Just as Prof. Edzard Ernst is homeopathy’s greatest modern opponent, Dana Ullman, in my opinion, is homeopathy’s greatest modern proponent. In fact, I would nominate him for a million dollar Hahnemann award (if such a thing existed) as this blog of Ernst’s testifies [https://edzardernst.com/2019/02/why-i-changed-my-mind-about-dana-ullman/]. . at least to the latter approbation, despite the attempt by Ernst to smudge the article as “satire”, I propose taking the helm of the dialectic with
an observation that rolls over a snag in the issue these great men are embroiled in, that being the central argument of verum and placebo, whether or not the homeopathic remedy is chemically capable of initiating a biometric, cellular response . . by dint of its instrumentally measurable physical properties. Yes, yes, I know, that sounds a little confusing, to people with limited vocabularies who won’t look anything up, but sooner or later we have to get down to pins and needles.
Just let me say this: As men of science, the team of Ullman and Ernst should be repelling up and down the cliffs of this question of homeopathic chemistry and nuclear physics and meeting at its quantum summit.
Excuse me, did I say nuclear physics? Maybe I should say” unclear physics” . . or what about “new clear physics?” Certainly more cheeky and promising.
Mystery of the lost molecule
Years ago I called super-skeptic Michael Shermer to inform him he had misspelled “Hannemann” in his Encyclopedia of Pseudoskepticism, and in the ensuing conversation about homeopathy he suddenly blurted “what is it?” and I quickly responded
nuclear magnetic resonance”, a sanitized version of radioactive, and that was the end of it.
You’d think he’d want more, but he ran like a bunny. Well, come to think of it, pretty much everyone has and does . . run like a bunny, or a scalded hamster when confronted by such uh, unclear physics. But never fear, Iam here to make them . . if you have the courage to keep reading . ..
Demystifying homeopathy doesn’t seem to be a popular topic among skeptics and homeopaths alike. Naming it and claiming it loses its popularity among those trading in its mysteries. But there is a problem with sustaining a mystery already plumbed.
Excuse me, did I just imply that the homeopathic remedy’s mechanism, as the British Medical Journal put it in their ’92 Kleijnan meta review, has been revealed? And what’s this you say, it’s not just all placebo?
Why is it that heresy seems to find a home with me? Am I being used as an example of the futility of swords?
B.S. in Revenant Science
One-hundred and ten years ago an article appeared in The Chironian entitled The Scientific Reasonableness of Homeopathy by Royal S. Copeland, A.M., M.D.*
It is a remarkable piece of writing, for among other things, it resolves in finer detail what I told Shermer, and
how it got there, to which, by the way, I have pursued in even finer granularity in today’s references. More on that later if I’m not assassinated . . or euthanized. Here is what Copeland writes on the futility of swords no matter how fine the edge:
Dissociation of Molecules.
COPELAND: “In the theory of dissociation of molecules, the laboratory of physical chemistry has scientifically proven the value of the infinitesimal. While this doctrine is now well known to every scientist. and especially to the reader of the homeopathic publications of the past five years, it may not be out of place to review it briefly. As interpreted by this theory, a chemical, technically an electrolyte, when dissolved, is dissociated into parts or particles smaller than the atoms and known as ions. The more dilute the solution the greater is the dissociation and consequently the atoms are less in number and the ions increased. In a solution infinitely dilute, the dissociation is absolute and the chemical is present only in a state of ionization.”
Allow me to reiterate: The more dilute the solution the greater is the dissociation and consequently the atoms are less in number and the ions increased.
With that one sentence Copeland should be setting off a spark in the dry tinder of inquiring minds. Dissociation of molecules? What is that? Ionization? What are these terms with which Copeland is promising to demystify the missing molecule in the homeopathic remedy? And what is this about homeopathy and electrolytes?
If you want to read more of what Copeland has to say, be my guest, I presume you have access to the Internet. It’s a lengthy article covering some other interesting stuff in the same vein. Here’s the link: https://www.homeowatch.org/history/copeland.html.
If you’re wondering who he is, Google Royal S. Copeland. He was a U.S. Senator and chief sponsor of the FDCA. In the meantime, let me share with you what I found in my research regarding molecular dissociation and ionization, but first let me reassure you not to feel alone in ignorance. Nobody I know so far gets it or has gotten it. It’s the common brain stem that seems to shut down when it first encounters this. Mine did. The mouth and fingers quit working, there’s a reduction in neural activity, it went over my head the first few times I read it and remained so until I smoked some pot and got the grandstand idea to look up some definitions . . and found myself descending into the rabbit hole of quantum chemistry and . . the infinitessimal.
When particles are diluted in water, they are split apart in a process known as dissociation, and to be more specific, hydrolytic dissociation, when the smaller particles are split into even smaller particles in subsequent dilutions and the molecule is ionized into electrons. In other words the solute changes phase, losing mass as it gains energy, changing from particle to wave and retaining the properties of the original solute.
It’s a nuclear event.
COPELAND: “The more dilute the solution the greater is the dissociation and consequently the atoms are less in number and the ions increased. In a solution infinitely dilute, the dissociation is absolute and the chemical is present only in a state of ionization.” !!!
The chemical in a homeopathic dilution is present only in a state of ionization?
Here it can be seen that for a couple of hundred years the critics of homeopathy have been theoretically counting molecules, when according to Copeland and his references, they should have been looking for ions, and according to Copeland, at least since 1909, the presence of ions in solution can detected using physical tests:
COPELAND: . the laboratory has proven that the properties of completely dissociated solution are the sum of all the ions present in the solution. This holds for such properties as conductivity, lowering of the freezing point, refraction equivalent, heat of neutralization, and undoubtedly, for any therapeutic effect possessed by the drug.
Sounds like things in the homeopathic remedy are warming up.
This certainly is news to the arbiters of homeopathy. You’d think they’d want to know, especially those who are proponents of homeopathy. I mean its quite understandable that opponents of homeopathy would want the theory and tests to go away, especially the tests that prove the molecular content to have ionized. In 1999, billionaire Richard L. Adams, Jr., founder of UUNET, treasurer of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), speaking through James Randi, offered to me personally, delivered as a challenge, in writing, $1,000,000, provided by Adams, to PROVE that the originating solute, the intended chemical in a homeopathic solution, is present in a homeopathic remedy solution diluted one part in ten 24 or more times in the method of Hahnemann, that point at which not one molecule can remain.
$1,000,000 for proof of homeopathy
In the ending days of 1999 I applied for the Adams/Randi million dollar challenge to prove homeopathy, and my application was accepted by Mr. Randi. I had specifically asked Mr. Randi, if I provided a method by which to identify homeopathically potentized solutions in liquid or pill vehicles among non potentized solutions of the same vehicle in a double blind trial, would that win the million dollars?
Mr. Randi replied by email “yes, just do it and take the money.”
After months of Mr. Randi failing to accept a proposed test of a method, a dielectric assay discussed between
me and JREF representative Prof. Eric Carlson of Wake Forest University, I sent an “open letter” email to James Randi at email@example.com, dated Fri, 22 Sep 2000 08:19:35 -0700, and cc’d it a host of others caught in the diaspora, numerous witnesses, including luminaries of the dialectic as Nobel prize laureate Brian Josephson; INSERM director Jacques Benveniste; homeopathy experimentalist and book author Prof. Gary E. Schwartz; physicist Robert Park; Skeptics-Forum@egroups.com, U.S. National Institute of Health director and homeopathy experimentalist Wayne Jonas, M.D., Boiron representative Andy Bormeth, homeopathy researcher David Reilly, M.D., Oxford public health director Tim Lancaster, M.D.; JREF’s banker at Goldman Sachs Naomi Shapiro, Aquarian editor Syd Baumel; witness Wesley Thuro, psicounsel.com archivist Dan Kettler; Infinite-Energy.com editor Eugene Mallove; U. of Arizona homeopathy researcher Professor Iris R Bell, M.D. Andrew Harter of JREF; advocate for scrutiny of unproven medical practices Wallace Sampson, M.D.; Boiron and finally, of course, who else but the legendary homeopath, Dana Ullman.
In this letter I presented (among other numerous tests using different methods) James Stephenson’s published replication of a test by two French investigators (Gay and Boiron) that identified the presence of ions in homeopathic solutions, as described by Copeland, by measuring the puncture voltage of the solution, well enough to separate the wheat from the chaff, the potentized remedy from its H2O base.
In other words, Adams and Randi wagered a million dollars on published tests that reported having already done years ago what these two men were avowedly betting a million dollars was impossible.
Like any drowning man, I’m reaching out. Can I get a hand here?
Are we having a conversation about this, or is it just me?
What do you think the response was?
*Senator Copeland was the Dean of New York Homeopathic Medical College and Flower Hospital, formerly a Professor at the University of Michigan, the late President of the American Institute of Homeopathy, reprinted from The Chironian, May 1909; in the 1930’s he was the U.S. Senator from New York 1923 to 1938 and Chief Sponsor of the Federal Drug and Cosmetics Act.