DO SKEPTICS DENY SCIENCE?

Thanks to Journal commentator Guy Chapman, we have evidence for answering that question.
Guy posted a link to an article about water bridges in response to my blog about the same. I showed the eerie demo of a water bridge and the amazing structuring capabilities of water.
Those who are opposed to homeopathy for political reasons have been forced to fight the idea that water structures, as it shows a kind of memory, which leads to a theory for homeopathy.
Like the proverbial camel. Sticking his nose in the tent.
Guy says physorg “explains some of it,” How a water bridge works, that is.
The phsyorg article states, “Much research has been done to uncover the structure of water beyond the H2O scale, which is thought to be responsible for many of water’s unique properties. However, the nature of this structure, governed by hydrogen bonds, is currently unknown.”
This is an interesting statement. It admits a structure to water it says is what give it its unique properties, but in view of a contiguous order such as the water bridge, “the nature this structure unknown.” which is not entirely true.
As you must know, much of the criticism of homeopathy centers on the belief that water can’t structure due to the weak and femto-second range of the hydrogen bond, the only intermolecular force recognized by the pseudoscientists when other forces describe a dynamic aqueous field.
The impossibility of liquid aqueous structuring is contradicted by what anyone can see in the form of surface tension and bubbles, clathrates, water clusters, gas hydrates, inclusion molecules and now the water bridge. The geniuses at physorg are even starting to admit it . . sort of. They must sense, if they do not explicitly know it, that there is a large taboo around water studies. It leads diretly to biological implications that can challenge public policies and control of water. Anyone who has studied this subject knows that it is tightly controlled by what poses as “skepticism.” Anyone who steps out of line in this subject will be attacked. The admission of liquid aqueo0us structuring without qualification is taboo. You are not to do it, you will be punished by ridicule and discreditation if you do. If you are a studdent, you will flunk. if you are an academic, you will lose tenure, funding, academic standing,  or you will be ostaracied. No one willpublish your rap.  With few exceptions, which this blog seeks to reveal, nomatter who you are, if you step out of line you will suffer.

Furthmore, the charge is made here is that denial of structuring can be traced directly to the pharmaceutical interests threatened by homeopathy. Allow me to remind everyone that the argument for homeoapthy is the pro side, the argument against it the con.
Chapman next insists, without citation, that experimentation by Nobel prize winning homeopath Luc Montagnier, author of the highly controversial “Electromagnetic Signals (EMS) Are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA Sequences,” shows that “in Montagnier’s experiment the effect is extremely short-lived.”

This is the typical vague statement of  the pseudoscience which drives denialism. 
What Montagnier actually says in his EMS DNA study is “It is known from the very early X-ray diffraction studies of DNA, that water molecules are tightly associated with the double helix, and any beginner in molecular biology knows that DNA in water solution forms gels associating a larger number of water molecules.

“Moreover, a number of physical studies have reported that water molecules can form long polymers of dipoles associated by hydrogen bonds (Ruan et al., 2004; Wernet et al., 2004).
However these associations appear to be very shortlived (Cowan et al., 2005). Could they live longer, being self-maintained by the electromagnetic radiations they are emitting as previously postulated by Del Guidice, Preparata and Vitielo (1988)?
“We have studied the decay with time of the capacity of dilutions for emitting EMS, after they have been removed (in mumetal boxes) from exposure to the excitation by the background. This capacity lasts at least several hours, some time up to 48 hours, indicating the relative stability of the nanostructures.”

This is very difficult for the anti-homeopathy crowd to respond to, for Montagnier, in using Benveniste’s patented system of EMS detection, measurement and filtration of liquid aqueous structuring, is clearly identying the electromagnetic and structural indices for the homeopathic remedy. Yet here we are, taking commentary from those who would try to explain it away . .

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Who wants to smear homeopathy?

I think its a smear campaign.

Kaviraj and I have given them more than enough time to respond to our challenge. All we have asked of the critics of homeopathy, like Edzard Ernst, John Beddington, Ben Goldacre, Andy Lewis and their dopey proxies, is to please show us the evidence that homeopathic remedies are “placebos.”

Show us just one scientific  study that proves it. Please. Just one. That’s all. It’s not too much to ask.

But here we are, empty handed.

Boo hoo.
All we got in here is nothing more than blandishments, rhetorical questions, empty assertions, vague references to something seen on TV, ridicule, rants and accusations, but not one published study. Not one! Nothing to prove the claim that homeopathy is a placebo, nothing to lead us to the truth, not from them!

Instead, we have public figures, people who should be taken as authorities on the subject, such as Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Excreter Univeristy in England, and Professor Sir John Beddington, Chief Science Advisor to the British government, presenting to the public a conclusion that has dual, contradictory meanings: One, because it is a placebo, homeopathy does not work; and two, the placebo effect can be a powerful one, and so if there is a cure from homeopathy that doesn’t seem like to be a coincidence, it is likely to be because of that.

So why would Beddington, Ernst or anyone with half a mind make a statement like that, that homeopathic medicine is a placebo, when the action of two and a half million (2,500,000) doses of homeopathic medicine was reportedly seen in Cuba to stop epidemic of chronic swamp fever?
Is Beddington going to call that the effects of placebo, or is he going to call the Cubans liars?
You don’t need to be partial to homeopathy to see that the criticisms of it aren’t adding up until, perhaps, I point out that Cuba is one of the few places in the world where drug companies like Pfizer can’t so easily get to.

“Homeopathy is very difficult to write about for a contemporary medical audience. In an ideal informational world, in which science is unbiased information and scientists and academics are unbiased consumers of such information, it would not be so difficult. Unfortunately, it is painfully obvious that science is biased, consumers of scientific information are biased, and science is routinely used to advance personal political and economic agendas that have nothing to do with increasing the store of generalizable knowledge.” (Dean review)

Intelligent people, people in positions of authority, are making stupid statements, that homeopathy is a placebo. Beddington said it in the Guardian just the other day, and that it is scientifically unsupported.

Conversely, one researcher, in making an exhaustive review of the clinical literature, found 205 prospective controlled clinical trials performed in the contemporary research environment from 1940 to 1998. He found evidence of homeopathy’s safety and efficacy in trials of high internal validity. He also found usefulness for homeopathy in areas that are problematic for orthodox medicine. On the basis of trials reviewed, he concluded that homeopathy is clinically relevant and that there are certain conditions in which pragmatic trials of homeopathy versus standard treatment would be useful, for example, in unexplained female infertility, postviral fatigue syndrome, influenza, and atopy. (Dean)
The review of his book then says something very interesting: “Sociologic data show the use of data for this purpose is ineffective. That is, scientists are not convinced by data. That a significant body of data shows homeopathy is more than placebo is now indisputable. Since homeopathy is a school of medicine, and not an ad hoc therapeutic modality or technique, one can conclude that data showing homeopathy is not explainable by placebo are data that go toward confirming the entire school of homeopathy and its claims, not simply that this or that remedy works for this or that disease entity.” (Dean review http://www.sld.cu/galerias/pdf/sitios/mednat/research_on_homeopathy_state_of_the_art_(3).pdf)

Well, this is just wild, like Oscar, and it gets wilder, even more than Thornton.

As you can see, first revealed in my previous blog, a review of the literature by the most respected reviewers provided no real evidence for the placebo effect. Researcher Michael Emmons Dean isn’t alone in that assessment. There is no published, scientific support for the placebo charge against homeopathy, yet that’s the claim that the Chief Scientist to the UK government is making, along with the holder of the only chair for complementary medicine, and there appear to be hordes cheering them on, when in fact, in view of the data, the opposite should be happening.
I have never seen anyone, who has taken a vituperative stand against homeopathy, ever recant in the face of the evidence for it. They just slink away or keep yarping the same old bark over and over again, as if they don’t even look at it.
I’ve seen it happen up close and personal. I was friends with Jerry Andrus, a world renowned magician who was on the advisory board of the National Council Against Heath fraud. (NCAHF). Jerry was convinced there was no evidence in support of homeopathy. When I finally put a stack of studies in front of him that showed there was, he literally pushed it away and replaced it with a small pad of paper he was carrying and a pencil, and asked me to list some other stupid things I believed in, like witches, fairy tales and of course, astrology. When he saw the look in my eyes, he quickly withdrew it, confessing that he guessed that wasn’t fair.
It never is. Although they claim science, and demand it from you, when you present it to them, they ignore it at first, or try to pick it apart based on poor statistics.
When challenged to respond with facts over assertions, they simply ignore it. It’s not the behavior of scientists pursuing a concordant truth, its the behavior of people who are legislating. They won’t and can’t face the evidence. If they did, they’d have to stand down. Read the commentary in response. They aren’;t responding to the science with the science they first demanded. They have none. It’s all on the side of homeopathy.

Who is Sir John Beddington? When we look at some of his statged beliefs, an even stranger picture emerges as to why he is denouncing homeopathy. 

DEAN, Review of Michael Emmons Dean, “The Trials of Homeopathy: Origins, Structure, and Development” http://www.homeopathy.org/research/research_reviews/acm-2005-11_15.pdf
Jonas W, Kaptchuk T, Linde K. A critical overview of homeopathy.
Ann Int Med 2003;138:393–399.
Fisher P. Homeopathy: A multifaceted scientific renaissance.
J Altern Complement Med 2001;7:123–125.

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A Carefully Lain Trap, Homeopathic Pitfall

In the action adventure detective story Make Me Do it My Way, Jack Protogoras finds himself driving into the night down a long lonesome highway. The trees and vegetation crowd in more and more, closer to the highway, until it is no illusion of the mind that something unnatural is crowding in upon him.
What was thought to be a well traveled road has imperceptively become narrower, overshadowing the road from starlight. The headlights dissolve into blackness, the thick vegation on the side of the road, reaching out, branches so close they lightly brush the door . .
There is something darkly ominous about this. But not to worry happy yellow signs suggest, VEGETATION REMOVAL WORK AHEAD, only a little further, a wide highway is ahead . .
Reassured, Jack plunges forward through an increasing density, until it is scraping the door, then so thick that it is impossible to move ahead. He puts the car in reverse, but the tires spin and squeal. He is caught in a lobster pot, no way out. . the strange vegetation points only one way: Ahead.
There is no turning back.
Thigmotropism is the ability of a plant to move in response to touch. Like the peristaltic action of the gut, in regurgitating motions the car is squeezed forward to a powerful enzymatic pitfall which will dissolve the car . . and its occupant.
It is a carefully lain trap!
Fortunately Jack has a flamethrower in the car, rolls down the window and torches this man eating organism from another planet a burning lesson it won’t forget.

In my last blog I took a particular homeopathy-hater to task on his logic in a post in where he admits that there is evidence for it, qualified weak. Then in a solipsism of the tongue, Guy Chapman says he won’t accept any evidence . . no science, no rationale, no evidence, nothing supports it AT ALL.
“The phytopathological reports are all lies I tell you, lies! You homeopaths are all quacks, fools and madmen!”
It’s the typical contradiction of the pseudo scientist screaming at his god. But Chapman’s no dummy. No sir. He sees the trap. If he moves forward in the diretion of the argument, he is bound to melt. In chemistry, like dissolves like. The solvent  he threatens us with, science, will dissolve his own argument. If he puts homeopathy to the ultimate test and drinks the dilute, he might forget to not accept what he feels . .

Any basic science student knows that a scientific study is an inquiry, not an assertion. Any forensicist knows, if the truth is already known, the skillful use of the interrogatory will lead the victim down a dark, narrow road. This should be the skpetics employ, but it is not. Look at his arguments. They are inimically full of unsupported allegations, assumptions, unreferenced claims, strangely costumed as “science“ . .

Well, I would simply ignore Chapman’s manifesto if it wasn’t for the fact that it is exactly what I would expect to hear come from a majority of our detractors, including Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, Sir John Beddington.
What’s so crazy about this is that Beddington is a Professor of Applied Population Biology at Imperial College in London. A spooky title that, applied population biology. Sounds like genocide to me.

This isn’t the science we’re looking for. Nor does it appear to be the science we need.
In the UK Evidence Check on Homeoapthy, why did not Beddington lead the inquiry before the public with questions designed falsify both placebo as well as verum hypotheses? Why did he not question the authorties on the action of homeopathics such as Profs. Rustum Roy, William Tiller, Richard Hoover, Iris Bell, Madeleine Ennis,  doctors such as J Sainte Laudy, Phillipe Belon, WB Jonas, Claudia Witt?
If the homeopath haters had the truth behind them, they wouldn’t be afraid to ask simple, direct questions, such as what is the extent of pre-clinical testing, such as for biochemical effects? How many of those tests have been replicated, who are the workers, how credible are they?
What is the homeopath’s physico-chemical explanation for his remedies?
There would be questions, not allegations.
But these questions are not asked. We are simply given assertions from a cadre of commentators, supported strangely by the Fabians and their mouthpiece, Sense Against Science.
We are told we don’t need further testing. The results are known.
Is there another, darker agenda afoot?
It feels like a carefully lain trap . .