Critique attempts refutation of homosexual mortality study
Submitted by 4tis on 2011/10/30 at 8:53 am
A reader writes:
You ask for a refutation of your statistics. Let’s take the claim about life expectancy, which I assume is based on the Cameron obituary study. There are a number of critiques available that show that this study is extremely flawed, for example http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_cameron_obit.html
Why did you choose to accept what is a quite astonishing claim?
Thank you very much for commenting on a difficult, critical subject . . and what has become a highly contentious and depressing one, too.
The kind of refutation I’m looking for I’m not finding in the Cameron critique . This is the sole denialist argument we see in attacks on homeopathy, attacks that build a case for placebo by finding methodological criticisms of tests for verum, i.e. claiming proof that homeopathic remedies are placebo because due to local (idiosyncratic) criteria tests for verum have failed .
The proper refutation is to answer the question, independently, using global criteria, avoiding the pitfalls named in the localized dismissal.
The question here is, what are the health differences and mortality rates between heterosexuals and homosexuals?
The refutation of the conclusion that homosexuals have twice the number of suicides and live 24 years less than average is based on nothing more than armchair analysis. Too easy. It’s massaging the data, twisting the facts.
This is 100% of the skeptic argument.
A proper refutation of the numbers is to go get your own. Answer the question using facts found by an independent, non biased survey.
What a new study might find is that gays live longer, happier lives. If those facts were available, then why aren’t they being used?
The answer is that no such conclusion exists. every study comes to the same conclusion. The gay lifestyle is a debacle!
Are the studies wrong? Then instead of poisoning your own well by discrediting existing studies, find or do research that proves otherwise, and present that instead. Don’t equivoate, illustrate. If you don’t, it suggests you can’t without confirming what is already known.
I’ve seen it happen in every argument against homeopathy. They’re all built on nothing more than accusations, theory and complaint. It’s always a negative argument, it never presents positive information to support its case. It always turns out to be nothing more than those three monkeys.
Answer the relevant question. Don’t give me a negative opinion, give me a positive fact.
What is the average life span of a homosexual?
What is the suicide, misery index, income, drug an alcohol abuse? We’ve shown you 24 studies to support our conclusions, let’s see yours.
And if it isn’t important to know what it is, then why are you picking it apart the answer to the question if it was?
You ask the question, “Why did you choose to accept what is a quite astonishing claim?”
To say that it is an “astonishing claim’ is presumptive. What may be astonishing to some who are merely opining on it, whereas it may be prosaic to others who are actually dealing with it day to day.
Perhaps the reason you frame it as “astonishing” is a putative appeal, as if everyone should know it’s false, because that’s what you want everyone to believe, that this is an extraordinary, baseless claim, giving you an excuse to raise the bar on the evidence, supported by concordance, published in a serious psychiatric journal, supported by two dozen studies: The data is the same for countries where homosexuality is the norm and others where it isn’t.
An analysis in 2008 of 25 earlier studies on sexual orientation and mental health in the UK revealed that homosexuals are about 50% more likely to suffer from depression and engage in substance abuse than the rest of the population. It also found that the risk of suicide jumped over 200% if an individual had engaged in a homosexual lifestyle.
The data is more global than the Cameron critique, which characterizes it as idiosyncratic, novel and biased. The conclusions for the high gay death and mental rates are drawn from more than one study. The same conclusions are also suggested in a California study by Susan Cochran at the University of California, Los Angeles, also published in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry. Cochran reports that homosexuals seek treatment for mental health issues or substance abuse at a rate over two times higher than heterosexuals.
To be fair, the catch words in the Cochran study are “seek treatment” as opposed to ‘needing it but not doing something about it,” which seems typical of the usual macho approach by heterosexual men.
Cochran concludes that, “The pervasive and historically rooted societal pathologizing of homosexuality may contribute to this propensity for treatment by construing homosexuality and issues associated with it as mental health problems.”
However, there is a point entirely missed by the narrow refutation of Cameron. Critics of the accepted secular interpretation that mental illness in homosexuals is due to discrimination say that the numbers of homosexuals seeking help for mental and physical problems in countries where homosexuality has been “normalized,” are global, virtually the same as they are where homosexuality is openly condemned.
Homosexuality bigotry blames the reporter as the cause of problem, which is what I’m encountering here. Reporting information here and suggestions that homeopathic treatment may help reverse the condition is being construed by some as being the cause of it. This is typical allopathic thinking, to see symptoms as cause instead of what they really are: Direct observation reportage.
The global data refutes Cochran’s putative matching conclusion that the pathology of homosexuality comes from it’s condemnation by heterosexual society. What it suggests instead is that the pathologizing of homosexuality comes not from homophobes, but from covert victimization by its attendants, who have spread the belief that it needs no correction, the subtext being that homosexuals are stuck that way, when in fact there is evidence to the contrary.
Homosexuality is a cash cow for the allopathic psychiatry industry. The local fluoxetine pusher can always depend on gays to keep him in business. Curing homosexuality with homeopathy is as much a threat to the medical establishment as is curing any other disease.
The predators don’t want you well, they want you sick. They want you coming back for more of their junk so they can bleed you of everything you got.
Not every gay grows up gay. Some are made that way. Some women become Lesbians after their marriages to me go bad. Some men raise families, then turn . .
The occnditions assoicate with homosexulaty are curable with the individualied homeopathic remedy! Curative medicine works at the cellular level. The genesis of disease is unimportant. Symptoms are guides to the remedy.
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.
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.
“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  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 . .
[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?
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 . .
In light of evidence, University of Minnesota biology professor PZ Myer’s hate campaign against homeopathy just might backfire .
“High dilutions of histamine did indeed have biological effects.”
Professor Madeleine Ennis after replicating controversial experiment for homeopathy.
One of the last John Benneth Journalentries for 2010 , IN ONE YEAR, has broken all previous viewership records and sparked more commentary and outrage amongst the pharmaceutical company stooges than any previous Journal entry, enlisting the usual fury and nasty responses.
Most notably is PZ Myers, an American biology professor and pharma stooge whose specialty is trashing homeopathic medicine at the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM).
His blog is Pharyngula. In 2006, it was the top-ranked blog written by a pseudo scientist.Myers has called IN ONE YEAR “nonsense.” Other commentary has been”mental straightjacket”and remarks too obscene to be reprinted here.
It follows a posting by Myers of clips of my controversial video, “The Mechanism,” juxtaposed with scenes from Star Trek to characterize my supramolecular description of the homeopathic remedy as techno babble.
My name is John Benneth. I’m a homeopath.And this is story about biologists, three in particular, who have studied . . it.
It is fashionable with atheists and pseudo scientists like Myers to trash it and its research. It is a compulsion. They can’t help themselves. They have to do it, for it puts everything they hold dear at risk.
Trashing it is like a cheap magic trick, hawked as self working and E-Z-2-DO. It gives the trasher the feeling he’s accomplished something for himself under the guise of protecting society from what they characterize as ineffective medicine. But like the cheap magic trick, when it finally arrives in the mail, you realize it was misrepresented.
Pretty good trick . . on you.
PZ Myers, Pseudoscientist
Really what it is, it’s hate speech, using the same kind of tactics used against minorities by hate groups. It really shouldn’t have any place in academia, but pseudoscience has become the infrastructure of higher education.
What can they tell you that you can’t find out for yourself now through the Internet? It’s not really education, it’s fashion.
What Myers says has very little to do with science and more to do with the politics of self aggrandizement.
Look at the case against it: It’s full of general, vague, contextual accusations and insinuations. But try to find within this haystack of lies a needle of truth. It contains more errors of commission and omission than the invasion of Iraq. It doesn’t state its criteria or identify or it sources for verification. It always ends up being exactly what it complains of, and PZ Myers provides us with a wonderful sample of it.
He wastes our time with anecdotal evidence and fails to adequately explain the etiology of the phenomena. If its effects are psychogenic, where are his proofs for psychogenic? If it’s bunk, what mechanism has made it so popular, where is the proof for the reported action? It’s usually nothing more than a sloppy pudding of self contradicting anecdotes.
“EZ Pee Zee,” a pudding of lies.
Science will always turn against the pseudoscientist.
Read on and watch it slowly turn against Myers.
We have heard repeatedly, over and over again, from people like E-Z Pee Zee Puddin’ Myers, that homeopathy doesn‘t work, but when asked “how do you know?” the best they can come up with is that it doesn’t work because it shouldn’t work.
That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Nothing more!
No evidence of biological action is ever admitted without first seeking fault by the homeoapthy hater. Any corroborating tests are conveniently ignored.
I seriously doubt EZ PZ Puddin’ Myers could sustain much of a real explanation of its effects, because somewhere along the way he would have to confront things he didn’t know and doesn’t want to know, because they begin to work against his foregone conclusions.
Criticism by pseudo scientists like Myers is never global. It is always localized against something, like homeopathy. The evidence con is always given greater play over the evidence pro. And it avoids addressing the evidence pro in specificity within the context of explicit criteria.
For instance, the most well known in vitro test for homeopathy is a test on white blood cells, the basophil degranulation test. It was done by renowned immunologist Jacques Benveniste after his criticism of it was challenged. An assistant had found that water exposed to an allergen via serial aqueous dilution, could provoke an in vitro response, as if the allergen were present.
This is called basophil degranulation.
Benveniste, like other investigators, was puzzled by the results. What appeared to be pure water was causing a biochemical reaction.
Benveniste reportedly did the test over 1,000 times.
After he published the results of his testing in Nature, a prestigious science magazine, (to the resounding explosion of the usual outrage) Nature sent a team to investigate Benveniste’s work. The team consisted of Sir John Maddox, the editor of Nature, James “the Amazing” Randi, a notorious illusionist with a large sum of money to lose if proven wrong, and a debunker by the name of Walter Stewart.
According to Dana Ullman, the experiment was first replicated three times for the Nature team without any blinding of the experimenters. These first three experiments performed for the team showed positive results.
The fourth experiment blinded the person doing the counting of the basophils, and the results of this experiment were also successful. But the Nature team deemed this test invalid, claiming that the blinded experimenter knew in advance which test group she was counting.
The Nature team then began to behave disruptively. The next three experiments blinded the person doing the counting and the person doing the pipetting. Randi performed magic tricks during a crucial part of the experiment, making it difficult for the experimenters to perform their work, while Stewart was acting so hysterically that he had to be asked several times to stop shouting by Maddox and Benveniste.
All three of these experiments did not show any difference between the active verum samples and the inert control group. The Nature team immediately deemed that there was no evidence that the microdoses have biological action and reported that the tests failed to show convincing results.
Benveniste had violated the laws of Nature!
What they didn’t report was that the results were just what one would expect if someone switched the active samples with the inert controls.
Some of the samples, coded inert, produced a reaction, whereas some of the samples coded as active were reported inert. A switch had been made.
Randi had sabotaged the test by mixing up the results!
When you’re finished reading here, watch the accompanying video at the end of this article and hear Benveniste describe what happened. And particularly note Maddox, the editor of Nature, confessing that he went to Benveniste’s lab for the sole purpose of discrediting his work as fraudulent.
Skeptics herald this as conclusive proof that homeopathy doesn’t work.
There are some more facts that EZ Pee Zee doesn’t tell you, because without additional information we may be easily led to an incorrect conclusion about in vitro testing for homeopathy . .
What Pee Zee doesn’t tell you is that the basophil degranulation test for homeopathy wasn’t invented by Jacques Benveniste. JB’s test was the fourth replication of it. There have been many replications of it since, most notably a multi centered one that included homeopathy skeptic Professor Madeleine Ennis of the Respiratory Medicine Research Group at The Queen’s University of Belfast.
Here is a mashup of Ennis reporting on the activation of human basophils by ultra-high dilutions of anti-IgE, dilutions of the type used in homeopathy.
ENNIS: “This could be an exceedingly short paper, since in my opinion, from a conventional scientific background, when there are no molecules of the active agent left in a solution there can not be any biological effects. However, a search in PubMed combining homeopathy with basophil revealed 15 items. Interestingly this did not include the now infamous article in Nature or the papers that attempted to repeat the work. Changing the search to homeopath and basophil increased the total to 21. Including phrases such as ‘high dilutions’ or ‘extremely low doses’ only resulted in 33 publications.
“Witt and co-workers used several different databases in their review and found a total of 75 publications and further evaluated 67 of them. One of their sources was the HomBRex database which specialises in basic research in homeopathy and as of February 2009 contained 1301 experiments in 997 original articles including 1172 biological studies. Using the CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) Database and putting in basophil resulted in 95 hits. The question of publication bias is also worth considering – is it easier to publish a paper with negative results or with positive results? Normally, trials or studies with negative results are difficult to publish. However, it is possible that the opposite is true for studies using ultrahigh dilutions.
“In 1988, Poitevin and colleagues published a paper in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in 1988 which was a follow-up to an earlier paper which had reported that incubation of basophils with high dilutions of the homeopathic drug Apis mellifica was able to inhibit allergen-induced basophil degranulation. In this paper, they reported that very low concentrations of anti-IgE (ca. 10–100 molecules per well) activated basophils and that this was inhibited by very high dilutions of the preparations
“Overall, using the histamine degranulation assays, as standardized by Sainte-Laudy, it was found that histamine at both conventional pharmacological concentrations and at high dilutions inhibited allergen and anti-IgE induced basophil activation. Examining a range of dilutions from 5c to 59c, the response was periodic in form, with maxima at ca. 7c, 17c, 28c, 40c and 52c.”
“This work was pioneered by Sainte-Laudy and colleagues beginning in the 80s and continuing to the present day… I first heard about this work at the 1984 meeting of the European Histamine Research Society where Sainte-Laudy bravely presented his data to a crowd of extremely skeptical and rather hostile scientists and clinicians.
“Apart from the natural scientific objections to solutions containing essentially water having a biological effect, a number of other issues were raised:
(1) the biological validity of the test;
(2) the reproducibility of the phenomenon,’
(3) the subjectivity of cell counts and
(4) that the data nearly all came from the same laboratory. In answer to these points, at that time, this form of examining basophil activation was a recognized procedure. Sainte-Laudy had performed repeated experiments, indeed in a series of 6 experiments he repeated each measurement 16 times and got the same answer.
“In order to answer points (3) and (4), it was decided to perform a multi-centre European Trial and it is at that point that I ‘dipped my toes into the waters’ of homeopathic research. As an ardent sceptic, I was invited to take part in the trial, which involved one coordinating laboratory and laboratories performing the research. This study has been published.
“In brief, all the laboratories were trained in the basophil counting method, with the counts verified by Sainte-Laudy’s laboratory. The dilutions were made in 3 different laboratories and coded by the coordinator (histamine and water solutions made up identically from 15c–19c). All study materials were from the same source and shipped to the performing laboratories. The data were returned to the coordinator and then analysed by an independent biostatistician. When the results for the histamine solutions were compared to those for the water solutions, there was a small but statistically significant inhibition of basophil degranulation caused by the lowest concentration of anti-IgE used in 3 of the 4 laboratories. When all the data were combined together, there was a statistically significant inhibition for the histamine containing solutions. Thus this multi-centre
study indicated that high dilutions of histamine did indeed have biological effects.
“In the multi-centre trial described above, 3 of the laboratories independently examined the effects of high dilutions of histamine and to a varying degree all demonstrated inhibition of basophil activation with these dilutions. Flow cytometric is employed in most immunological laboratories and there have now been a series of independent laboratories investigating the phenomenon. These will be discussed in detail.” Basophil models of homeopathy: a sceptical view, Madeleine Ennis, Respiratory Medicine Research Group, Centre for Infection and Immunity, Microbiology Building, The Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
The Witt review of in vitro tests for homeopathy carefully analyzed and scored all known biochemical testing, up until 2007. You don’t see the criteria employed by Witt being employed by those who conclude that homeopathy is merely the use of inert substances.
Like Pee Zee, they have to make up their own, unknown, unseen, OCCULT criteria!
PZ Myers claims to be a biologist. But look at the way Myers approaches the problem before him. Instead of giving you the full story, Myers gives only what he wants you to hear, which is mostly ridicule. Myers doesn’t mention his colleagues who have actually conducted the basophil degranulation test. He hasn’t done it. So how is it that we are supposed to believe Myers over Ennis, Sainte Laudy, Belon, Benveniste and all the others and their staff assistants, and the hundreds, possibly thousands of repetitons of these tests, unless Myers is presenting an answer we want to hear?
I’m trying to think of careers and activities that would be more suited for telling people what they want to hear, other than science. How about politics? LOL! No wonder his blog is so popular! Most people aren’t interested in science for anything more than the status it gives them in the eyes of others.
Being a skeptic gives you that “cachet.”
But when it comes to the real complexities of science . . please! Don’t confuse me with the facts! Let’s just pretend we’re scientists, okay?”
Ennis on the other hand, rolls up her sleeves and gets her hands dirty. She then, as a real scientist, is compelled to truthfully report what her colleagues are loath to hear . . the truth about homeopathy. What was it again? Oh yes . . “high dilutions of histamine did indeed have biological effects.”
I hear Myers screaming when he reads this, holding his head, “Noooo! I hate homeopathy!”
Ennis comes up with the same statement that Benveniste, Poitevin and dozens of others have come up with. In the glass the truth about homeopathy has been found.
Benvneiste proposed a whole new biological paradigm. Does Myers have the courage to do the test? Or is he more likely to try to sabotage it with word and censure?
If Pee Zee Myers cannot be a real scientist and meet the challenge of homeopathy head on, as Professor Ennis and others have done, then I say fire him and let him go on writing his stupid blog as the prime example of pseudoscience. Why would anyone but the opposition want a joker like Myers poisoning the minds of our youth? He doesn’t teach biological science, he teaches political science. Look at his useless, mindless deblogatory activities
How embarrassing for such a fine institution like the University of Minnesota! To have such an unscientific voice as Myers blathering away while his hands are doing nothing useful, when there are real scientists, like young versions of Rustum Roy at Penn State, who could be teaching biology at the University of Minnesota.
Education should not be about destroying people, as PZ has made it out to be. It should be about building people up, not tearing them down, and learning how things work in world.