HOMEOPATHY EVIDENCE CHECK 2010

Here we go again. Journal arguer MADGAV writes about “Evidence Check,” the Parliament hearing held last year in the UK, condemning homeopathy:

“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.’

Okay, that’s definitely a gotcha for the opponents of homeopathy, if it has any creidb ility to it. So let’s take a closer look at it.
Here is the review of the House of Commons report by Earl Baldwin of Bewdsley, of the Upper House , entitled, “Observations on the report Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee,” dated February 2010.

Lord Bewdley writes,

“2.3. The exaggeration by the Committee of Shang’s conclusions is worrying. It is difficult to see how a weakly supported positive effect, for which one explanation (possibly well-founded) is a placebo effect, can be translated into a conclusive demonstration of this effect, with a “devastatingly” negative finding. No such firm claims can be found in Shang, who writes of finding “no strong” evidence, or “little” evidence, and who ends his paper with cautions about methodology and about the difficulty of detecting bias in studies, as well as the role of possible “context effects” in homeopathy.

“2.4. The Committee’s overstatement is not helped by claiming Government support for its interpretation in paragraph 70, based on the Minister’s concession of no “credible” evidence that homeopathy works beyond placebo. If he meant persuasive evidence – and his guarded support for further research [75] supports this – that shows a confusion by the Committee between absence of evidence and evidence of absence. If however he was saying that all evidence was negative, this as Prof. Harper correctly stated [71] runs counter to the
message from most reviews up to and including Shang, which is one of primary studies of insufficient quantity, rigour, size, homogeneity and power to give clear-cut answers.”

In addition, a review of the literature in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education concurs with the Bewdley review. This review says Shang “has been highly criticized for being methodologically flawed on many levels. Of particular concern, the researchers eliminated 102 of 110 homeopathic trials and based their conclusions on only the 8 largest high-quality trials without clearly identifying the criteria by which these trials were selected or the identity of these trials. Odds ratios calculated before the exclusions (on all 110 trials) do not support their ultimate conclusion that homeopathic interventions are no better than placebo.
Google,
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

Bewdley, supported by Johnson, raises a serious question about the bias in the House of Commons assessment that can be easily seen in unbiased reviews by truly critical reviewers of homeopathy, such as the pharmacists and Bewdley of the Upper House. Why did the Committee rely on a meta analysis known to be spurious? That’s a huge admission. Is that why Evan Harris, who led the the hatchet job, lost his seat in Parliament?
What I, John Benneth, am presenting here is leading to a criminal indictment of Harris, Goldacre, Ernst and a host of others, to be presented in my next blog.
Read on. It gets worse for the homeopathy haters. Bewdley goes on to say,

“5.2. It is not easy to see why a journalist doctor (Ben Goldacre) was invited to appear in preference to some other non-representative contributors to the inquiry. The written submission by Dr. Goldacre [Ev. 8] was notably short on supporting evidence, but contained unqualified statements on the ineffectiveness of homeopathy, forcefully expressed (“extreme quackery” was mentioned). By contrast, the submission by the Complementary Medicine Research Group from the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York presented a wellargued summary with 68 references [Ev. 143]. In this appears the statement

“To date there are eight systematic reviews that provide evidence that the effects of homeopathy are beyond placebo when used as a treatment for [five childhood conditions]”. This claim from a mainstream academic centre, rated joint first nationally for health services research in the latest Research Assessment Exercise, stands in stark contradiction to Prof. Ernst’s referenced claims, noted above, and to Dr. Goldacre’s unreferenced statements. It would have been illuminating if the Committee had probed the Group about this, face to face as a witness, and attempted some resolution before agreeing in unequivocal terms with the two witnesses who were invited to appear and were quoted favourably.
“ The Committee criticised the supporters of homeopathy for their ‘selective approaches’ to evidence [73]. They could fairly be accused of the same.
Unfortunately they did not (presumably) have the scope to solicit the views of Dr. Linde from Germany, which would have differed from those of Prof. Ernst with regard to the evidence.”

Wow! This guy Bewdley paints the anti-homeopathy clowns out to be a pack of sleazy scheming liars.
Of the evidence the Committee reviewed, Bewdsley says in 7.1,

“The Committee however has been less than rigorous in its approach to this evidence. Its choice of witnesses favoured a medical media opponent of homeopathy over a research centre of excellence. It was unwise to rely heavily on the interpretations of one professor of CAM (Edzard Ernst), some of whose statements are unsound or in conflict with other statements of his, and who is not without his critics in the worlds of research and academia whose views were given less prominence. The 2005 review by Shang et al has been inaccurately represented as ruling out specific effects of homeopathy, in a summary statement by the Committee that goes beyond present evidence.

“The Committee’s own statements show confusion between unconvincing evidence of a specific effect and disproof of it. The true risk profile of homeopathy, compared with conventional treatment, was not considered.

“7.2. These limitations make the Committee’s report an unreliable source of evidence about homeopathy. The jury must still be regarded as out on its efficacy and risk/ benefit ratio. Whether more research should be done, and of what kind, is another question. But there can be no ethical objection to it since the principal questions.”
You guys are getting fined billions for the poison you’re peddling,, and you’re busy trying to make some other form of legal medicine look bad? What’s wrong with you? Are they paying you to post the crap you’re writing or are you just naturally stupid?
Madgav, why are you doing this? This is a serious matter. If you really believe in what you’re digging up and writing about, then why aren’t you using your real name in presenting it?
Is “Madgav” what he appears to be, a shill for allopathy?
The oppostion to homeopathy is not about belief. It’s about getting paid.
If “Madgav” is not as stupid as he’s making him or herself out to be, then how does he reconcile these two groups, one a recognized legal doctrine supported by tradition and law, and the other representing opposing interests that rely solely on known fabrications? Real medicine vs. the Evil Empire of racketeers, merchants of death.
Answer in the next blog . .
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76 comments on “HOMEOPATHY EVIDENCE CHECK 2010

  1. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone
    and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
    My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    Like

  2. Kaviraj says:

    Quoting Ben Goldacre? Bwahahaha! He rehashes the reports of others and acts as if he wrote it himself. He is soooo transparent! And so are you. Drunks from the pub, that is all you people are. Go back there and become a little more inebriated. Your reading skills show everyone that you are what I called you. Then go back to Big Pharma and rail against them, because they are much worse than anything you can imagine.

    “As for the problems with pharma companies. Yes – there are many horrible and very serious problems there.”

    Those are the ones you should rail against. Those are the ones that should get your hackles up, with the JAMA and BMJ calling all RCT’s into question. I.o.w. those problems are massive.

    We have no problems at all, comparably. If you had any sense of integrity yourself, you would know that we are MUCH MORE careful than any pill-pusher, who writes a thoughtless prescription after 3-5 minutes. Homoeopathic interviews take an hour. Yet you have the arrogance to ask me about ethics, of which your questions shows you have none.

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    • MadGav says:

      Kaviraj, where does that 1 death in 20 years (worldwide) come from?

      What constitutes a death due to homeopathy? Because I think we’d both agree there won’t be any direct harm from the remedy itself. But, how do you measure indirect harm?

      If someone has a cardiac arrest, for example, and you’re unable to restart their heart with homeopathy, is that a homeopathic death… or just a death?

      Oh, and could you please explain how you judge the worthiness of individual studies?

      Like

    • Nigel says:

      Since my previous post looks like it was accidentally deleted, can I ask you again to provide one example of where Ben Goldacre has rehashed an article. Can you point to one of Ben’s and then show the original he copied?

      Or are you making things up again?

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  3. Kaviraj says:

    Your unthinking reply is of the calibre you assign to me. Here is the crucial quote:

    “To think you only have had 1 death in 20 years shows a staggering blindsightedness.”

    What I said – if you would be a careful reader, which you are obviously not – is that homoeopathy (all of it) had one death in 20 years attributable to the practitioner.

    Yet you think I am talking about myself only. The typical response of someone who likes nothing better than to hear himself pontificate and blather on about a subject he knows nothing about. Skeptic in the pub, I bet.

    You will be pleased to hear that pure alcohol has been turned into a homoeopathic remedy. In fact, the data from its ‘proving’ (homeopathic drug trial) shows that in homeopathy’s ‘like treats like’ manner, homeopathic alcohol treats symptoms very similar to those of drunkenness. The symptoms that came out of that proving included:

    * Exhilaration with laugher and talkativeness,
    * Loss of inhibition
    * Feeling of floating,
    * Desire to enjoy oneself,
    * Practical joking and immaturity
    * Lying, stealing, lack of morals
    * Aggression, desire to hurt others, rage,
    * Confusion, misunderstanding, forgetfulness,
    * Increased sensitivity of senses which is either hypnotic or irritating
    * Desire to be alone because of confusion or increased sensory sensitivity
    * Poorly coordinated, awkwardness, clumsiness
    * Depression – sadness that one’s life is not playing out as it should,
    * Craving caffeine, alcohol, drugs or other stimulants,
    * Looking for stimulation through activities such as fast driving or listening to loud music.

    Now, before you race off and buy some homeopathic alcohol to take to the next session, let me tell you a little more.

    Homeopathic alcohol will do a mighty job of putting things right but only if your symptoms, and those of your companions, are similar to the ones above. If they are, then homeopathic alcohol is an excellent match for your ‘symptom totality’, as homeopaths like to call it, and will be of enormous help.

    On the other hand, if these alcohol-related symptoms are just a part of what you suffer because symptoms from other health complaints also bother you, your symptom totality will then be very different and need an entirely different remedy. Alas, the homeopathic alcohol will be of no help whatsoever!

    And please don’t think that homeopathic beer will turn foolish men into solvers of the world’s problems, for this delusional symptom is only caused by the excessive consumption of beer. Taken in appropriate doses, homeopathic remedies of beer or anything else, will only normalise symptoms and return the sufferer to health. They cannot turn delusions into reality.

    I realize this may not be the news you are hoping to hear but do not despair. You will find a good homoeopath to help you out in your neighbourhood too.

    Like

  4. Nigel says:

    Kaviraj

    Your response is exactly the sort of aggressive and unthinking attitude I am talking about when I say homeopaths do not take their responsibilities seriously. A considered response would tell me how you know you do more good than harm, how you keep records, do trials, monitor adverse events and so on.

    To think you only have had 1 death in 20 years shows a staggering blindsightedness. Homeopathy propaganda is so full of the belief that it is safe that you act as if you do not need to consider safety. Even if homeopathy was effective, are you telling me that there are no incompetent homeopaths out there who have made mistakes? How would you know? You have no proper structures in place to monitor this or correct problems.

    As for the problems with pharma companies. Yes – there are many horrible and very serious problems there – but you will find many skeptics actively reporting them. See, for example, Ben Goldacre’s review of the year, or Skeptics in the Pub meetings. But the errors of others does not mean you can ignore the problems with your own ethics.

    And calling me ‘an arrogant little prick’. What do you think that suggests to readers here about your own standards of ethics?

    Like

  5. ISayISaw says:

    These questions remain unanswered. I will repeat them again;

    1. In your definitive trial of homeopathy for malaria, how many people were enrolled and how were blinding and randomisation performed?

    2. List the other factors that were at play in the treated region of Cuba during the leptospirosis study period.

    3. Will you confirm explicitly that you do not require individualisation to be used in valid trials of homeopathy?

    Like

  6. Kaviraj says:

    We pay attention to our clients – they are after all, the centre of investigation and not the numbers generated from a machine. You have no idea what it is to be a doctor, so you now claim to have the audacity to tell me my business?

    You could not survive 5 minutes in my boots, before your knees would begin to knock and you would be crushed under the weight. Yet you are the one to teach me how to walk in those boots? Arrogant little prick!

    Like

  7. Kaviraj says:

    “I think what shocks critics of homeopathy is how little that burden of responsibility appears to be taken seriously by homeopaths.”

    We take no responsibility? Bwahahaha!

    We have 1 death in 20 years.

    Your pharmaceutical quackery does not take any responsibility and kills 1 million people a year in the USA alone! You should be shocked by that lack of responsibility, but we don’t hear them from you. After all, you cannot bite the hand that feeds you, regardless they are convicted criminals – not once, but repeat offenders.

    You come here to post the above quoted inanities. You have nothing and present your faked outrage as if it has any significance. Let me tell you, its transparacy for hypocrisy is terribly abundant. You guys are a joke, incapable of discussing science. Mere bookkeepers, who do not understand science. Beancounters and nothing else. And always counting the wrong beans and then claim you have proof. You lie and obfuscate for lack of decent arguments, never answer any questions other than with denial. Never seen such a narrowminded bunch of dupes. In the parlance of those who understand the matter – useful idiots.

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    • MadGav says:

      Kaviraj, where does that figure of one death in twenty years come from? Is it worldwide, UK only or through your personal practice?

      The reason I ask, is because this link (http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html) would seem to be at odds with your assertion.

      Like

      • johnbenneth says:

        More of the flaming hypocrisy and lies from the Allopathy Science Shill Holes.
        I’ve checked out that phony site and they’re all anecdotal reports. I don’t see one case where it could be desginated as “death by homeopathy.” In these anecdoctes the author simply equated the taking of homeopathic medicine with cause of death.
        I invite readers here to take a good look at What’s the Harm and come to their own conclusion­s.
        ChristyRed, a commenter on the Huffington Post has this to say about “What’s the Harm” website:
        “It’s a skeptic site most likely sponsored by a drug company. The site attempts to place the blame for 43 deaths on homeopathy­. After a thorough reading of the back-up material the site itself presents on each case it becomes clear that:
        1) Some of these people never used homeopathy at all.
        2) The site confuses other systems of medicine with homeopathy and attribute their deaths to homeopathy­.
        3) Some of the people used convention­al medicine first and turned to homeopathy
        when that failed. (There should be a What’s the Harm for convention­al
        medicine. The list of names would sink a battleship­.

        The site even blames President Harding’s death on homeopathy­. The problem here is that his body was never autopsied so we don’t even know what he died of. Could another system of medicine have saved his life? Who knows. This site certainly doesn’t.”

        I took a closer look at the Harding story. The claim is that Hardings physician, Dr. Charles Sawyer, was a homeopath, the implication being that if he wasn’t treated by a homeopath he wouldn’t have died, and so homeopathy was his cause of death, presumably because the homeopathic treatment supplanted some other, better treatment.
        Keep that last sentence in mind when you read this:

        “When Harding suffered a bout of food poisoning from tainted crab meat at Cordova, Alaska, Doc Sawyer ultimately weakened the president’s sick heart by treating him with heavy doses of purgatives to flush out the toxins. On Aug. 2, 1923, when Boone was out of the sickroom in San Francisco’s Palace Hotel, Sawyer plied one too many purgatives – in Florence’s presence – and Harding died.”

        So in this one report, the allopathy shills poison their well. Harding didn’t die of homeoapthic treatment, HARDING DIED OF ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT! Bwahahahaha!
        THE USE OF “HEAVY PURGATIVES” IS NOT HOMEOPATHIC!
        You lose again, Allopathic Science Shill hole!

        How ironic. The complaint about homeopathy is underdose, not ovedose. And yet in a list of deaths falsely attributed to homeoapthy, you can read it here or you can read it there, Harding died of an OVERDOSE of a “purgative.” What homeopathic authority claims the use of purgatives, heavy or otherwise? In fact, the abuse of heavy purgatives was one of the reasons Hahnemann and those who followed him denounced the medicine of the day and became homeopaths. Nothing much ahas changed. The cite “What’s the Harm”, as well as the homoepathy haters who relentlessly dog this list for the drug compnies, certainly don’;t EVER speak of the the countless lawsuits againnst the drug compnies for the use of statin, malaria, psychotic, weight loss et al drugs that aare killing people daily. Look for youself at worstpills.org. It’s mindblowing . . but lets get back to this crummy list they’re touting. After scanning a century’sworht of newspaper, all they could omce up with are these 43 phony stories.
        It proves my point once again. never take what presented by the homeopathy haters as being true until you’ve thorughly checked it out.IN ever case I’ve found them to be based on a fallacy, myth, fiction, or just palin old fashioned lie.
        Take the Harding case for example:
        If Harding was being treated for food poisoning with real homeopathy, without individualiing the case and using clinical reference alone, forfood poisoning Dr. Shaw would have most likely given President Harding a low dilute of Pyrogenium, I would suggest in the decimal range of dilution. Pyrogenium is a product of the decomposition of chopped lean beef in water, allowed to stand in the sun for two or three weeks.
        However, other evidence suggests that Harding died of a heart attack. A better solution homeoapthically would have been to have treated him for that, and in his final condition, aconite.
        Sawyer may have claimed to be a homeopathic physician, but obviously he was not. And Harding was overeating, smoking drinking and screwing his way to an early grave. The reports say he was already having trouble, was being treated by other physicians, his lips were turning blue prior to that big plate of steaming crab meat slathered in butter, what Sawyer thought gave him food poisoning. His late night parties playing poker, getting wasted without compensating exercise couldn’t haleped much either. What homeopathics Harding did take probably were accountable for keeping him alive a lot longer than what should have been expected. He was 58 when he died.
        And its all homeoapthy’s fault. It’s probably what killed every President before and after Harding. In fact, I bet every dead person died with a tube of homeopathic pills in his hand. That[‘s how we won both world wars. We bombed them with homeopathy. The bombs that blew up Hiroshima and nagasaki were homeoapthic.It’s magenetic medicine, you can’t help but take it. Your hand just goes there and the little pills just fly put out fo the bottle and into your mouth. You don’t need to use rat poison, use homeoathy and the mice will laugh themselves to death while the cat get individualized treatment, and then runs out in the street and gets hit by a car.

        Like

      • MadGav says:

        “I invite readers here to take a good look at What’s the Harm and come to their own conclusion­s.”

        I think that’s excellent advice… it’s a shame that you decided to throw unsubstantiated accusations at the site’s owners after such a promising start.

        Seriously, why do you suggest that everyone who questions homeopathy must be a Big Pharma shill? Can you see of no possibility that someone could question the science behind this discipline without being paid to do so?

        Anyway, for those wishing to read and make their own minds up, the FAQ section is a good place to check, (it also addresses most of your comments, John).

        No idea about Sawyer, but Homéopathe International seem to think he was a homeopathic physician.

        http://homeoint.org/photo/s2/sawyer.htm

        Like

        • johnbenneth says:

          MADGAV- I’m happy to answer questions about homeoapthy. But I’m getting sick of answering questons from people who have already made up theirminds what the answer will be and are only asking them in order to try argue with me. I’m not the only one who’s noticed that the majority of “questioners” are merely trolls tryingto start a fight.
          Just like them, you’re having a hard time accepting any positive evidence. As soon as you do, your position ends. If you’d ask some good questions, as you have started to do, then you’d start getting some real answers. I’m becoming an old man. It doesn’t behoove me to argue with people anymore. Do you understand?

          Like

  8. Kaviraj says:

    We have given you the links. read them. You guys do not discuss antscience because you cannot. all you have is bookkeeper’s work.

    If you guys do not understand satire, and start analysing a satirical piece as if that is my view of science while it is clear it is a parody of yours, you have shown to indeed be too dumb to discuss with. Truly the skeptebo effect. LOL! Pathethic! They have all the answers already and still demand we waste time to post the links again and again. Instead of writing stupid reactions to satirical pieces, you could spend your time to search this blog for all the proofs. Moreover, you have not presented any proof.

    You have presented the opinions of Shang and he has been shot out of the water.His meta-analysis is no meta analysis, but an a priory rejection of the studies that would prove him wrong. He did what the boss asked.

    Like

    • MadGav says:

      Once again (still waitng for those answers, Kaviraj – how do *you* decide whether the results of a trial are due to the substance being tested?) the burden of proof is on you (and you have so far failed to provide anything resembling proof – despite your assertions).

      Given your evident scorn for statistics, how have you come to the opinion that Shang’s paper isn’t a meta-analysis (it would be helpful if you defined what you mean by ‘meta-analysis’ first)?

      I’d be grateful if you could try to respond without resorting to insults. Thank you.

      Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        The burden of proof is on you guys. You declare us guilty, now prove it. We are innocent till proven guilty and so far you have failed. We need not prove anything, as we have 200 years or great success. You always demand newer proofs, because you can’;t refute any. You are both tedious and pathetic.

        Like

      • MadGav says:

        I think you’ve mistaken the legal burden of proof for the philosophic burden of proof.

        “When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof on him or her making a claim.”

        Michalos, Alex. 1969. Principles of Logic. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall. p 370 – “usually one who makes an assertion must assume the responsibility of defending it. If this responsibility or burden of proof is shifted to a critic, the fallacy of appealing to ignorance is committed.”

        More over, this burden of proof is often asymmetrical and typically falls more heavily on the party that makes either an ontologically positive claim, or makes a claim more “extraordinary”, that is farther removed from conventionally accepted facts.

        No matter how many times you try to reverse this, the fact remains that you are making the assertions and therefore you need to support them with evidence.

        And I’m still waiting for the answers to those questions. Thanks.

        Like

        • johnbenneth says:

          What makes you think you can argue a point without making a postive assertion? Your assertion is that homeoapthy is placebo. Its not a very well defined assertion, it has nothing to back it up, and if you want the official, legal designation these substances changed to “placebo,” then you have to make your case for it in the face of evidence to the contrary. You have to prove your placebo assetrtion, an you hven’t done it, and it is highly improbably that you will, despite the overwhelming hostility an insistence of the placebo claim by homeoapthy haters.
          WHen looking at the evidence, you are the ones with an outlandish claim. Not only have wee shown the actionof our meciines, but we have also desribed what makes them distinct molecularly.
          We’ve proven our medicines work in numerous ways. We can show the molecular struture that makes them distinct; we can show their action biochemically in vitro; we can show their action in vivo . . we can show their action on plants and animals.
          But you keep making this etraordinary claim that allt his action is due presumably to psychogenic effects and insisting that rational evidence tot he contrary proves nothing, yet you don’t even have a protoccol for your claim.
          You seem to foget what it is that you’re doing here. You’re arguing a case for your belief of what homeopathy is, and you’re trying to excuse your lack of evidence for it by shifting the burden of proof on us, your critics.
          Perhaps to make the point we should offer a large cash reward to prove that the effects of homeoapthy are solely due to the placebo effect, ala James Randi. There certianly wouldn’t be any danger of us losing it, would there?

          Like

      • Nigel says:

        John, Kaviraj

        As homeopaths, seeking to offer health services to the ill, no doubt you are aware of the huge burden of responsibility you place on yourselves. Your actions can literally make the difference between life and death. Suffering and pain could increase rather than decrease if the wrong actions are taken.

        What does that responsibility mean to you? Does that responsibility insist that you undergo the best due diligence you can to make sure you are doing more good than harm?

        I think what shocks critics of homeopathy is how little that burden of responsibility appears to be taken seriously by homeopaths. You appear happy to practice on the back of the weakest forms of evidence, namely anecdotal stories, you trumpet small and flawed trials, as if they are unassailable proof for your ideas, and you poor scorn on those that question such evidence.

        Even if homeopathic principles were correct, this attitude would be seen as grossly incompetent and a danger to people’s health and lives.

        Can you not see how the critics of homeopathy might view your behaviours? Far from the ‘burden of proof’ being on people like me, surely there is a huge burden of responsibility that you are shrugging off with insults and canards.

        Like

      • MadGav says:

        Once again you use ‘prove’ in a way I don’t recognise.

        Which segues nicely into my continued requests for an explanation as to how, without making use of statistics, you decide whether the results of a trial are due to the agent under investigation or instead due to confounding factors.

        The *best* evidence (and that term is important because it avoids focussing on the studies crippled by methodological inadequacies.

        http://www.jclinepi.com/article/S0895-4356(08)00190-X/abstract

        If you look at the paper by Ludtke and Rutten (the one it is claimed ‘blew Shang out of the water’) their conclusion was:

        “Our results do neither prove that homeopathic medicines are superior to placebo nor do they prove the opposite…it occurs that Shang’s conclusions are not so definite as they have been reported and discussed.”

        Now, personally I disagree with their point, mostly because I think they played fast and loose with some of their statistics. But despite that, their conclusions support Shang’s findings, specifically that there is no evidence that homeopathy has any beneficial action beyond that of the placebo effect.

        So, the evidence supports the null hypothesis (namely that homeopathy is a placebo).

        Over to you.

        Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        “When debating any issue, there is an implicit burden of proof on him or her making a claim.”

        You claim it is placebo. You started the argument last January. You have given no proof, just opinions. So you make the claim, now prove it.

        We are making no claims at all. Our customers are making the claims. And you declare them all deluded liars, thereby showing you have nothing.

        Like

      • MadGav says:

        Kaviraj, given that you have made repeated claims about the science of your beliefs I suspect you already know this, but I’m going to explain it again, just in case.

        In science you start with a hypothesis, in this case *your* hypothesis is that homeopathy offers something more than a placebo.

        The null hypothesis is therefore that it doesn’t… that homeopathy is no better than a placebo. So, without a number of high quality, repeatable trials… preferably in peer reviewed journals, you cannot claim that your hypothesis is valid.

        I appreciate that it is much easier to shift the burden of proof onto the critics of your hypothesis, but to do so is to commit a logical fallacy.

        Another fallacy is to suggest that I have called anyone a ‘deluded liar’, although perhaps that is your understanding of the placebo effect? As I and others have mentioned several times, patient testimony is subject to a number of biases (both conscious and unconscious).

        People make errors, we are inherently flawed, after all. But making an error doesn’t make someone either deluded or a liar.

        By the way, coming back to your dismissal of statistics, how *do* you decide what constitutes a good trial? You decided that Shang et al was a bad trial, and that your 200 trials were ‘proof’… how did you come to that decision?

        It must’ve been more than picking which ones agreed with your prestated position? Mustn’t it?

        Like

  9. ISayISaw says:

    These questions remain unanswered. I will repeat them;

    1. In your definitive trial of homeopathy for malaria, how many people were enrolled and how were blinding and randomisation performed?

    2. List the other factors that were at play in the treated region of Cuba during the leptospirosis study period.

    3. Will you confirm explicitly that you do not require individualisation to be used in valid trials of homeopathy?

    Like

  10. ISayISaw says:

    Kaviraj said;

    “That is what the test with the hammers proposes. So you get into the usual obfuscation again. Andy Lewis is to be trusted as much as a pope promoting the use of condoms. As I said, you have nothing and read blogs by sycophants and quote them as if Andy is an authority, whereas he is but another drunk skeptic in the pub.”

    Just clear this up for me, Kaviraj. I assume you have done Andy Lewis’s challenge for your own interest. He doesn’t need to be involved. Homeopaths can do it in the comfort of their own homes. How did you get on?

    Like

  11. jeff garrington says:

    Kaviraj, its been mentioned before, but its worth repeating, you don’t really think before you open your mouth.
    You said, “it is clear that the H Pylorii Bacteria explanatio­n of pyloric ulcer etiology cannot possibly be right because of the acidic environmen­t of the stomach. So what if, over a 60 or 70 year period of time, anomalous appearance­s of the bacteria were seen in this environmen­t. Oh wait a moment…. such bacteria WERE in fact discovered by Barry Marshall, who got a Nobel for the discovery and to silence those sceptics who persisted in attacking him, he ate some of the bacteria and soon demonstrat­ed (SURPRISE!­!!) symptoms of pyloric ulcers.”
    However aren’t you supposed to believe the following.
    In Hahnemann’s words ,”the true natural chronic diseases are those that arise from a chronic miasm, when left to themselves, improper treatment, go on to increase, growing worse and torment the patient to the end of his life.” – 78 Organon
    Only the totality of the signs of the individual state of each particular patient is used to cure the disease. So no real cure of miasms can take place without a strict particular treatment (individualization) of each case of disease.
    Diseases with such allopathic names as: Convulsions, mania, imbecility, 
 madness, epilepsy, scoliosis, cancer, gout, hemorrhage from nose, lungs, 
 bladder, asthma, impotence, deafness, urinary calculus, defects of the senses and pains of thousands of kinds. Psora has passed on through hundreds of generations of people and has produced an innumerable variety of defects, injuries, derangements, and sufferings.
    Oh well.
    A final point, your statement on the treatment and cause of ulcers is correct, that’s how science operates, it’s willing through evidence to correct its own mistakes.
    Any homeopathic provings been discredited?

    Like

  12. Kaviraj says:

    It is extremely telling that Shang chose only 8 out of 120 tests, because he could not refute the rest and took the few he thought could easily be rubbished.

    You are of the same dumb ilk and are shot out of the water here with every post. You can only quote bookkeeper’s numbers, sufficiently manipulated to suit your purpose.

    You don’t understand the SCIENCE and cannot discuss it. You have insufficient education to understand or discuss the science. You are pathetic!

    Like

    • Nigel says:

      It is difficult to know whether to take you seriously? Are you really this disingenuous?

      Come to think of it, I bet you have never read Shang.

      Have you read the paper, Kaviraj?

      Of course we will not get a response to that question, because we know the answer: no. And we know that because the paper tells us precisely the role of the 8 trials.

      The paper is clear, and its conclusions have not been refuted, that the trials of homeopathy show that the higher the quality the more likely the result to be negative. And that the highest quality (the eight) fail to show that homeopathy is better than a placebo. Shang’s clever bit was to compare this will a matched selection of minstream medical trials – and these did not show the same pattern.

      If you think Shang has been refuted, please tell us about the re-analysis of the meta-analysis that shows high quality trials of homeopathy give favourable results.

      Like

    • MadGav says:

      Are you saying that ‘scientifically’ Shang should have included the trials of poor methodological quality?

      If so, how do you feel that would give a more accurate representation of the outcomes he was measuring?

      Like

  13. MadGav says:

    It’s not true to say that Shang has been ‘shot out of the water’ by his peers. It would be more accurate to say that people who believe in homeopathy have been very critical of its methodology and findings. But then, if they share the same attitude as John, they ‘know’ that any opponent is either lying or stupid.

    And it’s hard to understand how you can suggest that a meta-analysis can be disproved by the very papers it was set up to review. It is particularly telling that only 8 of the 100+ homeopathic studies were sufficiently well constructed to be included. That surely says more about the scientific rigour of these trials than it does about Shang’s.

    The problem is that you aren’t looking at the evidence in order to decide whether homeopathy works or not, because in your own mind you already ‘know’ that it does… perhaps you could acknowledge as much, rather than trying to suggest that you are being scientific…

    Like

    • Kaviraj says:

      Those were the pharmacists and they shot Shang out of the water.

      You lie! Nothing to do with the homoeopaths.

      Like

      • MadGav says:

        Links please.

        Like

      • MadGav says:

        Just to clarify the above question:

        Johnson and Boon’s paper: Where does homeopathy fit in Pharmacy Practice?

        References ten studies against the claim of it being ‘highly criticised’.

        Of these five are from the journal, Homeopathy. Two are from the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine. One is from the Swiss Association of Homeopathic Physicians. One is a letter to the Lancet.

        The last two are listed as Pharm. J. (which I am unable to accurately identify) and an editorial from Drug Topics in 1995 (therefore published 10 years prior to Shang et al’s paper).

        Like

  14. jeff garrington says:

    The Homeopaths above say.
    “This review says Shang “has been highly criticized for being methodologically flawed on many levels. Of particular concern, the researchers eliminated 102 of 110 homeopathic trials and based their conclusions on only the 8 largest high-quality trials without clearly identifying the criteria by which these trials were selected or the identity of these trials.
    And the truth is
    “What did Shang have to say about matching of trials? On page 727, they say “For each homoeopathy trial, we identified matching trials of conventional medicine that enrolled patients with similar disorders and assessed similar outcomes. We used computer-generated random numbers to select one from several eligible trials of conventional medicine”.
    Finally, Rutten and Stolper say that:
    “The conclusion that homeopathy is a placebo effect and that conventional medicine is not, was not based on a comparative analysis of carefully matched trials, as stated by the authors”.
    Homeopaths do want this to be true, but no matter how many times they repeat it, it continues to be false. I think the problem is that they have become fixated on the analysis of the subgroup of larger, higher quality trials, which was only one part of the analysis. The meta-regression analysis for all 110 vs 110 trials gave the same results; the analysis of the “larger, higher quality” subgroup merely lends support to those results. So after all that palaver, there’s still no reason to think that there is anything particularly wrong with the Shang et al. Lancet paper, and there is certainly no excuse for accusing its authors of research misconduct.

    posted by paul wilson at 11:15 7 comments links to this post

    Like

    • Kaviraj says:

      Nonetheless, Shang has been shot out of the water by his peers, but conveniently you overlook that. Moreover this is all you have, against 200 from our side that prove Shang wrong.

      Like

    • johnbenneth says:

      Is that all it takes to make it so? If simply saying it’s a placebo makes it a placebo, then simply saying its not makes it not. Doesit get any stupider than that? You just pull that o0ut of your ass and that’s all there is to it? However, if you had read the pharmacist’s report, you’d see that the conclusion that Shang was methodologicaly flawed was not from homeopaths, but by pharmacists reporting in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. You can go on quoting anecdotal opinion from anonymous sources that desperately insist it isn’t so if you think its going to make you feel better about your self deception, but point for point, case for case, homeopathy wins and allopathy loses. You’ve yet to show us one study that proves the placebo effect.
      What’s funny is that before I read the Earl Baldwin of Bewdly report from the Upper House on the Commons Evidence Check 2, I was under the impression that Shang was the only major meta-analysis to conclude placebo, but as Baldwin astutely points out, even Shang didn’t reach that conclusion.
      Without fail, every assertion that homeopthy is solely placebo turns out in itself to be solely placebo, a statement meant to assuage the consciences of mass murderers.

      Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        John, they have nothing. They know nothing, regardless impressive titles.
        Let us apply the typical sceptics’ attitude towards Homeopathy to modern science.

        Obviously Atomic Bombs work by BLASTEBO effect – the small amounts of enriched Uranium in the bomb could not possibly cause the widespread damage that they do. Also, has there been any double blinded laboratory controlled experiment­s in A-bomb detonation­s? Until there is we can’t be sure that there is anything other than magic behind it. And those nuclear equations – too complicate­d! That can’t be right because most laymen don’t understand them!!

        Let us apply some more sceptical “good common sense” to some modern medical theories – it is clear that the H Pylorii Bacteria explanatio­n of pyloric ulcer etiology cannot possibly be right because of the acidic environmen­t of the stomach. So what if, over a 60 or 70 year period of time, anomalous appearance­s of the bacteria were seen in this environmen­t. Oh wait a moment…. such bacteria WERE in fact discovered by Barry Marshall, who got a Nobel for the discovery and to silence those sceptics who persisted in attacking him, he ate some of the bacteria and soon demonstrat­ed (SURPRISE!­!!) symptoms of pyloric ulcers. And it wasn’t BACTEBO effect either!!

        Oh darn, then science really does work and the arguments against a theoretica­l basis for Homeopathy are essentiall­y worthless examples of SCEPTEBO effect.

        Like

      • Nigel says:

        Kaviraj,

        Do you see your ignorance of science as an advantage in these discussions? It amazes me that the most assertive voices come from those with clearly the least knowledge.

        Perhaps you ought to ponder your atomic bomb analogy a little further. When the Little Boy bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a uranium bomb had never been detonated before. If you do not find that amazing, you do not understand the issues. Such was the nature of the scientific understanding of the nuclear, chemical and engineering aspects of the bomb that detonation was a near certainty.

        It is the same understanding of the atomic nature of matter that tells us homeopathy is absurd.

        Now the detonation of the bomb is an unambiguous event – no need for blinded trials to see if there is an effect. It is undeniable.

        However, bang your thumb a hammer and you will always have ambiguous observations. Ambiguity is one the key concepts that homeopaths struggle with. There will always be multiple interpretation as to what happens to your thumb. The only way to remove the ambiguity and see if causality can be attributed to the pills is through carefully controlled trials.

        Poor trials are likely to give misleading results. It is has now been shown many times that your ‘200 positive trials’ are mostly poor quality trials. Shang (and others) have shown that the better the trial the less likely you will see positive results. As Shang says, this is entirely consistent with homeopathy being a placebo.

        Like

  15. ISayISaw says:

    http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2007/12/simple-challenge-to-homeopaths.html

    No hammers needed, just honesty and a willingness to expose homeopathy to a test that can show it to be ineffective.

    Like

    • Kaviraj says:

      That is what the test with the hammers proposes. So you get into the usual obfuscation again. Andy Lewis is to be trusted as much as a pope promoting the use of condoms. As I said, you have nothing and read blogs by sycophants and quote them as if Andy is an authority, whereas he is but another drunk skeptic in the pub.

      Like

    • Kaviraj says:

      As many as we have to prove your assertion is wrong – 200 studies at least. You have nothing.

      Like

      • MadGav says:

        I appreciate we mean different things when we say ‘prove’, but I do have to draw your attention (once again) to how poorly designed the majority of those 200 studies you keep mentioning actually are.

        Perhaps this would be a good point for you to answer the question that was posed a little while back, when you started dismissing statistics:

        How do *you* determine whether the results of a trial are due to chance rather than the action of whatever substance you’re testing?

        For example, in a disorder that is known to show a pattern of remission and relapse, how would you determine whether your actions had played any role in a patient’s recovery?

        I’d be interested to hear your thoughts, (rather than bold assertions and repetitions).

        Thanks, in anticipation.

        Like

        • johnbenneth says:

          What a flaming hypocrite. You say you don’t want to hear bold assertions and repetitions when that’s all you’ve got to make your case that homeopathics have no intrinsic action of their own and that anything that shows different is of questionable quality. What tests are you talking about? I seriously doubt you’ve ever read one of those studies, and even if you had, what is it that you’re comparing them to? How is it that testing of generic homeopathic drugs can be any worse than testing for patented allopathic drugs when we read stories about drug companies rejecting studies they’ve commissioneed when they don’t say what the mfg wants them to say, and only presenting the study that does. These companies are in stark violation of the law, and the results are people being poisoned to death by them, or given some other condition, which is exactly what allopathy means, to counter symptoms with different symptom.
          It makes mewonder what goes thorugh your mindd when you go to bed at night.
          Don’t come back here and comment anymore until you’re ready to do so under your real name and shed some real light on the world’s problems.

          Like

      • MadGav says:

        Taking those comments one at a time:

        As I’ve explained on a number of occasions, the null hypothesis is that there is no difference between the substance being tested and placebo. The onus is then on the experimenters to provide repeatable evidence of a significant difference.

        I have read the studies and, as I explained in a previous post, I’ve critically appraised them. I’ll reference Trisha Greenhalgh excellent book ‘How to Read a Paper’ as a starting point for those who wish to develop their skills.

        There *are* poor quality trials for medication, some even get through the peer-review system. This is one of the reasons that Critical Appraisal is such an important skill (after all, you need some way of differentiating between the well-constructed trials and the poor ones).

        And, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s your blog, so banning commentators is your right. I don’t pretend to understand your seeming obsession about ‘real names’.

        Still looking forward to hearing Kaviraj’s answers though.

        Like

  16. Kaviraj says:

    Ok mate if they tested in the Jewish Prison camp and they all died, it must have worked right?

    For the unconvinced, here is a test.

    We can throw studies and assertions at each other all day and get no further than we are now. I’ll assume for the sake of discussion that there is some crack in the door of the open mind left and propose a semi-serio­us “first-han­d” method to test my assertion that homeopathy works.
    First proposal, rough descriptio­n follows. You need to be rigorous, honest and keep good records – standard testing protocol.
    1 – You will need meds of your choice to regulate pain and stimulate healing, Ruta Graveolens 200C and Arnica 200C from a reputable homeopathi­c pharmacy.
    Phase 1:Build something with hammer and nail. While building, accidental­ly whack your finger or thumb with the hammer. Take pictures from the same angle/same lighting every hour for the first 4-8 hours, then twice/day until healed. Take the pharmas of your choice. Document pain, swelling, tissue color, meds used and how long it took to heal. Wait until you feel better.
    Phase 2: Build, whack again, but opposite finger, thumb. Don’t want any overlap. Take pictures as before. Immediatel­y after whacking take Arnica 200C. Repeat as needed to control pain and swelling. No food in mouth for at least 15 minutes prior to and after ingesting. Half hour after whack take Ruta per Arnica instructio­n.
    If enough people participat­e, we can see if we have enough data to propose a pilot study.

    Like

  17. jeff garrington says:

    Between 1936 and 1939 Germany tried to prove the efficacy of homeopathy. An enormous operation was planned, but it ended in disaster. The efforts were cut short by the war. Fritz Donner, a homeopathic physician, was one of the many people involved in these efforts. After his retirement in 1961 he wrote a report on the affair. This report was ready in 1966, but not until 1995 did it first appear in German in a little-read journal. Now it is on the internet.
    From Donners report we find this on a proving of dogs milk.
    Lac caninum (dog’s milk) used to be recommended strongly for diphtheria. Again this was based on one single case, namely that of Laura Morgan, a 24-year-old American lady physician. On one summer morning in 1870 she took a few grains CM (a dilution prepared by a special recipe of the American Dr. Swan) of this remedy, and subsequently she suffered for two years from frequently recurring bouts of delirium tremens. According to homeopathic doctrine it doesn’t matter at all what people suffer from before they take the remedy. During these two years Laura once had a sore throat. This was diagnosed as diphtheria, but Donner thought this diagnosis should not be trusted. In the first place Laura apparently wasn’t sick enough to stay in bed, and in the second place US physicians often had very poor training then. Sometimes one could become fully licensed after a study of two years, or even one year, without seeing any patients at all, and with only elementary school knowledge as a prerequisite.
    Within the strange cult of Homeopathy, you can still buy Lac Canium, for example
    ABC of Homeopathy: Lac Canium:
    This remedy is of undoubted value in certain forms of sore throat and diphtheria, and rheumatism. Corresponds to a low-vitiated, non-feverish type of sickness. The keynote symptom is Erratic pains, alternating sides. Feels as if walking on air, or of not touching the bed when lying down. Great lassitude. Ozaena. Decided effect in drying up milk in women who cannot nurse the baby. Great weakness and prostration. Sinking spells every morning. Mastitis. better, cold, cold drinks. worse, morning of one day and in the evening of next. Strange I know, but that’s Homeopathy for you.
    Also this from the same report.
    Not many experiments with treatments of sick people were performed. However, the chairman of the Central Association of Homeopathic Physicians in Germany, Hanns Rabe, conducted one, under the supervision of the RGA. He was allowed to select a number of chronic hospital patients who could be treated well with the Silicea remedy (highly diluted sand). Donner warned him that these patients would not recover, and they didn’t. It was such a debacle that the gentlemen of the RGA did not dare to report this to their superiors. Maybe they feared dismissal or worse when the political leaders would hear that their beloved therapy had failed so dismally. Then Rabe was pressured by the RGA to plan an experiment to cure Basedow’s disease by homeopathy. He had bragged that this was easy, and he even had signed written statements to that effect, so he couldn’t refuse.
    That was the moment that Rabe confessed to Donner that homeopathy couldn’t do that at all, that homeopathy was merely psychotherapy in disguise and all this bragging by homeopaths should not be taken literally. Donner did not agree at first, but later changed his opinion at least partly, after he had discovered to what degree his own treatments were merely placebo treatments, that worked purely because of the belief of the patients – who often had imaginary diseases as well.
    In the three years between 1936 and 1939 many more experiments could have been performed, but from Donner’s letters it appears that it was quite common that homeopaths bragged a lot, but when they were called upon to cooperate in clinical experiments under the supervision of the RGA, they did everything to avoid cooperation.
    Nothing much has changed in the strange cult of Homeopathy.

    Like

    • Kaviraj says:

      Nothing ever will change through the strange cult of the “skeptics in the pub”, an assortment of raving drunks pontificating on a subject they do not understand.

      Look at the cult of the “skeptics” of which this blog is the prime example.
      Beancounters all, who refuse to believe in something that cannot be seen with the eye, or felt with the fingers, but are ready to defend such unproved concepts as dark matter or evolution. Bookkeepers, who are incapable of thinking beyond
      classification, enumeration and calculation, engaged in 13th Century monkish work and enamoured by discussions on how many angels will fit on the point of a needle.

      They call themselves “Skeptics in the Pub”, which immediately conveys the ideas espoused – the raving and ranting of a bunch of alcoholic drunks, unable to perceive anything beyond the glass they hold in the hands. Inebriated to the max, they pontificate on subjects they claim to have “researched”. That
      research amounts to little else than reading blogs of people equally inebriated and expounding similar theories on a subject none of them understands. They may be pondering over the “meta-analysis” of Shang, who “meta” analysed all of 8 studies out of 120.

      On such a meagre basis of research, they come to cult-like conclusions, endorsed by the same group of drunks and then pretend they have finally given
      homoeopathy the dagger in the back, they deem it deserves. I say, guys, keep posting these inanities. You do the homoeopaths a favour, like Goldacre, Colquhoun, that turkey and Ernst, the greatest of all obfuscators. You know why?

      You keep us in the news, the exact opposite what you want to achieve – obscurity. So yeah, keep it coming, because thanks to you and your ilk, there
      is an upsurge in homoeopathy – people want to find out what the fuzz is about and end up coming to our doors, and staying too, as satisfied customers.

      Thanks for the free adverts over the years.

      Like

    • johnbenneth says:

      Wonderful, bravo, the Nazis staged an enormous campaign of testing homeopathy with one “clinical” report of the use of Lac Canim, it blew up in their face (like everything else) and so that proves it. Brilliant! But where’s all that science you say you got? Look again at your assertions and your evidence. Your assertions are global, but you evidence is local. Yeah, big plans, wir wirden uber die ganze Welt schreiten mit homoeopatie, yah? You say an enormous operation was planned, but it ended in disaster. Then you proceed to give one case as evidence, the results which consittue your conclusion. This continues inthe domain of your firswt assertion, that they must be incapable of in vitro action, which exhaustive in vitro testing disproves.
      The entire case against homeopathy relies solely on what it perceives the clinical evidence to be. When confronted with the pre-clinical evidence, all you can do is qualify it as incompetent.
      You have yet to give us any evidence whatsoever of an enormous planned operation by Nazis. ANd this is part of your thesis that homeopathy is bogus because the Nazis tried and failed?
      For an example of the German investigation of homeoapthy, start at the beginning, with the ofudner. He was dealing witht same terse denials, based onnothing but eyes shut opinion that we are today. Then look at the German examination of homeoapthy in the 21st centruy, namely Witt, “The in vitro evidence for an effect of high homeopathic potencies—–A systematic review of
      the literature.” The only way for you to continue on the placebo jihad is to ignore in vitro testing.
      Wouldn’t it make a better story to say they tested it in prison camps on Jewish prisoners, and it they all died?

      Like

  18. ISayISaw says:

    These questions have still not been answered by Mr Benneth. So, 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?

    Like

    • johnbenneth says:

      This has been answered at length, exhaustively for you. Subscribe to the blog, follow me on twitter, then you’ll know when you’ll know what’s going on. Your review of of the Cuban campaign was throughly discredited, a major fail. ANother desperate attempt to stop the world’s greatest medicine that in the end makes it look better..

      Like

      • ISayISaw says:

        John Benneth, you have not answered the questions, you simply keep repeating the assertion that you have answered them.

        So, produce some actual answers. 

        You seem to have some comprehension problems, so I’ll extract just the questions from their surrounding text. Take each on in turn and give a straight answer. Can you do that?

        1. In your definitive trial of homeopathy for malaria, how many people were enrolled and how were blinding and randomisation performed?

        2. List the other factors that were at play in the treated region of Cuba during the leptospirosis study period.

        3. Will you confirm explicitly that you do not require individualisation to be used in valid trials of homeopathy?

        Like

  19. What you show, John, is that the homeopathy denialists have not much credibility, and that their ‘evidence’ is largely discredited.

    No doubt they will continue their shrill denials, out of a genuine hatred of homeopathy. For some reason (are they in the pay of Big Pharma?) they don’t like their favoured medical treatment being challenged by one that is more effective, a very great deal safer, and certainly less expensive.

    Like

    • Guy Chapman says:

      That’s one way of viewing it, I suppose, but not one that has any provable connection with reality.

      Nobody hates homeopathy. Some people do hate quacks, and that is perfectly reasonable. The reason homeopaths get bundled with quacks seems to eb quite obvious to everyone but the homeopaths.

      In the past few weeks several people have patiently explained different ways in which the homeopathy community could begin to address the lack of any credible scientific basis for homeopathy, the only result has been vitriolic personal attacks and some rambling discourses that entirely miss the point.

      If you want homeopathy to be dismissed forever as a bunch of quacks peddling pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo, all you have to do is carry on as you are. Most of the world will not care.

      Like

    • Peter says:

      Apart from the big threat that homeopathy represents to the Big Pharma, it represents also a threat to the materialistic science and society. Their worldview is on the risk, because admitting that homeopathy works will change so many things. Books needs to be rewritten, teacher needs to learn new things, … and there are also implication for theories like the ‘evolution hypothesis’ and the ‘big bang’.

      Like

      • MadGav says:

        Evolution isn’t a hypothesis, Peter, it’s a theory (the terms aren’t interchangable).

        A hypothesis is an ‘educated guess’ based upon observation.

        A theory is summarises a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported by repeated testing.

        Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        Evolution is a THEORY and cannot be tested, you fool.

        Like

      • MadGav says:

        A theory, by definition, can and has been tested.

        “a logical, systematic set of principles or explanation that has undergone testing or validation from careful observations and has stood up against attempts to prove it false. A scientific theory can be used to make a variety of predictions of what will happen under different circumstances.”

        Rather than insulting me, perhaps your time would be better spent checking an online dictionary.

        Like

  20. MadGav says:

    Lord Baldwin of Bewdley: is a cross-bench, hereditary peer whose studied modern languages and law. His experience is as an educator.

    Clearly he is entitled to his own opinion. But it’s important to recognise that he isn’t a neutral observer (and that, therefore, seeking to elevate his, lay-person’s, opinion over that of the Committee seems disingenuous at best).

    I note the big pharma shill accusation, as well as the appeal to ‘dubious’ authority… neither is accurate or relevant.

    Like

    • Kaviraj says:

      If it is not relevant, then why do you support the shills of the Committee, sepcifically Goldacre whose rabity is there for all to see?

      None in the Committee is qualified to speak on the subject, because none has studied it. Ernst had a “few months” in a homoeopathic hospital and is not qualified either. In fact, none of you is qualified, apart from being the Joker.

      Like

      • MadGav says:

        Lord Baldwin agrees with your position, therefore he’s above reproach (rather than being a Big-Water shill) whereas the rest of the Committee disagree with your position and so are labelled Big-Pharma shills (rather than being independent-minded individuals who weighed the evidence in the balance and found the homeopath’s case wanting).

        Please, can we try debating the evidence, rather than indulging in further, unedifying, personal attacks?

        Like

        • johnbenneth says:

          ABsolutely, we can discuss this without making hyou look like a fool. All you have to do is shut up and listen, and then ask some intelligent queswtions, instead of making up llies. Try it. See if you can come up with one intelligent question without first asserting that homeoapthy is bogus. Try accepting some of the science without first sayingthere is none. We’ve shown you repeatedly that it works in vitro, but you keep responding in vivo. LOL!
          You seem to forget something. Homoepathy was designed to help people. But you’ve taken that and thrown it back in our faces on the basis of what amounts to nothing more than fantasies, driven by a fear that this will replace alloapthic medicine, as it should.

          Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        Personal attacks? That is all you have. Like how you slag off Lord Baldwin. Because you have nothing else. You always go for the person and NEVER discuss the issues. You have all but 5 “reports” against 200 of ours that show you are simply not scientific, but opinionated. Keep it up. I drives people to our clinics to find out what all the fuzz is about and they end up as satisfied customers.

        Independent-minded individuals? Hahahaha! Inebriated drunks, you “Skeptics in the Pub”.
        All you do is rave and rant and lack the education to discuss the subject.

        Like

      • MadGav says:

        *sighs*

        It appears you are determined to have your cake and eat it.

        John, given that you don’t believe anything your opponents say, you cannot suggest that you are capable of weighing the evidence (if your beliefs aren’t falsifiable then you can’t really refer to them as science).

        As for Kaviraj, you seemed determined to repeat the same insults, presumably you feel that these resonate in some way with other readers.

        I would prefer you to offer evidence, rather than assertions. Perhaps you might even answer some of the questions that have been posed. (You could start by pointing out where I ‘slagged off’ Lord Balwin).

        Like

      • Guy Chapman says:

        Simple question, John. Most of Ben Goldacre’s work is critiquiing abuses by the pharmaceutical industr. When he does that, is he still rabid? Or is it only when he criticises the pseudoscience behind homeopathy?

        Like

        • johnbenneth says:

          How does his phony criticism excuse all his lies about homeopathy? Does spurring the horse excuse kicking the cat?
          I mean really, Guy, Goldacre’s analysis of homeopathic research is always in the same contet, that if it shows any in vitro action, or naythihng that contraqdicts his desperate assertions that homeopathic substances display intrinsic remedial ation, the study has to be flawed.
          We all know why. Admitting pre-clinical tests of homeopathy directly challenges the allopathic monopoly on health care. Even worse, it makes Goldacre look like public enemy number one.

          Like

      • Kaviraj says:

        Slagging off Baldwin.
        “Lord Baldwin agrees with your position, therefore he’s above reproach (rather than being a Big-Water shill)”

        You always shoot the messenger and never address the message. That message is the homoeopathy works.

        But, I’ll leave you with this: We still don’t understand how the Universe was created or the energies that not only hold it together but keep it functionin­g. Here’s one attempt: http://www­.universal­theory.org­/Singulari­ty.html
        “The idea of introducin­g a fabric for wholeness of the world is nothing new. The scientific findings provide numerous evidences, which support common sense, and every day experience that the world is an interconne­cted system. Many attempts to prove the wholeness has been tried which was not completely successful and could not get broad scientific approval. Even The great twentieth century physicist David Bohm tried to present his “Implicate Order” as a model, but unfortunat­ely, he could not finish his Unbroken Wholeness Theory before he died. He believed that “at some deeper level of reality such particles (subatomic particles) are not individual entities, but are actually extension of the same fundamenta­l something.­”58”

        Homoeopath­y works at the subatomic level and is an extension of the same fundamenta­l principles that hold the Universe together. I’m sure we’ll understand that some day.

        Sorry, but a list of implausibi­lities does not in itself prove anything.
        A dissertati­on on the scientific method doesn’t disprove or prove homoeopath­ic.
        One side demands proofs, but only within a framework set up by its own camp. All we on the other side can say is we don’t understand how that works, but, have our own proofs that it does. Which we’re happy to share, but really don’t care whether it ‘convinces­’ anyone or not.
        Nor will quoting Carl Sagan further any argument, when even Einstein and Hawking can’t reconcile their feelings about God? The ultimate unknowable­? http://myp­age.direct­.ca/g/gcra­mer/relati­vity.html
        So I’m off now, really, and my last words here are of my own proofs. I have 32 years of experience in the subject as one who CURES PEOPLE. Many 1000’s of satisfied customers, checked by allopathy for pathology both before and after treatment as being CURED.
        Some ‘placebo’ effect. Homoeopath­y works for me and my clients, and that’s all I need to know.
        Happy holidays and holy days to everyone!

        Like

      • MadGav says:

        Slagging off Baldwin.
        “Lord Baldwin agrees with your position, therefore he’s above reproach (rather than being a Big-Water shill)”

        Yes… that’s sarcasm and a direct challenge to your repeated assertion that anyone who disagrees with you is, by definition, a Big Pharma shill.

        Given that I went on to say…

        “whereas the rest of the Committee disagree with your position and so are labelled Big-Pharma shills…”

        The point seemed rather obvious.

        You can shout that we ‘have nothing’ as much as you like, but simply claiming that your case is proven does not make it so.

        Like

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