The Royal Homeopath vs. the Medical Journalist
It must beggar the imagination for the opponents of homeopathy to learn of the high and mighty’s endorsement of such, or it must fuel within their minds a kind of begrudging cynicism, that insists fools must by chance alone attain greatness. Mark Twain, John D. Rockefeller, Mahatma Ghandi, Mary Baker Eddy; Paul McCartney; Mariel Hemmingway; David Beckham; Sir William Osler; Twiggy; Tina Turner; Caprice; Susan Hampshire; C. Everett Koop, M.D. ; Louise Jameson; Catherine Zeta Jones; Gaby Roslin; Catherine Zeta-Jones; Jude Law; Sadie Frost, Nadia Sawalha; Jennifer Aniston; Jade Jagger; Roger Daltry, Annabel Croft; Meera Syal; Charles Dickens; W.B. Yeats; William Thackeray; Benjamin Disraeli; William James; Pope Pius X; Louisa May Alcott, Susan B. Anthony, William Lloyd Garrison, Daniel Webster, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Seward, Feodor Dostoevsky; Jackson Pollock; W.C. Fields; Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, MD; Dr. Chas. Frederick Menninger, MD; Charles Darwin; Nobelists Emil Von Behring, Brian Josephson and Luc Montagnier; former American Presidents James Garfield, William McKinley, Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton, about 500 American MDs and 300 British MDs, and reportedly about 5000 non MD practitioners in the US . . to name a few, have all been at least favorable, supportive or admiring of homeopathy if not regular users or openly enthusiastic about it.
Such a conundrum must plague their minds in the case of the English Royal family, under homeopathic care since 1830. There has always been a Royal Homeopathic Doctor. Currently he is Dr. Peter Fisher, MD.
Whereas homeopathy antagonists, usually atheists, can dismiss the credible use of homeopathics by the creative, it must give them pause that such savvies, like atheistic Darwin, street smart Twain and the world’s richest man, the self made Rockefeller, could brook if not quietly use what scoffers have to insist is nonsense, “plain water” . . or witchcraft.
But for the serious student of homeopathy the puzzle is why homeopaths haven’t been more influential, why they haven’t said more when the case for homeopathy is so strong and it’s paralegal opposition so weak, nothing much more than carping.
Recently in an online homeopathy discussion list, what should be the strongest voice for homeopathy, Royal Homeopath Dr. Peter Fisher, MD, has come under some criticism for what some consider a weak performance in a debate with medical journalist and homeopathy antagonist Ben Goldacre. a well known complainer noted for his constant lopsided criticism of any study, test, experiment, trial or review of the literature that favorably concludes for homeopathy. In fact, such doesn’t even need to be favorable to attract Goldacre’s ire. All any study of homeopathy need to do for Goldacre to launch an attack on it is fail to condemn it.
In this rather tame duel, Fisher and Goldacre present their respective points and then field some soft balls pitched from the audience, when there are some of us in the homeopathic community who would like to see Fisher tear Goldacre limb from metaphorical limb . . and not necessarily because Goldacre deserves it, but because Fisher can.
My response to this is to ask that we give Fisher a break. Isn’t he the one who took the spurious Shang metanalysis to the Discreditor’s Ball, held the antagonist’s major piece of bullshit to account by calling for the raw data? We should be down on our knees thanking the guy for the incredible work he’s done for homeopathy. He’s a real MD as opposed to this “medical journalist” clown Goldacre, who just pretends to be an MD. Of course this is just my opinion, but I think that if Goldacre ever actually treated somebody for a disease he’d be at risk of getting thrown in jail for murder.
When I was in England I invited Goldacre to my lecture on the supramolecular chemistry of homeopathy at Cambridge and away he ran, and when I took him to task for it all he could do was whine. He’s quite full of words when he’s sitting in front of a computer montior, but he’s been as loud as Grant’s tomb on a Monday morning when he’s sitting in front of someone he knows will take him to task.
Fisher, on the other hand, is a gentleman, and given his office must maintain the dignity of his position, and as such has to maintain a bedside manner, treat everyone as a patient and therefore sympathize with the sick bastard. As editor of Homeopathy Magazine, with a Royal Warrant sticking out of his back pocket, due to his titles alone Fisher is indeed probably the strongest single voice there is for homeopathy. The limb tearing should be left to the tattooed class.
The very fact that Fisher exists is alone a huge testimonial for homeopathy. But more than that he’s done most excellent work in rebutting the UK Parliament’s cherry picked ‘Evidence Check’ for the efficacy of homeopathy, specifically in his Memorandum to the UK Parliament on Evidence from Basic Research [ http://tinyurl.com/7666q5g ] and it is from this a telling point, a killshot, arises.
It’s in the Memo’s first line: “Its ‘implausibility’ from a scientific standpoint is often cited as a reason for scepticism about homeopathy, even in the face of positive clinical evidence. For instance a 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’.”
What? “Its mechanism of action were more plausible”??
Now if the opposition was on its toes, a statement like this would set them back on their heels, if not flatten them. I say, and submit to you, that the reason it hasn’t flattened anyone is because they’re already there, prostrate, just as much as the corpse that made the statement.
Here, let me explain: What the British Medical Journal (BMJ, impact factor 17.215) is saying is the argument homeopathy has not been the putative, that there is no evidence of effective action . . no! What they are allowing, if not outright saying, is that they would accept the effectiveness of homeopathy if somebody would explain it to them! LOL! This is tantamount to a man falling off a ledge, and on the way down, proclaiming that he would accept the force of gravity if somebody could tell him how it works!
Up until this point, the rejection of homeopathy was supposed to be a cavalcade of absent evidence . . “Oh, homeopathy is not evidence based medicine” when in fact homeopathy, as anomalous as it may be, has never had the luxury of conventional hypotheses and theory . . evidence has been all it’s had, the evidence of action has been the sole cherry red river that’s driven its mill.
When the Internet began to transmit the actual record of pre-clinical and clinical trials, the attack on homeopathy had to shift from absent evidence to bad evidence and the suddenly discovered science had frantically picked apart by scientists-in-name-only (SINO) like Goldacre, with vituperative criteria reserved only for homeopathy.
Here’s a video of a debate, the Royal Homoeopath vs. the Medical Journalist.