In response to yesterday’s post, I received a lengthy comment from ‘Stan’. Several readers have already commented on it. Therefore, I can make my arguments short. In this post, will repeat Stan’s points each followed by my comments (in bold). Here we go:

Seven Reasons Homœopathy is Not Placebo Effect

Sorry, Stan, but your heading is not proper English; I have therefore changed it for the title of this post.

1. Homeopathic remedies work on babies, animals, plants and people in a coma. Biodynamic farmers use homeopathic remedies to repel pests and treat plant diseases. Some organic ranchers rely on homeopathic remedies to treat their herds. Some “placebo by proxy” effect has been shown for children but its doubtful that it could be shown for a herd of cattle or crops in a field. Farmers can’t rely on wishful thinking to stay in business.

As discussed ad nauseam on this blog, homeopathic remedies do not work on babies or animals better than placebos. I don’t know of any studies with “people in a coma” (if you do, Stan, please let me know). The fact that ranchers rely on homeopathy is hilarious but does not prove anything.

2. The correct curative remedy will initially cause a worsening of the condition being cured if it is given in too strong (i.e. too dilute) a dose. A placebo might only cause a temporary improvement of the condition being treated; certainly not an aggravation.

The ‘homeopathic aggravation’ is a myth created by homeopaths. It disappears if we try to systematically research it; see here, for instance.

3. One can do a “proving” of an unknown homeopathic remedy by taking it repeatedly over several days and it will temporarily cause symptoms that one has never experienced previously – symptoms it will cure in a sick person. This is a repeatable scientific experiment used to determine the scope of a new remedy, or confirm the effects of an already proven remedy. A placebo might possibly have an effect if the individual taking it has been “prepared” by being told what they are taking but it likely wouldnt match previously recorded symptoms in the literature.

Homeopathic provings are rubbish and not reproducible when done rigorously; see here.

4. One can treat simple acute (self-limiting) conditions (e.g. minor burns, minor injuries, insect bites, etc.) and see unusually rapid cures with homeopathic remedies. A placebo might only cause a temporary improvement of the condition being treated while taken. Placebos have been found mostly effective in conditions with a strong psychological component like pain.

You mean like using Arnica for cuts and bruises? Sadly, it does not work.

5. One can get homeopathic treatment for long term chronic (non self-limiting) conditions and see a deep lasting cure, as has been documented clinically for a couple centuries. A placebo might only cause a temporary partial improvement of the condition being treated while the placebo is being taken.

You mean like asthma, eczema, or insomnia?

6. There is over 200 years worth of extensive documentation from around the world, of the clinical successes of homeopathy for both acute and chronic conditions of all types. As Dr Hahn has said you have throw out 90% of the evidence to conclude that homeopathy doesnt work. The Sheng et al meta-analysis in 2005 Lancet that was supposedly the death knell of homeopathy used only 8 studies, excluding hundreds of others. Unsurprisingly homeopathy was found wanting. So-called Skeptics see what they want to see in the science. There is relatively little documentation of placebo usage. A few recent studies have been done showing the limited temporary benefits of placebos.

What Hahn wrote is understandably liked by homeopaths but it nevertheless is BS. If you don’t trust me, please rely on independent bodies from across the world.

7. Homeopathic remedies have been shown to have a very weak electromagnetic signature and contain some nano-particles. Some believe this explains their mechanism. An exciting new potential field of research is the subtle cell signalling that has been found to direct the development of stem cells. Scientists have created double-headed planeria worms and this trait has been found to be inherited by their offspring without any change in the genes or epigenetics. Until now we had no idea how a single fertilized ovum could evolve into a complex creature that is bilateral and has multiple cell types. It is possible that the very subtle electromagnetic signature or some other unknown effect of homeopathic remedies is effecting this subtle cell signalling.

The homeopathic nano-myth is nonsense. And so is the rest of your assumptions.

Every conventional drug has “side effects” that match the symptoms for which it is indicated! Aspirin can cause headaches and fever, ritalin can cause hyperactive effects, radiation can cause cancer. Conventional doctors are just practicing bad homeopathy. They are prescribing Partially similar medicines. If their drugs were homeopathic (i.e. similar) to the patients symptoms on all levels they would be curative. Radiation sometimes does cure cancer instead of just suppressing it per usual.

Even if this were true, what would it prove? Certainly not that homeopathy works!

Dr Hahneman did forbid mixing homeopathy and conventional medicine. In his day doctors commonly used extensive blood letting and extreme doses of mercury. Its not Quite as bad now.

You evidently did not read Hahnemann’s writings.

Just because we dont know how extremely dilute homeopathic remedies work, doesn’t discount that they Do work. Homeopathy seems to fly in the face of Known science. In no way is it irrational or unscientific. There are lots of phenomena in the universe that cant be explained yet, like dark energy and dark matter effects and even consciousness!

Not knowing how a treatment works has not stopped science to test whether it works (e.g. Aspirin). In the case of homeopathy, the results of these endeavors were not positive.

The assumption that the moon is made of cheese also flies in the face of science; do you perhaps think that this makes it true?

The actions of homeopathy can and have been well-explained: they are due to placebo effects.


Stan, thank you for this entertaining exercise. But, next time, please remember to supply evidence for your statements.

45 Responses to Seven Reasons Why The Effects of Homeopathy Are Not Due To Placebo

  • Every conventional drug has “side effects” that match the symptoms for which it is indicated!

    This is generally untrue. Diuretics do not have water retention as a side effect. Statins do not have increased cholesterol levels as a side effect. Antidepressants don’t have depression as a side effect. Etc etc.

    Painkillers such as aspirin only cause so-called rebound headaches when used in excess for headache relief, but not in other situations. And sure, there are no doubt some medicines that may have side effects that are similar to the symptoms they’re meant to treat, but those are the exception, not the rule.

    This is in fact Hahnemann’s Big Mistake all over again: generalizing a rare exception into ‘law’ (something that may be considered yet another type of dilution). I guess homeopaths and their followers are hopelessly stuck in the 1796 mindset.

    • wtf are you talking about? Obstacles to cure are very different from time to time, place to place and patient to patient. Each practitioner has to assess what are the obstacles for the particular situation.

    • @Richard Rasker

      Some diuretics:
      Chlorothiazide side effects
      swelling, bloating, puffiness – all signs of water retention
      Bumetanide side effects
      decreased urine output
      swelling of face, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
      pain, swelling, or redness in joints
      swelling of abdominal or stomach area
      swelling of the breasts or breast soreness in both females and males
      other sensations of fullness and pressure
      Whether aspirin headaches are so-called rebound headaches is irrelevant to the point that they do cause headaches.
      Statins are not prescribed based on symptoms. They are prescribed based on a lab test. So it is not an applicable medicine to the point that conventional medicines cause symptoms that match the _symptoms_ that they are prescribed upon.
      Keep looking Richard. Find me a medicine that doesnt have side effects matching the symptoms for which it is indicated.

      • @stan

        Chlorothiazide side effects: swelling, bloating, puffiness – all signs of water retention

        This is an exceedingly rare side effect – so rare, in fact, that the official label of chlorothiazide doesn’t even mention it.

        I think you picked it from the following, slightly longer list (with my apologies to Edzard for polluting his blog this way):

        Abdominal or stomach pain
        back, leg, or stomach pains
        black, tarry stools
        bleeding gums
        blistering, peeling, or loosening of skin
        blood in urine or stools
        bloody urine
        blue lips and fingernails
        blurred vision
        burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings
        chest pain
        clay-colored stools
        cloudy urine
        cold sweats
        cough or hoarseness
        coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum
        coughing up blood
        cracks in the skin
        darkened urine
        decrease in urine output or decrease in urine-concentrating ability
        decreased frequency or amount of urine
        difficult, fast, or noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing
        difficulty swallowing
        dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
        dry mouth
        fast or irregular heartbeat
        flushed, dry skin
        fruit-like breath odor
        general body swelling
        general feeling of discomfort or illness
        general feeling of tiredness or weakness
        greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
        increased blood pressure
        increased hunger
        increased sweating
        increased thirst
        increased urination
        joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
        loss of appetite
        loss of heat from the body
        lower back or side pain
        muscle cramps or pain
        nausea or vomiting
        numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet
        pain in joints or muscles
        painful or difficult urination
        pains in stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
        pale skin
        pinpoint red spots on skin
        puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
        red, irritated eyes
        red skin lesions, often with a purple center
        red, swollen skin
        redness, soreness, or itching skin
        scaly skin
        shortness of breath
        sore throat
        sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in mouth
        sores, welting, or blisters
        sugar in the urine
        swelling of face, fingers, legs, ankles, feet, or lower legs
        swollen or painful glands
        tenderness of salivary glands
        thickening of bronchial secretions
        tightness in chest
        troubled breathing
        unpleasant breath odor
        unusual bleeding or bruising
        unusual tiredness or weakness
        unusual weight loss
        vomiting of blood
        weakness and heaviness of legs
        weight gain
        yellow eyes or skin

        Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
        decreased interest in sexual intercourse
        difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
        feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
        hair loss, thinning of hair
        inability to have or keep an erection
        increased sensitivity of skin to sunlight
        loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
        muscle spasm
        pinpoint red or purple spots on skin
        redness or other discoloration of skin
        sensation of spinning
        severe sunburn

        And oh, this doesn’t appear to be all:
        “Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients.”

        So there are no less than 105 possible side effects listed for chlorothiazide, most of which are likely quite rare (a cursory search of the literature says that it is generally ‘very well tolerated’). It wouldn’t surprise me if this list contains literally every adverse event ever reported in the almost 70 years that it is used.
        And then you picked the single one that by definition must be very rare indeed, as it is the opposite of what the medicine is supposed to do (assuming that this ‘bloated feeling’ is indeed water retention, which is not certain at all), and then claim that this supports the viability of the homeopathic ‘law’ of similars. Yeah, right.

        The more I hear and read what homeopaths and their believers say, the more I hear the sloshing of homeopathically diluted water where their brain should be.

        • Supposed rarity of a symptoms is not a criterion for whether there might be a homeopathic effect. When homeopathic provings are done sometimes an effect only seen in one prover, turns out to be a very common aspect of the curative materia medica. Most of the commonly used homeopathic medicines have a very long list of symptoms that they are known to cause. Usually a much more circumspect number of symptoms is commonly prescribed upon.

          • @stan

            Supposed rarity of a symptom is not a criterion for whether there might be a homeopathic effect.

            This is the dumbest ‘reasoning’ I’ve heard in a long time. If only ONE of the people partaking in a ‘proving’ experiences ONE special symptom, then how do you know that in reality this is a very common aspect?

            Most of the commonly used homeopathic medicines have a very long list of symptoms that they are known to cause.

            Completely wrong. That long list of ‘symptoms’ is NOT caused by ingesting the shaken water, but by the imagination of the aforementioned people who believe that they should experience special things. And so they do – even when they didn’t ingest the shaken water at all.

            And sure, if you make the list of ‘symptoms’ long enough, you can always find and pick one that matches a purported condition or property of the base material. Just like you will inevitably find homeopathic studies with a positive outcome by just doing lots of studies over and over again.

            As soon as you do a properly blinded and randomized ‘proving’ of a known homeopathic dilution, you will find that those previously found ‘symptoms’ will disappear faster than money from a homeopathy customer’ wallet. And I’m willing to bet that even then, homeopaths will still point out the one or two matching ‘symptoms’ from the long list that happen to emerge by chance. After all, many of those ‘special symptoms’ are in fact quite common, and everyone experiences them from time to time.

            Conclusion: homeopathy is one big Fallacy Feast, where all conceivable errors and biases in reasoning and thinking are not just daily routine, but even elevated to ‘laws’. It is in other words something for people with the intelligence of a five-year-old who still believes in magic. And Santa really lives on the North Pole. Which is conveniently located in the centre of the circular Flat Earth.

  • Hahnemann himself told us in §260 Organon, when HP does nit work

    english version:

    original german version:

    it is obvious, that nowadays there is a no real situation where HP can work. HP isno known to be a religion.

    • We’ve discussed Organon aphorism §260 a few times. Here’s an instance resulting from a comment by ‘Stan’:

      See also:
      Homeopathic optimism: the case of the ‘Swiss report’
      Published Monday 05 May 2014
      Guest Post by Jan Willem Nienhuys

      Moreover, if a treatment or trial doesn’t work out, then a number of additional hypotheses about homeopathy can be invoked, which is what Maxion-Bergemann et al. do. Homeopathic remedies supposedly are counteracted by lots of regular medications and even by strong tasting or smelling food, such as coffee, parsley, garlic and peppermint. Hahnemann even disapproved of reading in bed and long afternoon naps and prolonged suckling of infants (Organon, section 260). Poor performance of homeopathy can be blamed on something called ‘initial aggravation’ or else on lack of experience of the poorly performing homeopath.

      • Why do we need companies like “DHU”, “Heel”, “Weleda” and others, if § 265 of the so-called Organon still applies?

        “It is a matter of conscience for him to be unerringly convinced that the sick person is taking the right medicine at all times, and therefore he must give the right medicine to the sick person from his own hands, and prepare it himself.”

      • Conventional medicine has the same issues with compliance and contraindicated treatments. Why should homeopathy be held any differently?

  • Based on YOUR logic, virtually all surgery is unproven and unscientific because there are not randomized, double-blind AND placebo controlled trials.

    Slam dunk. You’re OUT! Busted logic.

    • I am sure we have gone over this before: there are now plenty of studies of surgery; your argument is from araound 1950. In fact, Medline lists today 331,288 clinical trials of surgery.

      • Please provide this evidence of placebo-controlled surgery…but I won’t be holding my breathe.

        Then, please show me a Cochrane review.

        Because THIS is what you ask of homeopathy, I just want to play on a level field.

        • placebo-controlled was just brought in by you – moving the goal post?
          but ok, they too exist, e.g.

          • NOPE…I mentioned “placebo-controlled” every time. I’m not “moving” the goal posts…you are just ignoring the goal posts.

          • For the record, even when Ernst is clearly shown and proven to be WRONG (again), does he ever apologize? Does he ever correct himself? Just asking for a friend…

            The evidence is too obvious.

            Is THIS evidence of a scientist or a propagandist?

          • Oh dear, oh dear, Dana – you called me a liar recently; I asked you to apologize; you ignored it. So, allow me to ignore your ridiculous demand for an apology in this instance.

    • Dana

      Why your facile analogy is incorrect has been explained to you many times and yet you repeatedly trot it out. Why are you so happy to demonstrate your stupidity and inability to learn?

      Dana. The man who thinks parachutes don’t work because they’ve never been subject to randomised controlled trials.


  • If a person claimed to be able to fly, this person doesn’t need to prove it every day of every week, month, and year. This person simply need to prove it once…and that it be verified.

    High quality randomized double-blind and placebo controlled trials have been conducted on the children of children in Third World countries who were suffering from diarrhea. Three of these high quality studies have verified the value of homeopathic medicines to treat acute diarrhea in children (Jacobs, et al., 1994; Jacobs, et al, 2000, Jacobs, et al. 2003). The combined results of three studies and the metaanalysis of 242 children showed a highly significant result in the duration of childhood diarrhea (P=0.008).

    The first of the three studies was published in the famed journal, Pediatrics (Jacobs, et al, 1994). This study also conducted stool cultures and found the best results from homeopathic treatment in those children who had a known pathogenic organisms in their stools as compared with children with no pathogenic organisms in their stools (P=0.006 vs P=0.75). And the third study was published in the respected journal, Pediatrics Infectious Disease Journal.

    It is IMPORTANT to mention that DIFFERENT professional homeopaths were used for each trial…

    To date, not a single serious critique of these three trials have been published in a high impact peer review journal.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    • “If a person claimed to be able to fly, this person doesn’t need to prove it every day of every week, month, and year.”
      Perhaps, but aviation is different from medicine; here we need proof because experience can and often does mislead us completely.

      The Jocobs studies are not nearly as compelling as you make tham out. That too we have discussed previously.
      And why do you think is homeopathy not the standard treatment of childhood diarrhoea? If you don’t know, tell me, I do!

      • Well, it seems that you have no knowledge of the influence of economics…and how certain big industry can shut out smaller ones. This ignorance is so convenient for you to have and to hold.

        Virtually every review of quality of studies has deemed at least 2 of the 3 Jacobs studies as of the highest quality with no or little risk of bias.

        You, on the other hand, are full of risk of bias.

        And I’m still waiting on thse double-blind and placebo controlled trials on surgery. If you can’t provide them, I await your blog on how “unscientific” and “unproven” surgeries are. (For the record, this is NOT my opinion…but because you deem any treatment that doesn’t have placebo controlled trials is unscientific and unproven.)

        • “big industry can shut out smaller ones”
          oh dear, now we are in conspiracy territory
          it looks to me that you are going round the bend.

          • OMG…so, YOU seem to see “conspiracy” everywhere. Yes…and these conspiracies are out to get YOU!

            It is TOTALLY remarkable that you somehow equate economic factors as some type of conspiracy.

            You really make me laugh! Thank you.

            Daft to the max…should I call you “Max” or just…

        • And I’m still waiting on those double-blind and placebo controlled trials on surgery

          Oh look at Dana standing and crowing triumphantly atop his pile of shit.

          Where surgery can be tested against placebo, it is. But in the main, placebo surgery is profoundly unethical. Do you want a placebo bypass? Removal of a septic appendix? Repair of a leaking aneurism? But of course you’re a homeopath. You wouldn’t recognise ethics if they bit you on the pallid hairy arse that you spend most of your time talking out of.

          This has been explained to you before you jabbering, bluffing, lying halfwit. How convenient that you forget it.

          Homeopathy is eminently suitable for properly-designed and conducted blinded and controlled trials. And when subjected to these, it fails to show effectiveness beyond placebo. Oh how inconvenient for you. This is what grinds your gears, why you shout and stamp and come up with facile tu quoque arguments. It’s why you’re of no consequence.

        • Well, it seems that you have no knowledge of the influence of economics…and how certain big industry can shut out smaller ones. This ignorance is so convenient for you to have and to hold.

          Standard treatment for childhood diarrhoea is oral rehydration therapy, Dana. Salt, sugar and water. We know homeopathy is just sugar so is it Big Salt or Big Water which is suppressing The Truth?

          You, on the other hand, are full of risk of bias.

          Let’s remember what the judge said:

          “Mr. Ullman’s testimony was unhelpful in understanding the purported efficacy of the ingredients of SnoreStop to reduce the symptoms of snoring. Although he is familiar with the theory of homeopathic treatment, his opinions regarding its effectiveness [were] unsupported and biased. The Court gave no weight to his testimony.”

          Have any of us similarly been described in court as biased, Dana? Run away you pathetic, babbling goon.

    • This person simply need to prove it once…and that it be verified.

      Verified independently, Dana.

      Jacobs repeating her facile exercises in sugar-dispensing proves nothing. And the most recent of those studies is from twenty years ago. Plenty of time for them to have been recognised. They haven’t. Because homeopathy is bunk and proper medicine knows this. They have been ignored, Dana. And your repeatedly waving this specious bumwash around will not alter that.

      Again, we’re saying what we always say. Because you refuse to learn, Dana. It’s why you’re an insignificant idiot.

      • Sorry…but homeopathy is practiced in virtually every country in the world…and of the 100+ surveys conducted on WHO uses homeopathy, it has been consistently shown that people who are more educated are more likely to use homeopathy. This may explain why you don’t.

        People who say that there is no good scientific evidence that homeopathy doesn’t work are either purposefully lying or are simply daft…or both.

        • People who say that there is no good scientific evidence that homeopathy doesn’t work are either purposefully lying or are simply daft…or both.

          Hurrah! At long last!

          Dana admits that there is good scientific evidence that homeopathy doesn’t work and admits that he’s a daft liar!

    • “Non-reproducible single occurrences are of no significance to science”. The example of the homeopathic diarrhoea trials
      Published Thursday 19 July 2018

      See also the replies to each of these gibberings:

      Dana Ullman on Sunday 03 June 2018 at 01:53

      The THREE studies by Jacobs had DIFFERENT homeopaths prescribing…and the first trial published in PEDIATRICS is recognized by ALL as being of the highest quality.

      As for LANGMUIR, that study used 3 different type of spectroscopy and found nanoparticles of each of the original SIX (!) medicinal agents…and several others have found similar results, even with HIGHER potencies.

      I love the way skeptics of homeopathy spin mis-information about this trial…published in a high-impact journal published by the American Chemistry Society. Now, anyone who says that there is “nothing” in homeopathic medicines are simply misinformed or are lying (or both). Many skeptics are experts at this…

      Dana Ullman on Thursday 13 December 2018 at 01:22

      Here’s a link to a series of 3 studies showing efficacy in replication, even when DIFFERENT homeopaths prescribed medicines in each trial:

      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. This metaanalysis of 242 children showed a highly significant result in the duration of childhood diarrhea (P=0.008).

      Every review of clinical studies on homeopathy has deemed Jacobs’ research to be a “high quality” study.

      Dana Ullman on Monday 11 November 2019 at 21:56

      Ernie…each of those three [Jacobs] trials used DIFFERENT prescribing homeopaths! That is independent replication.

      Dana Ullman on Tuesday 12 January 2021 at 15:36

      I couldn’t help but notice that you neglected to mention that many of the clinical trials that Dr. Jennifer Jacobs has published have been deemed to be of the highest quality of scientific inquiry. The fact that her results have been almost consistently POSITIVE seems to be lost on you, even though they have maintain this high standard.

      What is so great about your comments about Dr. Jacobs is that it PROVES your own unscientific attitude. Rather than maintaining “objectivity,” you concern yourself only with the RESULTS of what her research has found. And if anyone didn’t notice, the above comment by Edzard didn’t mention a single flaw with a single study by Dr. Jacobs. Is anyone suprised, NO, not at all.

      Dana Ullman, MPH, CCH on Saturday 20 August 2022 at 16:11

      Yeah…Dr. Jacobs’ work has NEVER been disproved. The research stands!

      Three cheers for high-quality studies, even if they question the misassumptions of pseudoscientists like so many of the people at this website who prefer their own beliefs over solid science.

      • P value = 0.008!

        THAT is in the Oh Oh OMG area of SUBSTANTIAL SIGNIFICANCE, not just significance.

        Thank you for confirming this.

        And until someone does a similar quality study, these results STAND!

        • QUOTE
          Misuse of p‑values is common in scientific research and scientific education. p‑values are often used or interpreted incorrectly…

          Clarifications about p‑values

          The following list clarifies some issues that are commonly misunderstood regarding p-values:

          1. The p‑value is not the probability that the null hypothesis is true, or the probability that the alternative hypothesis is false.

          2. The p‑value is not the probability that the observed effects were produced by random chance alone.

          4. The p-value does not indicate the size or importance of the observed effect.

          END of QUOTE

          See especially the Further reading items and the reference:
          Colquhoun D (November 2014). “An investigation of the false discovery rate and the misinterpretation of p-values”. Royal Society Open Science. 1 (3): 140216.

          • I have no hope that Mr. Ullman will even try to understand the explanatory power and the limitations of the infamous p-value. For those who do, I recommend the American Statistical Association´s statement on statistical significance and the p-value from 2016.


            The coonclusion from the authors is (quote):
            “Good statistical practice, as an essential component of good scientific practice, emphasizes principles of good study designand conduct, a variety of numerical and graphical summariesof data, understanding of the phenomenon under study, interpretation of results in context, complete reporting and proper logical and quantitative understanding of what data summaries mean. No single index should substitute for scientific reasoning.”

          • He will do what he always does: avoid cognitive dissonance AND IGNORE IT.

          • Yeah… since Mr. Ullman ignores science, he probably also has no problems with ignoring maths. 🙄

            Despite of this, I will cite one more paragraph from the ASA statement explicitly for him:

            “Scientific conclusions and business decisions (…) should not be based only on whether a p-value passes a specific threshold. (…)
            Researchers should bring many contextual factors into play to derive scientific inferences, including the design of a study, the quality of the measurements, the external evidence for the phenomenon under study, and the validity of assumptions that underlie the data analysis.
            Pragmatic considerations often require binary, “yes-no” decisions, but this does not mean that p-values alone can ensure that a decision is correct or incorrect. The widespread use of “statistical significance” (generally interpreted as “p <= 0.05”) as a license for making a claim of a scientific finding (or implied truth) leads to considerable distortion of the scientific process."

            End of quote

          • Adding to Jashak’s comment on Wednesday 24 May 2023 at 12:20…

            Statistical significance, Wikipedia

            Redefining significance
            In 2016, the American Statistical Association (ASA) published a statement on p-values, saying that “the widespread use of ‘statistical significance’ (generally interpreted as ‘p ≤ 0.05′) as a license for making a claim of a scientific finding (or implied truth) leads to considerable distortion of the scientific process”. In 2017, a group of 72 authors proposed to enhance reproducibility by changing the p‑value threshold for statistical significance from 0.05 to 0.005. Other researchers responded that imposing a more stringent significance threshold would aggravate problems such as data dredging…

            In 2019, over 800 statisticians and scientists signed a message calling for the abandonment of the term “statistical significance” in science,[64] and the ASA published a further official statement [65] declaring (page 2):

            We conclude, based on our review of the articles in this special issue and the broader literature, that it is time to stop using the term “statistically significant” entirely. Nor should variants such as “significantly different,” “p≤0.05,” and “nonsignificant” survive, whether expressed in words, by asterisks in a table, or in some other way.

            65. Wasserstein, Ronald L.; Schirm, Allen L.; Lazar, Nicole A. (2019-03-20). “Moving to a World Beyond “p < 0.05"". The American Statistician. 73 (sup1): 1–19.

          • Thanks, Pete,
            just started reading the “Moving to a World Beyond (…) paper and already like it 🙂.
            “Don’t conclude anything about scientific or practical importance based on statistical significance (or lack thereof).”

        • @Dana Ullman

          And until someone does a similar quality study, these results STAND!

          Sure, one particular study carried out three times in the exact same way by the same magic believers. I can’t tell from the abstract what these people did wrong, but most likely there’s bias or methodological error in there – it wouldn’t be the first time that a researcher overlooked and repeated a hidden flaw. And that’s assuming that they acted in good faith.
          So I agree with you when you say that this study should be replicated independently before a more definitive verdict can be reached. However, given that it is extremely implausible that homeopathy actually works, I think the most sensible approach is to ignore this one positive outcome until then.
          And if you do insist on taking this result as evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy, then where are all those thousands upon thousands of other studies showing clear and robust effects of homeopathy? Why can’t you come up with anything else apart from this baby poo study and perhaps one or two other weakly positive studies? I’d say that the overall evidence for the viability of homeopathy is best described in the very same wording that regularly emanates from your mouth: piss-poor.

  • Homœopathy is not using “extremely diluted” remedies; it is using medicines that match the symptoms of the patient on all levels – mental, emotional and physical. Homeopathy can be practiced with undiluted medicines, only not as effectively, as conventional medical practitioners prove every day.
    So the proper title is “Seven Reasons Homeopathy is not Placebo Effect”.
    There are veterinarians who exclusively use homeopathy for their patients so perhaps they are only consistently getting suggestible pet/farm animals and their owners, or maybe homeopathy has been working for them for thousands of patients over decades. Clinical evidence is also good evidence for efficacy, although I know conventional medicine currently would have us believe that only trials are good evidence.
    For aggravations, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There are plenty of clinical records that give evidence of aggravations. Dr Ernst is only willing to look at some trials on this issue.
    Dr Ernst proved Dr Hahn’s point by throwing out all but 10% of the studies done using Arnica.
    Anyone skeptical of provings should do one and make up their own mind. They will experience symptoms very similar to those experienced by other provers of the same remedy.
    Anyone can read through the conventional medical literature and determine that conventional drugging is doing homeopathy, only poorly. They are using partial similimums, partially similar medicines – medicines that only match the patients symptoms in a limited way. So as a result they are only palliating/suppressing symptoms instead of curing.

    • oops, you forgot to link the evidence again!
      probably because BS is not easy to link?

      • Evidence for what? What do you want evidence for? You can look for clinical evidence of homeopathy’s effectiveness just as easily as I can.

        • “You can look for clinical evidence of homeopathy’s effectiveness just as easily as I can.”
          yes, the problem is that, if I do this systematically [as one should do it], I fin that homeopathy is scientifically disproven.

  • This is a good example of what I called “information cancer” (in some blog post nobody read) long before post-truth was a thing, so that my idea might have actually sounded something else than obvious back then. This guy’s not visibly reasoning badly (although he might once he has to react to your counterproof); he’s basing his opinion on a mountain of alleged facts. People believing in a particular thing will construct loads of such alleged facts until it can seem utterly fact-based to believe in that thing.

    It might be a good idea to acknowledge this when replying; give people the credit that all right, yes, that makes sense based on what you think you know.

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