The Swizz Report on Homeopathy

HiH Swizz Report

Homeopaths are buzzing with news that a report has been supposedly published by the Swiss Government that shows that there is a large amount of evidence for homeopath and that it should be included in the universal, compulsory Swiss insurance plans as a cost effective treatment.

This is in stark contrast by a report by the UK’s House of Commons that came to the exact opposite conclusion – that homeopathy was a placebo therapy that the balance of evidence did not support its claims of effectiveness.

Over at Zeno’s blog, much the truth behind this report has already been exposed. It was not written by the Swiss government, but by a group of homeopaths under the editorship of academics at the University of Witten/Herdecke in Germany. This is a private University that specialises in training doctors in alternative medicine, including homeopathy, and is closely associated with the Anthroposophy movement – the esoteric, ‘ecofascist’ sect founded by early 20th Century Austrian mystic, Rudolf Steiner.

It cannot be relied upon to be a dispassionate, scientific examination. Indeed, we should be most careful that the authors are presenting the available evidence and science without preference to their own vested interests. Indeed, the Swiss government, when they received the report, agreed with an overall review panel that stated,

[I]t is very obvious that all or some of the authors have a positive attitude towards the treatments in question or are convinced about their efficacy. Unquestionably, strict proponents of the usual hierarchy of evidence will regard the presented evaluations as scientifically untenable and unreasonably positive…

This reflects the opinion of the House of Commons report that was unhappy about homeopaths had submitted evidence to the inquiry that,

P. 73 We regret that advocates of homeopathy, including in their submissions to our
inquiry, choose to rely on, and promulgate, selective approaches to the treatment of
the evidence base as this risks confusing or misleading the public, the media and
policy-makers.

So, the Swiss report is quite long and examining it all would take considerable effort. So, for now, lets just look at one area: Chapter 3, and specifically, the area that deals with the mode of action of homeopathy.

The UK parliamentarians were quite clear on what they would expect from the science and evidence, “that it is both scientifically plausible and demonstrable.” Does the Swiss report come close to demonstrating this?

The Swiss Report does not start well,

The dilutions’ mode of action requires a homeopathic explanation. Homeopathic remedies are backed by 200 years of empirical observation of millions of patients which shows that high potencies are often particularly effective if they are optimally matched to the patient’s individual symptom picture. The mode of action of homeopathic remedies cannot be demonstrated with modern scientific methods. Due to a misapplied positivism that sees the reality of nature merely as the sum total of its measurable and quantifiable phenomena, a ‘lack of evidence’ is often seen to mean the same as ‘lack of effectiveness’.

When I first read this report (which I would bet most homeopaths promoting it have not) I was amazed at this assertion, near the beginning, that homeopathy was effective because it had been around for a long time. I suspected the rest of the report would be used to support this prior belief. We were not in for a dispassionate review of the evidence since the conclusion was assumed from the start.

The writers are quite right to state that the mode of homeopathy cannot be demonstrated with modern scientific techniques, but then muddy the waters to suggest that this is due to some misapplied philosophical position.  We should note, that no matter what philosophical position you take, homeopathy still cannot demonstrate any specific effects that might hint at a mode of action.

More muddying ensures by then conflating this with the idea that this shows a lack of effectiveness. Yes, a lack of evidence does not mean that there is a lack of effectiveness, but we might expect after 200 years to have found some. Indeed, there comes a point when the failure to produce evidence itself becomes evidence that there is no effect. How long do you have to search the room before you can conclude there is no elephant in there?

We then get some insight into the authors’ thinking,

The current thinking and research of mainstream medicine are influenced mainly by Newton’s mechanistic and strictly causal-analytical physics (classical reductionist biomedical model), which ignores the more complex phenomena of nature, the organism’s systemic correlations, its life processes and overall regulation, and life as a whole, as well as qualitative experiences and the phenomena of spiritual science.

It is not clear what it means to be influenced ‘mainly by Newton’s mechanistic’ model. The last hundred years has transformed much of physics, chemistry and indeed biology with a detailed and very successful view of how nature works. When looking at chemical and biochemical interactions, quantum physics is the foundation of understanding. And, it is also a straw man to presume that biologists do not look at or try to understand complex systems in biology.

To understand what the authors are alluding to here, and especially the ‘spiritual science’ throwaway remark, we need to understand who the authors are.

This chapter was headed by a group of writers by Marco Righetti who appears to be associated with something called the PanMedion Foundation. The web site directs us to the Edith Maryon Foundation. Now, Edith Maryon was an English sculptor who was included in Rudolf Steiner’s innermost circle of the founders of Anthroposophy.

Steiner professed what he called spiritual science, which was a belief that science was insufficient to understand the word on its own and that deeper insight could be gained through clairvoyant revelation and direct connection to the spirit world. What we see in this report is essentially a masked statement of Steinerist esoteric beliefs paraded as science.

Steiner’s clairvoyance led him to many beliefs including his views on astrology and agriculture which led to the Biodynamics movement. He claimed the literal existence of Atlantis and Gnomes. His views on reincarnation and karma included ideas that the white Nordic races were the most spiritually advanced and good souls would find themselves moving up the racial hierarchy as they reincarnated. He embraced homeopathy and its ‘like cure like’ philosophy and added his own “spiritual insight” to include things as using mistletoe to treat cancer, because it grew on trees like a cancer.

So, the authors of the Swiss report appear to making appeals to Steiner’s views of seeking spiritual insight into how the world works. But they want it both ways. They go on,

Modern physics with its theory of relativity and quantum physics has long overtaken Newtonian mechanics and is paving the way for an understanding of the homeopathic mechanism of action.

Here they combine an obvious assertion with what amounts to a hope. Yes, we need quantum mechanics to understand matter and energy, but this does not mean that it will shed any light on homeopathy. Indeed, quantum mechanics is not shedding any light on homeopathy – but many homeopaths, who do not understand the subject, are indeed trying to make it look so.

At the heart of their arguments is that somehow quantum processes help water form a ‘memory’ of the substances that are diluted out of homeopathic preparations. In this way, homeopaths state that clusters of water can somehow take on the properties of molecules that are no longer present in the solution.

Quantum mechanics actually tells us that this cannot happen. For many reasons.

Quantum mechanics tells us that materials have their specific properties because of their unique spatial distributions of charges and the quantised energy states within the molecules. Another molecule, such as water, and even in clusters, cannot arbitrarily assume these states and substitute itself for another molecule. This is a fundamental understanding that quantum physics gives us, yet homeopaths who pretend to understand the subject never mention it. Quantum physics is used as a fig leaf – the mysteries of the quantum  world is used to hide any mystery that the New Ager wishes to justify.

Research into the natural and possibly also spiritual scientific phenomena that underlie the biological systems is still in its very early stages.

Of course, Anthroposophists cannot openly declare that they believe in homeopathy because of the clairvoyant revelations of their cult’s founder, but instead have to couch their beliefs in a appeals to be more ‘broad minded’ about the nature of evidence.

So, more claims,

Despite the problem with measurability, unexpected and inexplicable changes have been observed in recent years in physical-chemical experiments with potentized solutions, even though it has not yet been possible to present hard scientific evidence. Potentized remedies certainly comply with wave and quantum physics, the results of cluster research, and the chemistry of solids, as well as with modern chaos theory. On the basis of this, a mode of action that is conveyed by specific electromagnetic, energetic and structural changes in the potentized solution is conceivable; but homeopathic phenomena might well rest on processes that cannot be ascertained by natural science.

This is contradictory. The authors want us to accept that homeopathic solutions have ‘inexplicable’ effects whilst admitting there is no good evidence for this. They make more unsubstantiated claims about quantum physics but then hedge their bets and say homeopathy might well be outside of ‘natural science’.

This view is then compounded by the statement that,

The vital force, just as vitality in general, cannot be measured and quantified by science, but it exists as a phenomenon.

The vital force is a superstitious and prescientific explanation for what animates living bodies. Here we see the Spiritual Scientists asserting its reality despite there being no evidence for it. And indeed, several hundred years of enlightenment thinking that would suggest they were utterly wrong. No doubt, they are convinced of the existence of this mystical force through clairvoyance.

The authors, in the end, are desperate to sandbox homeopathy. To exclude all forms of rational enquiry that might jeopardise their business. Without explaining why, the report makes an appeal to only allow their own pseudoscientific methods of evaluation,

Homeopathy has its own particular research tradition and has always relied on empirical research. Its system-immanent research includes drug provings on the healthy subject, the exact phenomenological observation of symptoms and reactions, the individualized treatment of the patient on the basis of the similarity principle, evaluation of the healing processes,and observation of numerous individual cases and – in epidemics – collectives as well as its special drug manufacturing techniques. From the point of view of homeopathy, this is the only kind of research that is relevant to its practice.

and,

Future research methods must respect the unique qualities of homeopathy by attaching more weight to single case evaluations, by including practically and expertly applied homeopathic treatment into research and clinical practice in order to identify its real potential and limitations. The recently introduced outcome studies are promising in this respect as they do not focus on specific effect but on the overall practical treatment and patient care in homeopathy.

There is much more in the so-called Swiss Report. All of it is special pleading, attempts to lower the standards of evidence, exclude contradictory evidence and cherry pick studies that suit. I shall leave other, if they have the strength, to look at other chapters.

But for me, this dismal appeal to superstitious ways of knowing, the blatant disregard for facts and the attempts to muddy the water of evidence based medicine, are all I need to ignore this advert for homeopathic medicine.

485 comments for “The Swizz Report on Homeopathy

  1. PL Hayes
    May 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    “How long do you have to search the room before you can conclude there is no elephant in there?”

    No time at all when you already know that the room is too small to contain an elephant.

    • Daniel
      May 23, 2012 at 10:59 am

      But… quantum something something! Other dimensions! Spiritual elephants!

      How can you be so narrow-minded!

      ;-)

    • Andrew
      May 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      No room, no matter how small, is too small to contain the elephant someone believes it contains. If they believe the room contains an elephant they simply shift their view of how big an elephant *is*. As you search the room, the elephant gets smaller and smaller in the believers mind but all the more powerful at the same time.

  2. Mojo
    May 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Quite apart from anything else, it doesn’t matter whether or not “current thinking and research of mainstream medicine are influenced mainly by Newton’s mechanistic and strictly causal-analytical physics (classical reductionist biomedical model), which ignores the more complex phenomena of nature, the organism’s systemic correlations, its life processes and overall regulation, and life as a whole, as well as qualitative experiences and the phenomena of spiritual science”.

    All RCTs do is test whether a particular course of treatment is more effective than whatever it is being tested against. They have nothing to do with any explanation of how the treatment is purported to work. If the treatment doesn’t actually effect the patient any different to a dummy treatment, then the treatment isn’t doing anything.

    If a treatment is tested against placebo and it doesn’t do any better, then they can invoke whatever kind of thinking they want; the treatment itself didn’t actually do anything.

  3. Nuckpang
    May 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    “a ‘lack of evidence’ is often seen to mean the same as ‘lack of effectiveness’.”

    Okay folks, that’s it, we’re done here. *Dusts off hands* It’s always so nice when there’s one line that clearly lets you know you don’t have to read any further.

  4. JimR
    May 21, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Based on a limited sample, I have to conclude that the real nature of homeopathy is unknown in the USA. People are amazed that the dilutions are so extreme and credulous that more dilutions create a stronger response. Although labels will reveal a homeopathic product in mice-type, that will convey nothing to most people.

    I see there is a a brouhaha in Canada about a class-action lawsuit alleges that Boiron’s Oscillococcinum is mislabeled because it does not have detectable amounts of the stated active ingredients.
    Interesting approach! The supporters should be delighted to have a day in court to present evidence of its effectiveness, even though they would have to admit there is no measurable amount in a solution. This will play out over a long time as the courts are slow. It looks like Canada has joined the fight.

  5. Gav
    May 22, 2012 at 9:04 am

    I am currently in China and have no access to Twitter, but I would like to know how homeopatic Dana is responding to this because he was parading the ‘swiss report’ as a great victory for homeopathy. I would appreciate if someone would tell me, in a reply to this message, what he has tweeted in response.

  6. May 22, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Even the granting the impossible scenario that quantum physics one day proves that water has a memory, that would not explain why human physiology follows the law of similars, nor why all that spectacular healing they always report can only occur outside of properly conducted trials.

    This isn’t just a Gish Gallop. This is Gish pole-vaulting from a motorbike.

  7. May 22, 2012 at 11:51 am

    The real problem with this report is that in the scamtific method, the fact that the authors reject Shang et. al (on the grounds that it conflicts with their beliefs so must necessarily be wrong, because of course their beliefs are Revealed Truth), is asserted to be evidence that Shang can now be ignored and filed under disproven.

    I think we will wait a very long time in vain for homeopaths to admit that any test which fails to support their beliefs, is a fair test. Similarly I am sure they will dismiss this and all other critiques because in failing to accept the underlying Truth(TM) we have demonstration that we are the ones who do not understand.

    Still worth doing, of course, but we will be playing whack-a-mole for a long time on this one.

    • Will
      May 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      It’s a classic ‘catch-22′ in that all tests will show that homoeopathy either doesn’t work or if they do show efficacy, that they were poorly designed tests. This is because homoeopathy simply doesn’t work.

      This means that scientists will ‘never accept evidence in favour of homoeopathy’ because there is none. So, in their minds, by dismissing all evidence contrary to their position/cherry picking etc. homoeopathy believers are only doing the same thing they assume we’re doing. Namely being closed-minded to evidence that threatens ones position. Unfortunately this stems from them thinking that there is a ‘scientific position’, when of course there isn’t one: We go wherever the evidence leads.

      Because it is beyond homoeopaths to understand WHY we say what we do, let alone WHAT we say; there is, sadly, no way forward. At least that I can see.

      • Mojo
        May 22, 2012 at 10:00 pm

        The homoeopaths have invented another catch: trials that show no significant difference between homoeopathy and placebo are defined as “statistically non-significant” or “inconclusive” rather than negative. They then say that these “inconclusive” trials mean “that we need more research”. It’s a great catch: each throw of the dice comes up as either “homoeopathy does something” or “throw again”.

        • Will
          May 23, 2012 at 8:00 am

          Or when the study is flawed and a conclusion isn’t reached it means the efficacy of homoeopathy ‘can’t be ruled out’. Then that’s the headline.

          I might as well just publish blank papers and say they’re a growing body of evidence that my theories have yet to be disproved!

      • brea
        May 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm

        Homeopathy works there´s no doubt about it. Beliefs have nothing to do with it. Facts are what count and that we can se everyday despite your futile efforts to undermine it.

        • Will
          May 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm

          Brea: there is doubt about it.

          I doubt it.

          Do you have anything to say in support of homoeopathy other than ‘lots of people have been fooled by the scam so the scam must be true’ or ‘I have a personal anecdote of homoeopathy working for me/my kid/my auntie’?

          *really getting tired of this*

          On second thoughts…

          Andy, are you making these pro-homoeopathy people up to boost traffic to your site?

          In fact, the more I think about it, no one could be THIS stupid and still function in the world. I mean, they would have to eat. And breathe.

          It’s a bloody scam. You invent these absolute cretins and we dance about arguing with them.

          Well I’m on to you buddy!

        • May 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm

          Please show us some of these facts.

    • Andy Lewis
      May 22, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      As always, homeopaths are not the intended audience. There are people though that will make decisions that will effect homeopathy that need to understand the background to what homeopaths assert.

      • Iqbal
        May 23, 2012 at 2:47 am

        Reading the blog and the comments is quite interesting. How many of you are doctors who would know what goes inside a human body? Talk to doctors: the more sophisticated the investigation tools become, the less the natural sciences seem to work inside the human body.

        Time you read what a doctor and teacher writes:

        “Modern medicine, in its present form, was accepted as a science in the European Universities in the twelfth century. Ever since that time medicine has been riding piggyback on natural sciences. The latter depend on linear mathematics. All that science does is to make mathematical models of the happenings of this universe to explain them and then hope the formulae, thus derived, would work in real life situations. This happens very rarely in reality. Mathematical formulae are accurate in themselves, but when applied to the dynamic universe they go wrong. This is the bane of modern medical science and research.

        When medicine started as a science in the European universities, it followed the Pascalanian model of “Doctrine of Probabilities”. Blaise Pascal, a parish priest, came up with these “doctrines” when asked to arbitrate in a game of “dice.” All other natural sciences were also following the same logic. However, in the seventeenth century, a brilliant French mathematician, Rene Descartes, changed all that with his proclamation of the cogito ergo sum. He cut off the human body (res extensa) from the human mind (res cogitans) and declared that everything depends on logic and not on probabilities. Even scientists accepted this as the last word. Most people became converts to this new line of thinking!!!!!!!!!!

        Using the deterministic predictability model of Newtonian physics and Einstein’s theory, we have been conducting research both in diagnosis and interventions. We have been carrying on for so long. Conventional physics of inertia, acceleration, action-reaction relationships and the law of gravity has helped many innovations like the jet engine, rockets to outer space and many others. But the new quantum physics has turned this whole universe of scientists upside down. Similarly, conventional natural sciences did help medicine to grow to a certain degree but not beyond a particular point. If medicine were to learn its lessons from quantum physics, we would have had a quantum jump in our understanding of the human body and its functions. One or two examples might be in order. We presume that blood pressure is a product of cardiac output and peripheral resistance, based on the Ohm’s law of fluid flow. This law applies only to flow in straight tubes. There are no such tubes in the human body. Many drugs that we devised to control raised blood pressure based on this definition eventually failed to deliver the goods in the long run. Alpha-beta blockers should have been the best panacea for raised blood pressure; but, alas, they failed. On the contrary, beta-blockers, which raise the peripheral resistance, work well to lower raised pressures!

        Doctors have been predicting the unpredictable future of a human being assuming linear relationships, based solely on certain parameters of the human body, ignoring the mind and the genes! More dangerous have been our interventions to alter those initial states, in an otherwise healthy person, with the hope that changing the initial state would maintain the benefit over a period of years and decades. Here is the crux of our problem in medicine. Most of such interventions in healthy people have not borne fruit in real life situations! Lowering healthy people’s raised blood pressures and blood sugars have not been useful in the long run in apparently healthy asymptomatic people. Recent audits have shown that this kind of linear interventions have done more harm than good!”

        Don’t tell me that because of above doesn’t mean that homeopathy works. This is the most pathetic argument made by those who have no understanding or exposure to homeopathy or for that matter the human body.l

        • Andy Lewis
          May 23, 2012 at 5:46 am

          Complete nonsense. From start to finish.

          • Iqbal
            May 23, 2012 at 9:20 am

            What of above you did not understand?

            It is reproduced in simple english.

          • Lecanardnoir
            May 23, 2012 at 9:54 am

            You are using English words but with no regard to meaning.

            For example, ”linear’ has specific meaning. Can you define it in the context you have used?

          • deetee
            May 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm

            The word spaghetti gobbledegook is not Iqbal’s, but Dr Hegde’s.
            http://www.kma.org.kw/kmj/Issues/dec2002/where%20is.pdf

            Since he clearly doesn’t understand what he is saying, there is little hope of Iqbal doing so.

          • Iqbal
            May 25, 2012 at 8:40 pm

            These were a practicing doctor and teacher’s comments. You have noted his educational background in medical field?

            If these sounded Greek to you then should you not be questioned about your knowledge and authority to write on a medical subject?

          • Andrew G
            May 29, 2012 at 6:53 am

            Couldn’t agree more!

            See

            http://www.bmhegde.com/whereisreality.html

            I assume he has reinvented the post modern essay generator for alternive medicine

        • Daniel
          May 23, 2012 at 11:13 am

          Holy incoherence, Batman!

          What does this all have to do with homeopathy having, on average, zero net effect over placebo?

          No matter what supposedly causes homeopathy to work, if it did we should be able to tell just by *counting* successes. Or is *counting* now also a form of narrow-minded Newtonian icky-evil science?

          • Iqbal
            May 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

            The word spaghetti gobbledegook is not Iqbal’s, but Dr Hegde’s.
            http://www.kma.org.kw/kmj/Issues/dec2002/where%20is.pdf

            Since he clearly doesn’t understand what he is saying, there is little hope of Iqbal doing so.

            Do you know who Dr. Hegde is?

            Please compare your background in medicine/medical science with Dr. Hegde and then we take your comments in proper prespective.

          • Daniel
            May 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm

            Dr. Hedge seems to have a certain bias towards traditional medicine. I am, however, not taking much issue with what he said.

            My question, Iqbal, was how that relates to homeopathy being fantasy medicine? You quoted the good doctor – why? What do you think it explains?

          • Daniel
            May 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

            “Hegde”, goddammit.

            Anyway, don’t try to hide behind other people’s opinions. (Because, let’s be clear, what he’s writing is not exactly a level-headed appraisal of the situation.)

            Point remains – how does it validate homeopathy?

        • Lecanardnoir
          May 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm

          Prediction: Iqbal will not simply answer a direct question.

          • Iqbal
            May 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm

            So to start with one thing is clear: none of you are doctors.

            So what is the knowledge base used for your comments on homeopathy? Articles on the net? Exposure to homeopathy? Physics and chemistry studied in school?

            If the yard stick used to run down homeopathy does not even work for the scientific system: What is the basis of comments?

            Please read what the doctor writes:

            “Do thoughts exist? Do emotions have any role in human physiology? If the answer is yes, then we need a change of paradigm in science, at least in medical science, where the RCTs (randomized controlled studies) have been sold as the last word in medical research. The truth is that there is everything wrong with this approach. No two human beings could be compared based on a few of their phonotypical features. (On what basis can the trial group and the control group be matched?). The results are there for all to see. Most, if not all, RCTs have given unreliable results in the long run.

            But look at the following in the encyclopaedia of RCTs published by the establishment!

            “A major difficulty in dealing with trial results comes from commercial, political and/or academic pressure. Most trials are expensive to run, and will be the result of significant previous research, which is itself not cheap. There may be a political issue at stake or vested interests. In such cases there is great pressure to interpret results in a way which suits the viewer, and great care must be taken by researchers to maintain emphasis on clinical facts.”

            So at the end of all scientific trials that run for years, the drugs released are always recalled because of adverse reactions.

            These set of rules are to be used to evaluate homeopathic remedies? Cures are termed as anecdotes and effect of placebos. If 2 humans are NOT the same ever- why would you expect one remedy to cure all?

          • Andy Lewis
            May 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm

            Iqbal. I predicted you would not answer specific questions. You have not.

            Please try again. How do you define ‘linear’ in the context you quoted. In what sense is medicine linear and homeopathy not.

            Your answer will expose whether you have any idea about what you are talking.

            Once again, I predict you will ignore this question.

          • Will
            May 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm

            Iqbal: Imagine this… You know the story of the Emperor’s new clothes? In your version, the little boy would point and say “but he’s naked!” and the Emperor would say “Well, what tailoring qualifications do you have?” and the little boy would have to say “None Sir!” at which everyone would sigh and say “Great, so the Emperor is not naked after all!”.

            I have three university degrees in Chemistry (including a PhD) and nearly a decade’s experience in laboratory based chemistry and biochemistry research as well as a decent grounding (degree level) in physics, including quantum mechanics. But these things are just not important here.

            I wouldn’t want anyone to just take my word for it that homoeopathy is bollocks. Whenever I comment, I never seek to argue from authority, dazzle with science (and believe me, I could) or quote certain thinkers etc.

            It’s so much simpler than that: Just think for yourself! All you need is roughly a high school level of science education (which covers a little chemistry and, most importantly, critical thinking skills).

            However, many others on this site are your actual scientists (not just “Physics and chemistry studied in school”).

            Soooo… If you do want to expand on the odd use of the term ‘linear’, please feel free to explain at the highest level; no need to dumb down for us!

          • Andy Lewis
            May 23, 2012 at 11:19 pm

            Come on Iqbal. What do you mean by ‘linear’?

            Or is it just possible, that now you have been challenged, you realise that you have absolutely no fucking idea?

          • Vicky
            May 25, 2012 at 11:45 am

            So to start with one thing is clear: none of you are homeopaths.

            There, FIFY. You’re welcome.

            As for the rest: that’s pretty much the same nonsense you posted before. You still don’t understand that “if the answer is yes” ≠ “the answer is yes”.
            Also:

            If 2 humans are NOT the same ever- why would you expect one remedy to cure all?

            The thing is: while we’re not literally “all the same”, we’re not as different as some people (including you it seems) claim (and if we really were, homeopaths would have to throw away their repertories because they would be meaningless. Okay, in the real world they are meaningless, but homeopaths do believe remedies will produce/”heal” a particular set of symptoms, right?).

            BTW: Do you really think that

            the drugs released are always recalled because of adverse reactions

            – really? You cannot think of one (let alone a hundered, or thousand, …) drug/s that have been used for years and work just like medical trials said they would?

        • May 24, 2012 at 12:26 am

          Iqbal,

          Talk to doctors? You do know that most medical doctors say homeopathy is a load of crap, right?

          • Iqbal
            May 25, 2012 at 8:23 pm

            This is not totally correct. A good friend of mine is a surgeon and his wife a gynecologist. She developed corns on the soles of her feet making it difficult for her to walk. The surgeon neatly removed the corns. In about 4 months the corns reappeared. She talked to me.
            I checked with my homeopathic doctor and recommended she take Antim Crud 30. Within 3 days she was walking around in her high heeled shoes.

          • June 7, 2012 at 10:33 am

            @Iqbal

            I said:”You do know that most medical doctors say homeopathy is a load of crap, right?”

            You responded: “This is not totally correct.”

            Actually it is totally correct that most medical doctors think homeopathy is crap. Pointing to a few doctors who don’t think it’s crap doesn’t make the assertion that most think it is crap, any less true.

            Be careful. The kind of muddled thinking you have demonstrated is the kind that leads people into wasting their time and money investing in worthless cult therapies like homeopathy.

        • Mojo
          May 24, 2012 at 8:56 am

          Just looking at the first sentence that Iqbal copied and pasted: “Modern medicine, in its present form, was accepted as a science in the European Universities in the twelfth century.”

          “Modern medicine, in its present form”? Medicine has changed out of all recognition over the last two centuries, let alone the last nine.

          • Iqbal
            May 25, 2012 at 8:27 pm

            The logic in developing modern medicine has not changed. It follows the science as we know it today though drugs are continued to be recalled for adverse effects.

          • Mojo
            May 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm

            Has it ever occurred to you to wonder why homoeopathic remedies are never, ever, withdrawn?

          • Avijit
            July 14, 2012 at 6:23 pm

            Iqbal

            “”The logic in developing modern medicine has not changed.””

            This is totally correct. The logic is illogical:

            Look at fever: the immune system raises body temperature as a tool to fight bacteria or virus attack. And the prescribed remedy- bring down temperature!

            This is when the reason for increased body temperature is now known and to say……Medicine has changed out of all recognition over the last two centuries, let alone the last nine.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            July 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

            Avijit

            You might like to read this;

            http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/vital-signs/

            Real doctors do consider the defensive role of fever. There is a sensible discussion to be had and clinical practice should optimise the balance between competing priorities. Medicine uses drugs that have real effects so there are real debates to be had over how to use them.

            Homeopathy uses sugar pills. Any debate about how to apply them to illness is just tedious mind-wank.

            I hope this has clarified matters for you.

        • Suzanne C.
          May 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm

          Blaise Pascal was not a priest. He was a scientist and philosopher who happened to be a devout Catholic. He invented the calculator and the foundations of modern computer languages. ( anyone remember Pascal the programming language?)
          Also, his famous “wager” had nothing to do with gambling but was the simple proposition that a man gains more by believing in God, in the event that He exists, than he loses in the event that He does not. You really do not know anything about Pascal. The rest of the article seems similarly disconnected fom reality.

          • Iqbal
            May 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm

            Mojo:

            ” homoeopathic remedies are never, ever, withdrawn?”

            Why should a good medicine be withdrawn?

            Drugs are withdrawn when it is found that the adverse effects are further to the ones known for the drug and far out weigh the benefits expected/stated. Would you remember Vioxx by Merck? The company still does not accept that over 140,000 Americans alone are suspected to be dead because of adverse effects of Vioxx.

            As you see – “Medicine has changed out of all recognition over the last two centuries, let alone the last nine.” – is not correct. Because of the logic followed for developing drugs, nothing really has changed. Earlier, no adverse effects were known, now some are known, others we get to know after some years.

          • Mojo
            May 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

            As you see – “Medicine has changed out of all recognition over the last two centuries, let alone the last nine.” – is not correct.

            This may be news to you (as it seems to be to most apologists for homoeopathy), but medicine abandoned the balancing of “humours” that Hahnemann derided as “allopathy” quite some time ago.

          • Mojo
            May 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm

            And you aren’t thinking about my question in the right way. Here’s a hint, taken from a paper reviewing trials of individualized homoeopathy (Linde & Melchart: “Randomized controlled trials of individualized homeopathy: a state-of-the-art review” J Altern Complement Med. 1998 Winter;4(4):371-88):

            “The motivation for doing trials seems less to be innovation or self-critical evaluation of performance (which is generally considered to be the motivation for good research) but rather justification in front of a hostile scientific establishment.”

  8. JimR
    May 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Clever alternative to homeopathic products:
    http://boingboing.net/2012/05/16/placebo-now-available-in-maxi.html

  9. pv
    May 22, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Even if the Swiss Report is, as Dullman and other occupants of Alternative Reality insist, favourable to homeopathy and if homeopathy is effective at all for anything where are the 200+ years worth of cases to examine. Who are these people? Where are the cancer cases? Where are all the cases of infectious diseases and non-self-limiting conditions cured by homeopathy? In the real world there would be hundreds of thousands, millions even, of verifiable cases.

    In the history of medicine has there ever been a more thoroughly researched idea, with no previous or present history or evidence of efficacy, than homeopathy?

    Whatever the Swiss report says, the premise of homeopathy (like theology) is a fantasy. People believe in the power of homeopathy like others believe in the power of prayer. And rrrespective of the facts, which are overwhelmingly not in favour of homeopathy or prayer, believers will continue to insist in their righteousness.

    Furthermore Politicians and law makers will pander to them because it is their right to delude themselves. Of course it’s all in the name of “choice”. And the Politician’s right to pander to prejudice in the name of that holy grail trumps all their other obligations.

    • deetee
      May 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Another clincher is the claim that there are “hundreds” of clinical trials attesting to the benefits of homeopathy (but note it is never “tens of thousands”, or even “thousands”).

      You would think that given the time frame concerned, homeopaths could have generated a bit more robust evidence base than this. After all, conventional medicines have studies of good quality in reputable peer-reviewed scientific journals that outnumber the homeopaths paltry publication efforts by huge orders of magnitude. (Around 20C worth, I’d say)

      • deetee
        May 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

        EG:
        Pubmed search for randomized trial = 450,000 hits.
        Pubmed search for randomized trial homeopathy = 400 hits.

  10. Badly Shaved Monkey
    May 23, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Iqbal

    In case it helps, but it doesn’t really, deetee is a doctor. I am a vet. You are talking rubbish. Satisfied?

    • Iqbal
      May 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      Why do you need to call your self a Badly Shaved Monkey?

      Our family and immediate relatives include 22 members with a cumulative age of over 600 years. We have within family a homeopathic doctor. None of us, have ever used allopathic drugs other than the mandatory childhood vaccinations or the required medical intervention when, to be mothers went for delivery to hospitals. (I am 57 and I was born at home.)

      Not that we don’t fall sick. Fevers (includes malaria and typhoid), bad throat, injuries to children while playing (or fighting), stomach disorders, skin problems, dog bites (pet dogs mishandled) etc. have been always handled with homeopathic remedies only.

      My father broke his spine in a road accident many years ago. He was in plaster for 16 weeks. The follow up medicines used were homeopathic. The orthopedic surgeon had warned him of paralysis of the lower limbs. My father even today walks on his own. My mother was recommended for knee transplant. She uses homeopathic remedies and walks on original knees even after 12 years of diagnosis. My son damaged the meniscus in his knee in a game of football and was operated upon. The follow up medicines are homeopathic.

      I do not record all medical cases in the family. It would be a big list if it was done. However, for any one falling ill within the family, every time the choice is homeopathic remedies and with complete cure.

      For over 26 years I have lived in a city different to the doctor and we consult him over phone. This would translate into too many anecdotes to be handled with placeboes over too long time and repeatedly with doctor not in the same room.

      This would not be possible if the homeopathic remedies did not work.

      • John H
        May 25, 2012 at 10:37 pm

        Hello Iqbal

        Glad to hear about your fathers spine being cleared up.

        I have compression fractures to my L1, L2, L4, L5, T12, T11, T10 and T9 vertebrae. Mostly these are superior end plate collapses.

        I have had 4 kyphoplasty operations, repairing (or at least stabilising) 5 of the aforementioned vertebrae.

        My first op was Feb/2011 and my last op was Feb/2012. Basically I am now held together in the middle with surgical cement (with some added boron to make it EM opaque).

        It still hurts a lot. And I mean a LOT.

        Plus the underlying problem has moved to my left hip, thigh and knee.

        I am not osteopenic or osteoporotic (+ scores on DEXA) , nor do I have cancer (unless the blood tests were wrong). They are the principal causes of fractured vertebrae.

        Two hospital consultants (one a FRCS) and three other doctors have told me I am “unique” and a “mystery”. Great – massively reassuring

        I take Calcium and Vitamin D supplements as well as Strontium Ranelate to strengthen my osteoblast/osteoclast balance (in favour of the former).

        I am supposed to move onto Forsteo but that will probably not happen on the grounds of cost. I do not seem to be part of the Big Society.

        It still hurts. Big time.

        Sorry about harping on about the hurty stuff but it hurts.

        To help with the hurty stuff I take CoCodamol, Gabapentin, Naproxen and Diazepam. Plus Lanzoprezole to protect my guts from the NSAID.

        If your family homeopath can recommend a course of treatment for me I will be inordinately grateful.

        (Similarly, If there is anyone out there with some sort of EBM bio-medical background who might have a clue what is wrong with me I would love to talk to you). I am happy to be a guinea pig.)

      • John H
        May 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm

        Come on Iqbal.

        You have gone very quiet.

        I am desperately seeking your help here with a severe medical problem which I sure your family homeopath could help me with – especially with the success he had with your fathers spine.

        At the moment I am a victim of the global medico-pharmaceutical conspiracy. They are experimenting on me by trying to turn me into a new form of human called “Alkaline Earth Man”.

        So far they have pumped magnesium, calcium, strontium and boron into me.

        I urgently need your help before they begin on the beryllium and radium. I do not want to glow in the dark. I am sure you can sympathise with me.

        And don’t even get me started on unbinilium. Luckily for me they cannot find it at the moment.

        All help gratefully received.

        John

        • Vicky
          May 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm

          Nah, they’ve realised project “Alkaline Earth Man” failed so they’re now trying plan B. Since they’ve used boron I think it’s “Earth Metal Man”.

          • John H
            May 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

            Thank you Vicky.

            I stand corrected (because I was wrong) and chastised (because one loses the high moral ground if one screws up the science when dealing with woosters).

            Of course I actually meant Barium. It shows up as little black specks in the cement to make it visible on X-ray and MRI.

            Personally I thought a big lump of polyfilla was pretty visible anyway but what do I know.

            So Alkaline Earth Man is back on plan.

          • John H
            May 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm

            Vicky

            I cannot find an internet rule which covers accidentally screwing up the real science when criticising pseudoscience/quack nonsense.

            The closest I can get is Muphry’s Law which usually applies to people making errors when trying to correct someone elses errors – normally grammar or spelling.

            I hereby claim that my stupidiity in confusing Boron with Barium should henceforth be known as “John Muphry’s Law”

          • Vicky
            May 26, 2012 at 9:23 pm

            You don’t need to apologise/explain. I know what it’s like to be in severe pain – plus: I believed it without asking any questions. This article suggests boron is important for bone health and – if there’s a deficiency – supplementing may be a good idea. So it wasn’t really implausible that they’d give you boron. I still should have asked what it was for, instead I just accepted it.

          • John H
            June 9, 2012 at 2:12 pm

            Hello Vicky

            I hope Andy does not mind if I use the Quackometer to thank you.

            My confusion of boron with barium may well have been a serendipitous error.

            I read that article you mentioned. If I seemed a little sniffy at first it was partly because I do not think they covered strontium ranelate properly (it does more than just replace calcium molecules with the heavier strontium molecules and thus fool a DEXA scan) and partly because I am slightly dubious about vitamin/mineral supplements in general.

            However, I looked around a bit for additional evidence and found:
            1) good bio-molecular evidence for bone formation
            2) some positive RCT evidence
            3) supportive medical geography
            4) supportive cross-cultural dietary studies.

            I thought I might as well give it a bash on the basis that it can hardly hurt me (I checked out the LD50 first).

            So, for the first time in my life I went into my local high street Miasmic Quackery Emporium to buy a supplement (I have been there before to buy nuts and cereals). Spent an hour looking through the rubbish (like glucosamine) and got me some boron.

            Doubled the dosage on the basis that 10p/day was hardly likely to bankrupt me. Kept up the prescription supplements (Protelos and Adcal).

            I can honestly say that it appears to have been beneficial (and yes I do know about placebo, RTTM, Hawthorne Effect, self-limiting illness, confirmation bias etc etc).

            I realise that just under two weeks might not be sufficient time to effect significant changes in bone mineral density and I am well aware that the easiest person to fool is yourself. However, I have significantly reduced my painkillers (eg codeine down from 240mg/day to 32mg/day, paracetamol from 4000mg/day to 2000mg/day. Dumped the daily 800mg of Naproxen).

            Maybe I am just being a twat and in a period of remission but it will be the first time in 18 months that has happened. I will probably wake up tomorrow in screaming agony (in which case yet another quasi-quackish anecdote bites the dust).

            As an aside I came across something called the Herxheimer Effect. I am surprised that quacks have not picked up on this as the reason for the “healing crisis” between the application of quackery and an illness disappearing naturally.

  11. John H
    May 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Iqbal

    Neither you nor Hegde see to have a clue what you are talking about – it is you who is spouting rubbish.

    That article you plundered for quotes is nonsense (another 20 minutes of my life I will never get back).

    Einstein helped to establish QP. He might have had a few issues with entanglement and so forth but who doesn’t. If you can explain wave/particle duality, entanglement, superposition and how a particle can move in two directions at once then you might be taken a bit more seriously.

    That Hegde rubbish fails to recognise that QP explains the sub-atomic, Newton explains the metre scale and Einstein explains that which tends towards the speed of light. No problem. If you think Newton is mechanistic it is precisely because he is – apart from the orbit of Mercury the solar system operates on a perfectly mechanistic basis – how would you produce tide tables if the Earth/Moon relationship was stochastic. And the use of Ohms law in connection to fluids is only an explanatory analogy.

    You will also find that a large number of doctors (both MD and PhD) contribute to/read the Quackometer but largely choose not to flaunt their credentials.

    I know the Duck abhors ad homs but you are what my uncle (a neurosurgeon in the Irish Army – which in itself is the cue for plenty of jokes) would call a “feckin eejit”. (Actually I don’t think that is an ad hom as I am not criticising you because you are fat/ugly/disabled/etc but because you are stupid and have chosen stupidity when you have the option not to).

    If you want to contribute then try to employ the same clarity of style and argument used by the Duck – and try answering his questions FFS. Otherwise just give us a break from the cutting and pasting and stick to shoving your arm up cows arses.

    • Iqbal
      May 25, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      Every one has a view: The 2 great scientists-who is foolish here?

      Even when quantum physics realized the folly of conventional physics and came up with the Cat Hypothesis, the all time “great’ Einstein himself ridiculed it and kept on refusing to accept it till he died. He wrote: “God does not play dice with the world.” He was probably referring to the “probability model” of quantum physics.

      Albert Einstein, who swore by his ‘Theory of Relativity’, would not, and could not, get himself to agree with the new thinking. “Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it,” wrote Niels Bohr.

      • Daniel
        May 26, 2012 at 6:36 pm

        You’re rambling. How is this relevant? Einstein was stubborn w/rp to QM. Are you implying that we all similarly simply are too stubborn to accept the mountains of evidence (*cough*) for homeopathy?

        • Iqbal
          May 27, 2012 at 5:30 am

          You are correct.

          The mountain (?)of evidence for homeopathy is dismissed as anecdotes,against the rules of chemistry as we know it, placebo affect, self curing illness etc.

          It is because of the training received and understanding to look at things in a particular way. This is shown the in way Einstein reacted to the Quantum theory. If Einstein did, why won’t you or for that matter people with similar training as yours. But that does not negate the Quantum theory.

          Something to ponder about:

          ” Children, before they start schooling, are curious but, when they come out they become, by and large, just repetitive robots because of their brainwashing in schools about the accepted norms in science. Occasionally, there are exceptions, but their numbers are very small. To swim against the current is not easy, either. Research depends on grant money; most grants come either from the government or industry. Both masters would like their interests guarded. Refutative research, which tries to demolish the scientific myths, is not funded and so is nipped in the bud. Publishing the data from those studies is almost impossible in the present atmosphere. Even one’s position in a University might be threatened!

          Scientism, on the contrary, is like a powerful religion that tries to influence people’s understanding of this Universe in the accepted norms. Any attempt to show evidence to the contrary is being hushed up with all the might at their command. Scientism was helped by the early successes of technology based on the present scientific paradigm. Society venerates science for the simple reason that we have the telephone, electricity, easy transportation, satellites, space ships, nuclear war heads and the computers et cetera, thanks to the conventional scientific paradigm.

          Reductionism and statistics are the pillars of medical science and biology. Darwin’s theory of evolution is found wanting in many areas. Evolution inside a species is different from evolution of a new species; a bird from a fish, for example. The latter needs thousands of biochemical reactions that individually will have no survival advantage when the ultimate new species arrives by accident.”

          Interesting reading?

          • Mojo
            May 27, 2012 at 9:04 am

            Oh noes!!! It’s teh CONSPIRACY!!!

          • Mojo
            May 27, 2012 at 9:07 am

            And whoever wrote that has no idea what the theory of evolution actually says. Each successive successful mutation will have survival advantage. That’s why they are successful, and survive.

          • Will
            May 27, 2012 at 9:57 am

            BINGO! And there we have it Ladies and Gentlemen.

            Iqbal is a deluded creationist, who detests a pantomime baddie image of the scientist without ever engaging with them. Just like he has failed to engage here, instead rolling out the stock altie crap about personal anecdotes and quantum whatever.

            Fingers firmly thrust into ears, mind tightly closed to ANY attempt to make him reflect on his opinions.

            Iqbal, it should be apparent to you by now, that I (and I’m speaking for myself here, not for the others) had little interest in the nature of your particular beliefs and delusions. What was far more interesting to me was the way in which you operated, debated and engaged with people who simply asked you to think.

            It doesn’t matter whether you believe in homoeopathy, or anything else for that matter; to maintain an irrational belief you must defend it. Because it’s weak and won’t withstand the most gentle of examinations you have to defend it by raising impenetrable walls around it. By snatching and anything you feel bolsters it without questioning it, because that’s all you’ve got. It’s the very quintessence of closedmindedness.

            Scientists, on the other hand, and I mean real scientists about whom you know absolutely nothing whatsoever, offer their thinking up for harsh criticism from their peers (or anyone else for that matter). Ones original thesis, experimental methods, data analysis and conclusion drawing are all exposed for analysis. In this way there is no room for belief. It is either shown within limits of the experiment, not shown within the limits of the experiment, or we can not say one way or another at this time.

            To say “I don’t know” is at the heart of science. To dive into the unknown is our exciting sport, to be constantly amazed and confounded by what this baffling universe has to offer.

            However, some people have a need. A fascinating need. Like a child peeking from behind their mother’s skirts but keeping their fingers tightly wrapped round the cloth. Clinging to the familiar, unable to step out and face the dangers away from mummy. As they grow up they invent a new parent, who holds them at the center of the univere, so make them seem special. Why do believers in alt med bang on about how we’re all different, all individual, all special, like you are the centre of the universe, like when you were little. Not just take your pills and stop whining.

            Iqbal, you are convinced based on your personal homoeopathy anecdotes, like the child looking out at the world and being convinced that it’s flat. After all you can see it, right? Who is to deny the evidence of your own eyes? But only if you let go of what you cling to so tightly, and start out on the risky, trouble filled, but ultimately enriching journey that you can discover that the world is round. Another analogy would be the sun going round the earth. The child can see it, round it goes. Who can deny that? To understand that the sun doesn’t go round the earth requires a different journey, a journey into mathematics etc. which takes you far beyond the evidence of what you can see with your own eyes. But that doesn’t require you to believe.

            Rather than worrying about homoeopathy, science, anything you read on the internet, take some time to exammine your need to believe. What is it you are clinging to and why? What could happen if you let go? Sure, it’s risky, but growing up is. And we all have to face it.

            But it really doesn’t matter if you can’t do these things. Many people believe in horoscopes, fairies, throwing salt over their shoulder, god etc. and are good people and lead useful fulfilling lives. Just don’t waste any more time on this site until you have learned to let go and start examining what you think and why.

          • Daniel
            May 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm

            Iqbal, now you’re being silly, and quite disingenuous. Einstein did not dispute that QM accurately describes and predicts phenomena of nature. He did, however, wish for the theory to be more, say, deterministic instead of probabilistic. THAT was his objection, his hope, based on no evidence that nature would have to be that way.

            Now, homeopaths are different. They just go “your science doesn’t validate my quackery, therefore your science must be wrong.” That is a very different position.

            And “scientism”, really? Counting how many people get better and finding that homeopathy does no better than placebo is now a major conspiracy? Counting?

            Come ON!

  12. Ademo
    May 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Hello again Andy, i enjoy reading your blog even if it is sometimes a bit confusing, when people bring in relativity theory, quantum physics and other mathematical things that, like most people on this planet, I know very little about; after all how may people can claim to really understand the theory of relativity, or quantum physics?
    Anyway you seem to live, (you and some of your friends) in a wonderful world where everything is black or white: the goodies are you and your skeptic friends, the alternative medicine practitioners (including many doctors) are all baddies, quacks, charlatans.
    Anybody that does not share your poin of view must be challenged most aggressively.
    I pointed out a couple of time in various thread the rather faciste attitude of some of your supporter.
    Debatings th pros and con of alternative medicine is ok, but why such a desire to rid the world of method of healthcare that people embrace willingly, and often find beneficial whereever you find it “delusional” or not
    This is something that bugs me a bit about the skeptic: they are becoming so evangelical about their skepticism.
    If you believe in god, you have a 50/50 chance to be right
    If you believe ther is no god, you also have a 50/50 chance to be right.
    In both situation, you act according to a belief
    There is only one way to find out if you are right or wrong.
    So you are defending the scientific model as the only representation of reality, thus any other model is wrong
    If people prefer the yin/yang model for example and leave their life according to it, why not? it is their business; same with homeopathy, it is their choice; who are you to campaign to deprive people of their freedom of choice, in such an intemperate way?
    what are you trying to prove?
    I went to see an osteopath for a neck problem, and it did work, even if there is no “evidence based” information that says osteopathy help people with neck pain.

    • Daniel
      May 26, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      “If you believe in god, you have a 50/50 chance to be right
      If you believe ther is no god, you also have a 50/50 chance to be right.
      In both situation, you act according to a belief”

      I doubt you understand the concept of probabilities.

      Given the evidence, for most modalities of alternative medicine, “if you believe they work, you have a near 0% chance to be right.”

    • Mojo
      May 27, 2012 at 10:44 am

      “If you believe in god, you have a 50/50 chance to be right
      If you believe ther is no god, you also have a 50/50 chance to be right.”

      If you throw a dice and believe (without looking) that it has come up as a six, do you have a 50/50 chance to be right?

      • ademo
        May 28, 2012 at 6:34 am

        If Richard Dawkins throw a dice 10 times, whatever the results, he still believe there is no god
        If the pope throw a dice 10 time, whatever the result, he still believe there is a god
        In both cases they will find out when they die
        you cannot resolve all arguments by throwing in statistic and probabilities, the problem on this site is that the skeptics who respond seem to have an excellent grasp of mathematics, statistic and probability, but little understanding and qualification in medicine

        • Mojo
          May 28, 2012 at 8:28 am

          Re Richard Dawkins and the Pope: that was not my point. The mere fact that there are two possibilities does not mean that they are equally probable. As for finding out when they die, are you suggesting that this is how people who believe in homoeopathy will find out that it doesn’t work?

          You do not need a medical qualification to understand the published results of the research; you just need to know how to read a paper. But to my certain knowledge there is at least one medical doctor, and one vet, posting in this thread.

          • Ademo
            May 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm

            I am not aware of anybody who died from taking a homeopathic remedy;the skeptic always dramatize and grossly exagerate the danger of homeopathy mostly about undiagnosed conditions. In fact, when people are ill, they first go to their GP and then to alternative medicine if they get nothing from the NHS; I used myself as an example: after experiencing a severe pain in the neck, I went to see my GP who had a look, then suggested some painkillers, and said to me that there was a 6 weeks waiting list for physiotherapy. This is when I decided to see an osteopath, who fixed the problem in 2 sessions, at the cost of a hundred quids. I would have gone to see an homeopath if i had thought it to be appropriate. The skeptics on this threads think they have all the answers from statistics; clinical experience is more important, and I find it rather arrogant on their part that they criticize and condemn doctors and sometimes professors of medicine who, I am sure understand statistics and RCTs but use alternative medicine as well.

          • Vicky
            May 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm

            Straw man – nobody claims that taking “high potency” homeopathic “remedies” kills you. (“Low potency” arsenic however apparently can.)
            It’s failing to use medical help (or searching for it too late like Penelope Dingle did) that makes the “alternative” approach to serious illnesses dangerous.

          • Will
            May 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm

            Ademo:

            http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html

            Read please before any further comments.

        • Will
          May 28, 2012 at 9:23 am

          I learned how to design a fair test at GCSE (high school) level.

          You have to have a control.

          If you do this with homoeopathy, it shows that homoeopathy doesn’t work.

          Please tell me how having a medical qualification renders this untrue.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          May 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm

          Wrong about stastistics and wrong about medicine. Again.

          Ademo, you are confusing things that are unprovable with things that are provable and proven to be wrong. To anyone with even a minimal statistical understanding the fact that homeopathy does not work is as obvious as the fact that gravity does. If you lack this minimal grasp of statistics that is neither our prejudice nor our fault. Even if you do not know why, it remains the case that gravity will work for you and homeopathy will not.

          • Ademo
            May 28, 2012 at 8:19 pm

            I am not trying to prove anything, it is you the skeptics that are trying to prove that the millions of people who benefit from homeopathy, herbal medicines etc. and the thousands of doctors who prescribe them are idiots.
            A RCT is basically a probability result according to established criteria: change either slightly the criteria, and you get different results; meta-analysis and systematic reviews are statistics about statistics, and often contradict each others or are unable to reach conclusion; meanwhile, just as the proverbial bumble bee from Sikorsky who does not know aerodynamics, I go to see an osteopath who treat me without any evidence based medicine, and my neck feel better thank you

          • Will
            May 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm

            Don’t get caught out BSM… Nobody could be this idiotic. It’s just Andy f**cking with us. There is no Ademo. No such person.

          • Mojo
            May 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm

            An RCT just measures the difference between one course of treatment and another. If properly designed it will eliminate factors (other than the treatment in question) that might cause apparent or actual improvement, such as the natural history of the condition being treated, the placebo effect, confirmation bias, etc. The sort of anecdotal evidence that you are pushing here does not control for these things. The anecdotes may be useful in suggesting that a treatment is woth testing, but if they are contradicted by the results of properly conducted controlled trials, well, we know which is going to be less affected by bias.

            And, of course, the results of an RCT are only going to be reliable if thhe trial is properly designed to eliminate extraneous effects. So, yes, “change either slightly the criteria, and you get different results” – if you design a sloppy enough trial you can get results that appear to show that a completely ineffective treatment works. That is why the meta-analyses and systematic reviews that you object to are important – because the quality of the trial design is vitally important as far as the reliability of the results are concerned.

          • Mojo
            May 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm

            Oh, and as for the bumblebee thing, you do realise that it is just an urban myth, don’t you?

          • John H
            May 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm

            Jeezus

            Brilliant – I haven’t heard the bumble bee canard (sorry Andy) for ages. Never expected to find it here.

            I think that was started off by Tom Baker as Doctor Who back in the 70/80s. If not actually started then popularised.

            Actually bees don’t so much as fly as swim through a fairly viscous medium (at least to them).

            I always thought that was one of the ultimate demonstrations of stupidity and anti-scientific mumbo-jumbo. “There is a bee flying around my garden. Bees cannot fly. Ergo scientists are idiots.”

            Almost as bad as “jumbo jets cannot glide” and fall out of the sky if the engines fail. In fact it is the same bee stupidity but the other way around. If they couldn’t glide they couldn’t fly in the first place and a big jet (say 747) has a glide path of 1 in 12 (admittedly a bit of a bastard if the engines fail and you are more than twelve times your height from the nearest airfield).

  13. John H
    May 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Sorry BSM.

    Got into a bit of a “hacked off overload tizz” and misread that previous entry as “Iqbal was a vet”.

    Must try to be more rational in future (although I stand by the ad hom).

    I breed Maine Coons and have a huge amount of respect for my Vets (although I have paid them thousands of pounds to become experts in the breed!). As they are fundamentally an agricultural vet (not many vets offer to chop of your horses goolies – whatever happened to two housebricks? “Doesn’t it hurt” – “Only if you catch your thumb in the bricks”) I consider that putting your arm up a ruminants jacksie is a noble profesion.

  14. Iqbal
    May 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Andy Lewis on May 23, 2012 at 11:19 pm
    Come on Iqbal. What do you mean by ‘linear’?
    Or is it just possible, that now you have been challenged, you realise that you have absolutely no fucking idea?

    Mr. Andy

    I expected that with your expert comments in medical field, this was automatically understood by you. But that is not so.
    What is the purpose of using gutter language? The “Quackometer site” is quoted in many comments. It will not bring down your personal reputation?

    Further, I don’t write in to earn money. Don’t expect me to reply immediately.

    I explain below what the doctor means by linear:

    Please re-read the message carefully. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
    “The blood pressure in the circulation is principally due to the pumping action of the heart. Differences in mean blood pressure are responsible for blood flow from one location to another in the circulation. The rate of mean blood flow depends on the resistance to flow presented by the blood vessels.”

    “Blood pressure is the result of cardiac output increased by peripheral resistance: blood pressure = Cardiac output x peripheral resistance.”

    A linear relationship in case of blood pressure example would mean: Blood pressure f(Z) = f(X) x f(Y) where X is the cardiac output and Y the resistance offered to blood flow.

    So, if the normal blood pressure is 119/79, a value on the higher side is considered dangerous and has to be corrected.

    This requires a drug that can slow down heart activity and /or a drug that can reduce nerve impulses in the vascular system that allows blood to flow easily through blood vessels.

    Considering the value of Z is known (?) the drug or combination of 2, are to be adjusted to bring down the value of blood pressure to normal.

    This the doctor writes does not work. The results are good when Only X has a value and the value of Y is zero. The linear equation does not work. The zero value of Y makes the linear equation untenable.(Z=0) (Earlier Alpha beta blockers were developed with the specific purpose of reducing blood pressure.)

    Is this clear?

    I expected that with your expert comments in medical field, this was automatically understood by you. But that is not so.
    What is the purpose of using gutter language? The “Quackometer site” is quoted in many comments. It will not bring down your personal reputation?
    Further, I don’t write in to earn money. Don’t expect me to reply immediately.
    I explain below what the doctor means by linear:
    Please re-read the message carefully. Or, I explain to you: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
    “The blood pressure in the circulation is principally due to the pumping action of the heart. Differences in mean blood pressure are responsible for blood flow from one location to another in the circulation. The rate of mean blood flow depends on the resistance to flow presented by the blood vessels.”
    “Blood pressure is the result of cardiac output increased by peripheral resistance: blood pressure = Cardiac output x peripheral resistance.”
    A linear relationship in case of blood pressure example would mean: Blood pressure f(Z) = f(X) x f(Y) where X is the cardiac output and Y the resistance offered to blood flow.
    So, if the normal blood pressure is > 119/79, a value on the higher side is considered dangerous and has to be corrected.
    This requires a drug that can slow down heart activity and /or a drug that can reduce nerve impulses in the vascular system that allows blood to flow easily through blood vessels.
    Considering the value of Z is known (?) the drug or combination of 2, are to be adjusted to bring down the value of blood pressure to normal.
    This the doctor writes does not work. The results are good when Only X has a value and the value of Y is zero. The linear equation does not work. (Earlier Alpha beta blockers were developed with the specific purpose of reducing blood pressure.)
    Is this clear?

    • Andy Lewis
      May 26, 2012 at 8:25 am

      Iqbal – I still suspect you have no idea what you are talking about. You have not defined ‘linear’ and instead talk nonsense using some cod mathematics to make you look profound.

      Would you like to try again?

      Please try again. How do you define ‘linear’ in the context you quoted. In what sense is medicine linear and homeopathy not.

      • Will
        May 26, 2012 at 8:49 am

        It’s becoming clear to me now; he means medicine is linear because you try to progress in a line from symptoms, to diagnosis, to treatment, to cure.

        Whereas homoeopathy is more round the bend.

      • Iqbal
        May 26, 2012 at 9:51 am

        The mathematical equation was to simplify things. That message was a look from the chemists’ view.

        Regret you could not understand.

        Let me try your doctor’s approach.

        Dr. Hedge writes: “Lowering healthy people’s raised blood pressures and blood sugars have not been useful in the long run in apparently healthy asymptomatic people. Recent audits have shown that this kind of linear interventions have done more harm than good!”

        Linear approach would mean to check your BP and if found on the higher side, start medication.

        If you read the note on BP in Wikipedia it adds: “While average values for arterial pressure could be computed for any given population, there is often a large variation from person to person; arterial pressure also varies in individuals from moment to moment.

        Additionally, the average of any given population may have a questionable correlation with its general health; thus the relevance of such average values is equally questionable. (!!!!) However, in a study of 100 human subjects with no known history of hypertension, an average blood pressure of 112/64 mm Hg was found, which are currently classified as desirable or “normal” values.( What about the higher variance to the median ? Recall –subjects had no known history of hypertension but now they would be borderline?) Normal values fluctuate through the 24-hour cycle, with highest readings in the afternoons and lowest readings at night.”

        “Various factors, such as age and gender influence average values, influence a person’s average blood pressure and variations. In children, the normal ranges are lower than for adults and depend on height. As adults age, systolic pressure tends to rise and diastolic tends to fall. In the elderly, blood pressure tends to be above the normal adult range, largely because of reduced flexibility of the arteries. Also, an individual’s blood pressure varies with exercise, emotional reactions, sleep, digestion and time of day.”

        So a question you should ask your doctor: What would be the BP level for starting medication for a 65 year old Asian who is second generation American, vegetarian, 190 cms tall, at 15:00 hrs who has just been fired for sleeping on his job and has not eaten for 2 days?

        Does a BP table exist that accounts for such variables for the doctor to refer to?

        Can you provide a guess?

  15. Iqbal
    May 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Will on May 23, 2012 at 11:02 pm
    Iqbal: Imagine this… You know the story of the Emperor’s new clothes? In your

    I did not understand the drift of your message clearly and therefore recount a case specific to my family and me:

    My family and I do not use allopathic drugs. The only time we have exposure is for mandatory vaccinations during childhood. All sicknesses are treated with homeopathic medicines alone.

    My elder son, then 11 years (1997) developed small pustules on one arm. We paid attention when these spread to his other arm and then started spreading to other parts of his body. Our homeopathic doctor, living in another city, was consulted over phone and the prescribed remedy was given. There was no change, the spread of pustules continued. By now, he started having fever with temperature going up to 102 F. In between 2 doctors were consulted for diagnosis. Both prescribed 4/6 drugs including ointments but made no comment on what the specific problem was.

    I requested the homeopathic doctor to visit us as either I was not able to explain the problem or he was not able to understand the specific nature of illness over telephone. When he visited us, my son had pustules all over his body with the temperature starting at 101 F in the morning going up to 104 F by late evening.

    The doctor asked for Variolenum 200, one dose for day one, and Crotalus 30 starting next day. The remedies were bought from the market and administered. The first day the temperature rose to 103 F maximum only. Then on a daily basis the maximum temperature dropped by one degree. The pustules converted into large blisters with black/yellow mucus and when these burst the bed sheets were really dirty and smelled. The fourth day the temperature was down to 100 F at maximum and the doctor went back. We were to continue Crotalus 30 and repeat Variolenum 200 once a week for next one month. My son was perfectly fine in one week, the skin under the blisters healed. He is in good health except for 2/3 marks showing for the illness. No follow up medicines required.

    On the fifth day of the doctor’s visit, my younger son (then 3 years), developed 4 pustules on his arm and his temperature by late evening was 104 F. He was prescribed Variolenum 200 followed by Echinacea Q. He was cured in 2 days. My wife and I were asked to take Variolenum 200 as safety. I felt internal heat for 2 days (no temperature –only feeling) and a blister developed on my right shin that oozed blood and then cleared up. The mark remains.

    My wife had long complained of itch on her right ankle that would reappear once in a while. Consequent to taking Variolenum 200 she also developed a blister on her right shin but instead of clearing up, the right ankle and the area up to the blister developed into a big case of eczema with pus and blood oozing out. Staying on her feet was a torture; there was severe burning sensation and septic fever. This continued for over a month and many remedies were tried. She responded when Heper Suf 30 was administered. The eczema cleared up and the itch returned, much more violent. (That is another case).

    So the question: how will one remedy cure all? This has happened many times- my wife and son recently had bad throat leading to severe cough, at the same time. The cure came from different remedies.

    I am glad I did my graduate study in science after I was sufficiently exposed to homeopathy- otherwise I would also be sitting on your side of the wall talking chemistry –not medicine.

    • John H
      May 25, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      Iqbal

      Congratulations on redefining the phrase “target rich environment”.

    • Will
      May 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm

      Hundreds of words.

      Anecdotes.

      No answer to the direct question asked of you. More vague sciency sounding blather.

      Iqbal, you are going to have to try MUCH harder than that.

      Do you really think we are homoeopathy skeptics because we just haven’t heard the right, compelling, anecdote? I mean, really?

      To echo one of my earlier comments somewhere: you don’t understand what we’re saying to you, or why we’re saying it. You really don’t.

      • Iqbal
        May 26, 2012 at 6:43 am

        No.

        You probably understand chemistry- not medicine.

        • Will
          May 26, 2012 at 7:33 am

          Hi again Iqbal,

          Here’s another question for you to avoid answering:

          Are you asserting that all fully qualified, highly experienced medical doctors who think homoeopathy is a fraud do not understand medicine?

          • Iqbal
            May 26, 2012 at 9:57 am

            This is always possible. Homeopaths have always stated that drugs do not cure only suppress disease.

            But you missed my earlier post on the 2 greatest physicists of their time:

            Even when quantum physics realized the folly of conventional physics and came up with the Cat Hypothesis, the all time “great’ Einstein himself ridiculed it and kept on refusing to accept it till he died. He wrote: “God does not play dice with the world.” He was probably referring to the “probability model” of quantum physics.

            Albert Einstein, who swore by his ‘Theory of Relativity’, would not, and could not, get himself to agree with the new thinking. “Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it,” wrote Niels Bohr.

          • Vicky
            May 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

            Homeopaths have always stated that drugs do not cure only suppress disease.
            They’ve never shown evidence for it though. But I get it – evidence is meaningless, it’s the theory that’s important, right?

            But you missed my earlier post on the 2 greatest physicists of their time:
            Nope, it’s just as meaningless as everything else you write. I’d rather you used less of your copy&paste skills (you’ve demonstrated you have them) and more of your brain capacity (here’s an idea: you could ANSWER some of the questions I and others asked instead of ignoring them).

          • Vicky
            May 26, 2012 at 10:31 am

            Oh, didn’t close the quote, it should look like this:

            But you missed my earlier post on the 2 greatest physicists of their time:

            Nope, it’s just as meaningless as everything else you write. I’d rather you used less of your copy&paste skills (you’ve demonstrated you have them) and more of your brain capacity (here’s an idea: you could ANSWER some of the questions I and others asked instead of ignoring them).

          • Will
            May 26, 2012 at 10:32 am

            “But you missed my earlier post on the 2 greatest physicists of their time:”

            Really didn’t. Just don’t see what any of that has to do with your beliefs that sugar pills can cure any disease and that you understand medicine better than the majority of qualified and experienced doctors.

            You do know, don’t you, that quantum theory and the uncertainty principle refer to specific things in physics; and are not some sort of science ‘carte blanche’ which means all of a sudden all things are possible and the tooth fairy, father christmas and homoeopathy all become viable?

          • Mojo
            May 27, 2012 at 10:50 am

            Homeopaths have always stated that drugs do not cure only suppress disease.

            That doesn’t mean that it is true.

        • Mojo
          May 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

          You probably understand chemistry- not medicine.

          You probably understand neither.

          • Iqbal
            May 28, 2012 at 9:44 am

            I work for a 40 billion US$ company involved in the automotive components area. My division is involved in rubber based components. I am Head of Sales. Every day there are discussions relating to chemicals and chemistry in reference to rubber compounding. I therefore do know somthing about chemistry.

            I have exposure to homeopathic medicines for past 57 years(that is same as my age).
            So I know somthing about homeopathy also.

            What is your background in medicine?

          • Daniel
            May 30, 2012 at 11:43 am

            Oh, Iqbal.

            What you’re describing is in fact shockingly common. Well-educated people believing that their experience in one field gives them authority in other fields, and in particular that it makes them immune to cognitive biases.

            (Hint: It doesn’t. Feynman said it right: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”)

          • Avijit
            July 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm

            Monkey

            Eureka!

            How many years did it take it for you to find this out? What do you recommend paracetamol for now?

            Homeopaths have been following this practice since Dr. Hahnemann suggested this.

          • Avijit
            July 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm

            Mojo

            “Drugs suppress disease”

            This is the truth. Why do doctors prescribe the pill for blood pressure to be taken till you are alive? Repeat for diabetes, repeat for cholesterol repeat for……

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            July 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm

            Iqbal,

            What do you mean “eureka”? There is a perfectly sensible conversation to be had about antipyretic use in medicine based on well-established biological principles and capable of being resolved by appropriately controlled trials.

            I don’t think anything is to be gained by trying to teach you the basics of medicine.

            Homeopathy still doesn’t work and if your parents had correct use of rubber products we would be spared your wilful obtuseness.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            July 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm

            Avijit,

            What do you mean “eureka”? There has always been a perfectly sensible conversation to be had about antipyretic use in medicine based on well-established biological principles and capable of being resolved by appropriately controlled trials. the fact that we understand the biological function of pyrexia is due to biomedical scientists not idiot homeopaths. 

            The appropriate use of this knowledge is nuanced, quite unlike the one size fits all theories of idiot homeopaths. 

            If I have a headache I might take a paracetamol. My headache might be helped by it. You might take an idiot sugar pill. It would make no difference. 

            I don’t think anything is to be gained by trying to teach you the basics of medicine. 

            Homeopathy still doesn’t work and if your parents had made correct use of rubber products we would be spared your wilful obtuseness. 

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            July 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm

            Avijit,

            Why do doctors prescribe the pill for blood pressure to be taken till you are alive?

            Because it has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality. Yes, it would be nice to “cure” hypertension, but we can’t and this may well be because its roots lie in genetic and lifestyle factors that have been at play decades before the hypertension is first documented in a patient.

            Medicine does not claim to be perfect. Your fatuous strawman version of medicine does, but this merely shows how little you understand about medicine. And it does not mean that homeopathy works.

          • Alan Henness
            July 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm

            Avijit

            This post is about the Swiss homeopathy HTA and you seemed keen to read my blog post on it. Have you read it yet?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            July 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

            Sorry, Alan, you’re right. We shouldn’t let him off that hook and all of his posts are now just diversionary tactics. I’ll make no further replies to him.

          • Avijit
            July 22, 2012 at 3:08 am

            Monkey

            “anti pyretic use in medicine”

            Such scientific words- what did it end into? Paracetamol- This is what Dr. Hegde and Iqbal meant when they noted linear approach- you see fever and find a way to bring it to normal. No requirement to understand why the fever appeared in the first place. (now it seems you know a little better.)

            So now you have a headache and take paracetamol – no requirement to cure the reason behind headache. What do you think will be the outcome once the effect of the chemical is over? The headache will come back-just like fever.

            Then what will you do?(When will you know better?)

            This is the same thought process that works in blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and , and – the linear approach.

            With the sugar pill(?) the headache is cured and NEVER comes back.

            As far as the rubber is concerned, I suggest you use it. What is the use of humans reversing nature’s trend. Your parent’s ended up with you, what is the next stage in the reverse development?

            We would need a new Charles Darwin who can explain this?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            July 22, 2012 at 9:49 am

            Avijit

            No requirement to understand why the fever appeared in the first place. (now it seems you know a little better.)

            That is so far beyond stupid you arrogantly ignorant man that it is literally impossible to know where to begin with an explanatory reply, so l’ll not even try. In any case it’s still just a diversionary tactic on your part to evade dealing with what Alan Henness has asked you.

            I suggest you apply yourself to answering his post.

          • Avijit
            July 28, 2012 at 4:36 am

            Alan

            You have not yet told me under what name have you written the blog on Swiss Homeopathy?

          • Avijit
            July 28, 2012 at 5:37 am

            Monkey

            ……..Because it has been shown to reduce morbidity and mortality. Yes, it would be nice to “cure” hypertension, but we can’t and this may well be because its roots lie in genetic and lifestyle factors that have been at play decades before the hypertension is first documented in a patient.

            Medicine does not claim to be perfect. Your fatuous strawman version of medicine does, but this merely shows how little you understand about medicine. And it does not mean that homeopathy works..

            As a vet I do not expect foresight from you. But I recommend you read Dr. Hegde. He provides insight into gaps (craters) that exist in the scientific medical system especially related to the medicines development, usage and the linear thought behind it.

            This is what he writes in context of BP:

            “While the physiology of organ function depends on the mean capillary pressure, we do not know what happens to the mean capillary pressure when we reduce the arterial pressure arbitrarily? Sometimes the raised pressure might even be a compensatory mechanism.”

            The complex body mechanism could be adjusting the basic error- for you it is hypertension- the only reason?

            Now you understand the linear thought process?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            July 28, 2012 at 8:18 am

            And what action do you propose to take based on Dr Hegde’s trite little statement? Neither you nor he are able to use the word “linear” properly.  

            Restating the fact that the body is complex gets you nowhere and does not mean than homeopathy’s trivial single “Law” of Similars has any basis in reality. That’s the truly funny thing about your posts. You criticise medicine for supposedly failing to take into account the complexity of the body, which merely shows that you know nothing of medicine but choose to preach at us from the heights of your ignorance.  Worse, though, is that you do so in order to defend the single most simplistic (and erroneous) SCAM therapy. 

            Medics know that the body is complex and we have limited sticks with which to attack problems. Homeopaths have a single answer to every problem. Who are the naive idiots?  You are pathetically easily impressed. 

          • Alan Henness
            July 28, 2012 at 10:07 am

            Avijit said:

            Alan

            You have not yet told me under what name have you written the blog on Swiss Homeopathy?

            I wrote it under my own name.

            Now, you please tell me:

            1) Have you read my blog post, the original homeopathy HTA and the PEK report.

            2) Why you believe it matters what my name is.

          • Avijit
            July 28, 2012 at 11:47 am

            Alan

            Give me the link to your blog.

            …Why you believe it matters what my name is..

            It matters as to the name you use. Writing under different names is a ruse used to impress the gullible as if most if not all ideas point in a particular direction.

            Contrary views expressed by loner loses its meaning only because of minority.

            Do you not see the strategy here? To prove a point you write on the same subject at many places and then use these references to prove a point.

            You follow the strategy: a lie told often enough becomes the truth.

            The fact is – in the long run it does not work.

          • Andy Lewis
            July 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm

            Just to let you know Avijit – I am quite bored of your cowardly anonymous accusations against others and it is derailing any possible of sensible discussion.

            Rule: If you accuse someone of dishonesty, have evidence to back up your claim or do not expect your comment to be published.

          • Avijit
            July 28, 2012 at 11:52 am

            Monkey

            The problem lies in your limited understanding.

            Please continue with your Vet duties. But I would believe even animals have complex body responses.

          • Mojo
            July 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm

            Please continue with your Vet duties. But I would believe even animals have complex body responses.

            Since you wrote this in response to a post in which Badly Shaved Monkey explained that doctors know that the body is complex, the problem is very clearly with your own limited understanding.

          • Alan Henness
            July 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm

            Avijit said:

            Give me the link to your blog.

            Oh for goodness sake – it’s in the third paragraph of Andy’s blog at the top of this page.

            …Why you believe it matters what my name is..

            It matters as to the name you use. Writing under different names is a ruse used to impress the gullible as if most if not all ideas point in a particular direction.

            Oh FFS, Avijit. If you have any evidence for any of that nonsense, please present it, otherwise stop making stupid accusations.

            Contrary views expressed by loner loses its meaning only because of minority.

            Can you really not see the problem here? The number of people who express a view has absolutely no bearing on whether that view is correct or not.

            Consider this: when Hahnemann dreamed up homeopathy, he was a loner until he started spreading it to others. Does that make homeopathy nonsense? No. It’s because it has been shown to be nonsense that it is nonsense, not because Hahnemann was a loner and in a minority.

            Do you not see the strategy here? To prove a point you write on the same subject at many places and then use these references to prove a point.

            Yes, several people have written about the Swiss homeopathy HTA. Now how does that negate any arguments made? Besides, all the articles I’ve read all look at different aspects of the Swiss situation.

            If you can find something wrong in my blog post, please feel free to point it out – with good evidence to back up any assertions you make.

            You follow the strategy: a lie told often enough becomes the truth.

            No. A lie, no matter how many times it’s told is still a lie. Just like homeopathy. 200 years of lying.

            The fact is – in the long run it does not work.

          • Mojo
            July 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

            @Avijit

            Give me the link to your blog.

            There’s a link to the blog post in question right there in the article you are commenting on. Haven’t you read it?

          • Avijit
            July 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm

            Andy

            This is exactly what I meant when I gave the analogy of the lion and the pack of dogs.

  16. May 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    44, count em, 44 comments, and I’m no closer to finding out whatever the hell linear meant in the context used by Iqbal.

    • Will
      May 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      He’s off on a tangent!

      • Iqbal
        May 26, 2012 at 10:04 am

        In the linear approach, any reading outside mean is to be brought near mean with medication. This is what the doctor writes:

        Total body scanners would measure five-hundred body parameters in one sitting. Now think of the mind boggling 5% of the five hundred measures making a total of 2500 false positive measures for every one hundred people that go for a routine screening! Any one that sees the doctor for a check up when apparently healthy, after the TBS, would have, on an average, 2.5 abnormal reports. There will be no NORMAL HUMAN BEING AT ALL. Although it is a very good business proposition, it is bad for mankind.

        Even at the present day it takes one thousand healthy women to be screened for cervical smear for forty long years to save one woman from cancer cervix! A sizeable per cent of those women would have lost their organs for no fault of theirs, as nearly 75 women in this group would have had abnormal smears with normal cervix and so on. Similar is the story of prostate, breast and many other cancers. The MRC study of mild-moderate hypertension showed that it takes 850 innocent normal people to be drugged for a period of five years to, probably, save one stroke.

        The outcome?

        Some doctors do not realize the attempts by these drug giants to establish “normative data” for a range of physiological measurements, like normal blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol etc. These levels keep changing almost by the day depending upon the need for drug sales. Serum cholesterol level which were at 150 – 250 mg per cent during his student days have come down below 200 mg lately. He has not been able to find a good scientific reason for this fall except that the cholesterol lowering drug market would have gone up by a few billion dollars.

        • Will
          May 26, 2012 at 10:58 am

          Let us say I believe everything in this comment. How does that make sugar pills work?

          I’m really bored with this pattern:

          “Homoeopathy works!”

          “OK, prove it.”

          “Here’s some crap evidence!”

          “No, that’s crap”

          “But conventional medicine has many issues!”

          “Yes, we know. What does that have to do with your evidence of homoeopathy being effective?”

          • Will
            May 26, 2012 at 11:01 am

            (hit post early… Damn phone)

            “But science is icky and we’re all stardust and rainbows”

            “yes, good, but what’s that got..”

            “you’re all closed minded bullying pharma shills!”

            Repeat ad nausium…

          • Iqbal
            May 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm

            The one personal experience I defined above should be good answer for many questions.

            The family of four had the same problem, but all reacted with different symptoms and required different remedies to effect a cure. Further it also confirms that homeopathic remedies work. But then this is proved many times over for us for past many years.

          • May 27, 2012 at 12:56 am

            Iqbal said:

            “The one personal experience I defined above should be good answer for many questions.”

            You’re joking, of course?

            Wait as minute…

            You’re not joking are you?

            PS What do you mean by ‘linear’. How is conventional medicine ‘linear’ and homeopathy not?

      • Andy Lewis
        May 26, 2012 at 10:48 am

        Iqbal. It is a very simple question. Define ‘linear’. How is conventional medicine ‘linear’ and homeopathy not?

        • Iqbal
          May 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm

          I will give one more try using doctor’s notes:

          ” Doctors have been predicting the unpredictable future of a human being assuming linear relationships, based solely on certain parameters of the human body, ignoring the mind and the genes! More dangerous have been our interventions to alter those initial states, in an otherwise healthy person, with the hope that changing the initial state would maintain the benefit over a period of years and decades. Here is the crux of our problem in medicine. Most of such interventions in healthy people have not borne fruit in real life situations! Lowering healthy people’s raised blood pressures and blood sugars have not been useful in the long run in apparently healthy asymptomatic people. Recent audits have shown that this kind of linear interventions have done more harm than good! The probability of the raised blood pressure in a healthy young man damaging his organs in the long run is fifty-fifty like that of the ‘cat in Schrodinger’s hypotheses. In the human body, apart from the probability scores mentioned above, there are many other imponderables that come into play in the final outcome of any intervention.

          Then he goes on to add:

          “Let us learn our lessons from quantum physics to look at the human body as a whole. We should avoid long-term predictions in healthy people using a few body parameters. Getting to know the physiology of the human body as a whole, and taking into consideration the environmental factors influencing the body, would get us on the way to progress. Dynamic systems have rhythms that run their physiology-the circadian, ultradian and the infradian. They depend on organs working in tandem, inter-linking one with the other. This concept is called “mode-locking” in modern particle physics.”

          Homeopathy always considers the patient as a whole- a good homeopath doctor will seldom offer a remedy based upon the name of the complaint. The remedy is always linked to the symptoms.

        • Vicky
          May 27, 2012 at 11:00 am

          Is it so hard to understand that people want YOU (with your words, not someone else’s) to explain what you think that means and how it is different from what homeopaths do (after all, isn’t selecting a “remedy” by looking up symptoms in a repertory pretty linear, too)?

          • Iqbal
            May 28, 2012 at 9:23 am

            I consider that my study of Chemistry at graduate level does not provide me with sufficient knowledge to make me an expert comments on medical subjects.

            I therefore state here comments of a very senior, highly educated medical expert who is also a teacher. This is because medicine is a special field and his statements come with facts and are based upon his everyday exposure to medicines and patients- not assumptions and beliefs.

            These statements are therefore more relevant.

          • Will
            May 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm

            And if we just post come comments from trained, experienced medical professionals who think homoeopathy is a load of crap in opposition to that? Where does that get us? Nowhere. You would dismiss it because they don’t understand! Because you are a believer. Not a thinker. You have chosen a belief, found someone else’s words that bolster your belief, and then you regurgitate them at us. Do you even know what discussion is?

            Think. For. Yourself!

            I wasn’t kidding when I said a highschool education is enough to understand homoeopathy is rubbish, and you’re not even interested.

            You are trapped. Trapped in a vortex of nonsense and you can’t stop.

            There are people that can help you, but first you have to admit you have a problem.

  17. Ademo
    May 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I am curious to know why my post got deleted, I for one did not say anything rude, but obviously the duck uses some strict censorship when he does not like the post

  18. Ademo
    May 25, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    sorry, found it again, apologies to the duck my paranoid mind was already at work, so many comments, very interesting

  19. John H
    May 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Iqbal

    I am now approaching total desperation.

    You are so right about the drugs that the evil medico-pharmaceutical complex prescribe.

    I took analgesics, NSAIDs and muscle relaxants this morning and now (only FIVE hours later) my back hurts like a really hurting thing with added hurtiness.

    So all these drugs have done is suppress the symptoms and they have not cured me one bit. Ergo you must be correct.

    Plus I also took my magnesium, calcium and strontium supplements so I am now one step further to helping them fulfil their evil intentions of turning me into Alkaline Earth Man.

    I really need your dads miracle worker to advise me as to how I can get my 8 fractured vertebrae all shipshape and Bristol fashion.

    I know from your writings that you are a kind, thoughtful and considerate person so I am pleading for your help here.

    (PS: I am sorry I called you a fecking eejit. It must have been deliberately planted in my unconscious by the Irish brain surgery division of evil Pharma, possibly when I removed my tinfoil hat under the influence of two gallons of Guinness and left myself susceptible to their evil machinations).

    (PPS: Please reply soonest).

  20. Badly Shaved Monkey
    May 27, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Iqbal

    You still have not answered the question about your use of the word “linear”. Please do so. 

    I’ll make just two points. Please reply to confirm that you have read them and in your reply show that you have also understood them. 

    1. Your various comments about the statistical nature of medical testing just mean that medicine is difficult and making definitive diagnoses is hard. It does not mean that homeopaths trawling through their big books of anecdotes are better. It simply shows that they are fools to think they can avoid exactly these same problems. 

    2. You say your family uses no conventional medicine other than vaccination. This is true of every single human being who ever lived before about 200 years ago. You patently have access to a computer so I would hazard a guess that you have access to secure clean water and food supplies. So, you live protected by vaccines and reasonably good public hygiene. In this you have a basis for health that far exceeds most people who have ever lived. You cannot use the natural recovery of your own family members from disease as proof of any efficacy for homeopathy. Every single one of your ancestors who lived more than 200 years ago had no access to either conventional medicine or homeopathy. If diseases did not resolve or ameliorate spontaneously you would not be here now because too few of your ancestors would have lived a reasonably long life. Potentially fatal illness is not a daily feature of our lives, thank goodness. You choosing to take sugar pills when you become ill tells us nothing about whether those sugar pills work. However, your indoctrinated viewpoint means that you are predisposed to make stupid decisions and one day the dice will roll the wrong way for you and you will use sugar pills for yourself or a family member and they will die as a result. Guess what, this will be your fault and you can take that thought to their graveside. 

    However, I see there remains a little nugget of sensible self-preservation and common sense. Your father was in plaster for 16 weeks for a broken spine. There’s nothing in the doctrine of homeopathy about this. He should have simply taken a remedy indicated for “can’t stand up, extreme pain, legs all wobbly”. Instead, a real doctor saved him, but you choose to credit the sugar pills he subsequently took. Homeopaths are often quite keen to tell us that there are surgical problems for which they would seek treatment from someone with a knife. This ignores the fact that Hahnemann had no means of diagnosing surgical problems and performing surgery. He would have treated everything with sugar pills. 

    By hiving off surgery as an acceptable form of conventional medicine that you will accept, all you do is wrap another layer of protection around your belief in homeopathy, restricting its scope away from things where the foolishness of your choice would be so screamingly obvious that even you could not ignore it. This is not true of all homeopathy’s followers. Some idiots decline surgery for curable cancers and do die as the diseases rots them away. 

    Iqbal, you choose homeopathy as a lifestyle decision in a social space where you will avoid for a long time any adverse consequences from that choice. Your family’s survival is not proof that homeopathy works, it’s proof that humans are quite resilient when well-fed, protected by vaccines and with access to surgery. 

    • Iqbal
      May 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

      A very long note.

      I will find time and reply in stages.
      Bear with me.

    • Iqbal
      May 29, 2012 at 2:07 am

      Reply to point 1:

      The comments are that of a doctor. A doctor who questions the system he has been trained in. In this he questions the basis of statistical process for defining drugs for ailments. This is linear approach to resolving health issues. The human body is treated like a machine. If there is a problem that seems to emanate from one part correct it or replace the part that creates the problem – like tires from a car or the fuel pump etc. and everything should be back to normal.

      In reality, this does not happen.

      For BP he writes: “While the physiology of organ function depends on the mean capillary pressure, we do not know what happens to the mean capillary pressure when we reduce the arterial pressure arbitrarily? Sometimes the raised pressure might even be a compensatory mechanism.”

      A good homeopath does not look for the name of the disease. This is irrelevant. He would look at the symptoms and prescribe a/some remedies. Not all patients of malaria show exactly the same symptoms and therefore will get separate remedies. At different stages of typhoid, different medicines are used.

      There are fools practicing homeopathy?

      How do you explain the following?

      Rate of increase of medical errors (Herron R and Cavanaugh K…in press.)

      Nearly 2,25,000 people have died in one year in the US alone due to iatrogenic diseases. Of these 1,00,000 has been exclusively due to adverse drug reactions. There have been three million injuries due to medical interventions in a year with 44,000 to 98,000 deaths annually. Nosocomial infections alone caused 80,000 deaths in one year in hospitals. One hundred million people suffer from chronic debilitating illnesses partly due to medical interventions. This data is for USA alone.

      And:

      One has to realize that the hi-tech modern medicine is not devoid of its inherent dangers. I have been able to count so far seven thousand medical articles published in the leading western journals of the dangers of modern medical interventions. More are coming out almost daily. A couple of hospitals in the US have been force closed by the police for over doing costly interventions in the gullible patient population.

      A well planned, prospective second opinion study of the need for bypass grafting showed that there is a major overuse of this procedure even in the best centers in the US. More recently an audit showed ethically unacceptable results of overuse of both bypass and angioplasty in the immediate post myocardial infarction scenario.

      Writing a very balanced editorial in the same issue, Harlan Krumholz from Yale University laments: “In a fee-for-service system, cardiac procedures generated billions of dollars in revenues each year. A high volume of procedures brought prestige and financial rewards to hospitals, physicians, and the vendors of medical equipment. In this environment, the US health care system rapidly produced and expanded the capacity to perform cardiac procedures and training….This increased capacity may also have fuelled demand for procedures.”

      The above issues are the outcome of statistical controls used for treatment and intervention and unethical practices (foolish people in the medical system?).

      For point 2, I will revert later.l

      • Vicky
        May 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm

        Yes, real medicine has problems. Sometimes there are unwanted side effects, and sometimes people die. That is regrettable and the medical profession has to do their best to minimise them. Sometimes procedures don’t hold what they promise. People are given medication or operated on in the hopes of prolonging their life or improving their quality of life, and later it is found out that the medication or procedure didn’t do that. The medical profession has to do their best to prevent that. We know of that because of statistics, reviews and meta-analyses, NOT because of homeopathy or other “alternative” therapies. It also doesn’t make homeopathy work.

        While it is regrettable that some people die as a result of medical intervention, we have to take this risk in order to save an even larger number of people. We can (and do) work on ways to improve the benefit vs. risk ratio. What we can’t (or rather: shouldn’t) do is give people harmless but totally ineffective sugar pills instead.
        Why ineffective?
        Common sense (aka basic physics and chemistry) tells us homeopathy shouldn’t work.
        Scientific trials tell us it doesn’t work.
        We can’t ignore that just because someone you know got rid of their corns with some homeopathic hocus-pocus. (btw: I once had one, too. I went to see a podiatrist who scraped it off and told me that it was probably due to my shoes – they really didn’t fit that well, I bought them because they looked great – et voilà, the corn never came back!) In Hahnemann’s times people probably didn’t know better (though it has to be said that from the very beginning there were people seeing homeopathy for the nonsense it is), but nowadays where everyone at least learns some basic science in school, it’s amazing to find that there are still people who believe in this BS.

    • Iqbal
      May 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      Badly Shaved Monkey:

      We live in a developing nation. We have to ensure the food we eat is right and the water is clean. This was more difficult 50 years ago. We managed to survive with homeopathy then and I see a strong relevance to continue to do so now when I read about the adverse effects of scientific medicines, the associated costly tests and possibility of meeting a specialist who knows only about a piece in my body.

      Homeopathy for us, started initially as an easy option-availability of homeopathic doctor in the family and low cost medicine- but after hundreds of ring side experiences and on self and family members, this has become an objective decision. If one has accesses to a good doctor, homeopathy is an excellent option and economic.

      For your knowledge, nowhere in homeopathy is surgery prohibited. Many medicines are used as follow up of surgery and bone setting. My father broke his spine in a road accident, later his hand, I broke my ribs in an accident, my brother broke his toe a few times and my son broke his finger and now has a damaged meniscus. Surgery and bone setting were part of the treatment procedure, but follow up medicines were all homeopathic remedies. The real doctor had threatened my father of dire consequences if his prescribed drugs were not used.

      Incidentally surgery is not part of the conventional medical system. There are no surgical procedures that have cleared RCT.

      I have stated earlier that homeopathy earlier was an easy and low cost alternative available to us. Now we see it as the right method that is simple, effective and non-invasive. It is becoming costly as good doctors charge heavily for consultation but overall still cheaper to the conventional medical system. You do not require daily tablet to control a potential problem.

      My younger brother’s wife came from a family of conventional doctors –all specialists. She could not understand how one doctor can prescribe for most patients and without calling for pathological tests. She aborted 3 times in her third month in the care of her family doctors. The result came when she took homeopathic medicines. They now have a daughter.

      What is the relevance of 200 years ago here?

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        May 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

        You need to re-read what I wrote to understand why the situation 200 years ago is relevant. My argument was quite straightforward.

        Of course surgery is part of conventional medicine. Don’t be silly. You seem to think conventional medicine is defined by and confined to RCTs. I’m sorry, but that just shows how little you know

        I don’t think you are reachable by rational debate. You have been unable to follow quite clear, simple and logical arguments and there comes a point where I have to give up. I am there now.

  21. Badly Shaved Monkey
    May 27, 2012 at 10:45 am

    P.S. I do try to answer direct questions, Iqbal. Why do I call myself Badly Shaved Monkey? Because I thought it was quite funny and once it had become my online monicker I have seen no reason to change it.

    I expect you to answer direct questions as well out of simple courtesy, so please turn your attention to what you have been asked about the term ‘linear’.

    • May 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      I take it you’re aware of the line by W S Gilbert from Princess Ida:

      Darwinian man, though well-behaved, at best is only a monkey shaved.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        May 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm

        I’d forgotten that reference. I have no idea from which of various possible sources the image of a shaved monkey came to me. Having met my hirsute personage it was, I assume, obvious to you why it had to be “badly shaved”.

  22. Mojo
    May 27, 2012 at 10:57 am

    @Iqballs:

    Do you have anything to say about the Swizz report? You haven’t said anything about it yet in your 18 posts replying to an article about it.

    • May 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      Yes, please tell us about the Swizz report, Iqbal – it is, after all, what this post is all about.

      • May 31, 2012 at 1:02 am

        Iqbal

        I’m dying to hear what you think about the Swiss homeopathy report.

        Can you oblige?

        Ta.

  23. tazzage
    May 27, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Something for Iqbal to ponder:

    A good friend of mine is a surgeon and his wife a gynecologist. She developed corns on the soles of her feet making it difficult for her to walk. The surgeon neatly removed the corns. In about 4 months the corns reappeared. She talked to me.
    I checked with my homeopathic doctor and recommended she take Antim Crud 30. Within 3 days she was walking around in her high heeled shoes.

    How were her feet 4 months after this?

    (It would still be just an anecdote and therefore not evidence for homeopathy, but at least you would be trying to compare like for like)

    • Iqbal
      May 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

      It is four years since the doctor took the medicine.
      She has not had any reoccurance.

      I have provided the name of the remedy. You may try it on someone who has this problem and see results.

      • Mojo
        May 28, 2012 at 10:30 am

        I have provided the name of the remedy. You may try it on someone who has this problem and see results.

        Homoeopaths claim that the remedy has to be “individualised” to the patient, not the problem. Are they wrong?

        • Iqbal
          May 29, 2012 at 2:10 am

          Corns on soles of feet: this is a specific symptom to a person and the remedy.

          • Mojo
            May 29, 2012 at 3:25 am

            Homoeopaths claim that all the symptoms the patient exhibits, not just the ones relating to whatever they actually want cured, need to be taken into account when prescribing a remedy, so that two patients presenting with the same condition may be prescribed quite different remedies. This is a frequently voiced objection to RCTs, despite the fact that RCTs of individualised homoeopathy have been carried out. and show results that are no better than those that don’t involve individualisation.

            Are they wrong? Is individualisation just a post-hoc rationalisation?

  24. Badly Shaved Monkey
    May 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Ademo,

    “clinical experience is more important, and I find it rather arrogant on their part that they criticize and condemn doctors and sometimes professors of medicine who, I am sure understand statistics and RCTs but use alternative medicine as well.”

    I spend a fairly large amount of time in consultations explaining to animal owners that clinical experience is a rather poor guide to the best action. I do this because I am honest. I cannot vouch for the honesty of doctors and vets who sell alternative medical therapies based on clinical experience.

    If I lied to you about the benefits of some alternative therapy you look like you’d be a good source of revenue to me, but I prefer honesty.

  25. Iqbal
    May 29, 2012 at 2:16 am

    I found an interesting comment from the doctor that fits here:

    Intellectual intolerance is the beginning of a dangerous terrorism that could destroy mankind. Let us try and understand the good things in other systems with the courage to admit our shortcomings. In this regard the example of controlled studies, touted to be the greatest find of modern medicine, stand out like a sore thumb!

    You should stop and ponder for a moment: RCT is the basis of all drug releases in the scientific medical world. This will destroy the foundation itself.

    • Will
      May 29, 2012 at 7:10 am

      I couldn’t agree more.

      We have been extremely intellectually tolerant with you. We have painstakingly tried to show you the good in thinking around homoeopathy, as well as the bad, and point out the shortcomings of your logic and thinking. Just as we point out our own.

      You have not presented anything we haven’t heard, and rightly dismissed, before; and at the same time you have comprehensively failed to even attempt to take on board any of the things we have said to you.

      You have the closed mind of a fundamentalist, and with all the honesty I can muster, with all seriousness. I find people like you terrifying.

      All attempts at reasoning with you, some serious, some humorous, have been a complete waste of everybody’s time.

      I have devoted my career to trying to find new ways to fight neglected diseases like malaria, leishmaniasis and tropanasomaiasis. Meeting people like you makes me want to give up.

      You simply wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the wonders of modern science and medicine. And you don’t deserve it.

      • Iqbal
        May 29, 2012 at 4:24 pm

        I am quite amazed at your attitude. This is a blog on MEDICAL SCIENCE and you are posting messages that are based upon what you think and believe?

        And you expect all others to do so?

        Is this what science is all about?

        Does this define you:

        Your understanding of the universe is based on your concept of reality, excluding all others, is the totality of your realization all encompassing, I think not.

        You do not accept things that are not real to you, does that mean you exclude the possibility of anything existing outside of your realization, if so your field of realization is as big as the universe or as small as you.

        What you are really saying is, I DON’T KNOW THIS THEREFORE IT IS FALSE.

        • Vicky
          May 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm

          Does this define you:

          No, but it seems to define you quite nicely, although the conclusion is (without the allcaps)
          “I think I know this therefore no argument in the world can change my belief.”

          I have a good idea of what kind of evidence would be needed to change my mind and make me think that homeopathy is (at least in some conditions) effective and therefore a true alternative to pharmaceuticals:
          – multiple trials, adequately performed (randomised, blinded, placebo controlled) show an effect better than placebo
          – the trials are conducted by different research groups
          – the trials are published in proper medical journals (meaning in journals known for their publishing standards, not in Homeopathy or Medical Hypotheses)
          If this happens I’ll change my mind – I’m not holding my breath as I think it is very unlikely, but I’ll never say never.

          Is there anything whatsoever that could ever make you believe homeopathy does in fact work no better than placebo?

          • Iqbal
            May 31, 2012 at 1:58 am

            The basis of the RCT itself is illogical.

            With science today clearly defining that mind has a very important role to play in a human’s physiology,how can you construct a control group to match the test group?

            I regret I am repeating myself:

            “The truth is that there is everything wrong with this approach. No two human beings could be compared based on a few of their phonotypical features. (On what basis can the trial group and the control group be matched?). The results are there for all to see. Most, if not all, RCTs have given unreliable results in the long run.”

            Till you continue to believe in RCT and the linear theory of medical science with its related problems, and that the science you studied in school to be the basis of medicines, you will continue to be disappointed.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          May 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm

          “What you are really saying is, I DON’T KNOW THIS THEREFORE IT IS FALSE.”

          The fact that you can say this is further evidence that you have not grasped a single point being made against you. We are not saying that we don’t understand how homeopathy could work so therefore it doesn’t. We are saying we have looked at the reliable evidence, whereas you have looked at only the most unreliable evidence, and we have concluded it doesn’t work. We also know why people like you think the way they do, your belief in homeopathy is explained by the placebo effect (but only slightly) and people’s tendency to deceive themselves. Homeopathy presents no mystery, it’s all very obvious if you bother to use your brain.

          • Iqbal
            May 31, 2012 at 2:05 am

            You cannot treat thousands of cases responding to homeopathic remedies including on self and people you meet on daily basis that included physically verifiable symptoms and happened repeatedly as placebo effect.

            The basis of prescribing the remedies in itself is a logical process based upon summary of many doctors’ observation and recommendation..

  26. Badly Shaved Monkey
    May 29, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Ademo

    “I am not trying to prove anything, it is you the skeptics that are trying to prove that the millions of people who benefit from homeopathy, herbal medicines etc. and the thousands of doctors who prescribe them are idiots.”

    If you wish to use that language I cannot stop you. Were millions of Aztecs idiots for believing that human sacrifice was necessary to ensure the Sun rose?

    People have believed lots of things that are just wrong.

  27. Badly Shaved Monkey
    May 29, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Iqbal

    “A very long note.

    I will find time and reply in stages.
    Bear with me.”

    The points I made were not difficult so you shouldn’t need much time.

    • Iqbal
      May 29, 2012 at 9:28 am

      I require time to locate references to support my message.

      It is not my belief that I state here, but what the doctors /scientists from the industry state- and I expect them to know more than all contributors to this site.

      This takes time.

      • Will
        May 29, 2012 at 9:48 am

        Iqbal: This is just a lie. A bare-faced lie.

        You know very well that what you quote is just what a select (selected by you) few “doctors /scientists from the industry” say. You know very well that there are also “doctors /scientists from the industry” who state that homoeopathy is a fraud. I have stated that I am a scientist, not in industry, but in academia and I think that homoeopathy is a fraud.

        You have also been told that several other contributors here are scientists and medical professionals, who also think homoeopathy is a fraud. So you didn’t even have to look very far.

        Stop trying to locate references to support your message. You have no message.

        However, I predict that you will cut and paste another load of drivel and continue to refuse to think for yourself.

        I, for one, have had quite enough of you. Good day.

        • Iqbal
          May 29, 2012 at 4:57 pm

          The doctors and scientists on this blog should be able to provide update that negates what I present here. But I am doubtful any one would venture to do so. And truth always hurts.

          Your thinking homeopathy is fraud does not make it so. Proving it would. But I doubt you have much knowledge about homeopathy.

          I assisted the homeopathic doctor for over 9 years ( 1973-1979 & 1980-1983). He listened to and prescribed for about 100 patients every day. All new patients came to him with reference of an existing patient. Many came with visible problems: eczema, boils, ring worm, warts, cough, fevers, measles etc. Others with thick dossiers containing past medical reports and prescription of earlier doctors.

          Most were cured of their ailments. The proof was that they later brought their friends and family members for treatment, when required.

          This was not possible if homeopathic remedies did not work.

          • Mojo
            May 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm

            “The doctors and scientists on this blog should be able to provide update that negates what I present here.”

            Well, there’s the results of the last 20 years worth of meta-analyses and sysematic reviews, for a start. They contradict your anecdotes.

            A couple of hundred years ago, medical doctors knew that when they treated their patients with bloodletting, purging, and mercury, most were cured of their ailments, and the proof was that they brought their friends and family members for treatment, when required.

            They knew their treatments worked for exactly the same reasons that you know homoeopathy works.

            Their treatments didn’t work, but it was possible for them to “know” that they did, just as it still is for homoeopaths to “know” that homoeopathy works.

          • Mojo
            May 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm

            “But I doubt you have much knowledge about homeopathy.”

            You don’t even know that the remedy needs to be individualized to the patient’s symoptoms, not specific to their complaint. And you don’t seem familiar with the basic research.

          • Mojo
            May 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm

            “He listened to and prescribed for about 100 patients every day.”

            One of homoeopathy’s supposed selling points is that the homoeopath is able to give a great deal of time to their patients, and take a detailed account of all their symptoms and feelings over the course of about 45 minutes or so (this is necessary to prescribe a properly individualized remedy, without which, remember, they claim it wouldn’t work) rather than the average of 8-10 minutes that a GP is able to allocate to each patient. Your homoeopath doesn’t seem to have been doing this, unless he was working 75 hour days.

          • Vicky
            May 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm

            I assisted the homeopathic doctor for over 9 years

            That explains why you’re unable to accept that homeopathy is a placebo therapy. Still, your belief that homeopathy works doesn’t in fact make it work. Deal with it.

      • Mojo
        May 29, 2012 at 10:29 am

        @Iqbal
        It is not my belief that I state here…

        What is your belief, then?

        • Iqbal
          May 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm

          Mojo:

          “You don’t even know that the remedy needs to be individualized to the patient’s symoptoms,..”

          “One of homoeopathy’s supposed selling points is that the homoeopath is able to give a great deal of time to their patients,…”

          You seem to have read many things about homeopathy on the net but how much do you understand?

          Have you ever visited a good homeopath doctor? You should and then you will understand. When a doctor deals with remedies daily over many years, he seldom opens a repertory for linking a remedy.

          With a new patient, who has a chronic ailment, a good doctor will take about 10-12 minutes. based upon the patient’s comments in the first 5 minutes he mentally shortlists a few remedies and in the next 5 minutes the doctor will ask questions and finalize the remedy/s to prescribe.

          For an existing patient, on a revisit, he will take probably 2 minutes. This is for classical homeopaths.

          For those homeopaths who offer remedies in combination, reduce the time by 50%.

          • Mojo
            May 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm

            With a new patient, who has a chronic ailment, a good doctor will take about 10-12 minutes. based upon the patient’s comments in the first 5 minutes he mentally shortlists a few remedies and in the next 5 minutes the doctor will ask questions and finalize the remedy/s to prescribe. For an existing patient, on a revisit, he will take probably 2 minutes. This is for classical homeopaths.

            Many UK registered homoeopaths, on their websites, say that the initial consultation will take over an hour and subsequent consultations about 45 minutes, and charge for their time. Are you suggesting that homoeopaths who do this are not good homoeopaths?

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        May 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm

        Iqbal, as Will has implied, I am not interested in reading more cut and paste nonsense, think for yourself and reply to my post in your own words so that you demonstrate your understanding. Or don’t bother.

        • Iqbal
          May 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm

          If you think what you write, you cannot be a trained vet.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            May 29, 2012 at 5:22 pm

            Wrong again.

            Please answer my longer post in your own words.

            Do you not agree that constructing an argument in your own words rather than just copying someone else’s words would demonstrate your understanding?

          • Mojo
            May 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm

            It might demonstrate many things, but on the basis of what has been posted so far I have my doubts that “understanding” would be one of them.

  28. Badly Shaved Monkey
    May 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Ah, Iqbal, I have just read your longer reply. I’m sorry to say you have not understood the basic point.

    Nothing, literally nothing, that you can say is wrong about conventional medicine makes any positive case for homeopathy. You criticise statistical methods but the methods of homeopaths contain those same problems but with none of the corrective mechanisms.

    So, your answer to point 1 is wrong where it is not irrelevant.

    Try again.

  29. Iqbal
    May 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Mojo:

    “Well, there’s the results of the last 20 years worth of meta-analyses and sysematic reviews, for a start. They contradict your anecdotes……”

    The Swiss government is accepting the very reviews for homeopathy that you believe contradict homeopathy.

    • Vicky
      May 29, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      Umm, you might have misunderstood the Swiss government’s position a tiny bit.

      • Mojo
        May 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm

        Rather a lot, actually.

        • Iqbal
          May 31, 2012 at 2:53 am

          Mojo:
          “Many UK registered homoeopaths, on their websites, say that the initial consultation will take over an hour a…

          These I expect would be new doctors still learning to repertorize.

          Spend time with them. You will understand all that you read on the net is not necessarily God,s truth.

          • Mojo
            May 31, 2012 at 8:47 am

            These I expect would be new doctors still learning to repertorize.

            Nope. I’ve just looked up the website of a doctor who has been practising homoeopathy for over 20 years, who still says that the initial consultation will take an hour. This appears typical of homoeopaths in this country.

            Spend time with them. You will understand all that you read on the net is not necessarily God,s truth.

            The information I have about the time taken for a consultation is from the websites of the homoeopaths themselves. Are you saying that it isn’t true?

            Incidentally, this conversation might be easier to follow if you put your replies under the post that you are replying to rather than another post seemingly chosen at random.

    • Daniel
      May 30, 2012 at 11:51 am

      Even if the Swiss government did in fact accept or support the report, what would that mean? The South African government spent years supporting sweet potatoes against HIV and vilified antiretroviral drugs.

      (Weak) argument from authority, Iqbal.

      • Iqbal
        May 31, 2012 at 2:08 am

        Then Mr. Andy wasted a lot of time writing about it and you commenting upon it.

        • Daniel
          June 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm

          Another evasive maneuver.

          Please leave it up to us what we choose to spend our time on. Thank you.

    • Mojo
      May 31, 2012 at 8:53 am

      The Swiss government is accepting the very reviews for homeopathy that you believe contradict homeopathy.

      Yes, and having accepted them, it withdrew funding from homoeopathy.

  30. Badly Shaved Monkey
    May 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Actually, Iqbal, I’ll ask you another question. It’s very simple and needs a short specific answer.

    Mojo said this;

    “A couple of hundred years ago, medical doctors knew that when they treated their patients with bloodletting, purging, and mercury, most were cured of their ailments”

    Iqbal, were those doctors right or wrong?

    • Iqbal
      May 31, 2012 at 2:45 am

      These doctors were wrong.

      But have you not noticed that they continue to do the same today? At times they have to pay for it:

      “In January 2009, Eli Lilly paid $1.4 bn to settle charges that it had persuaded doctors to prescribe a schizophrenia and bipolar disorder drug to children and the elderly even though it was known to be risky. The drug was called Zyprexa.
      With many more such cases, the pharmaceutical industry is now being called the biggest defrauder of the US government. A quick analysis of the penalties the industry has paid under the False Claims Act (FCA) reveals that it has overtaken even the defence industry. This is extraordinary because the arms sector had long been at the top of the list of defrauders.
      According to Public Citizen, a watchdog group, the pharma industry paid almost $ 20bn in penalties in the last two decades for violating the False Claims Act. More than half the fines — a whopping $10.5 bn — were paid by just four companies, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Schering-Plough.
      Many remain repeat offenders. Last year, Pfizer was slapped with a $2.3 bn penalty. It was the fourth time it was penalized.
      So why do these drug companies continue down this road? Observers say the enormous fines are a pittance compared to profits. Eli Lilly, for instance, paid a fine of just over one-fourth of its $4 bn annual profits from Zyprexa.

      What has changed?

  31. John H
    May 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    To Vicky.
    Thank you for that back article reference. Some useful stuff in there but I am a bit dubious about some aspects of it – which I will check out in the numerous references (and more importantly their sources).

    To All
    Dealing with Iqbal’s idiocy seems to have enabled him to successfully hijack Le Canard’s original article on the “Swizz Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and Foregone Conclusion on Sugar Pill Quackery” (I paraphrase).

    Could I close down the pointless debate with Iqbal by seeking endings to the following partial statement “when you argue with an idiot . . . . . . . . .”.

  32. Mojo
    May 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Dealing with Iqbal’s idiocy seems to have enabled him to successfully hijack Le Canard’s original article…

    …to the extent that when he introduced the claim that “the Swiss government is accepting the very reviews for homeopathy that you believe contradict homeopathy” I tried to link back to Zeno’s post about the report because I’d forgotten what this one was about.

  33. Badly Shaved Monkey
    May 31, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Iqbal,

    “A couple of hundred years ago, medical doctors knew that when they treated their patients with bloodletting, purging, and mercury, most were cured of their ailments”

    Iqbal, were those doctors right or wrong?

    Iqbal replied;

    These doctors were wrong.

    But, Iqbal said;

    “You cannot treat thousands of cases responding to [bloodletting, purging, and mercury] including on self and people you meet on daily basis that included physically verifiable symptoms and happened repeatedly as placebo effect.

    The basis of prescribing the [bloodletting, purging, and mercury]  in itself is a logical process based upon summary of many doctors’ observation and recommendation..”

    Why were those doctors wrong?

    By your way of thinking it was just not possible because it’s not possible for homeopaths to be wrong. 

    You can’t have it both ways. 

    Reductio ad absurdum

     QED.

    Iqbal, I strongly suspect you will not recognise or admit it, but you have just lost the argument.

    • Will
      May 31, 2012 at 8:23 am

      Beautiful!

      Like the scene where the person is going to get run over by a steam roller just crawling along.

      He doesn’t even understand his own position. Seriously, it’s worth saying again: He doesn’t even understand his own position!

      You played a good game BSM, and have much more patience than me!

      It’s a real shame that Iqbal doesn’t have the intelligence to understand what you did there.

      • May 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm

        Paging Messers Dunning and Kruger…

        • Will
          May 31, 2012 at 12:35 pm

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

          Ooooo… Hadn’t heard of that.

          “This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.”

          That about sums this whole thing up.

          NEXT!

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            May 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm

            The amazing thing about homeopaths is that they can spend years progressively being deskilled in their ability to reason critically. 

            The final product of their training leaves them incapable of rejecting even the most outlandish ideas, which is why there is so much entertainment mileage to be obtained from asking a hom to name a form of quackery that they have rejected even though, to a sane outside observer, many forms of woo are mutually incompatible. 

            I’m sure Iqbal only fell into the punji pit because he has pigeon-holed bloodletting, purging and mercury as part of allopathy. And he reflexively  rejects allopathy. 

            If Mojo had listed reiki, acupuncture and reflexology we’d still be reading his argumentum ad populum in their defence. 

          • Mojo
            May 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm

            I’m sure Iqbal only fell into the punji pit because he has pigeon-holed bloodletting, purging and mercury as part of allopathy. And he reflexively rejects allopathy.

            Maybe if I had called them Raktamokshana, Virechana and Rasa shastra he would have approved of them. ;)

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            May 31, 2012 at 2:25 pm

            “Maybe if I had called them Raktamokshana, Virechana and Rasa shastra he would have approved of them.”

            Ooh, I see what you’re doing there.

            Iqbal, any comment?

          • May 31, 2012 at 10:55 pm

            Very useful when talking about quacks.

            You need to watch John Cleese’s take on it (he’s a friend of David Dunning, apparently).

    • Mojo
      May 31, 2012 at 10:42 am

      @Iqbal

      You say that you know homoeopathy works because, when homoeopaths treat patients with homoeopathy,

      “Most were cured of their ailments. The proof was that they later brought their friends and family members for treatment, when required. This was not possible if homeopathic remedies did not work.”

      The doctors of Samuel Hahnemann’s time knew that treatments like bloodletting, purging, and mercury worked because, when they treated patients with them, most were cured of their ailments. The proof was that they later brought their friends and family members for treatment, when required.

      The doctors reasons for believing their treatments worked are exactly the same as your own reasons for believing that homoeopathy works, and yet you claim that while the doctors were Wrong it is not possible that you are wrong.

      Do you see your problem here?

      • Iqbal
        June 1, 2012 at 3:53 pm

        Mojo:

        This is not reflective of the situation.

        During Dr. Hahnemann’s time, what was the alternative available to you if you were sick? Can you let everyone know?

        Do you see the same situation today?

        And be very clear, THIS WAS THE SCIENTIFIC MEDICAL SYSTEM. Today, you deride it. Dr. Hahnemann treated it with the same contempt that you do today. Only he saw through it 200 years before you.

        Now that you are discussing the modern medical system, will you confirm the year or decade when it started to be really scientific?

        • Mojo
          June 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm

          That isn’t anything to do with what I posted.

          Your reasons for believing that homoeopathy works are exactly the same as the reasons 18th century doctors had for believing that bloodletting and purging worked. And yet bloodletting and purging have since been abandoned because it was eventually discovered that they don’t work.

          During Dr. Hahnemann’s time, what was the alternative available to you if you were sick? Can you let everyone know?

          18th century medicine was pretty much useless, and much of it was even harmful. This is the only reason homoeopathy appeared better.

          Do you see the same situation today?

          No, we don’t. Although apologists for homoeopathy such as yourself deny this, medicine has been chasnged out of all recognition ove rthe last 200 years. The idea that disease is caused by imbalances of ‘humours’ has been abandoned, the germ theory has been discovered, we now have a good idea how metabolism works and can use this knowledge in treating diseases, we have antibiotics, we have aspirin and other effective painkillers, we have a whole array of effective treatments that weren’t even dreamed of 200 years ago, and work on principles that were totally unknown then.

          And be very clear, THIS WAS THE SCIENTIFIC MEDICAL SYSTEM.

          No, it wasn’t. 18th century medicine wasn’t remotely scientific, and shouting won’t make it true.

          Today, you deride it. Dr. Hahnemann treated it with the same contempt that you do today. Only he saw through it 200 years before you.

          But unfortunately he just tried to replace it with other unscientific nonsense, for example substituting the imaginary ‘humours’ with equally imaginary ‘miasms’.

          Now that you are discussing the modern medical system, will you confirm the year or decade when it started to be really scientific?

          I wasn’t discussing “the modern medical system”, I was discussing the rubbish that passed for medicine in Hahnemann’s time. These are not the same thing.

          • Iqbal
            June 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm

            Mojo:
            Your reasons for believing that homoeopathy works are exactly the same as the reasons 18th century doctors had for believing that bloodletting and purging worked…………….

            This is incorrect assessment. Homeopathy is based upon evidence. When doctor prescribes a remedy, there is a background to it. The results repeatedly confirm it. For example, a person, perfectly normal, whose parents suffered from tuberculosis/bronchitis can be all times tested with Bacillinum 1M. The reaction will always be the same: he will develop symptoms associated with TB within a week. Anyone who has used ointment to control itch, will see severe re-occurrence with Sulphur 200C.

            18th century medicine was pretty much useless, and much of it was even harmful. This is the only reason homoeopathy appeared better…………….

            This is not what I meant. Earlier there were not many alternatives medical systems available. Now the scientific system offers numerous doctors, hospitals supported by marketing budgets with pharma companies adding their bit. Still a fairly large educated population (France, UK, Germany, Switzerland, India, USA etc.) prefers the alternative therapy including homeopathy. I am sure many of these are educated in science. They studied a science different to yours or all these are foolish people (In France it is over 30 %?)

            “Modern medicine is slowly becoming unpopular in the west. In the year 1997 alone 629 million people took treatment from alternative systems of medicine in the west paying from their own pockets. This is more than the number of people that saw their family doctors in the same year, according to a survey done by Eisenberg and colleagues in 1998.” This figure is increasing every year.

            No, we don’t. Although apologists for homoeopathy such as yourself deny this, medicine has been changed out of all recognition over the last 200 years. The idea that disease is caused by imbalances of ‘humours’ has been abandoned, the germ theory has been discovered, we now have a good idea how metabolism works and can use this knowledge in treating diseases, we have antibiotics, we have aspirin and other effective painkillers, we have a whole array of effective treatments that weren’t even dreamed of 200 years ago, and work on principles that were totally unknown then……………….

            I am sure you are not serious when you write this or not properly informed. There is no medicine in the allopathic system-only drugs.

            Now about understanding of germ theory and antibiotics: Many of the germs that were initially sensitive to antibiotics have now become resistant and threaten to annihilate man from this planet. The Royal College of Physicians of London organized a meet to discuss the Clinical Implications of Anti-microbial Resistance on the 28th February 2001. It has been estimated that around 15,000 people die in that small country every year from infections against which no antibiotic is effective. The situation is much worse today.

            In a well researched book, Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health, Laurie Garrett from the USA, shows how the threat is not confined to the poor countries but, is greater in the West, basically because doctors there over-prescribe antibiotics so that bacterial infections are becoming increasingly resistant to the most widely used antibiotics.

            Now there are programs that tell doctors NOT to prescribe antibiotics.

            This is the use of knowledge that you are dreaming off? Do not blame the doctors. They are trained in the scientific system and know more than you about when antibiotic is required by the patient.

            Which new principal are you writing about? It is the same old linear logic: The new principal is to invent patients: Lately a new disease has been invented in the medi-business world. “Female impotence”. Thanks to their ingenuity and their clout with the medical scientific establishments, this new disease is already in print having received a code number in the accepted list of diseases. You could expect female impotence as a disease in medical texts soon enough for the next batch of medicos to memorise for the examinations. It is known that medical texts are written with money from drug barons in the west.

            But unfortunately he just tried to replace it with other unscientific nonsense, for example substituting the imaginary ‘humours’ with equally imaginary ‘miasms’…………..

            Unscientific nonsense to you as you do not know Homeopathy. Miasm was a term used by Dr. Hahnemann to define the latent condition of a disease. Medical Science is slowly moving in this direction: life style diseases of earlier times like diabetes, heart conditions are now genetic transfer of disease. At next level a new name would be available for miasm: then you will understand it and it will be totally scientific.

          • Mojo
            June 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm

            This is incorrect assessment. Homeopathy is based upon evidence.

            Homoeopathy is based on ignoring evidence. While there is poor evidence that it works, better evidence shows that it doesn’t.

            For example, a person, perfectly normal, whose parents suffered from tuberculosis/bronchitis can be all times tested with Bacillinum 1M. The reaction will always be the same: he will develop symptoms associated with TB within a week. Anyone who has used ointment to control itch, will see severe re-occurrence with Sulphur 200C.

            I bet you can’t provide references to properly controlled and double-blinded trials that back up these claims.

            This is not what I meant. Earlier there were not many alternatives medical systems available. Now the scientific system offers numerous doctors, hospitals supported by marketing budgets with pharma companies adding their bit. Still a fairly large educated population (France, UK, Germany, Switzerland, India, USA etc.) prefers the alternative therapy including homeopathy. I am sure many of these are educated in science. They studied a science different to yours or all these are foolish people (In France it is over 30 %?)

            “Modern medicine is slowly becoming unpopular in the west. In the year 1997 alone 629 million people took treatment from alternative systems of medicine in the west paying from their own pockets. This is more than the number of people that saw their family doctors in the same year, according to a survey done by Eisenberg and colleagues in 1998.” This figure is increasing every year.

            None of this is evidence that homoeopathy works.

            I am sure you are not serious when you write this or not properly informed. There is no medicine in the allopathic system-only drugs.

            The drugs are medicines. And the allopathic system was abandoned in the 19th century – medicine no longer relies on the concept of balancing humours, even if homoeopaths are too dishonest to admit this.

            Now about understanding of germ theory and antibiotics: Many of the germs that were initially sensitive to antibiotics have now become resistant and threaten to annihilate man from this planet. The Royal College of Physicians of London organized a meet to discuss the Clinical Implications of Anti-microbial Resistance on the 28th February 2001. It has been estimated that around 15,000 people die in that small country every year from infections against which no antibiotic is effective. The situation is much worse today.

            Antibiotic resistance in no way invalidates the germ theory: if the germ theory was not valid, then antibiotic resistance would not be a problem.

            Unscientific nonsense to you as you do not know Homeopathy. Miasm was a term used by Dr. Hahnemann to define the latent condition of a disease. Medical Science is slowly moving in this direction: life style diseases of earlier times like diabetes, heart conditions are now genetic transfer of disease. At next level a new name would be available for miasm: then you will understand it and it will be totally scientific.

            Let me know when the “vital force” is detected.

          • Mojo
            June 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm

            Earlier there were not many alternatives medical systems available.

            Are you kidding? Perkins tractors, mesmerism, hydropathy… The list of 18th and 19th century quackeries and quacks is endless. I suggest that you read Roy Porter’s Quacks: Fakes and Charlatans in Medicine or Eric Jameson’s The Natural History of Quackery.

            The difference was that in those days the quackery was more difficult to distinguish from “orthodox” medicine, because the medicine of the time was mostly as useless as the quackery.

    • Iqbal
      June 1, 2012 at 3:19 am

      You got part of the history correct and as earlier you justify it while sitting on the wrong side. Here your school science should help you, if you go over it carefully.

      The methods you describe were followed by the scientific medical community that you have washed your hands off. As you wrote use of chemicals like mercury, sulphur, etc was rampant. Even now if you do an RCT with these chemicals you will get excellent results. This is the 200 year old stuff? And, what has changed? New drugs do not kill immediately. That would be poison. These drugs are more sophisticated. You get a good feeling that you are getting rid of your problem, you pay for it also. If you are lucky, you get to spend quality time in a big hospital surrounded with trained doctors and nurses and then- bye, bye. Recall Vioxx. 140,000 Americans alone.

      The 200 year phase you write about in medical history started the homeopathic system. For those uninitiated, Dr. Hahnemann was a product of the same scientific community: only he was not impressed about the science and the results.

      The earlier doctors who established homeopathy were ALL trained doctors in the scientific system and realised the big gaps in the drug development and delivery. Their observations with homeopathic remedies even today are used by homeopaths to resolve illness. Many new remedies are added using the same techniques.

      So if you believe you were trying to win a political debate you really have no idea what you are doing or should do. For that matter, trying to out think me, you have no chance- I have the facts on my side.

    • Iqbal
      June 1, 2012 at 3:26 am

      Monkey: the reply was for you.

      You got part of the history correct and as earlier you justify it while sitting on the wrong side. Here your school science should help you, if you go over it carefully.

      The methods you describe were followed by the scientific medical community that you have washed your hands off. As you wrote use of chemicals like mercury, sulphur, etc was rampant. Even now if you do an RCT with these chemicals you will get excellent results. This is the 200 year old stuff? And, what has changed? New drugs do not kill immediately. That would be poison. These drugs are more sophisticated. You get a good feeling that you are getting rid of your problem, you pay for it also. If you are lucky, you get to spend quality time in a big hospital surrounded with trained doctors and nurses and then- bye, bye. Recall Vioxx. 140,000 Americans alone.

      The 200 year phase you write about in medical history started the homeopathic system. For those uninitiated, Dr. Hahnemann was a product of the same scientific community: only he was not impressed about the science and the results.

      The earlier doctors who established homeopathy were ALL trained doctors in the scientific system and realised the big gaps in the drug development and delivery. Their observations with homeopathic remedies even today are used by homeopaths to resolve illness. Many new remedies are added using the same techniques.

      So if you believe you were trying to win a political debate you really have no idea what you are doing or should do. For that matter, trying to out think me, you have no chance- I have the facts on my side.

      • Daniel
        June 1, 2012 at 10:54 am

        “I have the facts on my side.”

        Oh stop. I can barely breathe, and I’m crying with laughter.

      • Mojo
        June 1, 2012 at 10:57 am

        As you wrote use of chemicals like mercury, sulphur, etc was rampant. Even now if you do an RCT with these chemicals you will get excellent results.

        These are treaments that were abandoned because they were found to be useless, or even harmful. Design your RCT badly enough and you can get a completely useless treatment to show an effect. See, for example, the many papers pointing out that as study quality increases the effects of homoeopathy tend to vanish. See also homoeopathic ‘provings’.

        New drugs do not kill immediately. That would be poison.

        Ever heard of Paracelsus?

        This is the 200 year old stuff? And, what has changed?

        Apart from the basic concept of ‘humours’ then in use, along with pretty much all the interventions in use 200 years ago having been abandoned, you mean?

        The earlier doctors who established homeopathy were ALL trained doctors in the scientific system…

        What “scientific system”? The doctors of Hahnemann’s time were not remotely scientific. You are talking about the era of ‘Heroic Medicine’ here. They still used the concept of imbalances of ‘humours’ as the cause of disease in the absence of germ theory. Remember, the “trained doctors” of that time were the same ones who believed that bloodletting, purging, and mercury worked, for the same reasons that you still believe homoeopathy woarks. The ones who you admitted were wrong.

        Their observations with homeopathic remedies even today are used by homeopaths to resolve illness. Many new remedies are added using the same techniques.

        See my comment above about badly designed trials.

        • Iqbal
          June 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm

          Mojo:
          . These are treatments that were abandoned because they were found to be useless, or even harmful….
          It is always possible to be intelligent and know everything in hindsight. You believe Newton was stupid because he did not postulate the Quantum theory?

          Today, you turn around and call doctors (?) that existed 200 years ago as devoid of science because the practise they followed did not really help. What do you know of the test procedures they followed? Was that science of that period?

          What do you expect to see 50 years ahead? Possible development of some drugs that do not have any adverse effects?

          With millions dying worldwide due to adverse effects of drugs, (some hundred thousand in USA alone every year) the present medical system would be termed as highly sophisticated and science based? Or some person like you would be writing about the severe shortcomings ? How will your note compare?

          Please do not talk about the germ theory. Even as I write, a few million germs are running inside you. Scientists are not even aware of how many types of germs exist in your stomach and which of these is good for you and which are not?

          Why are you still alive?

          • Mojo
            June 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm

            You believe Newton was stupid because he did not postulate the Quantum theory?

            No. Newton was just as unaware of atomic theory as was Hahnemann, not because he was stupid, but simply because of when he lived. He had no basis on which to suggest quantum theory.

            Today, you turn around and call doctors (?) that existed 200 years ago as devoid of science because the practise they followed did not really help. What do you know of the test procedures they followed? Was that science of that period?

            No, I call them uunscientific because of the reasons for which they used their treatments: ancient authority and tradition. Rather like homoeopathy.

            What do you expect to see 50 years ahead? Possible development of some drugs that do not have any adverse effects?

            I very much doubt it. The only sort of drug that does not have any adverse effects is one that has no effects at all. Rather like homoeopathy.

            Please do not talk about the germ theory. Even as I write, a few million germs are running inside you. Scientists are not even aware of how many types of germs exist in your stomach and which of these is good for you and which are not? Why are you still alive?

            Because you don’t appear to know anything about germ theory.

          • Will
            June 1, 2012 at 10:41 pm

            Iqbal,

            One last try…

            Consider this: People were convinced that the Sun went round the Earth. They saw the indisputable evidence for themselves every day. Round and round it went. They believed this in their millions and it was totally established as fact.

            But we now know that they were wrong.

            What was wrong with the evidence that had had them so convinced?

            Also, you can rage against the fact that the abandonment of geocentricism robs the Earth of its privileged status; you can hate it because you don’t feel special any more. You can detest the fact that the heliocentric model, and a deeper understanding of our place in the Universe, makes us look rather insignificant. You can even claim that the heliocentric model will lead to the eventual decline of our species as it robs us of purpose.

            But none of these things makes geocentricism true.

            You think you have seen indisputable evidence of the efficacy of homoeopathy, but, like the people watching the Sun go round and round, you have not seen the whole picture.

            Also, you mention the side effects and complications associated with many drugs. Yup, this is certainly true. But like hating heliocentricism because you no longer feel at the centre of the universe is silly; thinking that the faults of medicine add validity to homoeopathy just can’t be right can it?

            Homoeopathy either works or it doesn’t. What do drug side effects have to do with it? The very fact that you bring up the faults of medicine weakens your position. Why do you need to mention it? Heliocentricism isn’t right BECAUSE geocentricism is wrong. It’s just right.

            200 years ago it wasn’t completely stupid to look at homoeopathy a little bit and think that it might work. Like it wasn’t stupid 600 years ago to look at the Sun and think it goes round the Earth. It’s not stupid to think that there must be something better than current treatments, that there must be a way to treat more people than we can at the moment. But that in itself doesn’t add validity to homoeopathy.

            So what do we do?

            We just can’t rely on the evidence of our own eyes.

            So, we have to test.

            And every fair, well designed test carried out on homoeopathy shows that it doesn’t work.

            We don’t say this because we stand to lose money if homoeopathy worked. We don’t say this because we can’t explain how homoeopathy might work (we love what we can’t explain). We say it simply because it’s the truth. We went beyond the evidence of our own eyes.

            This isn’t two belief systems knocking their heads together: “I believe in homoeopathy!” “Oh yea? Well I believe in drugs!”.

            I am disgusted by many of the things Big Pharma have done over the years. Terrible things.

            It’s not that we love taking drugs; hell, I avoid going to the doctor as much as possible and rarely take any drugs (perhaps the odd paracetamol).

            It’s just that we understand what you, and those like you, have not.

            You are watching the Sun go over your head and you just can’t take in what we are saying to you.

            As you can’t understand, and in your opinion it can’t possibly be true, your only way to rationalise what’s going on is to look for alternative explanations. “Why would they say that about the Sun?” “What are they up to?” “Why would they deny what I can plainly see before me?”

            And then you get into a muddle. You seek desperately for reassurance. Cling to anything that supports you. Fight against the people who deny what you can plainly see as they must be evil.

            But the truth is the truth. You can’t affect the truth. The truth doesn’t owe you anything and you can’t expect it to be pleasing to you.

            You can only accept it, or go mad clinging to nonsensical things out of fear.

            And that’s no way to live your life.

  34. Badly Shaved Monkey
    May 31, 2012 at 7:00 am

    I use my psychic powers to predict that Iqbal will adopt the Black Knight strategy.

    • Mojo
      June 1, 2012 at 5:41 am

      When are you going to apply for Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge?

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        June 1, 2012 at 7:06 am

        I need no financial reward. Using my powers for good is its own reward.

        • Daniel
          June 1, 2012 at 10:52 am

          Ironically (or intentionally?) that is precisely the response that quacks and phonies would give when challenged: “I’m not wasting my time with that cranky old man, I’ve got too many cancers to heal / dead grandmothers to talk to!”

  35. Badly Shaved Monkey
    May 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    For any readers not fortunate enough to know Monty Python’s oeuvre;

    Iqbal meets King Arthur (and Patsy).

  36. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 1, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Iqbal,

    “A couple of hundred years ago, medical doctors knew that when they treated their patients with bloodletting, purging, and mercury, most were cured of their ailments”

    Iqbal, were those doctors right or wrong?

    Iqbal replied;

    These doctors were wrong.

    But, Iqbal said;

    “You cannot treat thousands of cases responding to [bloodletting, purging, and mercury] including on self and people you meet on daily basis that included physically verifiable symptoms and happened repeatedly as placebo effect.

    The basis of prescribing the [bloodletting, purging, and mercury]  in itself is a logical process based upon summary of many doctors’ observation and recommendation..”

    Why were those doctors wrong?

    By your way of thinking it was just not possible because it’s not possible for homeopaths to be wrong. 

    You can’t have it both ways. 

    Reductio ad absurdum

     QED.

    Iqbal, I strongly suspect you will not recognise or admit it, but you have just lost the argument.

    It turns out I was right. 

    Black Knight, I asked you one simple question in the post I have copied above “Why were those doctors wrong?”. 

    The nearest you came to trying to answer it was the following assertion that you seem to have pulled out of your rear-end;

    The methods you describe were followed by the scientific medical community that you have washed your hands off. As you wrote use of chemicals like mercury, sulphur, etc was rampant. Even now if you do an RCT with these chemicals you will get excellent results.

    Even if true, this does not answer the question, which was about how false belief persisted given the testimonial support that existed for that belief in its own time. Instead of addressing this, you have chosen to assert, bizarrely, that the historical methods of conventional doctors would have passed RCT testing. 

    Please, Iqbal, try to follow the argument more carefully. Stop blurting out more lengthy posts that reiterate the same opinions that we have shown you to be false. Have the courage to answer the specific question I have asked. If you did that honestly you would actually learn something. At the moment you are simply repeating the same fallacious arguments and making yourself appear irredeemably stupid. 

    So, for clarity, I repeat, answer the following brief question with a simple, short and relevant reply. Do nothing else. Just do that. 

    Why were those doctors wrong?

    • Iqbal
      June 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      BSM:

      You left me a little confused with your rewriting my message.

      Try to re write the one below: this is from a doctor trained in scientific medical science:

      Myth One: Every ill has a pill.
      Truth: Every pill has an ill waiting in the far corner. Iatrogenic diseases are going up exponentially with more drugs and technology in the market!

      Myth Two: Doctors can predict the future by routine check up of the apparently healthy.
      Truth: Doctors have been predicting the unpredictable using linear mathematics. Routine screening of the healthy could dangerously damage their health!

      Myth Three: Anti-biotics would banish germs from this world.
      Truth: Anti-biotics have created new deadly germs. Maggots kill those germs.

      Myth Four: Tight Control of blood sugar using drugs helps diabetics.
      Truth: Very tight control of blood sugar with drugs increases complications in the long run.

      Myth Five: Organ Transplant has solved problems.
      Truth: Organ transplant is mired with multiple old and new problems. Prevention of diseases is the only answer.

      Myth Six: Pre-hypertension a new disease!
      Truth: When systolic blood pressure falls below 30 mm Hg. there would be no (heart) disease! Man might not be alive to get heart attacks.

      Myth Seven: Universal Vaccination eliminates all diseases.
      Truth: Dynamic cycle of diseases. Polio is back again in many parts of the world.

      Myth Eight: More doctors and hospitals make man healthy.
      Truth: More doctors less health. More interventions increase deaths and disability. Ulysses syndromes.

      Myth Nine: Very heavy alcoholics do not get heart attacks. Drinking in moderation is good for the heart.
      Truth: Very heavy alcoholics do not live long enough to get heart attacks; they die young of liver disease. Mild and moderate drinkers have higher stroke rates.

      Myth Ten: Coronary revascularisation is a boon.
      Truth: Better reserved for extreme cases. Stroke rate quadruples if done immediately after a heart attack. Usually done for money.

      After you complete this, I will provide the next 10.

      I provide this information as you use this knowledge to run down homeopathy and use the same yard stick. First check the validity of the reference standard itself.

      • Vicky
        June 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm

        Yeah, it’s easy to debunk myths you yourself create, isn’t it? Easier than answering some easy questions it seems.

        • Iqbal
          June 3, 2012 at 3:57 am

          This is not homeopathy- that you treat as myth.

          This is a small summary of what goes on in the scientific medical world as you know it.

          And you use this standard to run down homeopathy. Change the standard first.

          • Vicky
            June 3, 2012 at 8:41 am

            Unfortunately you don’t seem to understand scientific medicine. None of the “Myths” you list is taught in uni. Worse, you even got some of the “Truths” wrong. If I had the feeling it could make a difference, I’d take the time to correct them for you, but you don’t want to learn anything. You don’t answer the easiest questions and you don’t realise that your view of what scientific medicine entails is nowhere near reality (at least not here in Europe). Again, nobody here thinks scientific medicine is perfect, but that doesn’t mean disproven treatments should be allowed to replace it. So no, I for one am not going to change my standards.
            Evidence or STFU.

      • Mojo
        June 3, 2012 at 10:05 am

        Myth One: Every ill has a pill.

        I must congratulate you on your use of irony here.

    • June 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Iqbal

      I would still like to know what you think of the Swiss homeopathy report – which is what this blog post is all about, after all.

  37. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 1, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Black Knight, 

    I’m beginning to think you don’t actually read anyone else’s posts. Here you are saying;

    “Their observations with homeopathic remedies even today are used by homeopaths to resolve illness. Many new remedies are added using the same techniques.”

    You keep complaining that RCTs lead to drugs that sometimes get withdrawn, but you continue to ignore the fact that homeopaths’ [supposed] drug discovery process has all the problems of defining efficacy in the face of messy data but none of the corrections and controls. 

    Frankly, your lack of attention to what we laboriously explain to you is discourteous and just plain rude. 

  38. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 1, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Dear everyone who is not the Black Knight,

    Yes, I know…

    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png

  39. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 1, 2012 at 7:25 am

    alt-text

    “What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they’ll keep being wrong!”

  40. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 1, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I don’t think Iqbal’s talking to me now :)

    But he question remains.

    Iqbal, why were all those prescientific doctors wrong? I’ll give you a hint, the same one that Mojo has been giving you: their false think was the same as yours and your homeopaths.

    Regular readers here will be familiar with what I am about to say, but Iqbal we get just one chance to tread the mortal coil of life. You are wasting your only chance at this in thrall to a belief system that is not just wrong but laughably and tragically wrong. When I am not making fun of homeopaths, I find them unutterably sad.

    So, try an answer to the question and try to break out of your cycle of pathological thinking.

  41. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 2, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Earth calling Iqbal, you have left important unfinished business here;

    Iqbal, why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?

    Please, don’t let it be that the mothership has beamed you up too early.

  42. Mojo
    June 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Iqbal:

    You have said that 18th century doctors were wrong when they believed that bloodletting, purging and mercury were effective treatments.

    Do you think that practitioners of Ayurveda are wrong when they believe that bloodletting, purging and mercury are effective treatments?

    • Iqbal
      June 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      I have no knowledge about ayurveda.

      • Mojo
        June 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm

        Do you think that bloodletting, purging, and mercury are effective treatments?

  43. Iqbal
    June 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Mr. Will

    Your writing is completely illogical.

    Still I address some of the specific points:

    Homoeopathy either works or it doesn’t. What do drug side effects have to do with it? The very fact that you bring up the faults of medicine weakens your position. Why do you need to mention it? Heliocentricism isn’t right BECAUSE geocentricism is wrong. It’s just right………….

    I mention it because the evaluation procedure used to negate the effectiveness of homeopathic medicines is the same as for drugs. Because homeopathic remedies do not behave like drugs, THEY CANNOT WORK. End results CANNOT be valid.

    Homeopathic remedies work as otherwise; Eczema will not clean up, corns not vanish, warts not drop off, fever not become normal, stomach disorders will not become normal and numerous such complaints will not correct once the patient starts taking the remedy. There cannot be repeated placebo effect. Many patients had been through the allopathic system earlier.Placebo effect was not present then?

    Sun going around the earth did not explain few occurrences: the rhythm of seasons, the everyday change in its appearance time (like why should a medicine have an adverse effect when it is supposed to cure? Why should my BP increase again when I stop my tablet- was it not a cure, only suppression?).

    And every fair, well designed test carried out on homoeopathy shows that it doesn’t work…….

    But there are no foolproof tests that show effects of drugs either. What is the reason to continually withdraw drugs if these have cleared the well designed tests? The logic for RCT is itself invalid. The modern medical science is totally in agreement about mind playing the most important role in a persons’ well being. The present RCT procedure to test drugs does not even take into account the mind factor!

    You can only accept it, or go mad clinging to nonsensical things out of fear.And that’s no way to live your life………………

    Thank you for your concern. I am quite enjoying my life. Homeopathic medicines resolve all complaints my family or me go through. No need to visit a hospital (except recently for a small surgery my son had when he ruptured the meniscus in his knee during a football match- here also the follow up medicines were homeopathic). We never manage to use money from our medical insurance.

    • Mojo
      June 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      I mention it because the evaluation procedure used to negate the effectiveness of homeopathic medicines is the same as for drugs. Because homeopathic remedies do not behave like drugs, THEY CANNOT WORK.

      Exactly: the reason that homoeopathy fails to demonstrate efficacy in double blind RCTs is that patients treated with homoeopathy do not do any better than those treated with placebo.

      • Iqbal
        June 3, 2012 at 4:11 am

        Now you are being dishonest.

        Read the total message.

        • Mojo
          June 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm

          My point here is that there is no reason to believe that homoeopathy cannot be tested in exactly the same way as drugs are tested.

          All the RCT does is to measure the difference in outcomes between two groups of patients, one of which has been treated with the therapy in question and one of which has not. The question of the way the therapy works is irrelevant. All the RCT does is to find out if it has any effect.

          You are the one bieng dishonest here, by misrepresenting the arguments against homoeopathy.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          June 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

          Actually, I found the ambiguity of his use of the pronoun THEY to be hilariously accurate if you read exactly what he wrote;

          Because homeopathic remedies do not behave like drugs, THEY CANNOT WORK.

    • Mojo
      June 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      What is the reason to continually withdraw drugs if these have cleared the well designed tests?

      Because adverse effects not detected in those tests come to light.

      And your implication that drugs are “continually” being withdrawn is yet another example of your (probably wilful) ignorance. Most drugs are not withdrawn. Many are superseded because another better drug comes along, but withdrawals because of adverse effects are rare enough to be newsworthy; that’s why you have heard of them.

  44. Iqbal
    June 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Mojo:

    Mojo on June 1, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    No, I call them unscientific because of the reasons for which they used their treatments: ancient authority and tradition. Rather like homeopathy………….

    You are quite incorrect. Look up the scientific discoveries of the nineteenth century and you will find great scientific temper that would not have much influence of ancient authority and tradition.

    Chemicals were used for treatment with severe adverse effects. The logic –linear approach -for medicine was the same as it is used today. Mind was not part of the physical ailments. So what has changed? And as you write: I very much doubt it. The only sort of drug that does not have any adverse effects is one that has no effects at all. Rather like homeopathy.

    This is the comment from your ignorance about the medical theory: A patient comes to the doctor to be treated of an ailment – not to be killed to be part of statistics or carry back a bigger problem.

    Because you don’t appear to know anything about the germ theory…..

    The germ theory was postulated to explain a few phenomena. As the scientific knowledge improves, it would be treated as the Newton’s law. To be taught is class 5 and then everyone will concentrate on more sophisticated explanations that will include the new definition of germs –their interaction and how good germs become bad and vice versa.

  45. Mojo
    June 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    This is the comment from your ignorance about the medical theory: A patient comes to the doctor to be treated of an ailment – not to be killed to be part of statistics or carry back a bigger problem.

    That’s no reason to lie to them and fob them off with a sugar pill.

    • Iqbal
      June 3, 2012 at 4:24 am

      No sugar pills.

      I wrote a message on Bacillinum 1m and Sulphur 200C.

      Try it.

      Put few drops of the remedy in a glass of water without informing the person. You will get your anecdote to write about.This is 100% occurring phenomena. In the scientific medical vocabulary you call it Nocebo reaction.

      Just make sure, Bacillinum is not to be given to a child below 15 years. For Sulphur, it does not matter.

      And no need to be worried. The symptoms will clean up in about 15 days on their own. The person will actually feel better than earlier.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        June 3, 2012 at 7:33 am

        BAZINGA!!

        Iqbal has finally played the one-person uncontrolled trial gambit.

        Keep any homeopath talking for long enough and it will eventually appear.

        Well done, Iqbal.

        Can I suggest you don’t bother with the “it works on babies and animals, so it can’t be a placebo” argument? That is a particularly boring one.

        • Vicky
          June 3, 2012 at 8:55 am

          Iqbal’s actually disproven his own claim that it’s impossible to see homeopathy works in a scientific trial. If either of these “remedies” produces symptoms 100% of the time, it’s trivially easy to prove that in a placebo controlled trial. It might not be too easy to recruit people whose parents had Tuberculosis (I guess they must have had it before they had their kids) but people who’ve had a rash they treated with ointment? That’s at least 50% of the people I know!

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            June 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

            It’s Reductio ad absurdum again.

            Keep any homeopath talking for long enough and they do this to themselves. Homeopathy is riddled with internal inconsistencies and belief in it can only be sustained if the various contradictory strands of thought are kept apart. Bring them together and the homeopath blows up with the verbal equivalent of a matter-antimatter annihilation.

            But the Black Knights scramble out of the smoking crater apparently unperturbed.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            June 3, 2012 at 10:46 am

            Mixing my metaphors, but forget the Black Knight for a moment and return to Douglas Adams. I think homeopaths may hail from Striterax;

            The best way of dealing with a Silastic Armorfiend of Striterax was to put him in a room on his own, because sooner or later he would simply beat himself up.

            Reading their private forums is hilarious because, working in a vacuum isolated from contact with the real evidential world, they sit in a swirl of unresolveable dogmatic disputes, but at the same time they are careful never to be too “judgemental” about other homeopaths’ opinions because “if it works for you” is their sole touchstone regardless of whether what ‘works’ for you and what ‘works’ for me are utterly incompatible.

  46. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Iqbal, I am not going to reply to an exponentially expanding list of nonsensical “Myths” and “Truths”. Suffice to say that every single one was misconceived in ways that would be obvious if you knew the first thing about medicine. You have refused to learn from the simple logical arguments presented in opposition to you already. Nothing is to be gained by forensically demolishing yet more similarly misconceived opinions. Face it, Iqbal, you are not reading what we write and are not prepared to risk learning from it.

    But nothing excuses the sheer discourtesy of once again copying and pasting someone else’s words as a cloak for your own ignorance when I have precisely and specifically asked you to answer a simple question in your own words. You appear mortally afraid of doing your own thinking.

    So, once again;

    Iqbal, why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?

  47. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    And you have never answers Andy’s question about your use of the word “linear” yet you have used again more than once. This also is bloody rude of you.

    • Iqbal
      June 3, 2012 at 4:45 am

      You missed my message of May 26, above?

      One message is in my words, the other a doctor’s comment.

      May be you read it earlier and stopped mid way because it had some medical references.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        June 3, 2012 at 7:21 am

        Here is the first phase of your attempted answer;

        A linear relationship in case of blood pressure example would mean: Blood pressure f(Z) = f(X) x f(Y) where X is the cardiac output and Y the resistance offered to blood flow.

        So, if the normal blood pressure is 119/79, a value on the higher side is considered dangerous and has to be corrected.

        This requires a drug that can slow down heart activity and /or a drug that can reduce nerve impulses in the vascular system that allows blood to flow easily through blood vessels.

        Considering the value of Z is known (?) the drug or combination of 2, are to be adjusted to bring down the value of blood pressure to normal.

        This the doctor writes does not work. The results are good when Only X has a value and the value of Y is zero. The linear equation does not work. The zero value of Y makes the linear equation untenable.(Z=0) (Earlier Alpha beta blockers were developed with the specific purpose of reducing blood pressure.)

        Is this clear?

        I read it and rejected it as utter bollocks. It was not worth replying to any further.

        • Iqbal
          June 3, 2012 at 11:33 am

          BSM:

          You may not understand homeopathy, but this surely cannot be bollocks. It has all the sciences here.

          PURE LINEAR PHYSICS linked to MATHEMATICAL formula and then converted to PURE ORGANIC CHEMISTRY supported by highly designed trials leading to sale of million of dollars of Alpha Beta blockers for controlling blood pressure.
          You can check this out on Wikipedia.
          This I wrote on 25.05. Please read my message of 26.05. It is written in simple English.

          • Mojo
            June 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm

            I’ve just read one of your messages of May 26th, at 4:18 pm. It says:

            The family of four had the same problem, but all reacted with different symptoms and required different remedies to effect a cure.

            But then, a couple of days later on May 28, 2012 at 9:09 am, you claimed that a remedy you had named was specific to a particular condition, without the need for individualization.

            Is individualization needed or not?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            June 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

            Yes, it was simple. And wrong.

            Until you provided an explanation of your use of the word ‘linear’ in your own words and one that makes sense I shall stick with my working hypothesis that you extracted the word from your rear-end and are unable to justify its use.

            As far as I can tell you use it to mean logically and systematically connected in a reliable and predictable manner. The fact that you define homeopathy as being in opposition to that concedes the argument to us.

            Reductio ad absurdum and you lose again.

            So that’s another one of your intellectual dead-ends explored to its limit.

            It’s being a dead-end has been bleedin’ obvious to us all along, but we’ve been watching you spin on the hook.

      • Mojo
        June 3, 2012 at 10:03 am

        May be you read it earlier and stopped mid way because it had some medical references.

        None of your posts (as far as I can see) include any references. All you are providing is unsupported assertions.

  48. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 2, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Oh, this does merit comment;

    No need to visit a hospital (except recently for a small surgery my son had when he ruptured the meniscus in his knee during a football match- here also the follow up medicines were homeopathic)

    Hahnemann, of course, could not have operated on his knee and would have repertorised “clicky, painful knee”.

    Not only are you smug and ignorant, but you are also inconsistent and a hypocrite. Fortunately, your inconsistency was to your son’s benefit.

  49. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 2, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Oh, this does merit comment;

    No need to visit a hospital (except recently for a small surgery my son had when he ruptured the meniscus in his knee during a football match- here also the follow up medicines were homeopathic)

    Hahnemann, of course, could not have operated on his knee and would have repertorised “clicky, painful knee”.

    Not only are you smug and ignorant, but you are also inconsistent and a hypocrite. Fortunately, your inconsistency was to your son’s benefit.

    • Iqbal
      June 3, 2012 at 4:37 am

      Surgery and medicine are 2 different but connected activities. This was not taught to you in your vet program.

      Doctors in medicine do not conduct surgery.Their role starts after surgery.

      This shows you are not a trained vet. This is just to impress others here? Why did you not write yourself as a high end doctor -that would create a bigger impression. But your comments would have shown your true colors much earlier.

      Now I can understand why you continue to ask for “my comments.”
      You are unable to follow a doctor’s comments.

      In this discussion the focus is on medicine.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        June 3, 2012 at 7:15 am

        Iqbal, please understand this, I reply mainly for my entertainment. I enjoy reworking the arguments in different forms. Of course, ideally you would read them and learn from them, but the odds of this are getting very small.

        Surgery and medicine are 2 different but connected activities.

        Hahnemann, of course, could not have operated on his knee and would have repertorised “clicky, painful knee”.

        Hyperadrenocorticism can be caused by pituitary microadenoma. List me some treatments for it and tell me whether it is a medical or surgical problem.

        Ignorance of medical matters is forgivable but do not use your own personal ignorance as a base from which to lecture those of us who do know what we are talking about.

        • Iqbal
          June 3, 2012 at 11:57 am

          BSM:

          I reply mainly for my entertainment. I enjoy reworking the argum………

          Medical world is not about entertainment-it is serious activity as at the other end there are lives that can be lost. For entertainment there could be many other sites and possibilities.

          Hyperadrenocorticism can be caused by pituitary microadenoma. List…………

          No homeopath will write a remedy for a name: the patient will define his symptoms and then a remedy will be decided.

          Ignorance of medical matters is forgivable but do not use your own personal ignorance as a base from which to lecture those of us who do know what we are talking about………..

          I am sure I know a bit about homeopathy and as you read and comment about homeopathy, I read and comment about allopathy. Only, I use for reference doctors and scientists who are trained in the scientific medical system as their comments are based upon the experience, studies and papers of other doctors, scientists to support their claim. This makes the comments valid for discussion. Not one Mr. Andy who has no understanding of homeopathy but has taken it upon himself to run it down. He like you uses stale cliches to say why homeopathy will not work: exactly like Einstein who wrote “God does not play dice” for the Quantum theory. At least Einstein had a name in his field and is an accepted icon -what do you and Mr. Andy stand for?

      • Will
        June 3, 2012 at 8:21 am

        Dear Iqbal,

        Despite the fact you are not a homoeopath, and don’t have particularly high science/medicine qualifications, you have managed to conduct yourself, present your arguments and engage in discussion just as well as any highly experienced professional homoeopath. You really are to be congratulated for this. You really do equal the best the homoeopathic community can offer in the way of reasoned engagement.

        We have all learned a great deal from you; about the evidence homoeopathy supporters accept, how they approach criticism, their understanding of the current ‘state of the art’ of modern medicine/science and the level of discussion they consider appropriate for convincing people of the efficacy of this controversial approach.

        You have even made us consider more deeply why we occupy the positions we do.

        You have given us a great deal to think about.

        Thank you.

        Will.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          June 3, 2012 at 8:51 am

          You are a bad man.

        • Iqbal
          June 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm

          Will:

          I do not believe the last word is written on homeopathy yet. The scientific tools for observation and analysis are improving at a fast pace. Bio chemistry and Bio technology are two new fields that are getting funds for new researches.

          We both will be here for the next 10 years (?) and we would get to read a lot more on homeopathy and this may include the delivery method that is not understood today. This will dramatically reduce the cost of medicines for the common person.

          May be we start a new discussion then.

          • Mojo
            June 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm

            “I do not believe the last word is written on homeopathy yet. The scientific tools for observation and analysis are improving at a fast pace.”

            Indeed they are. The British Homeopathic Association from time to timepublishes figures for the number of trials of homoeopathy it has found on its website.

            Up to 2002 it had found 93 studies, of which 53.8% were positive (see Mathie, R (2003): The research evidence base for homeopathy. Homeopathy 2003 Apr;92(2):84-91).

            Between the end of 2002 and the end of 2009 they found 49 more, of which only 26.5% were positive.

            Of the 14 new trials they found in 2010, only 7.1% were positive.

            While these figures do not take study quality into account, they certainly suggest that the scientific tools being used for observation and analysis of homoeopathy are improving.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            June 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm

            “Up to 2002 it had found 93 studies, of which 53.8% were positive”

            For some value of ‘positive’…

            :)

          • June 3, 2012 at 1:25 pm

            Careful now, Iqbal!

            You are exhibiting beliefs that are dangerously close to scientism.

      • Vicky
        June 3, 2012 at 9:14 am

        Doctors in medicine do not conduct surgery.Their role starts after surgery.

        My former GP must have lied then because he claimed to be a doctor, yet he performed small surgeries! And that surgeon who operated on my granny called himself doctor, too!

        This shows you are not a trained vet.

        Our vet (who isn’t BSM) does pretty much everything from general check-ups and vaccination to neutering, cancer treatment and amputation. I sincerely hope he trained as a vet (actually I know he did, and he seems to be a good one, too.)

        This is just to impress others here?

        Like telling people you work for a multi-billion Dollar company? I was sooo impressed … not.

        Now I can understand why you continue to ask for “my comments.”
        You are unable to follow a doctor’s comments.

        Nope, that’s because it seems you’re unable to understand what “a doctor” says. You’re quoting stuff out of context without realising it. Making someone tell it in their own words is a standard teaching method. It only works with people who want to learn, though.

        • Vicky
          June 3, 2012 at 9:16 am

          Urgh, markup fail. IMHO still more readable than Iqbal’s comments though.

        • Iqbal
          June 8, 2012 at 1:59 am

          Vicky:

          ……..My former GP must have lied then because he claimed to be a doctor, yet he performed small surgeries! And that surgeon who operated on my granny called himself doctor, too!……

          This is question you should direct at your doctor.

          …Our vet (who isn’t BSM) does pretty much everything from general check-ups and vaccination to neutering, cancer treatment and amputation. I sincerely hope he trained as a vet………

          It is always to understand who is on the other side of the knife. Animal life has lower value in the scientific system?

          Today surgeons also have socialization- a cardiac surgeon would not touch a kidney expert would not touch the lungs.

          • Iqbal
            June 8, 2012 at 1:59 am

            Read socialization as specialization.

          • Vicky
            June 8, 2012 at 2:40 am

            Are you really that thick? My GP is a doctor, as is my vet. It just shows how little you know, and: it’s not even important! Even if they weren’t doctors, that wouldn’t make homeopathy work!
            Do you think we don’t notice that you’ve given zero evidence for homeopathy? You seem to think evidence “against” scientific medicine is evidence “for” homeopathy – it isn’t.

  50. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 3, 2012 at 7:30 am

    We still have no answer to the following question;

    Iqbal, why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?

    Your failure to answer this sits right at the heart of your problem here. You refuse to pursue this discussion honestly and shy away from areas that do not allow you simply to cut and paste someone else’s (erroneous) ideas while avoiding engaging your own brain with the problem. Moral cowardice is yet another unattractuve feature of homeopathy’s advocates. Do yourself a favour and stop trying to display the complete set of personality defects.

    • Iqbal
      June 4, 2012 at 9:41 am

      BSM:

      Iqbal, why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?……

      In hindsight we all have 20/20(?) vision.

      But that is not the answer you want from me.If you elaborate upon the question a little more, I will try to make a detailed answer.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        June 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm

        Their basis of evidence was identical with that available to homeopaths. Why are you happy to accept they were wrong but not happy to accept the homs are wrong? They have the same evidence.

        • Iqbal
          June 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm

          Is this a question or your answer?

          Please elaborate the question.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            June 4, 2012 at 6:31 pm

            The clue is in the question mark.

            The rest of the class have already done this work, Iqbal, and I really need the slow boy to catch up because otherwise he’s going to get wedgied at play-time and he’ll have no one to blame but himself.

  51. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 3, 2012 at 7:38 am

    This shows you are not a trained vet.

    Fortunately a number of people here know me in the Real World. I am sure I can trust them not to be offended on my behalf but to find your desperate flailing humorous.

  52. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 3, 2012 at 7:42 am

    And to finish off this little splurge of posts, none of this alters the fact that previously I wrote;

    Reductio ad absurdum.

    Q.E.D.

    Iqbal, you did lose the argument quite a long time ago. Now we’re just mucking about on the pitch after the match has finished.

    Jumpers for goalposts…

  53. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    It is notable that Iqbal once more has driven by in his clown car and shot us with his little pop-gun yet not managed to answer the question I keep repeating.

    Iqbal, why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?

    Iqbal, once you have rolled up the little flag on which the word BANG! Is written and got it shoved back down the barrel again, please make the next task for your nimble fingers the answering of that question.

  54. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    We’re going to need a new barrel. Iqbal’s fish keep leaking out of the bullet holes in this one.

  55. Mojo
    June 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    He’s being highly evasive about whether bloodletting, purging and mercury are effective treatments.

    He has said that 18th century doctors were wrong when they believed that they were effective, but has now said that he is unable to say whether Ayurvedic practitioners are wrong when they believe exactly the same thing because, he says, he has “no knowledge about ayurveda”.

    Strange that he feels able to say anything about medicine, in that case.

    He’s also avoiding the question of experienced homoeopaths claiming on their websites that a consultation will an hour or longer when he claims that it should take only ten minutes.

    Are the experienced homoepaths who say this wrong, Iqbal?

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      June 3, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      He’s following the sage advice of our former PM, John Major, who said that when one’s back is to the wall it’s time to turn and fight.

  56. Iqbal
    June 4, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Alan:

    I do not understand scientism.

    I was writing in reference to a dumb class mate who was asked by the teacher as to why he did not want to persue science.

    The response was: “All discoveries and inventions are already done. What is left for me to do?”

    • Mojo
      June 4, 2012 at 11:19 am

      I was writing in reference to a dumb class mate who was asked by the teacher as to why he did not want to persue science. The response was: “All discoveries and inventions are already done. What is left for me to do?”

      And that is the approach that homoeopathy takes – that it is a perfect system invented by the Prophet Hahnemann.

      On the other hand real medicine continues to discover new treatments, and to reassess and (if necessary) abandon old ones.

      I do not understand scientism.

      I’ll add it to the list.

      • Iqbal
        June 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm

        Mojo:

        On the other hand real medicine continues to discover new treatments, and to reassess and (if necessary) abandon old ones……….

        This is incorrect representation. You are stating the weakness of the linear thought system as it was the strength: New discoveries?

        The scientific medical system is FORCED to abandon drugs as the evidences of new adverse effects for the drug mount. The companies continue to DENY that the effects are because of the drug. This continues till the FDA or a lawyer comes to the rescue of the public.

        Recall what the doctor wrote:

        Myth One: Every ill has a pill.
        Truth: Every pill has an ill waiting in the far corner. Iatrogenic diseases are going up exponentially with more drugs and technology in the market!

        And the proof:According to Public Citizen, a watchdog group, the pharma industry paid almost $ 20bn in penalties in the last two decades for violating the False Claims Act. More than half the fines — a whopping $10.5 bn — were paid by just four companies, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Schering-Plough.
        Many remain repeat offenders. Last year, Pfizer was slapped with a $2.3 bn penalty. It was the fourth time it was penalized.

        Lucien Leape of the Harvard Medical School in his excellent article, Errors in Medicine, published in 1994 in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol 272; page 1851-1857) gives a very graphic description of all the errors that we have been committing. This has been updated recently by Barbara Starfield in her excellent article in the same journal in the year 2000 (JAMA 2000;284:483-485) which reiterates the same, adding many more glaring dangers to the list already given by Leape.

        Nearly 225,000 people have died in one year in the US alone due to iatrogenic diseases. Of these 140,000 has been exclusively due to adverse drug reactions. In addition, an equal number died during out patient management of Adverse Drug Reactions that cost the buyer a total of $ 79 billion in prescription bills in one year. There have been three million injuries due to medical interventions in a year with 44,000 to 98,000 deaths annually. Nosocomial infections alone caused 80,000 deaths in one year in hospitals. One hundred million people suffer from chronic debilitating illnesses partly due to medical interventions. These figures look horrible if one takes into consideration the relatively small population of US.

        This is the result of discovery of new treatments:

        What is the latest discovery?

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          June 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm

          You’re using the word linear again.
          Either define it properly, as you have been asked repeatedly, and stop using it in some peculiar way that makes sense only to you.

        • Vicky
          June 4, 2012 at 7:37 pm

          Iqbal, how hard can it be to express your views in your own words? I’m asking this because I now realise that – instead of providing original content – you’ve been copy&pasting your “arguments” again. You haven’t provided a link to the original, so let me do that for you:
          Where Iqbal is copying his comments from.

          I don’t doubt Prof Hegde has done a lot of good in his career, but that doesn’t mean all his views are accurate (again: none of these “myths” is taught at uni, at least not in Europe). Want some easy to verify proof that not everything he says is accurate? On another page he claims that Pauling got his first Nobel prize for “the discovery of vitamin C”! Just so you know: he didn’t. Vitamin C was well known a long time before Pauling was born – it could even be synthesised via a process developed by T. Reichstein (who also won a Nobel prize – but not for the discovery of vitamin C; perhaps the professor was thinking of W. N. Haworth? He also didn’t win the Nobel prize for discovering vitamin C, but for researching carbohydrates and vitamin C). Pauling got the Nobel prize (chemistry) for his work on the nature of chemical bonds.

          Another thing you seem to have missed: nobody denies that scientific medicine has faults. But that doesn’t make homeopathy work.

          • Iqbal
            June 6, 2012 at 1:32 am

            Vicky:

            I first read and then write- even if it is a copy.

            Let me know what I have written above is incorrect.

            You are on the standard deflection method: the messenger took a wrong step (I doubt that) and every thing the messenger brought to you is incorrect.

            Dr. Hegde surely knows what the facts are.

          • Vicky
            June 6, 2012 at 8:08 am

            I first read and then write- even if it is a copy.

            I doubt that.

            Let me know what I have written above is incorrect.

            I already told you: all your “myths” are incorrect – none of them is taught to future doctors. I can’t help but reiterate Mojo’s remark that homeopathy does teach that there’s a pill (granule or liquid) for every “ill”, making the claim that this is one of scientific medicine’s great faults very ironic.

            You are on the standard deflection method: the messenger took a wrong step (I doubt that) and every thing the messenger brought to you is incorrect.

            Oh no, I expressly didn’t do that – I made clear that I accept that in his time he probably was a very good doctor. Doesn’t mean that in his later life he can’t become a bit weird (that also happened to Pauling) and because I know that what he claims (and you copy) isn’t the real situation but a very grotesque satire of it, I do think that may be the case. You doubting that he even made a mistake is telling – you don’t even want to know if it’s true even though it would be so very easy to find out. The Nobel prize website (nobelprize.org) lists every single laureate and gives background information. Go check out and see if Linus Pauling got his prize for discovering vitamin C!

            Dr. Hegde surely knows what the facts are.

            And that’s your problem. At some point you decided that the doctor “knows what the facts are”, and instead of verifying things before you claim them to be true you take his word for it, ignoring scores of other doctors who could tell you that what you believe aren’t really “the facts”.

        • Mojo
          June 5, 2012 at 12:39 am

          @Iqbal

          Myth One: Every ill has a pill.

          Yes, we know that that is what homoeopaths believe, and we know that it is a load of cobblers. Bringing this up again really doesn’t make you look good.

          • Iqbal
            June 6, 2012 at 1:48 am

            Mojo:

            This is NOT WRITTEN BY A HOMEOPATH. This is written by a highly educated doctor (in scientific medicine), with long experience in the medical area of teaching and practice.

            It is important to face facts. The companies named above-Glaxo SmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Schering-Plough are the largest and the most reputed (?) in the pharmaceutical business of drug development. These companies have accesses to sufficient funds for development and the latest scientific technology for testing drugs at their disposal. If they end up paying such huge fines for killing and maiming people in USA (forget other part of the world-who counts?) the RCT logic of developing scientific drugs is completely flawed.

            Their collective belief in the method is as scientific as yours and equally irrelevant. You are totally confident: If a drug does not have ADVERSE EFFECTS it cannot have ANY EFFECT!

            If you want to cure patients, you are required to also kill patients. Such absurd logic.

          • Mojo
            June 6, 2012 at 9:30 am

            Their collective belief in the method is as scientific as yours and equally irrelevant. You are totally confident: If a drug does not have ADVERSE EFFECTS it cannot have ANY EFFECT! If you want to cure patients, you are required to also kill patients. Such absurd logic.

            The body is a very complicated system. Pretty much anything you do to it will have complicated results, many of them rare or hard to predict. What medicine does is to try to make sure that the positive effects are not outweighed by the negative effects. This is why the regulatory systems keep track of adverse effects of drugs even after they have demonstrated efficacy and have appeared acceptably safe in trials, and why drugs are sometimes withdrawn when previously undetected adverse effects are discovered.

            The important thing is to assess the relative risk of treatment against that of non-treatment.

            I’ll try using an analogy.

            If you found yourself in the path of an oncoming train, would you step out of the way? Stepping across railway tracks carries a risk that you might trip and break a leg.

            On the other hand, standing perfectly still and taking 30C Arnica carries no risk.

            Which would you choose?

    • Mojo
      June 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      Remember, for example, the comment about the motivations for homoeopathic research that I’ve already quoted in this thread:

      “The motivation for doing trials seems less to be innovation or self-critical evaluation of performance (which is generally considered to be the motivation for good research) but rather justification in front of a hostile scientific establishment.”

  57. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 5, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Iqbal, why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?

  58. John H
    June 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I think this debate jumped the shark when Iqbal claimed that “maggots kill germs”.

    I would love to know how they find them in order to scarf them up or stomp them to death. I tried and could not find any, not even using a magnifying glass. I think they are probably very small.

    To Iqbal:
    You are a cruel and heartless person. I outlined my medical condition to you in detail. I agreed with you that analgesics, NSAIDs and muscle relaxants provided no cure for fractured vertebrae.

    I even apologised for calling you a fecking eejit.

    I thought that having cured 100 patients a day for many years you might have helped me with a prescription for something like “30C Backy Cracky” as I cannot find this medicine in Ainsworth’s or Boirons cartoon sheets.

    But you seem curiously reluctant to offer me the benefits of your extensive medical experience.

    BSM would willingly help me if I had distemper or kennel cough which makes him a better healer than you.

    • Iqbal
      June 6, 2012 at 1:28 am

      John H:

      In a shocking incidence recently at the Prince Edward Hospital in Wales a patient had an infection in his leg wherein the germs were resistant to all the antibiotics available. Doctors had to go back to Nature to get maggots to help cure that infection! Now they are routinely culturing maggots to treat resistant infections there. In Nature this is a very common way of controlling bacterial infections, evident even during the Second World War.

      Prescientific method of cure?

      • Mojo
        June 6, 2012 at 9:16 am

        Yes, but they don’t do it by, as you claim, killing germs. They do it by removing dead and infected tissue, much as a surgeon might. they are being used as a surgical tool.

        • Iqbal
          June 6, 2012 at 5:56 pm

          Mojo:

          And what do you do for the infection?

          More than 300 American hospitals employed maggot therapy during the 1940s. The extensive use of maggot therapy prior to World War II was curtailed when the discovery and growing use of penicillin caused it to be deemed outdated. (http://web.archive.org/web/20070928212353/www.zoobiotic.org/maggots-in-wartime/)

          With the advent of Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, Dr. Roland Sherman, a physician previously at the University of California, sought to re-introduce maggot therapy into the Armamentarium of modern medical care.

          In a 2007 preliminary trial, maggots were used successfully to treat patients whose wounds were infected with MRSA a bacterium (Staphylococcus aureus) with resistance to most antibiotics. (Nic Fleming, Maggots used to counter MRSA superbug, Telegraph.co.uk, March 5, 2007.)

          In vitro studies have shown that maggots inhibit and destroy a wide range of pathogenic bacteria including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus group A and B streptococci, and Gram-positive bacteria aerobic and anaerobic strains.

          • Vicky
            June 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm

            So Iqbal has found a new place to copy his comments from: Wikipedia!

  59. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 6, 2012 at 6:59 am

    Iqbal, you have returned with three more posts of exasperating stupidity, but you have failed, once again, to answer a simple question.

    And you have the sheer cheek to accuse Vicky of “deflection” when you have already received all the comment deserved for pasting Dr Hegde’s ludicrous “myths” and “truths”! Introducing his foolish ideas was your attempt at dereliction in the first place. Let’s have no more of this.

    Why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?

  60. John H
    June 6, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Mojo is perfectly correct. Maggots just scarf up the crap around a wound.

    You are still a fecking eejit Iqbal.

    Sorry about the ad hom Andy but sometimes I think they are justified. I am not criticising him because he is fat/ugly/etc but because he is demonstrably a fecking eejit.

    Iqbal – how do maggots deal with pneumonia or indeed any bacterial infection inside the body. Do they also kill viruses. We need to know as there is a Nobel in the offing.

    • Mojo
      June 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Sorry about the ad hom…

      It isn’t actually an ad hom argument unless you’re using the assertion that he’s a fecking eejit as the basis for your assertion that he’s wrong. Here you have clearly based your conclusion that he’s a fecking eejit on the evidence that he himself has posted.

      Ad hom: “You’re wrong because you’re a fecking eejit.”
      Not ad hom: “You’re wrong and you’re a fecking eejit”
      Also not ad hom: “You’re a fecking eejit because you’re wrong.”

      • June 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm

        I can replace the mug of coffee, but you owe me a new keyboard, Mojo.

      • John H
        June 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm

        Phew – saved from a fallacious argument.

        Thanks Mojo.

        You made JH laugh as much as you did AH.

        Is it a post hoc ergo propter hoc to say that because of that fecking eejit Iqbal therefore I am sick to death of mindless cutting and pasting.

    • Iqbal
      June 8, 2012 at 2:01 am

      John H:

      Where was the infection coming from?

      • John H
        June 8, 2012 at 11:52 am

        Iqbal – fecking eejiotness really does seem to be your forte, doesn’t it?

        I have zero medical qualifications but if asked to pontificate on the sources of bodily infection (whether bacterial, viral, parasitical, mycosal or otherwise) I would suggest that likely avenues were:
        * through open wounds
        * inhalation
        * through the genitalia
        * through the rectum
        * through the eyes
        * orally
        * direct transmission into the body by Pentagon/Big Pharma mind/body Infection Control Centre in Langley.

        There might be other vectors but the list above probably accounts for most infections. One of the entries in the list may possibly be false.

        A list, I might add, compiled from common sense and not from mindless cutting and pasting from Twatopedia.

        And to answer another F.E question you asked elsewhere (and nobody had the grace to answer – or possibly lost the will to live when they read it) analgesics do not “cure” anything. They are palliative not curative. If your legs were traumatically amputated in a battle would you like morphine now or would you prefer to wait for battlefield surgeons to glue your legs back on.

        Every cloud has a silver lining and your stupidity has given me an idea for a new commercial venture. I am going to open a Super Maggot Farm so that I can eradicate the superbugs that so alarm you. (copyright QuackMaggotCo Inc – to prevent Dr R R half inching my IPR).
        .

        • Iqbal
          June 9, 2012 at 6:12 am

          John H:

          You mixed up the messages:

          Mojo wrote: Yes, but they don’t do it by, as you claim, killing germs. They do it by removing dead and infected tissue, much as a surgeon might. they are being used as a surgical tool.

          You agreed: Mojo is perfectly correct. Maggots just scarf up the crap around a wound.

          If this is true, why was penicillin required? Is this a surgical activity newly designed? Why was surgery not done for the infected part?

          Do you understand this?

          “In vitro studies have shown that maggots inhibit and destroy a wide range of pathogenic bacteria including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus group A and B streptococci, and Gram-positive bacteria aerobic and anaerobic strains.”

          This is the problem when you have zero medical qualification- you end up mixing up disconnected issues.

          Why not stick to your area of expertise?

          • Vicky
            June 9, 2012 at 8:27 am

            Iqbal, weren’t you the one with zero medical qualification? Seriously, working for a homeopath isn’t medical qualification.
            Do you know there’s a difference between in vitro and in vivo studies? Can you explain why in vivo studies are needed (or, if you don’t think they are, why that is so)?

            By now I’ve lost all hope that you’ll ever come back to discussing homeopathy – even though you don’t want to admit it, you know/em> the evidence is against it, so rather than focussing on the article’s subject you’re trying to tell us that scientific evidence means nothing, at the same time argueing against scientific medicine with cherry picked scientific evidence.

            So to come to your area of expertise (what is that – chemistry or sales?), if someone came to your company telling them that they’d invented a better rubber than all the ones currently used, do you think your company would change over to that process without first making sure that a) this new process works at all and b) the new material is suitable for its indended application (we’ll disregard the question of profitability for now)? Do you think they would accept random persons’ testimonials for this new material or a list of problems the materials they commonly use have as adequate evidence for those two questions? If not, why do you think that our standards for a medical intervention should be lower than that (i.e. scientific evidence that it not only works – homeopaths still haven’t been able to produce that – but also works as good or better than standard care)?

      • John H
        June 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm

        And of course I forgot the Jewish retort.

        Where do YOU think infection comes from?

        Please respond in your own words. I do not really want 32 paragraphs of C&P about bad karma, ying/yang, cosmic malfunctions, imbalances in the shastra, crimes in previous lives blah blah blah

  61. Will
    June 6, 2012 at 11:58 am

    It’s all there Ladies and Gents: A prophet found, followed around for some time. Sees the curing of the sick. Preaches the word, sees the fools following false prophets, closes his ears to their lies… Just recites the true prophet’s scripture…

    Frightening.

    • Will
      June 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      I mean, it’s not just me is it?

      He has his infallible prophet (“The Doctor”) the scripture (the doctor’s writings), he denies that we are scientists/vets/medics as that would put us on a par with “The Doctor” (and put us in a valid position to oppose) so we *must* just be lay people, like him, but following the false prophets (“Big Pharma” etc.). He sees that our appointed ‘prophets’ are flawed, and as we stick with them, we *must* be liars, so our words are to be resisted. His avoidance of thinking about his position allows him to hold mutually exclusive beliefs.

      He isn’t a homoeopath, but he followed “The Doctor” for some time, witnessing the healing of the sick, the miracles if you like. Now he’s evangelising in the doctor’s name. Any questions asked of him, he just turns to the scriptures, they’re all he needs.

      He won’t hear *anything* we have to say, he just shouts his faith.

      He can not, and will not be reasoned with. Every insult, or sign of frustration from us merely strengthens his faith.

      A truly interesting specimen. Fascinating.

      You can (quite rightly) say that he’s a gibbering imbecile; but I can’t see that he’s doing anything different to any adherent to any other belief system.

  62. June 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I do have distinct memories of watching Indian homeopaths doing some sort of genuflections to portraits of Hahnemann bedecked with flowers. In India homeopathy may well be presented as a form of medicine but it is very strongly linked to conservative Hindu elements. Along with astrology and other pre-scientific beliefs. These forces are what holds India back from emerging as a modern nation.

    Homeopathy may have its roots in pre-scientific belief but its current manifestations across the world are anti-scientific and steeped in religious and occult dogma. The Swiss report was written by those with little interest in science or evidence.

    • Iqbal
      June 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Malleus Homeopathicum:

      How many writers in the report are Hindus?

      • Mojo
        June 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        How many writers of the report did Malleus Homeopathicum suggest are Hindus? Read what he posted before answering this question.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          June 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm

          Iqbal has entered a zone of stratospheric reading incomprehension hitherto only occupied by DUllman.

          I think where Iqbal lives all sticks carry big labels He seems to grasp the wrong end with such unerring consistency he must have help.

  63. Iqbal
    June 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Vicky:
    Unfortunately you don’t seem to understand scientific medicine. None of the “Myths” you list is taught in uni. Worse, you even got some of the “Truths” wrong……….

    Did you get this right? Let us go over the first 3:
    1. Give me name of one pill (drug) that has lasted over 20 years. Then give me name of 3 drugs that have been withdrawn for reasons other than adverse effects.

    2. Doctors can predict the future by routine check up of the apparently healthy. This is not taught in a university!! What is the basis of medical check up of healthy individuals?

    David Eddy, the former cardiovascular surgeon at Stanford turned Duke University mathematics PhD, who has devised a new computer model called ARCHIMEDES which has shown him that most, if not all, treatments for chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure do more harm than good.

    During his long and controversial career proving that the practice of medicine is more guesswork than science, Eddy showed that the annual chest X-ray (routine check up) was worthless, over the objections of doctors who made money off the regular visit. He proved that doctors had little clue about the success rate of procedures such as surgery for enlarged prostates. He traced one common practice — preventing women from giving birth vaginally if they had previously had a cesarean — to the recommendation of one lone doctor. Eddy liked to cite a figure that only 15% of what doctors did was backed by hard evidence.

    3. Anti-biotic would banish germs from this world. This is not taught at the University? Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for all infections (even viral!)? What is the outcome? Now we have “Super Bugs”.

    Which are the wrong truths?

    Again, nobody here thinks scientific medicine is perfect, but that doesn’t mean disproven treatments should be allowed to replace it. So no, I for one am not going to change my standards………

    Perfect normally denotes 100%.

    Dr. Eddy showed that a man with enlarged prostate after surgery might be able to pass urine normally ranging from 0%-100%–the biggest guess ever! Eddy showed that bone marrow transplant for breast cancer did not work. When clinical trials were actually done, they showed that the treatment, costing from $50,000 to $150,000, didn’t work. Is medicine doing any better today? In recognizing the problem, yes. But in solving it, unfortunately, no, he said.

    What standards are used to disprove homeopathy? The same that offer no results itself?

    Dr. Nortin M. Hadler, professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of The Last Well Person, is urging the U.S. medical Establishment to rethink its most basic precepts of cardiovascular care. Bypass surgery in particular, he says, “should have been relegated to the archives 15 years ago.” Nevertheless, the data from clinical trials are clear: Except in a minority of patients with severe disease, bypass operations don’t prolong life or prevent future heart attacks. Nor does angioplasty, in which narrowed vessels are expanded and then, typically, propped open with metal tubes called stents. “People often believe that having these procedures fixes the problem, as if a plumber came in and fixed the plumbing with a new piece of pipe,” explains Dr. L. David Hillis, professor of cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. “But it fundamentally doesn’t fix the problem.”

    With doctors doing about 400,000 bypass surgeries and 1 million angioplasties a year in the US- part of a heart-surgery industry worth an estimated $100 billion a year — the question of whether these operations are overused has enormous medical and economic implications.” Fisher, professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, first looked at regional differences in health-care spending in the U.S., he assumed that people in areas with lower expenditures would have worse health than people in regions where spending was 1 1/2 to 2 times as high because they were failing to receive needed care. It turned out that the opposite was true. “Patients have a substantial increased risk of death if cared for in the high-cost systems,” he says. Why? For one thing, additional doctor visits and testing often lead to unnecessary procedures and hospitalizations, which carry risks. “My data suggest that we are wasting 30% of health-care spending on stuff with no benefit and perhaps causing harm,” says Fisher.

    There is no need to change your standards. Change comes on its own-when there is a calamity – like losing someone dear to you and the analysis points to the scientific logic gone horribly wrong.

    • Vicky
      June 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      Iqbal on June 2nd:

      Myth One: Every ill has a pill.

      Iqbal on June 6th:

      Did you get this right? Let us go over the first 3:
      1. Give me name of one pill (drug) that has lasted over 20 years. Then give me name of 3 drugs that have been withdrawn for reasons other than adverse effects.

      And that is the same how? Right, it’s not the same. Also, it’s a straw man – I have never claimed that no drugs are withdrawn because of adverse effects (nor has anyone else here).
      What I have claimed (and I stand by that) is that no fault of scientific medicine makes homeopathy work. I’ve also claimed (and I stand by it) that the Swiss government wasn’t impressed by “the evidence for homeopathy” and didn’t recommend it to be paid for by the Swiss health system.
      Oh, and the drug that has been used for over 20 years and is still in use today? What about penicillin?

      2. Doctors can predict the future by routine check up of the apparently healthy. This is not taught in a university!! What is the basis of medical check up of healthy individuals?

      Pap test: catching cervical cancer early.
      Dermatological check: catching skin cancer early.
      Both cervical cancer and skin cancer don’t cause any discomfort in early stages, so you can feel totally healthy and still have either.
      What does that have to do with predicting the future?

      Iqbal on June 2nd:

      Myth Three: Anti-biotics would banish germs from this world.
      Truth: Anti-biotics have created new deadly germs. Maggots kill those germs.

      Iqbal on June 6th:

      3. Anti-biotic would banish germs from this world. This is not taught at the University? Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for all infections (even viral!)? What is the outcome? Now we have “Super Bugs”.

      False dilemma – that some bacteria adapted to antibiotics doesn’t mean antibiotics didn’t/don’t work. They are still prescribed and usually work. Doctors aren’t taught to prescribe antibiotics for viral infections, you’ll have to ask those who do it anyway (my GP doesn’t) if you want to know why. You wouldn’t even know that they don’t work for viral infections if science hadn’t shown that. Also, maggots don’t kill all germs – you should really read that Wikipedia article.

      Will you answer BSM’s and Mojo’s questions now?

      • Mojo
        June 7, 2012 at 10:10 am

        Never mind penicillin, what about aspirin?

        • Vicky
          June 7, 2012 at 11:05 am

          There are so many to choose from, and Iqbal asked for one. I could have chosen Paracetamol (older than my mum and I can assure you she’s older than 20), Diazepam or Warfarin, all still in use today. I wonder if Iqbal remembers that this is 2012 – even AZT and DDI have been in use for more than 20 years!

          • Iqbal
            June 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm

            Paracetamol is a medicine?

            What does it CURE? A child has fever, you give paracetamol. After how many hours the fever starts to go up again? You repeat a tablet?

            Is this a medicine or a suppression drug?

          • Vicky
            June 7, 2012 at 9:30 pm

            Weak, very weak.

        • Iqbal
          June 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm

          This is the best you could do?

          Aspirin is a drug that reduces the viscosity of blood for a while. And then what?

          What does it CURE?

          • Mojo
            June 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm

            You asked for the “name of one pill (drug) that has lasted over 20 years”. Aspirin fits this perfectly. Having had a completely adequate answer to your question you are now trying to move the goalposts.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            June 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm

            Whoa, there, pardner. That’s a mighty fine strawman y ‘all is carrying there. Mebbe you better had lay it down and listen.

            Real medicine would love to cure all diseases. But that’s not realistic in any near future. Where it can’t cure it aims to control and palliate. It is very often highly successful in that. We all know real medicine is incomplete.

            However, in contrast to medicine that does some things very well and many things quite well, homeopathy does nothing. Just nothing. Not anything. Nada. Nix. Zero.

            Why would millions of homeopathic believers and thousands of homeopathic practitioners be wrong? Answer my repeated question and show us.

      • Iqbal
        June 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm

        Vicky:

        ….Pap test: catching cervical cancer early.
        What does that have to do with predicting the future?….

        Total body scanners would measure five-hundred body parameters in one sitting. Now think of the mind boggling 5% of the five hundred measures making a total of 2500 false positive measures for every one hundred people that go for a routine screening! Any one that sees the doctor for a check up when apparently healthy, after the TBS, would have, on an average, 2.5 abnormal reports. There will be no NORMAL HUMAN BEING AT ALL. Although it is a very good business proposition, it is bad for mankind. Even at the present day it takes one thousand healthy women to be screened for cervical smear for forty long years to save one woman from cancer cervix! A sizeable per cent of those women would have lost their organs for no fault of theirs, as nearly 75 women in this group would have had abnormal smears with normal cervix.

        very impressive: You statistically saved one woman and killed………?

      • Iqbal
        June 10, 2012 at 4:10 am

        Vicky:

        False dilemma – that some bacteria adapted to antibiotics doesn’t mean antibiotics didn’t/don’t work. They are still prescribed and usually work……

        Note the term: USUALLY WORK. Quite a climb down from the “Wonder drug” in the modern scientific world.

        The fact is antibiotics are used as there is presently no alternative seen.

        • Vicky
          June 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

          Note the term: USUALLY WORK.

          I realise that – I wrote it!
          You still try to create a false dilemma – it’s not “either it works for everything or it’s useless”. When penicillin was discovered bacteria weren’t resistant to it. Nowadays there are still a lot of bacterial infections that can be treated (and cured) with penicillin and/or other antibiotics, but some have bacteria evolved. Back then, what was the alternative to using penicillin – letting people die of pneumonia and standing by watching them spread syphillis? Countless lives have been saved by penicillin.

          The fact is antibiotics are used as there is presently no alternative seen.

          They’re used because they work. If the “alternatives” worked they’d be incorporated into scientific medicine.

          • Vicky
            June 10, 2012 at 10:15 am

            should read: …but some bacteria have evolved.

          • Schemeit
            September 3, 2012 at 5:17 pm

            All bacteria evolve.

    • Mojo
      June 7, 2012 at 10:09 am

      Anti-biotic would banish germs from this world. This is not taught at the University? Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for all infections (even viral!)? What is the outcome? Now we have “Super Bugs”

      I very much doubt that it has been taught at any university worthy of the name even remotely recently. When I studied microbiology over a quarter of a century ago we were taught about the problems of overuse of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.

      And doctors sometimes prescribe antibiotics for viral infections for that same reason that they sometimes refer patients to homoeopaths: because although it doesn’t work the patient demands it.

    • Mojo
      June 7, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Iqbal: you claim above that the evidence says that bypass operations and angioplasty don’t work. Do you think that these treatments should continue to be used?

      • June 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

        Don’t be silly, Mojo. If bypass ops and angioplasty don’t work, why are they so popular? Eh?

        • Iqbal
          June 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm

          Alan:

          With doctors doing about 400,000 bypass surgeries and 1 million angioplasties a year in the US- part of a heart-surgery industry worth an estimated $100 billion a year — the question of whether these operations are overused has enormous medical and economic implications.

          • Mojo
            June 7, 2012 at 7:32 pm

            Answer the question. Do you think they should continue to be used if the evidence says that they don’t work?

          • June 7, 2012 at 10:47 pm

            Yes, of course the question of whether these operations are overused has enormous medical and economic implications.

            But rather than adding to your list of unanswered questions, please answer Mojo’s question: Do you think they should continue to be used if the evidence says that they don’t work?

        • Schemeit
          September 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm

          They make money for doctors.

          • Schemeit
            September 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm

            By pass surgeries help medical establishment make money.

  64. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Iqbal,

    You have returned to post yet more falsehoods and irrelevancies, yet you have still not answered the very straightforward question that I asked you.

    I begin to doubt your honesty. Why would an honest advocate of a legitimate belief system so strenuously evade addressing simple questions.

    I ask again;

    Why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?

    I think I can confidently say that every other poster here is watching your evasiveness and drawing their conclusions about you.

  65. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 7, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Iqbal, are you really so scared that your belief has no proper basis that you will not even try to answer a simple question?

    Why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?

  66. Iqbal
    June 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Vicky:

    …in his time he probably was a very good doctor. Doesn’t mean that in his later life he can’t become a bit weird (that also happened to Pauling) and because I know that what he claims (and you copy) isn’t the real situation but a very grotesque satire of it, I do think that may be the case….

    Considering you are now commenting upon the personal capabilities of Dr. Hegde, it would be worthwhile that you state up front your capabilities in medicine so all take your comments seriously. I have understood that you have been to the web site of Dr. Hegde and are aware of his credentials and his medical background.

    You may start by stating your educational and work experience, especially which is linked to the medical area.
    If you have no such experience, then you are just writing an opinion – what would that be worth?

    ..At some point you decided that the doctor “knows what the facts are”, and instead of verifying things before you claim them to be true you take his word for it, ignoring scores of other doctors who could tell you that what you believe aren’t really “the facts”……..

    Dr. Hegde uses references of many experts in their field or refers their reports to support his view. He provides reason and data collected from reports of experts- regret Mr. Andy or you is not one of them.

    Please put in reports of doctors that contradict what he states.

    • Vicky
      June 7, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      You may start by stating your educational and work experience, especially which is linked to the medical area.

      Argumentum ad hominem.

      Will you answer Mojo’s and BSM’s questions?

      • Iqbal
        June 8, 2012 at 2:07 am

        Vicky:

        I was right: You have no background to write on medical subjects and still continue to state irrelevant opinions.

        And the icing on the cake: You know more that Dr. Hegde.

        What is your motivation?

        • Vicky
          June 8, 2012 at 2:45 am

          And again – ad hominem.

          You don’t know what my qualifications are because I haven’t told you. And they don’t matter, the arguments matter. Yet you’re happy to disregard mine because my qualifications don’t seem to match. I’m a scientist, that’s all you’ll get. (You’ve already shown that you won’t respect qualifications anyway – remember that you claimed BSM couldn’t be a vet? And that instead of engaging with his arguments you questioned his choice of nickname?)

          Will you answer Mojo’s and BSM’s questions now? Only if it’s not too hard for you, of course.

    • Mojo
      June 7, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Iqbal: Linus Pauling won two Nobel Prizes. What were they awarded for?

      • Iqbal
        June 8, 2012 at 2:31 am

        Mojo:

        What does that have to do with homeopathy?

        • Will
          June 8, 2012 at 7:30 am

          Someone posting something irrelevant to homoeopathy? What an affront! Don’t stand for it Iqbal, bang your fist!

          Then tell us more about how paracetamol isn’t a drug…

          *Goes to get more popcorn*

        • Mojo
          June 8, 2012 at 10:30 am

          @Iqbal

          What does that have to do with homeopathy?

          Not much: it relates to your unquestioning acceptance of what your favoured authority figures say.

          Now, what were Linus Pauling’s Nobel Prizes awarded for?

  67. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Another three posts from Iqbal. Still no answer to this question:

    Why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?

    I quite like the way my repetitions are hanging off the end of the page making his evasiveness stick out like a sore thumb.

  68. Iqbal
    June 8, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Mojo:

    You wrote earlier: Drugs are medicines.

    ….You asked for the “name of one pill (drug) that has lasted over 20 years”. Aspirin fits this perfectly. Having had a completely adequate answer to your question you are now trying to move the goalposts……

    What is moving the goal post? A medicine is supposed to CURE. You have a different explanation in the scientific medical world? Or you do not understand what a cure is?

    • Vicky
      June 8, 2012 at 2:51 am

      And again you show that you don’t know the first thing about medicine. You asked for a drug and got seven: penicillin, aspirin, paracetamol, warfarin, diazepam, AZT and DDI, all older than twenty years, none of them withdrawn, all still useful today.

      • Schemeit
        September 1, 2012 at 3:59 am

        These are not medicines. These are drugs to suppress the symptoms of an existing problem that help create a new problem

        Other wise what is the requirement to continue to use these ad-infinitum? Once the problem is over, stop the drug.

        • Vicky
          September 1, 2012 at 7:36 am

          Those are real medicines. Medicine (as opposed to homeopathy) readily admits that it cannot cure everything, but HIV-suppressing drugs can give “positive” patients an almost normal life expectancy. If the choices are suppressing HIV or dying from AIDS, suppression is usually the better choice, and HIV isn’t impressed with placebos, so sugar pills do nothing against it.
          Seriously, you guys have to stop pretending that sugar pills and pure solvent drops are better than managing a chronic condition with appropriate medication.

          • Schemeit
            September 2, 2012 at 3:55 am

            Which diseases are cured after which the drug is stopped?

            And there are no side effects.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            September 2, 2012 at 8:17 am

            Give me a ‘T’. Give me an ‘R’.

            Etc.

          • Schemeit
            September 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm

            I did not understand the T & R.

            The message was incorrect, now modified.

            Which diseases are cured after which the drug is stopped?

            And there are no long term effects.

    • Mojo
      June 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

      “What is moving the goal post?”

      Well for a start, redefining the word “drug” once your question had been answered.

      • Iqbal
        June 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm

        Moderated as Iqbal has failed to note my comment above.

  69. Iqbal
    June 8, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Mojo:

    ………The body is a very complicated system. Pretty much anything you do to it will have complicated results, many of them rare or hard to predict….

    Can you redefine why body is a “very complicated system”. Is it because it does not follow the laws of sciences (science is quite advanced now) or the medical fraternity does not know what is going on?

    May be you will answer the question of BSM simultaneously.

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      June 8, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Iqbal, it is no one’s fault but your own that you have failed to answer a number of specific questions asked directly of you. Mojo’s answer to my question is implicit in various of his posts if you either could or would understand them. What I’m interested in, what several of us are interested in, are your answers. So far you just look like a man deeply afraid of learning anything that might challenge his prejudices.

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      June 8, 2012 at 7:42 am

      Can you redefine why body is a “very complicated system”. Is it because it does not follow the laws of sciences (science is quite advanced now) or the medical fraternity does not know what is going on?

      The self-evident does not need to be redefined. There comes a point where the concepts have reached a baseline leek of simplicity and clarity and it becomes your job to put the work in to understand them or admit that you are incapable of doing so.

      I’m sorry to say, Iqbal, that I think we now have plenty of evidence that you are fundamentally incapable of understanding the basic concepts of medicine and this is why your beliefs and opinions on the subject are utterly wrong. But you are too stubborn to accept this. It’s not our fault you don’t understand. It’s yours.

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      June 8, 2012 at 7:44 am

      And now, formatted correctly…

      Can you redefine why body is a “very complicated system”. Is it because it does not follow the laws of sciences (science is quite advanced now) or the medical fraternity does not know what is going on?

      The self-evident does not need to be redefined. There comes a point where the concepts have reached a baseline leek of simplicity and clarity and it becomes your job to put the work in to understand them or admit that you are incapable of doing so.

      I’m sorry to say, Iqbal, that I think we now have plenty of evidence that you are fundamentally incapable of understanding the basic concepts of medicine and this is why your beliefs and opinions on the subject are utterly wrong. But you are too stubborn to accept this. It’s not our fault you don’t understand. It’s yours.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        June 8, 2012 at 7:45 am

        leek = level

        Thank you, autocorrect.

  70. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 8, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Cmd-C

    Cmd-V

    Why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?

    Iqbal, I think by now an honest person would have tried to answer this question. It obviously scares you. But I can keep re-pasting it, though I may need to get a new keyboard because of the extra wear on those three keys.

    Come on, Iqbal, give it a go.

    • Mojo
      June 9, 2012 at 11:45 am

      I think those particular three keys on Iqbal’s keyboard are probably in worse condition than yours.

  71. Iqbal
    June 9, 2012 at 3:42 am

    Alan:

    ………But rather than adding to your list of unanswered questions, please answer Mojo’s question: Do you think they should continue to be used if the evidence says that they don’t work?…..

    This is your scientific world- who decides what is good and what is bad? All decisions are made on hard scientific studies, RCT and META analysis and follow laws of physics and chemistry and……..

    A large study of 18,151 patients who underwent bypass surgery immediately after a heart attack or following an attack of crescendo angina (unstable angina) showed that they were nearly four times more likely to have a subsequent stroke than those who did not have bypass surgery. (1)

    Death in these stroke patients following bypass surgery was much higher! This study showed, in addition, that bypass surgery was the most important predictor of stroke followed by past history of stroke, diabetes, and older age group. Most glaring finding of this study is that the existence of an onsite catheterization laboratory facility was also a risk factor for subsequent stroke in those hapless patients with a heart attack admitted to such hospitals.

    This study did not show statistically increased stroke following angioplasty. Those wanting to sell angioplasty could use this as their marketing strategy. They can not, however, escape the findings of another study that showed that “angioplasty may lead to greater reduction in anginal pain compared to medical treatment but at a cost of more coronary artery bypass grafting, although all the randomized controlled trials done all over the world and published between 1979 and 1998 do not give enough data about death and subsequent revascularization, the trends so far DO NOT FAVOUR ANGIOPLASTY.” 2

    Curiously, another study has shown that “initial angioplasty may complicate the bypass operation and may increase postoperative mortality and morbidity.3

    An audit on an earlier study of bypass surgeries did show that in those without symptoms a large majority of 84% recipients of bypass surgery did not get any life expectancy benefit from their interventions. Only 16% did get some small benefit. This study had audited a large number of such procedures running to nearly 60,000.4

    Other studies in the past have also thrown light on the side effects of bypass surgery on the brain.5

    These studies showed the incidence of stroke following bypass surgery to be anywhere between 1.5 to 5.2%, postoperative delirium to be 10-30%, and cognitive decline to be ranging from 53% on discharge to 42% on a long term basis.6

    1. Joesefson D. Early bypass surgery increases the risk of stroke. BMJ 2001; 323: 185

    2. Bucher HC, Hengstler P, Schindler C, and Guyatt GH. PTCA verses Medical treatment for non-acute coronary heart disease. BMJ 2000; 321: 73-77

    3. Kalaycioglu S, Sinci V, and Oktar L. CABG after successful PTCA. Is PTCA a risk for CABG? Int. Surg 1998; 83: 190-193

    4. Yusuf S, Zucker D, Peduzzi P. et.al. Effect of CABG on survival.. Lancet 1994; 344: 565-568

    5. Hornick P, Smith PL, Taylor KM. Cerebral complication following coronary bypass grafting. Curr. Opin. Cardiol 1994; 9: 670-679

    6. Selens OA and McKhann GM. Coronary Artery Bypass and the Brain. N. Engl.J.Med 2001; 344: 451-453

    • Vicky
      June 9, 2012 at 8:29 am

      So what is your answer – Do you think they should continue to be used if the evidence says that they don’t work?

      • Schemeit
        September 1, 2012 at 4:04 am

        “And they don’t matter, the arguments matter. Yet you’re happy to disregard mine because my qualifications don’t seem to match. I’m a scientist, that’s all you’ll get.”

        If the follow up research shows contrary results, what do YOU as a scientist say? Why do you have to ask a question?

        • Vicky
          September 1, 2012 at 7:42 am

          I already answered that somewhere, but I’m happy to repeat: We have to go with what the research tells us. If a promising intervention is shown to be useless we’ll stop using it.

          See? It’s really not that hard to give straightforward answers! Your turn.

          • Schemeit
            September 2, 2012 at 3:45 am

            So what is YOUR assessment of the message posted by Iqbal?

            What will you say to Mojo’s question as a scientist?

            “Answer the question. Do you think they should continue to be used if the evidence says that they don’t work?

            There are many references noted there.

          • Schemeit
            September 2, 2012 at 10:21 am

            So what is YOUR assessment of the message posted by Iqbal?

            What will you say to Mojo’s question as a scientist?

            “Answer the question. Do you think they should continue to be used if the evidence says that they don’t work?

            There are many references noted there.

          • Schemeit
            September 2, 2012 at 10:23 am

            So what is YOUR assessment of the message posted above regarding bypass surgery?

            What will you say to Mojo’s question as a scientist?

            “Answer the question. Do you think they should continue to be used if the evidence says that they don’t work?

            There are many references noted there.

          • Mojo
            September 2, 2012 at 12:48 pm

            Vicky has already answered that question in the post you were replying to. Here is the answer again:

            We have to go with what the research tells us. If a promising intervention is shown to be useless we’ll stop using it.

            And here it is again, in case you didn’t understand it the first two times it was posted:

            We have to go with what the research tells us. If a promising intervention is shown to be useless we’ll stop using it.

            And now, perhaps you can answer the question yourself.

          • Schemeit
            September 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm

            Based upon the follow up audits shown above it is very clear that by pass surgery has no benefits.

            Still it is continued to be done.

            It should be stopped. What would you say, scientist Vicky?

          • Mojo
            September 2, 2012 at 5:37 pm

            Here it is again.

            Originally posted by Vicky:

            We have to go with what the research tells us. If a promising intervention is shown to be useless we’ll stop using it.

          • Schemeit
            September 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm

            Then why are by pass surgeries continued to be done if the evidence continues to state this is no benefit?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            September 5, 2012 at 7:29 am

            Schemeit

            None of us are cardiac surgeons. You are not a cardiac surgeon. You have had your question answered multiple times. If a conventional treatment is shown to have an unfavourable risk-benefit ratio then it should be abandoned. Full-stop. End of discussion.

            The missing element that seems to be confusing you is that, because none of us are cardiac surgeons, we cannot make a definitive statement about the risk-benefit ratio and patient-selection for by-pass surgery as the specific example chosen by Iqbal and would not wish to do so based on some references plucked from the literature and without the wider understanding necessary to give them context. So, the answer you have been given is necessarily guarded by the word “if”.

            The crucial difference between this and homeopathy is that for homeopathy we have all the context. It is a null-therapy. It is a useless intervention. That can be stated unequivocally by anyone with more than half a brain.

    • June 9, 2012 at 9:11 am

      Iqbal

      That may well be an interesting question for another time and another place but I did’t ask you what the evidence was. I asked you to reply to Mojo’s question, which was “Do you think they should continue to be used if the evidence says that they don’t work?”

      Oh! And I’d still like to know what you think of the Swiss homeopathy report.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        June 9, 2012 at 9:39 am

        Look, because I’m a nice guy, I’m going to help Iqbal with this.

        If there is strong and coherent evidence that a medical intervention is useless or causes more harm than good then it should cease to be used.

        I find that very easy to say. I really don’t know why Iqbal can’t manage to say it. One can only wonder why he cannot come right out and say that if the scientific evidence clearly shows a treatment to be useless them it should be abandoned. Obviously he’s keen to quote scientific evidence so he must agree that is the standard to which medical treatments must be held to account. He cannot rationally sustain a position that this would be true for some treatments and not for others.

  72. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 9, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Hello? Iqbal, have you gone selectively blind? You have posted here again but have unaccountably failed to answer this question;

    Why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?

    You seem intent on wandering further and further off topic on your little crusade about angioplasty. Please return to matters that are germane to the topic of this thread.

    • Iqbal
      June 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      BSM:

      Why were all those prescientific doctors wrong?…………

      I tried to locate the correct meaning of the word prescientific doctors on Google. It appears as an adjective and is used only once on a web site. An explanation from the Oxford press states “relating to the time before the development of modern science or the application of scientific method”. No date is defined.(200 years?)

      This makes it rather an open subject. From the messages I posted with reference, even today, the so called modern medical science is found wanting – as continued audits show. The explanation is: what medicine does is to try to make sure that the positive effects are not outweighed by the negative effects. (Mojo)

      And you write:

      Real medicine would love to cure all diseases. But that’s not realistic in any near future. Where it can’t cure it aims to control and palliate. It is very often highly successful in that. We all know real medicine is incomplete.

      David Eddy, the former cardiovascular surgeon at Stanford turned Duke University mathematics PhD liked to cite a figure that only 15% of what doctors did was backed by hard evidence. Is medicine doing any better today? In recognizing the problem, yes. But in solving it, unfortunately, no, he said.

      The question is: what is scientific about the scientific medicine that does not cure? The science is wrong otherwise there should be cures; pills need not be taken indefinitely to suppress disease.

      Dr. Hegde is 100% correct when he says that the approach has to be changed: doctors have to cure the patient not the disease. The linear approach to handling disease has only brought more problems than they have solved.

      How can you use the yard stick that evaluates an ineffective system to run down another system where the principal logic is different? And the people involved in running down: Not one doctor.

      My understanding is therefore: the scientific medical system that is prevalent today is still the prescientific system (to borrow your term). as otherwise the results would be cures, pharma companies would not be the biggest violators of the False Claims Act in the USA.

      Now to the connecting message:

      Bloodletting:

      Please see: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

      Here it connects the bloodletting to Hahnemann: Hahnemann became convinced that many medical treatments such as blood letting did more harm than good, and looked for gentler ways to treat patients. He was one of many physicians in the 1700s who set out to explore systematically the use and effects of medical drugs.

      Then go to “Popular or folk medicine” from the same link and to “Apothecaries”. Read the complete statement. Extrapolate it for today. Does it ring a bell?

      You are the new generation Apothecaries?

      • Mojo
        June 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm

        David Eddy, the former cardiovascular surgeon at Stanford turned Duke University mathematics PhD liked to cite a figure that only 15% of what doctors did was backed by hard evidence.

        Well, if he cited it these days he’d be wrong, perhaps. See, for example, Imrie and Ramey: The Evidence for Evidence-based medicine or Ernst: How much of general practice is based on evidence, both of which suggest that the figure is nearer 75%.

        Incidentally, Eddy appears to be a proponent of evidence-based medicine, and (according to the article by Dr. Hegde from which you copied and pasted the two halves of that sentence) seems to be suggesting that treatments that are not supported by good evidence should be abandoned. Do you think he’s correct?

        Hahnemann became convinced that many medical treatments such as blood letting did more harm than good, and looked for gentler ways to treat patients.

        And yet it is still in use in Ayurveda, under the name of “Raktamokshana”. Was Hahnemann wrong, or are practitioners of Ayurveda who use Raktamokshana wrong?

        And, if you still believe that the doctors of Hahnemann’s time were wrong about bloodletting, why were all those doctors wrong?

      • June 9, 2012 at 9:25 pm

        Iqbal

        More diversions, obfuscations and downright misleading information from you, I’m afraid.

        Eddy appears to have got his figures from just two medical conditions: arterial blockage in the legs and glaucoma, over 20 years ago.

        A proper assessment of the proportion of primary care interventions that are supported by some form of compelling evidence, gives a figure around 80% and this has been known for many years (eg Imrie et al. (as Mojo linked to) and Gill et al.). Not ideal, but significantly higher than your alleged 15%, and far higher still than the proportion of alternative therapies with good evidence of efficacy.

        But if you are concerned about the lack of evidence for conventional treatments, why do you think that adding more unproven or disproven treatments (like homeopathy) helps improve the situation?

        • Schemeit
          September 1, 2012 at 4:16 am

          This is incorrect and misleading.

          Cardiovascular woes,back pains, prostate cancer, surgery for prostrate cancer, glaucoma -about every thing that he has checked.

          “The problem is that we don’t know what we are doing,” says Dr. Eddy. Even today, with a high-tech health-care system that costs the nation $2 trillion a year, there is little or no evidence that many widely used treatments and procedures actually work better than various cheaper alternatives.

          We don’t have the evidence [that treatments work], and we are not investing very much in getting the evidence,” says Dr. Stephen C. Schoenbaum, executive vice-president of the Commonwealth Fund and former president of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Inc. Based on his results, the American Cancer Society changed its guidelines.

          • Mojo
            September 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm

            You lot really don’t want to talk about the Swizz Report, do you?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            September 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm

            Schemeit is worried that magic carpet technician may become an endangered profession, so keeps complaining about the fact that his old Fiat Panda failed its MOT.

  73. le canard noir
    June 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I will be drawing this thread to a close as it is now way off track.

    It has served to show how homeopaths will do anything to avoid answering questions that may penetrate their delusion.

    Iqbal – your comments are now in moderation. Only short responses will be published that directly answer the questions you have been asked – in your own words.

  74. John H
    June 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I am losing the track on multiple embedded responses to this mans fecking eejiotness.

    His complete and utter inability to directly and specifically answer a question is exasperating. It is also extremely rude to the erudite commentators who have answered all of his questions in detail.

    Iqbal. Your question to me was “John H: Where was the infection coming from?”

    I responded: “”””I have zero medical qualifications but if asked to pontificate on the sources of bodily infection (whether bacterial, viral, parasitical, mycosal or otherwise) I would suggest that likely avenues were:
    * through open wounds
    * inhalation
    * through the genitalia
    * through the rectum
    * through the eyes
    * orally
    * direct transmission into the body by Pentagon/Big Pharma mind/body Infection Control Centre in Langley.

    There might be other vectors but the list above probably accounts for most infections. One of the entries in the list may possibly be false.”””” A list, I might add, compiled from common sense and not from mindless cutting and pasting from Twatopedia.

    You asked why do analgesics do not “cure” anything.

    I responded “”””They are palliative not curative. If your legs were traumatically amputated in a battle would you like morphine now or would you prefer to wait for battlefield surgeons to glue your legs back on.””””

    I asked you where you thought infection came from. You refused to answer.

    You then informed me that I had “””””mixed up the messages:
    Mojo wrote: Yes, but they don’t do it by, as you claim, killing germs. They do it by removing dead and infected tissue, much as a surgeon might. they are being used as a surgical tool and i agreed: Mojo is perfectly correct. Maggots just scarf up the crap around a wound.””””””””

    Could you please tell me exactly what messages I mixed up.

    You then asked “””If this is true, why was penicillin required? Is this a surgical activity newly designed? Why was surgery not done for the infected part? Do you understand this?”””

    My response would be ( as a layman):
    1) that using maggots is probably less painful than debriding (say) a gangrene infection. Maggots nibbling away at rotten flesh is probably a more gentle solution than having it scraped out with a surgical appliance
    2) penicillin ( or indeed any other antibiotic) can actually be delivered into the body to fight a bacterial infection (say pneumonia). (Until SuperMaggotCo Inc. can find a way of delivering maggots directly into the body). You do understand the difficulty of introducing maggots into the lungs or bladder, don’t you?

    You then said “”””In vitro studies have shown that maggots inhibit and destroy a wide range of pathogenic bacteria including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus group A and B streptococci, and Gram-positive bacteria aerobic and anaerobic strains.”””. More pointless C&P.

    You are making the classical quack error of wildly extrapolating in vitro studies into in vivo effectiveness. Are you a sub-editor on the Daily Mail? Maggots in a petri dish will eat dog poo or indeed any faeces – they do not fit into the fussy eater category. Nor do they fit into the body very well.

    You then said “””””This is the problem when you have zero medical qualification- you end up mixing up disconnected issues. Why not stick to your area of expertise?””””””

    Please let me know anywhere in any posting of mine where my absence of medical qualifications has caused me to write something incorrect. Also kindly let me know which disconnected issues I have mixed up. Maybe I shouldn’t hold my breath.

    If Le Canard ever introduces the “Quackometer Annual Pot Calling The Kettle Black Award” I nominate you for the stick to your area of expertise comment.

    However, taking your advice and sticking to my area of expertise I calculate the probability of you being a complete and utter fecking eejit at zero point more nines than I can manage to type in a day.

  75. Mojo
    June 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    @Iqbal

    You might like to try reading a book by Druin Burch (he’s a doctor, by the way) called Taking the Medicine.

    It might help you to answer the question that Badly Shaved Monkey keeps asking you.

  76. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 9, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Iqbal, in the context of the discussion, what is meant by “prescientific doctors” is self-evident.

    Instead of answering the question you have turned to the tedious trick of prevaricating over the terms.

    You know, or you are a feckin’ eejit, what I meant by “prescientific doctors” the matter of interest is why they were wrong despite all the evidence they had that convinced them otherwise.

    In your reply, remember what Andy has said, “short responses…that directly answer the questions…in your own words.”

    Try again and try better.

  77. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Iqbal, by the way, you said, “I tried to locate the correct meaning of the word prescientific doctors on Google”

    This is exactly your problem. I am using my own words and they are logical and well-chosen in the context of the discussion. Unlike you I am not dependent on pinching other people’s words from the interwebs in order to fill my vacant brain.

    Spend less time trying to find pre-made quotes as a substitute for thinking and answer my question in your own actual words from what you use as a mind.

  78. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I just said this in an e-mail to Mojo, but having re-read it, I wonder whether others might enjoy it,

    I was just thinking how amazing it is that our DNA means we are very close to chimps, but the tiny difference is what makes us human. That being human involves all sorts of things like being able to use language and thinking digital watches are a pretty neat thing (thank you, Mr Adams) and that even very stupid people can do those things. And yet, the gulf in thinking between people like us and people like Iqbal makes it feel like he is a different species and it is vaguely unsettling that someone like him can go through his life without any inkling of just how wrong he is.

  79. Mojo
    June 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Iqbal,

    Since you still appear to be struggling with Badly Shaved Monkey’s question, I’ll try to rephrase it for you.

    Why did the medical doctors of Hahnemann’s time believe that bloodletting, purging and mercury were effective treatments?

  80. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 10, 2012 at 11:02 am

    @Iqbal on June 10, 2012 at 4:10 am

    [More irrelevant tosh]

    Iqbal, please try to answer the question asked above by Mojo rather than heading off on yet another fruitless tangent halfway up the page.

    Why did the medical doctors of Hahnemann’s time believe that bloodletting, purging and mercury were effective treatments?

    • Schemeit
      September 1, 2012 at 4:19 am

      I saw this reply above.

      The question is: what is scientific about the scientific medicine that does not cure? The science is wrong otherwise there should be cures; pills need not be taken indefinitely to suppress disease.

      My understanding is therefore: the scientific medical system that is prevalent today is still the prescientific system (to borrow your term). as otherwise the results would be cures, pharma companies would not be the biggest violators of the False Claims Act in the USA.

  81. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Literary corner. We’ve had M. Python and D. Adams. Here’s some W. Shakespeare.

    Iqbal’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: his is a tale
    Told by an feckin’ eejit, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    Discuss.

    • Schemeit
      September 2, 2012 at 3:51 am

      I looked for some old information on epidemics and found 2 interesting articles.

      http://homeoint.org/morrell/londonhh/outbreak.htm

      http://www.homeopathyforflu.com/dewey.pdf

      They seem to show homeopathy works.

      • Schemeit
        September 2, 2012 at 3:58 am

        I looked for some old information on epidemics and found 2 interesting articles.http://homeoint.org/morrell/londonhh/outbreak.htm&http://www.homeopathyforflu.com/dewey.pdf

        They seem to show homeopathy works.

        • Vicky
          September 2, 2012 at 7:30 am

          Look again – they don’t.

          Anyway, BSM and Mojo are right when they point out that this blog post is about the “Swiss report”, so unless you have anything meaningful to say about that, our discussion ends here.

          • Schemeit
            September 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm

            I looked again. The facts, if correct, surely point out to effectiveness of homeopathic remedies.

            Swiss report information concerns the later stage of my work.

          • Mojo
            September 2, 2012 at 5:44 pm

            @Schemeit

            I looked again. The facts, if correct, surely point out to effectiveness of homeopathic remedies

            That you think this is hardly surprising, given that you have demonstrated yourself to be unable to understand the simple sentence, “if a promising intervention is shown to be useless we’ll stop using it.”

          • Alan Henness
            September 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm

            Please tell us what you think of the Swiss Government decision on homeopathy.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          September 2, 2012 at 8:33 am

          Only to the gullible and naive.

        • Mojo
          September 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm

          More recent good quality research shows that it doesn’t.

          • Schemeit
            September 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm

            Quality research will not change happening as stated in the write up.

            During epidemics symptoms and effects are similar over effected population and only 2/3 remedies will be required for all cases. In flu in the USA it was Gelsemium(?)

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            September 5, 2012 at 7:35 am

            Schemeit

            Here’s a funny thing. You are capable of expressing yourself in perfectly good, grammatical English when you choose to do so, yet here you are again using the voice of a comedy-foreigner.

            And here you are again engaged in ‘don’t talk about that, talk about this’.

            Hmmm…

            Give me an ‘O’

      • Nash
        September 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm

        Re the London Cholera Epidemic of 1854 as described in http://homeoint.org/morrell/londonhh/outbreak.htm (I refer to this site as CE_LHH for clarity)

        I’ve been researching this for 3 years. In 2009 I visited the London Homoepathic Hospital (LHH) and they had no records relating to this event. Odd considering this was their moment of triumph.

        A search of Hansard for 1855 reveals that no debates regarding the success of the LHH over the Middlesex Hospital ever occured.

        A search of parlimentary papers for 1855 reavels no such report as mentioned in the CE_LHH site.

        All my internet searches for this event always come back to the CE_LHH website as their source.

        Having read Peter Ackroyds history of London that covers the Cholera epidemic, he mentions that the only hospital that took in cholera sufferers was the Middlesex. All other hospitals turned cholera sufferers away and there was a public outcry about this.

        A map of the area where the 1854 outbreak occured shows that the LHH is only two streets away from the outbreak, whilst the Middlesex hospital is over a quarter of a mile away. Seems odd that the Middlesex took in more patients when they could have got so much better treatment almost on their doorstep.

        • Nash
          September 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm

          As to the parlimentary searches, at some point I intend visiting parliment to do a through search. If they come up negative, then I will publish.

          • Alan Henness
            September 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm

            You should also ask the British Homeopathic Association, the Faculty of Homeopathy and the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths. They’re bound to have full details…

            Have you tried Dr David Bellamy OBE? Or Gaby Roslin? Peter Hain?

          • tijiva
            September 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm

            Nash

            …..at some point I intend visiting parliment to do a through search.

            It seems Mojo found it for you.

        • September 3, 2012 at 3:13 pm

          Great work, Nash, thank you. Now we have a new argument to replace the old about how giving cholera patients an ineffective but harmless non-treatments like homeopathy was probably better than giving them the conventional treatments the mid-19th century.

          • tijiva
            September 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm

            The report did say it was ineffective harmless non-treatment but the language was as below:

            The report was not included because: That by introducing the returns of homœopathic practitioners they (the Treatment Committee) would not only compromise the value and utility of their averages of Cure, as deduced from the operation of known remedies, but they would give an unjustifiable sanction to an empirical practice, alike opposed to the maintenance of truth and to the progress of science.”

            And the reply:

            In the first place, the remedies “unknown” to the Treatment Committee were such as camphor, copper, hellebore, arsenic, and other drugs well known to medicine. In the second place, it was their bounden duty to “compromise” the averages of old methods by more successful new methods in their search for the best results. Thirdly, the interference with empirical practice was no part of the statistical duty before them. And lastly, the “progress of science” was de facto obstructed by their refusal to “compromise” their averages by a factor which contained the very object of their search. The perversity was too plain.

            Not very different to today.

        • September 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm

          I’ve been wondering where I first heard of the supposed success of the homeopathic hospital during the cholera epidemics. It was probably Ben Goldacre’s 2007 article, where he says:

          “During the 19th-century cholera epidemic, death rates at the London Homeopathic Hospital were three times lower than at the Middlesex Hospital.”

          http://www.badscience.net/2007/11/a-kind-of-magic/

          I expect you already know this but in case anyone else is interested, as a source Goldacre gives Chapter 6 of retired consultant physician of the LHH, Dr Anthony Campbell’s book, but the link no longer works.

          It so happens I have a copy and Campbell says that 61 patients were admitted to the homeopathic hospital and only ten died. The figures were omitted from the 1855 report on the outbreak by the Board of Health but “Lord Grosvenor raised the matter in the House of Lords and a report including the homeopathic results was subsequently published.”

          • Alan Henness
            September 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm

            It appears that not all of Hansard for 1855 is published yet, just January to August. Could it be that it was raised in the HoL after August?

          • Nash
            September 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm

            The online searches I’ve found of Hansard are not all that good. All the ones I’ve come across miss some details of the Crimean War which should be there.
            Of course I may be using the wrong keywords, which is why I want to visit the archive to get proper help.

          • Alan Henness
            September 3, 2012 at 7:01 pm

            Nash

            I searched the link I gave for terms such as ‘cholera’, ‘hospital’, ‘homeopathic’ and ‘homoeopathic’, but could see any significant results – but I may well have missed something.

        • Mojo
          September 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm

          Is this the report?

          • Alan Henness
            September 4, 2012 at 12:03 am

            A good find, Mojo!

            Odd. A search for homeopath’ or ‘homoeopath’ returns nothing.

            A search for ‘hospital’ returns no mention of the homeopathic hospital.

          • Alan Henness
            September 4, 2012 at 12:05 am

            Also, it’s dated 1854, but there’s no mention of homeopathy in that year either (but September, October and November are missing).

          • Alan Henness
            September 4, 2012 at 12:10 am

            In fact, these are all the search results for ‘homoeopathy’ in all of Hansard from 1803 to 2005.

            So, if Lord Grosvener did raise it in the HoL as Campbell asserts, it must have been in a transcript not yet published.

          • Mojo
            September 5, 2012 at 7:59 am

            I’ve had a look at the print edition of Hansard for May 17th and 21st 1855 and can see no mention of the reports or of Lord Robert Grosvenor. It might be in the Journal of the House of Commons though – I might be able to go back and look at that in a couple of days.

            I’ve found a couple more reports. Here’s one of them. The other is called “Report of the Medical Council in relation to the cholera epidemic of 1854″, published 26 July 1855, but I haven’t been able to track down the text.

          • Mojo
            September 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm

            I’ve found the parliamentary paper referred to in that article – see here. The first paper in the volume is headed:

            “CHOLERA

            RETURN to an address of the Honourable The House of Commons, dated 17th May 1855; – for,

            COPIES of any Letters which have been addressed to the GENERAL BOARD OF HEALTH, complaining of the ommission of any Notice of certain RETURNS in relation to the treatment of CHOLERA…”

            This is followed by a letter from the secretary of the London Homeopathic Hospital, and information about the treatment of cholera patients at the hospital.

            The paper was “Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be printed, 21 May 1855″.

            The dates fit with the dates given in the article, and the paper also names Lord Robert Grosvenor on its last page.

          • Schemeit
            September 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm

            What next?

          • Alan Henness
            September 6, 2012 at 7:49 pm

            Schemeit:

            Please tell us what you think of the Swiss Government decision on homeopathy.

        • tijiva
          September 9, 2012 at 12:09 pm

          Nash

          ….Odd considering this was their moment of triumph.

          Senior Homeopath doctors have very poor opinion for most of the conventional doctors. They only envy the money making capability.

  82. Andy Lewis
    June 10, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Iqbal has since posted six times since I put him on moderation. He has yet to respond to the requirement that he answers the questions put to him.

    • Andy Lewis
      June 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Its a pity that Iqbal is not answering the questions, because he is getting quite angry. It would be good to share his anger with you, but my word is my honour.

      • Will
        June 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm

        Shame. Will only add to his fervour… Why else would we be silencing him unless he was on to something, right?

        I love the fact that once you’ve stepped over the loony threshold *anything* anyone says or does to you only makes you more convinced you’re right. It’s a perfect storm of delusion; but I suppose someone’s already written about it somewhere.

        Has any prominent homoeopath made comment on the ‘revelation’ that the Swiss Report is not really independent nor the writing of the Swiss government, nor implies that the Swiss government is really behind homoeopathy?

        Where do they all go when the evidence/logic gets too much for them?

        That or my earlier theory is right, and there is no Iqbal et al. (surely no one could be that idiotic) and you’ve just run out of ideas for things for them to say…

        ;-)

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        June 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm

        Of course, the magic key that would open the door to his posts being published would be to just answer the question.

        Homeopaths: forever pushing on the door marked Pull.

  83. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 10, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Iqbal, you are clearly persisting in trying to get irrelevancies published. Break yourself out of your Pit of Stupid and just answer this simple question with a concise, direct and germane answer;

    Why did the medical doctors of Hahnemann’s time believe that bloodletting, purging and mercury were effective treatments?

  84. Badly Shaved Monkey
    June 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Andy, has Iqbal gone away?

    • Andy Lewis
      June 12, 2012 at 10:03 am

      I got a final post threatening me by bad mouthing me round the web and calling me a shill. Nothing new under the sun.

      • Will
        June 12, 2012 at 11:14 am
      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        June 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm

        Yet all he had to do was answer some simple questions on a topic in which he regarded himself as an expert.

        As I said above, their thinking is just alien to me.

  85. Fenisk
    June 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm
  86. Badly Shaved Monkey
    July 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Avijit

    I really don’t know why I bother with replying to you, but here goes. 

    You complain that the body is complex and medicine has no complete answers. We know that. 

    Using the example of hypertension you would ask us to use homeopathy which would take a hypertensive patient and give a drug that causes blood pressure to go higher. The only thing that protects the victims of homeopathy from the consequences of this stupidity is that the drugs they use are rinsed out of existence so that they have zero effect rather than a deleterious effect. 

    Your misunderstandings of medicine and science are so complete and so fundamental that you do not even realise how wrong you are, but you would presume to lecture those of us who have devoted years to higher education and decades to clinical practice. You are perhaps the most smugly deluded of all the homeopath fans that I have I interacted with over the last 10 years. Your persistent refusal to comment on Alan’s blog and obtuse insistence that you cannot even locate it despite the repeated links and directions you have been given also mean that you are a most unpleasantly rude person. 

    I contribute to discussions such as these mainly for my own entertainment and (hopefully) for the amusement of other rational commenters. I have no illusions about the likelihood of convincing someone as trapped in delusion as yourself, but it is the sheer discourtesy that you display which marks you out among your type. 

    I think your next post needs to be an honest reply to Alan’s questions about his blog post. If you make any other comment at all it will demonstrate that you are merely a tedious troll. 

  87. Badly Shaved Monkey
    July 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Avijit

    I said;

    I think your next post needs to be an honest reply to Alan’s questions about his blog post. If you make any other comment at all it will demonstrate that you are merely a tedious troll.

    Mojo said;

    There’s a link to the blog post in question right there in the article you are commenting on. Haven’t you read it?

    Your next post in its entirety said;

    Andy

    This is exactly what I meant when I gave the analogy of the lion and the pack of dogs.

    Nothing relevant to the topic. No indication that you have even bothered to read Alan’s blog-post. 

    Troll. 

  88. Badly Shaved Monkey
    August 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Well, it does look like our friend Avijit has run off for good.

    It is a familiar and rather frustrating pattern. Homeopaths appear. They talk a lot of big talk then run away at the appearance of a few pertinent questions. I am left to assume that somewhere deep down they’re just plain scared by a creeping recognition that they have no answers, but their identity is so tied up with a belief in the magic power of sugar that they cannot deal with it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, homeopathy is a particularly sad and foolish way to waste your life.

  89. Schemeit
    August 25, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I stopped as Andy Lewis started to put what ever I wrote under moderation. This I expect would be true for others also.

    • Badly Shaved Monkey
      August 25, 2012 at 8:42 am

      Andy let’s through comments that advance the discussion. He normally applies no moderation, but once some threes become the target of Internet users who become abusive or non-constructive to the discussion then he starts moderating posts. Post sensible comments and they get published. Continue to submit abuse or nonsense and get them blocked.

      The plain fact is that the fans of homeopathy end their careers in discussions like this either by spiralling into abuse and irrationality or simply by running away from questions they will not answer because they strike at the heart of their belief in the magical powers of sugar pills. Is your desire to sustain a belief if homeopathy so strong that you must bend reality, lie, dissemble and flee from anything that threatens it?

      • Schemeit
        September 1, 2012 at 4:20 am

        Comments allowed.

  90. Badly Shaved Monkey
    August 25, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Bloody autocorrect;

    Andy lets through comments that advance the discussion. He normally applies no moderation, but once some threADs become the target of Internet users who become abusive or non-constructive to the discussion then he starts moderating posts. Post sensible comments and they get published. Continue to submit abuse or nonsense and get them blocked.

    The plain fact is that the fans of homeopathy end their careers in discussions like this either by spiralling into abuse and irrationality or simply by running away from questions they will not answer because they strike at the heart of their belief in the magical powers of sugar pills. Is your desire to sustain a belief iN homeopathy so strong that you must bend reality, lie, dissemble and flee from anything that threatens it?

  91. Badly Shaved Monkey
    September 1, 2012 at 7:28 am

    So, Schemeit, you’ve popped up with a string of posts all telling us that cobenyiknal medicine is not perfect. We know that.

    I’ll simply respond with a quite from a recent blog by Guy Chapman;

    “problems with medicine validate homeopathy in exactly the same way car crashes validate travel by flying carpet.”

    I did say that if you made any/ comment other than a reply to Alan Henness, I would write you off as just a tedious troll. Homeopaths are so predictable. Schemeit, you are, indeed, just a troll and show neither the ability nor willingness to engage honestly with the discussion.

    • Schemeit
      September 2, 2012 at 4:27 am

      I am not a homeopath. I am a student in the process of evaluating a subject for my doctoral paper after completing Masters in bio-chemistry.

      I am in India now for over 7 months collecting data for understanding effect and place of homeopathy in the modern medical system. It started as a short assessment to close the idea. The present data evaluation is a surprise to me.

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        September 2, 2012 at 8:23 am

        The present data evaluation is a surprise to me.

        It takes very little to impress you.

        If you apply the same diligence to your present endeavour as you have done to evaluating and discussing the Swiss homeopathy report you will remain ignorant.

        • Schemeit
          September 2, 2012 at 10:40 am

          I have been meeting homeopath doctors and ask the points raised here to get their rebuts. This I put back here.

          I also put here their criticism of the conventional medical system which you read and respond.

          My purpose is not to get impressed. I am in the phase of data collection and outcome of my project would be dependent what the data evaluation is.

          I am meeting conventional doctors also for their understanding of homeopathy. Many hospitals here offer patients the choice of conventional and homeopathic doctors.

  92. Badly Shaved Monkey
    September 1, 2012 at 7:29 am

    cobenyiknal??

    Autocorrect missed that one.

    Conventional.

  93. Badly Shaved Monkey
    September 2, 2012 at 8:32 am

    P.S.

    Schemeit, read in inwardly digest;

    “I did say that if you made any comment other than a reply to Alan Henness, I would write you off as just a tedious troll. Homeopaths are so predictable. Schemeit, you are, indeed, just a troll and show neither the ability nor willingness to engage honestly with the discussion.”

    If you pop up here defending homeopathy, you are a homeopath for the purposes of this discussion. Given that any fool who either dispenses or consumes sugar pills as medicine can call themselves a homeopath it is a perfectly valid shorthand.

    As is usual for HOMEOPATHS (there, I said it again), you pick up on some trivial semantic point, which shows that you do read our posts, but you obstinately refuse to deal with the substantitive issues. People who post just to obtain replies but with no intention of engaging honestly with the discussion are described by a well-established piece of internet jargon, TROLL.

    Schemeit, you are a homeopath and a troll unless you immediately show evidence to the contrary.

  94. Schemeit
    September 2, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Read above.

  95. Badly Shaved Monkey
    September 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    The facts, if correct, show my Aunty has balls and is therefore my Uncle.

  96. Badly Shaved Monkey
    September 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    The facts, if correct, show the Moon is made of green cheese.

  97. Badly Shaved Monkey
    September 2, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    The facts, if correct, show Elvis is alive and living on Venus.

  98. Badly Shaved Monkey
    September 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    The facts, if correct, show Schemeit is a genius.

    • Alan Henness
      September 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      I contest your facts.

      • Schemeit
        September 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm

        Your statement is similar to “The facts, if correct, show the Moon is made of green cheese.”

        What facts do you contest?

        I have not written the report. I was provided information about it and I forwarded it for you.

        The response from Nash is worthwhile.

  99. tijiva
    September 9, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Alan

    What facts would you contest here?

    There was no cholera in London? The report of the London hospital was a forgery? Lord Robert Grosvenor never existed? The report taken out from the parliamentary proceedings was smuggled in by homeopaths?

    Your other name is Zeno?

    Following you, I also reversed my name.

    • Mojo
      September 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      Meta-analyses have confirmed that the best quality research fails to show an effect of homoeopathy over placebo. This leaves us with two possibilities:

      1. Homoeopathy worked in the mid 19th century, but has for some reason stopped working at some point since then; or

      2. The apparent successes in the 1854 cholera epidemic were illusory, and resulted either from the patients treated with homoeopathy not being properly conparable with those treated by orthodox methods or the orthodox treatments being worse for the patient than no treatment.

      Which seems more likely?

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        September 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm

        Ooh, ooh. I know, I know. Pick me.

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          September 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm

          [The right answer is not the one Avijit wants, is it. ]

      • Alan Henness (aka Zeno)
        September 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        Ooohhh! That’s a hard one…

        It’s the first, of course. It’s all because the quantum flapdoodle effect, Hahnemann’s Uncertainty Principle and time dilution phenomenomenoms mean that the homeopathic effect in this Dimension waxes and wanes every century or so.

      • tijiva
        September 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm

        Mojo

        In a epidemic, the illness is acute and most patients develop similar symptoms. That is the reason for small number of medicines to show result. This is defined as anecdote in other times.

        http://www.simillimum.com/education/little-library/case-management/pedh/article.php

        • Mojo
          September 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm

          The question you’re avoiding is why did homoeopathy appear to work spectacularly well during these historical epidemics when good quality modern research shows, at best, results roughly equivalent to statistical ‘noise’?

          • tijiva
            September 15, 2012 at 4:43 am

            Mojo

            ……..why did homoeopathy appear to work spectacularly well during these historical epidemics when good quality modern research shows,

            In epidemics MEDICINES cure. DRUGS will not. Results of cures can be seen in patients that live through as a % of ill.

            By quality research you mean the RCT? This is for drugs to pass that remove one ailment- linear approach. The patient does not get cured. The root cause of one illness or immune response in different patients is different. Unless the root cause for the illness is removed, there can be NO cure. This the drugs are incapable of.

            And like drug, a regular fix is required.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            September 15, 2012 at 9:43 am

            You’re doing it again. Instead of answering Mojo’s specific question you splurge another mass of incoherent rhetorical dribble.

            Answer the actual question instead of just writing things you think are clever. It looks like you lack the mental discipline to concentrate on any particular step of a logical argument. Your career posting on this blog consists of you spending all your time either stonewalling and failing to answer questions at all, or posting answers that head off at some wild irrelevant tangent. While it is interesting for us to witness the thought processes of a true-believer it’s not doing you any good at all. Is it that you are unable to understand the questions and the need for specific answers or is your behaviour a deliberate tactic? If it is the former, then you really need to focus on the detail of the specific question, answer it honestly and we can make a tiny incremental positive step. If it is the latter, then give us a T…again.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            September 15, 2012 at 9:53 am

            Maybe my last post was tl;dr. I’ll simplify.

            Don’t tell us what you want to be true, answer Mojo’s actual question and learn from your answer.

    • Alan Henness (aka Zeno)
      September 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      Tijiva

      It was sarcasm.

      Your other name is Zeno?

      Following you, I also reversed my name.

      My name, of course, is not important. Neither is yours.

      • Mojo
        September 9, 2012 at 2:09 pm

        My name, of course, is not important.

        Is that you, Slartibartfast?

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          September 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm

          He told you it was not important.

        • Alan Henness (aka Zeno)
          September 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm

          I am not the skeptic you are looking for.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            September 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm

            Th mice are furious.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            September 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm

            [enough H2G2 references? We may make avijit’s head explode. He’s so unhip it’s surprising his bum doesn’t drop off]
            [[Stop it!!]]

          • Alan Henness (aka Zeno)
            September 10, 2012 at 11:35 pm

            Can we send the homeopaths and other quacks to Golgafrincham? Fair exchange.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            September 11, 2012 at 6:19 am

            At least we’d get our phones sanitised, so I think we’d be up on the deal.

          • Alan Henness
            September 11, 2012 at 9:59 am

            That was my thinking. I don’t have much use for a hairdresser, though.

  100. Badly Shaved Monkey
    September 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Posting this at the end of the thread because the nesting is getting confusing.

    A map of the area where the 1854 outbreak occured shows that the LHH is only two streets away from the outbreak, whilst the Middlesex hospital is over a quarter of a mile away. Seems odd that the Middlesex took in more patients when they could have got so much better treatment almost on their doorstep.

    One wonders whether the more distant hospital received the more serious cases who were deemed bad enough to be sent away there. The LHH probably received the less ill and the previously more healthy genteel patients to receive their tea and sympathy therapy.

    Of course, all we have is speculation. There was no randomisation or controlling for extraneous variables. All we have are anomalous data refuted by a century and a half of further investigation. In any normal field of science and medicine this would be an historical curiosity and the reported differences in outcomes ascribed to all the confounding variables. But the homeopaths need this tale to prove the value of homeopathy because in 150 years they have literally nothing else that is usable by them as evidence.

    • tijiva
      September 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm

      Monkey

      You REALLY believe these questions were not asked before the cholera report on effects of homeopathic treatment was included in the records?

      If yes, then your speculation is invalid.

      If not, then I can only say that the followers of the conventional medical system have have ALWAYS been stupid. The only thing they seem to be good at is to find ways to deride other medical systems to cover up their own(then and also now) short comings.

      A homeopathic medicine should behave as a drug. Why should a drug not behave like a medicine?

      Why should a drug not CURE a disease? Why should it be taken indefinitely to suppress the symptoms?

      When a doctor prescribes 2 drugs at one time, is evidence available (RCT?) for the outcome of such combination? If not, what is the basis?

      • Badly Shaved Monkey
        September 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

        You do understand, don’t you, Avijit, that these historical records are not controlled trials no matter how carefully the data were recorded?

        Silly me, of course you don’t.

        The rest of your questions are not worth my while trying to answer, insofar as they make any sense at all. You have shown yourself incapable of understanding the answers.

        • tijiva
          September 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm

          Monkey

          What can better than actual CURES in life threatening situations?

          Really Silly me, off course, you cannot understand.

          Drugs from Controlled trials killing people are definitely superior to medicines curing patients.

          The rest of the questions you will not answer, because you don’t have a valid logical answer.

  101. Badly Shaved Monkey
    September 10, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Have our opponents given up?

    • Alan Henness (aka Zeno)
      September 10, 2012 at 11:07 pm

      They’re on another planet. Or Universe.

      • tijiva
        September 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm

        Zeno

        There is an interesting world on this earth also.

        http://www.the-cma.org.uk/cma_images/Jayney's%20Presentation.pdf

        • Badly Shaved Monkey
          September 11, 2012 at 11:18 pm

          “The 1813 typhus epidemic followed in the wake of Napoleon’s march through Germany to attack Russia – followed by his calmitous retreat. When the epidemic hit Leipzig, Hahnemann treated 180 people and lost only 2 (less than 1%) – Allopathic mortality rates were >30%

          Prompt treatment of the disease with antibiotics reduces the mortality rate to approximately 1%. When untreated, typhoid fever usually lasts for three weeks to a month. Death occurs in between 10% and 30% of untreated cases.”

          Avijit
          The absence of proper controls means there is no point in commenting on Jayney Goddard’s slide show.
          However, from your great knowledge of medicine what has she got factually wrong in the section I have quoted? [It may be only a typo, but I suspect it is not]

          • tijiva
            September 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm

            This is rather silly.

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            September 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm

            So, can you not spot Jayney’s mistake?

            It’s not difficult and it’s not a trick.

        • Alan Henness (aka Zeno)
          September 11, 2012 at 11:20 pm

          Does that document tell us all about what’s happening with homeopathy in Switzerland?

          • tijiva
            September 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm

            Alan Henness (aka Zeno)

            ….what’s happening with homeopathy in Switzerland?

            No. It tells you what will happen to homeopathy in the world in the not so foreseeable future.

          • Alan Henness (aka Zeno)
            September 12, 2012 at 7:32 pm

            Avijit

            You make no sense. I’ll make it simpler:

            What do homeopaths in Switzerland have to do by 2015?

          • Badly Shaved Monkey
            September 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm

            One can only hope that is true.

            You haven’t read it, have you? Heck, I haven’t but I trust the people who have.

  102. September 21, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your website accidentally, and I’m shocked why this accident didn’t took place in advance! I bookmarked it.

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