnen nahestehenden Personen auf jeden Fall (26 %) oder eher (34 %) befürworten

Homöopathie soll auch Gelder für Forschungsprojekte erhalten

Auch hinsichtlich der weiteren Erforschung von Methoden zur Vorbeugung gegen eine Infektion mit dem Corona-Virus und der Behandlung von Covid-19 fänden es viele Bürger (42 %) in Deutschland gut oder sehr gut- in der Altersgruppe über 45 Jahren sogar rund oder mehr als die Hälfte – dass staatliche Gelder nicht nur in Forschungsprojekte der konventionellen Medizin gesteckt werden, sondern dass auch Projekte der homöopathischen Medizin gezielt gefördert werden.

Here is the gist of the press-release for non-German speakers:

The German Association of Homeopathic Doctors paid an otherwise respectable agency to run a poll for them; not just any poll, but one that is robust enough to be representative of the entire German population (sample size of 1009!). The questions asked were about homeopathy in the present health crisis. The results show that:

  • 61% would seriously consider using homeopathy,
  • more than 50% have had positive experience with homeopathy during previous episodes of illness,
  • more than 2/3 would consider homeopathy for a corona-virus infection, provided that there has been positive experience with this approach in the past,
  • 42% of Germans would find it good or very good, if public funds would also be dedicated to research in homeopathy.

What does that tell us?

It tells us that the Germans are not that stupid after all: they would only consider homeopathy for a corona-virus infection, if there has been positive experience with this approach in the past. As such positive evidence is absent, they would not consider homeopathy!

The poll also tells us that surveys can be spun to generate the most idiotic findings provided the questions that are being asked are phrased in a sufficiently leading way. It moreover tells us that the German Association of Homeopathic Doctors seem to believe that Germans are stupid and do not realise that this survey is a despicable stunt for boosting their failing business. Finally, it tells us that the German Association of Homeopathic Doctors are behaving grossly unethical to promote homeopathy during this pandemic. There is not a jot of evidence that homeopathy might be effective and a lot of evidence to show that promoting useless treatments is dangerous.

28 Responses to Two thirds of all Germans are stupid … at least this is what the ‘German Association of Homeopathic Doctors’ seems to assume

  • It tells us that the Germans are not that stupid after all: they would only consider homeopathy for a corona-virus infection, if there has been positive experience with this approach in the past. As such positive evidence is absent, they would not consider homeopathy!

    The trouble is that they are talking about positive experience, not evidence. Since the percentage of fatalities is in low single figures the vast majority of people infected with coronavirus will survive, whether or not they are treated with homeopathy, and I’m sure that will be counted as “positive experience”.

  • “As such positive evidence” IS THERE [see also below]
    [same evidence as conventional medicin] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2753.2007.00886.x

    62% of the Germans seem to be really intelligent in sense of Darwin.

    Some (!) people of other countries seem to prefer a life of stupid lemmings…..Darwin looks at them quite amazed….

    HOMEOPATHY´S TRACK RECORD IN EPIDEMICS

    EPIDEMIC

    MORTALITY

    ……………………………CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT………HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT

    THYPHUS 1813…………………………….30%………………………………………………..1,5%

    CHOLERA 1830…………………………….40%……………………………………………..7-10%

    CHOLERA 1854…………………………….59%………………………………………………….9%

    YELLOW FEVER 1850………………….15%………………………………………………….6%

    YELLOW FEVER 1878………………….50%……………………………………………….5.6%

    DIPHTERIA 1862-1864………………..83%……………………………………………..16,4%

    CHOLERA 1892…………………………..42%……………………………………………..15,4%

    SPANISH FLU 1918 ……………………30%……………………………………………..1,05%

    Quelle/Source: Influenza 1918
    Homeopathy to the Rescue
    by Julian Winston
    modifiziert nach REAL IMMUNITY

    • How interesting Dr. Heinrich Hümmer.

      Taking the 1854 LHH cholera figures, please tell us about the numbers of patients, the various diagnoses recorded, the settings and the treatments given, including the dilutions.

      For those with a recorded diagnosis of cholera, what was the proportion who died? How is that 9% figure calculated?

    • Dr Hummer,

      It is interesting to see from your figures that the apparent effectiveness of homeopathy in cholera declined steadily over the course of the 19th Century. Though the obvious thing to do when faced with these kinds of statistics is to ask how the data were collected in the first place.

      Cholera is usually rapidly fatal, with death from dehydration occurring about 18 hours after the onset of symptoms. Conventional treatment with adequate fluid replacement is usually life-saving and while this is normally given intravenously, oral rehydration is also effective, provided that it is given in sufficient quantity, and with the right amount of salt and sugar (this powers the active sodium pump found in the cells lining the small intestine, and not only promotes absorption of the rehydration fluid but also reduces the diarrhoea). Very large amounts of fluid are required for cholera.

      Diphtheria is almost unknown now in the west due to the very effective vaccine routinely given to children, although it has made a resurgence in areas where the take-up of vaccine is low. It does respond to antibiotics, as does typhus (which is spread by tic bites). The vaccine against yellow fever is also very effective; this is spread by the mosquitoe Aedes aegyptae, which also spreads zita and dengue fever.

      Edzard has already said plenty about the misleading claims for the effectiveness for homeopathy in the 1918 influenza epidemic. For the other diseases I would be much happier entrusting my safety to vaccines and good hygiene, as well as measures to reduce mosquito bites.

      Curiously I once heard an estimate that half of all humans who have ever lived were killed by malaria; even if that is not quite true it is nevertheless a major problem and puts other infectious diseases into perspective.

    • You should have your computer checked by a professional. He spits out the same homeopathic nonsense over and over again at regular intervals. Perhaps you have caught a “virus”. 😉

    • Dr Hummer,

      During the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918-19, autopsies suggested that the most common cause of death in flu victims was secondary bacterial infection in those whose lungs had already been damaged by the flu. Bacterial infections of this type spread readily when large numbers of people are living close together, i.e. in the poorest and most disadvantaged parts of society. These are not the people that I would expect to be able to afford to consult a homeopath.

      Could you tell me what adjustments were made to your Spanish Flu data to take account of this and other confounding factors?

  • Interesting that 42% of Germans would like to see public funding for trials of homeopathy. I would too, but I wonder what number of homeopaths would like to see proper RTCs carried out — given that they’ve managed so far to keep their exemption from normal medical standards in place.

  • “I would too, but I wonder what number of homeopaths would like to see proper RTCs carried out”:

    I WOULD LIKE TO SEE VERY MUCH!

    For example more RCT´s like those, which Edzard et al. took for the Metaanalysis, which had the result:

    “THERE IS EVIDENCE that homeopathic treatment can reduce the duration of ileus after abdominal or gynecologic surgery. However, several caveats preclude a definitive judgment. These results should form the basis of a randomized controlled trial to resolve the issue.”
    Homeopathy for Postoperative Ileus?: A Meta-analysis
    https://journals.lww.com/jcge/Abstract/1997/12000/Homeopathy_for_Postoperative_Ileus___A.16.aspx

    or from those:
    Edzard Ernst:
    “A new study of homeopathy suggests that highly diluted remedies are better than placebos (and I cannot fault it)”

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S096522991830829X?via%3Dihub

    @Dr Julian Money-Kyrle

    Decline or not decline, you should COMPARE:
    SPANISH FLU 1918 ……………………30%……………………………………………..1,05%

    • ohoh, the pigeon is back; this time he forgot to mention this little sentence of my meta-analysis: “several caveats preclude a definitive judgment.”
      FUNNY HOW MANY OF HIS ILK SEEM TO NOT SEE IT!
      and look, he also omitted this from my post about the 2nd paper he quotes:
      “As far as I can see, there are the following possibilities:

      fraud,
      coincidence,
      some undetected/undisclosed bias,
      homeopathy works after all.
      I would be most grateful, if someone could help solving this puzzle for me (if needed, I can send you the full text of the new article for assessment).”
      and then he even forgot to mention an entire post on this study:
      https://edzardernst.com/2019/09/homeopathy-for-pre-menstrual-syndrome-a-critical-assessment-of-a-recent-trial/

      THE PIGEON IS GETTING FORGETFULL !!!

      • Edzard who is really one-eyed? seems as if you have the SEN (sceptic evidence neglect)…..

        see what I wrote above:
        “THERE IS EVIDENCE that homeopathic treatment can reduce the duration of ileus after abdominal or gynecologic surgery. However,

        several caveats preclude a definitive judgment.

        These results should form the basis of a randomized controlled trial to resolve the issue.”

        And:
        I deliberately omitted your comment on the sleep study, since it exposes your split nature concerning homeopathy [which not everyone has to know] and the attempt to discredit a study that shows clearly positive results in favor of homeopathy by, among other things, assuming a possible FRAUD, which does not throw good light on you ….
        Greeting from the annoying pigeon

  • A classic example of a headline that is NOT supported by the article itself.

    Isn’t this problem something that you tend to express concern? But hypocrisy is way too common here. Oh well.

  • Actually, I consider your entire website to be satire. Thanx for confirming this.

  • @Dr. Hümmer

    “Since you obviously need anonymity, you obviously have difficulties in revealing your publications … sorry for you that this leaves only the polemical level …”

    Once again you try to provoke me as I prefer to post anonymously. So sad.

    You are very very childish man. Katharina Saalfrank (*) would banish you to the silent stairs so that you can reflect on your misconduct.

    (*) German tv viewers will understand the reference.

  • Oh, my goodness.

    This poll has been debunked in detail by a critical community called ” Snitching the People” (“Volksverpetzer”). The effort put into steering the responses towards the results is truly remarkable.

    The German Information Network Homeopathy (INH) wrote about it:
    “The researched backgrounds of the “survey” as well as the “report” can really only be seen as the ultimate act of desperation of those who have long since ceased to see any factual argument and who are dependent on keeping the uncritical cheers for their offers at an audible level with all their might.”

    “What is revealed here is almost embarrassing. We hope that the times when such things can make an impression, especially in politics, will be over after Corona at the latest. In any case, we will not fail to recall this incident, which with a critical mind can certainly be seen as a form of capitulation.”

    The original article of the “Volksverpetzer” (in German) can be found here:
    https://www.volksverpetzer.de/medien/corona-irrefuehrend-homoepathie/

    And by the way: If one advertises his “medical offer” with such an effort and only present the “popularity argument”, should slowly admit that he has nothing else to offer. What a self-exposure.

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