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Good article. Exactly what I had hoped to see here.--Bob_M (talk) 15:45, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

Did you hear the one about the homeopath who forgot to take his medication--and died of an overdose? --Gulik 01:23, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
I can't figure out whether 'extra-strength HeadOn' is supposed to be more or less effective than the regular strength stuff. --jtltalk 01:28, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Thinking about about it, the ultimate medicine would have to be sea water. It got a dilute bit of everything.--Bob_M (talk) 02:18, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
No, regular water--it's even more diluted! --Gulik 16:52, 29 May 2007 (CDT)
If no one minds, im gonna wikify and cite.--PalMD-yada yada 10:52, 9 June 2007 (CDT)
Ok, i'll have to finish my little project later...falling asleep now...--PalMD-yada yada 11:35, 9 June 2007 (CDT)
I love's just so...dumb.--PalMD-yada yada 19:25, 10 June 2007 (CDT)
The article, while quite fine, doesn't mention Avogadro's number at all (last I noticed), which is of course the key to the killing blow of there not being any active ingredients in their higher (and stronger!) dilutions. People who don't see this math might think "well, there's still something there". Can there also be something that connects the stupid "like cures like" idea with the reality of vaccines? humanbe in 19:36, 10 June 2007 (CDT)
Philippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim (Paracelsus) proposed the theory of "Like cures like" but said it did not apply in all cases, and also founded the Science of Toxicology. He also spent most of his career saying you should do the experiment yourself and not trust authority, and would have been horrified by Homeopathy and their lack of rigour and basis in his authority?


Homeopathy Tmtoulouse 17:43, 18 June 2007 (CDT)

Wow, a good, in-depth article on CP. I liked their quote from David Deutsch: "As I understand it, the claim is that the less you use Homeopathy, the better it works. Sounds plausible to me."

It pains me to see this kind of thing on a wiki supposedly dedicated to rationalism[edit]

Think of the last time you saw a creationist talking about evolution. See how they misunderstand the theory on purpose? How they make claims based on that "misunderstanding" and base their entire argument on it? And how they're very selective in their information, making sure not to let anything too pro-evolution slip.

See, I would assume that this crowd, the more intelligent crowd, wouldn't drop to their level by omitting more or less anything that doesn't support your claim, and hiding it behind a few supporting words that serve no purpose but to veil your bias.

I'm no advocate of homeopathy, I prefer medicine that does follow modern scientific methodology, but I still prefer that those seeking unbiased information about a topic be able to get it.

Homeopathy has been proven to work on both infants and animals, both of whom are not able to be affected by placebo, seeing as they're completely unaware of what they're taking, which proves that it's not placebo. On the other hand it doesn't prove that it is as universal as modern medicine, but it does prove that some part of the theory is true.

See number four for an interesting experiment regarding water memory and homeopathy.

I'm not going to make an edit, since I'm sure someone will just revert it, and also because I lost faith in people's abilities to change their minds in light of new evidence a while ago. — Unsigned, by: [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] / [[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] / [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]]

"Homeopathy has been proven to work on both infants and animals, both of whom are not able to be affected by placebo" This is quite, quite wrong. Animals have indeed been shown to demonstrate the effects of a placebo, although it takes some training - you have to get them to associate being given the pill with a particular effect and then give them sugar pills and they experience the effect again. This is exactly the same as telling someone that a pill will cure them, you just can't go up to animals and tell them they're taking medicine. This is because the placebo effect is far more complex than most people think. It's very culturally dependent in particular.
I also note that the New Scientist link doesn't mention anything about homeopathy. I'll be going through the original research myself a little later, but some preliminary googling (Bringing up the JREF forum among others) shows that it certainly doesn't support homeopathy or the so-called theories around it at all.
Now finally, as our BON just goes on to say that they won't make an edit, I'll put them in the asshat camp and say that they've lost most credibility. Don't complain about something you can easily fix yourself. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 16:38, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I looked at the work by Ennis. It may be worth including as an example of what has been touched on towards the end of the article - that experiments that show positive effect have methodological flaws. Namely, they don't seem to report the number of people in the study or the dropout rates. And although the test was mostly blind, it wasn't fully randomised, just "coded" and they don't go into much more depth. They also don't seem to have a decent method for the placebo alternative. Either way, the reproductions of the experiment at a later date haven't duplicated the results, so it's either a fluke or the methodology used was flawed, which is likely since - despite it being a "multi-center study" - all labs used identical practices. And let's face it, if you're going to use identical lab practices, there's no point in making it multi-centre, you may as well just do it five times in the same place rather than once in five places. In addition, I'm not convinced their findings were very significant or dramatic, they don't show a dose-response effect, which you'd expect if "dilution" made it "stronger". I'm also incredibly concerned that the language used in it is trying to big-up the findings as "controversial" rather than trying to present them convincingly and that the research was funded by the "French Institute of Homeopathy" (which incidentally, I can find little record of). And finally, by checking through ISI's citation map, we can see that Ennis' paper was only cited by Homeopathy journals, not by much else, apart from the replication studies which showed nothing else. So, despite it making such an impact on a New Scientist article (it's not a massively respectable publication anymore, really) it's not a dramatic or certain result. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 12:08, 24 July 2009 (UTC)


You are correct, there is no ability on teh internets for people to change their minds. CЯacke® 12:42, 25 July 2007 (CDT)
couldn't resist adding this quote: Ambrose Bierce said (to HL Mencken), "I have little use for homeopathy as medicine except in one respect, Mencken. It aims to cure the diseases of fools. But because it doesn't cure them--and sometimes kills them--it's ridiculed by the thoughtless and commended by the wise." Jrssr5 12:26, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

(sorry Jrss: bit of an edit clash thereKeepthe faith 12:37, 25 July 2007 (CDT))

thats cool. Jrssr5 12:55, 25 July 2007 (CDT)


You can cite this evidence, Stranger?Keepthe faith 12:50, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Stranger, I can tell you to read the evidence cited, but I'm sure it won't make a difference to you. Homeopathy is pure bunk, and your comment about children and animals and placebo is ridiculous? Where is your evidence! Once again, I'm sure you have none, or else we would all be at our homeopaths and live to 100. Common...don't be a us the evidence. 12:34, 25 July 2007 (CDT) User:PalMD
BTW, I followed your says nothing..just defines placebo. What's the relevance? NONE!!!! Betcha didn't expect anyone to read it.User:PalMD 12:35, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

On the contrary; give us some rational, scientifically proven evidence & we'll be delighted. Why not log in & have a real chat? Keepthe faith 12:42, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Sorry, that was me responding to the idiot. 13:26, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Why you not log on? - Everything under 'replies' is to him/her so no bothers Keepthe faith 13:39, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

I'm very lazy. Whodat?

I've had my tea and am much less crabby[edit]

I'm sorry for the harsh reproach above. I don't take well to anon., non-sensical retorts. I would love to see someone actually give refuting evidence, if it existed.

I feel bad for people who believe in woo...but not as much when they try to spread it to others. And when they post irrational ranting on a "supposedly rational wiki", i get a little irked. The baseless assertions about homeopathy being woo-uderful are unsupported. The link given above leads to a definition of placebo that is un-enlightening. Since I had the decency to cite literature in the article, critics should have the decency to give useful citations. Nuf sed.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 14:59, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

As one of the primary authors on this piece I too would like something more than vague generalities. There is extensive evidence that homeopathy does not work, there is extensive evidence that water memory is total hog will need a lot more than what you are giving us if you want to make us see the light. We encourage you to present your evidence here for us to look at. Until then... tmtoulouse harass 15:06, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

To be fair, the person was siting the number four example in that link, to a study that found a response to diluted histamines. I am looking at the info now. tmtoulouse harass 15:17, 25 July 2007 (CDT)
Ha, I thought this sounded familar, James Randi is once more a head of us :), check this out for an interesting read. tmtoulouse harass 15:22, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

Quoting the relevant portion for those that don't want to read it all:

NARRATOR: But as more codes are read out the true result becomes clear: the Cs and Ds are completely mixed up. The results are just what you'd expect by chance. A statistical analysis confirms it. The homeopathic water hasn't had any effect.

PROF. MARTIN BLAND (St. George's Hospital Medical School): There's absolutely no evidence at all to say that there is any difference between the solution that started off as pure water and the solution that started off with the histamine.

JOHN ENDERBY: What this has convinced me is that water does not have a memory.

NARRATOR: So Horizon hasn't won the million dollars. It's another triumph for James Randi. His reputation and his money are safe, but even he admits this may not be the final word.

JAMES RANDI: Further investigation needs to be done. This may sound a little strange coming from me, but if there is any possibility that there's a reality here I want to know about it, all of humanity wants to know about it.

NARRATOR: Homeopathy is back where it started without any credible scientific explanation. That won't stop millions of people putting their faith in it, but science is confident. Homeopathy is impossible.

tmtoulouse harass 15:26, 25 July 2007 (CDT)

That Horizon report's a lulu. Send it to (where was it - the state with the "homeopathic surgeon" Arizona? Nevada?) that state gov't. Because that's another lulu. D'you suppose they can read? It's bad enough our future(?) king being an alternative medicine freak, but when actual bodies with real power are taken in ... Keepthe faith 15:45, 25 July 2007 (CDT)
(they're not the same crowd that tried to legislate pi are they?)Keepthe faith
It's arizona...they need a good mail campaign down there to figure out what the hell their legislature is up to. 16:08, 25 July 2007 (CDT)


I am your idiot, and since I know you'll automatically and immediately reject any cases coming from sites run by homeopaths, or that are pro homeopathy, I just won't try :)

Also, I could respond to your comments, where you do exactly what I said in the first paragraph of my earlier post, except for tmtoulouse who had the decency to actually read my post and (By the power of your almighty and infallible figurehead, James Randi) go to the correct place on the link, so thanks for proving once again that collectively, people can deceit themselves, at least the conservatives are aware that they're stubborn.

Keep worshiping your false idol and convincing yourself that you're not as stupid as the rest of us.

If you have evidence please present it. If it it exists it shouldn't be that difficult.--Bob_M (talk) 07:38, 26 July 2007 (CDT)


Oh do give it a rest! Or better still log on and have a real conversation. We don't bite honestly. Keepgoats 01:25, 26 July 2007 (CDT)

Eh, you're probably right, I'm not getting anywhere with this anyway. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Well, you still haven't signed in or signed your posts...I, of course, read your post thoroughly, which is why I know where you link goes...
You would be surprised how open-minded I can be...just show me some real evidence. For instance, that study you referred to about water memory was clearly was not reproducible under controlled conditions. If your ideas about homeopathy can be shown true...well, show us. Pete
I'm not going to continue, partially because I really don't believe that, even in the face of evidence, any people's minds are going to be changed, but also because Homeopathy doesn't "adhere"(Read:works by the rules) to your kind of sicentific methodology.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Which is eerily close to saying that creationism is true because it doesn't adhere to scientific method either, so I'm going to stop now, before I suddenly transform into a conservative.
Mr/Ms IP please 1. sign your posts using four tildes (~~~~), and 2. use colons to indent your comments. Asterisks are considered bad form here. Whoever you are. humanbe in 14:01, 26 July 2007 (CDT)
"...doesn't adhere to your kind of scientific methodolgy...". Then, to what kind of scientific method does it adhere? Is it magic? 14:03, 26 July 2007 (CDT)
Also, if you think that "Homeopathy doesn't "adhere"... to your kind of sicentific (sic) methodology," why did you think a site that promotes the scientific method as the only truth would even consider it? ThunderkatzHo! 14:04, 26 July 2007 (CDT)
Might I encourage our nameless author to contribute to our article: List of Scientifically Controlled Double Blind Studies which have Conclusively Demonstrated the Efficacy of Homeopathy. If you could give us five or six examples to start with that would be useful.--Bob_M (talk) 15:27, 26 July 2007 (CDT)

Ugh! I shook my water and it tasted like poo[edit]

I guess it had the memory of the sewage plant it came from!!!-- I am the AlphaTimSand the Omega!. 15:47, 17 October 2007 (EDT)

Medical Homeopathy[edit]

Why is this wiki so nagative on homeopathy? Do you not know that there are medically qualified homeopaths? (some guy) — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Chiefly 'cause it's a load of crap. SusanG  ContribsTalk 09:44, 16 June 2008 (EDT)
Susan, that's being negative and reinforcing bunch's prejudices against us. The moment there is one, just one properly conducted, double blind study that has been properly peer reviewed and published in a respected medical journal which shows any benefit from homeopathic remedies then I and many, if not all, members of this site, will accept that there may be something in it. As long as it relies on woo then, as Susan said, it's a load of crap. Silver Sloth 10:01, 16 June 2008 (EDT)
It does rely on woo; ergo it is crap! SusanG  ContribsTalk 10:23, 16 June 2008 (EDT)
(Edit conflict! Gaah!) More than that, if homeopaths want to be taken seriously, they need to come up with a plausible explanation for how water can retain the properties of a medicine that is no longer present at a molecular level. If homeopathy does work, we will need to make substantial revisions to our current conception of chemistry/physics. <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!If I had to choose between the continued possibility of nothing happening and of doing nothing, I would unquestionably choose the latter. 10:26, 16 June 2008 (EDT)
It's Water memory!, didn't you know? SusanG  ContribsTalk 10:34, 16 June 2008 (EDT) (Bollocks)
I agree (with your explicit postscript, I mean). Claiming that something is present without actually having a molecular presence (or atomic, even. Any particle would do!) is no different from supernaturalism. <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!If I had to choose between the continued possibility of nothing happening and of doing nothing, I would unquestionably choose the latter. 10:43, 16 June 2008 (EDT)

Demosthenes (reverted) edit[edit]

From the referenced FDA source:

Some homeopathic remedies are so dilute, no molecules of the healing substance remain. Even with sophisticated technology now available, analytical chemists may find it difficult or impossible to identify any active ingredient. But the homeopathic belief is that the substance has left its imprint or a spirit-like essence that stimulates the body to heal itself.
Although Pediatrics is published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Jacobs' study and several others published in such journals as The Lancet and the British Medical Journal are considered "scanty at best" by the academy. "Given the plethora of studies that are published [on other topics] in scientific journals, I wouldn't say there are a lot of articles coming out," says Joe M. Sanders Jr., M.D., the executive director of the academy. "Just because an article appears in a scientific journal does not mean that it's absolute fact and should be immediately incorporated into therapeutic regimens. It just means that the study is [published] for critique and review and hopefully people will use that as a stepping stone for further research."

I know it's quote mining but I don't think this can be called support in any way. SusanG  ContribsTalk

From my talk page ħumanUser talk:Human :

Dear Human,

on another page I started as you suggested, on the talk page, only to be told: "it's a Wiki - improve if you will - you can be praised or damned afterwards" Why are you reverting a sourced statement, especially one that directly contradicts the exaggeration "every single scientific study"? Rational argumentation should consist of facts, not rhetorical excesses.


I reverted it because the "source" is a site that claims referenced information, but has no specific references to its sources. IE, "In 1991, the British Medical Journal published an analysis" ... "In a double-blind controlled study conducted in Britain in 1980" ... "Other significant positive studies" ... "A study, conducted in 1985, found that patients who took the homeopathic product" - these are not cites, they are claims with no way to research them. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:12, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

I think this is factrually wrong. The quoted page has specific references:

Quadruple - Blind, The Lancet, April 22, 1989, p. 914.4

Ferley, J.P., A Controlled Evaluation of Homeopathic Preparation in the Treatment of Influenza-like Syndromes, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1989, 27, pp. 329 - 335.

Reilly, D.T., Is Homeopathy a Placebo Response? Controlled Trail of Homeopathic Potency, with Pollen in Hay fever as a Model, The Lancet, October 18, 1986, pp. 881 - 886.

Fisher, P., Effect of Homeopathic Treatment on Fibrositis (Primary Fibromyalgia), British Medical Journal, 1989, 229, pp. 365-6.

Kleijnen, J., Clinical Trials of Homeopathy, British Medical Journal, 1991, 302, 216-23.

Gibson, R.G., Homeopathic Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Evaluation by Double-Blind Clinical Therapeutic Trial, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 1980, 9, pp. 453-459.

Jacobs, J. et al,Treatment of Acute Childhood Diarrhea with Homeopathic Medicine: A Randomized Clinical Traila in Nicaragua, Pediatrics, Vol. 93, No. 5, May 1994, pp. 719-725.

Reilly, D., et. al, Is Evidence for Homeopathy Reproducible?, The Lancet, 1994; 344: pp. 1601-6

These are primary sources. Demosthenes

All my quotes above are from [1] which lists none of what you just cited. That page has no references, unless they hid them somewhere. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:46, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

"Positive" homeopathic studies[edit]

I have been meaning to explore this issue more indepth anyway, perhaps not in this article though. There is substantial problem with many of the "pro" studies. But it will take time to step through it. I am going to roll back the article to the previous state as we work through what may or may not be valid research. tmtoulouse harass 15:14, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

To something relevant[edit]

Now, to your edits regarding homeopathy. The link you gave to Vital Force Consulting has data's most current mentioned study is in 1994. Is there any pro-homeopathy arguments you can provide that would be a bit more current? This site is about looking more objectively at crank and pseudoscience like homeopathy or Bigfoot and scrutinizing it. (occasionally drifting into outright rejection) --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 12:40, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

To be fair, 1994 is not that long ago. It has always been my impression that there have been a few small studies which showed a positive effect - but that the overwhelming bulk of studies showed no such effect. If the facts are that a handful of studies have, by chance, shown a positive effect shouldn't we mention that, while at the same time pointing out that these are exceptions? Surely that is better than simply trying to deny they exist?--Bobbing up 13:31, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
Well, yes but would the naysayers by more impressed with a study from, say 2004 than 1994. Because of it's pseudoscience attitude, it seems to heave some opposition here, being one of the more biased articles. Amrite? --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 13:34, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Thank you Bob. The Lancet is generally not considered to be friendly to crank science, and the studies referred look as replicable as anything you may have seen in a medical journal. Thus, the fact that they were not specifically debunked in the intervening years suggests that they are reasonably reliable. Either way, the eighties and the nighties are not exactly the Dark Ages in science, so certainly the statement made in the article "Every single scientific study" is factually wrong (and thus the strident tone is unjustified).

Disclaimers. I don't claim comprehensive knowledge of the field. I am not affiliated with Vital Force Consulting in any way shape or form. I have actually written up a protocol to assess the claims of homeopathy and sent it to Dr. Ernst who recently made waves by offering GBP 10k for a successful trial, but he hasn't responded (perhaps because I told him I don't want the money).


Thanks for you thanks, but as I am sure you are aware I am by no means a believer in Homeopathy. I seem to recall reading about a recent meta-analysis of all Homeopathy studies which first reviewed them for methodology so as to eliminate those with faulty methodology and then came down absolutely firmly on the "no effect" side of the fence.--Bobbing up 13:42, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Well, I found this which claims a flaw in the study. This article seems to have reliable sources though.

In 1991, the British Medical Journal published an analysis of 107 clinical studies published between 1966 and 1990. The authors found that in 81 of the experiments, the homeopathic treatments were successful. Even when they included only the 23 studies that they considered to be of the highest quality, the vast majority of these (15) showed positive results. Here's how the results broke down: 13 out of the 19 trials of respiratory infection treatment were effective, 6 out of 7 were positive for other infections, 5 out of 7 were positive for digestive system treatment, 5 out of 5 were successful for hay fever, 5 out of 7 showed accelerated recovery after surgery, 4 out of 6 helped in rheumatological disease, 18 of 20 were beneficial for pain or traumatic injury; and 8 out of 10 worked for mental or psychological problems.

BMJ is a pretty reliable one, wouldn't you say? --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 13:44, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

What would you say to this as the header for the homeopathy page?

Homeopathy is a type of alternative medicine based on the idea that "like cures like". It was created in the 18th century by Samuel Hahnemann and competed successfully with leeching as medicine 300 years ago. For some reason a few credulous people living in the modern era have decided to go back and embrace it as actual medicine. The vast majority of refutable scientific studies has found that homeopathy has no effect above placebo and it has been widely rejected as quack medicine and pseudoscience. However, in 1991, the British Medical Journal published an analysis of 107 clinical studies published between 1966 and 1990. The authors found that in 81 of the experiments, the homeopathic treatments were successful[1], leading to the conclusion that at least some studies exist to back up claims.

--*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 13:47, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

I was thinking of this Lancet 2006 one: [[2]] The Lancet, the respected UK-based medical journal, has published its conclusions about homoeopathy after examining findings from 110 homoeopathy trials and as many trials of conventional medicine. "There was weak evidence for a specific effect of homeopathic remedies, but strong evidence for specific effects of conventional interventions - this finding is compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homeopathy are placebo effects."--Bobbing up 13:54, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Both would work, it seems. --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 14:00, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Come on! The 2006 "placebo effects" Lancet study must pwn the 1991 one! :-) --Bobbing up 14:04, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

By date, but one is a placebo effect. The other is 80 percent effective. *raspberry* --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 14:10, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Both are in, tell me what you think, both of you please. --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 14:15, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

mmnnn We seem to have crossed over a bit on that. Where do you get "80 percent effective" from? --Bobbing up 14:20, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
Ok I see it.--Bobbing up 14:22, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
Here is teh anylis of the BMJ study from PUB MED pubmed. At the moment the evidence of clinical trials is positive but not sufficient to draw definitive conclusions because most trials are of low methodological quality and because of the unknown role of publication bias. This indicates that there is a legitimate case for further evaluation of homoeopathy, but only by means of well performed trials. Not quite as hot as the "80 percent effective" quote from the homeopathy site I think.--Bobbing up 14:27, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Details details. Just because it might be biased and incorrect is no reason not to state it as pure fact. Well, in the article I'd like to not give too much data against the sources going for it, seeing as how half an hour ago it said "EVERY SINGLE STUDY SAYS IT'S FAKE. HOMEOPATHY SUCKS" more or less. Besides, I could find data saying your pubmed data awaits further review and is biased. --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 14:35, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Fair enough. Im changing the "no better" to "as good as". Yes it's a little not-un-dis-truthful but hey, we need some balance. --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 14:39, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

All data is provisional. :-) It should be interesting to see what happens to it after the rest of the gang wake up though.--Bobbing up 14:43, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
Susan will be fun to convince. What did Human think of it? --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 14:44, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
I don't know. I'm not going to touch it further though. On balance ... I'm sure you know that we don't strive for a neutral point of view - we strive for a skeptical point of view. So your attempt at balance may or may not survive. :-) --Bobbing up 14:47, 26 June 2008 (EDT)
Good point. But shouldn't there be some kind of a devils adovocate for it, at least a sentence or two? --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 14:49, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

--- Guys, I'd like to move the homeopathy discussion to the homeopathy talk page if at all possible. I'm not a homeopathy fanatic, and I didn't even suggest one needs perfect NPOV here, a skeptical view is fine with me. However, skeptic != fanatically, irrationally biased against. If there is evidence that supports homeopathy, I dislike having it suppressed. I'd like to see the rational argument presented on the page. I don't think that the skeptical position is strengthened by strident tone and talking past the advocates.

Article that support homeopathy[edit]

Okay in addition to the link that was included what are the major studies that supposedly support homoepathy? tmtoulouse harass 15:57, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

Which link, Lancet or BMJ? --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 16:01, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

The one Demosthenes included to a list of a few studies. Just list any support studies here though. Let us see what the positive evidence looks like. I do think that it should be limited to controlled double-blind studies, pro-effect articles on homoepathy have a tendency to avoid these designs. tmtoulouse harass 16:05, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

This article, which suggests a placebo effect, came from the Lancet. This one talks about various studies from 80 to 94 which give indication towards it working. --*Gen. S.T. Shrink* Get to the bunker 16:19, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

All right cool, I am aware of some others as well, I will get back with my analysis soon. Just a little busy today. tmtoulouse harass 16:24, 26 June 2008 (EDT)

In evaluating statistical claims favoring the implausible, Bayes must inform your analysis. Scientifically improbable claims actually require better evidence than plausible ones. The fact that some studies may (or may not) have shown benefit from homeopathy does not "prove" homeopathy. The preponderance of evidence is against it, and the implausibility of it make it, er, implausible.-- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --Did that sound a little harsh? 19:14, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

The link posted by Gen. S.T. Shrink discussing studies from 80 to 94 and "giving indication towards it working" is from and has no citations. Given the innate implausibility, I don't know if this link should count, though I do agree that evidence in favor of homeopathy needs to go up here if any can be found, possibly with a disclaimer about study rigor when called for. BlueMoon 16:50, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

It just occured to me[edit]

Where do they get the water, or alcohol or whatever, they dilute stuff with? Wouldn't it be at least as impure or contaminated as the greater dilutions. even distilled water would pick up a molecule of stuff from the atmosphere or the container. It'd need to be vacuum distilled in gold containers to avoid contamination. ToastToastand marmite 15:02, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Oh, details, details.--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 15:20, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, a very valid criticism. Or say for example they claim that homeopathic caffeine can treat insomnia. Well I just poured half a cup of cold coffee down the sink. It goes out into the drains, getting further diluted as it travels along into the sea etc. Eventually the entire Atlantic ocean becomes a huge source of homeopathic caffeine. Then as further mixing occurs all the surface water in the world becomes homeopathic caffeine. The entire human race suddenly starts to feel very sleepy all the time causing the collapse of human civilization. I for one am very worried. JoeDuffy 15:41, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
I suppose they'll say it's not given the (magick ritual) banging, but the first dilution is, of course, and subsequent dilutions progressively fewer "bangs". ToastToastand marmite 15:51, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Phew, that's ok then :) On the other hand my 18 month old daughter is partial to hitting her plastic toys on the pipe for the waste water outside our house. Would that count? JoeDuffy 16:35, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Pedantic note: the caffeine stays in the ocean, since "fresh" water is generated by evaporation. So the ocean may now be too strong to work as a source of homeopathic caffeine. Remember, what makes homeopathy work is not having any active ingredients left in the solution. Oh, shoot, that means rain would be perfect. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:05, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
For the record, cooling water used in Nuke power plants (They recycled most of them, so it has to be pure to prevent scaling and all the other fouling problems) has order of magnitude of 10-9, and tap water is way higher than that (bottled distilled water is ~10-6, and tap water is probably similar to spring water, which both of them has organoleptic (taste) differences compared to distilled water). It is doubtful what concentration of impurities can be obtained without large amounts of capital for the technologies. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 16:39, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Please do not Confuse "Banging" with "Succussion".--Tolerance 19:50, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
What's the difference? ħumanUser talk:Human 19:54, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
It is the difference between random Banging and considered, rhythmic Knocking.--Tolerance 20:06, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
How does know what rhythm to use? How does the water know it's being "considered" properly? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:18, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
These are Clearly Secrets of the Art.--Tolerance 20:29, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Homeopaths using the Lancet results[edit]

Err, I might be missing something here, but I was under the impression that the metastudy proved that Homeopathy was ineffective? And yet here they state:

"In 1997, The Lancet published a thorough meta-analysis which showed that, of 89 clinical trials, 44 reported homeopathy to be significantly more effective than placebo;1 none of the 89 trials found placebo to be more effective than homeopathy. Even accounting for any publication bias towards ‘positive’ trials, the authors came to the conclusion that clinical benefit from homeopathic therapy cannot be explained by the placebo effect alone. Similar general conclusions were drawn from other recent meta-analyses or systematic reviews of homeopathy.2–4 Further research is needed to identify, in particular, those medical conditions that respond most effectively to homeopathy."

Am I missing something? Crundy 13:04, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

The paper's punchline:
The results of our meta-analysis are not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are completely due to placebo. However, we found insufficient evidence from these studies that homoeopathy is clearly efficacious for any single clinical condition. Further research on homoeopathy is warranted provided it is rigorous and systematic.
In simple terms, the effects noticed for homoeopathy is not a placebo but they can't rule out it not having another causal factor. - π 13:27, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Here is a meta-meat-analysis that include the paper you mentioned. - π 13:34, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
At the risk of throwing stones at someone else's typos whilst living in a veritable greenhouse - I love the idea of a meta-meat-analysis. Silver Sloth 14:07, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

This article, of use![edit]

Just explained the concept of RationalWiki to my mother, who has been a pharmacist since the mid 60's and was taught that homeopathy is a farce. She related that even today consumers get roped into badly labeled homeopathic "remedies" even in hospitals. This article is of great value. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 05:41, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

A joke[edit]

Courtesy of TjW at teh JREF forums:

"A homeopathic pet? Would that be an aquarium that used to have fish in it?" ħumanUser talk:Human 00:55, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Do I have to feed it actual fish food or do I just shake a container that use to have fish food it it over the top twice a day? - π 03:37, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
That's exactly what you do. And the weekly 10% water changes actually make the fishies bigger and stronger, of course. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:39, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
No it doesn't, it makes the water more and more contaminated until the imaginary fish don't die. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:09, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Structured water[edit]

I'm just bookmarking some links on clusters and water structure that will go with the whole misinterpreted research that can be expanded. I'd upload the WP picutres but I don't think they're nearly as pretty as something that can be done on DS Visualizer or Lighwave. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 12:00, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Upload them and post them here for inspiration? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:24, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

powers of ten image[edit]

file:Magnitude.svg although well intended, I don't think really helps. First, one can't even see the "10^0" (one pixel) in the corner. Second, it tops out at 10^5, which doesn't convey very well what 10^20 means. Perhaps a better caption would help, like one that says "10^6 would cover your screen, 10^7 the floor of a 10m by 10m room, and 10^20 is larger than France"? The image is a good "idea", but fails to really support the orders of magnitude argument in a useful way. IMHO, anyway. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:23, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

It's scalable though, if you set the pixel as ^5, then the largest square will be ^10 and so on. It's more to convey the effects of how a few small numbers make massive changes rather than to show what ^20 is (yet alone ^2000) which would be impractical to show properly. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 15:17, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I think it still needs to be presented better. The "single pixel" isn't really visible, and due to the "square" aspect, they don't seem to grow that fast since the growth is spread over two dimensions. If on one dimension only, 10^3 becomes a screen width or so (1000px), and 10^4 reaches across the room, and 10^6 is a mile and a half. You know, it's the whole "laid end to end" type of example that is usually so striking. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:55, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, with the context of dilution, we're expanding in three dimensions, so showing it linearly would be slightly more misleading IMHO. We have the numbers, which are just as good as showing it linearly. The fact that the single pixel is hardly visible is probably a good thing, as it shows you need very few powers to get from something so small to something so large. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 16:00, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Linear is pretty much this. And has a picture of how they're diluted but overall seems... well, eugh. How the hell can you treat this shit as anything but a complete joke?!? Scarlet A.pnggnostic 16:03, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

In problems in concept section[edit]

"It should also be noted that drinking distilled water is a bad idea..." - really? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:28, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Also, does that header bug anyone else? Can we come up with something better? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:30, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, distilled water disrupts homeostasis because of diffusion. The lack of solutes can make the cells in your body go *pop*. 05:14, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Yep. Being in a teaching lab with a hangover is like dying at thirst at sea. You're surrounded by water and you're desperate for it, but actually going and drinking it would be, well, counterproductive isn't really the term. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 05:24, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't buy it. Citations? I know DW isn't "tasty", but it ain't poison either, is it? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:28, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Surely the contents of the mouth & stomach would be enough to de-distil the water? This message brought to you by: Toastrespondand honey 05:31, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Hell, "just add salt" ought to be the solution? Sorry for the awful unintended pun. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:38, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I can see that cells in pure water will swell & explode but not the less than pristine human gut surely. Thinking back, the main reasopn for not drinking distilled water was that it tasted flat & rather "metallic" (or, I suppose, didn't taste like water). This message brought to you by: Toastrespondand honey 05:50, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Googling this topic (drinking distilled water) yields a hilarious range of results. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:56, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately distilling water removes all the alcohol. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 12:34, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
There certainly seems to be a surprisingly wide range of opinion. There seem to be two main groups: Sellers of water filtration devices who are convinced that distilled water is utterly lethal; and sellers of water distillers who are convinced that it's the elixir of life. Got some problems with finding a completely unbiased source though. On the other hand, it's clear that there are a vast number of people who regularly drink distilled water, and as the newspapers are not full of horror stories of them dying in droves I'd suggest it's certainly not as deadly as some would have us believe.--BobNot Jim 15:09, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I remember reading at one point that the reason distilled water tasted so bad was that it wasn't aerated, and that could be fixed merely by giving the container a vigorous shaking. Haven't had opportunity to try it out myself, though. --Kels (talk) 15:26, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, boiling water (when camping, say), has the same effect (driving off the air) and solution. That must be the reason for the homeopathic "succussion" - to make the water palatable... ħumanUser talk:Human 17:39, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
A few years back we had a boil order on city water, and it was recommended that after it cooled just give it a shot with a whisk or electric mixer, it'd taste fine. I remember reading at the time something about shaking water vigorously to help kill off some degree of bacteria, mentioned something about creating hydrogen peroxide with the energy of the shaking, which rapidly broke down again once the shaking stopped. Any validity in that? The source I read at the time (forget where it was, it's been years) said this was part of the concept of drinking water from below rapids, which were effectively doing the same thing. --Kels (talk) 17:51, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Several notes:

  • There exists water that is highly pure and deionized that it is unsafe for human to consume (either due to high impurity, or the source being non-potable, I haven't asked the details the last time I talked to those people) These are used for cooling purposes where a very large fraction of it is recycled, like Nuclear power plants
  • Facilities have yet to exist to produce water at that concentrations of impurities to sell them in a bottle (the distilled water and demineralized water sold in bottles are orders of magnitude higher)
  • If you drink distilled waterwhen your mouth still has saliva in it, the water will blend with the electrolytes found in saliva. See wp:saliva#Contents.

Does that sound reasonable? [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 18:19, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Ummm, I'm afraid that it's a bit hard to follow in places.--BobNot Jim 18:45, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Highly pure but unsafe because of high impurity? What rubbish! Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 19:52, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
PS I'm talking about the phrasing, not the science. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 20:47, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
The World Health Organization investigated the health effects of demineralized water in 1980, and its experiments in humans found that demineralized water increased diuresis and the elimination of electrolytes, with decreased serum potassium concentration.
It's not going to kill you outright, but as it's far from isotonic with natural water concentration that you're supposed to drink, it's not going to be good for you. And if you're dehydrated to begin with it especially won't be good as it will cause salts to leech out of your body in your mouth and stomach in the same diffusion effect that causes too salty water to dehydrate you.
Personally, I've never tried it in a lab but I imagine many lecturers were probably students back in the day before 'elf 'n' safety stopped you doing it can attest to it being a bad idea. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 20:04, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
What about "clean" rainwater (after the dust gets washed out of the air...)? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:58, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Everything you wanted to know about health and distilled water. Plenty of references to explore. The gist of it is that it does disrupt homeostasis, leeches minerals from the body, changes serum concentrations, and is overall less effect at "thirst quenching" leading to over consumption. Picking up a bottle of distilled water and drinking it is not going to kill you. But prolonged use of only distilled water, over consumption in a single sitting, or consumption when you are dehydrated or in poor physical health are all bad idea. tmtoulouse 20:23, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Often cited cites[edit]

I would like to start a mini-project taking commonly cited "peer review" studies that "prove" homeopathic efficacy and break them down. I see the same ones popping up again and again. I think it would be best as a new article rather than as a section in this article, but is anyone else interested in such an endeavor? tmtoulouse 23:35, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

I volunteer to fix typos and surreptitiously steal commas from wikipedia. Even if we don't need them. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:46, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Could be started as a section in peer review and forked off if/ when it gets big enough? This message brought to you by: Toastrespondand honey 00:55, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
You mean like the Ennis study mentioned at the top of the talk page that got into New Scientist? I know Bad Science has a rather impressive footnote that picks a few of them and mentions what is wrong with each so we can start there. And I think The Cochrane Collaboration was the one that did the Jadad score vs Homeopathic efficacy to demonstrate how there's practically a linear relationship between how flawed a paper is vs how much it says homeopathy is better than a placebo. We could do an entire article on that sort of thing - in fact, that's the sort of thing Rational Wiki SHOULD be doing. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 11:37, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I quite agree. I'm not sure I have the scientific knowledge to contribute a great deal of research, but I'm happy to do the required Googling, gathering etc. to try and pull some things together if required. Worm (t | c) 12:15, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, as Trent brought up recently, the WP talk page is apparently always under assault from people claiming to have "proof", and of course we can always check out Citizendium's sources as those will obiviously be the best cherry picked samples. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 13:29, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I claim no great scientific expertise, but I suppose the Nature article in 1988 on "water memory" would need to be included.--BobNot Jim 18:14, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the WP article on water memory is quite funny.--BobNot Jim 18:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Frankly, just find anything cited by Dana Ullman and start there. ;) Worm (t | c) 18:30, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I do find it odd that we don't have an article on Dana Ullman. Anyone who knows a bit about this idiot fancy creating a mini-article? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 18:45, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, he's very prominent on a google search if that helps. Some nice linkies:
One says that he's practically the "leader of homeopathy in the US" which gives us more or less a go ahead. Though no hitpieces and hatchet jobs on this one. We're dealing with the well funded alt-med community and I doubt Trent can afford the lawyers. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 19:24, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
There's plenty of material out there - not least his escapades at Wikipedia. He's very good at finding a pet argument and doing it to death until he loses interest and moves on. For a while he has been banging on about how many 'famous' people used homeopathy - including Darwin I believe, and (naturally) refusing to see sense when it is shoved in his face. He's the Assfly of homeopathy really ... ;) Worm (t | c) 20:51, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, he was funny at that talk:homeopathy page Trent linked to from the Bar. Over and over again, "I gave you four ! peer reviewed articles published in high impact journals!" and completely ignoring everyone else. Someone should tell him about WikiSynergy... ħumanUser talk:Human 21:38, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

What's the Nature reference on water memory? I'd be interesting to read it. It's like the tobacco industry spokesman's article in the NEJM. Sterile cubicle 02:24, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

WP expalians the "Nature controversy" here. I'll go through it soonish but just posting the link for now. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 14:25, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Yep, I'd definitely recommend reading through that. It also mentions Ennis (as mentioned above) and the Horizon episode on the subject. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 14:31, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes. As I said above, it's quite amusing.--BobNot Jim 15:20, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Energetic substance[edit]

Definitely need to reference this. Makes a complete has of reality, but she does a decent amount of bullshitting towards the end that's worth adding: Scarlet A.pnggnostic 13:53, 30 October 2009 (UTC)


This just came up on one of my favorite web comics. I don't know if it adds anything but I thought I would share the humor. YorickCrass. 06:03, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, strong stuff. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 12:58, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

The 10:23 "overdose" event[edit]

The people who know this article and field better (and who don't have a freaking headache) might want to take a look at this event:

At 10:23am on January 30th, more than three hundred homeopathy sceptics nationwide will be taking part in a mass homeopathic 'overdose' in protest at Boots' continued endorsement and sale of homeopathic remedies, and to raise public awareness about the fact that homeopathic remedies have nothing in them. Sceptics and consumer rights activists will publicly swallow an entire bottle of homeopathic 'pillules' to demonstrate that these 'remedies', prepared according to a long-discredited 18th century ritual, are nothing but sugar pills.

Found via Boing Boing --Sid (talk) 12:18, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Randi used to do that at the beginning of all his lectures. The funny thing is, surely to overdose you'd have to dilute it some more rather than take loads of tablets? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:35, 19 January 2010 (UTC)


  • For the very least dilute homeopathic solutions, there is around a 60% or so chance of one molcule being present

What does this mean? The least dilure homeo concotions I've seen are 30C, and at that point you're way past the big man's number, so the chances of the a single molecule making it from dilution 11 (in our hypothetical example) to 30 are much much lower than 60%. Or have I completely misunderstood what was meant? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 04:36, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

You might be right, if the math is wrong, please, correct it! Wait, does "least dilute" mean the lowest, like 5C or something? Surely 30C is the most dilute? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:46, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
From wp: [30C] "Dilution advocated by Hahnemann for most purposes; patient would need to consume 1041 pills (a billion times the mass of the Earth), or 1034 gallons of liquid remedy (10 billion times the volume of the Earth) to consume a single molecule of the original substance" 04:53, 12 March 2010 (UTC) SusanG  ContribsTalk


X Scale C Scale Ratio gallons of liquid remedy (10 billion times the volume of the Earth) to consume a single molecule of the original substance" Note
1X 1:10 described as low potency
2X 1C 1:100 called higher potency than 1X by homeopaths
6X 3C 10−6
8X 4C 10−8 allowable concentration of arsenic in U.S. drinking water
12X 6C 10−12
24X 12C 10−24 Has a 60% probability of containing one molecule of original material if one mole of the original substance was used.
60X 30C 10−60 Dilution advocated by Hahnemann for most purposes; (Organon_6th_128") patient would need to consume 1041 pills (a billion times the mass of the Earth), or 1034 gallons of liquid remedy (10 billion times the volume of the Earth) to consume a single molecule of the original substance
400X 200C 10−400 Dilution of popular homeopathic flu remedy Oscillococcinum
Note: the "X scale" is also called "D scale". 1X = 1D, 2X = 2D, etc.

For information. 04:58, 12 March 2010 (UTC) SusanG  ContribsTalk

Wow. That really puts it in perspective. Tetronian you're clueless 19:55, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Additional material[edit]

As we seem to be having another access issue, I'm going to paste up a few papers I want to go over and do them when we have the site back to normal.

When it comes to extraordinary and implausible claims that continually fail the test of scientific scrutiny, we owe our patients more than the usual noncommittal statements we see at the end of most research reports (e.g., “more research is needed …”). We should plainly state that the treatments simply do not work.

  • Hopfenspirger, M. "A more skeptical review of homeopathy" Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

142, 2, 300-300 (2010)

Although homeopathic remedies do not directly harm patients, it is very possible that harm could befall homeopathy patients who refrain from seeking traditional medicine. Patients in the NHS could be indirectly harmed if funds are spent on homeopathy that could have been spent on mainstream care. Patients who are prescribed homeopathic treatments are very possibly being deceived, and thus are being treated unethically.

  • Shaw, D.M., J Med Ethics 36, 130-131 (2010) has been shown that physical reality consists of two uniquely different categories of substance, one being electric charge–based while the other appears to be magnetic charge–based.

  • Tiller, W.A. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.16, 3, 327-335 (2010)

The Curious Case of Charles Darwin and Homeopathy: Two of Darwin's sons were as incredulous as he was, but their observations confirmed the results of his experiments. Darwin was also known to have read a book on evolution written by a homeopathic physician that Darwin described as similar to his own but ‘goes much deeper.’

  • Ullman, D, Evidence-based CAM, 7, 1, 33-39 (2010)

I really should have added that this was me. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 20:02, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Okay, shoehorned most of that in. Although we do need a hatchet job on Dana Ullman. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 13:34, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I can't wait for WaterHomeopathic Remedy Gate, when they pull up records of this saying "LOOK! THEY'RE LOOKING FOR HATCHET JOBS!!!" --Eira omtg! The Goat be praised. 03:47, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Cover abstract[edit]

Just for reference, the abstract is Scarlet A.pnggnostic 10:53, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

The abstracts should be linked from the "cover" template I think? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:43, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Good point... err, I have no idea how to set that up generically. I assume it's something like making a link to {{displaytitle}}/cover but that would still stay in the talk space... Scarlet A.pnggnostic 08:31, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
We add it to the template that is on the talk page. A magic link, like $page/cover sort of thing. Not hard to do if we try. Especially if we ask Nx or some other bastid what the code should look like. Add to cover story "here is the abstract that appears on the main page" with link. Ask Pi, he was really into this change too. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:37, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Somebody sent me a homeopathy joke.[edit]

The world has been placed on a heightened security alert following reports that New Age terrorists have harnessed the power of homeopathy for evil. ‘Homeopathic weapons represent a major threat to world peace,’ said President Barack Obama, ‘they might not cause any actual damage but the placebo effect could be quite devastating.’

The H2O-bomb has been developed by the radical New Age group, The Axis of Aquarius. In a taped message to the world, their leader, Professor Hubert Pennington, said: ‘For too long the New Age movement has been dismissed as a bunch of beardy weirdy cranks and charlatans. But now we have weapons-grade homeopathy and we expect to be taken seriously.`

Homeopathic bombs are originally made from of 99.9% water with the merest trace element of explosive. This solution is then repeatedly diluted so as to leave only the "memory" of the explosive in the water molecules. According to the laws of homeopathy, the more that the water is diluted, the more powerful the bomb becomes.

‘It was only a matter of time before these people got hold of the material that they needed to make these bombs,’ said former UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, ‘The world is a much more dangerous place with the advent of these Weapons of Mass Dilution.’

‘A homeopathic attack could bring entire cities to a standstill,’ said BBC Security Correspondent, Frank Gardner, ‘Large numbers of people could easily become convinced that they have been killed and hospitals would be unable to cope with the massive influx of the ‘walking suggestible’.’

The severity of the situation has already resulted in the New Age terror threat level being raised from ‘lilac’ to the more worrisome ‘purple’ aura. Meanwhile, new security measures at airports require that all water bottles be scanned to ensure that they are not being used to smuggle the memory of an explosion on board a plane.

‘Homeopathic weapons are the ultimate Smart Bombs,’ warned President Obama, ‘They are so smart that they only affect the gullible. The only defense is for everyone to remain calm, vigilant and to always wear a magic vibrating crystal.’--BobSpring is sprung! 09:49, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Goat only knows what could happen if one's water bottle once contained an atom of tritium, and was accidentally "succussed" while being cleaned diluted. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:46, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I noticed that there was no mention of the magic shaking. I wonder how you would detonate a homoeopathic bomb?--BobSpring is sprung! 18:53, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
By diluting it more, of course. That way, it will become more and more potent until it eventually explodes on its own. Tetronian you're clueless 19:50, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes ... but you'd need some sort of way to trigger it while you weren't around. Leaving it out in the rain?--BobSpring is sprung! 20:45, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
You detonate it by whispering "homeopathic bomb" in a crowded theater, with the crowd having been properly prepared by propaganda information and consultation with experts about the plot. You might have time to run out, and running out could enhance the effect, perhaps if you were then screaming. --Abd (talk) 17:33, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Quantum Homeopathy[edit]

SciBlogs - Respectful Insolence. I couldn't actually get any of the links in the article but it's fun nonetheless. 19:07, 2 July 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast


Links to comments on a little Australian girl who died because her parents took the woo for truth. Old news but informative. 04:53, 23 July 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Thanks, Susan! Gooniepunk2010 Oi! Oi! Oi! 05:06, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Rebound theory[edit]

You can't rebound from pure water Jack Hughes (talk) 16:19, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

To be even clearer I checked the first link that BoN posted which talked about the effects of ceasing to take drugs using in measurable quantities. To try and equate this with Homoeopathy is rediculous in that
  • Homeopathy is about taking the "medicine" - not stopping the medicine.
  • Homeopathy is about taking pure water - there is nothing to rebound from
This is just another attempt by the woo sellers to try and persuade the gullible that their magic works. Jack Hughes (talk) 16:28, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
You have to admit that there is one condition for which homeopathy is the perfect cure: thirstiness... ħumanUser talk:Human 19:21, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Point of information, the IP is very likely [redacted], well-known to both Wikipedia and [redacted]. The rhetorical style fits and [redacted] of the IP is spot on. Doctor Dark (talk) 21:41, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Not suppose to to that here. tmtoulouse 22:13, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
I put this back in for clarity, with certain details removed, of course. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:01, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't the homeopathic cure for thirstiness be to not drink water? Or should the water be diluted with more water? This is all so confusing. Doctor Dark (talk) 22:24, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Not in the case of the sugar pills. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 21:59, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I hear that a lot of the homeopathic cures are including ethyl alcohol as a "preservative". --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:24, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
So they cure sobriety as well? Cool. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:52, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
In fact UK skeptics have produced homoeopathic vodka. Tasty.--BobSpring is sprung! 06:58, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

1 molecule of 30C relative to earth-sun distance[edit]

Using WolframAlpha, I calculated how large the volume of a sphere with radius 1AU would be: 1.356×1037 L. Meanwhile, one mole of water is 0.018 L. This is a ratio of 0.75333 × 1039 to one. Thus, a sphere of water with radius 1AU is 7.5333 × 1038 moles of water. And thus 4.536678299286×10^62 molecules to one. (Assuming the "active" ingredient has negligible volume.) 30C is diluted to a range of 10^60. A volume of a sphere with diameter 1AU would be: 1.694×1036 L. This yields a molecule ratio on the order of 10^61. This is still well 10 more times larger than a 30C dilution.

So, really, a sphere of water with diameter half of one AU, is actually 7.08605... × 10^60, which is still yet seven times larger than a 30C dilution containing one molecule. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 06:07, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Ah, so it's only out by an order of magnitude out of 60... Scarlet A.pnggnostic 17:35, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Studies that show homeopathy works[edit]

There are studies that show homeopathy works:-

Kleijnen et al., 1991: 105 studies with interpretable results. Meta-analysis based on validated criteria
Boissel et al., 1996: 15 studies. Inclusion only of highest quality studies
Linde et al., 1997: 89 studies
Linde & Melchart, 1998: 32 studies; inclusion only of individualized homeopathy
Cucherat et al, 2000: 16 trials, representing 17 comparisons to placebo (based on Boissel et al.)
So can we see a change in this article stating that homeopathy works.-Wth (talk) 19:59, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps links to the conclusions of these papers might also be a good idea?--BobSpring is sprung! 20:04, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

I'd also like to see this matter here:-

In October 2010 Jayesh Ramesh Bellare, Shantaram Govind Kane, et al., (Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay)

claimed to have found, for the first time, that commercially manufactured metal-derived high-dilution remedies contain nanoparticles of the starting metals and their aggregates.[1][2]

to show that homeopathic remedies aren't placebos.-Wth (talk) 20:06, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
And may I ask how you are a certified doctor? I don't mean to sound like a Citizendium policeman, but you claim expertise but give no proof to back up your disputes on RW articles.--Colonel Sanders (talk) 20:07, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
More relevantly taking the latest paper (over a decade old) the conclusions are
There is some evidence that homeopathic treatments are more effective than placebo; however, the strength of this evidence is low because of the low methodological quality of the trials. Studies of high methodological quality were more likely to be negative than the lower quality studies.
The key phrase is "The strength of this evidence is LOW. In other words fuck off. Jack Hughes (talk) 20:14, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Who do I complain to about civility here?-Wth (talk) 20:21, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
*points to the wall* If you wish to complain about civility, you may repeatedly hit your head upon this, as RW has no civility policy or enforcement. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 22:58, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Most importantly, even if the studies you quote prove that homeopathetic remedies retain potency (and I'm not saying they do), so what? It still does NOT prove that said remedies treat anything they claim to treat. You did not quote a source that, for example, said that these remedies were proven to treat AIDS or cancer. Thus, it's still woo. Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 20:17, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
And another conclusion - this time Linde & Melchart
The results of the available randomised trials suggest that individualised homeopathy has an effect over placebo. The evidence, however, is not convincing because of methodological shortcomings and inconsistencies. Further research should focus on replication of existing promising studies. New randomised studies should be preceded by pilot studies.
Note the phrase not convincing because of methodological shortcomings. Still not good enough. Jack Hughes (talk) 20:22, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
If it worked, it wouldn't controversial and would be very easily proven. Such studies would be published in Science or Nature. The Cochrane reviews would be all glowing and the treatments would be handed out practically for free worldwide. It's just not the case. Currently any study that shows it does work usually isn't strong enough or with significant effect. It's only because it's quite difficult to outright show "no effect whatsoever" that so many reviews and studies end on fence sitting comments like "inconclusive" or "more research needed". If it worked, it'd would show itself in all studies without a problem. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 20:29, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

(unindent)The problem is individualized homeopathic treatment, which is a must - 2 people with the same problem/disease may need different remedies.-Wth (talk) 20:34, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm sure we'll have beter 'studies/clinical trials', in course of time (maybe there already is, but we don't know), but let's not kill homeopathy due to ignorance/prejudice.-Wth (talk) 20:47, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
That's not problem t all. In medicine, everyone needs different treatments at time. For example, I need a larger dose of ibuprofin because I am a larger person. A smaller person requires a smaller dose for the same effect. But, in a peer reviewed study, it should be possible to make to appropriate treatments for ailments accordingly. So you'd give me 200 mg of ibuprofin and a smaller person 100 mg, and it should work similarly. Thus, this argument is weak at best and complete nonsense at most. The Goonie Punk Can't sleep, clowns will eat me! 20:49, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. But if there was a genuine medical effect, it wouldn't matter. All that homeopaths are doing by ththis is showing that the treatment is more psychosomatic than purely medicinal. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 20:52, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
It ain't just the dosage, it's the remedy also, e.g. Belladonna can't cure a headache that needs Arsenic. Alb.-Wth (talk) 20:55, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
A lot of diseases are psychosomatic today, but it doesn't mean Homeopathy works due to a placebo effect.-Wth (talk) 20:55, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
And you can't treat a cancer with surgery that needs chemotherapy. Both treatments should be able to treat headaches that they are intended to cure multiple times over. Otherwise, based on the scientific method, it's garbage. So the headache needs arsenic (why would you treat a headache with a lethal poison?), then use arsenic and it should treat it and any other headache requiring an arsenic treatment. Again, this argument is incredibly weak at best. The Spikey Punk I'm punking my punk! 21:00, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Many patients of homeopathy have shown remarkable improvements, with even Laboratory investigations showing the improvement. U must C how the clinics of many homeopaths R full of patients (because they've seen results).-Wth (talk) 21:05, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Punky, the indications for Bell. and Ars.Alb. R different. Pls C & -Wth (talk) 21:11, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Unlike Citizendium we have no rules here that say we have to give obvious bullshit a "sympathetic" hearing. Now shoo. Doctor Dark (talk) 21:15, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Telling people to "shoo" and that bullshit is "obvious" is far from rational, it's as knee jerk as people who claim homeopathy works because it worked for their friend of a friend of a friend. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 21:19, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
wth =/=Ramadamadingdong just look at the language used! Him (talk) 21:24, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
@ Armondikov, a rational evaluation of the evidence for and against homeopathy shows that "obvious bullshit" is an accurate characterization. And "shoo" is a constructive response to persistent aggression, rather than encouraging and tolerating disruption. Doctor Dark (talk) 21:27, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
It's hardly disruption. Telling people to "fuck off" for being woo-pushers is just censoring dissent and counterproductive. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 21:31, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, our main page states: We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue. We deal in evidence not abuse. It is possible - though highly unlikely - that water cures diseases (cancer AIDS or whatever). If our editor wishes to present evidence for the effectiveness of water he is free to do so.--BobSpring is sprung! 21:45, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
The editor has supplied us with his purposed evidence. An evaluation of that evidence is that it is weak evidence, and has no substantial merit. If the editor wishes to continue discussion he is free to bring up more scientific studies, however saying that a homeopath's waiting room is full of believing users is anecdotal and worthless evidence. All sorts of woo has strong adherents and can fill a waiting room with people. In all, his evidence is weak... so, to wth, if you have more rigorous scientific studies available, please share them, otherwise your pet woo has no place here. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:07, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
As a point of information, we have evidence for homeopathy as a separate article. Discussing these papers there would be better. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 00:14, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Homeopaths continue to argue that clinical trials can't apply to them because "individualized treatment", rather than the standardized treatment and control arms, of typical trials, is needed. Some newer areas of medicine (e.g., pharmacogenomics) are also individualized, based on genetics -- but they are also testable in a way I've never seen homeopathic remedies tested.
In such double-blinded tests, the treating clinician determines the individualized treatment that would be appropriate, and sends an order to the pharmacy. The pharmacy then breaks the randomization code for that new patient, and dispenses either the specialized treatment or control.
With a sufficient population, it is the diagnostic/treatment method that is tested. The group receiving the specialized treatment should, if the method is valid, show statistically significant benefit over the control arm. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 01:04, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Precisely, it's testable. But that sort of test would cost; and I doubt the multi-million dollar alt medicine companies (in many places owned by the multi-billion dollar real medicine companies) would put their money where their mouths are and do that sort of test. If it has a real effect, it can be tested for. If it can't be tested for, it doesn't have an effect. No exceptions. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 01:17, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Lol, it said "nanoparticles". Nice misunderstanding of the prefix "nano-" in this context. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:57, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, nanoparticle is a term of art in materials science, for atomic clusters 100nm or smaller. [3] Nevertheless, if nanoparticles are present, it tends to throw out the whole "memory of water" concept. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 19:59, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Not that there's anything particularly magical about nanoparticles, either. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 20:49, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh, agreed. If homeopathy does do anything, though, finding out that the technique of dilution and succession is woo, because there are measurable quantities of substances that don't break the Avogadro limit throws a lot back to the homeopaths. I'm not saying that it does do anything, but that their dilution methods are demonstrably flawed. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 21:07, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Footnotes sub-section[edit]

  1. Malathy Iyer, IIT-B team shows how homeopathy works The Times of India (Dec 16, 2010)
  2. Prashant Satish Chikramane, Akkihebbal K. Suresh, Jayesh Ramesh Bellare, and Shantaram Govind Kane Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective Homeopathy 99/4, 231-242 (October 2010).
  3. The Use of Nomenclature in Dispersion Science and Technology

homeopathy and aids[edit]

Inspired by this page I went looking in google for homeopathy and aids. There are a distressing number of hits, though quite a few seen critical.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:11, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

An apology[edit]

I was going to apologise for letting my hangover get the better of my manners and then... and then I looked at the contributions that Wth has made to the Ramanand Jhingade talk page and he can fuck right off. He's not here for a rational debate, he's here to promote hope where there is none and sell snake oil to the gullible. His sort are as evil as white supremacists. No apology required. Jack Hughes (talk) 14:41, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Ramanand Jhingadé[edit]

How come when I link to "Ramanand Jhingadé" it shows red? I must be doing something wrong - but what?--BobSpring is sprung! 19:28, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

The character é is handled in some strange way. You may have to link to Ramanand Jhingade Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 19:36, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Ah! Thanks.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:40, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Sorry Bob, I'm half asleep. What happened is that the Ramanand Jhingadé article was created as Ramanand Jhingade, but the author manually set the title to "Ramanand Jhingadé". If you see the source of the Ramanand Jhingadé article you'll see the title thing at the top. If it's correct to spell his name with the accented e then we probably should relocate the Ramanand Jhingade article to Ramanand Jhingadé - leaving behind a redirect. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 19:42, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Don't know if you know but we've been messing around with the name of that article a lot. It's a question of the diacritic marks. I'd be inclined to leave it alone for the moment. I was thinking of creating a redirect but I'm not sure if that would also end up confusing things or not. --BobSpring is sprung! 19:48, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
The name in the lede was messed around with quite a bit but the article title is unchanged to the best of my knowledge. It shouldn't really be using DISPLAYTITLE if it's mainspace. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 00:13, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I will note that WTH started the DISPLAYTITLE, claiming diacritic usage that does not conform to any known displays of his name, or any proper transliteration scheme for any known language spoken in Bangalore. We're compromising currently to display the "é", as some displays of his name are of this form. However, the transliteration schemes also do not allow for this. As such, we have no good and proper solution but to leave the article in the name without diacritics. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 01:45, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I just moved it. Hope that doesn't break anything... ħumanUser talk:Human 02:58, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
Zomg, you broke it! Hey, happy new year Huw. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 03:14, 9 January 2011 (UTC)


Please can Ro Thorpe and Eira read this before continuing this little edit war? –SuspectedReplicant retire me 19:47, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Can you believe I've never heard "enamored of"? But then out here we call all Soda "coke". 7up? That's a coke. Pepsi? That's a coke. Kool-aid? Not a coke. Carbonated water in a can? That's a coke. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 19:50, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I think we should just rewrite it to remove either possibility. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 20:05, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
*shrug* probably the best option since the neologism of "enamored with" seems to be overtaking "enamored of". Last thing we need is a grammar war... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 20:11, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I have to say that I'd never heard "enamored with" before today. Google has 558,000 results for "enamored with", and only 366,000 for "enamored of", but the British spelling has 221,000 for "enamoured of" and only 133,000 for "enamoured with". Looks like it might be yet another US/UK difference. Agree that it's probably best to rewrite in any case. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 20:16, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Interesting, I believe preposition use is one of the first linguistic features to drift apart. I wouldn't find it hard to believe that it's absolutely a US/UK difference. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:24, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
"Different to" still grates, even after all these years of working with Australian and UK colleagues. Doctor Dark (talk) 01:05, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
In London, 1960s, we were taught to say 'different from', not 'different to'. Now, people say 'different than' (of which I am definitely not enamoured). Ro Thorpe (talk) 02:16, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
I've always said "different from." En los EEUU tambien se habla correctamente. Blue (is useful) 03:00, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

I have to admit...[edit]

I am out of coffee. And one of my thoughts was that perhaps, just perhaps I could take those last few bits of it remaining and dilute them and dilute them again... :( Sen (talk) 23:00, 10 March 2011 (UTC)


I wonder if homeopaths characterize their dilutions by LC-MS. I can just see them answering that question now: "uhh well you can't use analytical techniques to characterize our remedies"

Anyway, I made this so they wouldn't go through the trouble of running their compounds on a LC. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

For those of us who haven't been in a chem lab for a while, that's... wavelength absorption? ThunderkatzHo! 00:38, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Actually, this particular instrument is coupled to a mass spectrometer. But it also has a UV detector (chromatogram not shown). This picture I made is actually just a joke... I don't really have time to inject "homeopathic medicine" on the instrument. But I bet it's accurate because there's nothing in "homeopathic medicine". Swood4 (talk) 16:14, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Sometimes there may be alcohol or sugar in the solution, it wouldn't necessarily be completely blank on a GC/LC trace. ADK...I'll incarcerate your banana! 23:25, 25 July 2011 (UTC)


Hey, has anybody asked a homeopath about diluting narcotics? 'Cause right now I could go for some 1/10^28 LSD and Water. That sounds like it would get you so high that your mind would blow chunks to outer space into the Milky Way Perceptron (talk) 00:21, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Homeopathic beer[edit]

While sat in't pub with a friend, I managed to get an invite to a beer festival. Of course, he also mentioned an uncle who likes his beer so may also be coming... and is also a registered homeopath. I will probably need to start reading up on this stuff again just in case. ADK...I'll browbeat your sacrifice! 10:40, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Homeopathic beer? There's already Coors Lite. Doctor Dark (talk) 13:10, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

sugar pill[edit]

Reading Ben Goldacre's book the other day he made a point I hadn't really thought about a lot before. I see that it does get a short reference in the article but we don't make a lot of it I think - unless I missed it.

ALL the waffle about water memory stuff is really utterly irrelevant if you give the patient a sugar pill from which your well-prepared solution has been evaporated. You've really gone from utterly undetectable agent to no possibility of agent at any concentration at that point. Your special water with its "water memory" or whatever is ... well floating around in the air somewhere.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:20, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

The idea is that because potentisation transfers memory from substance to water you can transfer it from water to water by further succussion; hence the recommendation that old remedies be "refreshed" by occasional shaking. From this idea, the imprint of the water memory transfers to the sugar in the solid pills which then are properly set as the remedy. So it doesn't matter (from the POV of the belief) that your solvent has evaporated away any more than it matters that the last molecule of your active ingredient in your 200C dilution disappeared on the 20th step. I agree it needs to be a bigger point, though. ADK...I'll vocalise your steak dinner! 12:33, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
One presumes this water vapour loses the memory, as I can't recall any homoepathic remedies being issued in the gas phase. ADK...I'll cruise your clock! 12:34, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Much homeopathy is issued as gas. Oh, you said remedies.Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 22:35, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Can I hear two drums and a cymbal? ADK...I'll bake your shark! 17:25, 26 August 2011 (UTC)


Is having two Tim Minchin quotes (thankfully from different songs, well, erm, "pieces") overkill or just enough? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 23:32, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Modern notable homeopaths?[edit]

There seem to be two articles on modern homeopaths:

And on companies selling homeopathic products, listed in the article here:

I'm suspecting that the coverage of the two individuals is due to (1) vulnerability of the target and the appearance of the target in internet discussions. Both of these characteristics would select for cranks, and cranks are particularly sensitive to opposing cranks. Cranks are highly motivated to turn an issue to their liking, and which way they turn it may not be important. The articles here will increase the exposure of these individuals. Jeremy Sherr is interesting, all right, I'll comment on the Talk page for that article. Jhingade isn't, he's just a run-of-the-mill "alternative medicine" practitioner.

So, are there any notable modern homeopaths? Sherr may be one. Jhingade is not. Wikipedia has no article on Sherr, but he's listed as a proponent in a sidebar of the Wikipedia article on Homeopathy, along with others who do have wikipedia articles:

Jhingade has no mention in article or article talk space on Wikipedia. There are accounts there which are purportedly him, and two accounts which, by the account name, purported to be him. It's basically meaningless, this was in a day when any account appearing to promote homeopathy on Wikipedia, unless well-established as a general editor, would quickly be blocked, I know many of the involved editors, and there was a long series of inconclusive or "unrelated" suspected sock puppet reports, a sure sign of harassment. (Basically, if two accounts have the same point of view, and that's considered a fringe point of view, many editors will assume they are the same.)

Bottom line, Jhingade isn't notable for Wikipedia, and I don't see a sign that he's notable in the field of homeopathy, either. He's just a crank on the internet, attracting other cranks who prefer a different direction of rotation.

RationalWiki did much better, I'd say, with Dr. Jhingade. At least this community let him say his piece, clueless as he was.

Purity Products isn't notable enough, as well, to have a Wikipedia article. There was a user, "Purity products," blocked, probably for having a promotional username. No edits from that user are visible. However, we can infer that the user created a promotional user page, because it was deleted. There does not appear to have ever been an article on the company, which probably indicates very low notability, I was expecting to see, at least, a deleted article.

On the other hand, Wikipedia has articles on

Just sayin'. I've found a few oddities here and there that I'll fix, such as adding the Heel page as a link to the Homeopathy page. --Abd (talk) 21:53, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Jhingade only got the attention because he threatened to bite much in the same way Mensur Omerbashich did. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 22:10, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
No, the article here existed first, or is there something else, off-wiki, to which you refer? Or are you letting me know that RationalWiki is really EmotionalResponseWiki? DontMessWithUsWiki? Inquiring minds, at least this one, would like to know which way the wind blows here. Is this about reason? Science? Or is this just a another collection of cranks? --Abd (talk) 22:41, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Error about an error.[edit]

Homeopaths usually state that 30C is the equivalent of "1 part per million";[13] however, this is clearly incorrect as the effect of each dilution compounds the effect of previous dilutions.

The note refers to this web site of a minor manufacturer or seller. Which doesn't say what the text says, it actually says, The 30c potency means that it contains less than 1 part per million of the original substance. That's not "incorrect," since by design, there would be, indeed, less than 1 part per million. However, it could be considered misleading, perhaps. The claim is made, however, in addition, that "homeopaths usually state" this. A single page isn't evidence for that claim, and, in fact, many pages wouldn't suffice. Is there any real evidence for this?

Trying to track this down, I found some sources that repeat a "less than 1 part per million" claim about a page on the Society of Homeopaths, which might refer to [8]. However, that page doesn't have the statement. Has it been changed? I was unable to find any other page where homeopaths state what the article claims. Trillin isn't a "homeopath," and probably just picked up that text from the SoH page. I did, however, find a pile of pages by skeptics referring to this. It looks like they are copying from each other.

Okay, so I looked in the Wayback Machine. The problem text appeared on that page in the snapshot of October 26, 2006.

Dilutions are made up to either 1 part tincture to 10 parts water (1x) or 1 part tincture to 100 parts water (1c). Repeated dilution results in the familiar 6x, 6c or 30c potencies that can be bought over the counter: the 30c contains less than 1 part per million of the original substance.

It was still there a year later.

It was gone by the snapshot of January 18, 2008, the last phrase was replaced with:

the 30c represents an infinitessimal [sic] part of the original substance.

However, the page, all along, also contained this text:

They are diluted to such a degree that not one molecule of the original substance can be detected (after the 6c potency).

In other words, the "less than 1 part per million" was correct but misleading, and the real information, "not one molecule can be detected" was there all along.

What this boils down to is that a critic picked up on an "error" on a page, that wasn't technically an error, and pulled it out of context, and this was then repeated as if it proved something about homeopaths in general. The page is woo, I've no problem with that, there is plenty of real stuff to criticize there, that is standard homeopathic theory, though I have no idea how many homeopaths believe it. Official organizations do not necessarily represent the real beliefs of members.

The spelling error in the correction demonstrates a general lack of attention to the page from anyone. The spelling error remained until February 12, 2010, when all the information about dilution was removed. My guess is that someone realized it had been written by a writer who was his or her own editor. Bad idea.

The page still defends homeopathy, of course. It is, after all, a page of the Society of Homeopaths, which advocates for the profession. The real defense is on this page which purports to give evidence for the existence of effects from "ultrahigh dilutions."

In my view, inadequate attention is paid to this. It's been (correctly) pointed out that those claimed effects would be revolutionary, in terms of our understanding of physics and chemistry. Now, if this were just some isolated crank, so what? But it's not an isolated crank, it is an entire licensed profession, with high commercial activity involved. Public funding is involved in some cases. The money would be there, or should be there, for conclusive research.

What I've seen, so far, isn't conclusive (in spite of the claims on the SoH page, that's fluff, woo, i.e., what may be "evidence" -- perhaps -- is presented as if it were proof. But I haven't reviewed that evidence in detail, and the examinations I've seen so far have been heavily contaminated by a-priori assumptions (in either direction, and the truth might be in some third direction!) --Abd (talk) 17:27, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

On those sugar remedies.[edit]

There were some 'homeopathic' remedies in Soviet Union, those basically had low doses (but not insanely diluted) of various stuff, in sugar pellet form just like that picture. I know because my mom were getting some sleep and heart ones. They just had regular herbal stuff, at low concentrations but not insanely diluted. I.e. not below 10^-7. Other thing about homeopathy, is that you are supposed to take it very regularly by clock, which is incredibly annoying, and reminds me of the acne remedy by annoying the hell out of person with the treatment, so that person stops caring about acne so much, and then the acne goes away. Some disorders do seem to result from a sort of reverse placebo effect. Of course that ain't going to work for anything serious though. Still, with the heart issues like rhythm and such, there's certain degree of voluntary control, and a possibility of real disorders stemming from purely psychosomatic stuff; for those the annoying-to-comply-with near-placebo could be quite effective. When someone is prone to hypochondria, they may seek confirmation of illness, and if you are listening to your heart rate trying to catch some signs of disease it is not too impossible for the brain to produce those. It's easy to speed up your heart rate voluntarily. Dmytry (talk) 19:20, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Soooo - it's all placebo then?--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 19:23, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
not sure actually, they weren't super diluted, and mostly contained various active herbal stuff. I guess soviet union took utilitarian approach to the problem - some people are into crank, and the placebo effect works very well for stuff like insomnia and somewhat okay for some of the heart conditions, so, let's give 'em the crank, with a bit of actual meds in it. I'll update when i find any old bag with them. For the psychological stuff like depression, there's very little difference between placebos and active drugs, possibly explainable by un-blinding alone. Dmytry (talk) 22:34, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

On mass-produced homeopathic remedies[edit]

Even if this is the case then mass produced cures will not work. This is the absolute basic rule of homeopathy.

There are multiple schools of thought among homeopaths, and the above is only true of "classical" homeopaths (or whatever you want to call them).

The reason that proponents say that you can not use double blind test is because each and every single cure must be tailor made to the specific person it is to be used on.

Oh, but the non-classical homeopaths have an answer for that. You see, it's only most conditions which need individualized remedies; some of them don't. So you get a "heads I win, tails it's a tie" situation where any study of mass-produced remedies which comes up negative can be dismissed while any which come up positive are evidence for homeopathy. -- Matthew Cline (talk) 09:53, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Those homeopaths are tricksy ones. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:07, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Add section about 'Big-Homeo"?[edit]

I was looking around for information on how much money is made by homeopaths and corporations producing homeopathic medicine sugar pills. I want to use it for combating the 'Big-Pharma' vs the little guy mindset and show that it is really 'Big-Homeo' vs reason. I figured if we can get some of those numbers it might be worth it to put in a section about it in this article. I still have not found concrete numbers on the subject though. Any ideas? Colincbn (talk) 02:00, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

IIRC the alt med industry isn't even 10% of "Big Pharma" when it comes to turnover. Bad Science has some numbers in it, but it's hard to compare as there's a difference between cost, total turnover, profit, R&D expense... Scarlet A.pngmoral 10:34, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
R&D? Homeopathy? Not a big cost I'd guess.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 12:56, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Precisely. You can easily spend $150 million bringing a drug to market and you have 5 years (or 7? I can't quite remember sans Google) to recoup that before the patent wears off and other people can sell that structure. By comparison, homeopathy just requires some people to write some shite in a diary for a couple of days while drinking water. So the cash that's churned through "Big Pharma" cannot easily be compared to alternative medicine. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:20, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
The $150 million is just the average clinical trial through Phase III. And remember, about ¼ of the drugs that get to Phase III fail, and never make it to market. And the failures of drugs in Pre-clinical, Phase I and Phase II are much higher. Amortize all those costs over all marketed drugs…well you see what happens. Moreover, pharmaceutical manufacturers cannot make broad claims, only what is shown in the randomized clinical trials. The oft-told story about Viagra is famous in the pharmaceutical industry. Though it works to raise blood pressure (yes, there are times when you need it ), during Phase II and III, the researchers noticed a 100% side effect of the drug. But they couldn't then launch it for ED, they had to go back and start the trial all over again (though some of us in the know, were able to obtain it for "research purposes only").
Big Herbal (that's what I've always called it) has NO R&D costs. They don't have to do dose-response studies. They don't have to do randomized clinical trials. They don't have to stick with one claim, they can say whatever they want. And they don't have to prove that anything does anything. Everyone complains that drugs have a huge gross margin (probably around 80-90%), but that's before the cost of R&D, marketing, sales, and investment costs (in manufacturing). That drops the net margin down to 30-40%, much of which has to be invested into the next round of R&D. And an important item to note is that a "placebo" is considered a miserable failure in drug research. Most of us on the drug side know that the placebo effect is nonsense, except for a small number of situations, and the effect is probably a result of confirmation bias or randomness rather than a clinical effect. Placebos don't cure cancer, for example.
Somewhere I have exact numbers on this, and I'll try to find it for you guys. But the numbers are much more ridiculous than than a comparison of direct sales of drugs vs. Big Herbal. By the way, a few medical skeptics call homeopathy "Big Water." My favorite, personally. SkepticalRaptor® 18:47, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't have the experience with the material required to write something up, but I would totally mention this ^ on the page. 'Big Pharma' is often associated with the poor sick people money going to line a rich man's wallet at their expense... when in reality practices like alt-med (including homeopathy) have few additional costs aside from manufacturing, distribution, marketing, etc; their oft-decried images of illness profiteering fit them to a T more than they fit evidence-based medicine. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRfree guybrush threepwood! no new taxes! down with porcelain! 19:50, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Yet, according to the chiropractors and osteopaths at SitP a few months ago, they're all skint and can't afford to do those trials - hence why they're not done. This is another apples and oranges thing; a major component of the alt med industry is individual practitioners working on their own privately. They do enough work to pay their own wage (though the economic downturn apparently suggests people aren't wasting as much money on altie stuff now), but not really enough to run an RCT of their wares, even if they really wanted to. Now, those aren't "Big Herbal" or whatever, but you don't get those people in actual medicine. No one sets up their own little home-office shop to sell a proper drug and run trials of it. Hence direct comparisons, pound-for-pound and dollar-for-dollar, are possibly not as enlightening as you might think. They'd either not be comparing like with like, or they'd be comparing with only a small sub set of alt med. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 00:19, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure I'm getting your point, but it seems like you're excusing Big Herbal for not doing clinical trials because they're too small? Sorry, but I don't buy that. A lot of startup medical device and pharmaceutical companies go through the trouble to bring products to market with massive clinical trials. If it works, they make money. If it doesn't, too bad. I guess chiro people don't want to take the risk that their nonsense will be shown as nonsense. I hope I'm misunderstanding you. SkepticalRaptor® 00:38, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Relevant. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:40, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Big Quacka???? LOL SkepticalRaptor® 00:45, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────According to IMS Health (which is the largest, and really only, market research company for healthcare products), the ]US Market for pharmaceuticals is around $320 billion-ish. Now remember that includes everything from $50,000 drugs for certain cancers to $5 for a 30 day supply of warfarin. Of that $320 billion, total net after tax profits are around 32-50 billion. Alt med is around a $650 MILLION industry. These are the rough estimates, and there's a lot of oranges to apples comparisons. SkepticalRaptor® 00:44, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

They're small as in one person working in their room doing massage and reflexology. You cannot meaningfully compare the flux of money in that sort of system to one in proper medicine. You simply can't. No, it's not an excuse, they simply shouldn't be peddling it without proof, but a significant proportion of what goes on in the alt med world can't be sloppily prefixed with "Big". Therefore direct comparison of the money being churned through the respective industries isn't a useful measure of, well, anything. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 01:06, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, I think the original suggestion was just to describe the money made in the "alt med" industry, rather than compare it to the "medicine that works" one. It'd help point out that "Big Herbal-Water-Homo" exists as well, rather than the market consisting solely of Mom 'n' Pop remedies. (talk) 01:22, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
It certainly doesn't entirely consist of lone practitioners - not least you can buy the mass produced stuff in Boots. Mostly, though, this "Big" prefix is getting immensely out of hand and is getting applied to everything these days. It's losing its ability to mean anything. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 01:27, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
I'd agree it's kind of a silly way to put it. The message that big companies exploit this market (just like all the other ones) is something that some homeo-advocates seem to deny or ignore, though, so it might bear more mention (or just more oh-so-fun statistics and citations). (talk) 01:31, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
All-natural diet supplements! (Brought to you by Big Pharma!) All-natural organic food! (Brought to you by Cargill!) Have I ever told you I love the anti-corporate alties and New Agers? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:47, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
I spent my whole working life in Big Pharma. I hate alties, not because they'd reduce our corporate income by 0.0000001%. I hate alties because people who need real treatments for real diseases think that a bottle of water will cure them. Too many stories about people who delayed treatment for a week or six months, and then it's too late. Because, actually most people in Big Pharma are obsessed with giving people better lives. I did not sit around in my office with mahogany and 10 secretaries thinking of ways to make more money. I thought of ways to help people that also made boatloads of money. I only had 2 secretaries. SkepticalRaptor® 03:47, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Rogue's gallery[edit]

Add Heather Mills to the list of homeopathy advocates. Source: BBC Breakfast interview, this day. (talk) 08:35, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

What is the Placebo effect?[edit]

Um... What is it? If you believe it, you will get better? Um... What force drives that then? What actually causes the placebo to work? (talk) 20:19, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

The placebo effect is not "You will GET better", it is "You will FEEL better," through a combination of endorphin release and anxiety reduction (which reduces the release of stress hormones). The placebo effect can be completely blocked by administering drugs that block the action of opiods, showing that the placebo effect is an endorphin effect, since endorphins are more or less endogenous opiods. Taking a placebo might, for example, make your cancer pain less terrible, but it won't do anything to stop the cancer; you might feel less pain from arthritis, but the inflammation and joint damage would continue. Similarly, the "nocebo" effect makes you FEEL worse, but doesn't actually do any damage, unless you get so scared and upset that you stress yourself into a coronary or stroke.

So taking sugar pills -- or homeopathic potions -- might help your body by tricking it into releasing its own painkillers, but neither will do anything to treat any underlying condition. Of course, for conditions like fibromyalgia where the only recognizable symptom is "Ow it HURTS!", a placebo IS a cure if it removes the pain. — Unsigned, by: Maytree / talk / contribs

Doesn't sugar make you feel good though? So is it a purely psychological effect? Forces (talk) 20:08, 13 April 2014 (UTC)


"The container is then shaken 10 times or whacked against a piece of wood 10 times, a procedure homeopaths call succussion."

I seem to remember once hearing that Hahnemann specified that you had to whack it 10 times against a Bible for a really good result. (The container, that is. Wash your brain out with soap.) Any evidence, or is that just an urban legend? ProblemChimp (talk) 23:52, 6 November 2014 (UTC)


CCRH is a research council under the AYUSH. See [9]. --Homeopath (talk) 17:23, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, they're not lying. This pseudoscience is given official recognition in India. Their "research" appears to only document what disease they intend to test with no hint of actual results. The is a top-tier waste of resources, but it's real, and needs to be documented as such. Section needs more snark though. Ikanreed (talk) 17:29, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I know the medicine is given official recognition, but theirs is not a government site and it would have been good to have the governmental Indian Medicine site as a reference. The CCRH site does look like a 12 year old created it with an old version of Dreamweaver, only in badly spelled English, and the other references asking them for studies are about trying to find a less costly alternative to actual medicine (Zee News reference in the page). The Telegraph has also published some pretty harsh criticisms of the CCRH's "trials" as a horrible waste of resources and failure to even reach the level of clinical trials they claim. The statements in the subsection just seem too positive compared to the reality of the failures of homeopathy, and it is sickening they waste money on this crap while at the same time moaning about how people cannot afford real treatments. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 17:57, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

"The organisation had moved the apex court following the doctor’s failure to convince the Union ministry of health and family welfare’s department `Ayush` and the Council to hold clinical trial of the drug for cancer treatment." [10] --Homeopath (talk) 17:42, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Yo, Carpetsmoker![edit]

(EC) It was a lame ass joke in an important, gold-brained article. Poor example of the excellent snark this community is capable of producing. Leave it out.--TheroadtoWiganPier (talk) 09:21, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

Cover story[edit]

(Please do not archive this section)

Shouldn't this be one of our randomly featured cover stories? ħumanUser talk:Human 15:34, 9 February 2009 (EST)

So what happened to this? Also, the two templates at the top look bad and move the actual content down way too much. --  Nx/talk  06:33, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
No one seems to have commented. I deleted the "bullshit" template, we really don't need that thing all over the place. I'm also going to work on streamlining the cover|approved one if no one has yet. Do you think this is cover-worthy? ħumanUser talk:Human 19:27, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
See my attempts in my sandbox (there's one variant in the top right corner too). The article is good, but I don't know how cover articles are decided here (do we have any criteria for that?) --  Nx/talk  19:37, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

I don't know of any criteria, but if we can put something in the article discussing any evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy that has been found, with disclaimers about study rigor when needed, I think it will be a good example of the work we hope to do here. BlueMoon 16:54, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

As I've just finished Bad Science, which has everything this article needs to know on the subject, I'll go through and do some cleaning and then it'll probably be worth of a cover article and I'd say "best of". Scarlet A.pnggnostic 15:21, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I've done some sprucing, and Trent seems to like it at least. Should we move this to cover story approved? Scarlet A.pnggnostic 19:30, 17 July 2009 (UTC)