The Homeopathic Cure of Wikipedia

Wikipedia falsifies the placebo claim for homeopathy . . again, shilling  for pharma

Wikipedia has been caught for a third time frantically producing false information about homeopathy on  a shifting footnote intended to support a hypothesis that homeopathic medicine is a “placebo.” A placebo is defined by Wikipedia as a sham treatment intended to deceive recipients.

The problem is that reviews of clinical tests of homeopathy, published in the British Medical Journal and the Lancet, among others, have all shown that the collective weight of clinical trials shows that the ionized pharmaceuticals used in homeopathic medicine are not placebos.

Wikipedia has therefore had to misrepresent the literature,  pretending to quote (1) a systematic review by a defrocked  professor of complementary medicine who garnered a reputation as the world’s leading homeopathy antagonist (2) a US government website that says nothing about placebos and (3) currently, at the time of this writing, the leading meta analysis of clinical trials that actually concludes homeopathics are not placebos.

The Wikipedia article says: “Homeopathic remedies are found to be no more effective than a placebo,[2] defining placebo as “a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient.”

The article is locked down, preventing a rewrite neutral to the facts. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has voiced vituperative opposition to homeopathy, calling it the work of charlatans. The talk session of the article is a jumble of opinions by trolls trying to figure out how to reconcile contradicting conclusions in meta analyses, looking for evidence to support the placebo hypothesis in credible publications, and not finding it.

The  scuttlebutt is that whoever wrote the article was hired to keep it in flux by pharmaceutical industry interests, like the Geneva based International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, (IFPMA) for which Wikipedia admittedly provides advertising space. The use of ionized pharmaceuticals, as used in homoeopathy, could break the strangle hold current conventional pharmaceuticals have on modern medicine, and so must be suppresed.

Footnote number two in the WIkipedia homeopathy article seems to prove it. Prior to the current footnote, footnote  number two, which traditionally has been the footnote supporting its placebo accusation,  led to an article by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) that says nothing about homeopathics being placebos. The NCCAM article is entitled Homeopathy: An Introduction (click here and read it for yourself if you don’t believe it).

This changed within the last few hours of publication of this article, as if they’re watching my keystrokes. Now it leads to the 1997 Linde meta analysis published in the Lancet, what homeopathy antagonist Edzard Ernst called “technically superb.” Linde is considered to be the best review of he literature, but is now 17 years old. Linde stated their results were incompatible with the placebo hypothesis, the opposite of what Wikipedia says it said. .

If you’re familiar with Wikipedia’s pseudoscience and fake academic “research” by hired shills for the pharmaceutical industry trying to take attention off their culpability in spawning breasts on boys and two headed girls, then you can imagine pornmeister Jimmy Wales standing in front of a table full of geeks saying something like, “just use any old article, nobody reads the footnotes, I mean you could link it to Bomis and the wikisuckers still won’t check it out.”

The U.S.’s  NCCAM article refused to say what Wikipedia wanted them to say, so the Wiki editors probaly had to switch back to Linde, which addresses the placebo hypothesis directly, but contradicts their undying  insistence that homeopathic remedies are no more effective than placebos.

Perhaps one of the editors actually read the NCCAM article and then hurriedly kicked some cat litter over it and nervously went back to something more sustainable, to make the placebo claim. Give the appearance of attribution and people will think it is.

But when Linde’s 1997 results are read they say:

“The results of our meta-analysis are not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are completely due to placebo.”

The reason Wikipedia likes Linde is because in a susequent addendum Linde moderated their results by saying that more rigorous trials revealed less positive results. But Linde never recanted their basic statement that homeopathic remedies are not placebos.

Linde is not the only meta analysis that blows up in the face of those who are desperate to disprove homeopathy.

A 1991 systematic review of clinical trials, published in the British Medical Journal stated:

The amount of positive evidence even among the best studies came as a surprise to us. Based on this evidence we would be ready to accept that homoeopathy can be efficacious, if only the mechanism of action were more plausible . .  “The evidence presented in this review would probably be sufficient for establishing homoeopathy as a regular treatment for certain indications. There is no reason to believe that the influence of publication bias, data massage, bad methodology, and so on is much less in conventional medicine, and the financial interests for regular pharmaceutical companies are many times greater. Are the results of randomised double blind trials convincing only if there is a plausible mechanism of action? Are review articles of the clinical evidence only convincing if there is a plausible mechanism of action? Or is this a special case because the mechanisms are unknown or implausible?Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G. Clinical trials of homoeopathy, British Medical Journal, 1991; 302: 316–323. tinyurl com/kleijnen

If it’s saying what you  want it to say, or, if you know it isn’t true, and you’re motivated to expose the lie, if you have the conviction of your beliefs, it’ll be your red meat, or fakin’ bacon if you’re vegan.

So now who’s administering placebos?

The word “placebo” does not even appear in the NCCAM article, the article that up to a few hours ago Wikipedia listed as its validaiton for the placebo claim. The NCCAM article does not describe homeopathic treatment to be ineffectual or intended to deceive, as Wikipedia suggested it would.

The word “homeopathy” refers to the phenomenon of like cures like, as is seen in the use of vaccines. In an effort to maintain equilibrium, organisms can react intensively to small doses of toxins, especially when dissociated. Hahnemann’s word homoeopathy (meaning same suffering) or the putative word homeopathy (meaning similar suffering) do not refer to the material phase of a pharmacuetical’s content as solid, liquid, gaseous or plasma (ionized). Any phase of matter can induce a homoeopathic reaction. Homeopathic medicines are noted for their use of the ionized pharmaceuticals, created by molecular dissociation when serially diluted in water, but the homeopathic application is not limited to ionized materials.

In the U.S., homeopathic remedies are regulated by the Federal Drug Administration. The original rules covering the use of homeopathics were a part of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act sponsored by Senator Royal S. Copeland, M.D. (D-NY), a homeopath.

That’s right. Your eyes are not deceiving you, you are not hallucinating.

The Godfather of the FDA was a homeopath.

Like the current reference to Linde, the NCCAM article implies the opposite of what Wikipedia claimed it said. The NCCAM article states,

“While many homeopathic remedies are highly diluted, some products sold or labeled as homeopathic may not be highly diluted; they can contain substantial amounts of active ingredients. Like any drug or dietary supplement that contains chemical ingredients, these homeopathic products may cause side effects or drug interactions. Negative health effects from homeopathic products of this type have been reported.”

The NCCAM article was not the first time Wikipedia was caught falsifying the placebo claim. This blog made note of the same charge in its entry on January 29th, 2012. (Wikipedia and the Case Against Homeopathy)

At that time the Wikipedia article on Homeopathy read, “The collective weight of scientific evidence has found homeopathy to be no more effective than a placebo.[2][3][4][5][6]

BACK TO LINDE

As you can see, WIkipedia is caught in a crossfire of its own references. Like a ping pong match, once again, tracing back to footnote number two we found, at the end of the rainbow, Edzard Ernst’s Systematic Review of Systematic Reviews of Homeopathy, which stated,

“The existence of contradicting evidence is not unusual in therapeutics. One solution to resolve such contradictions is to conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses of rigorous studies. In 1997, Linde et al did just that. The conclusions of this technically superb meta-analysis expressed the notion that homeopathic medicines are more than mere placebos.”

Not one major meta analysis has been able to effectively conclude that the action of homeopathic remedies is due solely to the placebo effect. Not even Shang, the most popular homeopathy meta analysis among skeptics, was able to clearly conclude that the effect was from chance, iatrogenesis or “placebo,” admitting “a weak effect.” A review of the data by independent analysis of Shang determined that even in this most damning meta of homeopathy, ”Homeopathy had a significant effect beyond placebo.” Ludtke Rutten

The literature for the homeopathic placebo simply doesn’t exist. The urban legend was a badly executed deception popularized by James Randi 14 years ago to support his phony offer of one million dollars ($1,000,000) to prove homeopathy, an offer that his supporters, which includes the pharmaceutical drug industry, are still desperately hanging onto as proof that homeopathy is unprovable.

The question remains, who wrote the Homeopathy article for Wikipedia, and how much were they paid, out of whose pocket?

I Challenge PZ Myers: PUT HOMEOPATHY TO THE TEST!

 
 Like a domestic spat,
or like any argument at all,
where one side is being held to account
for some nasty business,
and violently changes the subject . .
so it is
when homeopathy holds allopathy
to account for genocide.

Man oh man

I’ve never seen such traffic in all my days. I was about to write that yesterdays numbers were the highest ever, ten times that of my most highly viewed blog, one of the most viewed blogs on WordPress — but today’s has already broken that record.

Wow! Wowee!

I’m a star, just like mama used to say.

Fire PZ Myers, in one and a half days garnered over 17,000 views. But judging from the commentary, only a few really bothered to read it. They wrote mostly obscenities for commentary.  If someone did ask a question, it was a leading one, or a question  that was already answered in the article. Or it was complaining about their obscenities in previous commentaries not being published, and then complaints that their complaints weren‘t being published, etc. etc.

But every now and then a gem appeared, like something from Kaviraj, what for him is a scrap, what for the rest of us is a meal.

It just proves my point, that that the only intelligent commentary is coming from the homeopaths, and all the idiocy from the allopaths.

Let me give you a profound demonstration of what I say.

The allopaths say there’s nothing to homeopathy, that it’s a placebo. Of course they don’t define what they mean by placebo, they don’t show any tests that prove placebo either. The next thing we hear from these whiz kids is how powerful the Placebo Effect is. SO does that mean that homeopath , compared to placebo, is powerful medicine? LOL!

The next tact from these acolytes of scientism is to fire off another broadside from the other side of their sinking ship, like “there‘s no science to back it up.”

Okay, so when we show them some clinical trials they say, “they weren’t properly double blinded.”
Okay, so when we show them clinical tests that were double blinded, they say “it wasn’t published in a peer reviewed magazine.”
Okay, so when we show them double blind clinical tests published in peer reviewed non-homeopathy journals, they say “there are no reputable tests published in prestigious, non-homeopathy peer reviewed journals that show the effects of high dilutes to be no greater than placebo.”

Well, here’s one that was published in an AMA journal.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998;124:879-885.
Homeopathic vs Conventional
Treatment of Vertigo
A Randomized Double-blind Controlled Clinical Study
Michael Weiser, MB; Wolfgang Strösser, MD, MB; Peter Klein, MS

To this the answer has been “it was discredited.”

In other words, somebody didn’t like it because it compared homeopathic treatment against an allopathic drug without a third set of victims given . . placebo.

But wait a minute . . I thought they said homeopathy was the placebo! Oh, bwahahahahahaha!

[Note the interjection of the  word “victim.”  How would you like to be somebody’s science project.  If PS Myers had have a real problem, do you really think that he would take a chance and be part of the placebo group. This is the main problem with clinical testing, which, if you read on, I shall correct]

Here’s an exhaustive collection of references to homeopathic research in a google knol by Dr. Nancy Malik. . Google it.

Scientific Research in Homeopathy
by Dr. Nancy Malik
Triple Blind studies, Double-Blind Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trial, Systematic Reviews & Meta Analysis, Evidence-based Medicines for specific disease conditions, Ultra-molecular dilutions, Animal Studies, Plant Studies
130+ studies in support of homoeopathy medicine published in 52 peer reviewed international journals out of which 46+ are FULL TEXT which can be downloaded

So we’re answering allopathy’s wild shots with pinpoint accuracy, and they’re going down with the ship, sinking under an epidemic of heart failure, diabetes, cancer . . diseases sufferers could be helped with through  homeopathy.

Look, at this point we’re not trying to make assertions about how well homeopathy works, we‘re just trying to show that it does. The problem is that the public is getting that mixed up in their minds. The anti-homeopathy crowd is substituting evidence for how well it works for evidence that it does work. We are avoiding simple decisive tests.

We have extensive records comparing homeopathic with allopathic treatment, both modern (Bracho) and old (Bradford) . . but comparison is a point that should be examined after we see that the substances used in homeopathy have objective indices not found in clinical trials.

Just as no one symptom should be taken alone as the only indicator for which homeopathic remedy should be used, neither should any one test for homeopathy be used to determine its efficacy, and pre-clinical testing should come first in examining homeopathy as a potential clinical modality.

If you’re out in the woods and you’re scrounging around for food and find something that looks palatable but you’re not sure of, you feed it to the dog first. If he doesn’t get sick, then you eat it. That would be a pre-clinical test.

But oh no, the pseudoscientists dive into this subject answers first . . and the questions that support the answer second, without first finding out if these substances have physical, biochemical and biological action.

What the wise will do is first consult the literature on the subject.

This is what James "the Amazing" Randi looks like without his glasses and phony beard, taking my phone call. He accepted my application for his phony "Million Dollar Challenge" 11 years ago and is still running from me to this day!

That brings us to the first real question in this investigation. What do we know of pre-clinical tests for high dilutes?

In 2003 Becker-Witt C, Weibhuhn TER, Ludtke R, Willich SN sought answers to that question in a study entitled, “Quality assessment of physical research in homeopathy” . J Alternative Complementary Med. 2003;9:113–32.
Becker-Witt reports:

“Objectives: To assess the evidence of published experiments on homeopathic preparations potencies) that target physical properties (i.e., assumed structural changes in solvents).
“Method: A suitable instrument (the Score for Assessment of Physical Experiments on Homeopathy SAPEH]) was developed through consensus procedure: a scale with 8 items covering 0 criteria, based on the 3 constructs, methodology, presentation, and experiment standardization.
“Reviewed publications: Written reports providing at least minimal details on physical experiments with methods to identify structural changes in solvents were collected. These reports were scored when they concerned agitated preparations in a dilution less than 10^23, with no other restrictions. We found 44 publications that included 36 experiments (the identity of 2 was unclear). They were classified into 6 types (dielectric strength, 6; galvanic effects, 5; light absorption, 4; nuclear magnetic resonance [NMR], 18; Raman spectroscopy, 7; black boxes of undisclosed design, 4).
“Results: Most publications were of low quality (SAPEH , 6), only 6 were of high quality
(SAPEH . 7, including 2 points for adequate controls). These report 3 experiments (1 NMR, 2 black boxes), of which 2 claim specific features for homeopathic remedies, as does the only medium-quality experiment with sufficient controls.
“Conclusions: Most physical experiments of homeopathic preparations were performed with inadequate controls or had other serious flaws that prevented any meaningful conclusion. Except\ for those of high quality, all experiments should be repeated using stricter methodology and standardization before they are accepted as indications of special features of homeopathic potencies.”

To summarize, Becker-Witt found six different physical tests for homeopathy. Eight criteria were rated, generating a potential total score of zero to 10. Reports for tests that had scores of six or less were considered to be of low quality, which they said constituted most of them.

Seven trials were found positive results were of high quality. Two out of seven high quality studies claimed distinctive features for homeopathic remedies.

What is important about Witt is she reveals more than one method for finding distinctive features which “science,” inplied by the Myers mindset, says does not exist.

Out of NMR 18 studies, only two were unable to get positive results.

The highest NMR SAPEH scores, went to three studies conducted by one name, Demangeat et al.
Since the 2003 Becker Witt review, Demangeat  continued with his NMR investigation
Here is a 2008 report by Demangeat that can be read online.

2008 July 26 Journal of Molecular Liquids, Interdiscip Sci Comput Life Sci (2009) 1: 81–90
 NMR water proton relaxation in unheated and heated ultrahigh aqueous dilutions of histamine: Evidence for an air-dependent supramolecular organization of water
Jean-Louis Demangeat, Nuclear Medicine Department, General Hospital, Haguenau, France

“We measured 20-MHz R1 and R2 water proton NMR relaxation rates in ultrahigh dilutions (range 5.43·10-8 M–5.43·10-48 M) of histamine in water (Hist-W) and in saline (Hist-Sal), prepared by iterative centesimal dilutions under vigorous agitation in controlled atmospheric conditions. Water and saline were similarly and simultaneously treated, as controls. The samples were immediately sealed in the NMR tubes after preparation, and then code-labelled. Six independent series of preparations were performed, representing about 7000 blind
measurements. R2 exhibited a very broad scatter of values in both native histamine dilutions and solvents. No variation in R1 and R2 was observed in the solvents submitted to the iterative dilution/agitation process. By contrast, histamine dilutions exhibited slightly higher R1 values than solvents at low dilution, followed by a slow progressive return to the values of the solvents at high dilution. Unexpectedly, histamine dilutions remained distinguishable from solvents up to ultra high levels of dilution (beyond 10-20 in Hist-Sal). A signi!cant increase in R2 with increased R2/R1was observed in Hist-W. R1 and R2 were linearly correlated in solvents, but uncorrelated in histamine dilutions. After a 10-min heating/cooling cycle of the samples in their sealed NMR tubes (preventing any modi!cation of the chemical composition and gas content), all of the relaxation variations observed as a function of dilution vanished, the R2/R1 ratio and the scatter of the R2 values dropped in all solutions and solvents, and the correlation between R1 and R2 reappeared in the Hist-W samples. All these results pointed to a more organized state of water in the unheated samples, more pronounced in histamine solutions than in solvents, dependent on the level of dilution. It was suggested that stable supramolecular structures, involving nanobubbles of atmospheric gases and highly ordered water around them, were generated during the vigorous mechanical agitation step of the preparation, and destroyed after heating. Histamine molecules might act as nucleation centres, amplifying the phenomenon which was thus detected at high dilution levels.

“These unexpected findings prompted further investigation, notably in other conditions, in order to rule out artefacts, such as possible interactions of silica with the glass material used for the preparation, or possible misinterpretation of the NMRD data due, for instance, to an unknown dependence of the frequency dispersion on the dilution level. So, the present study was carried out at a fixed frequency of 20 MHz and with histamine as solute, beyond the 4th centesimal dilution, i.e. beyond the known threshold of NMR sensitivity to detect histamine protons or any paramagnetic contaminants of the solute. It will be shown that the variations in R1 observed as a function of ultrahigh dilution in the NMRD study [16] are reproducible with histamine at a fixed frequency, and that these variations totally vanish after heating of the samples.

Here is the most recent and what I think is the best physical test of all:

2009 Electromagnetic Signals Are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA Sequences
Luc MONTAGNIER1,2*, Jamal A¨ISSA1, St´ephane FERRIS1,
Jean-Luc MONTAGNIER1, Claude LAVALL´EE1
1(Nanectis Biotechnologies, S.A. 98 rue Albert Calmette, F78350 Jouy en Josas, France)
2(Vironix LLC, L. Montagnier 40 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019, USA)

Abstract: A novel property of DNA is described: the capacity of some bacterial DNA sequences to induce
electromagnetic waves at high aqueous dilutions. It appears to be a resonance phenomenon triggered by the ambient electromagnetic background of very low frequency waves. The genomic DNA of most pathogenic bacteria contains sequences which are able to generate such signals. This opens the way to the development of highly sensitive detection system for chronic bacterial infections in human and animal diseases. Key words: DNA, electromagnetic signals, bacteria.

Montagnier, being a Nobel laureate, strikes a hard blow for homeopathy, so a lot of pseudonymous posters want to say that Montagnier wasn’t testing the kind of dilutions used in homeopathy.

These criticisms come from pseudoscientists who haven’t read the study carefully enough. The equipment Montagnier used was designed by Benveniste for detecting EM signals in high dilutes.
The Montagnier study is one of the most remarkable scientific studies ever published, for it confirms the Benveniste assertion that homeopathy is a new medical paradigm.
The operative mechanism for homeopathic can be found in clathrate hydrates, nano-crystalline gas inclusion molecules, what Montagnier refers to as aqueous nanostructures. These liquid aqueous structures produce an amplified analog signal of the guest molecule.
Montagnier was able to actually filter them out, and in doing so was able to give them actual physical dimensions.
Once filtered out, the signal stopped.
Read the study, it’s fascinating for these and other anomalies it reveals.

In an article referencing homeopathy (online) entitled “The Memory of Water,” the world’s top authority on water physics, Professor Martin Chaplin, states “water does store and transmit information through its hydrogen bonded network,” once again implying hydrogen bonding as being critical to the homeopathic mechanism.

Exactly what I’ve been saying for years.

John Benneth, self portrait

So here we have two studies that support my hypothesis that the action of homeopathic remedies is electromagnetic and produced by measurable structuring in the solvent, nucleated around clathrates.
Material scientists Roy et al, in their seminal work, . The structure of liquid water; novel insights from materials research; potential relevance to homeopathy. (Roy R, Tiller WA, Bell IR, Hoover MR Materials Research Innovations, 2005; 9-4: 577–608.) confirm polymorphic structuring in water at liquid temperatures as the key to the homeopqthic mechanism.

“This paper does not deal in any way with, and has no bearing whatsoever on, the clinical efficacy of any homeopathic remedy. However, it does definitively demolish the objection against homeopathy, when such is based on the wholly incorrect claim that since there is no difference in composition between a remedy and the pure water used, there can be no differences at all between them. We show the untenability of this claim against the central paradigm of materials science that it is structure (not composition) that (largely) controls properties, and structures can easily be changed in inorganic phases without any change of composition. The burden of proof on critics of homeopathy is to establish that the structure of the processed remedy is not different from the original solvent . .

Follow JBennethJournal on Twitter

 

 

[YOU ARE NOW READING THE WORLD’s MOST READ HOMEOPATHY BLOG]

 
“The principal conclusions of this paper concern only the plausibility of the biological action of ultradiluted water remedies, they are based on some very old (e.g. homeopathy) and some very new (e.g. metallic and nanobubble colloids) observations which have been rejected on invalid grounds or due to ignorance of the materials research literature and its theoretical basis. This constitutes an excellent example of the common error in rejecting new scientific discoveries by using the absence of evidence as evidence for absence.”

It is not such a difficult matter to explore this phenomenon, if you’re not PZ Myers, or one the similar horde. If that’s the case, then putting homeopathy to the test becomes impossible.

If you have comet his far in reading this it shows that you have the spirit of inquiry and not take the easy route by fashionably dismissing the evidence. Now that we have looked at the physical tests, let’s take a look at the biological.

Be assured that I’m moving in for the killshot. As tedious as it may seem, it is exploding myths propagated by phony challenges made by people like James “the Amazing” Randi, of whom I’ve included a picture of, sans phony disguise of Darwin like beard and glasses, as I did with my revelation of Myers in a previous blog. This is working up to a challenge to PZ Myers. More specifically, within Myer’s claimed realm of biology, there are more biochemical tests beyond those referred to prior.

After the 2003 review of physical tests, Witt and her team turned their attention to biochemical testing. Here, Myers ought to wake up from his napping.

For the biochemical assessments they used a modified version of the SAPEH test.

Their investigation found six different types of biochemical tests reported for homeopathy: non cellular systems, cultured cells, erythrocytes, neutrophile and basophil granulocytes, and lymphocytes.

(NB: If you think this is tough reading, consider what it’s like to type. But it’s important for this discussion. I haven’t seen this posted anywhere before.)

Witt produced the best and most exhaustive review of the literature for pre-clinical testing of homeopathics.

The WItt review shows that the basophil degranulation test has been done more than any other kind of biochemical test, but nevertheless is still only one type of biochemical testing among six.

Some of the most remarkable biochemical testing was done by William E. Boyd, MD, whose team spent years examining the action of dilute mercuric chloride on starch at Glasgow.

The Boyd experiments were designed by two Barbour scholars and overseen by Professor Sir Gowland Hopkins. The reporting panned 15 years, was extensive and elegant, designed for replication, representing a project that would be cost prohibitive by today’s standards.

Now we’re squarely in the bailiwick of Myers, reportedly an academic biologist who has taken what appears to be a knowledgeable stance on this problem. Neither opponent or proponent would be likely to say that it isn’t a problem.

If you’re looking at this problem objectively, you can see that there is a wide spread in the reported quality of testing  results. However, most reporters, like Ennis, conclude there should be more testing.

Where is the prudence in the face of this evidence, of not putting it to the test?

Since 2007, the basophil degranulation test has been done specifically for replication by two of its finest conductors, Sainte Laudy and Belon.

Homeopathy. 2009 Oct;98(4):186-97.
Inhibition of basophil activation by histamine: a sensitive and reproducible model for the study of the biological activity of high dilutions.
Sainte-Laudy J, Belon P.

Why is it that someone who comments on this subject as an expert witness, as Myers does, not provided us with a greater examination of the available evidence? If Pee Zee Herman here is the expert he makes himself out to be then why . . with his X-ray vision and the mysterious, supernatural ability to make such definitive conclusions about the awesome psychogenic powers of these homeopathic placebos, WHY does he not enlighten us as with the Holy Protocol  for Placebo?

Come on, Jesus of Science, if it truly exists, then give us the Placebo Commandment! Where are the Holy Writs, the double blind studies published in the sacred texts of prestigious peer reviewed journals?

Teach Me!

Why is P MYers not conducting his own biological tests, and proving to us, without a grain of prejudice, that homeopathy, beyond the shadow of a doubt, is NOT what the evidence has led many of his misguided colleagues have concluded it to be . . biologically active.

If this is a scientific inquiry and not a political argument, then why is it that so many people are trying to answer a pre-clinical question with clinical evidence?

The Myers mindset isn’t posing a question, it is merely answering an implied one with evidence that will lead the unwitting away from non prejudicial answers.

Let me answer it first philosophically. The anti-homeopathy argument, the infrastructure of which is atheistic, is based on the concept of non-Being. It is a decided feature of solipsistic thinking that has crept its way past the scientific method into science, to change it from science into scientism, from global skepticism into local skepticism, i.e. pseudoscience, that which masquerades as science, but in reality is serving the masters of capital and fashion.

For in order to believe in non-Being, one has to put Parmenidean logic aside. There is no such thing as non-Being. Placebo or not, homeopathy is a reality.

If this isn’t so in this case, then let us see PZ Myers put homeopathy to a simple yet proper biological test:

There is the literature, here are the methods, now let’s see some results!

And if Pee Wee Myers cannot reasonably find biological indices, then let us see him provide us with psychological indices drawn from trials that test for psychogenic effects, trials that show beyond the shadow of a doubt that homeopathy is nothing more than The Placebo Effect, and all the pre-clinical evidence the result of error and lies.

Let me put it more explicitly:

Professor Myers, do these substances, as used in homeopathy, as defined in the literature, have biological action on subjects not influenced by the placebo effect?

Simple question , simple answer that can be determined thorough simple tests. If Myers isn’t purposely avoiding the question and the literature that addresses it, then why isn’t he accepting that literature as evidence of non psychogenic action or why isn’t he submitting these substances to his own superior testing?

PZ Myers will have so much explaining to do, he’ll have to schedule extra classes in Pseudoscience and Advanced Prevarication!

For instance, we have reports from numerous sources, myself included, that have witnessed the phytopathological action of homeopathics on plant growth and diseases. That’s a simple, biological test any school kid can do. So why is it so far beyond the reach of Myers, reportedly a professional biologist?

The problem here that now confronts Myers, in order to meet my challenge, is that he’ll have to fish the evidence out of the looney bin, and if does find an effect, by his own previous criteria, he’s screwed.

Do you understand? Myers has effectively recused himself from obtaining negative results by having shown his bias.  

The only way for him to back out of this trap now is to collaborate with others who are experienced in biological testing, such as M. Brizzia; L. Lazzarato; D. Nani; F. Borghini; M. Peruzzi; L. Betti at the Department of Agro-Environmental Science and Technology at Bologna University in Italy, workers who have conducted extensive testing on heat, replicating the exhaustive work of Lilli Kolisko.

Professor Myers, I challenge you to commission a design for a simple biological test, done by people who know what they‘re doing, without having a stage magician with a million dollars to lose handling the key to the double blind, as he did with Benveniste.

Put it to the test. That‘s fair enough. Isn‘t it?

And now for our movie!

Prof. Rustum Roy vs. Steven Novella, the Homeopathy Hater

If you watch carefully you will see that the man standing in the shot as Professor Roy is being introduced is homeopathy basher Steven Novella, a professor of neurology at Yale and the President of the solipsistic New England Skeptical Society. Apparently Novella thought he was going to be introduced next. Watch and listen as Professor Roy takes him down a notch or two . .

 Man oh man,

DO HOMEOPATHY TRIALS SHOW LESS POSITIVE RESULTS AS PROTCOLS TIGHTEN?

Finally someone from the camp of the opposition has posted something that is worthy of discussion . . Here is a comment from “ISayISaw” . .

ISayISaw submitted the following response on 2010/12/01 at 1:08 pm | In reply to Nigel.

“It’s curious when homeopaths trot out their pet meta-analyses they almost always include Linde’s 1997 study, but not the re-analysis of 1999.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10391656

“Why is that?

“Could it be the damning words: “We conclude that in the study set investigated, there was clear evidence that studies with better methodological quality tended to yield less positive results.” which do rather undermine the homeopaths’ case.

“Also they said this;

“’The evidence of bias weakens the findings of our original meta-analysis. Since we completed our literature search in 1995, a considerable number of new homeopathy trials have been published. The fact that a number of the new high-quality trials … have negative results, and a recent update of our review for the most “original” subtype of homeopathy (classical or individualized homeopathy), seem to confirm the finding that more rigorous trials have less-promising results. It seems, therefore, likely that our meta-analysis at least overestimated the effects of homeopathic treatments”

“Homeopathy: never letting the facts get in the way of a good story.

I, John Benneth respond:

Dear I Say,

Bravo for finally ponying up some seemingly reasonable opposition, it certainly is better than most of the other garbage being dumped on us from the opponents of homeopathy. But shame on you for leaving important concluding remarks that put what you have quoted in contrast in context, which reveals your negative bias. The quote actually runs: “We conclude that in the study set investigated, there was clear evidence that studies with better methodological quality tended to yield less positive results. Because summarizing disparate study features into a single score is problematic, meta-regression methods simultaneously investigating the influence of single study features seem the best method for investigating the impact of study quality on outcome.”

But like them all, you’re missing the point entirely, switching criteria away from what is important to what can be made vituperative. The unproven underlying assumption in all opposition to homeopathy is that there is no physical basis for its action, that its action is psychogenic, therefore a medical sham, wrapped up into one vague term, placebo.
Would you be laying the charge of medical sham at the doorstep of psychology because it uses a “talking cure”, attempts to treat mental disorders without psychoactive drugs? The success of psychology, a derivative of hypnosis, is also considered to be a psychological construction. This part of the argument against homeopathy contradicts the second, that homeopathy doesn’t work, for if the terms did not reflect reported benefits, they wouldn’t exist, nor would there be a doctrine such as psychology that is in full support of them.
This may seem a wandering from Linde, but it goes right to the point. The Linde study explicitly asks “Are the Clinical Effects of Homeopathy Placebo Effects?” and then says it is “A Meta-analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials.” (Linde,1)The results of their meta-analysis, they say, “are not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are completely due to placebo. Lancet 1997; 350: 834–43.
The subsequent re-analysis of Linde by the authors does not recant this, it merely says they may have overestimated the effects, and this is prima facie, only within the context of the meta-analysis.
But who can expect Linde questioning placebo effects to be a reasonable investigation when the trials are for verum? Linde has fallen into the common trap of allowing allopathy to set the terms criteria and question. But even so it still favors homeopathy, even in re-analysis.
If we are to ask the placebo question, then we must explore it using a protocol for placebo, not verum, and all testing I have seen is testing for verum. For instance, if we are asking if this is placebo, we would first strip away the psychogenic influence, and using homeopathic high dilutes, perform objective biochemical tests on human products, such as red and white blood cells, in vitro.
It then should come as a great surprise to anyone who believes homeopathics are placebos, to learn that biochemical testing has been done, repeatedly, showing overwhelming results in favor of homeopathy. The majority of results are positive, and they rate higher in methodological assessment than the negative tests. Unless you are willing to believe that the majority of the investigators in biochemical tests for homeopathics, like Prof. Madeleine Ennis of Queens University in Belfast, have psychokinetic powers, or are all making the same unknown error, or are liars, then you have to conclude that it is most likely that the effect of these substances in the subjects they came from are not solely due to psychogenesis. How can the placebos have an effect on blood cells in a petri dish?
Now compare this to human testing in vivo, which is confused by visible results, patient satisfaction and credibility, time, administrator’s skill and influence . . and the placebo effect. How can you expect to get credible results from one thing when it can be influenced by another? An engine mechanic, investigating the cause of stoppage, doesn’t test for lack of fire and fuel at the same time, he reduces the problem by checking oen at a time, such first testing for a spark, then if the spark is getting fuel . That’s what makes him a mechanic, he can make that distinction. But that reductionism isn’t being applied here by Edzard Ernst or anyone else who has intentionally pitted himself against homeopathy, and that is why Ernst is intentionally leaving biochemical testing out of his damning reviews of it. The foregone conclusion of placebo, based on criteria selected for its support of the foregone conclusion, most likely will not be supported by a reductionist approach. If the placebo effect was real, then we would simply be investigating its marvels and how to improve on them, such as in hypnosis. Please belive me when I tell you, many a practitioner of homeopathy is comfortable with the placebo conclusion, it makes him a maven.
One other thing . . and this is the knockout punch. Notice the last name on the list of authors of “ Impact of study quality . .” (Linde, 2) Jonas WB.
This is Dr. Wayne B. Jonas, a medical doctor and practicing physician who still treats members of the US Armed Forces. He was also one of the authors of the Linde 1997 meta-analysis of homeopathy (Linde, 1). He spent 20 years as a military physician. He was the keynote speaker Bastyr University in Seattle .He has conducted serious in vivo epidemiological research, testing prophylaxis against rabbit fever in mice at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
Rabbit fever, or tularemia is a serious contagion because it hits humans quickly and hard enough to incapacitate. Tularemia is a potential bio-warfare agent. It is highly contagious but not infectious or especially fatal and can be used specifically against troops without great danger to nearby civilian populations. Given its bio-warfare potential, finding a tularemia prophylaxis should be and presumably is of interest to the government, and so handling this kind of a study requires some extremely strict protocols.
In that he is being cited here in criticism of homeopathy admits him as a good witness for homeopathy. Critical of av past assessments by himself and his colleagues adds to his credibility, and certainly you wouldn’t have quoted his efforts if you did not think them to have some authority. He is also very critical of homeopathic research in other assignments we can see, such as in Wallach’s Research on Homeopathy: State of the Art, which he co-authored (Wallach).
In this report he and his colleagues say. “There is, to our knowledge, no single clinical area where reported effects have been demonstrated unequivocally. Thus, the overall picture of clinical evidence that is emerging is quite disappointing for the homeopathic community.”
They then go on to say, ”Viewed together, the clinical research on homeopathy compared to placebo is not much different from conventional medicine research where approximately the same proportion of studies are positive and negative. Once unpublished studies are retrieved from drug-licensing agencies, well-supported substances, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors for depression, show diminishing effects.”
Homeopathy critics should take comfort though in that Wallach qualifies this: “But overall, effect sizes are still statistically robust, even if diminished. This same result cannot be claimed for homeopathy, except in a few clearly delineated areas”

Then all of a sudden, tt gets worse, for the opponents of homeopathy, that is. “Several high-quality reviews of all published or a selection of published studies exist. There is even a comprehensive review of all clinical studies ever conducted, including early studies published in German. This review concluded that homeopathy is clinically effective. In addition, meta-analyses and reviews of several specific diagnoses have been carried out. Most of these reviews and meta-analyses, with some exceptions, reached the conclusion that the effects observed in all trials are not compatible with the hypothesis that homeopathy is identical with placebo but that too few trials exist in any single clinical areas to recommend homeopathy clinically.”

In other words, when you do all the math, homeopathy works. As Wallach says, one comprehensive review of all clinical studies ever conducted concluded homeopathy is clinically effective. Wallach and Jonas do not disagree with this, but qualify their ellipses by saying too few studies exist in single clinical areas to recommend it clinically. But then Wallach goes on further to say that it depends on who you are and who you’re quoting,
“Whether homeopathy is a placebo or not is also dependent on the inclusion and analysis criteria used by a meta-analysis or a review. If the analysis is based on studies retrievable only through MEDLINE® and published in the peer-reviewed literature, the outcome is normally not different from placebo. If all evidence is included, there is a difference from placebo. Hence, the conclusion varies with the decision as to what one is willing to accept as scientific information.”

So, if you cherry pick the clinical data, as Edzard Ernst and others do, you can conclude its nothing more than placebo. Wallach says, “As a result of the bias in the scientific community against homeopathy, it is easier to publish negative results in the peer-reviewed literature than positive ones. The latter are scrutinized more closely for methodological shortcomings than studies with the expected negative outcome, a prominent example being the recently published meta-analysis by Shang and colleagues the reporting of which is unacceptably bad and yet it passed peer-review.”
So much for Shang and peer review. The one study that Edzard Ernst and all critics eventually hold up above all others. Shang, by Wallach’s report, is just flat out “unacceptably bad.”
Now here’s the killshot: Jonas, who is quoted here as not recommending homeopathy clinically, conducted perhaps the most amazing trials of high dilutes as used in homeopathy. It was that bio-warfare tularemia study. What he found was able to reduce the effects of tularemia in mice was . . You guessed it, homeopathy. Tularemia, for which there is no vaccine, only prophylaxis . . Homeopathic prophylaxis.
How do you explain that? (Jonas)
Homeopathy, the story just keeps getting better.

References

JONAS. WB Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 35–52, 2000 “Protection of mice from tularemia infection with ultra low serial agitated dilutions prepared from franciscella tularemia infected tissue. Jonas WB, Dillner D

LINDE 1: The Lancet Vol 350 • September 20, 1997“Are the Clinical Effects of Homeopathy Placebo Effects? A Meta-analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials Klaus Linde, Nicola Clausius, Gilbert Ramirez, Dieter Melchart, Florian Eitel, Larry V Hedges, Wayne B Jonas

LINDE 2: J Clin Epidemiol. 1999 Jul;52(7):631-6. “Impact of study quality on outcome in placebo-controlled trials of homeopathy.” Linde K, Scholz M, Ramirez G, Clausius N, Melchart D, Jonas WB.
Münchener Modell–Centre for Complementary Medicine Research, Department of Internal Medicine II, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany.
Comment in:
J Clin Epidemiol. 2000 Nov;53(11):1188.
J Clin Epidemiol. 2002 Jan;55(1):103-4.

Witt: “The in vitro evidence for an effect of high homeopathic potencies—–A systematic review of
the literature” Claudia M. Witt (a), Michael Bluth (b), Henning Albrecht ©, Thorolf E.R. Weighing (a), Stephan Baumgartner (d), Stefan N. Willich (a)
a) Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charit´e University Medical Center,
D-10098 Berlin, Germany
b) Klinik f¨ur Tumorbiologie, D-Freiburg/Br, Germany
c) Karl and Veronica Carstens-Foundation, D-Essen, Germany
d) Institute for Complementary Medicine (KIKOM), University of Bern, CH-Bern, Germany

Wallach: Research on Homeopathy: State of the Art HARALD WALACH, Ph.D.,1–3 WAYNE B. JONAS, M.D., Ph.D.,3 JOHN IVES, Ph.D.,3 ROEL VAN WIJK, Ph.D.,4 and OTTO WEINGÄRTNER, Dr.Phil.Nat.5 http://www.sld.cu/galerias/pdf/sitios/mednat/research_on_homeopathy_state_of_the_art_(3).pdf

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