Thursday, 3 February 2011

Skeptics ,Science and Mice

Well, it seems the skeptics are planning another of their mass overdoses this weekend. The whole idea of a mass overdose clearly shows how little they know about homeopathy. A single dose (1 pill or 100 pills at the same time still count as a single dose) of a remedy will only have any effect if the remedy fits the persons physical and emotional symptoms. So taking a random remedy is unlikely to do anything. If by chance they take a remedy that does fit them then there would be positive effects.

Homeopathy is extremely safe, especially when compared with allopathic medicine. As a conservative estimate the painkiller Vioxx is thought to have killed 2000 people in the UK, and that is just one drug. However, if you repeatedly take a 'wrong' homeopathic remedy for a long time there is a good chance you will produce symptoms that are related to that remedy and not to you. The homeopathic materia medica has been developed from just such experiments known as provings. Healthy people took homeopathic remedies, often over a period of weeks to see what symptoms were produced. The results are collated and when someone has symptoms which fit the picture produced by a proving then we know that remedy is very likely to help them.

The dictionary definition of a skeptic is someone who doubts the value or truth of an idea or a belief.
Doubting something is reasonable but it seems to me whatever evidence, research papers and personal stories indicate homeopathy has an effect, they continue to say it's unscientific and impossible. The skeptics don't seem to even want to look at the research available, let alone consider that there are many papers showing plants, animals, young babies and cells have responded to homeopathic preparations. No placebo effect with that lot.

Science, according to Wikipedia, 'is an enterprise that builds and organises knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world'. Theories can and do alter according to new evidence and theories. Science is not static and new ideas help move things forward. It seems the skeptic approach is to just say 'homeopathy is rubbish' and refuse to look at anything that challenges that view which seems decidedly unscientific to me.

For an interesting perspective on the mass overdose have a look at the exellent blog Elephants and Mice

And for sound, sensible and scientific information about homeopathy have a look at the website Extraordinary Medicine.

Stunts such as mass overdoses and negative articles in the press have very little effect on the public at large and only serve to stimulate discussion. The vast majority of people come to see a homeopath because they have friends or relatives who have been helped by homeopathic treatment. Most of them don't tweet, blog or really care what some journalist in London says about anything.
If there is a story about homeopathy in the media, most people don't remember whether it was negative or positive. If someone has benefited from homeopathic treatment, any negative story is likely to prompt them to say how much it helped them.

I, and many other homeopaths, actually get much busier when the skeptics pull stunts. So we will look forward to a busy few weeks. Thanks guys!