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Talk:Homeopathy

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This alternative medicine related article has been awarded GOLD status for quality. Please keep this in mind when editing the article. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

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This article is, among others, randomly included on the Main Page.
Please keep this in mind and be sure that your edits are of the quality that this implies.
Its front-page abstract can be found here and its editnotice here.

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Explain why my resource was deleted, please.[edit]

Why was my resource deleted by Bongolian? Please explain. Titofrito (talk) 02:02, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Bongolian didn't "delete" it and also, your "resource" is crap. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 02:28, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
How so? Give five reasons. Titofrito (talk) 02:33, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
Unengaging, low quality, virtually no views, adds nothing to the article, you wasted my time. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 02:35, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Why does it matter that it has no views? It's funny. Titofrito (talk) 02:40, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

No it's not. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 02:41, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
@Titofrito You're trying to get page views for your crappy video by linking it from here. It's not going to work. Bongolian (talk) 03:17, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
It's not my video, I just found it. Titofrito (talk) 15:29, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
Well, nobody else wants to see it. Don't put it back here. Don't link to it anywhere else. Just give it up. Spud (talk) 15:33, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
@Spud You know, all this drama reminds me of someone else with a desperate need for attention... ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 15:37, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
Whatever. I give up with this. Titofrito (talk) 16:55, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sorry. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 16:59, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
It was a good resource. Titofrito (talk) 17:19, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
I respect your opinion, but it had real problems. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 18:32, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
You give up with this, I hear? Please move on, notLogicnsuch. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 19:17, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Paying for homeopathy[edit]

Surely writing out a cheque for 'a large sum of money' and waving it at the homeopath/the products should suffice as payment - but you are likely to end up in legal trouble if you attempt this. If homeopathy works, why is this so? Anna Livia (talk) 16:11, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

"Gold" quality?[edit]

Lots of bias in this article. For one thing: what's wrong with placebo effects? Doctors (yes, real allopathic medical doctors) love them. What works, works. Second, there are unsupported assumptions that homoepathic remedies are very expensive. Compared to allopathic drugs, they're dirt cheap (unsurprisingly: they have almost no ingredients and simple manufacturing processes). Third, there's an unsupported assumption that people taking homoeopathic remedies have some condition for which they should be taking real drugs. How often is this the case? If this density of bias and unsupported bluster gets a "Gold" quality rating, it doesn't do the wiki much credit. 84.172.91.116 (talk) 12:50, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

Accusations of "bias" are one of the laziest cookie-cutter criticisms people have levied against us in the wiki. There's several problems relying solely on placebo effects: they're not reliable at all by being extremely variable and completely dependent on the psychological effects, they're unethical as they trick patients into believing a treatment works, and they tend to sideline actual effective treatment and can waste money, time, and other resources which can be a matter of life and death. They're dirt cheap because they don't work. As for the last one, that complaint about the unsupported assumption is baseless: people take drugs because of a particular condition they have, so this assumption shouldn't be a problem. What else can homeopathy can be used for? Also, how is this "unsupported bluster" in any way, shape, or form? This article is thoroughly referenced and explained to the very atom on why homeopathy doesn't work, why we shouldn't use homeopathy for anything, and so on. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 01:33, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
(1) Placebo effects are not reliable? They're well studied; they can be worth trying for. (2) "Completely dependent on psychological effects" -- that's a tautology; you just defined "placebo". (3) Placebo effects aren't necessarily unethical: placebos work even when the patient knows they're getting a placebo! (4) "They tend to sideline actual effective treatment": How often? Can you substantiate this? See also (5). (5) "People take drugs because of a particular condition they have": My question was, how often do people taking homeopathic remedies have a condition for which they should be taking other drugs. Naturally the people think they're treating some condition, but how often do they really take homeopathics for something that requires treatment? As opposed to, say, hypochondria, sniffles, hangovers, or short-temperedness. The article doesn't say. By your biased logic, everyone who is currently taking homeopathic sugarpills should get some real drugs! That's possible, but not self-proving. I can see why your "rational" wiki often gets accusations of bias. 2001:16B8:4863:D700:313D:F4CA:74E8:6A96 (talk) 15:54, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Reliance on placebo being advised against is covered in extent in placebo. No, they're not worth trying for because they're well studied. I had to define placebo as way too reliant on psychology (but also on artifacts of research design) because you don't seem to understand why placebo isn't reliable (requires particular conditions, particular expectations, sheer chance, reliant on lack of remission, relies on self-limitations of disease). It's why we have controls in well-designed experiments in the first place. I can't quantify how often but any time you take homeopathy, you are wasting money and time. I've read accounts of people who took homeopathy for anything and swear by the stuff, generally from Respectful Insolence. I deconstructed a homeopathic study on mild to severe depression that is impossible to replicate by relying way too much on so-called individualized treatment. People probably take homeopathy for anything they have, but it doesn't matter if homeopathy is administered to sniffles or cancer, it still requires betraying trust in consumers and exploiting that placebo effects. That's how quackery works and is profitable. The article doesn't say, but this isn't a major point of contention. Also, simply lobbying "biased" (especially when it's used as a nonsenical adjective to describe "logic") and putting "rational" in airquotes (which is another awfully lazy criticism of the wiki) isn't gonna magically make your arguments stronger. As I said, "bias" is a lazy criticism, an argument by assertion, an appeal to bias; tons of people call it so because it's so effortless and inane compared to making more specific criticisms of an article; it's also a weak cover for your own arguments which are also biased as well as you simply not liking what you're reading. We have made automated responses to them. As for the "dirt cheap" argument? You're the one who advanced that claim, which was contradicted by the article. The point is that homeopathy is a terrible value compared to so-called allopathic medicine, insurance doesn't cover the thing for a reason. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 16:47, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/is-harnessing-the-power-of-placebo-worthwhile-to-treat-anything/
This article goes into better explanation than me on why placebo effects shouldn't be relied on. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 17:04, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not surprised you haven't got data; if you did, it would be in the article. (1) By the way, there is health insurance that covers homeopathic treatments. Again, unsubstantiated bluster, and in this case counterfactual. (2) "This isn't a major point of contenttion" -- didn't I just contend against it? Shouldn't the article be giving evidence to support its main claim and thrust? This is exactly what I call bias: the "everyone knows" attitude. (3) How can you say "it doesn't matter whether homeopathy is administered to sniffles or cancer"? In one case it's harmless, the other life-threatening (if your other unsubstantiated claim is true that it tends to displace other treatments -- the homeopathy in itself is still harmless; only a failure to get other treatment would be dangerous). 2003:EF:2F29:9F00:3181:B813:B6F9:9916 (talk) 06:16, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
Where can I get that health insurance? Can I pay with a very weakly diluted dollar bill? Bongolian (talk) 06:26, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
Now that I think about it, it's striking that the one question with life-and-death importance – does homeopathy keep really sick people from getting real medical treatment? – gets no evidence-based answer at all. Of course, it is a complex question: you'd have to prove not just correlation, but causation, i.e., that it's not other factors, like maybe prohibitive costs of real health care in the absence of universal insurance, that's keeping sick people away from the doctor. 2003:EF:2F0E:3B00:170:42CA:AC37:4E3B (talk) 07:13, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
You're being disingenuous about asking for data. It's right in the article and relocated as its own article for being quite substantial: Evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy. 1, 2 It should be enough that the plausibility of homeopathy is already extremely low and violates basic laws of physics (it explains in detail right in the article); if homeopathy actually works, those laws wouldn't be just wrong, but spectacularly wrong. The data at this point is just cherry on top of this grand daddy of quackery. As for insurance, while I might not be technically correct, note that there is declining support by insurers for homeopathy. You did just contend against it, but it's not enough to convince anyone here, as I said. While maybe sourcing stories of people who have been harmed from homeopathy is a good addition, it's only a supporting point in the article which is largely substantiated by thorough explanation of physics/chemistry, reasoning, and evidence, and a lack of it is not going to doom an article, hence why it's not a major point of contention. The article already gives evidence through external links, in-wiki links, and references; asking for it while overlooking all this is being disingenuous. The "everybody knows" attitude is derived from how much of a thorough failure homeopathy is at demonstrating any case of efficacy beyond placebo.
There's no need to continue investigate something we've been and pulverized and diluted to death from molecular concept to meta-analyses; this isn't bias, this is just how things work. I argue it doesn't matter how severe the symptoms are as it remains the same: homeopathy relies on deception by manipulating placebo and this is regarded as unethical as explained already and here. This is not an unsubstantiated claim that it displaces other treatments; there's vast amount of anecdotes via What's the Harm, QuackWatch discussing it here, Edzard Ernst's arguments, Ben Goldacre deconstructing the harm of homeopathy at length, and there's common sense that money you're (and the government is) spending on useless products isn't going to magically reappear after you taken the product. At this point, I'm repeating my points only because there's not much reasoning in your posts beyond just asserting stuff (like saying stuff is "unsubstantiated" when it's clearly not, saying it's just a "everyone knows attitude" without really thinking about how this attitude came to be, just saying "no it is a major point of contention" when I explain why it's not). A lot of your arguments, especially your constant demanding for evidence, are refuted and provided by the very article you don't like; you just need to put more effort into reading it. That question might sound like a complicated situation, but it's based on the assumption that alternative medicine's popularity is a problem of access, which doesn't seem accurate (given how many alternative medicine require extremely expensive treatments), by the way. Homeopathy has indeed diverted people away from real treatment and given its widespread use for pretty much everything and by people of all incomes, and I'm not started going into insurance, it's seems clear to me that it is still a problem regardless of the economic problems of medicine. No one is going to gain anything if homeopathy wasn't available to poorer people, and it's certainly hurting everyone, and it's still hugely unethical. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 07:32, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
Anecdotes are not very good quantitative studies, are they? And your cited source, [1], says the same thing I said: "Homeopathic remedies are not actively harmful, as they contain no active molecules: nonetheless, the harm done by omitting evidence-based medical treatment is potentially significant", but neither it nor its sources make any attempt to quantify that "potential" harm. Similarly, they bring up the ethical problems potentially involved with placebos, but they don't clarify who if anyone is actually being deceived at what cost.
I'm not arguing that homeopathy is or isn't effective - the principles sound just as implausible and pre-modern to me as they do to you <insert dilution joke here>. I'm just sad to see so many excitable people fighting it with unsound arguments and calling that scientific or evidence-based. 109.41.1.138 (talk) 08:23, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
I really don't understand why it's needed to quantify the harm. If it is useless, if it has harmed several people, if it has already repeatedly failed in clinical trials anyway, that already makes it bad and a subject of critique on the wiki. What we know about alternative medicine is from the sales despite their inefficiacy, and the spending by government to fuel those studies. It seems that while it can be useful to have a solid number, I don't think it's very important. While those sources don't quantify it either, it's to demonstrate that experts agree with what I say about it being unethical and harmful (indirectly), and those anecdotes of people shirking treatment for homeopathy and suffer as a result does exist means that it has happened many times. I think that anything that's demonstrated useless and then sold to people that aren't content with their health either vastly overstating placebo effects or outright tricking them is the problem here, not really the direct harm homeopathy causes, hence the article. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 17:38, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
This may not be relevant to this debate but how would you conclusively demonstrate the placebo effect of homeopathy in a classic double-blind trial?
What would you use as the placebo?Hubert (talk) 18:09, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
You would give both groups the same "remedy", but give the control group a placebo blocker in addition. 2003:EF:2F0E:3B00:B945:2AAA:EF5E:CA89 (talk) 18:37, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
Look, let's be honest. If you wanted to use a placebo you could just use tap water. Homeopathy isn't that. It doesn't pretend to be that. It's a bunch of bullshit based on the woo-woo idea that water "remembers" stuff that's been in it, in which case, again tap water suffices. To put it bluntly, it's a scam. To put it even more bluntly, it's an obvious scam. We can navelgaze about hypotheticals until we all die from old age, but at the end of the day Homeopathy is a scam based on bullshit, that is an irrefutable fact. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 18:44, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
I think IP is trying to argue why we don't provide a quantifiable degree of harm that justifies our harsh criticism, but in the end, the bad and exploitative should not be tolerated even if it doesn't do much damage at a glance or in theory. It's popular enough, it's harming people to various degrees, it has repeatedly failed in experiments, doctors deem it unethical, government is wasting money on it, naturopaths (which lies on a strong bedrock of homeopathy) are getting licensed; it's all enough and that seems to make sense for me. I bring up the fable of the flea and the man, where the moral is to tolerate no evil.--It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 22:35, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

Someone on YouTube praises us?![edit]

I just thought I would pop in to YouTube and search RationalWiki. I knew that obviously no one would come to such a place to support us, and instead all I will see is videos from Nazi, homeopathic, creationist children living in their mom’s basement ranting the same criticisms over and over again, but here is this...

The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 03:58, 18 August 2020 (UTC)
At least we have made the proper enemies. Bongolian (talk) 06:03, 18 August 2020 (UTC)
@Sqrt-1, I added that video to RationalWiki:Mentions. Bongolian (talk) 19:28, 15 November 2020 (UTC)

a section on alcohol as a solvent in homeopathic mixtures?[edit]

I was reading an article that mentions a homeopathic mixture working on breast cancer. The "active ingredient" was dissolved in 88% alcohol and the tumor type in question has a history of being susceptible to alcohol. Should we mention that some of the effects in studies could be because of this? Vorarchivist (talk) 19:06, 15 November 2020 (UTC)

Typical. What is the name of this fallacy again? Midwit Nerd 3.142 (talk) 19:32, 15 November 2020 (UTC)