An Obituary: Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, 1849-2010

lonhomThe Royal London Homeopathic Hospital of Great Ormond Street, London, has passed away after a long battle with science. Today, we learned from gimpy’s blog that London will no longer have a homeopathic hospital of its own.

The Hospital can trace its origins back to The London Homeopathic Hospital founded by Dr. Frederick Foster Quin, the first homeopath in England. Quinn was a pupil of the founder of homeopathy, Dr Samual Hahnemann, and became physician to Prince Leopold of Belgium, father of Prince Albert. His entry to London saw him mixing with the aristocratic and wealthy, establishing royal connections for homeopathy that would last until today.

In its life, the RLHH has moved through several London addresses. It has boasted of successes with epidemics, been bombed by the Nazis and suffered tragedy when many of its doctors were killed in a Heathrow air disaster. It became the Royal Hospital when King George VI granted the honour in 1948. In the same year it was subsumed into the NHS as part of the widespread post-war nationalisation of the health system.

In becoming a public institution, and no longer relying on wealthy benefactors, the hospital began its long and slow battle against the cancer of reality. Despite its long history, the homeopaths could not demonstrate that anything that was going on inside showed any sign of objective success. Instead of embracing the new world of trials and evidence, the hospital clung to its tried and trusted approach of relying on anecdotal stories of its success. A diet that would ensure its eventual demise. Despite other doctors’ warning that it had to kick the 60-a-day habit of anecdote after anecdote, the rot of pseudoscience was setting in.

After the Staines air disaster in 1972, which tragically killed 16 of its doctors on the way to a conference, the hospital started to become more and more diluted as it lost it ability to survive alone and subsumed its independence to its retirement home of University College London Hospitals. At the time of its demise today, only one small ward was still breathing and having to share its small room with unwelcome acupuncture quacks and reiki healers.

Hope for a longer life flourished under the directorship of Dr Anthony Campbell, a homeopath who recognised that homeopathy was a form of counselling and was thoroughly skeptical of its more deluded claims. Unfortunately, this progressive form of homeopathy never took root and the current incumbents maintained the wilder fantasies of homeopathic healing, ensuring the spreading disease of reality would soon ensure the lights would be going out.

The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital has many admirers from abroad. Homeopaths in India, Africa and Cuba used the presence of a Royal Hospital, funded by tax payers within the NHS, to push quackery on some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world, replacing cheap and effective malaria treatments with sugar pills and water drops, pretending homeopathy can treat AIDS, cancer and TB and using it as justification to replace effective infectious disease control with superstitious nonsense. The people of these countries will not be missing the end of this hospital.

The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital is survived by Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow. We understand that they too are desperately ill and will not be able to attend the funeral.

It is understood that the body of the hospital will not be donated to science, but instead will be occupied by a few remaining stragglers who will stick pins in patients, wave their arms around them and dish out vitamin pills. Known as the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine it will survive for a few more months until it is realised that ‘Integrated’ is a misnomer and it is still practicing superstitious nonsense.

No flowers. No medicine. No memorial required.

On this theme…

167 Comments on An Obituary: Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, 1849-2010

    • All those idiots who celebrated the demise of the RLHH just showed their abysmal level of education and understanding of the biopsychosocial model that integrates physical and emotional disorders into holistic interventions. Go back to your football pitch and pubs and leave the professionals to do their job. Thank you.

      • Lulu – it is quite possible to integrate physical and emotional disorders without resorting to blatant quackery. Perhaps we could allocate more resources to such endeavours when the NHS finally stops funding a few fringe doctors’ healing fantasies.

  1. As these hospitals get fewer and their wards smaller, perhaps they’ll become more effective.

    For best results, of course, there should be so little homeopathy in the NHS that it would be impossible to tell it had ever been there at all…

  2. Ah the wonders of English irregular verbs. I suppose that ‘clinged’ might have worked if the method used by the hospital to adhere to it’s ‘tried and trusted approach’ was to wrap it all up in thin plastic film since I understand that verb irregularity doesn’t work when applied to brand names.

  3. What fortuitous timing for Peter Fisher. No doubt he has an application in to Tayside already for their Doctor of Homeopathy post. David Colqhoun has competition!

  4. I shall be celebra…err, mourning its death with a glass of water, homeopathically prepared.

    …take a drop of water, and dilute it with 9 parts alcohol…

    • Quite Funny. As always, Ullman is a source of much amusement. And I have a nice surprise for him soon on my blog.

      But he is correct in one aspect. The RLHH will be carrying on as it has been but under a new name.

      But to think this is all that is happening is to miss the significance of what is going on. The RLHH has been dwindling for years, losing floor space within its own building and having to share what space it has with acupuncturists and vitamin pill pushers.

      It has now become quote clear that the RLHH cannot sustain itself as a homeopathic hospital in any meaningful way. Referals have been dripping away as more and more PCTs refuse to fund superstitious medicine. It just is not a homeopathic hospital anymore. London is losing its landmark homeopathic hospital – perhaps the most famous in the world. Its name will be lost to the transient fashionability of ‘integrated’ medicine. The only way the staff there can survive is by grabbing any cash from other forms of quackery they can – and then calling it ‘integrated’.

      Ullman is putting a brave face on the event and trying to ignore the significance. This is no ‘butterfly’ transforming from a ‘catepillar’. Such talk is mere hyperbole. If I may attempt my own hyperbole – it is a maggot emerging from the rotting corpse of English homeopathy.

      • Mr. Duck,

        Heck, you missed one of the best parts of my critique of you and the “medical fundamentalists,” especially since you and your ilk have mis-informed the public about the S&T Committee’s “vote” on the homeopathy report. Here are some facts that you never get around to mentioning…

        The medical fundamentalists commonly brag about the fact that this Science and Technology Committee`s report “proved” that there was no evidence that supports any specific benefits of homeopathic treatment beyond the placebo effect. And yet, none of these fundamentalists acknowledge that this Committee consisted of 14 members, 10 of whom did not consider this issue worthy of voting. Ultimately, a “majority” of only THREE members voted for this anti-homeopathy report. Of these three votes, two members were so new to the Committee that they did not attend a single hearing on the subject of homeopathy. The third vote for the “report” came from Evan Harris, a vitriolic antagonist to homeopathy who was not re-elected this year, losing to a 20-something year old political neophyte. Obviously, the British people wanted anyone but Evan Harris and his partisan science.

      • Well done Dana on being so focussed on the complexities of voting patterns in the House of Commons committee voting systems- which of course have nothing to do with whether or not homeopathy works. As always, you address the man rather than the ball.

        Perhaps you would like to focus on the actual report – presumably you have read it? – and point out where it got things wrong?

    • Wow, your page of Ullmaniana smells like a huge pile of steaming ****!! You’ve written it in support of charlatans practising quackery and fraud so I think it’s fair to assume that your page is a mixture of lies and nonsense. Homeopathy successfully treating cholera? Incredible. That must be a lie.

      Of course it is understandable that you chortle gleefully in support of the rebranding of RLHH as RLHIM claiming to be a centre for all forms of quackery. It’s a victory for stupidity, a defeat for rationality, sanity and anybody who cares about the welfare (and pockets) of sick people.

      One up to the quacks. How many people must suffer for the Prince of Wales’s vanity and the UCLH Trust’s cowardice?

  5. It is very sad to read this. As per my information Mr. Andy Lewis
    Doesn’t know anything about HOMEOPATHY and still he is using words like anything. And he will not understand what Homeopathy is as seen by his past bad works. So my dear respected Andy Lewis sir before using any words for Homeopathy confirms it first. Forget about my Suggestion it was the note given by honorable Dr Samuel Hahnemann about homeopathy: (to skeptics)
    “The doctrine appeals not only chiefly but solely to the VERDICT OF EXPERIMENT, repeat the experiment carefully and accurately and you will find doctrine CONFIRMED AT EVERY STEP”

  6. Mr Nitinsingh, the evidence for the veracity of homeopathy like your, and let us call it colloquial, posts grammatical structure is, quite often, essentially hopeful at best.

    And with all due respect to the ‘honorable’ Dr S Hahnemann; based on the evidence from the scientific trials that weren’t flawed in some way – No we won’t…

  7. Great news, I think, although I am writing this a few days after the fact… Mr Nitinsingh suggests Andy (and indeed by extension, pretty much all other sceptical scientists) don’t understand homeopathy as well as homeopathists.

    My position of course, is that we do in fact have an extremely good, evidence-based understanding.

    All together now: THERE’S NOTHING IN IT…!

  8. Am a homeopathic physician in india i have 3 years experience,and has 3 years experience in teacing field.Now i want to do the practice in your institute.If any veccacies please forword me

  9. Only a stupid persons can think that Homeopathy can´t help or cure our patients.I´m very sorry about the situation of the Homeophaty inside the Royal Hospital.I was thinking to travel to London for visit this very known hospital here in Brazil and inthe other parts of the world.Here in Brazil we have greats results in diseases of many areas with the Homeophatic treatment.So glory to Samuel Hahnemannn. Dra. Edel Holderried a Homeophatic doctor with great pleasure of South Brazil

  10. I´m a surgeon in Joinville (a city in the South of Brazil) and I am fighting psuedosciences like homeopathy long ago. Unfortunately people still believe in this fairy tail. We have iridology, acupuncture and phytotherapy too. Like Dr. Edel I will say ” only stupid people can think that these pseudosciences can cure our patients”.

  11. I cannot believe there are such Bigots in this modern world. I was in a mess with constant back pain, unable to pick up my morning post. One visit to this wonderful hospital and I was cured, able to live a normal life, that was ten years ago!
    The main problem that Homeothapy has had to face is from the Drug Companies who can see that this cheap method of treatment means that they are not going to be selling expensive drugs to the NHS and individuals. Nothing makes them crying all the way to the bank than seeing their “profits” hit. What better way than attack, attack and attack again lets put them out of business. Ask yourself would you need all this “testing” if the drugs were safe in the first place! No people, don’t be taken in by the Bigots of this world it is a sad day when treatment, which has changed lives is made to look as having no value, or is this the real goal so no one will object to it’s closure! I for one know better!

    • I too had back pain over ten years ago. Crippling and depressing. Then it cleared up. No pills. Such is back pain, it does go away on its own.

      Believing that homeopathic sugar pills cannot help back pain is not bigotry. It is a view based on straightforward scientific arguments about the implausibility of the treatment and the lack of convincing evidence from trials.

      I cannot believe you would jump so quickly as to use such a strong word as ‘bigot’ against those who express views about the pseudoscientific nature of homeopathy. Or jump on conspiracy theories about Drug Companies. Homeopathy does not work no matter how evil or good drug companies are.

    • Well, that’s a fairly strong testimonial. Can you clarify? Was it solely by the use of homeopathic remedies or did they do other things as well?

      • Well,Badly Shaved Monkey,it was a mixture of an alternative treatment called “Deep needle Treatment” which was used in Canada to aliviate the back problems of Lumberjacks and Hoeothapathic tablets. Looking at the replies I can only wonder if the same dogma was aimed at Vegetarians when that was first popular, now no self repecting food establishment would be without it. So it should be with health choices! I want to be treated with homeothpathic pills not told “they will not work” I KNOW they do and so everyone else should have the opportunity to experience it when they find that there current “drug” treatment does not work. NHS is for everyone not just those who want to believe the propoganda of the drug companies.

    • “Ask yourself would you need all this “testing” if the drugs were safe in the first place!”

      Ask yourself why even the reviews of the evidence that homoeopaths cite as showing positive results call for more “testing”.

  12. Well, Dennis, as so often with claims of effect for homeopathy it turns out that the story was more complex.

    It is quite obvious that sticking needles into spasmed painful muscle might do something. Mrs Monkey has had this done to her. Whether the benefit is any greater than for other physical therapies would be something that could reasonably be tested but, from first principles, it is quite likely to be useful.

    But you want to give credit to content-free sugar pills because you “KNOW” they work. They don’t and to say otherwise is either naive or foolish.

  13. p.s. I’ll also point out how curious it is that Dennis’s first post mentioned homeopathic sugar but was oddly silent about the more plausible therapy that had been given at the same time.

    Why was that, Dennis?

    • So why are you so much against “sugar Pills” or are you frightened they may just work! Seem to recall that my remarks about bigotary might just be showing! Still we cannot all be enlightened!!

      • You know, perhaps people aren’t against sugar pills, but against dubbing them medicine. Why would anyone be afraid that something works? I, for one, am only afraid that because you don’t understand temporal succession doesn’t imply causality, you might convince someone in need of real medicine to try sugar pills instead, making them lose both time and money.

      • Because they don’t work, but people are happy to lie, obfuscate and distort evidence to make it appear that that do.

        Because, sustained by those false beliefs, homeopaths with a messianic mission practise on the poor and sick at malaria clinics in Africa.

        Because homeopaths are among the most pernicious element in an anti-rational movement that seeks to undermine real medicine.

        I ask again, Dennis, in your first posting here why did you mention homeopathy and not the physical intervention that you underwent? Failure to answer a straight question with an honest answer is a consistent feature of the defenders of homeopathy. Do you wish to give that appearance.

  14. Dennis, here’s a follow-up question so you can demonstrate your commitment to honest rational debate.

    Follow this link and read what you find;

    http://johnbenneth.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/rubbing-out-homeopathy/

    Does the writer of that blog fairly represent your view of medicine?

    Please tell us, in the context of UK homeopathy, who is Steve Scrutton? Read some of the other blogs at that site and see what Scrutton has to say. Do his postings reasonably reflect the proper response of homeopaths to Benneth’s ideas?

  15. I hope Dennis is just busy and is not just a tiresome hit-and-run poster who won’t sustain an argument once the going gets tricky.

  16. If Dennis is really gone, then I think I’ll leave this page hanging on a question for him that might help passers-by quickly see the way that homeopathy’s defenders often behave.

    Dennis, in your first post about the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, why did you mention homeopathy, with its content-free sugar pills, but fail to mention the passingly plausible physical Needling that you also received?

  17. I have just heard that a drug company has had to pay millions of dollars to Americans, for letting people down with it’s dangerous drugs whilst English people have been barred from taking them to court! Seems to me so such problem with Homeopathic medecine!! Maybe this alternative is worth looking into? Thanks for the advice Dennis.

  18. I have just got my appointment through cannot wait to be seen, friends who have been speak highly of the services and treatment. What are you all going on about?

      • Ok Mojo,this is the website of the London Homeopathic Hospital which is now called Integrated Medicine. What is wrong with that? I see it is part of the ULCH which is a well repected Hospital.The Homeopathic Hospital, by all accounts, always did include alternative treatments. Is it just homeopathic medicine you are against or everything this Hospital does!!

      • “What is wrong with that?”

        Calling it a homoeopathic hospital is no longer accurate (indeed even before the name change it was a “homoeopathic hospital” in name only – as you say, it “always did include alternative treatments”).

  19. “Calling it a homeopathic hospital is no longer accurate” Well whats your point it isn’t called that any more. By calling something a name does not always descibe the full range of what it offers. The fact that is still prescibes homeothpathic medicine still gives people a choice, how many NHS Hospitals could claim such a high percentage of contented patients, with the treatment thay receive. NONE, I suspect!!

  20. I am not “medically ” trained but a customer of the medical service. I do not consider that the maority of members of this “profession” are honourable persons.
    This is more than just about something that the huge majority of you do not seem to see or understand.
    Some of you do know exactly what your profession is up to.
    This is about choice and freedom of being treated in a humane manner by another human being and being cared for when a patient is at their most vulunerable.

    Do you want the state to tell you how you should treat your body at every stage of your life?
    Would you be willing to use all or any of the more aggressive treatments on yourself or your loved ones if you knew that they would be treated with respect and with dignity instead of being dumped on a ” gold standard” level of “care” that does not make the body healthier and stronger.And will kill them.

    The medical profession cannot call itself “healthcare” because it appears that the majority of doctors do not look at making the customer better. You would lose money by losing a customer. Which is why you recruit new customers from birth nowdays.

    Healthcare professionals are about the health and well being of their customers, by keeping their customers healthier then they keep those business making money, which is really what annoys the pharma businesses.

    I saw a climpse of a preview about junior doctors and frankly one of them looked like he was about to have a heart attack. I doubt that he would be able to give any decent health advise other than what he has been told to repeat.

    You should all be ashamed of yourselves, you behave on here like the stupid politicans that are like a bunch of silly school boys that need a clip round the ear and be sent to bed with no supper!

    What I have discovered about your industry shocks and saddens me.
    You have such great surgeons that can do great things. And yet you have such a dark side that will be literally the death of mankind.

    When you are staring into the abyss and have no choice but what they tell you to do, and you know in your heart and mind that it is wrong…. and it will cost you your lifeif you do or don’t…… you have no one else to blame but yourselves…..

    As for the medical professionals that see the healthcare in what they do….. fight for what you believe is right. There are people and patients that need you and will support you.
    But do not let your voice be taken from you for there are plenty of people that need you.

    As for the rest of you.
    Your customers are losing your respect.

  21. I guess homeopathy is like classical music, it is only for the elite. That is unfortunate, but that’s true; the crowd gets brainwashed into using the commercial music and the commercial medicine.

  22. It used to be church dogma, now it is science hunting the heretics. Your complete ignorance of homeopathy combined with your condemnation of it make you a modern equivalent of the inquisition.

  23. Noir, I am willing to believe that you are well read; as long as you have read Hahnemann and Kent?
    I know they probably sound like rubbish to you….
    I know that you have not killed anyone, what I meant is that you base your opinion on dogma-as would the Inquisition.
    As for that poor little girl that died of an infection, you would agree with me that she certainly didn’t die from the homeopathic medication but from the lack of adequate care. There are lots of people who die with conventional care from malpractice or doctors’ errors, that doesn’t discredit the value of conventional medicine in my eyes, and I am sure in yours neither.

    • Well said the Homeopathic Hospital is run as a proper hospital with qualified doctors who have spend extra time on the Homeopathic way of treatment. They do a remarkable job of looking after their patients. Are any of the critics qualified doctors, I wonder!!
      Enough of this the patient satisfaction is higher than any other hospital in the UK, is that why the “green eyed monster” is appearing?
      The only part of the NHS worth its money!

      • People taken in by scams are often ‘satisfied’… while it lasts. I bet people are ‘satisfied’ by their palmist/crystal healer/astrologer/dog hypnotherapist/stick insect phrenologist, whatever, until the wool is lifted from their eyes.

        People are often justly unsatisfied with ‘real’ treatment; sometimes because they have received terrible service/bedside manner/poor advice/harmful mistakes, but often it’s just because there’s no bullshit, no molly coddling, no indulging their hypochondriac whining. Which is precisely what CAM subsists on.

        Supporters of CAM choose assessment criteria based on whether it gives them a positive result. Now an anecdote, now ‘patient satisfaction’, now something else. Anything rather than simple rational thought, let alone actual hard evidence.

  24. “Supporters of CAM choose assessment criteria based on whether it gives them a positive result.”

    Duh………………

    • Canard Blanc, this is precisely the whole problem with CAM, and I can’t thank you enough for illustrating the point with such awesome clarity.

      In CAM, you have a theory, and you are sure it MUST be right; so when you see positive evidence you say ‘YES! that supports my theory’. Furthermore, the quality of the evidence must be good, because ‘it supports my theory’.

      In thinking, you also have a theory and look for evidence. However, the difference here is that there are principles, unrelated to the desires of the thinker, by which the evidence is judged. If the quality of the evidence is good, but it doesn’t support your theory, you go back to the drawing board. If the evidence is of poor quality, but supports your theory you still go back and look for better evidence.

      As a scientist I have had many theories that I, and others, have proved to be wrong. More than I have had proved right. Indeed, the scientific literature if FULL of alterations, corrections and outright retractions. This is because, in thinking, getting towards the truth is all important. In CAM, bolstering the theory is all important.

  25. I can remember the incident at Northwick Park Hospital where the resenting search for “evidence” went badly wrong and the voluteers nearly died and indeed are still suffering side effects from the trial of drugs. So is this evidence still worth searching for , no matter what the cost to humans?
    Is not the whole point of evidence to not let the patient know what they are taking, so how does it further those desperate people trying to get better, or are you a supporter of testing on animals?

    • Sinned again:

      “So is this evidence still worth searching for , no matter what the cost to humans?” Of course not. It’s a simple cost/benefit analysis. Can you think of a well conducted trial, where the drug in question, having been proved to be effective, was used to treat thousands? Indeed, can you think of ANYONE helped by evidence-based medicine? Really, please answer.

      “Is not the whole point of evidence to not let the patient know what they are taking, so how does it further those desperate people trying to get better, or are you a supporter of testing on animals?” Good, you get how blind trials work. It’s another cost/benefit analysis; Once you have tested whether or not a new medicine is effective you can either prescribe it if it is and help people in their thousands, or stop wasting time/money/false hope if it isn’t.

      You make the point nicely that new untested drugs can have a terrible effect when they turn out to be harmful, so you make the case for animal testing yourself. I too see the need for animal testing now (even though I find it horrendously cruel and deeply distressing), but am greatly encouraged by the search for alternatives. Sadly, these are not yet at a stage where we can completely do away with animal testing.

    • Canard Blanc – are you aware of the obvious and significant problems that exist with the Cuban trial you posted?

      Do you understand why scientists would not count this as good evidence?

    • Yes. I guessed.

      Consider the two possible explanations of the Cuban data:

      a) Homeopthic remedies caused a massive drop in the incidence of leptospirosis back down to a level outside of the outbreak region.
      b) The leptospirosis epidemic ended (as they do) at the same time as the trial due to the natural cycle of epidemics and the massive mainstream health care and education programme underway at the time.

      Explanation (b) is the most parsimonious explanation. The trial fails to show option (a) is true as it failed to include in the trial design any adequate control (such as control groups, randomisation, bliding etc) that would exclude option (b). This was either incompetent or a deliberate omission in order to seek a false positive result. Adding such controls would have added little to the cost of the trial but would have allowed the trial to give a definitive answer. As such the trial is junk science.

    • The fact that I reject one study as it was poorly executed does not mean that “no evidence will ever satisfy me”. As well as causal inference, you also appear to have problems with deductive inference.

      Not sure what I was supposed to be looking at in the link that would be compelling. I see the usual gobbledegook of homeopaths.

      By the way, can you evidence your statement that Bohm was a “homeopathist”? That would be interesting.

    • Canard Blanc:

      Please comment on Le Canard Noir’s criticism of the Cuban data.

      You thought you were in possession of ‘good quality data’, but he seems to think not. You put something on the table, he commented on it negatively, but rather than counter that, you put something else on the table (this David Bohm thing).

      Does this mean that you agree that the Cuban data is of poor quality?

      Let’s keep it simple. If you put something on the table let’s see if we can agree whether it can stay there before we put anything else on.

  26. I have no idea what causal and deductive interference mean.

    Look down the page and see the guy’s experience with provings.

    David Bohm consulted a homeopath, that’s all I will say.

    • So ‘the guy’s experience’. He is rather suggestible, no?

      Pity that you have downgraded Bohm’s association with homeopathy from being a ‘homeopathist’ to having ‘consulted’ one once.

      And even that without any refernce to show that it was true

      Would you like to think that one over?

  27. Bohm consulted an homeopath on a regular basis and did believe in homeopathy.
    That is why I called him a homeopathist.
    Have you noticed that the people that are in favor of homeopathy are those who have tried it?
    It is not anti-scientific to be in favor of homeopathy, it is the belief that science will show its mechanism some day.

    • “Have you noticed that the people that are in favor of homeopathy are those who have tried it?”

      Are you sure you’ve got cause and effect the right way round there?

  28. Given that homeopaths tend to like asserting celebrities and intellectuals support homeopathy, often against evidence (such as Darwin and Nightingale), I would be interested in seeing what evidence you have that Bohm supported it. Any books, URLs, papers?

  29. Canard Blanc

    You seem to be following a well-trodden path of “homeopathists”. You introduced the Cuban lepto experience. LCN gave you a better interpretation. You have ignored this and moved on as if you never read it.

    One of the most frustrating aspects of engaging in dispute with people like you is that we can carefully and logically build a counter-argument only to have it completely ignored. The loop is usually completed by that same homeopathist repeating the same argument at another place or even at the same place. Dana Ullman is the living embodiment of this utter imperviousness.

  30. Blanc

    From your link;

    http://www.hydrogen2oxygen.net/tag/david-bohm/

    “Water has a Memory
    Even the Nobel prize-winner Professor Luc Montagnier discovered that water has a memory.”

    That sentence stands among a whole load of meaningless bibble but is worth highlighting as clear evidence that the blogger shares your imperviousness.

    Perhaps you can show good faith and an ability to examine your own arguments: go and find out why Montagnier’s experiment is utter tosh then return here and present us with a summary of your findings.

    At the moment you appear simply to see a piece of supposed evidence for homeopathy and add it to the little pile that you jealously guard without showing any ability to make an independent judgement of its quality.

  31. Monkey,
    I am not a scientist and I don’t know how to debate these things.
    If you as a scientist tell me the evidence doesn’t hold I am willing to believe you. I drop the argument because I don’t know how to debate it.
    That being said, homeopathy has been nothing short of miraculous for myself and my family.
    So my only conclusion is not that the science is wrong, but that it has not found a way to explain it yet.
    You can “debunk” homeopathy all you want, it is not going anywhere; and as soon as there is an explanation for it, it will become the number one system of medicine.

    Now about David Bohm, I know the homeopath that he consulted, and I cannot say more.

    Have you gotten homeopathic treatment yourself? Would you be willing to try it?

    • Canard Blanc, you have made a very honest admission that you feel out of your depth debating the evidence regarding the efficacy of homeopathy, and you deserve respect for that.

      I have tried homeopathy, I have tried many things while I was trying to figure out what to believe. That you ask Badly Shaved Monkey whether they’ve tried it betrays your real fear. You need to believe that the critics of homeopathy are critics simply because they haven’t tried it; and that if they just did, it would work, and they wouldn’t be able to be critics any longer, even if they still couldn’t explain how it works.

      You need to believe this because the alternative (and this is what ALL the credible evidence suggests) is that you were wrong to believe that homeopathy helped you and your family and that your/their getting better was either due to the placebo effect, or due to the conditions being self limiting. You don’t want this to be true because you believe it would make you look stupid.

      Let me assure you that you are not stupid.

      In fact you don’t need to be a scientist to debate the efficacy of homeopathy. You just need to have not made up your mind one way or the other. The critics that contribute to these pages didn’t want homeopathy to be quackery. But they didn’t want it to be real medicine either. They just wanted to see what good quality evidence said.

      The hostility/frustration that comes through (sometimes ill advisedly) is simply a result of dealing with closed-minded people that are convinced that homeopathy works despite all the evidence. That and the venomous ad hominem attacks they sometimes receive.

      Try a thought exercise: Think to yourself ‘what if it’s all bollocks and I’ve been a bit of a prat?’. What’s the worst that can happen? As I mentioned before, as a scientist I have to admit that I’ve got it wrong all the time. Only then can I be sure that when I get it right, I get it right.

  32. Yes, I do feel out of my depth (yay,a new English expression for a non-native speaker) debating scientific evidence of homeopathy.
    Let me also tell you that most of my experiences with homeopathy have been inconclusive and that it is not until I found a proper practitioner that I felt that it was worth it.
    An homeopath almost killed me by misdiagnosing me!!
    But after I found what seems to be really rare, a good homeopath, I have to say the experience is nothing short of miraculous. Not only the main condition I went in for is cured, but so are a bunch of other symptoms that I had been suffering from for over 20 years.

  33. Canard Blanc: Thanks for that information. Would you mind saying what the “main condition” was from which you were suffering? It’s quite exciting to hear that your condition was treated by homeopathy, but for us to fully appreciate what you are saying we would have to know what the official diagnosis was (i.e. from a GP or other suitably trained medical professional) and that it wasn’t a condition that would normally get better over time. Indeed, if you could say when you first started showing symptoms that would be useful too.

    As you know, a frequent criticism of the anecdotal ‘evidence’ for homeopathic treatment is that the ‘conditions’ the people were suffering from were just vague aches and pains that are all too often simply stress related (or some other psychosomatic effect) and could also go away by themselves over time, say, or after a nice relaxing chat with the ‘good’ homeopath (i.e. it’s difficult to be sure whether the sugar pill itself played any part).

    You know we’re sceptical right? So I’m sure that you can’t expect us to be convinced without just a little more, albeit very simple, information. After all, the information you have convinced you right?

    Thanks.

  34. Sure, you know my wife is a skeptic and thinks my remission is due to placebo effect. I don’t.

    I’ll give you a list of symptoms that have subsided with the homeopathic treatment:

    1-Depresssion; 4 years of pristic 50mg/day
    2-Chronic bacterial protatitis; 4 month of antibiotic treatment
    3-Sleep apnea
    4-Acid reflux (so bad I would sometimes end up in ER)
    5-Fatigue
    6-Hemorrhoids (internal and external with frequent bleeding)

    I was followed by a GP, a urologist, a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist. All of them were very good and associated with the best hospital in the US.

    As of now, after one year of homeopathic treatment, ALL of these conditions are gone; and I am not taking ANY of the prescription medicine I was taking before. I feel better than I have EVER felt in my whole life and I am happier than ever.

    I agree with you that there is no scientific proof that all this was not caused by placebo effect; but I’ll stick with what works for now.

    • Blanc

      I don’t think the placebo effect is our main explanation for the apparent effects of homeopathy.

      Let’s extract from your list just those conditions that would be unlikely to either resolve or go through a period of amelioration.

      1…..Um…….Ah…..

      And in this we are making an implicit assumption that no other lifestyle changes have been made. I wonder whether that assumption is valid.

  35. Monkey:

    What you say is possible. The explanation doesn’t bother me, I am happy to be rid of all these things and that’s what’s most important to me. If they went away on their own, that’s just as good.
    What would you do confronted with a condition that the best medicine cannot get you rid of? Would you try alternative medicine? Would you give homeopathy a shot?
    If you are a skeptic, you have to be skeptical of your own convictions as well, right?

    • I think you will find that being a sceptic means that convictions are something of an anathema. A conviction is a firm belief – and by being a sceptic and scientist you hold provisional beliefs that are based on the best available evdicnce. If the evidence changes, then the belief should change.

      Homeopaths, by contrast, hold their beliefs in spite of the best available evidence. They deliberately select weak forms of supporting evidence (such as anecdote) over well founded results of science. It makes their beliefs impervious to change. As you say, reasoned response do not ‘bother’ you. You have an unchangeable conviction.

      If I had an untreatable disease, I would not waste time and money on disproven superstitious medicines like homeopathy. And I would be highly suspicious of any claims by people saying they could treat me.

  36. Mr. Noir,

    I have a geneticist in my family. He doesn’t use homeopathy and when I confronted him with this question he said that he would try anything. Well, I said, you are a scientist and homeopathy is not proven. He told me: “rule number one of science is that you don’t know everything”. That rule is what I go by. Yes, I do trust science, but science doesn’t know everything.

    • Of course, being a geneticist does not mean that your family member is familiar with the claims of homeopathy and the scientific evidence for understanding they are false. Your friend may be under the misapprehension, for example, that homeopathy is a branch of herbalism.

      With herbalim, we indeed do not know what herbs work and which do not completely. It may well be worth having a punt if all other options were off the table. With homeopathy, that is not the case.

      Science does indeed not know everything, but it does know quite a lot. Indeed, it is the only reliable way humans have found for establishing what is true and what is not true about the world. If science does not know something, then there is no other reliable path to knowledge that can provide answers.

      So, the rule you go by looks like you are happy to believe anything as no one knows everything.

      You obviously do not trust science enough for it to influence your wishful thinking about the world.

    • He told me: “rule number one of science is that you don’t know everything”.

      Richard Feynman would have disagreed with him: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  37. Actually he knows about the dilutions and he knows it is not a branch of herbalism.
    I believe homeopathy works simply because of my experience; which apparently is worth nothing to you.

    ” If science does not know something, then there is no other reliable path to knowledge that can provide answers.”

    Are you sure of that one? How does one compose music? How does one pint a painting? How does one create a new recipe? Is there NOTHING empirical about science?

  38. As you say yourself, there are other explanations as to why you are better that do not involve some strange magic in homeopathic pills – and as such, simple stories are at best ambiguous.

    Yes, I am sure that science is the only reliable route to establish objective truth claims about the world. In your example, what truth claims are being determined by a piece of music, a painting or a recipe?

    As for your family member, is it possible he could be humouring you?

  39. I do believe that your explanation certainly makes more sense than mine.

    Maybe he is humoring me, but I have no way of proving that.

  40. Canard Blanc:

    I have been considering my response for a while, but I still really don’t know what to say. Frankly I am just disgusted. As others have pointed out, your personal experience of homeopathy seems to boil down to you experiencing relief from a set of largely self-limiting conditions (many simply stress related) over a period of time during which you were also trying conventional medicine. I quote you “The explanation doesn’t bother me, I am happy to be rid of all these things and that’s what’s most important to me. If they went away on their own, that’s just as good.”

    Many times you have come on to this forum, and who knows where else, and vehemently supported homeopathy. However, I engaged with you to try and get to the reasons for you taking position. I am grateful to you for staying engaged and seeing this through to the end.

    However, what we see is this;

    1) You were convinced that you had evidence in your hands for the efficacy of homeopathy, both on a large scale (trial data) and on a personal scale (your experiences).

    2) It has been painstakingly pointed out to you that this evidence, in fact, does not support the efficacy of homeopathy whatsoever.

    3) You basically accept this criticism.

    4) You choose to remain convinced that homeopathy has to be efficacious.

    This is one of the most staggering displays of closed minded irrationality I have ever seen. This is superstition in it’s purest form.

    It is this behaviour that keeps the homeopaths in business, not just here in the Western Europe where they are fleecing a few gullible plonkers with more money than sense; but in the developing world, where they are telling some of the most vulnerable and desperate people, in their tens of thousands, to eschew well proven antimalarials or antiretrovirals in favour of sugar pills.

    I quote you again “The explanation doesn’t bother me, I am happy to be rid of all these things and that’s what’s most important to me. If they went away on their own, that’s just as good.” Only, malaria and AIDS don’t go away on their own, do they Canard Blanc.

    If not now, maybe at some point in the future you may realise the tiny tiny part you have played in this genocide. I’m really sorry for what you will then feel.

    Irrational, superstitious behaviour is dangerous and horrific. Think about the men raping babies in sub-Saharan Africa because of the belief that sleeping with a virgin cures AIDS. Think about the people dragging their daughters away for genital mutilation because they think it keeps their sexual urges suppressed. I could list more examples, but I don’t really have the stomach for it.

    “The explanation doesn’t bother me, I am happy to be rid of all these things and that’s what’s most important to me. If they went away on their own, that’s just as good.”

    It’s time to grow up.

    • Dude, don’t you think you’re being a bit heavy handed?

      First things first:
      “This is one of the most staggering displays of closed minded irrationality I have ever seen. This is superstition in it’s purest form.”

      The possessive does not take an apostrophe.

      Then about AIDS:

      I have asked my homeopath about aids, he said homeopathy could do nothing against AIDS, that homeopaths who pretended they could were liars and that one had to use the conventional medicine. I will ask him about malaria.

      “If not now, maybe at some point in the future you may realise the tiny tiny part you have played in this genocide. I’m really sorry for what you will then feel.”

      You sound like George Bush! What kind of amalgam is that? It would be like linking conventional medicine to Mengele.

      Now,as I told you before, I have tried conventional medicine for all of my conditions. It DID help. But homeopathy helped more.

      Time to grow up? Ok, I’ll give up homeopathy and go back to being sick…how’s that for growing up?

      Do you have any chronic conditions that you are taking prescription drugs for?

  41. It’s sad that people should be triumphalist about the demise of the RLHH. On the one hand the claim is it’s just a sugar pill, and on the other you want to present it as dangerous. I attended the hospital in the 1990s as I had chronic fatigue syndrome; whilst that steadily got better (there is no conventional drug treatment), my repeated sinusitis also disappeared, never to return. I don’t understand how it works, but that doesn’t mean you ban what you don’t understand – unless you’ve got some ulterior motive. What I read on here is playground bullying, aided and abetted by the nasty crowing of the secular descendants of the Inquisition. But you’re not content with clawing the money off the NHS so you can spend it on drugs that maim and kill every single day, you also want it regulated out of existence: why? Because it doesn’t conform to what you want and it might send people away from very expensive drugs that will at best palliate without curing. You are very sad people.

    • “On the one hand the claim is it’s just a sugar pill, and on the other you want to present it as dangerous”

      It, the sugar pill, is not dangerous. It’s just useless.

      The danger lies in the fallacious thinking necessary to sustain its existence; fallacious thinking as well-demonstrated by you.

      • “The danger lies in the fallacious thinking necessary to sustain its existence; fallacious thinking as well-demonstrated by you.”

        I think he is right on calling you the secular descendants of the Inquisition.
        Pierce, Wittgenstein, Ayn Rand and the Skeptics……..should I add the Bauhaus to that list of robotic thinkers?

        You Skeptics think you are so superior don’t you? You are just missing that one part thar makes us human.

      • “You are just missing that one part thar makes us human.”

        Always a nice move to dehumanise your opponents, isn’t it?

  42. Why is it that anyone who has tried it finds it results in feeling better, albeit over a longer period of time.
    Modern drugs try to cure you in as short a time as possible!
    They have to trail them on humans, yet there seems to be little safe guards for the idiots who offer themselves. Hence the Northwick Park experiments, they are still suffering from the side effects. No such problem with homoepathic cures., milder yes, but a darn lot safer!!

    • Why is it that anyone who has tried it finds it results in feeling better, albeit over a longer period of time.

      Because people who are ill usually get better eventually, even if not treated at all.

      No such problem with homoepathic cures.

      There’s a different problem with homoeopathic cures: they don’t work.

      • Are you talking from experience?
        I say they DO work, for me and thousands of other people.
        “People who are ill usually get better eventually, even if not treated at all” Are you for real!
        My God I hope you don’t tell people who are on their last legs that. Or those who have tried convential drugs which have not worked and who are giving up. ” Hang on in there, you’ll get better eventually!! But whatever you do don’t try Homoethapy!

      • Let’s leave to one side for the moment your utter inability to understand why anecdotal evidence is worthless for chromic fluctuating disease amuse us instead with your tale of a miracle cure. What did you have? Metastatic melanoma? Appendicitis? Transecting spinal cord injury?

      • Are you talking from experience?

        Yes. When I’m ill, or suffer a minor injury, I usually get better without any intervention.

        I say they DO work, for me and thousands of other people.

        I say that the evidence strongly suggests that you are wrong. When properly controlled trials are carried out, your anecdotal evidence turns out to be the result of exactly the sort of spontaneous remission I referred to, combined with regression to the mean, confirmation bias, and the placebo effect.

        “People who are ill usually get better eventually, even if not treated at all” Are you for real!
        My God I hope you don’t tell people who are on their last legs that.

        Note that I didn’t say always. I said usually. Some conditions don’t resolve spontaneously (and everyone dies of something eventually).

        Or those who have tried convential drugs which have not worked and who are giving up. ” Hang on in there, you’ll get better eventually!! But whatever you do don’t try Homoethapy!

        No, I’d be more likely to say “try it if you want, but you’ll just be wasting your money because it’s nonsense. And for God’s sake make sure you also see a proper doctor.”

        I’d be more concerned about those who are persuaded by homoeopaths and thir ilk not to try real medicine, but to rely instead on quackery.

  43. Who cares where the cure comes from as long as it makes you better!
    What is “real medicine” anyway? Only the ability to make you better is what patients want, surely!
    By the way you do not have to pay for homeopathic treatment, its FREE on the NHS and long will it continue!!

  44. “Yes. When I’m ill, or suffer a minor injury, I usually get better without any intervention.”

    Anyone I know that has tried homeopathy has seen improvements from it. Be it injury, acute or chronic conditions.
    The science doesn’t know how to prove it efficacy, I believe science will find a way someday.

    As for all the homeopathy bashers, try it!! Most of you are English on this forum, right? There are plenty good homeopaths in England and your own Royals use nothing but homeopathy. They seem to not die too young.

    • Anyone I know that has tried homeopathy has seen improvements from it. Be it injury, acute or chronic conditions.

      Without a control group there is no way of knowing that it was the homoeopathy that caused the improvement.

      The science doesn’t know how to prove it efficacy, I believe science will find a way someday.

      Is it claimed that patients treated with homoeopathy have better outcomes than patients not treated with homoeopathy? If so, then science already has a means of determining whether this is the case: it is called the controlled trial.

    • As for all the homeopathy bashers, try it!!

      The “homeopathy bashers” are not so arrogant as to assume that their personal experience would trump properly controlled trials.

    • “your own Royals use nothing but homeopathy. They seem to not die too young.”

      This is just wrong. Please acknowledge this. Please also comment on the fact that when they are ‘really’ ill they go rushing to the hospital for some ‘conventional’ medicine.

      Also, please comment on the fact that many (if not all, but this is only a guess) “homeopathy bashers” have tried homeopathy. Many have devoted a great deal of time to researching it, trying to understand it; this and other forms of quackery; oh, AND ‘conventional’ medicine; AND science in the wider context. Have you?

    • Princess Royal in conversation with this Monkey.

      “I was brought up on homeopathy”

      Hardly a ringing endorsement, though admittedly she couldn’t quite bear to go where the evidence leads. Certainly no suggestion that she would be so daft as to ignore real medicine for real illness.

      Was the Queen Mother’s colostomy bag homeopathic?

  45. Many have devoted a great deal of time to researching it, trying to understand it; this and other forms of quackery; oh, AND ‘conventional’ medicine; AND science in the wider context. Have you?

    You want to understand it, start by reading Kent and Hahnemann.
    Looking at double blind placebo controlled studies won’t take you anywhere.
    And the best way to understand it is to try it.
    Find a good homeopath and go there. Once you experience it’s effects, you’ll change your mind.

    • Many have devoted a great deal of time to researching it, trying to understand it; this and other forms of quackery; oh, AND ‘conventional’ medicine; AND science in the wider context. Have you?

      Enough to know that homoeopathy is nonsense, and that it doesn’t work.

      You want to understand it, start by reading Kent and Hahnemann.
      Looking at double blind placebo controlled studies won’t take you anywhere.

      The best evidence shows that the remedies have no effect. What someone wrote a couple of hundred years ago won’t change that – ugly facts will kill a beautiful theory every time.

      And the best way to understand it is to try it.
      Find a good homeopath and go there. Once you experience it’s effects, you’ll change your mind.

      You haven’t understood anything that has been written here about the reason for doing properly controlled trials, have you?

  46. Canard Blanc, you know this optical illusion?

    >-<

    (I know the typed version doesn’t work, it’s just so you know which one I mean) You would say “measuring won’t help you!” “The only way is to experience it [look at it]” “You’ll see that the lines are of different lengths!”

    It’s clear that you will not even TRY to understand the arguments of those who get that homeopathy is a sham. What I would really like to know is; how do you, personally, draw a line? I mean really! By your reasoning, there will be NO LIMIT to the ways in which the cunning could dupe money out of you.

    Look at this: I just cast a spell that stopped a meteor falling out of the sky and on to your head. Don’t worry about evidence, just experience the results… No bump on the head! You owe me £200. No cheques please.

  47. Yes, for sure you have a good point about the meteor.
    But what if someone has experienced failure with evidence based medicine and success with homeopathy?
    Should he stick to what does not work just to be in line with controlled studies?
    I understand you want coherence between your beliefs and your actions but what if accepting the paradoxical truth that homeopathy works makes you healthier? I don’t have a particular interest in homeopathy working except for the fact that it has healed me time and again where conventional medicine failed.

    • You don’t understand how to allocate responsibility for “success” despite repeated explanations.

    • what if accepting the paradoxical truth that homeopathy works makes you healthier?

      Then you have turned yourself into a bottomless well from which homeopaths will draw money and you have turned your face away from any understanding of what is really happening in your own body, in medicine and in the world. That is regrettable and pathetic.

    • “Should he stick to what does not work just to be in line with controlled studies?”

      No good doctor would insist that a person persists with a treatment that was evidently ineffective. Especially on the NHS, they couldn’t justify the cost!

      “But what if someone has experienced failure with evidence based medicine and success with homeopathy?”

      Anyone will tell you that there are a great many conditions that evidence-based medicine (EBM) is as yet unable to treat; some serious, some minor. It’s part of the problem of being evidence-based. If the evidence says that it doesn’t work you have to hold your hands up and say ‘OK!’. Not a problem for CAM devotees however.

      Where people insist on treatment despite nothing effective being available, or where the efficacy is not certain, prescriptions are made (especially if the patient is ‘pushy’) but the symptoms may well persist. However, many conditions get better by themselves over time and are linked to stress. Perhaps a certain amount of hypochondria is involved. If you stop treatment/seeking treatment and the condition was indeed stress related or self limiting then you improve and get better.

      Imagine though, that instead of just stopping the treatment, you went to see a homeopath. You would have a consultation, be soothed and have some placebo prescribed. You would go on your way and you would improve and get better.

      What is the difference? The ONLY difference, in the second case, is that you have paid some money to a homeopath.

      Actually, I tell a lie… It may also be the case that by being now enthralled to a homeopath you have started down a long and dangerous path to eschewing EBM/logic/common sense and will miss a serious illness that is not self-limiting (but easily treatable with EBM) and from which you will now slowly die. But of course this doesn’t happen all the time.

      Please understand that I’m not running to my GP every 5 minutes for some lovely conventional medicine that you think I’m such a fan of (I’m really not). I hate going to the doctor/hospital. I see a doctor when I have to register with a new one having moved house and that’s about it. I get aches, pains, colds, flu, periods of stress/depression just like many people, but they just go away. Should I get a serious condition (like when I had appendicitis) I’ll gladly take my EBM.

  48. Ok so when I get better from homeopathy it is called placebo.
    Someone will have to explain why the conventional drug didn’t have a placebo effect then but a lot of undesirable side effects instead!

      • Actually I do. I get the way you think; it is the accepted common way. As long as you see the way I think as inferior you won’t get the way I do.

    • No, it’s probably not the placebo effect. Not if you had a real physical disease in the first place.

      The fact that you keep invoking the placebo effect to explain changes in your medical status shows either you weren’t physically ill in the first place or something else was going on.

      As an aside, I’ll repeat an observation I’ve made many times, users of SCAM therapies, by their own definitions of what illness is, seem to be some of the least well people you will ever meet. And the irony that they never appreciate is that they keep telling us how many times they and their family keep going back to the SCAMster, which, again is consistent either with them not reall having a proper illness in the first place or that they do have a proper illness but it just follows it’s natural history.

    • Blanc: I never mentioned placebo. This particular line of argument has nothing to do with placebo.

      I don’t believe that you can’t understand that just because one thing happens AFTER another thing-it doesn’t necessarily have to have happened BECAUSE of that thing.

      When the postman comes to the door the dog barks to make him go away. The postman then goes away (having posted the letters) and the dog stops barking, satisfied that he has deterred the intruder. Obviously the dog has had no effect whatsoever on the actions of the postman. I DO understand how the dog thinks and the dog’s thinking IS inferior mine.

      Analogous to what John Benneth says in another comment thread, the dog KNOWS it deterred the postman from ‘personal experience’. If the dog experimented with not barking at the postman one day, it’d see that he still went away and realise that his barking was nothing to do with it. Or perhaps think that his bark, now diluted, was even more powerful than before :o)

      I’m still waiting for you to explain how you draw a line so that you are not totally vulnerable to any quack out there.

      I just dangled a piece of quartz and stopped a plane from falling on your house. That’s another £200 please… Shall I start you a tab?

  49. Yes please start me a tab! I don’t like planes falling on my house!!
    I have had conditions considered chronic by the medical establishment and for which other options failed been cured by homeopathy.
    I understand your point and it is very much valid.
    This is the source of the rift between homeopaths and allopaths.
    Allopathy wants to know what and how it cures. It also wants treatments that can be proven effective.
    There is obviously nothing wrong with that.
    Now homeopaths are more empiricists and do not care about proof as they consider that their observation of successful treatments is enough. For me there is nothing wrong with that either.
    I know that for for a skeptic’s mind that does not pass muster, and good on you for sticking to what you believe in.
    I will stick to what I have experienced working. I also believe allopathy is great sometimes and I will use that when I see fit.

    • You are clearly stating that your thinking is no different from that of the dog who barks at the postman – sees the ’empirical’ result of the postman leaving and so is happy with his actions.

      I am not sure there is much more to say on the matter?

    • This is the source of the rift between homeopaths and allopaths.

      I thought that the source of the rift was that all the “allopaths” died back in the 19th century, but the homoeopaths haven’t noticed yet.

  50. Who’s that man with a black and white cat?
    It’s postman Pat!

    Are empirical results not enough when it’s about your health?
    I understand it’s not enough when building a nuclear plant but if you experience something to work and give up on it because there is no double blinded placebo controlled clinical study, wouldn’t that be too bad?
    I mean if evidence based medicine had all the answers, that would be one thing, but you have yo admit that as good as it is with emergencies it is not great at chronic conditions.

  51. No. What you call ’empirical results’ are definitely not good enough for my health. Others call them anecdotes.

    If I were to become seriously ill, I would want to understand the evidence base for my treatments – and not just hope my doctor had been fooled by post hoc reasoning from a select number of previous cases.

    And, unlike homeopathy, modern medicine does not have all the answers. That is why the collection of robust evidence is so important.

  52. So Blanc, you freely admit that you have the intellectual capacity of a yapping dog. Yay for you.

    I think we’re done here.

  53. Quite. I would have thought my dog would have picked up problems with the bark/postman leaves hypothesis quicker than Canard Blanc.

  54. @Canard Noir, I really don’t think homeopathy has all the answers. It is valid for certain cases.
    I would happily use modern medicine for a lot of things.
    An honest homeopath would be the first to recognize that allopathy is useful in many cases.

    • I really don’t think homeopathy has all the answers. It is valid for certain cases.

      Such as?

      An honest homeopath would be the first to recognize that allopathy is useful in many cases.

      No, “allopathy” is pretty useless. That’s why it is only used by practitioners of various types of alternative medicine these days, real doctors having abandoned it in the 19th century.

    • Yes, we are done because all you have left is insults.

      No, the discussion goes nowhere because you have not comprehended any of the points made against you. Instead you keep repeating statements that depend on ignorance of any of the fairly obvious counter-arguments. You find yourself being the butt end of jokes because you show no willingness to engage with the substance of the issues, where that would risk you having to confront the falsity of your beliefs.

      The argument involving the postman and the dog is a good one and you have been unable to respond to it.

      You could try answering Mojo’s questions, above, then you might actually learn something.

  55. Have you considered you may not know as much as you think about homeopathy?
    You guys are obsessed with “thinking right”, you remind me of religious fundamentalists.
    Actually I think that skeptics and religious fundamentalist are basically the same, most of them come from super religious families and they think that changing the surface will do something but deep down they are the same. Super emotional about “thinking”. Rationality in the service of emotionality.
    You want everyone to conform to your thinking and if they don’t you call them idiots.

    • Have you considered you may not know as much as you think about homeopathy?

      Have you?

      Have you decided what falls into your “certain cases” for which homoeopathy is valid?

    • Blanc,

      It may be unfair to describe you as utterly clueless, but at the moment you have done nothing to show that you have a clue. Until you engage with some of the counter-arguments you will get nowhere. At the moment you are retreating into the familiar tactic of rejecting our right to debate you instead of dealing with the substantive arguments. We end up with a meta-argument about the argument itself. It would be much more constructive to deal with the issues themselves.

      Try answering Mojo’s questions. The more you stonewall on this the less you look like an honest participant.

  56. So, to reduce the risk of further tedious meta-argument, here is Mojo’s question for Blanc; on its own and in bold.

    Have you decided what falls into your “certain cases” for which homoeopathy is valid?

  57. Guys, if you want to find out what homeopathy can treat, just look at Kent’s repertory.
    You can also refer to his lectures on materia medica or many other repertories or writing by homeopaths.
    Of course there is Hahnemann’s Organon of medicine that is great.
    Good luck and let me know what you think, although I kind of have an idea of what you’ll think.

    • Blanc, try answering for yourself, why would we regard Kent’s and Hahnemann’s original writings as being very poor guides to whether homeopathy works? This is not a difficult question, but answering it would demonstrate that you grasp the fundamentals.

      You failed again to answer Mojo’s question. It begins to look like you cannot.

      Have you decided what falls into your “certain cases” for which homoeopathy is valid?

    • let me know what you think

      I think there are two possibilities here. Either your statement that you “don’t think homeopathy has all the answers. It is valid for certain cases” was a misleading presentation of your position, or you are simply avoiding answering the question.

  58. Blanc, you say “Actually I think that skeptics and religious fundamentalist are basically the same”, but you know homeopathy works, despite current evidence to the contrary, because it’s written in an old book?

    If anyone was in any doubt as to ‘the way you think’ (to paraphrase), that doubt has now been lifted.

    • I do not believe it works because of books. I believe it works because I have seen it work for myself, friends and relatives.
      You were asking me what I thought It worked for. If I told you it works for this and that for me, you would dismiss it as anecdotal evidence since you are convinced it doesn’t work anyway and I have no scientific data to back it up.
      On the contrary you are the one believing it doesn’t work based on books (in this case scientific studies).
      You are denying the reality of homeopathy working for millions based on scientific dogma.
      Therefore you are fundamentalists.

      • Answer the specific questions you have been asked and you might learn something.

        You can now add another;

        Why is anecdotal evidence an unreliable guide to what works in medicine?

        As Mojo says, none of the reasons why you have not answered the questions do you any credit. You end up loom either evasive, disingenuous or simply rather thick.

        It’s not for our benefit that you should engage with this properly, but your own.

      • Ah, dear old autocorrecting text.

        “As Mojo says, none of the reasons why you have not answered the questions do you any credit. You end up looking either evasive, disingenuous or simply rather thick.”

  59. It’s not the London Homoeopathic Hospital that bothers me directly, it’s the backstreet quacks pretending to be doctors that are the most dangerous.

    It seems that for the most part RLHIM don’t advocate homeopathic vaccines or for treat serious conditions (I may have missed some occasions)

    I wonder if Peter Fisher actually believes everything he says?
    Perhaps he feels that lying to his patients and peddling placebos for less serious cases, saves money and is justified?

    Unfortunately the London Homoeopathic Hospital indirectly harms by giving credence to this peculiar practice and appears to legitimize witchcraft.

    “the British people” & “many, many MPs” have a history of making bad decisions. I expect the when Lizzy II & Prince Charles finally pop their respective clogs, support for state sponsored homeopathy will dwindle. Unless of course William is as dim-witted as his father.

    • Unless of course William is as dim-witted as his father.

      Well, the mother didn’t know what rear seatbelts were for, so genetics are not on his side.

    • Placebo is a powerful intervention that is responsible for about 20% of positive outcome following GPs consultations and other healthcare professionals. A lot of the traditional Western medicine is relaying heavily on the placebo effect. Some surgical interventions are providing just incisions without any radical surgical procedure and they result in complete cure.

      • Do you have a reference for that 20%?

        It is incredibly important to know what that figure means. By all means peoples’ mood may improve after a consultation – a well know effect of placebo treatment. But that does not mean the course of illness has changed.

        Placebo effects require a lot more circumspect thought than advocates of superstitious medicine appear to show.

  60. I was just passing by when I noticed the incredible stupidity and ignorance of many of the contributors to this so call discussion. I do not intend to remain in this debate but as a scientist with 4 science degrees and some research experience in the RLHH I was just so disgusted with the rubbish contained in this thread that I could not contain my disgust. Good luck.

    • As a scientist, I would hope you would have answered my question for a reference for your assertions.

      Instead, we get petulance. I think they must teach that tactic in quack school.

      • Pity, Will, the uninformed need light!
        Just remember it is the cracked who let in light!
        I do know what you mean but people should have their say no matter how misguided they are, that way they might also see the light. However do not think that you will change the views only let other people know there are alternatives!!

  61. I wonder how many of the above contributors have actually used homeopathy prescribed by a registered homeopath. You are nothing but smug fodder for the western drug company machine in the guise of enlightened cynicism. May the bugs be with you…

  62. What an ignorant article showing no understanding of what homeopathy is or how it works or the fact that it is used successfully on animals and children as well as adults. I attended the Homeopathic hospital when I was a child and it was a clean bright and healthy place to be. Oh I was cured. No toxic drugs for me.

  63. Great news! The Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital is NOT closing, the Scottish Parliament is to look at keeping it open. There is also a case being brought against the NHS for stopping treatment, when somebody attending the Homeopathic Hospital had there funding withdrawn, without offering any comparable treatment. The fight is far from over. Long may it continue!! Watch this space and I will let you know developing news.

    • Oh, I can explain it perfectly well. I’m just not here to educate you.

      Anyway, what’s the explanation of an acronym got to do with the closing of a homeopathic ‘hospital’ and the ludicrous notion of a ‘comparable treatment’ to homeopathy?

  64. It taxes my credulity to think that for nearly 200 years every practitioner and patient of homoeopathy has been consistently wrong in their reporting of methods and results, and in fact either lying, stupid or delusional.
    Indeed, would it not be more rational to assume that in homoeopathy, we have met a phenomenon that we neither understand nor can explain given our present scientific knowledge?
    Perhaps it may be that as yet we lack the technology to assess it accurately: perhaps our instruments of measurement are insufficiently sophisticated.
    To dismiss homeopathy out of hand because we cannot grasp it’s mechanics – to assume that all of the scientific discoveries to be made have been made – seems not only irrational and unscientific, but overtly anti-scientific.

    • Ah, the ‘Argument from Personal Incredulity’!

      The fact that you do not have the imagination or knowledge to understand how people can be fooled by inert treatments does not mean that you are right.

      Homeopaths make simple claims. They claim to be able to alter the course of illness. The only complex technology required to test this claim is ‘counting’. We count how many people do get better and compare by counting people who get better with a placebo. Again, that you cnnot comprehend how fair trials work does not invalidate them.

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