CAN SCIENCE PROVE HOMEOPATHY? Similia

A Journal commentator who goes by the name Madgav writes:

It does sound as though you’re suggesting that, because science does not explain everything, we should act as though it explains nothing.

“Like produces like. Dogs come from dogs, humans from humans, etc.
Like attracts like. We don’t see that humans are attracted to monkeys, apart from a few exceptions and that in a very limited way.
Like imitates like. We don’t see the donkey playing lion.
Like cures like, as homoeopathy always proves.
Like neutralises like. The antidote will always neutralise the effect of the previous remedy.”

This was a particularly interesting series of assertions:

To clarify then, your ‘like comes from like’ comment would seem at odds with evolution (dolphins coming from terrestrial mammals etc). ‘Like attracts like’ you already debunked… ‘like imitates like’ denies mimicry and ‘like neutralises like’ seems to ignore the basic principles of chemistry (for example, acid neutralising base).

Obviously ‘like cures like’ is a central tenet of homeopathy. But I have yet to see anyone with vomiting respond better with ipecac than they do with metoclopramide.

Could you perhaps expand on your thoughts here? Your post did read like a ‘stream of consciousness’ and a little clarification would perhaps aid comprehension.

John Benneth responds

Dear Madgav,

Actually, what I’ev been saying to both the ske[ptic andhomeoapth alike is that homeopathy can be explained in terms of classical science. Not quantum, but nuts and bolts material science, and that if you look for it, you can find examples that simply haven’t been hooked up to homeopathy yet. 

It is the prevailing assumption of those who oppose homeopathy, and most homeopaths have unfortuantely believed them.

I have rule: Don’t believe the opposition. Not a word. They’re either stupid or flat out lying, the second includes the first. That it is idiopathic, that its principles cannot be found outside of it in classical science, is a lie that has been racing around now for decades.

Reception follows not without knock: Whether or not homeopathy can be explained by the material sciences is one of the world’s most important questions, for if such elegance, surviving the relentless attack of allopathy, can at last be described in the language of classical science, then the stage is set for a massive shift in the practice of  internal medicine. The only way to know is to ask. Is there a classic analog to similia similibus curentur? The door opens. There is.  The action of llike cures like can be seen chemically and energetically, as well as biologically.
Madgav here, for example has already stuck his neck out about it. He assumes there isn’t anything in the normal view of it that could  explain the Hahnemannian hypothesis that like cures like, even though he’s unoubtedly heard that y0u can fight fire with fire, and he’s probably been told numerous times to pick on somebody his own size, because if he would, he’d get his clock cleaned, as I’m about to do.

Water is the universal solvent, technically a polar protic solvent. In chemistry, observing the aciton of solvents we see that like dissolves like. In that more people who want to argue the paradox of homeopathic medicine aren’t aware of these principles or simply haven’t applied what they know from observing and experiencing it, shows a basic error in allopathic thinking, that errors must always be corrected by the mass action of opposing forces.

Protic means that it is capable of donating a hydrogen ion. Polar means that it is has magnetically opposing poles, the hydrogen end of the water molecule having two positives, the opposite end two negative ones. We also know that the simillimum principle in homeopathy of like cures like also has an analog in the magnetic law that says opposites attract, while like repels like.

Vaccines are a prime examples of the use of non-dynamized type of homeopathy, although it would tehcnically be called isopathy, treating disease with an indetical agent.  which in the dynamic form is sometime used by homeoapths to open a case. isopahty works, but poorly compared to homeopathy. (Hahnemann, Hering)
The action of similia, in biology, is seen as a phenomenon called hormesis, also expressed as the Arndt Schultz law. Poisons that kill in large amounts have been found to stimulate in small amounts, which is exactly what Hahnemann discovered after cutting down material dosages of the substances used as medicines during his day
It was due to the abuses of the allopathic approach, which tries to correct problems by overwhelming them with substances that produce opposite symptoms, that led Hahnemann, an accomplished allopathic physician and chemist, to start cutting back dosages to his patients. This was after had  left the practice of medicine entirely,  in disgust, after seeing what the allopathic approach did to his patients.  But love of his children, and demand for his services is what led him back to medicine to begin experimenting with lighter dosages.
What he discovered was that even when by drastic dilution he had cut the dosage back to practically nothing, people were still reacting to it. Even when adminstering remedies that were well above the molecular limit, Hahnemann was disturbed to see people still aggravated by them. Only in the last years of his career in the developement of the fifty millesimal scale did he find a posology that appeared to be consistent with his oath to do no harm.

Early on Hahnemann  discovered that dilution of substances, which in their whole material form we’re medically inert, when made into crytallized extractions  by succussion and dilution became effective drugs with properties unsupected in their gross material form.
Lycopodium, made from the spores of the club moss, is a good example of dynamic caenogenesis, the creation of new symptomology from an inert substance by potentization. When dynamized, Lycopodium causes symptoms unknown in its gross form.  Dynamized Lycopodium, by the way, is what I see as the cyberskeptic’s remedy. The issues for cyberskeptics are bullying, cowardice and impotence, symptomology Lycopodium addresses, and is one of the Western world’s most common remedy patterns. Politicans, scientists, managers, American males have a great  number of Lycopodium types among them. According to Philip Bailey, MD, author of “Homeopathic Psychology,” you can walk into a science classroom and every one of them will be a Lycopodium. I have seen something similar, as has Kaviraj. I suspect, however, that genius level scientists are not Lycopodium, and I think BDJ is a prime example. 

Perhaps whoever is doing the chemtrail operation could be induced to add in a little . . oh,  never mind.  I myself have been characterized as a Lycopodium, although I have found Sulphur to have more dramatic relief. In review of my videos, one homeopath, noting drastic character changes in  presentation, said my simillimum appears to be molybdenum . . I have found that to be very insightful. Some of these homeopaths, like Kaviraj or Dr. Shashi Sharma of Hahnemann College in London, are so experienced they can see a person’s simillimum within moments of meeting them.
So now you have three natural orthodox corollaries of the central medical theme of homeopathy, one that is chemical and the other electromagnetic, and seen some examples of it.
Similia can be applied with having to use homeopathic remedies. Cooks know that when burned, if they hold the burn back over the heat briefly, it will help it to stop hurting quicker. If you have a cough, try a smoking a little tobacco. If you’re cold, try taking a cold shower . . or if hot, a hot one.
Similia suggests a whole new way of dealing with the world. Pushing the paradigm a little further is a good way to get it to correct itself.

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26 comments on “CAN SCIENCE PROVE HOMEOPATHY? Similia

  1. Kaviraj says:

    Point one. The remedies can be found in the materia medica, found at Google books. Search for Clarke’s Dictionary of Materia Medica, 3 vols. Then read through them and you will find it.

    In the process it may also provide you with the necessary education to at least understand the subject you are dealing with in a basic degree.

    First study the subject, because otherwise you talk only from ignorance. The result is, that your narrow bookkeeper’s mentality disables you from seeing clearly. Your thinking may be deep, but simply lacks clarity, because you do not understand the subject.

    Like

  2. ISayISaw says:

    Meanwhile, I see neither of the resident homeopaths has answered the questions I posed some time ago. Here they are again;

    You claim to have evidence of homeopathy’s efficacy against malaria, but it’s a secret. How many people were enrolled in the trial? How were blinding and randomisation performed?

    You are surely aware that homeopathy was not the only intervention used in the treated region of Cuba. Why do you claim that the reduction in the number of cases was due to homeopathy? I’ll now give you a hint for this one: list the other factors that were at play in the treated region during the study period.

    In both of these instances, there is no personalisation and individualisation of the remedy that is given. Nor is there any in the lab-bench experiments that you assert support homeopathy. Will you confirm explicitly that you do not require individualisation to be used in valid trials of homeopathy?

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    • Kaviraj says:

      Point two. Spurious claim, because the areas where homoeopathy was used, it was the sole intervention.

      Point three. Individualisation is done by genus epidemicus, which is a scientific concept also used in pharmaceutical quackery.

      Like

  3. Kaviraj says:

    And then this about your so-called evidence-based medicine”:

    Providing treatment to a patient that is not clinically needed and
    misleading patients as to the clinical need for a treatment so as to vitiate their
    consent can mean the administration of the treatment is a criminal
    offence: Appleton v Garrett (1995) 34 BMLR 23.
    According to The British Medical Association (‘BMA’) and The Royal
    Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) mumps vaccination is clinically
    inappropriate:-
    “Since mumps and its complications are very rarely serious there is little
    indication for the routine use of mumps vaccine”: British National
    Formulary (‘BNF’) 1985 and 1986
    Freedom of Information documents show the UK’s Joint Committee on
    Vaccination and Immunisation and Ministry of Defence agreed as early as 1974 that:-

    “there was no need to introduce routine vaccination against mumps” because
    “complications from the disease were rare” JCVI minutes 11 Dec 1974.
    “Doctors and nurses who fail to tell parents mumps vaccine in MMR is
    clinically unnecessary, of the exact risks of adverse reactions and then give
    the vaccine appear to be behaving unethically, potentially in contravention of
    the criminal law and liable to civil proceedings for damages. They are
    also unable to explain the exact risks because data on adverse reactions are
    not being collected properly or at all, and there is evidence showing
    adverse reaction data are suppressed.
    “A consequence is that giving MMR vaccine to children cannot be justified
    on clinical or ethical grounds. And as there is insufficient clinical
    benefit to children to introduce mass mumps vaccination, it cannot be justified
    as a general public health measure.”
    Wow! Thanks for the link. Ernst is pushing criminal behavior!

    Like

  4. Kaviraj says:

    “Until stronger evidence exists for the use of homeopathy in the treatment of asthma, we are unable to make recommendations about homeopathic treatment.”

    They are unable, but we are not. That is the difference. Beancounter’s work is not science. It is bookkeeper’s work.

    So you have how much? 5 studies against our 200. Pathetic, as I said so many times. You have all of 5 studies and we have quoted over 200. Your evidence is anecdotal at best. For the anecdote works both ways. So all you have is anecdotal evidence and when we come with the same you dismiss ours on that basis. Eat your own words now, because all you have is anecdotes – all whole 5 of them.

    Like

    • MadGav says:

      Kaviraj – these are systematic reviews, rather than single studies. For example, Shang et al was a meta-anaylsis of over 100 studies.

      A Shang, K Huwiler-Muntener, L Nartey, P Juni, S Dorig, J A Sterne et al., “Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy
      placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy”, Lancet 2005, vol
      366, pp 726–732

      As the Science and Technology Committee concluded:

      “In our view, the systematic reviews and meta-analyses conclusively demonstrate that
      homeopathic products perform no better than placebos.”

      In response to the various submissions from homeopathic organisations they added:

      “We regret that advocates of homeopathy, including in their submissions to our
      inquiry, choose to rely on, and promulgate, selective approaches to the treatment of the
      evidence base as this risks confusing or misleading the public, the media and policymakers.”

      Like

  5. MadGav says:

    Oh… and can I nudge you toward the report from the Science and Technology Committee, referenced above?

    Like

  6. MadGav says:

    Wow! Citing the Daily Mail in lieu of peer-reviewed scientific papers (and you suggest that *I* have nothing?)

    hxxp://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab000353.html

    This is the Cochrane review of homeopathic treatment of chronic asthma.

    I appreciate you might not like the use of Systematic Review, but I’m sure you’ll agree that the Cochrane Collaboration trumps the Daily Mail when it comes to scietific rigor.

    hxxp://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab004845.html

    “Until stronger evidence exists for the use of homeopathy in the treatment of asthma, we are unable to make recommendations about homeopathic treatment.”

    Negative effects of cancer treatment this time.

    This was a bit better. Here they looked at eight studies, two studies showed benefits, four showed no difference between homeopathy and placebo and the other two studies weren’t well designed enough to be included.

    hxxp://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab003399.html

    Homeopathy for inducing labour:

    “The review of trials found there was not enough evidence to show the effect of a homoeopathy as a method of induction. More research is needed.”

    hxxp://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab005648.html

    Homeopathy for the treatment of ADHD.

    “Overall the results of this review found no evidence of effectiveness for homeopathy for the global symptoms, core symptoms or related outcomes of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.”

    And finally:

    hxxp://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab003803.html

    Homeopathy for the treatment of dementia.

    “The researchers did not find any good quality trials and so cannot say whether it is or is not effective for treating this condition.”

    Like

  7. MadGav says:

    I agree completely that keeping an open mind is the only way to logically and accurately assess the evidence.

    Remember that the null hypothesis is that there is no difference between homeopathy and placebo (something that is often forgotten or misunderstood).

    The onus is on the experimenters to provide the proof, preferably by producing consistently repeatable experiment that show a statistically significant difference between remedy and placebo.

    Blinding is of especially importance, to avoid bias that can so easily lead to misattribution of any benefit seen.

    And please, can we dispense with this idea that doctors aren’t motivated by the desire to help/heal/care for their patients? If there was evidence that homeopathy was more effective and medicine then doctors would happily make use of it (not everyone with a medical degree can be a BigPharma shill).

    Like

    • Kaviraj says:

      The onus is on you people, who claim it is placebo. You make the assertion, now prove it. Don’t reverse the burden of proof. We need not prove anything, because 200 years of our pratise proves we are right. You make the claim, you prove it. Yet you have NOTHING!

      Like

      • MadGav says:

        Kaviraj, it doesn’t matter how many times you assert that it’s up to us to prove a negative… it still isn’t true.

        What you persist in doing is often referred to as the ‘fallacy of argument from ignorace’…

        Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        As I said, you have nothing.
        Only innuendo.
        Prove it.
        You can’t, so you have inane comments that make no sense.

        Like

  8. YOU says:

    From reading Goldacre’s Bad Science book and extensively talking about homeopathy in class, we concluded that homeopathy is not real science. We accept evidence based science because it has quantifiable data. I agree with the author here about homeopathy, and the statement about how science cannot prove everything, well of course it cant. There are many things science can and cannot prove and many things other things like religion or homeopathy cannot prove. Pretty sure homeopaths know of placebos and nocebos.

    and great blog btw 🙂 definitely a subscriber!

    Like

    • johnbenneth says:

      Dear You,
      Not to be contrary, but it is the running theme of this blog that science can indeed rationally explain how homeopathy works, and has plenty of evidence to prove it. But that isn’t covered in Goldacre’s book. They simply have you convinced that it doesn’t exist. The current blog entry shows that one Nobel prize winning laureate, Montagnier, has deomonstrated it in several indices, as have numerous other scientists.
      For an example of the evidence Goldacre is avoiding, he does not mention biochemical and biological studies that are free from the placebo effect. How can homeopathics be placebos if they effect plants? If you don’t want to believe the growing number of plant studies, why not put it to the test yourself?
      You see, Goldacre has to rely solely on reviews of reports of clinical trials that claim the stuies were done imporperly, to draw the conclusion that the results were becuase of the placebo effect, or try to convince you inthe case of non human trials that animals are subject to the placebo effect, while leaving out mention of the many biochemical tests that have been done that disprove placebo.
      Do not rely on one source of information, especially a book that is aimed at a general audience for which it makes conclusions. Consider what his motivations are. Does homeoapthy threaten his practice of medicine, or the business of his sponsors? Who are his sponsors? Who has a dog in this fight?
      Inorder for his argument to hang togther, Golddacre has to keep his audience focused on the idea that in order to have specific biological effects, a polar protic solvent such as water must contain a mass of heterogeneous molecules. He has to avoid admitting that polymeric formations in water can have specific biolgoiccal effects, or that these effect can be demonstrated in vitro.
      At some point in the argument you will see that GOldacre’s only position is one of denial. When we present the evidence, he has to deny it. In fact, the anti-homeoapthy crowd has yet to present one study that shows homeopathy is a placebo, NOT ONE! whereas we have presented 100s of studies that show it is real.
      If you keep asking questions and have an open mind, I am quite sure you will conclude that books like Goldacre’s are withholding information in order to make a sale and a point.
      Homeoapthy is quite real and the evidence proves it.
      When I was in England, Nobel prie winning physicist Brian Josephson invited Ben Goldacre to come to the Cavendish Laboratry at Cambridge to discuss the newly disvocered physics of the homeoapthic remedy with me and other physicists: Goldacre declined, sahying he was too busy . . wrtiing his book.
      Since I am based in the PNW, and the University of Waqshington is only a couple of hourse away, I would be happy to come to your Unviersity and participate in an open discussion about evidence for homeoapthic verum (the active ingredient of the homeoapthic remedy) and placebo.

      Like

    • Kaviraj says:

      You seem to be relying only on what you can see with the eye and hold between the fingers. That is bookkeeper’s work, to count, enumerate, classify and quantify. It is definitively not science, nor “evidence based”, since the evidence has been shot out of the water in the latest JAMA and BMJ journals.

      Like

  9. MadGav says:

    “I have rule: Don’t believe the opposition. Not a word. They’re either stupid or flat out lying, the second includes the first.”

    And therein lies the problem.

    If you don’t allow for the possibility that you might be wrong, then how can you expect to evaluate the evidence objectively?

    Like

    • Guy Chapman says:

      I think that’s one of the more telling points in this exchange. John and Kaviraj are basically accusing everyone else of their own worst faults.

      Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        No we apply the similia priciple to those that think they are the only ones being right. You need to look more often in the mirror – you will discover the similimum there.

        Like

      • MadGav says:

        That’s not really a meaningful response, Kaviraj.

        If you are closed to the possiblity that your own viewpoint might not be correct, (which is the logical consequence of not believing anything you opponent says), merely suggesting that your opponents are also closed minded does not mean that *you* are suddenly able to weigh evidence objectively yourself.

        Quite the contrary, you’ve already dismissed any evidence which might come from alternative viewpoints as being either a the testimony of a liar or someone you define as stupid.

        In all seriousness, does that sound like an objective method of determining the truth?

        Like

      • Guy Chapman says:

        Kaviraj, as far as I can tell the only principle you apply is exactly the one John describes: anyone who disagrees with you is necessarily wrong. That position is your worst enemy because absolute and uncritical belief in homeopathy is a minority and apparently declining. You have to engage those who disagree with you, and who might have different interpretations of the data, rather than dismissing them or hurling abuse, which has been all you’ve done thus far.

        Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        Both of you are bluffers. You have claimed you can prove we are wrong. All you have is assertions and nothing to back it up. You are both pathetic.

        Shoqw us Guy, what you promised to deliver, study for study that we are wrong. You have absolutely nothing and yet you come here and act as if you know something. Each post shows you know nothing, have nothing and can prove nothing and then start to fall over some words for anything better. The public reads this too and they see you are empty-handed.

        Like

      • MadGav says:

        Kaviraj, I notice that you haven’t addressed my question, I would be grateful if you would (rather than offering more personal attacks).

        To address the comments you made:

        I’ve never suggested that I could prove a negative (although I have pointed out that the burden of proof lies with those making extra-ordinary claims).

        I’m sure you’re familiar with Russell’s teapot.

        The most recent and well-researched evidence I could find was the House of Common’s Science and Technology Committee report (Evidence Check 2:Homeopathy)

        http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/45/45.pdf

        Like

      • Guy Chapman says:

        Kaviraj, you have asserted before that I promised “study for study” – I do not recall any such thing. Either point out precisely where, or apologise, please.

        I remind you: as the parties advancing claims, which go against established scientific principles, you and John are the ones who carry the burden of evidence. In other words, you have to explain in scientifically credible terms and by reference to objectively repeatable and falsifiable experimental data, how the laws of similars and infinitesimals are supposed to work. That is the absolute bare minimum you need to do in order to be taken seriously outside the true believer community.

        Like

        • johnbenneth says:

          Guy, you DID say words to that effect. You’ve become famous here for them. You said, or at least implied, that for every scientific report we have showing the effects and action of these substances, you have one debunking it. Challenging that assertion has basically been the theme of this entire discourse, that in response to the evidence presented by workers investigating homeopathy, the people who attriubte the action of these substances to psychogenic effects have nothing of the same quality of reporting as evidence for support. How many times do we need to present this to you before you concede the point?
          It should be crystal clear to anyone who’s been following this blog, in lieu of presenting ANY evidence for the now DISPROVEN placebo hypothesis, or even acknowleding the body of literature that disproves it, you have been been desperately struggling to change the subject and make other accusations. You can”t nail us on one thing so you go on to other things that you think you can.
          This is why “skeptics” aren’t winning the argument, and why what you and the organized anti-homeopathy movement contitutes harassment and a tortious interference in in commerical trade.

          The proof that you’ve lost the argument can be found in a large number of pharmacies that carry these products under governemnt regulatory sanction.

          “In 1994, 69% of chain drugstores and 3000 independent pharmacies in the US stocked homeopathic medicine. (3) . .

          “In the United States, since 1938, all homeopathic medicines included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia have been regulated as drugs under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. (63) However, they are exempt from a 1962 amendment requiring that all new drugs provide clinical trial data supporting safety and efficacy to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before the drug can enter the market.
          “Prior to January 2004 in Canada, homeopathic medicines were regulated as drugs under the Canada Food and Drugs Act and were issued drug identification numbers (DIN) by Health Canada. Since then, these products have been moved to the Natural Health Product Regulations. National Health Products are still technically drugs at the level of the Act. Rather than DIN numbers, since 2004, they have been issued DIN-HMs, which are drug identification numbers for homeopathic medicines. (64)
          Taken together, it is clear that North American regulatory bodies view homeopathic products as drugs. According to many pharmacist codes of ethics, pharmacists have a professional mandate to be knowledgeable about substances regulated as drugs in order to most effectively counsel their patrons–regardless of their personal feelings on the matter, (eg, Ontario65), thereby strengthening the argument for pharmacists to know about homeopathy.”
          Am J Pharm Educ. 2007 February 15; 71(1): 07. Where Does Homeopathy Fit in Pharmacy Practice? Teela Johnson, HonBSc and Heather Boon, BScPhm, PhD
          University of Toronto, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
          READ IT AGAIN: “North American regulatory bodies view homeopathic products as drugs.” !!!!
          The argument is settled. It’s over, Guy.
          And so regarding your continuing arguing, harassment, obfuscation and accusations, I’m telling you to KNOCK IT OFF. You’re not welcome here anymore with your harassing.
          GET LOST!

          Like

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