Explaining in classical terms how the solute’s electron does not dilute out .
Here is Randi’s ignorant TED talk on homeopathy
Explaining in classical terms how the solute’s electron does not dilute out .
Here is Randi’s ignorant TED talk on homeopathy
HOMEOPATH JOHN BENNETH confronts MAGICIAN JAMES RANDI re: his $1,000,000 challenge on the TIME Magazine online forum
BENNETH to RANDI: “Put your money where your mouth is.”
“Dear James Randi,
“In January of 1999 I applied for your challenge after you, in writing, personally offered me your award to prove homeopathy with a simple test . . identify verum from placebo, the active homeopathic remedy from the inert substance in a double blind trial.
“In light of more complex measures, your challenge is a rather simple test that has now been done countless times, biochemically, botanically and physically by spectroscopy (Roy) and other methods, such as by measuring differences in puncture voltage (Brucato). This is a simple test! But what we have seen from you are nothing more than unscientific, dangerous stunts, such as standing in front of audiences and downing an entire bottle of herbal sleeping ills, claiming they’re “homeopathic.,“ when in fact they are not . . not completely. Anyone can see this by simply reading the dilution strength of the main ingredients.
“James Randi, you have yet to put any scientific method that reveals the identity of these substances you say are scams to the test.
“James Randi, put Richard Adams’s money where your mouth is: Put homeopathy to a real test, arbitrated by real scientists, under the terms of a real contract.
“John Benneth, Homeopath”
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.
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.
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 . .
Man oh man,
In light of evidence, University of Minnesota biology professor PZ Myer’s hate campaign against homeopathy just might backfire .
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.
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.
A lot’s happened in the last year, and it’s been a particularly wild ride for me and homeopathy. 2010 was actually a big year for me and homeopathy. And well it should’ve been, for 2010 was the 200th anniversary of the publication
of Organon der rationellen Heilkunde, The Organon of the Healing Art, Samuel Hahnemann’s first treatise on homeopathy, a science that he alone begat.
It is a book that continues to rock the medical world.
I think it should be noted here, that as an orthodox physician, Hahnemann had been cutting his doses for 14 years prior to publication of the Organon. He was compelled to do so because of the harm that “heroic medicine,” then as now, was doing to the withering public.
Bloodletting by barbers and toxic chemicals administered by the totally unschooled to treat disease in 1810 graduated to more sophisticated methods of bloodletting by unnecessary surgery — and more toxic, patented petro chemical synthesis and “chemotherapy,” to treat disease.
“Heroic medicine” was not called that because of what the physician did, it was called that because of what the patient endured. But with homeopathy came hope, and that hope is alive today.
Hahnemann didn’t just spring out of the gate with this thing, as an idea untested all on its own, it had to first stand trial to his own incredulity and testing. The 14 year trial was that of a well-trained, travelled and read government medical doctor who, for his time, was also a first rate published chemist.
Anyone who can be fair and objective about it, who still harbors any doubts about homeopathy, should keep that in mind when banking on Avogadro’s Constant, the famous hypothesis concerning the molecular limit of gasses in combination with one another, for with all theory aside, Hahnemann, as countless others have done in following him, had to accept, without supporting theory or logic, the evidence for the biological action of high dilutes, for seeing is believing, and practitioners for 200 years have seen that homeopathy oddly works . . as if by magic.
But homeopathy is not magic, as a growing number of material scientists have come to realize. There are now 10 different physical tests for homeopathic high dilutes, and six different types of in vitro tests, in which some published tests which have perfect ratings.
Coincidentally, 2011 marks the 200th year anniversary of publication of that theory by Avogadro, “Essay on Determining the Relative Masses of the Elementary Molecules of Bodies and the Proportions by Which They Enter
These Combinations.” As if we didn’t know. Since the beginning theory by the numbers have dogged homeopathy as impossible,when in fact a heterogeneous molecule was never suspect. Like the skeptics’ Elvis, Avogadro has left the building.
2010 was also anniversary for something else quite notable in this affair, really the key item that distinguishes a homeopathic solution from its solvent vehicle. 200 years ago two famous English chemists, Sir Humphrey Davy, and Michael Farraday, in their study of chlorine, made note of liquid aqueous structuring, what they called hydrates, curious clatcheses of water molecules that twinkled like ice, which later came to be known as clathrates. Hold on to that last word, it is the final key to unlocking the mystery of homeopathy. 2010 was the year of the clathrate when it was indicted for causing the BP Gulf of Mexico oil well disaster and became the subject of wild speculation at the Cavendish Laboratory when it was announced it was the operative mechanism of the homeopathic remedy, the same place where a decade ago a notorious French immunologist proclaimed a new biological paradigm.
It is the year when I began my lecture before the crowned heads of Europe by showing a power point picture of the suspect, saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, the clathrate hydrate. This concludes my lecture, other than where is
Josephson’s Scotch, are there any questions?” and was mobbed by silence, forced to
go on for an hour to explain it all, and getting nothing for it but some weak orange juice, stingily poured by Josephson.
Thanks to Dr. Shashi Sharma, president of Hahnemann College of Homeopathy in London, my efforts came to fruition in 2010 with an invitation to be the key note speaker at his conference there, where I was treated like a king, and at the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge where, by invitation of Nobel laureate, Professor Brian Josephson, I was given an opportunity to present my theory for the molecular pecularities of the homeopathic remedy.
Now you know. Until my London lectures in September and October of 2010, the polar protic water molecule eluded a popular explanation as to how it forms liquid aqueous structuring (LAS), and how LAS is relevant to a classical science explanation of the homeopathic remedy’s inner workings.
2010 marked the 100th year anniversary of Johannes Diedrik van der Waals’s award of the Nobel prize for his contributions to understanding the intermolecular forces which now bear his name, critical to understanding liquid aqueous structuring, confirming what the genius of Hahnemann presented 100 years prior,
that the biological effects of the homeopathic remedy are magnetic.
2010 marks the year we declared that the homeopathic remedy could be explained in the terms of supramolecular chemistry.
And I did it without the Scotch.
HOW IT BEGAN
It really began in earnest for me 10 years ago when James Randi offered me his million dollar prize to prove that the action of homeopathic remedies was something more than a psychogenic effect.
I took his challenge naively believing the offer was genuine.
Much to the disbelief and fury of the big pharma stooges, the literature, much of it through PUBMED, provided numerous ways to show the action of homeopathic remedies outside of the human domain. I found that they not only had physical distinctions, they had action on plants and animals, too, that could be shown by a wide variety of methods. But their most prounounced action was in the most infinitesimal doses, remotely applied, on our greatest opponents, precipitating violent contractions of the jaw and vocal mechanism, and highly agitated contractions of the fingers on keyboards. One detractor called me a murderer. Another said I was an idiot. Another said I was homeopathetic.
But it was not enough to dissuade me from clinging to my chains. Randi ran like a rabbit.
I sent my samples to Kirlian phtographer Chris Wodtke, who made some amazing pictures of them, showing the crackling feathers coming out of the gas discharge from the thousands of electrocuting volts coursing through the drop. When it began looking like I actually had methods by which to win the million, such as by Kirlian photography, or by plants, Randi said I was a nobody and had bigger fish to fry.
He claimed that French immunologist Jacques Benveniste and Professor Brian
Josephson of Cambridge had agreed to accept his challenge, and that he would test them first. What? I coldn’t belive it. If elt like a jilted lover. But always the hero, Josephson wrote to say that they were not interested in being “tested” by Amazing Randi, understandable after what Randi had done to Benveniste years earlier. It was a circus with clowns with rats riding on the backs of dogs, jumping through hoops of fire. The Challenge, Jacques and Josephson said, was mine, and they sent Randi careening back to me.
Randi kept stalling. He refused to set a test date. He found some university stooge to fence with me for a while until the stooge ran off and hid under his pillow. It was doubly, triply (I’d say quadruply if it wasn’t so corny) evident that Randi wasn’t going to make good on his offer to conduct a test, so I took my case to Naomi Shapiro, Randi’s account manager at Goldman Sachs, where the loot was supposed to be hid. She wouldn’t verify anything. All Randi had as proof of the prize — reportedly put up by Richard Adams of UUNET — was an old fax with Shapiro’s name on it. It was evident that at one time the account may have held a million dollars in what may have been nothing more than junk bonds, but what was in there now could have been nothing more than stack of Rnadi'[s old Blue Boy magazines.
When I sprung the news that Goldman Sachs was refusing to verify the account, Randi sprung into action. He accused me of “damaging the James Randi Educational Foundation,” had a heart attack and like a street corner bum started selling pens dipped in “homeopathic gold,” to pay for it.
What Randi didn’t want anyone to know was that “aurum,” homeopathic gold, is the
first remedy indicated by heart troubles and depression. Obviously he was taking it because he couldn’t afford the doubt.
Exposed in his ruse, Randi then claimed he wouldn’t test me because I was insane.
The only way, he said, he would continue negotiations with me for a test of homeopathy, would be for me to get a signed affidavit attesting to my mental condition from a clinical psychologist.
November 2nd, 2000 I found myself wandering the eerily quiet streets of a suburb of Tucson, close to the
University. Down to my last few bucks, I had hitched a ride from Portland, Oregon to meet with Dr. Gary Schwartz, a professor of clinical psychology and psychiatry, who had expressed an interest in my research and was looking for a physical distinction in the homeopathic remedy.
I said I could provide it.
Schwartz’ lab was called the Human Energy Systems Laboratory (HESL). It was located in a little bungalow in the university neighborhood. The garage had been converted into a workshop. Schwartz was using electronic equipment to test subtle energy effects and especially how they applied to what is thought of as the paranormal.
When I arrived on foot I saw a young man in the garage through the open door. I heard zapping sounds coming from within. I think he was electrocuting mice. The ones without intuition. Having arrived early, rather than bother the man’s animal genocide, I decided I would kill time by taking a stroll.
I was walking down the street minding my own business when suddenly a black high-rise pickup pulled up. A man with a beard and sunglasses rolled down the driver side window and, pointing up into the sky behind me, said in a nasally voice, “Look at the Sun.”
I turned around, and saw one of the oddest and most spectacular sights of my life. In a cloudless sky the Sun appeared to have split into three parts. I had never seen anything like it. It created what looked like a huge eye
peering down at me.
I turnedback around. The pickup was gone.
I then embarked on my own mission of evangelism. I asked passerby at the University what it was. Not one person had noticed it until I pointed it out, as had been done for me, and all but one stared increduously. Most everyone, likeme, had walking around without looking up, and no one knew. Finally a young woman said it was the Ojo del Diablo, the Eye of the Devil.
The Eye of the Devil?
I thought that sounded a bit harse. I called for damage control. And then I htought. If it could be the eye of the devil, it could also be el ojo de Dios, the Eye of God.
In any case we were being stared at from above by what looked like a huge shining eye. I went back to the HESL. I called to the young man in the garage and asked him to come outside. He did, and asked what the matter was.
I pointed up. “Have you ever seen that before?” I asked.
“No, I haven’t he said,” shading his eyes. “What is it?”
“El Ojo de Dios.” I nodded my head knowingly, as if I knew. “God is watching us.”
As it turned out, it was what is called parhelia, commonlhy known as sun dogs. The effect is caused by ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. The actual science bore out the myth. Ice crytals, as it turned out 10 years later, were indeed the key.
After our meeting, Schwartz visited Randi in his Ft. Lauderdale office. According to Schwartz, Randi was still insisting I was crazy, slapping the desk with his hand — and John Edward, the past life medium Schwartz had been testing, a liar.
He said all of this with his pants ablaze.
Three years later, in collaboration with Professor Iris Bell, MD, Schwartz followed my suggestion to use Kirlian
photography to produce the Gas Discharge Visualization test for homeopathy, and reported, as I had found, that homeopathic remedies can indeed be distinguished from their liquid vehicles by this method.
They published their results: “The procedure generated measurable images at the two highest voltage levels. At 17 kV, the remedies exhibited overall lower image parameter values compared with solvents (significant for Pulsatilla and Lachesis), as well as differences from solvents in fluctuations over repeated images (exposures to the same voltage). At 24 kV, other patterns emerged, with individual remedies showing higher or lower image parameters compared with other remedies and the solvent controls.” (Bell)
Like every other test I had found for homeopathy, Randi had to brush this one off too. Losing his million would not only be a loss of property and face, it would threaten the entire pharmaceutical paradigm that was supporting him.
Ten years ago there was practically no references at all to homeopathy on the Web, nothing regarding pre-clinical or clinical evidence when I posted my collection of pre–clinical tests for “Proof for Homeopathy.”
The world wide web was a novelty then and very few people noticed “Proof for homeopathy,” but after I reposted that same collection as the first post of this blog, it was reposted and went viral. It became notorious and still stands
as the most viewed entry in the John Benneth Journal.
It seems like homeopathy took off like rocket after that. Prior to assembling Proof for Homeopathy the homeopaths I was in contact with had very little knowledge of the clinical tests for homeopathy, and none for the pre-clinical.
The homeopaths I corresponded with didn’t seem to even have asked the question as to whether or not high dilutes could affect non human subjects, such as plants and animals. The only in vitro test popularly known for homeopathy was the one done by the brilliant immunologist Jacques Benveniste, the basophil degranulation test, but it was generally thought of as being idiopathic and the man contagious with quackery.
The fact of the matter is that the basophil degranulation test was not of Benveniste’s origin. It was first attempted in 1985 by Murrieta et al and first accomplished by Poitevin in the same year. I have now found more than two dozen replications of the basophil degranulation test for homeopathy, most notably the work by Sainte Laudy and Belon (Sainte-Laudy)
I don’t think homeopaths’ ignorance of the pre-clinical and clinical tests for homeopathy is excusable, but I think its understandable. Despite what may be said of it, the homeopathic materia medica, the reference work built on case notes that homeopath’s rely on for finding the right remedy, provides the most relevant information/evidence for the use/action of high dilutes. Compare the terms, one set for the practitioner, one for the doubter. The pre-clinical and clinical trials of homeopathy serve mostly to respond to the yet unproven accusations that homeopathy is merely a placebo. The average practitioner finds the pre-clinicals and clinical tests to be merely vituperative of homeopathy and useless in the clinical practice of homeopathy. Either way they are merely pebbles thrown against a tank. No information/evidence will ever suffice to convince the unconvincible, nor will it ever.
The most remarkable finding was something I just came across, and inevitably I think that in concordance with theory and evidence, will help to break the back of the pharma stooge‘s opposition.. That more was not made of it, to me illustrates the point of resistance, but it is profound that it appeared in this red letter year. What makes it so important I think is not what is said (it is 40 years old and prosaic) but who is saying it.
It is a statement made by Emeritus Professor Martin Chaplin, one of the world’s leading authorities on the physics of water. It really deserves an entry all of its own here on the Journal, for it marks a turning point in the recognition
of homeopathy as being based on real scientific principles. Yes, I know, reading it you will see that Chaplin covers his bet, so no one can say he drank the dilute Kool Aid. But even though it is true, for a man of lesser credentials it would mean professional suicide to make such a statement.
In an article entitled The Memory of Water, posted on the London South Bank University website, (probably the best website for information about the physics and chemistry of water) Professor Chaplin says, “Water does store and transmit information, concerning solutes, by means of its hydrogen-bonded network.” (Chaplin)
The word “does” invokes the controversy that should have ended in the mid 20th century when clathrates became an issue for the oil companies, clogging up oil pipelines, and in the fifties when double Nobel laureate Linus Pauling nominated them as being the cause of inebriation, or in the sixties when Barnard frist linked them to the homeopathic solution, or in the nineties, when Anagnostatos described their formation in the host/guest process, and then finally in 2010, when a study between US and Russian universities, clathrates were revelaed to affect the taste of vodka (Schaffer)
Note that all of these examples of clathrates are in solution with hydrocarbons such as ethanol or methane, which are capable of hydrogen bonding, a point always missed by the disbeliever.
What have we been saying for years now? Next thing you know Chaplin will cave and admit that the biological effects are due to the crystalline piezo electric effect.
The article is prefaced with an epitaph to the late Benveniste: “Maybe I should have thrown the data away” followed by a comment by Chaplin, “but being a scientist and believing in his data he could not.”
I for one am glad that he didn’t, and I am sorry for the all the misery Maddox, Stewart and Randi put him through.
I would add something to the memorial that Benveniste wrote to me, if I could:
“Homeopathy is the devil’s piss pot.”
Bell IR, Lewis DA 2nd, Brooks AJ, Lewis SE, Schwartz GE. “Gas discharge visualization evaluation of ultramolecular doses of homeopathic medicines under blinded, controlled conditions.”
Chaplin M “Memory of Water” lsbu(dot)ac(dot)uk/water/memory(dot)html
Murrieta M, Leynadier F, Dry J. “Degranulation of human basophils and so-called homeopathic substances” Bull Acad Natl Med. 1985 May;169(5):619-22.
Poitevin, B., Aubin, M., Benveniste, J. (1985) Effect d’Apis Mellifica sur la degranulation des basophiles humains in vitro. Homeopathie Francaise 73: 193.
Sainte-Laudy J, Belon P. Inhibition of basophil activation by histamine: a sensitive and reproducible model for the study of the biological activity of high dilutions. Homeopathy. 2009 Oct;98(4):186-97.