I CHALLENGE ERNST: Part Three

In part one of this series I issued a challenge to the world’s first Professor of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Edzard Ernst, to prove his assertion that homeopathic are placebos by proving it by his own standards of what constitutes science: For every report of verum, show us one for placebo.
In part two I present the sole ad hominem assertion for the action of homeopathics.
In this part, I examine the claim for placebo more closely, present its solvent, and call for the question, challenging the opponents of homeopathy to create in a dialectic worthy of the academia he represents. if you can’t prove placebo, then stop making that assertion and start asking relevant questions.
We know the assertions of condemned evidence are never taken easily by invested reputations, and we know you know it. So why must we take each other as idiots?
If one someone  says he has seen something you consider to be implasuible, you are well within your rights not to believe him. But if million subscribe to it, even  scientists, who understand that it is implausible, then it bears further inspection. It deserves a personal test. But I don’t see that happening. Ernst won’t drink the dilute Kool Aid. He will not conduct a proving. Remember what he said? After more than a million dollars sunk into him and  his program, he doesn’t have enough money to conduct one.
In the skepticism of Edzard Ernst, are his assertions evoked from global standards, or are they local? What are his criteria for a scientific study? Can he contrast the failing of tests for homeopathy to similar tests for allopathic pharmaceuticals?
If he’s so sure of his position, then he should have no problem in asking basic questions about it.
What dimensions does he see for homeopathy? Why does he not include the biochemical tests in his review of homeopathy?
Aside from alleging placebo, Edzard Ernst’s quest is to dismiss selective evidence qualitatively without naming crtieria, and to ignore the rest.
Within his arguments there are a few hidden assumptions, as there must be in any a priori allegation. This trundles along benignly, but it is missing something. A skeptic who applies his Pyrrhic node globally doesn’t have much to say except “cast thy shadow not on me, the truth cannot be known by any man, it is all for naught.”
Well, if Ernst were to do that we could all admire him, give him some wine and leave him alone in his barrel. But it doesn’t end there. Ernst, like every local skeptic with a positive assertion must ineviatbly succumb to barrel fever and come boiling out of it with his own  hypocritcal version of the truth: Ernst says that the effects of homeopathics are due to “placebo.” That is his sole, ill-defined, vague thesis. That is the one incontrovertible statement of hard fisted, sure-to-the-bone belief of this “master scientist.” He knows from study, logic and law that homeopathics must have the avenue of the human mind to work their thaumaturgy, that they are not idiopathic substances like coals that lie alone in the pit and glow, no! They must have the engine and fire of the intellect to work their magic, for they have no power alone without the bellows of delusion.
However, there is a huge difference between the criteria in the case for homeopathy and the case against it.
In the case for it, the propositions are supported by trial, error and classical scientific terms. His are supported by little more than the criticisms he has levied on the evidence for verum.
His is a circular argument. It feeds on its own solipsism. We show him evidence, he denies it on grounds that there is no theory to support it. We show him theory and he denies it on the basis that there is no evidence to support it. And why is that again? Because there is no accepted theory in science to support he evidence . . yeah, but didn’t we just say . .

“NO!” he shouts.

Do you see the hypocrisy of his argument?
The deciding factor should be found in the specificity of the case. The truth has a rolling detail to it that in inspection gains in resolution, definition and concordance. Seven different types of biochemical tests logically dissolves the placbeo hyptohesis. Intermoelcular forces that constitute polymeric crystalliferous liquid aqueous structuring and the ensuing piezo electric effect define the theory of action.
The lies, however, that physical and dynamic indices don’t exist, that action is solely that of a placebo, lacks a corollary, is full of contradictions and is idiopathic.
But homeopathy is not idiopathic, not like its opponents want us to think. Homeopathy can not stand apart from science, and a diligent inspection of it shows that it does not. Homeopathy can be explained using current scientific terms, found mostly in supramolecular and crystal chemistry.

Next, a comparison of Edzard Ernst to Christian Science.

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27 comments on “I CHALLENGE ERNST: Part Three

  1. Dr Zorro says:

    There is no logical connection between the concept of proof in a court of law, ie innocent until proven guilty, and the concept of scientific proof. In Science it is up to the proponents of a theory to provide supporting evidence. It is not a principal of science that the null hypothesis has to be proved. Your linking of the two concepts is totally spurious and ridiculous.

    Like

  2. soroush1 says:

    Please do two things:

    1 – Go back to the 1991 BBC QED that demonstrated the effectiveness of a homeopathic remedy for the
    treatment of mastitis in a herd of dairy cows. It was double blind test and proved without any
    doubts the effectiveness of homeopathy.

    2- Go back to the 2005 BBC Horizon programme where they tried to replicate Prof Ennis’s work which
    was based on Jacque Beneviste’s work. The idea was to show the effects of Histamine solution of
    Basophiles with water as control.

    What they did was to serially dilute and succuss a vial of histamine and a vial of water – although
    they did not keep to Prof Ennis’s protocols.

    They then double blind marked these and their effects on basophiles were sent to two London labs for
    analysis.

    The results from the first half showed that almost half the diluted water samples had had an effect
    (degrannulation) on the basophiles – also half of the histamine samples had a similar effect.

    The results from the second lab was the mirror image of the first lab’s results.

    The programme presenters then made the conclussion that there was no difference between the diluted
    water and the diluted histamine solution and therefore there was no ‘homeopathic’ effect and James
    Randi’s money was safe.

    They failed to make two observations:

    1- The mirror imaging of results from the two labs indicates a strong possibility of error in
    labelling.

    Additionally it showed an unexpected result which was diluted & succussed water had affected the
    basophiles. Impossible as we would be dead if such an effect was true. But confirms the
    mislabelling possibility.

    2- The programme had shown degrannulation effect by extremely dilute histamine effect. Something
    that had been proved by many labs before the programme was made.

    They should have taken Randi’s money from him – but no one knows where this money is deposited and
    who are the trustees!

    I hope that you are able to double check the above facts for yourselves

    Like

    • johnbenneth says:

      Thanks to Soroush for this excellent work. And it should be emphasized that the inolvement of James Randi, a confessed, professional deceiver, with a bagetelle staked on the outcome should disqualify any results as scientific evidence. For instance, what if it had shown a positive result, the money awarded to someone, and then revealed that Randi had actualy been in the hire of Boiron’s industry all along, and that this was an extended canard to boost sales of homeopathic remedies? I know this sounds far fetched, but the point is that these TV trials are less demonstrative of proof than what inspires them, which is the classical literature on the subject. They are snesationalistic, are careless and show very little forensic method, “science. As Soroush had pointed out, there are unexplainable anomalies in these outcomes when Randi is involved.
      In 1999 I applied for Rnadi’s Challenge to prove homeoapthy, resulting in an exhaustive, hostile exchange with him that NEVER culminated in any real ocmmunication with the man. At NO POINT did anyone really show any interest in going over the published evidence and indices with me to work out a real protocol. It’s always been an adversary relationship with these bastards, with relentless attacks on the evidence, hypocritically, I might add, for nowhere do these TV trials appear in the form demanded by those who demand scientific proof for homeoapthy, i.e. they aren’t puhblshed in peer review. In every trial Rnadi has been assoicated with, the same thing happens, evdience o0f tampering with the RCT.
      Who sponsors the media? The pharmaceutical industry does, ad nauseam.

      Like

  3. Kaviraj says:

    People forget that Vision must come before Comprehension. You must perceive a thing before you can intellectually grasp it. Where vision is absent reason is helpless and logic a delusion and a snare.

    Like

    • Nigel says:

      The trick though is to tell vision from illusion.

      Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        Which you obviously are not capable of, and remain in the illusion you know anything. Your pharmaceutical examples are about failures only.

        So the illusion is yours and the vision is ours. Since we have the vision, we have the comprehemsion, which all your posts show you lack. Pathetic!

        Like

  4. Kaviraj says:

    You have not even read my post. The father was a homoeopath, and the records reveal he was sent to the Uk to establish homoeopathy. I have not distorted anything. You are distorting the facts. I never said Marie Curie practised homoeopathy.

    Like

    • Rob H says:

      M.Pierre Curie, the joint discoverer of radium comes of a good homeopathic stock.

      As if in a kind of reverse genetics, Pierre Curie’s scientific validity somehow rubs off of on his ancestors. That’s assuming that by “a good homeopathic stock” you don’t mean that Pierre Curie had been diluted to non-existence, thereby rendering him more powerful than we can imagine.

      Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        You cannot imagine anything. You lack the capacity. You are such a dry boor, it is no wonder you cannot refute anything. Pierre Curie was a homoeopath – no denial possible.

        Btw, where are your 200-plus reports that show we are wrong and you are right? Where is your proof, other than in your own eyes and in denial? You have lied and bluffed and I call out your lies and your bluff. Come on you fool, show us those 200 plus reports!

        Like

  5. Kaviraj says:

    It may be interesting to point out that M.Pierre Curie, the joint discoverer of radium comes of a good homeopathic stock. His father, with whom he now lives, is a retired hameopathic practitioner. His grandfather was the celebrated Paul Francis Curie, who, apparently on Hahnemann’s nomination, was induced by Mr. William Leaf to settle in England for the purpose of introducing homeopathy to the British public and to British medical men. Dr.Curie administered the first homeopathic dispensary in London under medical auspices; and, later, when the Hahnemann Hospital was established, he was appointed one of the physicians. There he delivered his well-known lectures. He died in London, and was buried in Norwood Cemetery.

    Like

    • Nigel says:

      As always, homeopaths distort famous people’s views on homeopathy to suit their agenda. Whilst Curie’s ancestors may well have dabbled with quackery, her own views tell a different story…

      Un medicine fort ordinaire, qui n’inspire aux familles qu’une mediocre confiance, il a le diagnostique hesitant et ne parait pas avoir une experience bien serious. Il est surtout homeopathie. Comme second medicine, il est suffisant mais dans les cas graves, je me croirai oblige d’avoir recours a un practicien plus habile et plus clairvoyant

      Which roughly translated means…

      A very common medicine, which does not inspire much confidence for families, it has a falting diagnostic and does not appear to have any serious experience. It is principally homeopathy. As a second medicine, it is sufficient
      but in severe cases, I think myself obliged to have recourse to a practitioner more skilful and perceptive.

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      • Kaviraj says:

        You quote, you say. Give us the source. You don’t. So you have no credibility. Who did you quote? The father, who was a homoeopathic doctor, or the son, who was not? Since that is not clear, we shall not even take the quote serious. You are the distorter.

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  6. Kaviraj says:

    In this connection I may refer to Drawin’s researches with the fly-catching plant, Drosera, or Sun-dew. Darwin found that solutions of certain salts of ammonia stimulated the glands of the tentacles and caused the latter to turn inwards. He made this solution more and more dilute, but still the plant was able to detect the presence of salt Darwin was almost frightened by his results. Writing to Dodders he says: –

    “The 1/4,000,000th of a grain absorbed by a gland clearly makes the tentacle which bears the gland becomes inflected; and I am fully convinced that 1-20,000,000th of a grain of the crystallised salt(i.e., containing about one-third of its weight of water of crystallisation) does the same. Now I am quite unhappy at the thought of having to publish such a statement.”

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  7. Kaviraj says:

    How, again are we to understand the therapeutic power exhibited by solutions of iodine and bromine which have apparently been diluted to the deprivation of all chemical action, unless we attribute to the living cell the power of liberating the iodine and the bromine from such dilute solutions? ”

    “By warming pure chlorate of pottasium we obtain pure oxygen, but the presence of the smallest quantity of chloride of pottasium is sufficient to change part of the oxygen into ozone. In giving rise to this development of ozone, the choride of pottasium remains itself completely unaltered; but, what is more remarkable yet, this chloride of pottasium itself has, like peroxide of manganese -which acts in an identical manner- the property of destroying ozone.”

    “As for the manifestations of therpeutic and toxic action by bodies considered to be insoluble, of which Nageli, in a posthumous work, has made so prefound a study, they are also capable of the simplest interpretations. The insolubility of these bodies is not absolute, but only relative. If we throw, for example, metallic copper into water and wait for some days, we shall find that a certain proportion of the copper has dissolved – i.e., one part to seventy-seven million parts of water. ”

    If Professor Stokvis can account for the power of copper to produce symptoms in the human body by its being soluble in 77,000,000 parts of water, where is he to stop? The only answer to this is, that there is no stopping anywhere. If “every atom extends throughout the whole solar system,” there is no possibility of our finding the limits of its capacity for being attenuated.

    But Professor Stokvis was far within the mark in ascribing an active power to a solution of the strength of one in seventy-seven millions. Dr. William P.Wesselhoeft, in a paper published in the Journal of Homeopathics of September 1898, tells how Nageli demonstrated the presence of an active copper force, which he termed Oligodynamis, in solutions ranging from one in 100,000,000 to one in 1,000,000,000. Nageli showed that when once a glass vessel has been “infected” with “oligodynamic water” it is almost impossible to get rid of the force by simply diluting it. “He distilled one litre of water in glass retorts, suspended four clean copper coins in this water during four days, and found that this solution killed his Spirogyra plants in a very few minutes. When this water was poured away, the glass rinsed and washed carefully, and again refilled with neutral water, the Spirogyra also died in a very short time. If, however, the glass was washed out with diluted nitric acid, and refilled with fresh neutral water, the plants flourished and remained healthy. This proved conclusively that a copper force was imparted to water from the walls of the glass vessel. Rinsing, washing, brushing and even boiling had little effect upon the glass; not until a mineral acid had been used did the glass vessel lose its oligodynamic properties. Again, he found that this oligodynamic water poured into a new, clean glass vessel transferred its poisonous properties to the walls of the glass, and this, in turn, was again able to medicate neutral distilled water. He says: – ‘Glasses with oligodynamic after-effects (nachwirkung), lose their power very slowly after being repeatedly refilled with neutral water, which is allowed into stand in them for a while, and somewhat more rapidly if they are boiled in neutral water.’ ” This refers to the direct action of the copper force on small vegetable organisms. But the human organism is infinitely more sensitive; and experience has shown that when dilution has been carried beyond the point of direct poisoning power, a health-restoring dynamics remains in undiminished force, which the homeopathic law enables us with certainly to direct.

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  8. Kaviraj says:

    http://www.bestdocresourceblog.info/?p=2378

    Homeopathy Rising in Popularity In The United States.

    Therefore, pharmaceutical companies often spend considerable sums to debunk claims that homeopathy works, using a variety of tactics of disinformation aimed at building confidence among the public that natural medicine is not effective in the treatment of Common Conditions.

    Even over there, disinformation is as rife as among the skeptics here in the UK. And that is all these so-called skeptics have – disinformation.

    Funny things is, that the so-called quackbuster operations there are also in the tank. Stephen Barrett has lost case after case and so they will do here in the UK. Why? Because they have no legs to stand upon.

    Like

  9. Kaviraj says:

    Here is some food for thought for the skeptics.

    The Blind Men and the Elephant
    by John G. Saxe

    It was six men of Indostan
    To learning much inclined,
    Who went to see the Elephant
    (Though all of them were blind),
    That each by observation
    Might satisfy his mind.

    The first approached the Elephant,
    And happening to fall
    Against his broad and sturdy side,
    At once began to bawl:
    “God bless me! but the Elephant
    Is very like a wall!”

    The Second, feeling of the tusk,
    Cried, “Ho! what have we here
    So very round and smooth and sharp?
    To me ’tis mighty clear
    This wonder of an Elephant
    Is very like a spear!”

    The Third approached the animal,
    And happening to take
    The squirming trunk within his hands,
    Thus boldly up and spake:
    “I see,” quoth he, “The Elephant
    Is very like a snake!”

    The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
    And felt about the knee
    “What most this wondrous beast is like
    Is mighty plain!” quoth he:
    ” ‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
    Is very like a tree!”

    The Fifth who chanced to touch the ear,
    Said: “E’en the blindest man
    Can tell what this resembles most:
    Deny the fact who can,
    This marvel of an Elephant
    Is very like a fan!”

    The Sixth no sooner had begun
    About the beast to grope,
    Then seizing on the swinging tail
    That fell within his scope,
    “I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
    Is very like a rope!”

    And so these men of Indostan
    Disputed loud and long,
    Each in his own opinion
    Exceeding stiff and strong,
    Though each was partly in the right,
    And all were in the wrong!

    So oft in the scientific wars,
    The disputants, I ween,
    Rail on the utter ignorance
    Of what the others mean,
    And prate about an Elephant
    Not one of them has seen!

    Like

    • Guy Chapman says:

      Here’s a quote for you, then, from someone who Dana Ullmann asserts was a supporter of homeopathy:

      “You speak about Homœopathy; which is a subject which makes me more wrath, even than does Clair-voyance: clairvoyance so transcends belief, that one’s ordinary faculties are put out of question, but in Homœopathy common sense & common observation come into play, & both these must go to the Dogs, if the infinetesimal doses have any effect whatever. How true is a remark I saw the other day by Quetelet, in respect to evidence of curative processes, viz that no one knows in disease what is the simple result of nothing being done, as a standard with which to compare Homœopathy & all other such things.” — Charles Darwin

      Neither of these has any bearing on the lack of any credible scientific evidence for the core tenets of homeopathy, of course, but it makes for amusing banter.

      Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        Amusing banter is all you ever come up with, so I pay you back in the same coin. You have not proven anything. Darwin was very grateful for his cure by homoeopathy, as a matter of record. You just cherry-pick a quote. I reproduced the whole poem. You have still not proven scientifically that homoeopathy does not work. We have 200 years of proof and more than 1 billion SATISFIED AND CURED clients. Your pharmaceutical crap kills a million each year in the US alone! Refute us scientifically, and not just by denial. You prate about an elephant you have never seen and cannot understand. You are just a narrow-minded bigot.

        Like

      • Guy Chapman says:

        My amusing banter is at least better than your unamusing bluster I suppose…

        Like

      • Guy Chapman says:

        Incidentally, rampant dishonesty is one of the less attractive traits of homeopathy advocates. Darwin was not “grateful for his cure by homeopathy”, he attributed the health outcome to hydrotherapy and remained scornful of homeopathy even while obediently swallowing the sugar pills. This is abundantly clear in his correspondence.

        Also you claim of people “cured” is an example of begging the question. Had you said people who attributed their recovery in whole or in part to homoeopathy you would be correct, even though this would be evading the vexed issue of whether such attribution is accurate and if so due to what mechanism. Even if half the population of the planet attributed some cure to homeopathy it would not address the fundamental questions over mechanism.

        As always you propose Magick where an alternative and simpler explanation consistent with all other knowledge is available. You might like to look up Occam’s Razor some time. Wikipedia has a good definition, as it does for placebo effect, homoeopathy and scientific method. Maybe you’d get spanked less often if you clued up a bit 🙂

        Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        You spank nobody but yourself, you silly masochist. You have still not come up with your 200 plus refutations of the reports I posted. You are a useless pathetic boor. You have no argument, cannot refute anything I wrote apart from your eternal narrow-minded denial.

        You have neither the intelligence nor the schooling to understand homoeopathy, let alone any capacity to discuss it. Hence your perpetual mantra that it does not work, contrary to all evidence by the users, the records in epidemics and the pacts presented in scientific reports by reputable scientists in reputable peer-reviewed journals – the exact same ones you demand they be published in.

        The only one getting whipped is you. Wikipedia? don’t make me laugh. Just as biased as you and your ill-assorted club of clamoring clowns. Your lack of decent posts with reputable scientific papers refuting what we say is for all the world to see that you have no legs to stand upon – you can’t, with both feet in your mouth.

        Like

  10. Guy Chapman says:

    You are reversing the burden of proof. The placebo effect is known to exist and does not require proof, although it would be useful to understand its mechanism. Homeopathy embodies a number of concepts which are fundamentally at variance with scientific knowledge, you have to show how it works in a way consistent with what we know about chemistry, physics and physiology.

    The onus is on you to prove that homeopathy has some unique mechanism, and to demonstrate what it is, not the other way around. Otherwise I could sit here and demand you prove that the earth is not run by Zetans or some other such crackpot notion. You profess ot understand science and want to engage scientists, the first thing you have to learn is where the burden of proof lies. It lies with you.

    Like

    • Kaviraj says:

      You are the one reversing the burden of proof. You charge us guilty – PROVE IT! We are innocent until PROVEN guilty. Yet you are unable to prove it and try to make us guilty until proven innocent. The usual circular argument of all your quasi skeptics is too pathetic for words.

      Like

      • Guy Chapman says:

        No, I charge you with peddling an extraordinary and unproven theory. That it is unproven is demonstrably true: for example, where in the literature is the proof that arbitrarily empirically chosen similars will, in high enough dilutions, affect symptoms at the gross level? I have never seen any homeopath offer any evidence for this other than Hahnemann’s own word or homeopathic “provings”, which are worthless due to confirmation bias and not in any case extensible to the general case. If homeopathy is scientifically valid then it will be perfectly possible to come up with an objective rule that will select the appropriate similar for a new symptom. I have seen no such rule, only assertions based on yet more provings (i.e. yet more confirmation bias).

        You have chosen to play on the field of science. You have to understand the rules and play by them. Reversing the burden of proof and proof-by-assertion are invalid in this world. Unfortunately, they seem to be the only tools ion homeopathy’s box.

        Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        Note your words:

        “No, I charge you with peddling an extraordinary and unproven theory.”

        Prove it is unproven. 200 years of practical application prove you wrong on all counts. You charge, you prove. Yet you cannot other than denying the facts. It works, regardless your denial. Prove it does not work. you are the one charging. That means you tell us we are guilty.

        Any court of law demands you prove first that we are guilty. You have proven nothing. You just assert things without any understanding – the usual pathetic excuse for scientific proof.

        Like

      • Guy Chapman says:

        You really have no concept of the scientific method do you? I have told you several times in detail what parts of your purported science are missing. Start with:

        * A general, predictable and objectively testable proof of the “law of similars”

        * A general, predictable and objectively testable proof of the “law of infinitesimals”

        Otherwise you are just painting the windows of a house that is condemned due to subsidence.

        You’re making claims for something that runs counter to everything we know in several quite well-understood fields. In 1796 you could get away with /ipse dixit/ pronouncements on the mechanisms of disease and cure because nobody knew any better. Now we do. We know what bacteria and viruses look like and we can attack and often kill them.

        In that time there has been precisely zero progress in providing scientifically credible explanations for the core tenets of homeopathy. You fall back on a very small number of highly specific instances where highly dilute solutions can be shown (though not always reproducibly) to produce some effect, but that is a very long way indeed from proving the fundamental tenets of your belief system.

        Now you could become like the Scientologists, admit it’s a religion and claim tax relief. That way at least you’d escape the wrath of those who perceive you as quacks and snake-oil salesmen. But you choose to play on the field of science. Learn the rules and play by them. You chose the arena, you can’t then change the rules to suit your purposes.

        Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        You still do not understand, do you? How puerile to make objections, whether in good faith or in ignorance, to the methods of Hahnemann conducted according to the strictest inductive method of reasoning, governed by facts and pure observation on the prover as well as on the sick! It must be that there is a woeful lack of courage, or a want of love for healing.

        You have no clue and are pathetic. You claimed to have a report for each of the ones I quoted. Where are they? I have not seen any. I know why. Because they don’t exist and you are simply bluffing. I call your bluff and you repeat your charge, not backed up by any scientific evidence.

        You are making the accusations, now PROVE THEM. All you have is puerile denial.

        Kill the bacteria and viruses? What a joke! The greatest problem you have is that you cannot kill them, because they have become resistant! So you are the one making false claims! Who has no concept of the scientific method? You and your ilk have not got a clue. LOL so pathetic! You present the failures of modern pharmaceutical quackery as scientific method and success, whereas it is only failure!

        Which brings us to the point that failure shows it is NOT SCIENTIFIC, because the real science does not fail.

        Homoeopathy has not failed for 200 years, because the science was worked out properly. Pharmaceutical quackery must find ever-newer, ever more powerful poisons to even try to kill a few bacteris and viruses. And fail in that again and again, in the process killing the patients by the millions. As I said, pathetic!

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