Homeopathy

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Beebub
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Homeopathy

Post by Beebub » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:43 am

There's a letter in today's Irish Times (see here):

http://www.irishtimes.com/letters/index ... 4279094698

As usual vague sounding phrases are used, such as 'ample evidence' 'Pilot study' and 'trials'.

Can someone explian this to me please?
Research in France by Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier (co-discoverer of the HIV virus) found that pathogenic bacteria and viruses show a distinct electromagnetic signature at dilutions ranging from 10(-5) to 10(-12) (corresponding to 5X to 12X) and that small DNA fragments (responsible for pathogenicity) were solely accountable for the electromagnetic signal.
Does it make sense? Is it relevent to homeopathy? It looks to me like she included it, knowing full well that most people will not understand it, but it looks good to have lots of scientific jargon in a letter regarding the effectivness of homeopathy. However, I'll reserve my judgement because I simply don't understand what it means.

Any help?
MyloD
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by MyloD » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:09 pm

Homeopaths can always pull one or two apparently successful trials out of the pile and use these to advance their case. The smaller the trial numbers, the more likely it is that data can be erroneous.

To derive any sort of accurate picture, you must perform a meta-analysis of multiple trials on the basis that the larger your sample, the more representative the conclusion. This has been done more than once. Google Terence Hines and DW Ramey. Ramey says "Homeopathy has been the subject of at least 12 scientific reviews, including meta-analytic studies, published since the mid-1980s....[And] the findings are remarkably consistent:....homeopathic "remedies" are not effective"

Essentially, the majority of studies all point to homeopathy being no more effective than a placebo. Homeopaths specialise in vague pseudo-scientific nonsense whenever challenged.

The crux of the matter is that when Hahnemann mooted the dilution idea we didn't much about atoms and molecules. Once you go beyond 12C dilution, the preparation is unlikely to contain even one molecule of the original substance. So a 30C dilution recommended in many cases is most unlikely to contain the original substance and far more likely to contain random substances from items that the water contacted before the dilution process, for example calcium, copper or plastics.
bipedalhumanoid
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:17 pm

Beebub wrote:There's a letter in today's Irish Times (see here):

http://www.irishtimes.com/letters/index ... 4279094698

As usual vague sounding phrases are used, such as 'ample evidence' 'Pilot study' and 'trials'.

Can someone explian this to me please?
Research in France by Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier (co-discoverer of the HIV virus) found that pathogenic bacteria and viruses show a distinct electromagnetic signature at dilutions ranging from 10(-5) to 10(-12) (corresponding to 5X to 12X) and that small DNA fragments (responsible for pathogenicity) were solely accountable for the electromagnetic signal.
Does it make sense? Is it relevent to homeopathy? It looks to me like she included it, knowing full well that most people will not understand it, but it looks good to have lots of scientific jargon in a letter regarding the effectivness of homeopathy. However, I'll reserve my judgement because I simply don't understand what it means.

Any help?

Luc Montagnier is the poster boy for homeopathy because he is a Nobel Prize Laurette. However, when James Randi was invited to visit his lab and verify his results, they found his methods to be seriously flawed. When Randi insisted he conduct a double blinded study, the previous findings were non-existent. I think there is a video on you tube about it.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
MyloD
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by MyloD » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:27 pm

bipedalhumanoid wrote:Luc Montagnier is the poster boy for homeopathy because he is a Nobel Prize Laurette. However, when James Randi was invited to visit his lab and verify his results, they found his methods to be seriously flawed. When Randi insisted he conduct a double blinded study, the previous findings were non-existent. I think there is a video on you tube about it.
and the telling point here is that Randi's prize fund remains unclaimed:

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php? ... 8&t=121653
bipedalhumanoid
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:23 pm

Can't find the Randi video but this guy is actively claiming on you tube that Homeopathy can cure cancer...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrPmjKr7f5Q
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
Ciaran
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by Ciaran » Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:05 pm

I couldn't find much detail past the abstract but this study by Georgetown Uni that's mentioned in the video states clearly that homeopathy worked in reducing prostate tumour size in mice. Does anyone have any detail on the size of the study and if it's been repeated, perhaps at a larger scale?

http://ict.sagepub.com/content/5/4/362.short
“As I never tire of saying, heat is not the antithesis of light but rather the source of it.” Christopher Hitchens
Ygern
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by Ygern » Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:52 pm

Georgetown Uni offer a masters degree in "Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program" so that in itself is enough to cast serious doubt on the validity of any of their claims.
They have been taken to task before by David Colquhoun for publishing conclusions from seriously flawed trials and refusing to provide data to support their conclusions. Have a look through his archives, he does a good job of dissecting flawed trials so that the lay person can understand them.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
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Ciaran
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by Ciaran » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:06 pm

Ygern wrote:Have a look through his archives, he does a good job of dissecting flawed trials so that the lay person can understand them.
Thanks for that. He has one article on Georgetown and I've mailed him to see if he knows more about the homeopathy study.
fishywiki
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Re: Homeopathy

Post by fishywiki » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:16 pm

It's difficult to debunk homeopathy to believers - it's really a bit like religion. However it's interesting to note that no well-designed, randomised, double-blind (in other words, correctly run) research has shown homeopathy to have any effect above that of a placebo. You may be happy to hear that the UK is moving away from providing magic medicine on the NHS, and it was pretty clearly criticised in http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... /45/45.pdf - read the conclusions from p43 on.
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