A Response to the Homeopathy Awareness Campaign

Cyanide occurs naturally. I doubt many homeopaths would suggest taking cyanide. They will dilute it to the point that there is no cyanide left.

The potent neurotoxin Tetrodotoxin occurs naturally in the blue-ringed octopus. Some pufferfish species and other animals also have this. Yet even small quantities of this highly potent toxin can kill you within minutes. Yet, I do not see too many people arguing for the merits of Tetrodoxotinon on the basis that it is natural!

So, the fact that something is natural is not a sign that it is beneficial. It may be naturally occurring and be extremely harmful.

Let’s see why homeopathy is not even natural.

If water has memory, then why should it only remember the substances homeopaths want it to remember? It should not. What evidence is there that the water will remember only these things?

Why should it not retain the memory of other natural things? Or whatever artificial things it is subjected to? Why does water not remember the properties of all the bacteria in the poo that used to be in the water? Or the properties of other harmful substances that were in the water at some point? Why does it only remember the properties of the things that the homeopaths want it to remember? Why does water have such selective memory?

Water memory has been studied many times and yet no evidence of this has ever been found. We know that there is no way water can maintain any kind of memory for longer than a tiny fraction of a second. This is impossible and contradicted by virtually everything we know about chemistry.

So, far from being natural, it sounds like supernatural pseudoscience. Natural? Hardly. Homeopathy is supernatural.

Also, homeopathic preparations are often made by sprinkling diluted substances over sugar cubes. How natural are sugar cubes? Those sound rather artificial to me.

Sugar cubes are natural, right? No, didn’t think so…

Homeopathy is not medicine. Medicine is something that has been proven to have some positive medical effects. It does so by employing some active substance that brings about an effect upon the body. Homeopathy does not have any active ingredients, so it is not medicine.

It claims to have some effect. But no effect greater than of placebo has ever been shown. A placebo is not medicine. So, neither should homeopathic solutions, which at best produce a placebo effect.

“It is based on the principle of ‘like cures like’ – a substance taken in small amounts can cure the same symptoms it causes when taken in large amounts.”

The principle of “like cures like” is without scientific merit. Just because something causes a headache does not mean that it can cure a headache. I could punch myself on the head, but that will not cure my headache. I could try to cure my skin rash with poison ivy, but it will do nothing to treat my skin rash.

That is magical nonsense. It assumes that there is a “vital force” in your body. And that this “vital force” can be stimulated to overcome what is ailing you. The vital force then beats the ailment by some unspecified means.

So, if you want to beat a cold, you need to subject it to the symptoms of a cold. Then your vital force is stimulated to overcome the cold. If you want to get over depression, subject your vital force to the symptoms of depression. It will be stimulated to beat the depression.

What is the vital force? Some kind of undefined energy field. Some sort of undefined magical woo.

But this is not how medicine works. You do not treat diseases by stimulating some undefined energy field in the body to respond to the symptoms of the disease.

You do not treat cancer by stimulating the growth of tumors. Tumors that somehow stimulate the body to beat cancer. You address the root cause of cancer by removing cancerous tissue.

Do you cure snakebites with something that causes the symptoms of a snakebite? No, you neutralize the venom. Then you deal with the ongoing symptoms.

You address the cause of the disease by getting rid of it if you can and take steps to either reduce the symptoms or their effects. You do not inflict more suffering upon yourself in some delusional attempt to stimulate recovery.

Just because something causes the symptoms of an ailment, does not mean that it is a treatment for that ailment. Onions are not a treatment for runny eyes. Just because you trigger the symptoms of an ailment does not mean that your body becomes any better at recovering from the ailment. That is not how the body works. I would not expect a homeopath to know that.

Next time you feel weepy, rub onions in your eyes…

3)What makes people want to try homeopathy?

The widespread misinformation spread about homeopathy. Homeopaths tell them that it is medicine. However, medicine is something that contains an active ingredient or substance. Homeopathic treatments contain very little or none of the so-called “active ingredients”.

Homeopathy tells you to dilute the so-called “active ingredients” in water or alcohol. Dilute it so much that you would have to consume vast quantities of diluted water to get a single molecule of the substance.

Let us consider the minimum dilutions that Hahnemann said should qualify as homeopathic. You would have to drink all the water on Earth about 22 trillion times to be 100% sure of getting one molecule of the substance. Let us consider the vastly lower dosages sometimes used. You would have to drink vast quantities of water or alcohol to get any of the “active ingredients”.

Remember, the more you dilute the ingredients, the stronger the alleged treatment is. That is like saying an aspirin tablet is good, but one billionth of the aspirin tablet is better. That passes for logic in the minds of homeopaths.

No, I think it is homeopaths that are misinformed here. Misinformed about the most elementary physics, chemistry, biology and the laws of logic.

In the 200-odd years in which it has existed, nobody has shown any possibility of medical effects. Nor that it has a viable mechanism by which it might function. Nor any peer-reviewed studies that show that it somehow works. Even though educated people across the world expect it not to.

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