Edzard Ernst is at it again . . but this time something is different, dramatically different. Instead of the usual pile on by hordes of skeptics usually heard in response to an article on homeopathy, joining in a keening wail, cavilling about its fraud, this time, in Germany, just the opposite is happening.
According to the Austrian doctor now residing in England, after an interview by Der Spiegel, an interview adverse to homeopathy, 100’s of delusional Germans are responding in the comment section by rhapsodizing about its virtues.
WHAT’S THIS YOU SAY?
According to a blog recently written by the First Chair of Complementary Med’s, this is a mass psychological aberration, and, he says, another well known homoeopath and I are at the head of it!
Some men are known for their perfidy, some for their boon; others for their acts and others still yet for their chance encounter with destiny. Some men, giants such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, Hodgkins, Lou Gehrig, Asperger, Krohn, lose their names to eponyms for newly discovered or idiopathic diseases, their remembrance only . . a malady.
Most of these eponymous diseases are named after the doctor’s who discovered them, others by the patients who sported them and one is named after two towns, Lyme and Old Lyme, in Connecticut.
Or was it New York?
I don’t know, I’m too busy fighting with that other homoeopath over who’s first chair of “homoeopathic delusionism” to get trivia straight. But I must say, how unfortunate for the denizens of Lyme, wherever they may be.
Well, NO MATTER! Tell us more about “homoeopathic delusonism.” How do I get this disease?.
My name might be the label for this troubling condition, but in lieu of a second opinion I think the honor of the odd hominem should go to the doctor who’s chasing me with it (or the place where he first started spreading it) ex-professor of “complementary medicine” Edzard Ernst, who at the University of Exeter morphed into the Joseph Mengele of homoeopathy.
Why is Edzard Ernst so important? The reason is because he has been the chief ideologue of the placebo theory for the action of homoeopathics and Head Basher. Ernst wants you to use the murder meds big pharma pumps out and join the genocide. Homoeopathy is screwing up their plans to bankrupt America and drain the British Empire. When you read in the Wikipedia article on Homeopathy the assertion that homeopathic medicines are dangerously inert traces back to Ernst, twisting the meta analyses, and hiding his wound . .
Yes, his horrible, shocking weakness . . I’ll get to that later. But first you must know that in his December 3rd, 2013 blog, Ernst says at least 500 people, who in the German language newspaper Der Spiegel, have now identified themselves as “end-stage homeopathic delusionists” (sic) of which, he says, homoeopathy author, practitioner and proselyte Dana Ullman and I (John Benneth) are his favorite examples amongst the afflicted, both of us patriotic Americans!
WE’RE WINNING . .
Ernst says that after being interviewed about alternative medicine by the newspaper, which included his views on homeopathy (sic), only in part, hordes of people responded with anecdote and testimony, supporting homoeopathy [correct spelling] a system of medical similitude developed by 19th century Saxon physician Samuel Hahnemann.
INCREDIBLE . . ERSTAUNLICH!
ERNST SAYS testimonies included statements like “what I discovered shifted my world for ever.”
Such superlatives and rhapsodizing, Ernst says, are because homeopathic medicine induces an “epiphany.”
“The starting point of this journey towards homeopathy-worship,” he says, “is usually an impressive personal experience which is often akin to an epiphany (defined as a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization). I have met hundreds of advocates of homeopathy, and those who talk about this sort of thing invariably offer impressive stories about how they metamorphosed from being a ‘sceptic’ (yes, it is truly phenomenal how many believers insist that they started out as sceptics) into someone who was completely bowled over by homeopathy, and how that ‘moment of great revelation’ changed the rest of their lives. Very often, this ’Saulus-Paulus conversion’ relates to that person’s own (or a close friend’s) illness which allegedly was cured by homeopathy.”
NEXT: Should I comfort him, or take him to task for his perfidy?
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People may find the desperate attempts of the wikipedia mafia to prevent it being noted in the article on memory of water that the experiment of Cowan et al. on ultrafast relaxation does not contradict memory of water: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Water_memory#The_Cowan_reference, and again https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Water_memory#Misrepresentation_of_the_source. The statement later on that the editors are ‘more than willing to cooperate with me’ must be classed as a joke.
Sorry, I should have said ‘find of interest’ in the above — I got lost before the end of the sentence.
Great discussion. In effect, the Cowan study not is about of homeopathic high dilutions, the authors don´t use the method of potentisation.
About of guerrillas skepticism, is funny how the CSICOP bamboolized groups of young and “old” researchers. The “skeptiks” omitted the results of 20 years of research, in example: NMR research.
Great reference. There have beeen at least 18 NMRs, the first done in the 1960’s. Demangeat has done some of the best NMR work, second only to Conte. What I like about Demangeat is that he establishes the apparent need for air in succussion. Thanks for posting.
If you’d like to put names and faces on these editors, here they are courtesy of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia:
There’s a guerrilla skeptic video as well, but I’m not sure the people on that web page are the people involved; rather it is their devoted followers who do the dirty work.
Hi Brian . .
Thanks for the reminder of Cowan. I find it intersting that Cowan refers to stretching vibrations rather than breakage, and I’m not convinced that the resolution of the equipment actually observes what is really going on. I think it is more likely that there is a contiguous flow of energy through channels and vortexes, without breakage of all molecules all the time, as it appearsis the current convention. Regarding the memory of water, why should there be an argument? We already discussed in our talk in 2010 at the Cavendish that a review of the literature reveals liquid aqueous structuring (LAS) is a widely accepted fact (Roy) and has been witnessed as early as 1810 by Davy and Farraday, the most common example being the clathrate. Montagnier has already shown that electromagnetic signals are produced by LAS or “aqueous nanostructures”, so if there’s any doubt about this, then we should be pushing for a replication of it rather than arguing about whether its true. If there’s any question about the origin of these signals, Montagnier, once again, shows that it appears to be generated by the background radiation, what I presume is the same as the quantum vacuum fluctuation, triggering transduction through the LAS meme of the guest molecule, akin to the piezo electric effect in crystals, in which case I suspect is due to water trapped in the crystal, “water of crystallization.” In other words, water may be the primary transducer of radiation on the planet.
And btw, once again let me say, the Wikipedia “editors” break their own rules in twisting the conclusions of metanalyses to say that the scientific consensus is “homeopathics” are placebos. Wikipedia footnotes Ernst for his claim, but if you read Ernst’s refernces, no such reference exists, and furthermore, the biochemical tests and other pre-clincials are astutely avoided by Ernst, Wikipedia and the discussion in general. Benveniste’s test was a replication of Poitevin, which in 25 years was replicated two dozen times. And if there is a placebo effect, pharmaceutically it has to be universal.
John, I believe there was in fact an article in BMJ claiming to show by meta-analysis that homeopathy is no better than a placebo. But there was another article alongside it pointing out that this was achieved by defining all investigations that were strongly in favour of homeopathy being real as errors so they could be omitted. Curiously enough critics normally only quote the first paper, and ignore the second.
Unless you can show me the metanalysis your talking about, I’ll stick with my assertion.
Here are my current references, with brief conclusions regarding placbeo or results:
BORNHOFT: Homeopathy in Healthcare tinyurl com/78fzhl2
FISHER: hi quality experiments yield positive results. tinyurl com/7666q5g
JOHNSON: meta-analyses conclude homeopathic treatment significantly better than placebo tinyurl com/7htoejq
SHANG>Ludtke Rutten: find significant effect beyond placebo tinyurl com/ludtkerutten
LINDE: results incompatible with placebo hypothesis tinyurl com/84xt56k
CUCHERAT: homeopathy more effective than placebo tinyurl com/cucherat
KLEIJNEN: clinical trial evidence positive tinyurl com/kleijnen
Kleijnen is the only meta pub’d in the BMJ that I’m aware of.
Kleijnen’s systematic review of clinical trials, published in the BMJ stated ‘we would accept that homoeopathy can be efficacious, if its mechanism of action were more plausible,’ i.e., they could believe it if someone would explain it to them. WHo better than Brian Josephson is there to do that?
Here’s what the BMJ pub’d results stated:
“In 14 trials some form of classical homoeopathy was tested and in 58 trials the same single homoeopathic treatment was given to patients with comparable conventional diagnosis. Combinations of several homoeopathic treatments were tested in 26 trials; isopathy was tested in nine trials. Most trials seemed to be of very low quality, but there were many exceptions. The results showed a positive trend regardless of the quality of the trial or the variety of homeopathy used. Overall, of the 105 trials with interpretable results, 81 trials indicated positive results whereas in 24 trials no positive effects of homoeopathy were found. The results of the review may be complicated by publication bias, especially in such a controversial subject as homoeopathy.
“CONCLUSIONS: At the moment the evidence of clinical trials is positive but not sufficient to draw definitive conclusions because most trials are of low methodological quality and because of the unknown role of publication bias. This indicates that there is a legitimate case for further evaluation of homoeopathy, but only by means of well performed trials.”
Where does it say anything about placebos?
BMJ. 1991 Feb 9;302(6772):316-23.
Clinical trials of homoeopathy.
Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G.
Department of Epidemiology and Health Care Research, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
I call your attention especially to JOHNSON, a review of the literature done by pharmacists for phamacists: tinyurl com/7htoejq
Perhaps the meta you’re referring to is Shang, pub’d in the Lancet, which ended up being a huge embarassment for their hesitancy to reveal to Fisher their data, when finally obtained revealed cherry picking. Shang was not a meta, it was a disaster for skeptics.
In other words, every assertion to the effect that “homeopathy doesn’t work” or “homeopathics are placebos” has been forensically debunked. These are legal radio pharmaceuticals with demonstrable EM indices. I defy anyone to stretch out from the fetal position, take the thumb out of the mouths and prove me wrong.
I’ve done a search, and have been interested in the way meta-analyses often come out in support of homeopathy. I can’t say which paper I was referring to, but probably it was in the Lancet rather than the BMJ. And you are probably right to say that those which came out against homeopathy have been discredited.
John I think you need to cultivate more enemies like Ernst.He is doing you a great favour accidentally, drawing in a whole new wellspring of previously unknown H supporters..Just pondering, whether some other blogs agreeing with him, would draw in still more supporters. Sort of your 5th column on the other side. Seems to be a sympathy for the underdog effect, happening..
Now, comfort him or take him to task ? May I suggest you do remote disorientation therapy on him by doing both, alternately and simultaneously sometimes. He will read into it what he needs to read into it for his next pieces anyway. Epiphanies are probably part of our natural religious tendencies, Evolution and Ernst’s own epiphany is discovering everybody else’s epiphanies. Eureka ! You might put that to him when taking him to task for obvious natural religious behaviour. Dawkins says religious behaviours are installed in us by Evolution, undoubtedly, because there has never been an atheist society in the history of man. So you can “forgive” Ernst for his own religious conversion behaviour with his “discovery” of homoepathic epiphanies. That could really get up his nose. Does he want to start a crusade?Against these H devotees ? Its so middle ages religious ! All so “natural” you can “forgive” him for that.
LOL! Good one, Steve! Thanks! But I must say that if the “cultivating enemies” cat gets out of the bag it may ruin my buzz!
Ernst really should read the literature. There is no scientific evidence to support the existence of a placebo effect:
Placebo effect and placebo concept: a critical methodological and conceptual analysis of reports on the magnitude of the placebo effect. (by GS Kienle – 1996 )
The authors conclude that the literature relating to the magnitude and frequency of the placebo effect is unfounded and grossly overrated, if not entirely false. They pose the question whether the existence of the so-called placebo effect is itself not largely-or indeed totally-illusory.
Is the placebo powerless? An analysis of clinical trials comparing placebo with no treatment (by A Hróbjartsson – 2001)
Is homoeopathy a placebo response? Controlled trial of homoeopathic potency, with pollen in hayfever as model.
The hypothesis that homoeopathic potencies are placebos was tested in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The study model chosen compared the effects of a homoeopathic preparation of mixed grass pollens with placebo in 144 patients with active hayfever. The homoeopathically treated patients showed a significant reduction in patient and doctor assessed symptom scores. The significance of this response was increased when results were corrected for pollen count and the response was associated with a halving of the need for antihistamines. An initial aggravation of symptoms was noted more often in patients receiving the potency and was followed by an improvement in that group. No evidence emerged to support the idea that placebo action fully explains the clinical responses to homoeopathic drugs.
Thank you for this very interesting contribution. The placebo hypothesis is one of those little points that needs jumping up and down on like a trampoline
Well, first Fast Eddy Ernst masqueraded as a homeopath apostate based on a fraudulent claim that he trained as a homeopath. He then presumably gave it up in order to become the world’s first and only “professor of complementary and alternative medicine” who performed no actual lab work. Now he’s on a ten-cent-a-ride ego trip as an armchair psychologist.
His last “study” tried to show that homeopathic remedies had killed/maimed patients then concluded that there wasn’t enough data to support his premise.
It’s about time Ernst had an epiphany — that his anti-homeopathy muckraking has fallen flat on it’s butt along with his career.
Laurie – The job description for the Laing Chair clearly stated that the successful applicant will be expected to integrate research findings into mainstream medicine. Now call me stupid but as I understand it EE had no qualifications to carry out this expected function and god forbid Eddy didn’t know the outcome of ALL his later research before he got the job, how the hell could he have been expected to carry out that particular part of the brief? EE’s reported experience in a homeopathic hospital is not mentioned on the CV he used to apply for the post so how did the the recruitment panel think he was going to do just that? Who hired him and for what purpose….or is that a stupid question?
I think the admin. at Exeter was hoping no one would ask, and probably more importantly, no one would find out! And who were the other candidates (if any) who were interviewed?
LOL! Right on, Laurie! And in the Der Spiegel article he says he was raised on homeopathics . . maybe he had a proving of Stram.