Homeopathy and the threat of endarkenment

Recently a post of mine describing attacks on homeopathy as “batty and arrogant” that I wrote last year was retweeted. This meant that again homeopathy’s hard-core detractors rushed out with lectures about the scientific method and the need for randomised trials (obvious) but yet again no attempt to actually deal with the issues I raised – that if you are worried about failing to follow the rules of evidence based medicine, homeopathy is not the place to point the finger.

So although I am, as I said, agnostic about homoeopathy, I think it’s worth coming back to the issue because the problems with evidence based medicine as practiced at the moment haven’t gone away, in fact they have become even clearer. For instance, Takeda Pharmaceutical and Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) have just had to pay a combined $9 billion in punitive damages for hiding the cancer risks of their Actos diabetes drug. To me that seems far more dangerous and irresponsible than anything done by homeopaths.

The central charge against homeopathy is that there are no randomised trials showing its effective, so it’s worthless. My point is that even if that is true – both sides swap trial results – drug treatments with impressive RCT results, like Actos, can turn out to be deadly. Cause for much greater concern I’d argue. Drugs can also come trailing positive RCT results and be remarkably ineffective. The drug ezetimibe, according to RCTs, is very effective at lowering cholesterol and widely prescribed. However no RCT has ever shown that it cuts your risk of heart disease. There are also serious questionmarks over the benefit of  prescribing cholesterol lowering statins to millions who don’t have heart disease.

Of course this doesn’t prove that homeopathy is any good. But the attacks on homeopathy aren’t just about a lack of evidence. The underlying message is that without RCT support a treatment is not just unproven but fraudulent. And since few non-drug treatments have RCTs all CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) is fraudulent.

Beware of endarkenment

Some of the self-proclaimed sceptics attacking homeopathy then go even further and claim that this lack of evidence means that if CAM is allowed to flourish it could usher in a time of “endarkenment” – a reversal of the scientific principles established in the enlightenment. This lunatic claim is perfectly illustrated by the tag line on a blog by the vigorous homeopath basher “Skepticat”, which reads: “resisting the age of endarkenment”. The threat to the enlightenment from the multiple examples of drug companies worth billions of dollars playing fast and loose with the evidence is apparently as nothing compared to the destructive power of those homeopaths.

The “endarkenment” point, however, turns out to be very enlightening. It explains why those bashing homeopathy and other CAM practices are so rude and aggressive. They are engaged in a crusade. Armies of the light battling against forces of darkness. This, ironically, puts them in an ideological or even religious camp rather than a scientific one. In fact the reason the various forms of CAM don’t have trials backing them has nothing to do with a fear of the light of reason but simply because their treatment don’t involve patentable products.

However the endarkenment myth-making has been very effective in pushing non-drug treatments out to the fringes with, what I and others would argue, disastrous consequences for our health. We are faced with an epidemic of lifestyle disorders – diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s – and while putting more and more very expensive drugs through RCTs to target the symptoms will be very profitable, it will do little to affect the underlying causes.

That is because drugs are very good at doing one thing, such as shrinking a tumour or boosting insulin production, while these lifestyle disorders all involve a range of unhealthy changes in the way the body is functioning, all of which lifestyle treatments can reverse. However measuring the benefits of treatments designed to have a range of effects is not something that RCTs do well. They are good at measuring what drugs do – produce a single effect.

Why RCTs are like a one-legged stool

Seeing this as a problem doesn’t mean that you are rejecting science or in danger of reversing the enlightenment but it does mean rethinking what counts as scientific medicine. This is the argument put forward by a couple of researchers at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation in New York in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Neurology February 2014.

They start by remarking that relying solely on RCT’s is like: “resting all of health care evidence on a one-legged stool.” The effect, they say, has been to downgrade to relevance other equally valid forms of non-randomised treatments for chronic diseases, such as supplements and changes in diet and lifestyle..

The reason for this, they go on, is that: “RCT’s are usually reserved for profitable new drugs while non-drug treatments are usually tested with cheaper “observational” studies.” (These are studies which look at what happened to people getting a treatment rather than giving one group the real treatment and one a dummy. Something that is difficult to do with diet, for instance.)

At the moment observational studies are considered less reliable than RCTs but the way RCTs are usually done on non-drug treatments, claim the authors, means that they are more likely to produce negative results. That’s because they are: “frequently underfunded, short-term and underpowered” (don’t have enough people in them to detect some of the effects).

So our current system of evidence based medicine that allows both dangerous and ineffective drugs onto the market is used as a stick to beat such CAM treatments as homeopathy. The way it does test CAM treatments is poor and more likely to produce negative results. This still doesn’t prove homeopathy works but it does suggest the system used to evaluate it and other non-drug treatments is in need of a serious overhaul.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. We have come to the end of the road guys. It’s been extraordinary watching this very passionate debate and I’m sure it could continue – perhaps indefintely, like that experiment at Imperial College that has been running since the 1930’s. But I’ve got a number of projects coming up and I need to concentrate on other things so I’m closing the comments on this post. Hope you’ve found it profitable, it’s certainly made me think more about how we gather evidence and how we decide what evidence counts. Do have a look at future posts. See you online.

  2. ChristyRedd says:

    Jerome…..Is something wrong with your comment system? I’ve tried to post, but the comment disappears.

  3. Now here’s a thought: Mesdames Jahnig, Courney, Everitt & Willberg (inter alia) have opined that the only people who can legitimately criticise homeopathy are homeopathists; nobody else, they opine, is qualified to do so.

    Do they hold the equivalent opinion, i.e. that only mass-murderers are qualified to criticise mass-murder? Or is their reasoning fallacious?

    • Laurie Willberg says:

      No, you’ve been told that if you wish to pontificate about what you think homeopaths learn and practise in their profession you’d better take a course and THEN comment because your opinions and guesses are not correct.

      • First off, I’ve told you before that I don’t take dictatorial instruction form your kind. Why are you pretending not to understand that?

        Secondly, you wrote “your opinions and guesses are not correct.” Pull the other one, Ms Willberg – but, let’s just examine your ridiculous claim that homeopathy has been efficacious (OWTTE) for “over 250 years”. ROTFLMAO!

        • Laurie Willberg says:

          Why are you pretending that you’re qualified to tell professional homeopaths what their educational and theoretical scope entails? I’m ROFLing at your arrogance and total lack of credibility.
          Save the pomposity for people you think you can intimidate. I’m clearly not one of them.

        • elainelewis says:

          “First off, I’ve told you before that I don’t take dictatorial instruction form your kind. Why are you pretending not to understand that?

          Secondly, you wrote “your opinions and guesses are not correct.” Pull the other one, Ms Willberg – but, let’s just examine your ridiculous claim that homeopathy has been efficacious (OWTTE) for ‘over 250 years’. ”

          Can I start by saying that the use of the term “your kind” is offensive? What does it mean, your “kind”? What “kind” are we? Will you take dictatorial instruction from some other “kind”? It’s a debasing remark, especially here in America where that expression was reserved for black people, as in, “We don’t want your kind around here!” So, just more Klan imagery along with the torches and burning crosses.

          Secondly, you said, “let’s examine your ridiculous claim that homeopathy has been efficacious….” Why is that a ridiculous claim? People who take it swear by it. I swear by it. Paul McCartney swears by it. Tina Turner swears by it. Dr. Oz swears by it. I realize you claim it can’t work because there’s no material left in it but water. All that proves is that it doesn’t work materially, and people here have been saying over and over again that homeopathy works energetically; so, we would agree with you that there is no material left in the remedies. To you, this proves it’s placebo. By that you must mean that there is no such thing as energy, there’s no way the remedies contain energy. How do you know that? You seem to know for a fact because you’re calling them placebo. So, how do you know they contain no energy? I would suggest that you don’t know. Since you don’t know, you therefore can’t definitively call them placebos. Here are your choices:

          1. They’re placebos and everybody who took them and got good results were duped.
          2. The people who took them weren’t duped, the good results actually occurred, based on the remedies’ containing energy.

          How can you choose between 1 and 2 without your choice seeming arbitrary and self-serving? Surely there must be a way to construct a trial to compare a placebo group with a remedy group and see how often the placebo group gets well compared to the homeopathy group.

          Only then can you say that homeopathy is or isn’t ridiculous. The point is, you have no proof! All you have is a statement of fact, “The remedies are empty of substance,” that’s true; but it doesn’t therefore follow that they don’t have an action.

          By the way, I notice you skeptics often describe remedies as diluted substances, often you leave out the other half of the equation, namely succussion. Without succussion, there is no homeopathy. Why do you leave that part out, to make homeopathy appear absurd on the face of it? Try being completely honest next time.

          • You wrote: “What does it mean, your “kind”?”

            In this instance, the kind that attempts to dictate what others should and shouldn’t do in an internet conversation. Was that not obvious from the context?

            “It’s a debasing remark, especially here in America”

            Here’s a clue: not everyone is in America.

            ” where that expression was reserved for black people, as in, “We don’t want your kind around here!” So, just more Klan imagery along with the torches and burning crosses.”

            What? You try to pretend that my opposition to fascist attitudes is racism? Exactly how disgustingly low are you and your kind (in this case, the kind that deliberately distorts arguments) are prepared to stoop. Shame on you!

            “Secondly, you said, “let’s examine your ridiculous claim that homeopathy has been efficacious….” Why is that a ridiculous claim? ”

            So good of you to remove the “….for over 250 years” lie. In its full context, one of the reasons it is ridiculous because homeopathy was invented only 218 years ago. Do you understand what those numbers mean?

            “People who take it swear by it. I swear by it. Paul McCartney swears by it. Tina Turner swears by it. Dr. Oz swears by it.”

            So what? People used to swear by cupping, bleeding, etc, as medical treatment. Just because people swore by them, it didn’t make them right. However, unlike your particular species of pseudomedicine, these responded to evidence and are no longer practiced.

            “By the way, I notice you skeptics often describe remedies as diluted substances, often you leave out the other half of the equation, namely succussion”.

            Please cite where I have done this.

            “Try being completely honest next time.”

            Exactly how are you pretending that I am being dishonest? I guess your earlier apology was insincere. No surprises there.

          • Actually, you were the one who felt a comparison to lynching and the Ku-Klux-Klan was appropriate in describing your situation ( a white american seeking out online forums on homeopathy and getting insulted and treated rudely in the process) – it isn’t. (see http://goo.gl/P44IG6)
            Incidentally, in the same thread you were addressing me as “you people”. Your current indignation is difficult to understand in light of those facts.

    • I think they were suggesting you should be knowledgeable on a subject before you comment on it. Thats all. There weren’t any references to mass murderers that I could see.

  4. ChristyRedd says:

    Jerome……

    Do you have a figure for the number of people who have read this post or your previous “batty and arrogant” post?

    • Haven’t posted anything snce it went up so have to assume that majority of visits since then would have looked at it. Visits about 7,500 while the number of comments stands at a remarkable 1059. So thanks to all for vigorous involvement. Think we have raw material here for dissertation about the way a debate evolves. Wonder if anyone has changed their mind either about their own views or that of their opponents. Suspect most people have reinforced their beliefs but maybe not.Personally I’m still agnostic – the squeezed liberal between two groups who beleive passionately in the value of what they are doing and find it maddening that the other side can’t see what is so plainly the case. However the some of the sceptics have a far more manichean view, regarding my failure to declare them the winners a sign either of intellectual inadequacy or becasue I am secrretly mired in quackery – Paul Lewis I’m thinking of you. Homeopaths seem far more tolerant of doubt.

      • elainelewis says:

        I find no explanation for these people. We have all tried and used allopathic medicine. We are very familiar with it and capable of comparing it with alternative medicine. The skeptics have not used alternative medicine in a serious way, but they “know” it’s a complete joke and have made a crusade out of destroying it! Why can’t they say, “Well, I don’t want it but others seem to like it, so, to each his own.” That’s what a normal person would do. What are they so worked up about?

        • You know it is so true that a rational balanced person would say “Well, I don’t want it but others seem to like it, so, to each his own.” I would suggest that anyone read through this whole blog and see that the sceptics are not rational and balanced. They are not interested in patient outcomes or personal experiences of homeopathy-which are invariably positive. I have no problem with people saying that they don’t like something but attempting to enforce their view on others by way of attempts to actively block access and information to and about homeopathy is unacceptable. It’s unacceptable to rational and balanced people who can see that there is clear evidence that people benefit from homeopathy.
          Sceptics are welcome to not like that fact but to deny it is foolish and pointless.
          Their crusade as I have pointed out many times is also foolish and pointless. People living in a democratic country do not want to have their methods of healthcare enforced-or denied to them.
          The Royal Hospital for Integrative Medicine in London is more popular that it has ever been with more research now going into homeopathy and integrative therapies than ever before. Sceptics seem blissfully unaware that people don’t want to have to rely on pharmaceutical drugs and they certainly don’t want such drugs to be the only choice they have.

      • If find this observation, “Homeopaths seem far more tolerant of doubt.” surprising, having followed this debate from the beginning. Homeopaths here (and I’ll include practitioners and adherents) have demonstrated a worldview divided into supporters and “skeptics”(meaning the skeptic activism kind), there is no acknowledgement that some non-homeopaths comment could originate from anywhere else than an assumed organized skeptic indoctrination. For instance, that “doubt” could originate from failed homeopathic treatments, is explicitly denied at several points in this discussion.
        We’ve seen some trials brought up in the discussion, and when very elaborate and in depth criticisms of those trials shed “doubt” on their quality, it didn’t take long for unqualified rebuttals of those criticisms. Surely a tolerance of doubt, would mean I can leave a criticism stand until someone can respond to it from an informed position.
        Lastly, we have all witnessed the lengthy debate about the identity of certain participants. If “steve” or anybody else, is who he says he is, or who he is suspected of being, is definitely an unimportant side note. One would think, that someone with a tolerance for doubt would be able to leave this unresolved.
        To me this discussion indicates that homeopathy might be going down the wrong path trying to position itself in empirical science. No matter who entrenched, arrogant, batty, or obsessive one might find the informed posters on the science side, their arguments seem a lot more well-formed than those of the homeopathy side in this particular debate.
        Following this debate has shown me, that homeopathy seems to have value as a faith based system ( and i don’t mean that in any way sarcastically), but trying to present it as anything else than that, seems to undermine any worth it may have.

        • alxkr, you wrote: “Lastly, we have all witnessed the lengthy debate about the identity of certain participants. If “steve” or anybody else, is who he says he is, or who he is suspected of being, is definitely an unimportant side note. ”

          Not to me it isn’t! My identity is crucial and affects me to the core of my being. I’m longing for the homeopathists to decide who I really am so I can get on with my life. I do so wish they’d hurry up!

          As a really trivial but interesting (to me, anyway) side-note:
          And did anyone else notice the massive irony of the pseudonymous ChristyRedd/Jahnig comment: “You, “Steve”, are focused on who people are. Interesting that you don’t post your full name, isn’t it.”
          (https://jeromeburne.com/2014/04/28/homeopathy-and-the-threat-of-endarkenment/comment-page-1/#comment-11177) after I’d commented on her being economical with the actualité about Twitter? Also nice to see that her attempted diversion actually seemed to draw more attention to said economy.

          • Well Steve, if you knew anything about quantum mechanics you would know that if your are Alan Henness or Steve Tonkin depends entirely on the mode of observation.
            By the way, don’t say you do know about quantum thingy, because I will then be forced to dig out another unrelated comment of yours, trim it to size a little, and then use it to prove that you have no credibility anyway…and nobody wants that.

          • ..regarding the “massive irony”: I, as much as anyone here, hold the firm belief that the day isn’t going to waste itself. However, I do feel overwhelmed by the various examples of irony and weird attack ploys from the homeopathy side. The fact that most of them go uncommented may be frustrating, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t completely transparent to an outsider with average intelligence.

        • ChristyRedd says:

          alxkr:

          You claimed about the study “Dynamized Preparations in Cell Cultures”: “This study has the same problem as the Frenkel et al study — it didn’t control for ethanol, based on the wrong assumption that the estimated ethanol content present was too low to have an effect on the cells.” I pointed out to you that had you read the study you would have seen that that was just not true. Page 397 of the Frenkel study states: Among the four remedies investigated, carcinosin and phytolacca reproducibly revealed relatively higher inhibitory effects in replicate experiments. These two remedies reduced viability of the MCF-7 cells by 60 – 75% at 5 ul/ml and by 70 – 80% at 10 ul/ml doses after 48 and 72 hour treatments respectively. The solvent, on the other hand, caused reduction in survival of the two cell lines by 30 – 35% under the same conditions.”

          http://www.euro-med.us/homeopathy.pdf

          The “Dynamized Preparations in Cell Cultures” reads: “Potentiated alcohol control did not produce any cytotoxicity at concentrations studied.”

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/Articles/PMC2686624/

          If you want to comment on studies, read them first.

          • I think it was also revealing when John? suggested an experiment with a homeopathic dose of Ammonium? used a sunflower? leaf could actually produce an observable effect. There was no interest in that whatsoever from Chapman Central his response was to tell John to go to the library and find a book that would tell him it doesnt work. Seems to me an experiment that shows something does work is more powerful than a book that says it doesnt work. That doesnt necessarily make me a believer, but I would like to see the experiment because it definitely strengthens the argument.

        • ChristyRedd says:

          alxkr:

          Link to the “Dynamized Preparations in Cell Culture”

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2686624/

          • I have read both studies (not the abstracts) first, and I understand them, this is why I commented on them in the way I did. Now how about you let it go and stop being weird?

            • ChristyRedd says:

              Now you say you read the study. If that’s true, why did you make the claim that the researchers didn’t take the alcohol into account and that that invalidated the study? Because you got your information from the “skeptic” site scienceblogs instead of a legitimate source.

            • ChristyRedd says:

              BTW, alxkr…….

              “…..let it go and stop being weird.” — name calling and ridicule are the fifth rule of the 25 rules of disinformation. The intent is to scare off supporters by making them fearful that they’ll be associated with the same tag. It ain’t gonna happen.

              http://www.vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/the-25-rules-of-disinformation/

            • ChristyRedd says:

              You qualify for Rule number 18 too. All “skeptics” qualify for Rule number 19.

              • Name calling and ridicule are also a sign of frustration, lack of respect, general abrasiveness, want of decent arguments… etc., but it is of course far more likely that I am a “disinformation agent” because I have shown not to agree with you.

                Rather than speculating about if I have read the study or how I came to my conclusions, how about you respond to the list of criticisms I pointed too? If you remember, they referred to the study with the breast cancer cell lines and were from an expert who researches on breast cancer cell lines himself? You can’t? I understand, they were quite sophisticated criticisms. How about you wait and see if someone more knowledgeable comes along? With me, you are barking up the wrong tree, because I am perfectly happy to wait for a competent person to discuss these two studies further.

                (Just clicked on your link. “VigilantCitizen.com”? Oh brother! What are you filling your head with?!

                • Insult quotient rising a bit too high. Point about cell lines already clear

                • ChristyRedd says:

                  Quite an interesting site isn’t it? We all recognize the 25 rules of disinformation not just from our encounters here on the internet but in our everyday lives from politics to what is said and happens in daily life in our own communities.

                  It is not enough for Orac, a conventional doctor named David Gorski who has undisclosed financial ties to the drug industry through Wayne State University and is heavily involved in promoting vaccines, to simply claim that homeopathic research is flawed. He has to conduct his own HOMEOPATHIC research — not conventional research — that disproves the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center study, and he has to get it published. Does he have the experience in homeopathic research to do that? NO, he does not !!!! The owner of sciencebasedmedicine has to do the same. I did say that someone with research experience would have to address their claims, but in reality no one is going to spend their time addressing mere claims except for argument’s sake.

                • ChristyRedd says:

                  Here’s a little more information about Gorski/Orac/Respectful Insolence:

                  http://www.bolenreport.com/feature_articles/Doctor's-Data-v-Barrett/moneytrail.htm

                  “David Gorski’s Financial Pharma Ties: What He Didn’t Tell You”:
                  http://www.ageof autism.com/2010/06/david-gorskis-financial-pharma-ties-what-he-didn’t-tell-you.html

                  http://www.whale.to/vaccine/orac.html

                  As always, I’m sceptical of “skeptics” criticisms!

                • ChristyRedd says:

                  And there’s another little problem with the claims made by Gorski/Orac/Respectful Insolence that the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center study on breast cancer cell lines is flawed. Gorski specializes in breast cancer surgery and conventional research in it. The homeopathic treatment of breast cancer could easily pose significant competition to him and his colleagues in the years to come just as homeopathy is presenting significant competition right now in the treatment of other cancers. That’s one of the reasons we’re seeing campaigns against homeopathy. The M.D. Anderson study is a ground-breaking study showing great potential. On top of that homeopathy is safe, non-toxic, causes no side effects and doesn’t destroy the immune system, increase neuro-cognitive decline, disrupt endocrine functioning or cause organ and metabolic toxicities. Chemotherapy does all those things. It increases cancer growth and long-term mortality rates. Most chemo patients either die or are plagued with illness within 10 – 15 years of treatment.
                  http://themindunleashed.org/2014/04/97-percent-time-chemotherapy-work-continues-used-one-reason.html
                  ” used one reason”. Guess what that one reason is……………….money.
                  And there’s more. You opened a can of worms when you posted fallacious claims about those two studies.

                  • You know, it’s a very sad world you live in, filled with large scale conspiracies, sinister lies and evil motivations. Your reasoning in this last comment is very troubling.
                    I wish you that you’ll never get cancer, or any other serious illness, so that despite your convictions and conspiratorial ideations no harm will come to you.

                    • alxkr, you wrote of Ms Lewis: “harmless elderly white lady”

                      Sorry, but I must disagree. I take issue with the first of those adjectives, if the quotes at http://t.co/y3F9C1SgRY are accurate (and, to the best of my knowledge, they have never been challenged). Ms Lewis is reported to have advised: “… there’s your own body to make remedies from: your discharges, your urine, your blood …[snip]… in an emergency any water will do…” and elsewhere on the same page: …”you can make a remedy out of the pathogen-infested local water…”

                      Such a cavalier attitude to sterility in remedy-making — and from one’s own body fluids and discharges, for heaven’s sake — is not harmless; it is downright dangerous advice.

                    • elainelewis says:

                      Unbelievable!!!! First of all, “Steve”, you’ve cut and pasted from an article I wrote in a way to make it sound ridiculous, which I don’t appreciate; but, apparently I have to explain homeopathy to you, a subject about which I THOUGHT you were familiar but apparently you’re not familiar with it at all! Most homeopathic remedies are made from poisons–arsenic, snake venom, etc.! They are also made from body fluids, especially infected body fluids. Why? Because our motto, as you may remember, is “like cures like”, as in “fight fire with fire”. Consequently, we often give a disease in homeopathic form, to cure a disease or prevent a disease. Gee, what does that sound like……vaccination???? Or are you against that too?!

                    • You wrote: ” you’ve cut and pasted from an article I wrote”

                      Why do you make such ludicrous assertions? That is quite simply not true. I cited the source (http://t.co/y3F9C1SgRY). It was written by Martin Robbins, not by you! Do you really not realise that, if yo are going to indulge in Willberging (if you don’t know what that means, see http://tete-enterre.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/hom.html), you are going to get found out?

                      ” in a way to make it sound ridiculous,”

                      No, they “sound” ridiculous where I saw them written. I did not need to add to it.

                      “Most homeopathic remedies are made from poisons–arsenic, snake venom, etc.! They are also made from body fluids, especially infected body fluids”

                      Which bit of “cavalier attitude to sterility in remedy-making” are you pretending not to understand. Or maybe you’re not pretending?

                      “Gee, what does that sound like……vaccination????”

                      Yes, I’ve noticed homeopathists have been disingenuously pretending that vaccination and homeopathy are similar; I feel a blog post coming on…)

                    • elainelewis says:

                      Steve wrote the following:

                      You wrote: ” you’ve cut and pasted from an article I wrote”

                      Why do you make such ludicrous assertions? That is quite simply not true. I cited the source (http://t.co/y3F9C1SgRY). It was written by Martin Robbins, not by you! Do you really not realise that, if yo are going to indulge in Willberging (if you don’t know what that means, see http://tete-enterre.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/hom.html), you are going to get found out?

                      Elaine replies:

                      Steve, what do you mean it was written by Martin Robbins? I went to the source. Those are my words he appropriated from an article, and he CREDITS me, so why are you saying, “It was written by Martin Robbins, not by you!”? I really can’t believe you said that! Yes, it was written by me. Yes, HE did it, not you; I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that until now; but those ARE my words, not Martin Robbins’ words. So who is Martin Robbins anyway, another skeptic? I must say, he had me in very good company, with Jeremy Sherr, Peter Fisher….really big names; wow.

                      And what are you trying to say about vaccination, that it’s not predicated on the law of similars? It certainly seems to be. Why don’t you tell “them”, instead of me, that what they’re doing seems rather reckless? After all, Steve, isn’t your complaint against homeopathy that there’s NOTHING in our remedies but water? Then by definition, all the germs are gone! But vaccinations on the other hand? Do you know what’s in them? Live viruses, mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde…some really dangerous stuff; so, as Jerome says, why is all your venom directed at us, and nothing where orthodox medicine is concerned?

                    • “Steve, what do you mean it was written by Martin Robbins?”

                      Do I have to spell it out? I mean that his name was on the byline.

                      ” I went to the source. Those are my words he appropriated from an article, and he CREDITS me, so why are you saying, “It was written by Martin Robbins, not by you!”? ”

                      Please try to pay attention: You untruthfully accused *me* of cutting and pasting from *your* blog (OWTTE). The *article* from which I cut-and-pasted was written by Martin Robbins, not by you. I racknowledged that he he was quoting you (there’s a rather strong clue to this where I wrote: “Ms Lewis is reported to have advised: [quotes snipped] “, but I did not do what you falsely accused me of doing. There’s a bit of a pattern here, don’t you think?

                      Such a cavalier attitude to sterility in remedy-making —

                      “And what are you trying to say about vaccination, that it’s not predicated on the law of similars? It certainly seems to be.”

                      Ah! Dunning-Kruger strikes again!

                      “Steve, isn’t your complaint against homeopathy that there’s NOTHING in our remedies but water? ”

                      No, I’ve never said said or written that. My charge is that it’s indistinguishable from placebo. I’ve written this so many times that I’m very surprised that you have the gall to pretend that I’ve written what you wrote above. Unbelievable!

                      “Then by definition, all the germs are gone!”

                      https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/begging-the-question

                      Exactly how are “all the germs…gone” if you make a “remedy” with your bodily discharges and spring water?

                      ” But vaccinations on the other hand? Do you know what’s in them?”

                      Yes

                      ” Live viruses, mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde…some really dangerous stuff;”

                      Yes, in large quantities, they are. I presume you are blissfully unaware that, for example, there are many orders of magnitude more formaldehyde in a pear yes, even when organically produced) than in an entire course of vaccinations. Don’t even get me started on shiitake mushrooms! I guess pears must be “really dangerous stuff” – after all, even one gram of ripe pear will raise the formaldehyde level in your body by more than an entire course of vaccinations. Heck, even the absolutely necessary process of DNA demethylation produces formaldehyde.

                      I could go on in a similar vein about Hg and Al, , but I reckon anyone with any sense will have got the picture by now.

                    • dazzawoodward says:

                      Elaine, if homeopathy is just an elaborate placebo with no physiological action, should people still make money selling it? If your answer is yes then you would appear to be in favour of people bilking vulnerable ill people and the worried well.

                    • Laurie Willberg says:

                      IF you actually read Jerome’s article and numerous links to research posted here, you’d realize that your “if” about homeopathy is not substantiated so there is no point in continuing.

                    • elainelewis says:

                      Is this a serious question? Tell me this, what is an “elaborate” placebo? And should people make money selling it, you ask? Well, you know, “Dazz”, “regular” medicine makes use of placebo and I’m sure the manufacturer charges for it.

                    • dazzawoodward says:

                      Elaine an elaborate placebo would be one with a made up action, and people awarded qualifications in it despite it being just a placebo. As for doctors issuing placebos, they are properly qualified to weigh the evidence, and decide if a placebo is medically the best solution. Being UK based the doctors here don’t make money selling placebo’s. So yes it was a genuine question but you appear to be unwilling to provide your answer.

                    • elainelewis says:

                      Well, you got me, Dazz, you got me, I guess you nailed me good! Now, what was the question again?

                    • Laurie Willberg says:

                      “You know, it’s a very sad world you live in, filled with large scale conspiracies, sinister lies and evil motivations. Your reasoning in this last comment is very troubling.”
                      Oh please, not more armchair quarterbacking! The rest of your comment looks like some pseudo-evangelical response where you’re offering to pray for Christy’s poor unenlightened soul.
                      Jerome certainly hit the nail on the head when he compared militant skeptics with religious cults.

                    • Hi Steve, That is indeed some rather nasty “advice”. Alright, I take back the “harmless”, sometimes my adjectives get out of hand….

                • I’ve just had a look at this site as well. First of all, I have to admit that the homeopathists have us beaten: They are clearly, from this thread, competent at numbers, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20 & 22. We don’t have a chance!

      • Laurie Willberg says:

        People actually learn through experience, not argument.
        The most glaring weaknesses of those who label themselves “skeptics” is the fact that they have never actually studied Homeopathy, nor have they put it to an honest personal test N=1 (no, public spectacles on street corners downing tubes of what may — or may not be? — homeopathic substances does not qualify). They perform no actual research.
        What they do present are philosophical arguments and opinions.
        “A man with experience is never at the mercy of an argument” Anon.

      • Great comments Jerome. I can see why you are entrusted with communication to the masses as a journalist. I’m sort of agnostic too but like you just trying to get one question answered.

      • ChristyRedd says:

        I personally have no interest at all in whether or not the “skeptics” of homeopathy accept it or the facts about it. Freedom of choice in health care is a human right whether that choice is allopathic or CAM. As far as I am concerned, “skeptics” are free to use whatever system they like. Those of us who prefer natural systems of medicine have the right to use what we prefer.

        The back-and-forth going on here is not a debate in my book. It is not even an exchange of information. It’s an exchange of real, verified facts about homeopathy and an expressed inability to even consider those facts because of personal bias or ideology. In any case, debating requires that both sides have in-depth, accurate knowledge of the subject. “Skeptics” very obviously don’t as has been exemplified by some not even knowing what energy medicine is.

  5. Here’s what some homeopaths have to say about homeopathy:
    http://t.co/y3F9C1SgRY

    Well, well, now isn’t that interesting?

    And here’s a few of videos on the subject. Can anyone find any factual errors in these?

    • The first vid link above seems broken; trying again:

      • Laurie Willberg says:

        So where’s the science? All these pseudoSkeptic videos show are more homeopathy-bashing spin. Not anywhere near the level of information required for you to make your case, Stevie.

      • I Wonder who funds these videos, certainly outside of the production budget of natural therapists? Looks like some big backers around the place doesnt it?

        • “I Wonder who funds these videos”

          Why don’t you ask him, instead of making a snide innuendo?

          “, certainly outside of the production budget of natural therapists?”

          I think you need to need to replace “production budget” with “technical competence”?

          “Looks like some big backers around the place doesnt (sic) it?”

          Not really, no. Static images, a bit of photoshop, and a voiceover doesn’t really need “big backers”. Who do you claim his “big backers” are on his anti-Creationism videos?

          But I do understand why it is so difficult for your kind (no, ElaineLewis, I do not mean black people! Sheesh!) to accept that some people will act out of conscience and don’t need to be paid for it.

  6. Laurie Willberg says:

    Here is a video of a debate regarding Homeopathy that took place at McGill University between Dr. Andre Saine, a researcher, teacher and Homeopath and Joe Schwarcz, a chemistry professor at McGill (whose chair for science and society is incidentally funded by the director of a pharma company). I might also note that Schwarcz is a loyal fan of James Randi.
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed the paradox of people who enjoy the media limelight as science spokespersons in the anti-homeopathy camp virtually playing house with magicians accusing Homeopaths of practising magic and witchcraft!
    As you watch this video you will note that Schwarcz vigorously declines to discuss actual research papers. His white-board presentation consists of cartoons and statements. On the other hand you will note that Saine comes prepared with research citations and case studies.

    • ChristyRedd says:

      Excellent video and a very informative and erudite presentation by Andre Saine. And what do we have directly above this video but more graphic art! As Saine says, “Skeptics approach homeopathy with unwavering conviction instead of the completely unbiased mind required in science.” We’ve certainly seen plenty of evidence of that unwavering conviction posted here. “Skeptics” will accept no evidence, no matter how valid or compelling it is. That’s because they KNOW homeopathy works, and it frightens them to death. “Skeptics” even believe that it’s enough for them to simply make the claim that positive homeopathic research is invalid for one trumped up reason or another, that they don’t have to support those claims with their own published research disproving the original paper.

      As Saine reiterates, “In science when a large body of evidence contradicts a theory it is time to change or adapt the theory.”

    • Laurie I didnt see a link to the debate you mentioned.

    • elainelewis says:

      Laurie, I saw that debate. The Randi character cut the legs out from under Andre right at the start by saying that he had no doubt that Andre would be able to produce many impressive cases of homeopathy “working” but it’s only due to “placebo” and therefore, not real! It’s the mantra of all of these people, “Oh! We believe you! But it was only placebo!” You can’t argue with people if this is the posture they’re going to take! “Yes, I believe you cured that case, but it was only placebo!” What can you say? “No it wasn’t!”? It’s a preposterous level of argument to be on. Here you’ve got the hospital records, pictures, X-rays and the blood test results…and all they have to do to wipe away all your documentation is say, “It was only placebo.” “Every case?” “Yes, every case.” These people aren’t scientists, scientists would be curious! “How did you do that? How did you bring that dog out of shock? What was the remedy? Where can I get it, I want to try that!” That’s what a scientist would do.

  7. ChristyRedd says:

    In this video scientists, doctors and dairy farmers discuss homeopathy, what it’s done for their patients both human and animal and why the effects of homeopathy cannot be attributed to placebo or the doctor/patient relationship.

    A cardiologist integrates homeopathy into her practice and says “In the way that homeopathy is practiced in its totality we see great successes…..especially patients with chronic diseases benefit greatly.”

    A partially blinded, placebo-controlled, cross-over study of 80 ADHD children is conducted. The doctor says that to his amazement the results are astonishing when the correct remedy is prescribed. He also notes that two, three or four remedies were given before the correct one was found and that the patients responded to only that one remedy, not to the others. Since the doctor/patient relationship hadn’t changed over the course of the study, the children were clearly responding only to the remedy. Over the next 5 years 90% of the patients continued with homeopathy. Their improvements were maintained. The other patients used allopathy. Their symptoms aggravated. This study was published.

    A German dairy farmer describes his initial scepticism about homeopathy and his decision to try it in spite of that because his cows continued to have udder infections. He says the results are “really positive”. Another farmer gives it to her cattle and notes that it could not be acting as a placebo because the animals often don’t realize they’ve received a remedy.

    Scientists discuss their experiments with homeopathic Arsenicum album and water lentils poisoned with arsenic. The treated plants flourish. Their conclusions are that homeopathy has biological effects and, obviously, very beneficial ones.

  8. Monday in Belgium homeopathy received legal recognition after members of Parliament read Jerome Burne’s Body of Evidence blog on the subject and saw how flimsy accusations against the practice by the sock puppets of self appointed “sceptics” can be.
    In Belgium the practice of homeopathy will now be limited to trained professionals . . accredited GPs, dentists and midwives, who unlike Edzard Ernst and James Randi can only call themselves homeopaths if they have formal training in it.
    Those with a Bachelor degree in health care who were homeopaths prior to the edict, like nurses, will continue their activities under temporary measures.
    http://www.expatica.com/be/news/belgian-news/Homeopathy-officially-recognised-in-Belgium-_292407.html
    So how will all of Alan Henness’ sock puppets appearing in Burne’s blog and elsewhere screaming fraud, manage to level their accusations against an entire country? Barrister’s are lining up at his front door as Henness is reportedly concocting a plan to launch balloons carrying anti homeopathy screeds over the English Channel to drift into Belgium airspace where he says they will be shot down by the Belgian Air Force.
    Sceptic organizations headquartered in the U.K., like the Nightingale Colloration and Cents About Science, the NHMRC of Australia and the James Randi Educational Foundation are hastily conferring on how to explain this to their dwindling supporters, and what to do with Randi’s million dollar offer to prove homeopathy.
    Randi has suggested they simply recognize the many biological tests that show the action of homeopathics, disproving the Placebo Hypothesis, and collect the award for themselves. Richard Adams, the progenitor of the award, says he wants his money back, as he wants to donate it to a homeopathy clinic in Africa.
    Randi and David Colquhoun reportedly were put on life support after their wheelchairs crashed into each other in a hallway at Exeter University.

    • The remarkable power of this blog. What else could we achieve? A zero growth functionng economic system, world peace.
      Would save a lot of cyber ink if Belgiansand others pulled together the top 5 bullet proof papers supporting H and rolled them out to rebut all future attacks or admit if you don’t have such a shield.

      • Laurie Willberg says:

        Honestly Jerome, have you EVER seen a “bullet proof paper” on anything? If real science teaches us anything it’s that theories and papers are constantly being challenged by future theories and papers.
        I would encourage you to read Prof. Iris Bell’s paper “Testing the nanoparticle-allostatic cross-adaptation-sensitization model for homeopathic remedy effects”, because it is an extremely cogent and ground-breaking explanation of how organisms react to potentized substances.
        http://www.homeopathyjournal.net/article/S1475-4916(12)00084-7/abstract
        Keep in mind that even without people attempting to smack each other in the face with “papers” critics have been lobbing the same criticisms at Homeopathy for over 200 years and it’s still here to the accolades of the many millions of patients who have benefitted. They really don’t care about papers or theories, they are simply grateful that they are no longer suffering or in pain.

      • Pull together the top 5 bullet proof papers supporting H and roll them out to rebut all future attacks . . . or admit if we don’t have such a shield? To who for what? Who decides they’re bullet proof? James Randi?
        Wake up Pollyanna!Have you read any of these “Skeptical” comments here in your blog? Would obstinate be an acceptable word? Difficult? HOw about abusive? No clinical meta concludes H is placebo, but that hasn’t stopped the assertions by the anonymous that it is; by 2009 there had been over 1300 biological studies of high dilutes, but that hasn’t stopped accusations that the pharmacy is inert; biochemical tests show the action of high dilutes, but that hasn’t stopped accusations that the pharmacy is inert either; H is growing at 20% a year and yet you still seem to think H hasn’t been proven? Every assertion by your sock puppets has been swatted down, and yet you still want five bullet proof studies? Come on! What do you think Belon was? Or Benveniste? Oh! You say Belon wasn’t replicated by a TV crew shepherded by a magician with a million dollars to lose, and Benveniste was debunked by the same magician doing sleight of hand tricks? What about: the Banerji Clinic? The Cuban leptospirosis epidemic? The MD Anderson glioma cures, and in vitro apoptosis? The BMJ confession, “. . evidence presented in this review would probably be sufficient for establishing homoeopathy as a regular treatment . . ”
        WHAT? Gandhi: “Homeopathy cures a greater percentage of cases than any other method of treatment.”
        What? BMC Public Health: Long term study of 3,981 patients found “Disease severity and quality of life demonstrated marked and sustained improvements following homeopathic treatment period. Our findings indicate that homeopathic medical therapy may play a beneficial role in the long-term care of patients with chronic diseases.”
        What? New England Journal Of Medicine: ” . . Americans made an estimated 425 million visits to providers of unconventional therapy. This number exceeds the number of visits to all U.S. primary care physicians (388 million). Expenditures associated with use of unconventional therapy in 1990 amounted to approximately $13.7 billion, three quarters of which ($10.3 billion) was paid out of pocket. This figure is comparable to the $12.8 billion spent out of pocket annually for all hospitalizations in the United States.”
        You want five bulletproof studies? Stop pretending to be stupid. Pour H on five of your hemp plants and see what happens.
        Or just read some of the comments by “sceptics” here. And do you think we haven’t you noticed that when “Guy Chapman” stops posting half of the 500+ posts here, “Steve,” “bsdetector” and “alxr” take up in his absence?
        LOL! In one post “Chapman,” forgets he’s posting as “Steve” and answers as “Chapman.”
        If this guy had the truth behind him, he wouldn’t need to use fake ID’s to antagonize people with. You use your real name, don’t you? I use mine. Why can’t they have the courage of their convictions and use theirs?
        And you still want five studies?
        You’re the “agnostic medical journalist” here: YOU do it and see what happens.

        • Please leave me out of this! Seeing my handle in one of your posts makes me feel like taking a silkwood shower!

    • elainelewis says:

      John, you said:
      “Monday in Belgium homeopathy received legal recognition after members of Parliament read Jerome Burne’s Body of Evidence blog on the subject and saw how flimsy accusations against the practice by the sock puppets of self appointed “sceptics” can be.”

      Is this true? The part about members of Parlimant reading Jerome’s article, the very thing we’re posting under now? Are you saying the article itself persuaded Belgium in its decision?

      • Oh I am sure it’s true Elaine. After all, John Benneth said it, and he is a homeopath. I bet that in their press release, the Belgian government mentioned your name and how vital your online comments were in swaying their decision.

      • Well of course dear, “alxkr” says its true, therefore it must be true 😉 and like any good novelist I’m so good at prevarication I can tell the truth lying. Recognizing all their efforts, the “sceptics,” it would seem, have motivated people who have esperienced homeopathic healing, to bring out the fact about it and spread the doctrine far and wide. WIth coin in grip, I would like to shake their hands, thank them with hard money, for a job well done, making me a rich man.

        • ChristyRedd says:

          The thanks go to you, John, and the 1/2 million others who have given us the opportunity to achieve deep, safe healing on all levels. I have always said that homeopathy is the greatest blessing of my life, and am saying it again here. Nothing could be truer than the saying “When you don’t have your health you don’t have anything.”

    • ChristyRedd says:

      Just to let other readers here know, the governments of 19 countries now recognize homeopathy as a system of medicine or medical specialty. Homeopathy is covered by the U.S. government under Obamacare and is also covered by the national health care programs of 7 other countries. In 2013 the Portugese Parliament included homeopathy in seven CAM modalities which are now regulated in that country. Spain’s Health Ministry will be giving homeopathic medicines its seal of approval.

      I believe Sandra Courtney posted her opinion that the “skeptics” haven’t been too effective. They clearly don’t cut any ice in Belgium, Spain, Portugal or any of the other countries that recognize homeopathy.

      • The United Nations has 193 members.
        Ms Jahnig, in an appeal to popularity, you wrote: “Just to let other readers here know, the governments of 19 countries now recognize homeopathy as a system of medicine or medical specialty.”
        That is a stunning achievement: effective penetration causing it to be accepted in over 9% of the world’s countries in less than 220 years!
        (I think we ought to discount Ms Willberg’s assertion, made in https://jeromeburne.com/2014/04/28/homeopathy-and-the-threat-of-endarkenment/comment-page-2/#comment-11969 , that it’s had “over 250 years”, don’t you?)
        Heck, scientific medicine has fared so poorly by comparison: I mean, it’s taken nearly a century and a three quarters to achieve acceptance as a system of medicine in, let’s see – um – oh yes – all 193 of them.
        Now do you see the problem with using an appeal to popularity as an argument?

  9. This fanatical mobbing of Steve – whoever he is, and I very much doubt he’s Alan Henness; sceptics don’t need to sock-puppet, ,tjhey have evidence to back up their argumpents – is most amusing, but it seems the usual question-begging is being applied.

    Energy medicine? There’s no such thing. There is a belief system called vitalism, which homeopathy is based on like all sympathetic magic. Now, what’s the trouble with magic?

    The other fallacy, regularly trotted out, is that you need to have studied it (and the assumption here is that you have attended classes in an academic setting) to be able to criticise it. This stems from a misunderstanding of the word “study”. It is sufficient to grasp the basic principles of homeopathy – or indeed any vitalistic system – and compare it with how science describes reality to spot the fatal flaws in the whole thing.

    • ChristyRedd says:

      The vital force, vitalism, is an older term used to describe what we now call the immune system. I think most people accept the concept of the immune system and that you do too.

      • “The vital force, vitalism, is an older term used to describe what we now call the immune system”
        You are incorrect. It refers to some form of mystic energy. This is why homeopaths generally reject germ theory and talk of “miasms”, which are their version of the old, pre-scientific bodily humours.

        Most people do not accept this definition, therefore, and that includes homeopaths, a number of whom have knitted another vitalistic concept – chakras – into their practice.

        • Laurie Willberg says:

          Homeopaths currently understand the term “vital force” to mean the immune system.
          The current understanding among homeopaths is that the term miasm refers to genetic predisposition.
          It would be instructive if you enrolled in a homeopathic educational program before making the assertions you just made because you are incorrect on all counts.

          • “Homeopaths currently understand the term “vital force” to mean the immune system.”

            No. I have researched this

            ” miasm refers to genetic predisposition.”
            Again, no.

            It would be instructive if you provided evidence for your claims. As for enrolling in an “educational program”, you are merely repeating the old lie that you can’t evaluate homeopathy if you haven’t been inducted into the ranks of its practitioners. Rather like religion, in fact.

            • Laurie Willberg says:

              Repeating the same falsehoods isn’t gaining you any credibility. You have not proved your case so time to move on.

              • “Repeating the same falsehoods isn’t gaining you any credibility. You have not proved your case so time to move on.”

                Ah Laurie, if only you took your own advice.

        • ChristyRedd says:

          “….homeopaths generally reject the germ theory….! What an amazing concept!!! In all my years of homeopathic treatment and associations with homeopaths I’ve never yet heard of one who espoused such a thing. In fact, last month I had an intestinal upset so I called my homeopath. She told me “You might have been exposed to an air-borne virus.” What “skeptics” come up with can truly be called magical conjuring acts.

          “…..a number of whom have knitted another vitalistic concept — chakras — into their practices.” Please provide documented statistics for that “number”.

      • Ms Jahnig, you wrote: “The vital force, vitalism, is an older term used to describe what we now call the immune system.”

        Like so much of what you write, that is quite simply not true. Some evidence of your dissembling:

        http://hpathy.com/organon-philosophy/the-vital-force-the-concept-of-resonance/ states, after a diatribe about imaging it with Kirlian photography: “the vital force is synonymous with the electro-dynamic field of the body”

        The immune system is not an “electro-dynamical field”.

        http://www.homeopathyworldcommunity.com/profiles/blogs/fundamental-differences-of cites prominent homeopath, George Vithoulkas, and states: “the vital force is the same that an electromagnetic field”.

        The immune system is not an “electromagnetic field”.

        In http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-ullman/energy-medicine-futuristi_b_632418.html prominent homeopath Dana Ullman writes: ” modern-day scientist and discoverer of vitamin C, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, called it “syntropy” (which he defines as “the drive in matter to perfect itself”); the Chinese have referred to it as “ch’i”; the yogis as “prana”; homeopathic physicians — “vital force”; ”

        None of these describes the immune system.

        I could go on, but I think the point will now clear to any sentient being.

        You concluded: “I think most people accept the concept of the immune system and that you do too.”

        Yes, but the immune system is very clearly not what many (most? all but you?) homeopathists mean when they use the term “vital force”.

        • Ms Jahnig-don’t even bother! Here we are in this very long comments sections, having firmly established that pseudosceptic loons are on this blog disrupting the discussion. We have established that “steve” knows nothing about homeopathy, by his own admission he has never heard of energy medicine! And yet here he is again-quoting snippets he has picked off the internet (having nothing better to do with his time) and arguing with people about the meaning of these ‘snippets’ he has picked up as though he has half a clue about any of it-he doesn’t. Trolling and getting people into circular arguments is what he does. Why? To what end? Who knows. I have asked him but so far had no response.

          • You wrote of me: “he has never heard of energy medicine!”

            You also wrote to me: “You clearly DO have an understanding of energy medicine”
            (https://jeromeburne.com/2014/04/28/homeopathy-and-the-threat-of-endarkenment/comment-page-2/#comment-12144)

            Oh please DO make up your mind!

            You concluded: “I have asked him but so far had no response.”

            I make a point of not answering “have you stopped beating your wife” type of questions. If you want me to consider answering a question you need to do it without begging the question. (And given that you probably don’t know what “begging the question” means: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/begging-the-question

            • Okay Alan or ‘steve’or whoever you are today. You haven’t answered any of my questions about the strange stance of Alan Henness supporting the right to choose how to die but campaigning to limit choice of healthcare during life. You haven’t answered my questions about why you campaign or what outcome you’d like to see. I’ll presume for you-given that you and other sceptics (who are basically intercangeable anyway) campaign to ASA, complain to stockists and also to the MHRA-all in a bid to limit people’s access to homeopathy-I’ll presume that the outcome you’d like to see is homeopathy (and any other therapies you don’t like) made unavailable for sale or purchase and ultimately made impossible to access unless they are tested in the same way as pharmaceutical drugs. Leaving aside the many issues around the worth of RCT’s (as discussed elsewhere here) and the vast disparity in funding between the pharma and alternative medicine AND the fact that homeopathy is comletely different from pharmaceutical drugs… Let’s just imagine that your wish were to come true. You’d celebrate in style no doubt if homeopathy and other therapies you don’t like, were to become impossible to access, a few pints down the pub with the boys, job done! And you are left with-only pharmaceutical drugs with which to treat yourself and not even information available about alternatives. A totalitarian system of health-with no choice-now wouldn’t that be marvellous!? Can you imagine the street parties around the country. Yey! Bring out the flags-guess what Britain-we finally have no access to any other form of healthcare other than pharmaceutical drugs. We are saved, we shall all live long and prosper. Can you see it Alan? NO neither can I. It isn’t going to happen because no one wants that! It would stand for everything that a democracy is not. If your preferred outcome is different from how I have described-then please elucidate-I am genuinely interested to hear it.

              • You wrote: ” You haven’t answered any of my questions about the strange stance of Alan Henness”

                Clue: Do you think that a possible reason for that might just be that I don’t presume to be able to answer for other people?

              • elainelewis says:

                Janice, you asked what outcome, exactly, are the skeptics fighting for? A complete inability to access homeopathy and other alternative therapies? When they’re successful, will they celebrate the end to choice despite the fact that they seem to want the right to choice-in-dying? My answer Janice is that they won’t celebrate, because they will never observe that homeopathy has died! They will see it everywhere! After all, Janice, look around you! They are inexplicably obsessed with it! They are consumed with hatred, they revel in it, they take joy in plotting and scheming against it, it’s a way of life for them! Even if they are successful in their schemes, they will see homeopathy everywhere!

              • You wrote: ” Why they’re using it, who they got it from or why, I don’t know.”

                Did you not read what I wrote above over ten hours before you posted that? Let me spell it out for you; it really isn’t difficult and I imagine that you may be able to understand.:

                Homeopath: one who practices homeopathy
                Homeopathist: one who believes in, uses or practices homeopathy.

                The latter term is used (accurately) by many in the UK reality-based community. You claim that it is “archaic”, so presumably you know of another word that has precisely the same meaning – are you going to let on what it is?

                • Ah thanks for the explanation. You have explained that many in the UK reality based community use the term “homeopathist.” In your comments it’s clear that you see the so called reality based community as yourself and your fellow ‘sceptics’. All clear so far. So I looked up the word “homeopathist” along with the term sceptic and you’re right there is someone in the sceptic community who uses the term. And guess who that person is? Alan Henness!! Now that really did make me giggle.

                  • You wrote: “it’s clear that you see the so called reality based community as yourself and your fellow ‘sceptics’.”

                    Well done, Janice! After innumerable attempts, you have at last managed to draw a correct inference. Long may it continue!

                    Unfortunately, you spoiled your stupendous achievement by continuing: ” there is someone in the sceptic community who uses the term [homeopathist]. And guess who that person is? Alan Henness!!”

                    Yes, and so do Guy Chapman, Robert Park, Andy Lewis, David Colquhoun, and loads of other people (one of whom I will mention later). I guess, by your logic, we must now all be the same person! Actually, I got the term from reading the blog of the first mentioned of these, Guy Chapman; it is so much more elegant than the phrase I used to (and still sometimes do) use in it’s stead: “touts and apologists for this particular species of pseudomedicine” and, given Mr Burne’s request that we tone down the rhetoric here, it seemed to me to be much less inflammatory to write “homeopathist” in stead. Do you disagree?

                    You and Ms Lewis also claimed in several places that “homeopathist” is an archaic term that would never be used nowadays by anyone who knows anything about homeopathy. Now we come to the one I said I would mention later: the homeopathist James R Pannozzi (inter alia, here: https://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/homeopath/2010/03/17/finding-right-homeopathic-key-fit-lock#comment-1032 ). Hadn’t you better tell him that you have decided that he doesn’t know anything about homeopathy? (He commented on this blogpost a couple of weeks back, so you should be able to find him easily; alternatively, you can find his pro-homeopathy scribblings infesting many parts of the interweb.)

                    Oh, by the way, he writes a lot about Vitoulkas [sic]; by your reasoning, because he can’t spell it, he can’t know anything about Vithoulkas – maybe you’d better let him know that as well?

          • ChristyRedd says:

            Janice……

            I’ve been shaking my head about Steve’s comments and wondering how to explain vital force and immune system to someone who doesn’t have even the most basic understanding of the terms or what’s being discussed and apparently doesn’t want to. I haven’t had time to follow the comments here but I see from what you’ve said and Steve’s response that it’s a waste of time to try to discuss anything with him or to explain anything to him. Thanks!

          • ” pseudosceptic loons”
            Ad hominem is a fallacy, designed to create diversion from the debater’s lack of any real argument.

            Incidentally, I thought Mr Burne had proimised to put a stop to smears and name-calling?

        • “Steve” wrote
          “The immune system is not an “electromagnetic field”.
          In actuality, the human body most certainly does have an electromagnetic field and since the immune system is a system of biological structures within the human body, it can therefore be said that the immune system does have an “electromagnetic field”.

          It is now well-known and accepted that electrical activities of the brain can be measured as electroencephalograms (EEG) and in the pace-maker of the heart as electrocardiograms (ECG).
          Electrical activities and ionic currents have also been measured in cultured cells and tissues. And the weak magnetic fields generated by current flows all over the body can now be measured non-invasively with the extremely sensitive Super Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) magnetometer. The body uses these electromagnetic signals of different frequencies and extents to intercommunicate. The evidence, coming from scientists within the field, is overwhelmingly that electro-dynamical fields and currents are involved in intercommunication within the body.

          Elsewhere in this discussion, Bruce Lipton elucidates further (in a short video someone kindly posted) on how these frequencies intercommunicate in the body within the framework of homeopathy (homeopaths understand that remedies resonate at different frequencies). Nontheless, mainstream medicine, nowadays driven by profit, systematically ignores and excludes this from mainstream discourse-while we continue to be poisoned with a range of environmental pollutants and by the ‘side-effects’ of drugs from conventional reductionist mechanistic medicine.

          Steve, with your lack of homeopathic and/or medical training, don’t you think it’d be wise to do some research before getting into arguments. Arguing against something that you don’t have even basic knowledge about isn’t doing you any favours.

          • Laurie Willberg says:

            Hi, Janice. It’s a foregone conclusion already that Stevie and those in that camp will attempt to derail anything their opponents say whether they know anything about it or not (mostly not).
            Everything you have written is correct.
            Prof. Luc Montagnier’s 2010 research shows that bacterial DNA when agitated (same as homeopathic remedies) produces EM signals. This work has been replicated in 4 other labs. Our bodies contain 10 times more bacteria than our own cells. It’s been established that bacteria of the same species can “communicate” with each other — for what purposes who knows… yet!
            Medicine is not science, it’s healthcare technology. Mainstream medicine is being unduly influenced by the pharmaceutical companies and I bet there are very few who don’t acknowledge or realize that. I agree with Prof. Bruce Lipton when he says that mainstream medicine can’t be considered to be “scientific” because of this influence.

          • You wrote: “In actuality, the human body most certainly does have an electromagnetic field and since the immune system is a system of biological structures within the human body, it can therefore be said that the immune system does have an “electromagnetic field”.”

            ROTFLMAO!

            OK, strictly speaking, you are correct in that it *can* be said but, as you have amply demonstrated, just saying something does not make it true. In fact, you are betraying an astonishingly profound ignorance of basic biology. Did you drop out of junior high?

            But let’s, for a moment, just assume that you are correct (you aren’t, but bear with me…) that the immune system does have an electromagnetic field and deconstruct your argument in that light:

            1. Ms Jahnig states that the term “vital force” is “used to describe what we now call the immune system.” (NB: Not “one aspect of the immune system” but “THE immune system”)

            2. I post a number of links as evidence that a number of very prominent homeopaths (i.e. practitioners) do not use the term “vital force” in this way.

            3. You responded yesterday that I don’t understand the links – which say that the “vital force” is an “electromagnetic field”.

            4. 22 hours later, in an amazing volte face, you now tacitly admit that the “vital force” *is* understood by homeopathists (i.e.- since you seem to struggle with the meanings of English words – users, believers and practitioners) to be an electromagnetic force and claim, incorrectly, that actually the immune system *does* have a magnetic field.

            Do you see the logical conflict between what Ms Jahnig claimed and what you are now arguing? Clue: http://www.logicallyfallacious.com/index.php/logical-fallacies/87-fallacy-of-composition

            • …since we are doing the passive-aggressive thing now (I’m looking at you ChristyRedd, Janice, ElaineLewis, Laurie Willberg…), let me make a private (ahem, very public) comment to steve…

              Hi Steve, What kind of bubble do these people live in? Vital force, electromagnetic field that is the immune system?!! Is this what happens when you are shutting yourself off from all outside influence and only move about in circles where any absurd thought you concoct goes unchallenged?
              I am glad you are posting undeterred by the ludicrous responses you get. Your posts are great fun to read and prompt your opponents to grant us frightening insights into their thought processes. This doesn’t go unnoticed nor unappreciated. Thank you!

              • Hey, alxkr, you asked: “What kind of bubble do these people live in?”

                I reckon if I answered that honestly, Mr Burne would ban me! 🙂

                “Is this what happens when you are shutting yourself off from all outside influence and only move about in circles where any absurd thought you concoct goes unchallenged?”

                Indeed it is. I had a colleague like this once; I eventually made her a car sticker that said:

                *** DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK ***

                She still didn’t get it, & I doubt Mesdames Jahnig, Lewis, Everitt and Willberg will either.

                “Your posts are great fun to read and prompt your opponents to grant us frightening insights into their thought processes. ”

                Thank you; the same goes for yours from my perspective. I must confess to quite enjoying seeing what depths of irrationality it is possible for the Dunning-Kruger-compliant mind to plumb.

                • That’s a brilliant bumper sticker. If you put in on caffeepress, I would buy it in a heartbeat!
                  I used to encounter this type of thinking all the time when I was working in mental health years ago (Jerome, I don’t know anyone here, therefore I am neither diagnosing nor implying psychiatric problems.) The inability to create an inner distance, from which you can examine your own thoughts, is a trait that was common among patients whose mental illness had psychotic aspects. For example, during a hospital outpatient visit, one client saw a sign pointing to “Radiation Therapy”. He convinced himself of the idea that the hospital would repackage the radioactive waste from the radiation therapy into pills for its mental health patients, thus ridding itself cheaply of it, while keeping its patients mentally ill. In psychiatric patients this lack of metacognition is a significant impediment to normal functioning even outside of periods of acute illness. Among other things, it makes it difficult to discern significant stimuli from random background noise.
                  You can help mentally ill people by training them in examining their own thought process, and this very often leads to amelioration of symptoms and improved functioning.
                  What happens if healthy people train themselves to suppress metacognition? Scroll up or down to see examples!

                • Btw everyone, here is a “best practice” example of metacognition:
                  Me: “That Steve sounds a lot like that troll Alan Henness (oh I hate that guy!). He is using the same fancy words and the arguments are so similar. I bet it’s the same person. It must be the same guy! How like him to hide behind a fake name!”
                  Meta-Me: “Wait a minute! All the proof you have is a few lines of text! Chances are you are making a rash judgement. After all, Steves writing style is not that distinct. You are right, he is on the same side of this issue as Alan Henness would be, but so are a lot of other people.”
                  Me: “Yeah, yeah….But look, he just used ROFLMAO, Alan Henness does that all the time! It must be him!
                  Meta-Me: “Seriously dude, that’s your proof?!”
                  Me: “Hey, the evidence is mounting up, same writing style, same arguments, uses childish acronyms…Steve must really be Alan Henness! Oh I’ve got that guy’s number, alright! I’m gonna go and tell him, that’ll put an end to his smug posturing!”
                  Meta-Me: “Stop! You are just going to embarrass yourself! What is he going to say, “You got me”? That’ll be the day! Besides, you have no proof other than your own reasoning, which, if I may say, is quite weak. With all you know of Steve, it would not be the least bit surprising if he was somebody other than Alan Henness. In fact, most people wouldn’t even find it coincidental or recognize any uncanny similarities between the two. If you go ahead with this accusation, I can see no good outcome, you are just going to make us look foolish! So stop all this obsessing and get back to what’s really important here.
                  Me: “Okaayy!! Stop getting involved!…Alright, I won’t say anything, maybe you are right. I still think he’s Alan Henness, though….Fine, I’ll let this one go! Happy now?”
                  Meta-Me: “Sure.”
                  Me: Oh look, he just spelled something wrong! Can you believe this guy?! He really doesn’t know what he is talking about!
                  Meta-Me: “Well,…”

            • Steve. You are clueless, you are using arachaic terms that are no longer used. I have never heard of “homeopathist” and I doubt any other person involved in homeopathy has either. It’s archaic usage has been pointed out i.e. the term is no longer in use…so why do you use it? Straight question?

              I have stated already that the body has an electro-magnetic field and explained how this is used already in measuring heart and brain rhythms. Another archaic term you keep using is the vital force-again i have explained that the world moves on and in modern homeopathy we now understand this old term to mean electro-magnetic field.

              There is no conflict then in someone referring to a system of the body as having an electro-magnetic field since systems of the body ARE PART of the human body. In fact the entire functioning of neurons depends directly on electric fields. Electric fields play all sorts of roles in our functioning as humans. The fact that you are unaware of this yet commenting in some authorative way about the subject is amusing to say the least.

              You can believe the world is flat too but none of it furthers your case that homeopathy doesn’t work. If anything, it shows you to be ill-informed and too reliant on tit bits you’ve picked out from the internet but are unable to interpret. Follow the links to gain some understanding of EMF’s in the human body…

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromyogram

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioelectromagnetics

              Please read up before commenting. I see no point in debating points with someone who doesn’t understand what they are talking about. If you still don’t understand after reading up then I’m afraid this discussion can go no further as there’s no-where for it to go.

              • You wrote: “You are clueless,”
                Which bit of Mr Burne’s request to cut out the gratuitous insults are you pretending not to have read?
                You continued re the word “homopathist”: “the term is no longer in use…so why do you use it? Straight question?”
                I have already given a straight answer :
                https://jeromeburne.com/2014/04/28/homeopathy-and-the-threat-of-endarkenment/comment-page-2/#comment-13133
                Which bit of it do you not understand? Also I note that neither you nor Ms Lewis have answered the question I finished that post with. Do you intend to do so any time soon?
                On the subject of archaic words, I presume you are aware that the first recorded use of “homeopathist” is 1913, whereas “homeopath” was first recorded in English in 1830? Which is more archaic?
                You wrote: “I have stated already that the body has an electro-magnetic field and explained how this is used already in measuring heart and brain rhythms.”
                Please try to pay attention this time: this is irrelevant to the groundless assertion that you made, i.e. ‘immune system does have an “electromagnetic field”.’ That is quite simply wrong. I have even pointed out to you one of the several logical fallacies that you committed when you drew that conclusion.
                You continued: “Another archaic term you keep using is the vital force”
                Now that is thoroughly disingenuous! I have only ever mentioned it in these comments in response to its prior use by Mesdames Jahnig and Willberg. Shouldn’t you be berating them instead?
                …and then: “-again i have explained that the world moves on and in modern homeopathy we now understand this old term to mean electro-magnetic (sic) field.”
                Yes, you have made that assertion. However, it differs from the assertion made by Mesdames Jahnig and Willberg that “Homeopaths currently understand the term “vital force” to mean the immune system.” You see, however you try to spin it (and I will assume that you are not being deliberately mendacious and this is simply a case of Dunning-Kruger meeting Hanlon’s Razor), the immune system does not “have an electro-magnetic (sic) field”
                You then chose to repeat a logical fallacy on which you have already been corrected: “There is no conflict then in someone referring to a system of the body as having an electro-magnetic field since systems of the body ARE PART of the human body.”
                I gave you a link to a page on the ‘Fallacy of Composition’. Assuming you read it, how did you contrive not to understand it?
                Your conflation of bodily systems continued in: “In fact the entire functioning of neurons depends directly on electric fields. Electric fields play all sorts of roles in our functioning as humans. The fact that you are unaware of this yet commenting in some authorative way about the subject is amusing to say the least.”
                I am aware of it and all that precedes the false premise that begins your last sentence is true. Now please try to pay attention this time: The immune system does not have an electro-magnetic (sic) field. The fact that muscles and nerves work via proton pumps that generate electric potentials, and hence electromagnetic fields does not mean that the immune system does. What will you assert next? That the endocrine system has an electro-magnetic (sic) field?
                You instructed: “Follow the links to gain some understanding of EMF’s in the human body…”
                I have previously informed you that I do not obey instructions from the likes of you. Which bit of that do you not understand?
                However, I do not need to follow them: as part of my first degree, I conducted a major study into the effects of music on relaxation states, which used electroencephalography (specifically to measure alpha and theta functions), electromyography and electrocardiography to measure relaxation states. (Outcome: Unclear (sample size too small), although Keef Hartley’s “Born to Die” as quite background music was generally found to be more relaxing than the ghastly plip-plop/mood/ambient stuff, then (do they still use it?) so beloved of new-age therapists.)
                You concluded by repeating your mantra: “I see no point in debating points with someone who doesn’t understand what they are talking about. If you still don’t understand after reading up then I’m afraid this discussion can go no further as there’s no-where for it to go”.
                Yes, you keep asserting that I don’t know what I’m talking about, and you keep saying that you will not continue to debate with me, yet somehow this latter point has so far turned out to be a falsehood. Will it be true this time, I wonder…

                • Alan-since you are not a qualified homeopath I will have to conclude that your telling homeopaths about what terms are currently in use in homeopathy and are curently used by homeopaths-is rather ridiculous. Can you see this? I would suspect that you cannot. That’s okay- you keep telling homeopaths about their terminology-you are wasting your time-no-one cares what an unqualified person has to say-not to mention that it has zero relevance to the discussion. I questioned you on certain terms just to find out if you do have any knowledge of modern homeopathy and how it is practiced. Your answers have proved that you don’t.
                  Also to reiterate, the body has an electro-magnetic field-and that includes all parts and systems of the human body. You disagree with this, that’s okay, you are entitled to disagree.
                  People involved in real scientific inquiry knows that the study of EMF’s in the human body is not some fringe science-but very much part of mainstream science.

                  You are correct in that I see no point in debating anything to do with the practice and methodology of homeopathy with you. I find you sorely lacking in knowledge on the subject. Rather than go on massive tangents that have nothing to do with the actual debate here, it would be more useful if you could answer the more pertinent and relevant question in this discussion…

                  https://jeromeburne.com/2014/04/28/homeopathy-and-the-threat-of-endarkenment/comment-page-2/#comment-13187

                  • In a gish-gallop of red herrings you posited this one that was almost relevant: “People involved in real scientific inquiry knows that the study of EMF’s in the human body is not some fringe science-but very much part of mainstream science”.

                    True, but that *still* does not mean that the immune system has an electro-magnetic (sic) field! (But then, I guess you already knew that)

                  • You posited this gorgeous bit of illogic: “Alan-since you are not a qualified homeopath I will have to conclude that your telling homeopaths about what terms are currently in use in homeopathy and are curently used by homeopaths-is rather ridiculous.”

                    First off, my name is Steve, not Alan. I’m finding your lie that we are the same person to be becoming tiresome, especially as you have been corrected on this at least twice. I imagine Alan is as well.

                    Secondly, by your bizarre reasoning, only mass-murderers are qualified to comment on the practices of mass-murder.

                    Thirdly, I have already demonstrated that you are wrong and modern touts, purveyors and apologists for pseudomedicine do indeed use the term. Did you tell Mr Pannozzi et. al. that they should cease forthwith?

                    • I am sure you are better placed than I to know whether Alan is tired of the conversation or not.
                      You are welcome to comment on anything, of course, but commenting on a topic is not the same as being qualified in it is it now? You try to tell people in the homeopathy profession that you know better than they do what term should be used to describe their profession. I just can’t follow your logic on this. Would you also insist that a Doctor be called “doctorist” because you have seen the term on some obscure corner of the internet and decided it to be a better term than Doctor? I assure you, in my many years experience of homeopathy I have never come across the term nor heard the many hundreds of people I know involved in homeopathy use it either.
                      You are welcome to use whatever terms you want, just don’t be surprised when people don’t know what you’re talking about.
                      I don’t think we have anything further to say on this. Surely anything more would be just pedantic.

                      Could you please stick to what’s relevant and answer the question of why all the blogging with bells on about homeopathy but such great paucity of commentary from sceptics when it comes to the catastrophic failings of the pharmaceutical industry…

                    • You wrote: ” You try to tell people in the homeopathy profession”

                      he.It’s a profession now? Really? Please enlighten us as to the name of professional body to which the professionals of this particular species of pseudomedicine must adhere. I am qualified to call myself a “homeopath” in the UK, for pity’s sake (I wouldn’t, except as a joke).

                      You confessed: “I just can’t follow your logic on this.”

                      Nor a lot else, it would seem.

                      You posited another blatant ruddy proto-kipper: ‘Would you also insist that a Doctor be called “doctorist”’

                      No, of course not; first of all, there is no such word (and your sneaky attempt to equate “homeopath” and “doctor” is noted — and rejected). Secondly, I am not insisting that homeopaths are called “homeopathists”; which bit of the distinction between the two words, elucidated in https://jeromeburne.com/2014/04/28/homeopathy-and-the-threat-of-endarkenment/comment-page-2/#comment-13133, are you now disingenuously pretending not to understand?

                      You continued: “I have never come across the term nor heard the many hundreds of people I know involved in homeopathy use it either.”

                      I ask again, have you told Mr Pannozzi, and the several other homeopathists that use the term, this? Please answer this time.

                      You concluded with this royally disingenuous bit of homœocrud (hey, look, I’m using an archaic ligature!): ” Could you please stick to what’s relevant and answer the question of why all the blogging with bells on about homeopathy but such great paucity of commentary from sceptics when it comes to the catastrophic failings of the pharmaceutical industry…”

                      #1. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/begging-the-question
                      #2. The disingenuous bit of your ruddy proto-kipper is your pretence that you have not already been told that, unlike most (all?) of the homeopathists (or would you prefer I used the phrase “touts, purveyors and apologists for this particular species of pseudomedicine”?) here, most (all? – I haven’t actually asked) of the sceptics are active supporters of http://www.alltrials.net/ , through which we do exactly that which you pretend we do not do.
                      #3. All the failings of proper medicine (and, if you have been paying attention, I have already acknowledged that there are far too many) do not mean that “homeopathy is distinguishable from placebo”.

                    • I love it when “steve’ lets his real self shine through.

                    • elainelewis says:

                      “Could you please stick to what’s relevant and answer the question of why all the blogging with bells on about homeopathy but such great paucity of commentary from sceptics when it comes to the catastrophic failings of the pharmaceutical industry…”

                      Janice, they’re just going to trot out their association with “All Trials” like they usually do.

                    • You wrote: ” they’re just going to trot out their association with “All Trials” like they usually do.”

                      You have a problem with (a) the truth and (b) consistency? Why exactly?

                      However, I do recognise that there is no way the touts for your particular species of pseudomedicine would sign up for it: it would spell the death-knell for it if all the negative outcomes had to be published; no more lucrative re-selling sugar at £/$ thousands/kilo.

                    • This is also strongly personal -see my comment on Janet’s post put up shortly after this – so now you have both vented why don’t you digitally shake hands and we can move on

                    • Mr Burne, I realise that you want to be seen to be fair by rapping the knuckles of someone from “this side” of the argument as well as Janet (sic), but I disagree with your assertion: “This is also strongly personal “.

                      It really wasn’t: it was not directed at any specific individual, but at a whole system of pseudomedicine.

                • As an adjunct for the benefit of readers, while ‘steve’ insists that “the immune system does not “have an electro-magnetic (sic) field”-he is demonstrably wrong. While ‘steve” is not interested in scientific developments, others here are. And for the benefit of those that ARE interested in science…the following link provides a detailed account of electrical dimensions in cell science, it begins…
                  “The existence of steady (direct current; DC) electrical signals within the extracellular spaces of plants, animals and humans has been known for two centuries”

                  Perhaps “steve” is unaware that the different systems of the body are all connected! Perhaps “steve” needs to update himself-two centuries is quite a long time, surely long enough for him to have gleaned ‘something’ on the area of endogenous electric currents – particulalry as he purports to be so knowledgeable about it.

                  http://jcs.biologists.org/content/122/23/4267.full

                  • You wrote: “As an adjunct for the benefit of readers, while ‘steve’ insists that “the immune system does not “have an electro-magnetic (sic) field”-he is demonstrably wrong.”

                    So why the heck don’t you demonstrate it, then?

                    You quoted: “The existence of steady (direct current; DC) electrical signals within the extracellular spaces of plants, animals and humans has been known for two centuries”

                    So, nothing about the immune system having an electro-magnetic (sic) field, then? How surprising!

                    You mused: “Perhaps “steve” is unaware that the different systems of the body are all connected! ”

                    Not at all; perhaps “janice” still doesn’t understand the Fallacy of Composition!

                    You then cited: http://jcs.biologists.org/content/122/23/4267.full

                    Did you actually read it? If so, please read http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Read-Paper-Evidence-Based-Medicine/dp/1444334360 and then read the article you cited again. First off, not only does it not state what you pretend it did, but also it is essentially about the *use* of electricity in order to control various functions, not vice versa.

                    Isn’t it curious how difficult it is for you to find any reference to something that unequivocally gives any evidence for your bizarre and erroneous assertion? Why do you think that is?

                    • Oh for goodness sake. Did you actually read the article? Probably not.

                      Steve I’ll state it simply for you…

                      The human body is made up of atoms, and atoms have positive and negative charges, as in protons and electrons…the clue ‘steve’ is in the word ‘electrons’.

                      The electrons of an atom are bound to the nucleus by the electromagnetic force (field). See here if you require evidence of the same:
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_force

                      Which bit is it that you want to argue against?

                    • You wrote: “Which bit is it that you want to argue against?”

                      None of it. In fact, I’m not trying to argue against *any* of the things that you *pretend* I’m arguing against. The thing I’m arguing against is the one you steadfastly refuse to address: your false assertion that the immune system has an electro-magnetic (sic) field.

                      Now, do try to pay attention: Just because something is composed of atoms does not mean that it itself has an electric field. For that to occur, at the very least, atoms need to be ionised (please look it up if you don’t know what that means), otherwise they are electrically neutral (again, please look it up if you don’t know what it means). Hence my earlier reference to proton pumps wrt action potentials: protons are ionised hydrogen atoms.

                      Clue: The glass of Glenlivet Rich Oak on my desk as I type this is made of atoms: it does not have an electric field, since none of the atoms is ionised.

                    • Hey, Janice, just giving you awarning heads-up. You have been citing Wikipedia. Now, I don’t have an issue with that, but I thought I ought to warn you that Ms Willberg does.

                      For example, on http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116781/whole-foods-pseudoscience-anti-rationalist-creationism, Ms Willberg declared: “article on Wikipedia (hardly a science journal, is it?)”

                      In the same place, she asserted (admittedly, I haven’t seen the evidence for her assertion) in her denigration of Wikipedia as source: “anyone trying to use Wikipedia as a reference for a college or university level essay would automatically get a failing grade.” (NB: not “cite Wikipedia” or “quote Wikipedia”, but merely ” *trying to use* Wikipedia”).

                    • Laurie Willberg says:

                      Note that Stevie doesn’t have the knowledge to discuss the issues Janice raised but instead attempts to derail her analysis by changing the subject. Tsk, tsk, Stevie.

                    • Steve, it’s fine with me if you don’t ‘believe’ the now widely accepted science of the electromagnetic force within atoms. You’re entitled to your beliefs. No need to keep repeating it.

                      It would be good however if you could answer the questions that Jerome has raised many times.
                      I am genuinely wanting to understand why there is so much bashing of alternative medicine and therapies from the sceptic camp, both here and elsewhere, but such paucity of commentary when it comes to addressing the far greater health hazard of pharmacetical drugs?

                      I really don’t get the sceptic stance at all. Is their primary concern about the welfare of people? It is hard to think that it is when patient satisfaction for homeopathy is higher than it is for conventional medicine and yet sceptics set out to have homeopathy removed from the NHS. If you don’t understand the science of energy medicine-again I refer to you to the Bruce Lipton video posted on this blog-and are, as I suppose you are, coming from a materialistic view of science, then I wonder if it more a case of taking an idealogical standpoint. The materialistic view takes little into account of quantum physics and skeptics laugh at terms such as quantum health as though it is some sort of supernatural phenonoma. Far from being that, quantum physics provides a very rational explanation as to why scientific researchers need to be changing their materialistic view, particulalry in regard to healthcare.

                      “Quantum physics undermines materialism because it reveals that matter has far less “substance” than we might believe.”

                      — Paul Davies and John Gribbin, The Matter Myth, Chapter 1

                      Homeopaths have understood this for many years hence books such as “The Substance of Homeopathy”-the title referring to the quantum (or energetic) nature of homeopathy.

                      It would be wise for sceptics to let go of their idealogical standpoints and look at emerging science in the field of quantum physics which in actuality wholly supports the concept of energy medicine.
                      Sadly, sceptics seem hell bent on upholding the materialistic view of previous centuries-long with teh pharmaceutical companies.

                      One of the founders of quantum theory, Max Planck, wrote:

                      “As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.”

                    • Which bit of ” In fact, I’m not trying to argue against *any* of the things that you *pretend* I’m arguing against. The thing I’m arguing against is the one you steadfastly refuse to address: your false assertion that the immune system has an electro-magnetic (sic) field. ” are you now pretending to misunderstand? Are you actually capable of following an argument, or are you really the mendacious troll you are presenting yourself as?

                    • To be absolutely clear, I am not saying that ‘only’ the immune system has an electro-magnetic field (I think it is you who is being mendacious by conjecturing that) but that the whole of the human body has an electro-magnetic field…. but since the immune system is a system of the human body then yes of course I am including the immune system as it cannot be seen as separate from the human body. Not in my view of physiology anyway.
                      I am not being mendacious. I am simply being factual….weak electrical currents are part of our human physiology (for example at the level of communication between cells) thus making live tissues electrically conductive, and as we all know from basic physics-
                      electro-magnetic fields are generated whenever electric current flows.

                      You don’t have to take my word for it. There is a very thoroughly researched paper on electric
                      fields being an intrinsic part of biological processes. Perhaps this is something new for “steve”-and in some respects that’s fair play, it is still an emerging field-forgive the pun
                      http://www.scitechnol.com/ion-gradients-and-electric-fieldsan-intrinsic-part-of-biological-processes-vq4h.pdf

                      No mendacity-just science.

                    • You wrote: “To be absolutely clear, I am not saying that ‘only’ the immune system has an electro-magnetic (sic) field (I think it is you who is being mendacious by conjecturing that) ”

                      Yet again, you choose to misrepresent what I wrote. Nowhere did I assert that you had said that “…’only’ the immune system…” Why do you find it necessary to be so utterly dishonest in the way you argue? Is using that sort of dishonest diversionary tactic something they teach you at whatever homeopathy course you attended?

                      Actually, on that topic, I note that you have never shown any evidence that you have done anything other than a bit of reading on homeopathy, i.e. even less than that which you denigrate me for.

                      And yet again you fail to offer any evidence for the one thing I’m arguing against: your false assertion that the immune system has an electro-magnetic (sic) field. (Look: no “only”, so please don’t pretend again that I wrote it.) And, if the “argument” in the rest of your diatribe is not merely another attempt to posit red herrings, you clearly still haven’t understood what the “Fallacy of Composition” is!

                    • “Steve” never mind your “fallacy of composition”-not relevant. You have insisted that the immune system does not have an electro-magnetic field and I have provided very clear evidence in a number of ways to demonstate that all cells in the body do in fact have an electro-magnetic field. But then you completely divert from the paper I posted in my response-rather than just admit that you’re wrong-and at the same time accuse me of being diversionary! The cheek!

                      I think I said way way back in the comments that sceptics aren’t interested in talking about science and emerging science especially as it relates to alternative medicine. The sceptics are the ones sticking their fingers in their ears while singing LA LA LA LA LA. The reason you’re not interested is because science is increasingly validating the mechanisms of therapies such as homeopathy.
                      Electro-homeopathy has been around for some time (although more traditional homeopathy still works on the idea of resonance and frequency). I believe the sceptics are going to look back with severe embarrassment at their denials around therapies that are based around resonance and frequency. Scepticism is fast becoming ‘so last century’ as science moves on and sceptics don’t.

                      You also say ” I note that you have never shown any evidence that you have done anything other than a bit of reading on homeopathy”. I have already said that I am a qualified homeopath i.e. I have completed a four year course which included 150 hours of clinical practice and have been practicing for over ten years. My first degree was in electronic engineering, some time ago now, hence my interest in human biology in relation to resonance and frequencies. One of the great discoveries of 20th century science is that everything….every photon, energy emission, and elementary particle has its own unique wave signature or frequency-including people and homeopathic remedies!

                      You end with:
                      “And yet again you fail to offer any evidence for the one thing I’m arguing against: your false assertion that the immune system has an electro-magnetic (sic) field.”

                      I give up! Read the last paper I posted! Since you obviously haven’t already it is unlikely that you will now. But for the benefit of others I will post again:

                      http://www.scitechnol.com/ion-gradients-and-electric-fieldsan-intrinsic-part-of-biological-processes-vq4h.pdf

                      The paper states: “”In this review we will examine the intrinsic ability of all cells and tissues to generate electric potentials of low magnitude and ion gradients (bioelectricity).These electric fields are not spikes of electric activity but smooth membrane potentials that can change over a longer period and even form ultra-low frequency electromagnetic fields (UL-EMF) below 1 Hz, or slightly above.”

                      Presumably “all cells and tissues” includes the immune system!! Jeez!

                      You are welcome to disagree despite overwhelming evidence that my assertion is fact correct. My original response was that you don’t understand science so there’s not no point in discussing this further. Unless you have sometthing to say that actually proves me, and the paper I link to, to be incorrect-I won’t be responding to you anymore on this particular issue.

          • elainelewis says:

            She got you there, Steve! Janice, I just want to thank you, Christie, Laurie, Paul and the other homeopaths here who know so much, so much more than I do, are so familiar with studies that have been done and can explain the science of them, I am just in awe of all of you, thank you so much for being here, you do homeopathy proud. I know I don’t comment on all your posts but I so appreciate them, thank you!

            • ChristyRedd says:

              Hats off to you, elainelewis, for providing so much quality information and through such long, protracted discussions with people who have no knowledge of medicine whatsoever and really don’t care enough about it to educate themselves. Any member of the general public reading these comments who hasn’t used homeopathy will come away with something to think about, something that will spur their interest in investigating it.

              • Hats off to all who have written at length to counter the fallicious claims of sceptics who attempt to hi-jack every debate at the mere mention of homeopathy. It is clear that the agenda is attack homopathy rather than engage in the actual debate. Sometimes we humour them and respond to their repetive lies with facts. We know it’s pointless but I suppose a sense of morality comes into play when we encounter lies about alternative medicine and always from the same unqualified people.

                I think now would be a good juncture to turn back to the original discussion. I ended up here in the first place as a result of breaking news about yet another failure of a trialled drug which prompted me to renew my research into the many problems with RCT’s. There are clearly problems. I believe that AllTrials was set up to campiagn for more transparency in drug trials-which is something we all want. Clearly hidden data and financial interests have sought to hide dangers and resulted in deaths. We know with 100% certainty that pharmaceutical drugs have dangerous side effects which can be fatal. No-one disputes this fact.

                The question Jerome poses is simple-why don’t these sceptics direct their crusade against pharmaceutical companies when the evidence is overwhelming that their methods of testing are faulty and as such result in hundreds of thousands of unneccessary deaths?

                It is an interesting question. Homeopathic remedies have not been shown ANYWHERE EVER to directly cause harm to ANYONE-this is in direct contrast to pharmaceutical drugs.

                No sceptic actually answers the question. Why the blogs, the twittering, the websites and campaigns against homeopathy when then there is no evidence that homeopathic remedies cause harm?

                It is curious indeed. The sceptics will respond by saying that they are campaigning as well for transparency in drug trials. But there is no where near the vitriol or enthusiasm exhibited towards this latter campaign as there is against homeopathy-despite the fact that the latter-pharmaceutical drugs-have been shown to do great harm.

                I have no wish to keep going round in circles with the sceptics debating the efficacy of homeopathy.
                I don’t actually care what sceptics believe about it. I am confident in my experience of receiving and practicing homeopathy that it has helped me and others in ways that are life-changing. That is more important to me than what the pharmaceutical companies come up with in trials. Even in the highly unlikely event that they ever come up for some water-tight trial-I personally don’t want to take toxic substances. Since I began using homeopathy, I haven’t had the health problems I used to have.
                And that’s thanks to a homeopathy clinic in an NHS hospital and being treated by a medical doctor.
                And yet the sceptics on here have the audacity to call such people quacks.

                I have no issue with people who question homeopathy-granted it is not something that fits neatly into current mainstream thinking in healthcare in the UK-which is pharmaceutically based. But is this a problem? For sceptics yes, for homeopathy users no.

                So where do we go from here in this debate? I guess it’d be good to hear from a militant sceptic as to why all the blogging with bells on about homeopathy but such great paucity of commentary from these same people when it comes to the failings of pharaceutical drugs. The sceptic fervour against homeopathy is quite a phenonomon in itself. The devotees of this particular crusade are so ferverent in their campaigning that they would make an evangelical preacher blush. As Jerome has stated:

                “The “endarkenment” point, however, turns out to be very enlightening. It explains why those bashing homeopathy and other CAM practices are so rude and aggressive. They are engaged in a crusade. Armies of the light battling against forces of darkness. This, ironically, puts them in an ideological or even religious camp rather than a scientific one.”

                Hear hear!

    • I always wonder and many times ask of skeptics if they have been treated by a homeopath. The reason I ask is because people who have been successfully treated by homeopathy are strong supporters. On the other hand, those who have never been treated and never answer my question with a “yes, I have been treated by a homeopath” (the skeptics) are the only people who do not believe it is effective. Is that logical then that the skeptics’ opinion of homeopathy is trustworthy? I think not.

      • “people who have been successfully treated by homeopathy are strong supporters”

        Argument from popularity fallacy, ignores confirmation bias and in any case I notice you produce no statistics.

        Science – not skeptics, science – has plenty of evidence that homeopathy is no more than placebo. A glass of water, a sweetie and a nice chat.

        If you think reality is untrustworthy, I feel sorry for you.

        • I think you are wrong. Can you comment here for me and others why you think the practice of homeopathy continues to grow, despite what skeptics such as yourself say about it?

          • “why you think the practice of homeopathy continues to grow,”

            Provide evidence that the practice of homeopathy and similar forms is snake oil is, in fact, growing.

            • According to statistics, the ‘popularity’ = ‘use’ of homeopathy and homeopathic doctors is growing.

              http://www.thereliefproducts.com/blog/the-growth-of-homeopathy/

              I think it’s fair enough now for me to ask you to provide evidence to the contrary. No quotes from skeptic blogs allowed.

              • A blog post is not evidence.

                • Don’t just read the URL. Read the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs. There is a link in the 2nd one. Market study results. Asking for the third time for you to provide evidence to the contrary; i.e., why the popularity and use of homeopathy is declining world-wide. You cannot.

              • You wrote: “No quotes from skeptic blogs allowed.”

                How about “No quotes from SCAM (*) blogs allowed”?

                (*) Supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicine

                • elainelewis says:

                  “How about “No quotes from SCAM (*) blogs allowed”?

                  (*) Supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicine”

                  Really Steve? I think that would be an excellent idea! No more posting from alternative medicine blogs–starting with mine! Do you think you can manage that? If not, Helps4HardTimes should be permitted to quote from CAM articles as much and as often as she deems necessary.

                  • You just don’t get it, do you?

                    Who are you to dictate what I do or do not quote from?

                    Secondly if the entity posting as “helps4hardtimes” is allowed to dictate “No quotes from skeptic blogs allowed.”why on earth should I not ask the question: ‘How about “No quotes from SCAM (*) blogs allowed”?’

                    As usual, we get to the situation of there being two kinds of internet discussions on homeopathy:
                    * Those where sceptics are censored.
                    * Those where the homeopathists lose.

              • “No answer to my question yet.”
                That’s becauseyou’re begging the question. You have provided no evidence that homeopathy is becoming more popular worldwide, nor how this argument from popularity would confer validity on it even if true. Remember, over 1 billion people smoke.

        • Laurie Willberg says:

          The reality is that patient satisfaction surveys consistently rate homeopathic treatment very highly. If you wish to dispute this then you will have to conduct another independent survey and produce results that are different.
          Some poorly designed research that did not provide individualization showed poor results, however this actually confirms what happens when prescriptions are NOT individualized. It does not lead to the conclusion that homeopathy does not work or that the effects are equal to placebo.

          • Unverifiable anecdote is not acceptable evidence for any drug. Why should homeopathy have a special get-out?

            “If you wish to dispute this then you will have to conduct another independent survey ”

            No I don’t. Burden of proof is on you. Claims made without evidence can be dismised without evidence.

        • But an argument from popularity is exactly what we have just endured from Chapman and BS. In this thread. Chapman Central claims he should be immune from presenting evidence to support the value of medicine in certain areas because its obvious to everyone. Do you disagree with that position?

          Do you think medicine should produce evidence for everything it claims if it demands that evidence from everyone else? If so, can you direct me to evidence that shows a comparison in the outcomes in health care between adjusting contextual parameters (in a modern western environment) and simply taking patented artificial chemicals, which represents the mainstay of allopathic medicine.

          I agree that doesn’t prove Homeopathies case, but if you read this thread you will find they offer a number of studies and most importantly they conform to the Hippocratic Oath which commands ‘first do no harm’, something allopathy cant claim by a very long margin.

          Most sceptics genuinely believe they base their beliefs on science, not social conditioning, but if thats true why cant they ever show me the studies that prove that? And by the way, I’m not suggesting everything Allopathy does is counter productive or unhelpful. I’m also not suggesting that everything they don’t have proof for is wrong either. Thats your model of reality not mine. But I would ask why you as a sceptic dont apply the same amount of energy bashing the unscientific things in medicine as you do bashing unscientific things in health care outside of it. Saying you support all alltrials isn’t the same thing either by the way.

          • “But an argument from popularity is exactly what we have just endured from Chapman and BS. In this thread.”

            Really?

            “Chapman Central claims he should be immune from presenting evidence to support the value of medicine in certain areas because its obvious to everyone. Do you disagree with that position?”

            Firstly, the problem is not that medicine must continually provide evidence to protect itself from the supposed threat of homeopathy, but that homeopathy must provide evidence if it’s to be considered as anything other than an elaborate placebo.

            The burden of proof is on you. You cannot shift it, no matter how hard you wriggle.

            • Perhaps I need to be clearer for you Anarchic Teapot. No I’m not suggesting medicine should continually provide evidence that synthetic chemical intervention in the natural biological environment of the body is effective (we agree) sustainable (it isnt) and better than adjusting contextual parameters (its never been studied) I’m suggesting it should be done once.

              Just once Anarchic. Show me the study. Only one study will do it if stands up to scrutiny. I dont believe there is even a bad one. Prove me wrong. Show me the study. I triple dare you to show me the study and not change the subject, offer an anecdote, pop stars opinion, opinion piece etc etc etc. Be the scientist you claim to be and show me the study or admit your beliefs are based on social proof and nothing more. Once more, not an anecdote.

            • The burden of proof is on you. You cannot shift it, no matter how hard you wriggle.

        • ChristyRedd says:

          “…..I notice you produce no statistics.” The current number is 500 million. And that number, as I’m sure you know, is growing by 10% to 30% every single year in countries around the world. People use it over and over again, decade after decade, because they find it works not to mention because it’s non-toxic and safe. That’s also why people are turning away from conventional drugs and to homeopathy and other CAM modalities in droves. You want some statistics? According to a recent study by the Chamber of Commerce of India the world homeopathy market is a $5.35 billion dollar market and growing rapidly every year. If it grows by just 1.25% annually it will be a $1.1 trillion dollar global market by 2035. A 2007 U.S. National Health Interview Survey found that an estimated 3.9 million adults and 910,000 children used homeopathy in 2006. These estimates include use of OTC products labeled homeopathic and visits with a homeopathic practitioner. Out of pocket costs for adults were $2.9 billion for remedies and $170 million for office visits. Those numbers are much higher than the numbers for 10 years ago. Americans are so satisfied with homeopathy that they are paying out-of-pocket for services and remedies.

          • You still produce no evidence, just a number. That’s not a statistic, that’s a claim.

            And it remains an argument from popularity, whether true or not. Therefore your entire claim is dismissed.

            • ChristyRedd says:

              Check it out with the WHO. That’s their number. Should I care whether or not you dismiss the figures? I don’t think so.

              • I’m not asking the WHO, I’m asking you, as you made the claim. If you justify it with a report from somewhere, link to that report. Otherwise, you have produced nothing to support your claim.

                • Laurie Willberg says:

                  You apparently do not understand what “moving the goal posts” entails because it’s clearly not something Janice has done. For your edification, skeptics move the goal posts when they ask for evidence and when presented with it claim it’s not “good enough”. Now THAT’s moving the goalposts.
                  But perhaps “inconsistent” would have made the connection easier for you to grasp — or should I say “disconnect” because it’s clear that Alan supports freedom of choice in one highly personal area and not in another.
                  Perhaps you’d like to state your reasons for disagreeing with her rather than uttering a plain denial?
                  You argue that skeptics are NOT on a mission to disparage homeopathy and in the next sentence you claim “homeopathy is not healthcare”.
                  Your responses are yet another example of someone who spends their time derailing conversations rather than meaningfully participating in them.

                  • “You apparently do not understand what “moving the goal posts” entails”

                    You clearly do not understand the meaning of “burden of proof”

                • Laurie Willberg says:

                  It’s not someone else’s job to do your homework for you. You have provided no links to information to support your case so you do not have the right to ask others to go to more trouble than you’re willing to. Nobody posting here has agreed to allow you to referee this discussion so you are not entitled to “dismiss” anything.
                  Christy has quoted her source and provided facts and figures. If you can quote a source with opposing facts and figures do so. This is not an example of an “argument from popularity”.
                  Again, you are not discussing the issues at hand whatsoever, you are simply attempting to derail information provided by others.

                • ChristyRedd says:

                  Google it. You’ll find dozens of references.

                  • The burden of proof is on you. It is not for everyone else to do your research to support your claims.

                    • Laurie Willberg says:

                      That’s the message she’s giving you. There is no such thing as a “burden of proof” outside of a courtroom. This isn’t one and you’re not the judge and jury. The deal in any debate is that you are required to substantiate your case. If you can’t then you don’t have anything to talk about, much less convince others of your premise.
                      The starting premise of Jerome’s article was that militant media skeptics behave more like people who belong to a religious cult, supply more judgmental pronouncements about homeopathy than rational factual information, and ignore the monumental harms of pharmaceuticals.
                      Attacking homeopathy isn’t supporting your position of defending skepticism.

                    • Actually the burden of proof is on you to justify your paradigm Anarchic Teapot. Its a cute little game to pretend you dont have a model of reality then continue to argue from your model of reality claiming it doesnt need any justification while you demand proof from everyone else. You totally lack credibility until you provide evidence for your model of reality to the same level you demand from others. You are not entitled to expect evidence until you provide it yourself.

                    • elainelewis says:

                      You’re the ones going around and making claims! You’re making claims everywhere and every chance you get! “Homeopathy doesn’t work, it’s just placebo, save your money!” That’s a claim! And you arrogantly make it despite the number of people who say, “No, no, it does work it really does, it saved my life, it saved my mother’s life, it saved my daughter’s life!” But undeterred, you just brush us aside, arrogantly claiming, “These people are all delusional!” So it seems to me, the one making claims around here is you! So, how about some proof that we’re all delusional and homeopathy doesn’t work even though everybody who uses it says it does. I’d like some good, robust evidence for that.

                    • “You’re the ones going around and making claims! ”

                      No. I’m asking YOU to provide evidence for YOUR claims that homeopathy is effective.

                      That goes for all of you. No evidence? Your claims are dismissed.

                    • You are correct Anarchic Teapot. The onus is on the homeopaths to provide evidence. And evidence they have provided. Multiple examples of animal responses and plant responses to homeopathic doses. Studies which show effectiveness in humans may be discounted as placebo but these cant be. Whilst they may not be incontrovertible proof they are certainly evidence.

                      They have even offered you experiments you can do yourself so you can stop wasting your life attacking things that at the very least are harmless and probably enable people to avoid the harms of patented chemical by offering an alternative and at best significantly beneficial.

                      Dont forget part of Sacketts evidence based model also included the experience of senior practitioners. It seems to me the evidence that is lacking is the evidence that supports your model of reality. Perhaps you might like to provide some although given that you have been repeatedly dared to and failed to respond on every occasion along with all your buddies I’m not holding my breath.

                      If I can repeat one more time, please provide a study that shows the introduction of artificial chemicals into the natural biological environment of the human body is not only efficacious, but also beneficial in the long term and superior to the adjustment of contextual parameters for the human body. One study, double dog dare you…yawn!

                    • elainelewis says:

                      It works because we’ve tried it, numerous times, and are grateful for the excellent results. Do you know who you remind me of? You skeptics? I don’t know what country you’re from but here in the United States we have a group of people, a movement of religious nuts, called “Right-to-Lifers”. They don’t think ANYONE should be allowed to have an abortion–ever. They do things like show up at abortion clinics, take down license plate numbers of the patients who go there, trace them, find out all the personal information about these people, and then call them at home and yell, “Baby killer! Child killer!” (I, myself, have been called a “child killer” by one of you, amazingly.) They find every way imaginable of harrassing the patients and the doctors who perform abortions including picketing in front of their houses with signs that say “Baby Killer”, etc.. They’re not interested in hearing the patients’ stories about why having a baby is impossible for them at this time, their stories are irrelevant to these “right-to-life” people. All pregnant women should just fall in line and do as they’re told according to the all-knowing and all-seeing “right-to-lifers”.

                      Similarly, our stories are meaningless to you. You discount them, call us delusional, brush us aside and dictate to us that we must fall in line and abide by your tenets in your all-knowing and all-seeing capacity. As Jerome said in his article, “…more like a religious cult than scientists.” Exactly.

    • ChristyRedd says:

      Whether or not you accept the concept of energy medicine doesn’t invalidate it. In fact, it’s actually meaningless since all that you’re expressing is your personal opinion.

  10. Apart from his website the “nightingale collaboration” and “zeno’s blog”, “Steve” aka Alan Henness also trolls blogs such as this one-hiding his identity behind pseudonyms. His persistence is remarkable and recognisable along with his writing style as we can see in his 1 year+ crusade to hi-jack the comments on the homeopathy page on the NHS website.
    http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Homeopathy/pages/introduction.aspx

    He makes no secret either that online tactics is his modus operandum as he proudly poses for his picture on a leaflet for one of his talks:
    http://www.hampshireskeptics.org/?p=3152
    “Rise of the Laptop Wizards” presumably a reference to his online trolling/harrassment. This man knows no bounds on his crusade against homeopathy. Whether it’s trolling, hijacking, harrassing (both homeopaths and the ASA), he just doesn’t seem to get it. People have a right to choose how they want to live-and die. I know you would agree with the latter statement Alan, since you own another website which campaigns for the right to choose to die and advocates self euthanasia. Don’t you even see the irony of your crusade against homeopathy?

    • Here’s Alan Henness’s website:

      http://www.friends-at-the-end.org.uk/

      • It’s the website of an association in Glasgow, of which Alan Henness, who lives in London according to his Twitter profile, is merely the webmaster.

        Hampshire isn’t in Scotland either. Are you trying to imply he can be physically present in several places at once?

        • “Are you trying to imply he can be physically present in several places at once?”

          And are you trying to imply that he can’t? He is magic! We can all do it! I can be Steve Tonkin in Illinois and Steve Tonkin in Hampshire (the old one not the new one) and Steve Tonkin in Lancashire and Steve Tonkin in Brisbane and… I AM EVERWHERE! All at once. I defy spacetime.

          Sod it, Teapot: I AM SPARTACUS!

        • Nope. I AM saying that it is wildly incoherent for Alan to be involved with a website which campaigns for people to have the right to choose how they die when he is at the same campaigning to limit people’s choices in their healthcare. If you can’t see the incoherence in that then god help you. If you can, then you must surely see that Mr Henness is a little confused-either that or driven by some overwhelming compulsion to campaign for campaigning sake without fully understanding what he is actually campaigning for. The incoherence between Mr Henness’s ‘campaigns’ are irrational. The lengths he goes to to carry out his irrational campaign against alternative health reveal an obsessive man determined to be right (about just what exactly?) regardless of how incoherent, pedantic and ludicrous he appears.

          • Quick reminder on insults – incoherent/ludicrous – however justified you feel they are. Thanks

          • You wrote of Alan Henness(*) : ” he is at the same campaigning to limit people’s choices in their healthcare.”

            I am a supporter of the Nightingale Collaboration and admire the work Mr Henness does on its behalf. I would not support it or be admiring of his work if it did what you claim it does, i.e. “limit people’s choices in their healthcare.”

            What it does do is campaign to limit MISLEADING ADVERTISING in healthcare, which is something altogether different. In other words, it is campaigning for all purveyors of healthcare products to be held to the same high standards of evidence. Exactly how is this sort of equality wrong? This distinction has been pointed out to the homeopathists and their apologists a number of times, so it I do have to wonder why so many of them persist in perpetuating a blatant misrepreseantation of the truth.

            However, on the subject of free choice in healthcare, it is not as benighn as many of its proponents pretend. This blog post expalins why:
            http://tete-enterre.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/freedom-of-choice-and-pseudomedicine.html

            (*) By the way, have you and Ms Willberg yet decided whether I am Mr Henness, or the septic religionista sceptic, or the Lancastrian or the Brisbane resident, or the Hampsire resident — or maybe you have devised yet another identity for me? But please let me know: I really do want to know who I am.

          • “I AM saying that it is wildly incoherent”

            That is, to be honest, merely your opinion and in any case it’s an attempt to move the goalposts, combined with a wild, unsubstantiated accusation: “campaigning to limit people’s choices in their healthcare”

            Please provide evidence for that latter claim, bearing in mind homeopathy is not healthcare.

    • You wrote: ” “Steve” aka Alan Henness ”

      PMSL! Oh dear, you’ve really lost it now, Janice! For SamH’s sake, get a grip on reality!

      I’m sure Mr Burne will confirm that Alan & I post from different IPs and could also confirm from the domain name in the email address with which I registered, that I am who I say I am.

      First Ms Willberg (elsewhere) lies that I claimed to be a personal motivator or something similar (it was so mind-numbingly stupid I’ve forgottenthe exact phrase, but I’m sure I cold find it if it’s important), now you say I’m Alan. Either he or I should be flattered and the other offended. Which is which?

      And you wonder why I find it so diofficult to take buffoons like you seriously! But thanks for the gigggle…

      • “buffoons” – whatever your personal optinion – unecessary – be good if you could stick to arguments.

      • Laurie Willberg says:

        So Steve Tonkin, “professional skeptic” is not you? Confirm or deny.
        http://stevetonkin.com/tag/professional-skeptic/

        • You instructed: “Confirm or deny.”

          No, dearie, I don’t take dictatorial instruction from the likes of you. But I will give you a clue: ROTFLMAO!

          • ChristyRedd says:

            In other words it’s you. We recognize the claims you’ve made here from previous articles you posted on.

            • Ms Jahnig, you pronounced (without a shred of evidence; quel surprise!): “In other words it’s you.”

              OK, so far in the voting on my innermost being, you and Ms Jahnig are beating “Janice” by 2 votes to one. When should we end the voting, do you think? At the end of the voting period, I presume I will, as a consequence of this particular species of appeal to popularity (*), magically morph into either Alan Henness or the septic religionista sceptic (**)?

              (*) Well, why not? You clearly think that people “voting” for homeopathy is some sort of evidence for its efficacy.

              (**) But what will happen to the innermost being that currently inhabits these people? Where will it go? Will it endlessly roam the Earth as an archetypal “lost soul”? And what will happen to my body once my innermost being has left it for whichever one you vote for? Will it just be a soul-less zombie? Will it/I need to wait for the Zombie Apocalypse before it/I can attain self-actualisation?

          • ChristyRedd says:

            And I’ll add that when you were presented with the same link you were quick to say “stay out of my personal business”. Interestingly, you don’t mind poking your nose in other people’s business.

            • Ms Jahnig, you wrote: “And I’ll add that when you were presented with the same link you were quick to say “stay out of my personal business”.”

              That is quite simply not true (there’s a surprise!). I have never seen that web link before and, to the best of my knowledge I have never issued that instruction (Clue: unlike som ehere, I do not attempt to either censor people or dictate what they may or may not do.)

              ” Interestingly, you don’t mind poking your nose in other people’s business.”

              Really? Whose personal business have I beem “poking my nose in”, Ms Jahnig? You really do need to stop making things up!

          • Laurie Willberg says:

            I suspected you would resort to more evasion. In the absence of denial I’ll take it that this is indeed you. Not that it actually matters, because you have not posted any facts here that would serve to seriously contest what Jerome said:
            “The “endarkenment” point, however, turns out to be very enlightening. It explains why those bashing homeopathy and other CAM practices are so rude and aggressive. They are engaged in a crusade. Armies of the light battling against forces of darkness. This, ironically, puts them in an ideological or even religious camp rather than a scientific one.”

            • elainelewis says:

              In fact, Laurie, I feel like I’m surrounded by a lynch mob lighting torches and burning crosses!

              • Laurie Willberg says:

                Want to know why? Because the philosophical tactics used by these skeptics commence with attempting to make Homeopathy practitioners and patients look marginalized. This is demonstrably false considering that Homeopathy is the 2nd most utilized form of medicine used internationally. Their tactics are aimed at derailing evidence for it’s effectiveness and the experiences of practitioners and patients. They do this while trying to create the façade that they are in some position of privilege that entitles them to play judge and jury.

                • And another reason Elaine feels that way is because she is metaphorically surrounded by a lynch mob lighting torches and burning crosses. Maybe demanding they provide proof for their model of reality which is totally baseless and getting on the front foot would relive the pressure of their constant rotating barrage of demands

                • elainelewis says:

                  They certainly exude a sense of entitlement, that’s for sure. I believe Jerome called it “arrogance”. Seems everyone’s noticed it.

              • Elaine, as an American, how can you not feel that a comment such as this is crossing the line? People who survived lynch mobs and burning crosses are still living among you. You would tell them your experience here on this blog is comparable to theirs? That’s reprehensible.

                • elainelewis says:

                  Alxkr, in case you didn’t know it, you people are scary! You’re actually out to hurt people, put people out of business, ruin reputations, ruin careers, prevent people from getting the health care they choose…you’re rude, aggressive, disrespectful, obsessed, hate-filled…all the qualities that embodied the Klan, I know it when I see it, and you’re on your best behavior here because Jerome has demanded it; I’ve seen you on other sites where you were among your own: the vitriol, the viciousness, the bullying, the name-calling…I was accused of being a child killer by one of you! Oh no, I am NOT over-stating it: Your group is an angry mob! What do you think this article is about that we’re posting under? Have you read it? You don’t seem to have gotten the gist of it: “Batty and Arrogant”…a religious crusade!”! That’s you he was writing about! OK? Do you have that now?

                  • Nobody would say that online debates don’t frequently get out of hand in terms of civility. However that neither gives you the right to make sweeping statements about “my group”, (whatever you guess that to be). It definitely doesn’t justify abusing the painful and very real history of lynchings for your arguments. You are a harmless elderly white lady, however someone insults you online, it doesn’t compare to being driven out of your home in the middle of the night, chased through town and then hanged and burned by a lynch mob.

                    • Laurie Willberg says:

                      Why would you even be posting comments here if you didn’t identify with skeptics and their cause — to derail Homeopathy? There is no denying that skeptics are the epitome of cyber-bullies.
                      What Elaine has posted qualifies as fair comment and she has numerous examples to back up her contention. You are merely sidestepping the issues she’s raised and attempting to discount her experiences with your opinions.

                    • elainelewis says:

                      What??? “I’m a harmless elderly white lady”????? I am truly speechless! What does that even mean? Unbelievable! Oh, and please don’t pretend to care about African-Americans. In fact, if you wanted to get strident about something, RACISM would be a good option! Homeopathy? A very bad option. Oh, here’s something you probably didn’t know, the abolitionists were supporters of homeopathy! Did you know that? Oh yes! Harriet Beecher Stowe, Thaddeus Stevens, Mark Twain, among others; oh, and guess who else supported homeopathy? The leaders of the women’s suffrage movement! Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony…of course, being British, these names may not mean anything to you; but Americans know who they are, they’re heroes; so, you are really on the wrong side of history. As I said before, FREEDOM is not what your “movement” is all about! Hey Janice, wasn’t this on the list you linked to about how to argue deceptively: say something so outrageous that everyone starts talking about that instead of the issue at hand?

                      By the way, Alxkr, are you actually trying to contend that you “skeptics” aren’t rude? Did you bother to read this article you’re posting under? Listen to what Jerome says about you: “The ‘endarkenment’ point, however, turns out to be very enlightening. It explains why those bashing homeopathy and other CAM practices are so rude and aggressive. They are engaged in a crusade.” See, Alxkr, I’m not making it up, everyone has seen how rude you are, we’ve all seen it and been disgusted by it. You’ve made quite a “name” for yourselves.

                • Elaine, I am not British, and several members of my family left the South in the Second Great Migration for precisely the terror that was wreaked upon the Black population there. Not that this personal bit makes any difference. Appropriating this suffering to make a cheap point is wrong, no matter how you rationalize it.

                  • elainelewis says:

                    I don’t remember making a cheap point. You know, you’re going to ruin it. You just apologized to me, I apologized to you, but here you are back again starting it all over!

        • Just an afterthought:

          Would you and “Janice” like to have a conflab and decide whether I am Alan Henness or a religiously-trained business consultant? Or maybe I’m in the UK and build motorcycles for a living: http://www.stevetonkinclassics.com/

          Or maybe it’s none of the above. Or maybe all of the above? But please, *do* let me know when you have decided who I am: I’d very much like to know because, without the wisdom your decision, I’m surely just a wandering lost soul without an identity, worhty only o fbeint the subject of a Wagner opera…

      • “Steve” is Alan Henness. His writing style is distinct-in the same way that Jerome’s would be distinct even he were to call himself “steve’. It is buffoonery indeed. And my question remains from Alan or “steve”… Is it not ironic that Alan Henness is involved in a website that campaigns for self euthanasia i.e. freedom of choice- whilst also campaigning to limit people’s access to choice in healthcare. The irony is so obvious it smacks you in the face. What do you think “steve”-ironic or not?

        • You wrote: ““Steve” is Alan Henness.”

          You have written that before and been corrected. Ergo, it is now a wilful lie.

          But shouldn’t check with Ms Willberg; she says I’m a septic (that’s Cockney rhyming slang, BTW) sceptic relitionista.

          • I haven’t been reading the thread-I’m just responding to you “steve’-not Ms Willberg. I know who you are. Your patronising and admonishing manner, particularly toward women, is very recognisingable.
            Your one man campaign (whilst dragging a long a few humanists who are not quite sure why they’re here ha ha) is admirable. I gather that you would like to see millions thrown at alternative remedies and therapies in order to trial their efficacy. We’re all with you “steve.” That’d be just great “steve”-
            IF we livde in a society where multi billion corporations, such as the pharmaceutical companies, actually wanted to find natural, safe and inexpensive ways to permanently cure people of their health problems. The problem, for the pharmaceutical companies, would be that they would make less money as natural remedies cannot be patented. So they’re not interested in throwing millions at looking into alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs-it doesn’t make money for them.
            We’d all like to see millions spent on researching alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs. In case you hadn’t notice, people generally respond negatively to the news that they need to take medication, particularly for a lifetime. People want alternatives. Who is going to do the testing for these?
            Those of us in the alternative health community are acutely aware of this, that’s why clinical practice and recording the individual successes of patients and remedies are the homeopaths chief resource.
            Unfortunately your campaign is not directed at pharmaceutical companies who seek only profit but at alternative medicine practionioners-who don’t have the resources to set up the trials that you purport are so crucial for our health.
            I have to say I find your campaign nonsensicle. I’ve never been too sure if you actually REALLY know what you’re campaigning about and to whom and on behalf of whom? Or what ultimately you’d like to see as an “outcome.” Could you address any of these questions at all….?

        • elainelewis says:

          She got you there, Steve. Choice-in-dying, a very important cause that I support! But why should choices end there? I’d like to have choice-in-living too.

      • I don’t understand all the schoolboy acroynms that Alan uses to express himself or why indeed he would use them here when youtube would be more appropriate. He looks a little old for such things.
        I would just like him to agree or not that it is ironic for him to be involved in a website that campaigns for self euthanasia i.e. freedom of choice- whilst also campaigning to limit people’s access to choice in healthcare? Personally I find it somewhere between astounding…and utterly ludicrous.

        • elainelewis says:

          Janice, we will never understand this. There is no way I could go up to any average person and say, “Hey, would you like to belong to a movement? See, there’s this thing called “homeopathy” that’s threatening to take over the world and we need people to join us to stop it! Here’s what we do, we go to Amazon.com and we post at the bottom of any and all alternative medicine products, sometimes we pretend to be in favor of them, and sometimes we just say they don’t work. We do other stuff too! We write articles and make videos on how bad homeopathy is! How does this sound so far, great, huh? We spend all day doing this, every day, we don’t do anything else! And we are absolutely consumed with hatred for these homeopaths! Are you in?”

          Janice, who would say, “Oh yeah, this is what I’ve been meaning to do! Where do I sign up?” Do you see why this makes no sense to me?

          • Yes Janice-agreed. I have been trying to get “steve” to answer these same questions. What is his end game? I have no idea why he does as he does…Money, kudos? I really don’t know. I really believe he doesn’t know himself. His arguments invariably fail and yet he persists. I think it is either money or he is just one of those people who has to be right and will argue his case to the death.
            He doesn’t realise that the reality based community have access to nearly all information known to man via the internet and is capable of seeing that modern medicine is both fallible and sometimes fatal AND that there are many effective alternatives to it out there in the REAL world. One thing is clear-he has social networking syndrome and is unable to relate to the reality of the modern world.
            A case of too much twittering and not much rational thinking me thinks.

            • maria.maclachlan@gmail.com says:

              “Yes Janice-agreed, ” says Janice to herself. Did you mean to comment as a sockpuppet agreeing with yourself, ‘Janice’? Is that why you keep accusing someone who hasn’t posted anywhere beneath this blogpost – i.e. Alan Henness – of using a sockpuppet to post here – because it’s your own modus operandi for your trolling here and you think other people sink to the same depths?

              The comments you and others have made here about Alan Henness are defamatory lies, which you have no evidence for. That they are still here several days are being posted is a reflection on the quality of this blog and helps to explain why the only people who take it seriously are those with a vested interested in unproven pseudoscientific so-called treatments that they can use to scam vulnerable and desperate people with.

              • Among many other insults by homeopathy skeptics and particularly the followers of the Nightingale Collaboration, because I am a homeopathy supporter I have been called a liar, a nasty cult member, and having shit for brains syndrome that should be treated with Excrementum caninum. That particular comment was left on my blog by Maria, the one who is now defending her husband Alan Henness. I find that a bit ironic.

                • Good grief. These people know no bounds! As I said a lovely couple, just the sort who’d you’d like to have around the dinner table…I think not.

                • elainelewis says:

                  “because I am a homeopathy supporter I have been called a liar, a nasty cult member, and having shit for brains syndrome that should be treated with Excrementum caninum.”

                  That’s how they are, that’s how I know them to be. More of them are posting here now, and the more they post, the more they’re going to prove that what Jerome said about them in the article above is true.

              • Maria-I’m sure your husband Alan Henness will appreciate you posting on his behalf. I haven’t posted any defammatory lies about Alan. I have given my opinion that he seems obsessive to the point of religious mania about homeopathy and I have linked to a leaflet for one of his ‘talks’ where he sets out his plan to attack homeopathy via ASA and the MHRA. He regulalrly calls individual alternative medicine practionioners “loons” and every derogatory name imaginable. And yet he cries out “how dare you!” when someone does it to him. The hypocrisy is unfathomable!

                Jerome concludes that sceptics (and I think it’s safe to say that Alan is one) are more in an idealogical or religious camp that a scientific one- I am of the same opinion-which I have expressed in various ways. I don’t believe it is defammatory to express my opinion.

                I have questioned why he is involved with a webisite that promotes the right to choose to die but at the same time campaigns to limit people’s choices in healthcare. He hasn’t answered. Not of that is defamatory. The fact that I know he has no qualifications in homeopathy-because he himself has said so-has led me to the opinion that he is uneducated on that particular discipline. That’s just my opinion and anyone is free to argue differently.

                And finally I would question why you are involved in the campaign for the right to choose to die but at the same time campaigning to limit people’s choices in healthcare? The two campaigns which both you and your husband are engaged in seem incompatible on a moral level. Your campaign against alternative medicine and subsequent efforts to make it unavailable to the public does not indicate that you believe people should have choice in these matters.

                Either you believe that people have the right to choose how they want to manage their health (including how they die) or you don’t. Which is it? Or is it just the case that you believe that people should have the right to choose how they manage their health (including how they die) so long as they choose the bits that you agree with?

                • This is getting as confusing as a restoration farce. Claims that Alan Henness and a Steve are one and that he is apparently a bigamist (joke!) since he has been described as the husband of both Skepticat and Maria or are them the same person too. It’s like being at a masked ball. If I’ve missed any multiple personalities on the homeopath team, apologies, I’n sure someone will point them out

                  Have to confess that none of this seems to be progressing the issue of homeopathy and evidence although it also seems very obvious that this is not going to be resolved here any time soon. I do try to be even-handed but on the matter of complaints that Steve/Alan is being unfairly attacked triggers the thatrical phrase: “the lady doth protest too much, methinks” (Hamlet to his mother Gertrude) and this is not making any comment on Steve/Alan’s gender.

                  I would like people to remain reasonably civil here so if any of you think it would be good/appropriate to apologise for comments that were defaming/demeaning or otherwise discoureous please do so.

                  • Hi Jerome yes Maria Maclachlan is Alan’s Henness’s wife and is involved with The Nightingale Coagulation-easy to find through a search. Maria also has the pseudonym Skeptikat. Many Skeptics are one and the same-take Guy-he is Chapmancentral, Skepticguy, Josephine Jones and a few others! I doubt you’ll find the IP addresses from emails enlightening as Henness and other sceptics are into ‘laptop wizardry’ and regularly disrupt site traffic by using dubious methods such as reporting alt med sites as being phishing sites etc. Many of them disrupt the flow of relevant info on wikipedia, nhs sites and so on.

                    It’s just for your information. It might help you to understand why the debate is not progressing and why the pertinent questions are not being answered. It’s all about bashing alt med via scurrilous tactics. You said it yourself. As John Benneth pointed out-they are organised online, swapping personalities through their never ending different pseudonyms in an effort to retain some credibility- rather like having an endless supply of ammunition to defeat a perceived enemy. I’m sure that you can by now recognise some of the real people behind the pseudonyms in the sceptic community by their writing styles and use of phrases. I did warn earlier in the comments that further investigation into sceptics and their activities can open up quite a can of worms.

                    The problem is they are have lost sight of rational thinking. A rational stance would be to answer the questions you raised in your article…Why so much bashing of alternative medicine and therapies and such paucity when it comes to addressing the far greater health hazard of pharmacetical drugs?

                    I very much want to hear their answer….anyone??

                    • You wrote: “Many Skeptics are one and the same-take Guy-he is Chapmancentral, Skepticguy, Josephine Jones and a few others! ”

                      Nope, he’s not Josephine Jones. That’s just a rumour spread by the CotIC (Cohorts of the Inanely Credulous).

                      FWIW, I have written as Steve, Steve Tonkin (my real name, but I am not the septic religionista sceptic that Ms Willberg pretends I am), Tetenterre (because of my Twitter handle and the name of my blog) and on Amazon as Coticbane (for historical reasons that existed long before I woke up and realised the emptiness of homeopathy). I am careful never to use more than one of these in any particular thread.

                      I have never posted as Alan Henness and, I am pretty sure, he has never posted as me. Even in jest. As for the notion that we are the same person, that is just ludicrous! I have heard him speak (I doubt he has heard me speak): he is a Scot, and sounds like it. I am a Zimbabwean (ex pat), and sound like it. Will you now have the decency to admit that you were wrong and apologise to Mr Henness for the slurs you have written at his expense?

                      “I doubt you’ll find the IP addresses from emails enlightening as Henness and other sceptics are into ‘laptop wizardry’ ”

                      Again, thoroughly disingenuous! You are now pretending that what was written as “Lizards” (as in “Rise of the Laptop Lizards” in the Hants SitP talk of Alan’s that you referenced here https://jeromeburne.com/2014/04/28/homeopathy-and-the-threat-of-endarkenment/comment-page-2/#comment-12393

                      ” and regularly disrupt site traffic by using dubious methods such as reporting alt med sites as being phishing sites etc”

                      Evidenced. please.

                      “Many of them disrupt the flow of relevant info on wikipedia, nhs sites and so on”.

                      Again, evidence for each of these claims please. You see, I think you are now just randomly throwing mud in teh hope that some of it will stick.

                      You conclude, again, despite having been corrected on this several times previously: 2Why so much bashing of alternative medicine and therapies and such paucity when it comes to addressing the far greater health hazard of pharmacetical drugs? I very much want to hear their answer….anyone??

                      #1. https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/begging-the-question
                      #2. The disingenuous bit of your ruddy proto-kipper is your pretence that you have not already been told that, unlike most (all?) of the homeopathists (or would you prefer I used the phrase “touts, purveyors and apologists for this particular species of pseudomedicine”?) here, most (all? – I haven’t actually asked) of the sceptics are active supporters of http://www.alltrials.net/ , through which we do exactly that which you pretend we do not do.
                      #3. All the failings of proper medicine (and, if you have been paying attention, I have already acknowledged that there are far too many) do not mean that “homeopathy is distinguishable from placebo”.

                    • Well thanks “steve” for finally coming clean about who you are. Since you and Alan are the best of friends of though, I am fully aware of how you post, twittering about each post you make between yourselves on twitter. So does it really matter who you are claiming to be this time? No it doesn’t.

                      You may be Steve Tonkin; you may be ‘stepping in’ on Alan Henness’s behalf. Perhaps Alan doesn’t want to be associated with all the posts he has made here “under the pseudonym of “steve”.
                      Regardless it’s fair to say that “steve’s” posts are transparent in their efforts to solely bash homeopathy. It doesn’t do much for the credibility of his “friend’s” husband and wife business ‘the nightingale coagulation’-it just makes them look lunatic fringe. One thing is for sure, Alan is foul mouthed and aggressive as I have already pointed out in a twitter post from 2012, where Alan Henness tweets:
                      “F*** “alternative” “medicine” / #altmed, #homeopathy, #chiropractic, and all the rest of that #pseudoscience bullshit.”

                      This is how the online sceptics really feel about alternative medicine. It has little to do with ‘evidence’ and everything to do with their IDEOLOGY. I don’t feel that I need apologise for anything I have said here about Alan considering the quality of remarks that he has made about individual people over his years in his ‘profession’ which seems to be online trolling, harrassment of homeopaths and even harrassment of the advertising standards who eventually had to ask him to cease with his incessant complaining about homeopathy.

                      Steve Tonkin is rarely so vocal as Alan, although I’m sure a search would bring up similar results…
                      A blog, a website, a twitter profile-all hell bent on bashing homeopathy with bare mention of any active campaigning for alltrials. Campaigning for safer pharmaceutical drugs is clealry not anywhere near as emotive for you as your crusade against alternative medicine. It is simply a lie for you to argue otherwise-anyone can go do a search and find out what you’re all about.

                      Your attack on homeopathy simply does not make rational and reasonable sense when homeopathy has never been shown to have harmed ANYONE EVER and pharmaceutical drugs have been shown over and over to have harmed or killed hundrds of thousands.

                      As to your last paragraph, I can’t even decipher your syntax so full as it is of punctuation and pomposity, you sound like a victorian puritanical preacher- “touts” “purveyors” “apologists’. Your vitriol toward homeopathy is more than apparent thank you but none of it answers the question –
                      ‘why so much bashing of alternative medicine and therapies from sceptics and such paucity of commentary when it comes to addressing the far greater health hazard of pharmacetical drugs’
                      – in any enlightening way.

                    • This is obviously a pretty strong persoanl attack on several individuals so might fall foul of requests to keep things civil but I’m allowing it on the grounds that it is dealing with individual behaviour and makes a case for the claim that the sceptics regularly mount equally strong personal attacks. Others from the homeopathic side have also given similar examples. Pots and kettles. However civil disagreement is the norm. I will be watching.

                    • Hi Jerome you are not alone in wishing that the discussion would be civil. It is extremely difficult however to be civil when in almost every post “steve” has posted refers to homeopaths and users and supporters of homeopathy as “touts, purveyors and apologists for this particular species of pseudoscience.”

                      If “steve” were posting about medical journalists and beginning his posts ” touts, purveyors and apologists for this particular species of pseudo-journalism” how would you react?

                      That is a totally genuine question. How do you deal with such people?

                      My way of dealing has been to point out what their online activities are in order to make a case for the fact that sceptics regularly mount strong personal attacks against anyone connected with homeopathy. I am drawing attention to their tactics and yes my conclusion is that there is a great deal of disingenuity and downright harrassment and aggression, much of it coming from particular individuals-as any homeopath who has the misfortune to be involved with sceptics will testify.

                      For readers who are unaware of their tactics, I have already suggested they search for those individuals who I have mentioned and see for themselves how they operate.

                      Much has been written about how sceptics operate and launch personal attacks on individuals.
                      The following is a fairly indepth account of the same:

                      http://www.junkscience.co.uk/tag/alan-henness/

                    • You wrote: “Well thanks “steve” for finally coming clean about who you are.”

                      (a) Darn sight more than you and some of the homeopathists here ( “Paul”, “ChristyRedd”, “helps4hardtimes”) have done.
                      (b) I never made any effort to conceal it; I actually dropped lots of clues (often suffixed by “that was a clue”), but did enjoy the CotIC speculation as to my identity even though the first clue would have solved it for you.

                      “Since you and Alan are the best of friends of though, ”
                      Actually, we’ve never met. However, I do admire his work for the Nightingale Collaboration.

                      ” twittering about each post you make between yourselves on twitter.”

                      Nope, haven’t done that. Projection? Is that what you do with “Paul”, “ChristyRedd”, “helps4hardtimes”, Ms Willberg, “ElaineLewis” etc?

                      “You may be Steve Tonkin”

                      No “may” about it; I am.

                      “you may be ‘stepping in’ on Alan Henness’s behalf. Perhaps Alan doesn’t want to be associated with all the posts he has made here “under the pseudonym of “steve”.”

                      All of that is fabricated nonsense. You have been told this already, so you are now being deliberately defamatory.

                      “Steve Tonkin is rarely so vocal as Alan, although I’m sure a search would bring up similar results…
                      A blog, a website, a twitter profile-all hell bent on bashing homeopathy with bare mention of any active campaigning for alltrials.” Well, I’ve already posted two links to my blog and told you what my Twitter handle is in this thread, so you can save yourself a search. I don’t have a quack-bashing web-site. And, if you have a look at my Twitter feed, you will see several recent mentions of AllTrials; I think the last was yesterday.

                      Oh, to hell with it, I’ll even save you the trouble, otherwise you’re bound to make a hash of it and accuse yet another poor soul of being me:
                      Twitter: @Tetenterre
                      Blog: http://tete-enterre.blogspot.co.uk/

                      “Campaigning for safer pharmaceutical drugs is clealry not anywhere near as emotive for you as your crusade against alternative medicine. It is simply a lie for you to argue otherwise-anyone can go do a search and find out what you’re all about.”

                      Are you accusing me of Lying, Janice? If you are, I hope you’ve got some evidence that I have done so. (Ooops, you haven’t; I know this because I have not lied.)

                      “Your attack on homeopathy simply does not make rational and reasonable sense when homeopathy has never been shown to have harmed ANYONE EVER”

                      Quite simply, not true. I have already posted several links to evidence that homeopathy has harmed people, usually by diverting them away from proper medicine. Metaphorically sticking your fingers in your ears and going “LALALALALA”, to try to block out what you don’t want to hear, isn’t going to make these things go away.

                      “As to your last paragraph, I can’t even decipher your syntax”

                      Understood. You have shown a similar difficulty in understanding the English language elsewhere in this thread. I guess it’s not your first language and I apologise if I have been unreasonable in expecting you to understand it.

                      The gist of a lot of your rant was along the lines of “why are you bashing pseudomedicine; I don’t understand?” I hope a one word answer will suffice and not be too difficult for you to understand (none of the punctuation and syntax you find so difficult): Ethics.

                    • elainelewis says:

                      Janice, your statement:
                      “Steve Tonkin is rarely so vocal as Alan, although I’m sure a search would bring up similar results…
                      A blog, a website, a twitter profile-all hell bent on bashing homeopathy with bare mention of any active campaigning for alltrials.”

                      This is exactly what I imagined, that “alltrials” is nothing but a shield for any accusations that they must be shills for the pharmaceutical industry, which is the only thing that explains their odd behavior; but frankly, Janice, even that doesn’t explain it because even though I’m sure Big Pharma wants advocates, it doesn’t need such foolish and offensive ones as these! These people aren’t helping anyone’s cause; believe me! So, what’s the other explanation for this strange aggregation of people? Are they really in a cult presided over by Randi? And has he got them all under a spell to behave as he does?

                    • You wrote: “Many Skeptics are one and the same-take Guy-he is Chapmancentral, Skepticguy, ”

                      And Christine Jahnig is “ChristyRedd”, “C. Jahnig”, “Christine Jahnig”, “Christine E Jahnig” and so on. Elaine Lewis ie “ElaineLewis”, “ElaineL”; Sandra Courtney is BrownBagPantry”, “SAHC”, “Sandra A Hermann-Courtney” and a few others.

                      So people use different net-handles in different places. So what? It’s whatr is actually said that is important, not who says it.

                    • Hey, Janice, you wrote: “Many Skeptics are one and the same”

                      I think we have a bit of projection here, don’t you? The only person clearly posting under (at least) two identities on this thread is one of “your side” (no, I’m not suggesting that it’s you). Odd that.

                  • Okay, I feel I shouldn’t have ridiculed Elaine’s misunderstanding John Benneth’s satirical comment regarding Belgiums official recognition of homeopathy. Everybody slips up from time to time and says something that makes him/her look stupid or gullible, it happens particularly easily in such a heated yet reductive debate as an online one. Elaine, please accept my apologies for poking fun at you in this situation.

                    • Wow, good comment if it was genuine

                    • elainelewis says:

                      I don’t even remember that; but, well-said, and thank you! And if I have said anything to offend you personally, which I may well have had since the conversation does tend to get heated, I apologize to you too.

                  • For the record, Mr Burne, I’m not complaining about the attacks made on me. However, the lie that I and Alan Henness are one and the same are becoming tiresome (and are just a diversionary tactic, as you have surmised) and I am surprised that you’ve let that one go on for so long.

                    • “Steve” you seem quite fixated with proving something around the usage of the word ‘homeopathist’.
                      You go to great pains to demonstrate your case for using you it despite the fact that you have been told by several people that it is not a word that Homeopaths and users of Homeopathy use.

                      It’s interesting that Alan Henness, on an NHS webpage, also goes to great pains to demonstrate his case for using this same word as well…
                      …both you and Alan seem quite fixated with detailing the minutiae and origins of this obscure and archaic term that no-one else uses or knows about-except you and Alan!

                      Two totally different guys with one very obscure and not at all relevant axe to grind-What are the chances eh!

                      Alan Henness said in the comments on an NHS webpage on 14 May 2014:
                      “Although not as widely used as ‘homeopath’, according to some dictionaries, ‘homeopathist’ seems to be a perfectly valid noun, eg http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/homeopathist:
                      “a person who practises homeopathy”…
                      …and Alan continues, giving yet more references, and insisting that it is a valid term to use in homeopathy despite being told that it is not a word that Homeopaths and users of Homeopathy use-regardless of its presence in the dictionary or not.
                      http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Homeopathy/Pages/Introduction.aspx

                      “Steve” and Alan Henness appear to be the only people on the entire internet who feel the need to ‘insist’ that the term is somehow in common usage. I am thinking that “steve” is probably Alan Henness’s biggest fan.

              • Laurie Willberg says:

                Hey Jerome, meet Skepticat!
                So, Skepticat, exactly what are these alleged defamations and who exactly are you accusing?
                And why do you neglect to mention that poor Heness is your husband?
                And why do you consider your opinion that “the only people who take it seriously are those with a vested interested in unproven pseudoscientific so-called treatments that they can use to scam vulnerable and desperate people with” not to be defamatory of homeopathy and homeopathic practitioners?

                • Ms Willbergou wrote: “So, Skepticat, exactly what are these alleged defamations and who exactly are you accusing?”

                  Well, for a start I suspect he’s more than a tad unhappy at the repeated “Tactical Janissing” (see http://tete-enterre.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/hom.html if you don’t know what it means) that attempts to conflate him with me (despite several corrections). And didn’t I notice an unevidenced accusation of fakery (OWTTE) from you or Ms Lewis?

                  “And why do you neglect to mention that poor Heness (sic) is your husband?”

                  I can’t (and won’t attempt to) speak for Maria, but I’d hazard a guess it’s because that is entirely irrelevant to the defamatory comments made about him. Why did you think it was?

              • Also Maria, you say:

                “That they [the alleged defammatory comments you claim] are still here several days are being posted is a reflection on the quality of this blog and helps to explain why the only people who take it seriously are those with a vested interested in unproven pseudoscientific so-called treatments.”

                “A reflection of the quality of this blog”… You have got to be joking!! Just a quick google search brings up some of Alan Henness’s comments on his twitter site about alternative medicine.
                They reveal why the only people who take seriously the comments of sceptics such as your husband Alan Henness, are of the ill-mannered, aggressive and foul mouthed variety.

                In a twitter post from 2012, Alan Henness tweets:

                “F*** “alternative” “medicine” / #altmed, #homeopathy, #chiropractic, and all the rest of that #pseudoscience bullshit.”

                What a lovely man…so erudite and sophisticated in his rationale-not!

                • I can confirm as well that Maria, Alan’s wife, is also Skepticat.

                  • elainelewis says:

                    “I can confirm as well that Maria, Alan’s wife, is also Skepticat.”
                    How can you confirm it, though? Jerome is getting irritated over unsubstantiated claims that people here are other than who they claim to be. Plus, it affords the “skeptics” a moral “high ground” that they really don’t deserve. However, if you can offer proof, let’s hear it.

                • elainelewis says:

                  In a twitter post from 2012, Alan Henness tweets:

                  “F*** “alternative” “medicine” / #altmed, #homeopathy, #chiropractic, and all the rest of that #pseudoscience bullshit.”

                  See, that’s how they really are, that’s how I know them to be–rude, crude and offensive, and I don’t, for the life of me, understand what their problem is! ALL of alternative medicine is bad??? Isn’t that a little ridiculous? Even herbs, which people have used for thousands of years? If all of alternative medicine is bad, it leaves nothing but pharmaceutical drugs, which even they acknowledge are corrupted by hiding trials that don’t come out to the drug company’s favor. That leaves NO form of medicine that can be trusted, according to them. Oh I know, “Just because ‘some’ of the trials are corrupted doesn’t mean they all are,” but HOW are you going to know which drugs were legitimately tested and which weren’t? Does one have to wait for people to die in droves before we find out, “Oops! Looks like we’ve got another Actos on our hands!” I don’t know how it’s at all comforting if all forms of medicine are either corrupt or fake. So I have to assume that their “beef” with Big Pharma is a sham, a disarming ploy which gives them the facade of even-handedness they need to claim they’re not shills for the pharmaceutical industry.

  11. ChristyRedd says:

    It’s not easy to get a positive evaluation from the U.S. National Cancer Institute, but they gave one to the Banerji Protocols:
    “The objective of the present study was to have their treatment procedures evaluated and validated by the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s Best Case Series Program. Lung and oesophageal carcinoma patients were treated with homeopathy remedies at the PBHRS according to the Banerji’s protocol until there was complete remission of the tumors. The results of the review were deemed to be sufficient to warrant NCI-initiated prospective research follow-up in the form of an observational study.”
    “Cancer patients treated with the Banerji protocols utilising homeopathy medicine: A Best Case Series Program of the National Cancer Institute USA”
    Oncology Rep., 2008
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18575720
    Not only did the National Cancer Institute give approval to the protocols but it’s also represented by Isis Mikhail, M.D., at the Banerji Protocols International Collaborative Research Consortium. The consortium was formed in 2012 for the express purpose of further researching the Banerji Protocols so we will be seeing more research coming from India and the U.S.
    Other Consortium participants include:
    Iris Bell, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, University of Arizona Medical School, Fellowship in Integrative Medicine
    Arup Bhattacharya, Associate Research Professor, State University of New York at Buffalo
    Joyce Frye, D.O., MBA, MSCE, University of Maryland Medical Center
    Elena Ladas, R.D., Director, Integrative Therapies Program for Children with Cancer, Pediatric Oncology, Columbia University
    Barbara Sarter, Ph.D., FNB-BC, DiHom, Associate Professor, University of San Diego
    Subrata Sen, Ph.D., M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Texas University
    Leanna Standish, N.D., Medical Director, Bastyr University, Integrated Oncology Research Clinic

  12. Laurie Willberg says:

    Interestingly, Prof. Bruce Lipton has concluded that advances in science render current theories about chemistry, biology and physics obsolete and that they have a lot of catching up to do. Moreover, he concludes that the pharmaceutical industry is no longer “scientific” due to the overwhelming financial issues involved.

    Prof. Lipton has no reservations that advanced scientific theory supports Homeopathy and other forms of energy-based medicine that do not fit current (outdated) paradigms.

    • Lipton is, firstly, one person. A single person’s opinion does not mean the whole of science is automatically wrong.

      There is moreover, no evidence whatsoever that he is right, which sort of hampers his arguments.

      Lastly, even though there *are* serious problems with Big Pharma, it does not follow from this that “therefore homeopathy works”.

      • Laurie Willberg says:

        “Lipton is, firstly, one person. A single person’s opinion does not mean the whole of science is automatically wrong.There is moreover, no evidence whatsoever that he is right, which sort of hampers his arguments.”
        You need to listen more carefully. Lipton did not say that “the whole of science is automatically wrong”. He said that in light of present knowledge it needs serious updating and much of it is obsolete. In light of present knowledge forms of energy medicine like Homeopathy are completely legitimized.
        I would also like to see you back up your statement that he is the only scientist to have these opinions which are solidly based on his scientific research and experience. Perhaps you have the endorsement of an actual scientific institution to speak on its behalf?
        You also have to present your case as to why you think he is wrong. Feel free to present any research that you have that refutes his.

      • elainelewis says:

        If there are serious problems with Big Pharma, as you say, and if you don’t believe in any alternative medicine, what are you left with?

        • False equivalence. Serious problems with Big Pharma do NOT mean every single pharmaceutical is useless or worse than useless. I’m well placed to know this, as are many of my friends who would not otherwise be alive.

          Even if every single pharmaceutical in the orld was useless, it would still not mean “therefore homeopathy works”.

          You must produce evidence for homeopathy. Period.

          • elainelewis says:

            I meant what are YOU, anarchic teapot, IF that’s your real name, left with. I see you’re willing to take your chances with chemical pharmaceutical medicine. Fine. Unlike you “skeptics”, I don’t try to take people’s choices away from them. You said we have to come up with evidence for homeopathy. Did you happen to hear what Steve said? He said–and I’m not’ kidding–“Anecdotes are fine as evidence as long as they’re checkable.” I answered saying, “Really? Well that’s great! I would assume that hospital records and doctors’ records would fall under the umbrella of “checkable”, and since there are and were many homeopathic hospitals and medical schools, and since all homeopaths used to be medical doctors and many still are, there must be loads of “checkable” anecdotes to bring to your attention as evidence, are you interested?” Steve never answered, unfortunately; but, I would be happy to present to you, Ms. Teapot, one such “checkable anecdote” if you are truly interested in hearing evidence; and again, I would think a medical doctor’s records would be suitable. This is Dr. Dorothy Shepherd taken from her book, A Physician’s Posy, page-19. Dr. Shepherd practiced in England during the era of WW II:

            “Let me give you a few examples of the effect of Arnica upon animals. One of our bitches, during whelping, was found to have taken a strong dislike to her new-born puppies. She refuse to accept them and ran away from them when they were given to her to nurse. She stood there shivering and nearly trampled on them in her desire to get away. We had visions of having to find a foster mother, such as a cat in milk, which was not too easy a procedure. But after she had whelped for the fourth time, I bethought myself of Arnica as a remedy for shock. She was a very sensitive bitch, much petted and fussed over, and she could not understand the pain and discomfort of labour and these squealing, wriggling puppies around her. Arnica was given to her on the assumption that she was suffering from shock to the nervous system and when the fifth puppy arrived, she deigned to take notice of it, started to lick it and allowed it to feed. She was then left, as it was felt she had finished whelping. Two hours later she was visited again and we found she had produced a sixth puppy, which she had cleaned herself and removed all traces of labour, and was lying contentedly on the straw, warming, nursing and licking the puppies, as any ordinary well-behaved mother would do.”

            I purposely gave an animal case because this is your Achilles Heel. Show me where the placebo effect entered into this picture to cure the case.

            • Elaine Lewis, you wrote: ” Did you happen to hear what Steve said?”

              S/he won’t have heard it because I didn’t say it in his/her hearing; I wrote it. ANd if s/he had read it, so what? It is only my opinion and I speak only fo rmyself not for every other sceptic on the planet. (I know you have trouble wioth the simple concept that there is an enormously wide variety of opinion in the reality-based community bit, despite our lack of understanding it happens to be true.

              You continued: “Steve never answered, ”

              More blatant disingenuity! I had already given an adequate statement of my opinion in this post:
              https://jeromeburne.com/2014/04/28/homeopathy-and-the-threat-of-endarkenment/comment-page-1/#comment-12349

              • There was a typo or six there (which, I imagine, will be leapt on and used against me. Intended version):
                (I know you have trouble with the simple concept that there is an enormously wide variety of opinion in the reality-based community but, despite your lack of understanding, it happens to be true.)

            • “I purposely gave an animal case because this is your Achilles Heel”

              You wish. Ignorance and confirmation bias on the part of the owner.

              • Very clever how you continue to avoid addressing Elaine’s doubt about “anarchic teapot” being your real name. Sure, “Anarchic” is a posh given name very popular among Chelsea yummy mummies, and, in the UK, the last name “Teapot” is as common as Smith or Jones. However, until you prove to my satisfaction that you are indeed who you CLAIM to be, I shall regard all your future comments as LIES and proof positive that you are a paid shill for big pharma. You are not fooling me, no sir!

              • elainelewis says:

                That’s it? That’s your anser? The owner was biased? Seriously? That’s your explanation of this successful case of Arnica used on a dog in labor going into shock and desperately trying to escape, nearly trampling the puppies to death in the process? The “owner” was a DOCTOR, an MD! Jerome, do you see what we have to put up with here? If I had been Anarchic Teapot, I’d have ignored this case and hoped no one would see it. I asked her to show me where the placebo effect entered this case to cure it and she didn’t answer, all I got was a snarly, “You wish.” Please Anarchic Teapot, you obviously have no explanation for how this dog made such an amazing recovery, other than to accuse the owner of “bias”. I don’t even know what that means in the context of this case! The dog’s behavior completely changed! Jerome, she called the dog owner “ignorant”! The dog owner was a medical doctor, and MD! Well, I give up.

                • “That’s it? That’s your anser? The owner was biased? Seriously? ”

                  Yes. Unless of course you have solid scientific evidence that homeopathy has an effect on anyone or anything – apart from its uses in watering plants, obviously.

                  • No one has suggested an effect for watering plants. Why dont you squeeze open a little crack in your mind and look at the evidence presented on the influence homeopathy may have on plants. If there is an observable effect that is reproducible then Its scientific. If there is no observable effect you can say so. Why are you so emotionally attached to being right rather than discussing the subject?
                    While you are on it perhaps you can dig up a study that supports your world view demonstrating that introducing artificial chemicals into the natural environment of the human body is not only efficaceous but is also sustainable and better then than the adjustment of contextual parameters like exercise, diet, relaxation, herbal and nutritional medicine. osteopathy, homeopathy etc.
                    Once more, no opinion pieces, pop star comments, magazine articles, anecdotes, a bona fide study, the type you claim to demand from the homeopaths. Peer reviewed in a journal. I DARE YOU.

                  • elainelewis says:

                    Jerome, and people of the world, I submit this to you as proof of the “battiness and arrogance” of this group called “skeptics”: I submit to Ms. Teapot the following case: A medical doctor in England, Dr. Dorothy Shepherd, writing of her medical experiences back in the ’40′s, long before this controversy over homeopathy took place, writes of how she gave Arnica to her dog who was going into shock from giving birth, shivering, rejecting her puppies, trampling them in her effort to escape, and then, after Dr. Shepherd gives the homeopathic remedy, accepts the next puppy and begins to lick it. The humans leave, thinking the birthing is over. Two hours later they come back; the previously frantic dog is found to have whelped another puppy and nursing them all, lying quietly on the straw. I asked Anarchic Teapot to explain where and when the “placebo effect” entered and cured this case. She arrogantly proclaimed that the dog owner was “biased”, end of story, and says to me again, “What’s your evidence that homeopathy works–on anything?” I rest my case! I only presented this case at all because Steve said that anecdotes were fine as evidence as long as they “checked out”. I replied saying that surely doctor and hospital records would fall under that definition. He didn’t say, “No, they wouldn’t!” So I presented a doctor’s case, an animal case, far less likely to be under the sway of “placebo”, and they don’t want to deal with it in a serious manner! It is eminently clear that they are only interested in winning, not interested at all in hearing or seeing the evidence they constantly demand!

      • Anarchic teas no one is suggesting all of science is wrong, including Bruce Lipton. Everyone here embraces science, but we seem to agree on a couple of things, 1) Science isnt complete by a long shot, there is a lot we dont know and 2) The practice of medicine is unscientific because it is built upon an assumption. That assumption is that 1) Artificial chemicals introduced into a natural biological environment produces an effect which may be beneficial in the short term (no argument there) 2. It is sustainable in the long term (its not) 3) It produces better and more sustainable results that adjusting the contexual parameters of the body or environment. (that has never been formally tested but it has been informally been demonstrated not to work in the environment).

        Your response to this should be to point out a study that has both tested those assumptions and shown them to be correct and prove me wrong, not fall in to the trap that Chapman Central and B.S. fell in to of quoting magazine articles, pop stars, social conditioning and opinion pieces.

        In other words you are required to produce the same level of evidence to support your paradigm (if you dont like that word substitute it with your world view or your model of reality) that you demand from everyone else. The reason this is still generous to you is because multinational corporations employ thousands of researchers full time to produce the results they want, a profession like Homeopathy has next to no resources to produce anything but is still required to by this model of reality.

        • “Everyone here embraces science, ”

          You owe me a new keyboard! (But thanks for the laugh; it’s lightened what has otherwise been a trying morning so far…)

          • Steve perhaps I should have explained that better. Everyone here embraces science, but not everyone embraces everything that masquerades as science. That includes the belief, which has never been substantiated, although we are all open to evidence that satisfies the same criteria you demand of others, that chemical interference in the body is not only efficacious which I think everyone concedes, but is also sustainable long term (its not) and is better and more sustainable than natural methods (Its not and its never been studied). I appreciate the return to rational discussion which you have been instrumental in restoring. Hard cheese about your keyboard 🙂

      • Are you suggesting Bruce Lipton is the only dissenter? I would contend that there are whole professions and millions of people that question medicines basic assumptions.

        • “I would contend that there are whole professions and millions of people that question medicines basic assumptions.”

          Contend all you like. Without evidence and something more tangible than vague assertions, your comment is worthless.

          • Did you read my comment at all Anarchic or did you just toss in a random reply? Your response is nonsensical

  13. Laurie Willberg says:

    The present reality is that Homeopathy is practised in over 80 countries worldwide, serves hundreds of millions of patients and has been clinically proven to be effective for over 250 years. It is growing at a rate of about 30% per annum. As a system of medicine it is second only to pharma-based practise.
    It was just today officially recognized in Belgium http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/Health+and+Environment/140512_homeopathy_English
    Homeopathy consistently rates very highly in terms of patient satisfaction, and that’s really what it’s all about.
    It’s clear that Observational studies with individualized prescribing consistent with established Homeopathic principles continue to show strong positive outcomes.

    • Laurie Willberg, in an appeal to popularity, you wrote: “The present reality is that Homeopathy is practised in over 80 countries worldwide, serves hundreds of millions of patients ”
      There are 193 countries in the United nations. By your assertion here (elsewhere you or Ms Jahnig, I forget which, wrote 70-80, but we’ll let that ride – let’s assume 85 – otherwise you’d likely have written “nearly 90″) that is a penetration into just under 45% of the world’s nations.
      By contrast, modern scientific medicine, which has had nearly 175 years to get off the ground, is only practised in, let’s see, 100% of them. What a dismal performance!
      (Or maybe you now see the problem with appeals to popularity)
      You concluded with this amazing snippet: “and has been clinically proven to be effective for over 250 years.”
      That is a truly remarkable achievement for a system of “medicine” that was only invented 218 years ago, don’t you think?

  14. Ms Lewis, you wrote: “And please don’t say again that she lied about being on twitter”

    Why not? What do you have against the truth being told, Ms Lewis?

    You continued: “….what was the lie, exactly?”

    She wrote ” I don’t have a blog and don’t use Twitter…” (Here’s the link since you seem to have trouble finding things: https://jeromeburne.com/2014/04/28/homeopathy-and-the-threat-of-endarkenment/comment-page-1/#comment-10990 – it’s in the second line)

    It is a lie because ChristRedd is a pseudonym for Christine Jahnig, who tweets as @fallintosummer (See https://twitter.com/fallintosummer)

    I’d have liked to have been generous and assumed that she had forgotten she had a twitter account but, given that she was retweeting Ms Courtney’s and Ms Willberg’s tweets on the same day as she told her lie….

    • Oops, correction, “ChristyRedd is a pseudonym…” (Apologies for the previous mis-spelling)

  15. Doesn’t surprise me in the least to find chapmancentral in this blog: a known sceptic/pseudosceptic and harasser of anything remotely considered to be CAM or Alternative to Allopathic and exclusive drug treatments. I have read the blog with interest and totally agree with Paul and Elainelewis and others here.
    Chapmancentral endorses the scientific method he states, well here is an example of it…………..

    Over the past 60 years, research has repeatedly demonstrated that there’s NO correlation between high cholesterol and plaque formation that leads to heart disease. Despite that, the saturated fat/cholesterol myth has persisted.
    After researching the science of lipids, cholesterol, heart disease, and nutrition for nearly eight decades, Dr. Fred Kummerow—now nearly 100 years old—has a thing or two to say about the matter. In fact, he was the first researcher to identify which fat really causes the clogged arteries conventionally blamed on saturated fats.
    Dr. Kummerow’s work shows that it’s not cholesterol that causes heart disease—it’s quite safe to eat eggs, for example—rather it’s the trans fats that are to blame. He was one of the first to make this association, and the first to publish a scientific article on it, all the way back in 1957.

    “That was the first article that showed that trans fatty acids, which are present in hydrogenated fats, caused heart disease,” he says.
    Consumption of trans fat, which for decades was touted as a healthier alternative to saturated animal fat, radically increased in the mid-1950s.
    And according to Dr. Kummerow, rates of sudden death from heart disease have faithfully risen right along with trans fat consumption. Fortunately, the science showing trans fats to be FAR more harmful than saturated fat is finally starting to get the recognition it deserves.

    Not surprisingly, considering his long history in this field, Dr. Kummerow may have played an instrumental role in getting the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to finally address this health hazard. In 2009, Dr. Kummerow filed a citizen petition with the FDA calling for a ban on synthetic trans fats. In the petition, he noted that:

    “Trans fat leads to the reduction of prostacyclin that is needed to prevent blood clots in the arteries. A blood clot in any of the coronary arteries can result in sudden death.”

    The FDA is required to respond to such petitions within 180 days, but nearly four years later, it still had not responded. So, last year he filed a lawsuit against the agency.1 Interestingly enough, it wasn’t long thereafter that the FDA announced it was considering removing partially hydrogenated oils—the primary source of trans fats—from the list of “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) ingredients.

    Despite all of this evidence, statins are routinely and mistakenly prescribed to lower cholesterol to the tune of billions $$$$$ annually, and of course as a result of the “scientific method”……………
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/11/cholesterol-trans-fats.aspx

    • Yes the whole statin debate seems to present a problem for those who claim that our RCT based system of medicine yields clear and useable results. The debate has become horribly complex but in some ways it is not disimilar to the one raging between homeopaths and sceptics. The mainstream continues to push a constantly mutating version of the theory that cholesterol cloggs up arteries while critics point out that drugs other than statins that lower cholesterol have no evidence they cut the rate of heart disease, that the numbers needed to treat with statins in primary prevention are up in the mid hundreds if not higher but the side effects may be running at 20% of patients or one in five. Yet there have been something like 28 or 29 large RCT’s of statins which are the most widely prescribed drugs in the world but still after 20 years there is no agreement about how effective they are or how safe. If the existing system can’t deliver a clear result on statins, doesn’t that suggest it might need a bit of fixing and that some way of factoring in non-drug treatments is badly needed.

      • If the RCT based system were so effective, why have there been so many million and billion dollar class action law suits that were successful in convicting the drug companies of causing serious and permanent adverse side effects, including death? It’s a flawed system. There is no comparison between the effectiveness of conventional medicine vs homeopathy. Patients helped by homeopathy are glad to personally testify to its effectiveness. The drugs on the market are only applauded by paid actors and ‘doctors’ in white coats with the obligatory stethoscope around their collars, Rx pad and pen in hand. When I was a young girl, I recall seeing actor ‘doctors’ saying that brand A of cigarettes was better than brand B …the pitch using the thinking that the consuming public trusts their doctors. That image has faded a lot since then. Conventional medicine has and continues to be its own worst enemy. With drug commercials and mass marketing, drug companies are obligated to inform the public of the many possible adverse side effects. Skeptics fail to realize (or maybe they do) that health care consumers are well read and wiser now. Their best source of information regarding health care is the internet. In fact, many patients find and self-diagnose their own diseases using the information they can find on the internet! If only the internet did not have so much information, the skeptics might have an easier time of debunking homeopathy. Fortunately, this has not and will not happen.

        • help4hardtimes . A drug only has be be shown effective against a placebo or a drug in a similar class, that doesnt mean its more effective than Herbal Medicine, Homoeopathy, diet modification, Osteopathy, rest and relaxation, meditation etc etc, thats just assumed… and that’s not science. I agree with your comment

      • Jerome you complained no one addressed your question. Your right. Science will continue to be twisted and distorted until there is a recognition of the necessity of conformity to the evolution of the body. Researchers need to start from a paradigm of “Where does that occur in nature” instead of the (unsubstantiated) paradigm shown by Chapman Central of we all only lived to 30 years before medicine (although happily he seems to have shifted that to we all only lived to 30 before science instead but thinks the two are interchangeable. I guess that means plumbers are sort of medical doctor scientists?) He now claims his position is so obvious,along with mega vitamin dosage being useless and vaccination being wonderful that he shouldn’t require evidence. We should all be like him and just know that stuff without research.

        As long as we try to fix the problems of RCT’s and ignore the underlying philosophy that drives the science they cant be fixed. Yes registering trials would help, but how easy would that be to fix if journals werent controlled or influenced by them. Register the trial or you dont get it reviewed. Multinationals have historically proven they will fight that to the death to preserve their cash cows. But the smoking issue and the whole natural food issue proves that people power can work against the Massive multinationals. With their infiltration of politics, media, education and medicine it wont be happening soon sadly.

        Another problem with the scientific method is it demands I ignore all other often valid evidence. Everything practitioners observe in practice, everything their patients report, what I observed growing up in a natural household, the claims of major professions like Chiropractors, Herbalists, homeopaths, natural nutritionists etc and if it was applied evenly surgeons who suffer a dearth of evidence still. Should we discard all surgical procedures until they are supported by R.C.T’s? No just everything else.

        The worst of the scientisimists believe that nothing should be accepted without an R.C.T. Of course its only the natural professions that dont have massive resources that would suffer from that. A Chiropractor friend told me that Pfizer has a staff of 6.000 researchers being paid to produce papers. The Chiropractic profession has 70 worldwide on a good day. Herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years and across all cultures. Many of their findings for plants are consistent in spite of the cultures never interacting, How can that not be considered evidence, yet under the evidence pyramid it doesnt exist. The system is wrong because of the premises it is built on. It will be wrong forever unless that changes

    • Christopher Beckett, good comment its reminicient of the smoking issue which resembles the processed food issue and an old Naturopath once told me in the 1930’s the medical profession even told people it was probably better not to exercise given that it could the heart to enlarge.

      The issue of assuming its ok to alter the way the body has been and how it has been used and managed for billions of years of evolution is the most important discussion in the evidence debate. My father taught me to always ask the question “where does that occur in nature”. It meant I knew unprocessed food was good before science knew it. I knew smoking was bad before science knew it. I knew glycosphate was bad before science knew it. I knew routine breast irradiation was bad before science realised it. I argued with a G.P. about silicon breast implants in 1981, 20 years before the reseach showing harm was released. I know genetic modification is bad before science agrees on it. I knew getting sunshine is vital before studies linking not getting it to depression Vitamin D deficiency R.A.; M.S. and a host of other diseases.

      The sceptics trample on nature and believe health was impossible before the advent of modern medicine, as if they invented health.

      • elainelewis says:

        Hi Paul, you wrote:
        “The sceptics trample on nature and believe health was impossible before the advent of modern medicine, as if they invented health.”

        Trampling on nature is a good way of putting it. It doesn’t bother them that even if RCT’s could be made totally open and above-board, in the end you would still wind up with a product that’s toxic to the human body. And here’s another thing, I was quite shocked the day I came to the following realization: When a doctor tells you there’s no cure for this or that disease? All they mean is, “There’s no drug”. Do you realize that? That’s all “no cure” means! I think that people assume that “no cure” means that nobody nowhere has ever cured this disease and that there is no hope for them! So they go home and prepare to die, never thinking, never realizing, that this disease has been cured plenty of times, just not by a pharmaceutical drug! It’s mind-boggling to think about.

        • Great comment Elaine “It doesn’t bother them that even if RCT’s could be made totally open and above-board, in the end you would still wind up with a product that’s toxic to the human body.” That the point I was trying to express earlier.

          To be scientific a drug needs 3 things not one thing, it needs to… 1. Show an effect…2 It needs to be sustainable… and 3 It needs to be more effective and less harmful than natural non interventionist approaches. Drugs perform brilliantly on the first requirement, fail dismally on the second, and never even ask the question on the third.

          The first question that needed to be asked is “Is it not only effective, but sustainable long term, AND more effective and sustainable than natural methods. They skipped that step. Medicine is therefore unscientific. It is based on an untested assumption. They can perform R.C.T.s until the cows come home and that wont change until they fix their erroneous initial premise.

          On the issue of there being no help outside of medicine I would contend actually almost all the help is outside medicine, although I do agree with trauma surgery and some other things. I dont share the helpless terror that those who trust the system have.

          By the way, the only place where that question can be looked at is in the natural environment. Do we find that artificial chemicals introduced into the natural environment produce a beneficial effect? Yes. Is it sustainable? No.Environmental damage is at a crisis point. Is it better than natural land management. No. So the real truth is that model has been proven wrong.

          Well why would we think pumping synthetic chemicals into the natural biological environment of the human body will work when it doesnt work in the natural biological environment? What is it they say about doing the same thing and expecting different results?

          • elainelewis says:

            Paul, it’s a whole other discussion regarding what effect is modern medicine having on the environment? I am hearing that these drugs wind up in the drinking water. All the effort the pharmacist makes in telling you not to mix certain drugs is made a mockery of when you realize they’re all winding up together in our water. Water purifying systems aren’t built to sift these chemicals out. It seems to me, if you’ve got a toxic product and you can’t keep it out of the water supply, you shouldn’t be making it. And of course presumably everyone understands were talking about people flushing pills down the tollet or drugs present in the urine going through the sewer system and ultimately into rivers and so forth.

            • You make a good point Elaine. One I haven’t thought about much but exactly right, companies should be able to be certain their chemicals wont cause harm to those that dont want them before they should be permitted to pump them out. I claim I have never had a pharmaceutical or chemical in my life except for an anaesthetic when I had my teeth drilled, but that’s not true really. They are inescapable.

              Hey maybe thats why I’ve lived way past 30 without allopathic medicine, random drugs in my non organic food. 🙂

      • You wrote: “The sceptics […] believe health was impossible before the advent of modern medicine”

        Straw man and throughly disingenuous to boot. Of course you can prove me wrong by providing the evidence that any of the sceptics on here have made that claim. Have fun with that one.

        • Steve a large part of my discussion with b.s. and Chapman Central revolved around how we would all be dead by thirty if it wasnt for medicine. Chapman Central eventually adjusted his position to we would all be dead by 30 if it wasn’t for science claiming science validates medicine therefore the industrial revolution was all about medicine…somehow. Where were you in that debate? Perhaps if that isnt the view of sceptics you could have spoken up?

  16. In the fall of last year in another article’s comment section, I offered to fund an all expenses paid one week trip to Alan Henness of the Nightingale Collaboration to visit the Banerji Clinic in India to have all of his questions answered and interview the doctors there raegarding the successes they have had treating cancer using homeopathy alone. As many as 1,000 patients a day are treated or seen for follow-up at the clinic. They flock to the clinic from all over the world. Some of their successes, including hematology testing results, CT scans and roentenograms of patients before and after treatment are on their site. And, their work is being followed by M.D. Anderson in Houston and other institutions in the U.S. Alan Henness turned it down. Through Twitter Guy Chapman said he was interested and I invited him to submit a travel plan through his attorney and accountant. No response yet. My only speculation for the lack of interest by both Alan Henness and Guy Chapman’s lack of interest in my offer is (strong language) cowardice.

    • Sounds a fascinating place – have they produced any studies, run trials etc? I request everyone to avoid attributing motives to people – they are usually mixed and they tend to veer into the insulting territory which I think should be avoided here. Noting the offer was not taken up would seem to do the trick.

      • ChristyRedd says:

        About ten years ago the U.S. NIH reviewed papers on alternative methods of treating cancers. One of them was “Ruta6 selectively induces cell death in brain cancer cells but proliferation in normal peripheral blood lymphocytes” presented by the Prasanta Banerji Homeopathy Research Foundation, Kolkata. The NIH chose that paper on which to conduct two studies which were done at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Texas University. You can see this paper at http://www.virtualtrials.com/pdf/ruta6.pdf
        (BTW, John Benneth knows a great deal more about all of this.)
        Unfortunately, I don’t have the details of the first study but seem to recall that it had to do with a group
        breast or brain cancer patients.
        The second study was conducted by Moshe Frenkel, an independent researcher working at M.D. Anderson at the time, and others. It’s titled “Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells” and is based on the Banerji Protocol. It showed that four homeopathic remedies induce apoptosis in breast cancer cell lines in the lab. It also provided observations of the mechanism of action which was the up-regulation and down-regulation of specific functions. The full paper is at: http://www.euro.med.us/homeopathy.pdf It includes almost 9 pages of analysis and graphs and was published in the February, 2010, issue of International Journal of Oncology. The abstract is at: http://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/36/2/395 The study was wholly supported by internal funds of M.D. Anderson.

        According to The Times of Malta, 11/24/2013, (unfortunately, the link to the article doesn’t work anymore), Moshe Frenkel visited Banerji to study their work. He said, “I saw things there I couldn’t explain. Tumors shrank with nothing else other than homeopathic remedies. X-rays showed there had been a lesion on a lung and a year after taking the remedy, it had shrunk or disappeared.”

        Other people who visited Banerji were:

        Jeffrey White, M.D., Director, Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Cancer Institute
        Dr. Elena Ladas, MS, RD Director
        Kara Kelly, M.D., Medical Director of the Integrative Therapies Program for Children with Cancer, Division of Pediatric Oncology, Columbia University
        Dr. Barbara Sarter, I think now at the University of San Diego
        Others from Columbia University

        According to an 11/5/2007 article in Med India:

        Dr. Kelly said after her visit, “We are really very interested in practicing traditional treatment of pediatric oncology with Banerji Protocol. We have studied their methods and would share our findings with our colleagues in the Columbia University, U.S.A. We are very open to go for a tie-up as there’s no side effect of this particular homeopathy treatment. This can be scientifically used globally. Banerji Protocol is already very well known internationally and we heard many patients are improving taking Banerji’s medical technique.” Dr. Pratap Banerji is quoted as saying, “We are planning for research collaboration with the Pediatric Division of Columbia University’s Integrative Therapies Program for Children with Cancer in the days to come. So there may be more research there.

        http://www.medindia.net/news/US-Varsity-tie-up-with-Indian-Homeopathy-Clinic-for-Research-Collaboration-28993-1.htm

        • ChristyRedd says:

          I see the euro.med link isn’t working so I’m going to try posting this:

          https://www.euro.med.us/homeopathy.pdf

          If this doesn’t work, I’ll look for another source.

        • That’s certainly a couple of respectable papers would appear to show definite effects at a cell level, just the kind of results that would normally suggest further investigation was worthwhile. Presumably, though, it hasn’t been followed up. However it would also appear to be strong response to the claims that these remedies can’t have any effect at all.
          What I don’t get is that one of these papers was aabout a decade ago and the other just a couple of years, so why haven’t they been more strongly presented? Are they isolated examples or are there others with similar cell-line findings? Putting a few together would seem a pretty good response to the sceptics claims. Or are these two already part of the ongoing debate like the Swiss one which, as far as I could see from the various exchanges, has two differing interpretations of the same data.
          BTW I tried the link to the pdf of the Moshe Frenkel paper which wasn’t found. However if you follow the “spandidos” link to the abstract there is a link there to a pdf of the paper which worked for me.

          • Here is an interesting article that sheds some light on the question you are posing:
            http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/03/04/a-homeopathic-bit-of-breast-cancer-scien/

            • Thanks for that which certainly looks like a very informed critique. I don’t have the stats or knowledge of cell culture work to make any comment – just a jobbing journalist – but I would have thought that a homeopath who did should by now have either shown why it was wrong or put their hands up and admitted they had to go back to the work bench.

          • ChristyRedd says:

            Those are questions I can’t answer although I think John Benneth could. As far as research in general is concerned, there is very little money available for research in homeopathy, something around $2,000,000 a year for all research globally as compared to the multi-millions available to drug companies. Also, although the words “research foundation” appear in the Banerji name, its primary focus is on clinical work and on its charitable clinic providing free care. They do treat cancer patients in 70 – 80 countries around the world.

            As far as the Swiss HTA is concerned, I’ll get back later with letters and a counter-statement from the authors addressing the differences in opinion originating in the UK.

          • ChristyRedd says:

            Thank you for the suggestion. It’s well taken. A little digging brings up some more research in homeopathy and cancer.

            In this study the five-year survival rate of Stage III and IV pancreatic cancer patients treated with homeopathy was 38.6%. (The survival rate of conventional patients is quoted as 2%.) 33% of the Stage III patients had a ‘complete response’ (defined as the complete disappearance of all targeted lesions without disease progression or any new lesions). 10% of Stage IV patients had a complete response.

            There may be a good amount of research on homeopathy and cancer since the site notes: “Based on the citations to this research article the use of Psorinum therapy in cancer treatment has apparently been the subject of a number of studies for at leas the last 15 years.”

            “Psorinum Therapy in treating stomach, gall bladder, pancreatic and liver cancers: A prospective clinical study”
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21197093
            http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/psora-psorinum-cancer/

            In this study 95 patients diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer were treated homeopathically. Their five-year survival rate was 44% compared to 16% treated conventionally. A complete response (same definition as above) was achieved in 20% of the homeopathy patients.
            “Research Breakthroughs: Homeopathy in Cancer Care”
            http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/psora-psorinum-cancer/

            In this study 58 of 95 patients were diagnosed at Stage IV. Complete tumor response (same definition) occurred in 20% and partial tumor response in 29.47%. 42 patients survived at least five years.
            “Psorinum Therapy in treating patients with advanced non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC): A phase II, single arm clinical trial”
            http://www.homeopathyheals.me.uk/site/science-of-homeopathy/37-scientific-studies/518-new-highly-significant-results-from-psorinum-6x-in-serious-cases-of-cancer

            “In the homeopathy medicine treated cultures, hallmarks of apoptosis were evident including cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation.” (kidney, colon and breast cancer cells)
            “Results: Mother tinctures and ultra-diluted preparations of the three homeopathic medicines had highly significant effects in the respective cancer cell lines, producing cytotoxicity and a decrease in cell proliferation.”
            Homeopathy, 2013
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24050774

            “Results: Administration of potentiated homeopathy drugs to tumor-bearing mice induced TUNEL-positive cells in the tumor, showing increased apoptosis of tumor cells. Microarray analysis of cells treated with homeopathy drugs indicated that many enzymes related to apoptosis were increased by homeopathy drugs.”
            Integrated Cancer Therapies, 2012
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21771822

            “The Evidence: Scientific Studies on Homeopathic Cancer Treatment”
            M. Mueller, MA, RSHom (NA), CCH
            http://www.homeopathy.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/05/TheEvidence.pdf

            • I certainly don’t have the expertise to make any judgements about validty of the research in this area. However I think you or someone has to respond to these two very clear and well-informed critiques one of the studies mentioned in your previous post, the Frenkel M et al paper in the Int J Oncol. 2010 Feb;36(2):395-403 which claimed clear evidence of action by homeopathic remedies on cancer cells in vitro.

              These are the links to them:
              http://scepticsbook.com/2010/02/14/a-giant-leap-in-logic-from-a-piece-of-bad-science/
              http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/03/04/a-homeopathic-bit-of-breast-cancer-scien/

              I appreciate the lack of funding for homeopathy research and lack of the kind of institutional support that conventional approaches have but I don’t think you are going to get far if you just cite positive trials and ignore the criticisms. Until someone with the necessary expertise pulls together a bullet proof body of basic research it seems to me you are going to be condemned to these marathon and inconclusive exchanges of data.

              • ChristyRedd says:

                I do appreciate the validity of what you’ve posted. We all want more research. If I could hurry it up, I would. As far as the study on breast cancer cell lines goes, “skeptics” claim that the alcohol, not the homeopathic remedies, killed the cells. What the study shows is that the solvent killed 30 – 35%, carcinosin killed 60 – 75% and phytolacca killed 70 – 80%. So I have to view “skeptic” criticisms with a good deal of genuine scepticism.

                As I mentioned early in the comments, I know what homeopathy can achieve because I’ve had many years of experience with it as a patient. I also have a basic understanding of homeopathy, its principles and practices. This is a great deal more than the “skeptics” posting here or anywhere else have. I’m not a homeopath or a researcher so can’t discuss the studies on a technical level. I’ll leave that to others. However, I do have to say that there are a number of positive studies and that it really isn’t credible to anyone no matter what their background is that these studies are “all flawed” as “skeptics” claim.

          • ChristyRedd says:

            Concerning the Swiss HTA, a counter-statement to Ernst’s claims made by nine members of the investigating team was published at:

            https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/fct.12025/abstract;jsessionid=B03BEB4D17C897E8F0F24D4568FFD4568FFD048.d02t02

            The ASA rejected the Swiss HTA as evidence for homeopathy claiming that it could only accept RCTs as evidence and that the HTA included none. In actuality, in included well over 100. The ASA also claimed that the HTA was nothing but a reworking of the Shang analysis which it clearly is not. Letters from the editors, Matthiessen and Bornhoft, to Guy Parker, Chief Executive of the ASA, and Jeremy Hunt can be seen at:

            http://freedom4health.com/index.php?page=swisshta

            In my opinion, the true facts about homeopathy speak for themselves irregardless of how anyone else may interpret or present them.

          • ChristyRedd says:

            And one more in vitro study:

            “We found that in short-term cytotoxicity research some of the dynamized (meaning homeopathic) preparations showed significant cytotoxic actions against cancer cell lines and at times the activity was higher than that of the mother tinctures. For example, Conium at 200c potency was more cytotoxic than its mother tincture and the cytotoxicity induced by Carcinosium was higher at 200c than at 30c potency indicating that dynamization induces the cytotoxic potential of these medicines.”

            “Dynamized Preparations in Cell Culture”
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2686624/

            “Skeptics” take note: This research shows that the higher the potency the more effective the remedy can be.

            • This study has the same problem as the the Frenkel et al. study – it didn’t control for ethanol, based on the wrong assumption that the estimated ethanol content present was too low to have an effect on the cells. Also, the control substance contained no ethanol at all, except in one case. Why would anyone conduct a trial in this way and open themselves up to avoidable criticism? Especially in such a beleaguered field!

              • alxkr, you wrote, ” it didn’t control for ethanol”

                Exactly so. The best conclusion that could be drawn from those trials is that ethanol is cytotoxic in vitro. Hardly groundbreaking news!

              • ChristyRedd says:

                YOU CLAIM: “…..it didn’t control for ethanol, based on the wrong assumption that the estimated ethanol content present was too low to have an effect on the cells.”

                From the paper, page 397:

                “Among the four remedies investigated, carcinosin and phytolacca reproducibly revealed relatively higher inhibitory effects in replicate experiments. These two remedies reduced viability of the MCF-7 cells by 60 – 75% at 5 ul/ml and by 70 – 80% at 10 ul/ml doses after 48 and 72 hour treatments respectively. The SOLVENT, on the other hand, caused reduction in survival of the two cell lines by 30 – 35% under the same conditions.”

                Nothing more needs to be said, does it?

                http://www.euro-med.us/homeopathy.pdf

                • You are mixing up the two studies. This is a quote from the Frenkel et al. trial, but I was commenting on the “dynamized preparations” trial…

                  • ChristyRedd says:

                    You wrote: “This study has the same problem as the Frenkel et al. study — it didn’t control for ethanol…….”. In other words, you’re claiming neither study took the solvent into consideration. The text of the Frenkel study proves you wrong about that study which automatically proves you wrong about the second study. Got it? You should get your information from legitimate sources instead of “skeptic” sites.

                    • this is ridiculous

                    • ChristyRedd says:

                      What I am saying is that since you made the falacious claim that the Frenkel study didn’t consider the alcohol, the veracity of your claim that the second paper didn’t consider it is automatically suspect as it should be. If you had read the paper instead of relying on the opinions you read at “skeptic” sites, you would have seen that it stated “Potentiated alcohol control did not produce any cytoxicity at concentrations studied.” Quite obviously, the alcohol was considered in this study.

                      As I’ve said, you would do better to get your information from legitimate sources.

                    • ChristyRedd says:

                      I was being too generous in my previous comment and really have to correct myself. The sites you get your information from like scienceblogs don’t post opinions, they post misinformation/ disinformation.

                    • I see Christy, you make a faulty claim and use it to make further inferences based on that claim. In an apparent moment of clarity, you professed earlier that you didn’t understand those studies enough to answer to the criticisms presented. I am glad to see that you didn’t let your lack of understanding hold you back. Despite all evidence to the contrary, your confidence in your infallibility remains undiminished. This seems to be a common effect that homeopathy has on it’s adherents – the perception of inexhaustible mental faculties.

                    • Laurie Willberg says:

                      You do not refute a statement by someone else by quarterbacking their comments. If you disagree then state your case and if you have references for what you think, provide them. You are merely delivering your value judgments about how much you think someone else “understands” about an issue and go on to deliver a backhanded insult about it. You mention “evidence to the contrary” but don’t provide any. And then you jump to conclusions to make broad brush statements about what you think homeopathy supporters think.
                      If you wish to state a fact that opposes another commenter’s then you need to supply facts. Keep in mind that everything else is your opinion and whether you like it or not is invisibly prefaced with “I think…”

                    • ChristyRedd says:

                      We are discussing the fact that you made the fallacious claim that neither the Frenkel study nor the “Dynamizatized Preparations in Cell Cultures” study considered the alcohol. You’ve been proven wrong in both cases by material quoted directly from those studies. Why not admit as a mature adult would that you were wrong? If you had read the studies instead of relying on opinions posted on “skeptic” sites, you would known the facts.

                • Christy you are clearly out of your depth here. No amount of paraphrasing is going to make it better.

      • Then remove the fraud comment

    • Its amazing that there are little pockets on the planet where there is free expression in health care. Thanks for the post.

  17. Laurie Willberg says:

    Does anyone else not find it strange that the anti-homeopathy complaints are not coming from any patients who have actually used it? A militant media skeptic can’t really be considered to be anything other than a kind of astro-turfer, allegedly claiming to voice patient concerns without actually being a patient or having any concrete evidence that anyone has been “defrauded”. Without intimate and discrete knowledge of individual medical cases all that one can conclude from their often hysterical pronouncements is that someone is engaging in bald speculation.
    Without actual medical credentials, responsibility for patient outcomes, or even actual research experience, skeptic comments can only be viewed as speculative and certainly not anywhere near approaching even a common sense standard.

    • ChristyRedd says:

      Personally, I think it’s obvious that negative comments come from the people who don’t use or practice homeopathy instead of from those who do. Those who do use it know and appreciate from personal experience its power to heal at the deepest possible levels — physical, mental and emotional — even to heal deep emotional damage done by traumas like rape and abuse. Conventional drugs can’t begin to touch these kinds of traumas. Even years of counseling, as helpful as it may be, can’t achieve true and deep healing.

      I think most negative comments probably originate in a small handful of ways. The “skeptic” is being paid to post or is part of an organization that solicits volunteers to post anti-homeopathy comments. The organization also solicits volunteers to take up fake petitions and file frivolous law suits.

      https://www.centerforinquiry.net/news/harmed_by_homeopathy_cfi_wants_to_hear_from_you/
      https://www.democraticunderground.com/1231986

      “Skeptics” are obviously being told what to post. Their comments are scripted. They all have the same talking points which they repeat over and over again until a new talking point has been scripted. Then, there is the fact that some “skeptics” go to places like James Randi’s web site for advice on what to post. Here’s an example: “Greetings, I’m currently talking to a homeopathy believer (have we ever heard the word “believer” before?) who simply refuse(s) to accept that there’s a great majority of studies that show no evidence in favor of homeopathy. My question is simply if there is a collection of statistics on performed studies along with their results (or lack of results) somewhere……” The poor soul could read all the studies on homeopathy right here on the internet if he wanted to. If he did that, he’d realize that there is not a “great majority” of studies showing no evidence. He might also begin to think about what he’s involved in and what he’s doing. But putting that point aside, the head “skeptic” posts this answer: “I don’t know how educated or otherwise your ‘correspondent’ is but this documentary from the BBC is rather good.” The head “skeptic” must pass this one out a dozen times a day so it’s no wonder we see it used ad nauseum no matter how often people point out that James Randi’s test was debunked.

      https://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=9852895

      I think another group of naysayers is comprised of people who have invested their careers in what they were taught in school. They depend on those careers. Their influence and standing in their fields, their reputations, get a rough jostling when the boat is rocked. It’s easy enough to understand the position these people are in and why they might react negatively to homeopathy.

    • ChristyRedd says:

      Perhaps I should have put it this way to begin with, Laurie: Do I think it’s strange that anti-homeopathy comments are coming from people who don’t use it, don’t practice it and don’t conduct research? I do think it’s sad but perhaps not strange. Homeopathy is a massive threat to the established system of medicine as it has been used to operating over the past 80 years or so. Attempts to discredit it and also to discredit specific people are nothing more than attempts to eliminate or reduce competition. As a past president of the AMA said, “We didn’t fight him (the homeopath) on principle. We fought him because he came to town and got the business.”

    • Laurie Willberg, you wrote: “Does anyone else not find it strange that the anti-homeopathy complaints are not coming from any patients who have actually used it?”
      That is very disingenous: I have cited, not only here but in other internet discussions in which you have participated, my prior experience as a user of, and student of, homeopathy. (In fact, some of my former so-called “friends” have “disowned” me as a consequence of my volte face on this issue.)

      • Laurie Willberg says:

        You have not in any way substantiated that you have the qualifications or experience to utter anything other than speculative remarks or jump to interpretive conclusions about remarks made by others. Perhaps you could cite which school of Homeopathy with which you were/are enrolled since you claim you are a student of Homeopathy?
        I don’t recall any comments made by you on any other internet blogs that are substantially any different from the ones you’ve engaged in here, and you are certainly begging the question by implying that I’m obliged to.
        Militant media Skeptics like you seem to be the most interested in attempting to pillory those who stray from their notions of the “correct” theories and delivering either backhanded swipes or direct insults to those who disagree. This is the fundamental message of skeptic claims to “critical thinking”. And the fundamental response you are entitled to is “Who the hell do you think you are?!”

      • Steve, For the benefit of those reading the comments here who have not seen your prior comments (myself included) about your prior experience(s) with the use of homeopathy as a patient and student, could you post them here?

        • I tell you what, helps4hardtimes, you persuade Janice to give a full answer to my questions about “energy medicine” that she has declined to answer, and I’ll spend some time hacking out my long (and ultimately boring) “personal journey with pseudomedicine”; I might even dig out some images for you as well.

          Deal?

          • Why the condition that I ask someone else to fully answer your questions before you post your ‘long and ultimately boring personal journey’…. I seem to recall demands to homeopathy supporters by skeptics using the standard scripted gotcha phrase, or similar: .”You made the claim, now prove it!” Why should the proof of a claim by you be any different than it would be for me?

            • You wrote: “Why the condition that I ask someone else to fully answer your questions before you post your ‘long and ultimately boring personal journey’”

              I guess it’s really because I’m *very* interested to see how “Janice” responds, if she ever does, to those questions. (All we’ve had so far is a diatribe that doesn’t answer the questions.)

              You continued: ‘ I seem to recall demands to homeopathy supporters by skeptics using the standard scripted gotcha phrase, or similar: .”You made the claim, now prove it!”’

              You have me at a disadvantage: please show me where I’ve made that statement? (I’m presuming here that you are not being hypocritical by holding me to task for someone else’s statements, having just indicated that you don’t want your demand to be tied to someone else’s assertions?

              You concluded, ” Why should the proof of a claim by you be any different than it would be for me?”

              It shouldn’t. I have made no demand of proof from you. But, hey, do you think we should also be making a demand that Janice also provides proof for her assertion?

              • If you don’t know that homeopathy is energy medicine then google homeopathy together with energy medicine and you’ll get millions of results. I certainly don’t have time to summarise those millions of results just for your benefit. Elsewhere on here you quote some classical homeopathy books written by 19th century authors stating that they don’t mention energy medicine. Energy medicine is a term that didn’t come into common usage until the latter part of the 20th century so no you won’t find mention of it in 19th century books. It’s obvious to me that you are clueless about alternative medicine because you don’t know the meaning of the term energy medicine. I am not willing to engage with someone who is utterly clueless on a topic that they claim to be knowledgable about.
                It really is pointless.

                • Oh dear, Janice! You *really* don’t want to answer, do you?

                  So, is it because you don’t actually know what it is yourself, so, in admitting your inability to answer, you would be admitting that, by your own definition, you don’t know anything about homeopathy?

                  Or maybe you realise that the answer is so mind-numbingly implausible that you would make yourself look ridiculous by posting it here?

                  Of couse, if the answer to both those questions is “No”, you can easily prove it by posting acomplete and plausible answer in non-jargonese. I don’t believe you can, but you know how to prove me wrong…

                  • Oh dear Steve, you really don’t know how to be honest do you?

                    First you claim to have studied homeopathy then you claim not to know what energy medicine is.
                    The two statements are incompatible. It’s like a doctor saying that they don’t know what pharmacology is-it is patently ridiculous.

                    Then you show yourself to be utterly dishonest by saying “maybe you realise that the answer is so mind-numbingly implausible” as to make me look ridiculous. Clearly what you mean is that YOU think energy medicine is mind-numblingly implausible.

                    Stop playing games and stop lying. As I have reiterated several times, I’m not engaging in any kind of debate with anyone who is dishonest and not genuinely interested in the debate. You are a sceptic troll with nothing interesting to contribute to the this debate. All you have done is tell one lie after another.

                    • elainelewis says:

                      He claims to have studied homeopathy? How did I miss that! I just apologized to him for suggesting that he might be dishonest! What does he mean by “study homeopathy”? Did he enroll in a school? But he’s in trouble now, Janice. Jerome is holding his feet to the fire, asking some very astute questions! They’re not going to get the usual romp they’re accustomed to when they meet up with us at the bottom of an article!

                    • You wrote: “He claims to have studied homeopathy? How did I miss that! I just apologized to him for suggesting that he might be dishonest! What does he mean by “study homeopathy”? ”

                      See https://jeromeburne.com/2014/04/28/homeopathy-and-the-threat-of-endarkenment/comment-page-2/#comment-11940

                    • elainelewis says:

                      Hello again Steve, you linked me to the following post in response to my question, “What does Steve mean when he says he studied homeopathy? Did he go to a school?”

                      “Oops, sorry, just realised that I didn’t really respond to the “gist” (as opposed ot the actualite) of your post. I will get around to writing up, in detail, the long and boring (and, I promise you, it is both) story of me & pseudomedicine, but I want to do it only once, so I’ll probably do it as a blog post so I can refer to it whenever I am quesioned on that issue. It won’t be any time soon, as I have a load of deadlines coming at me like a swarm of freight-trains, but I’ll try to remember to leave a note here, with a link, when it’s done.”

                      In other words, Steve, your “answer” to the question, “What do you mean you studied homeopathy?” is that won’t answer–too busy; too many deadlines. I have no trouble answering that question. I took a week long intensive with Dr. John R. Christopher on herbology at Omega Institute in upstate NY in 1979. In 1996 I enrolled in the School of Homeopathy in England, a correspondence course. I wasn’t able to finish that course because my daughter (4 y/o) took up all my time. I later enrolled in Dr. Robin Murphy’s Hahnemann Academy of North America and in 2003 I got my diploma and in 2005 I got my certification.
                      See how easy that was? When you’ve really done a particular thing, relaying the information is not difficult at all.

                    • Ms Lewis, you wrote: “See how easy that was?”.

                      Yes. However, my journey to, through, and beyond homeopathy has been much longer and far more convoluted and, as I said, I only want to write it down once. If you *really* can’t understand that and be patient, then tough.

                    • elainelewis says:

                      Thanks for the rudeness there at the end, Steve. It’s just that none of us here can understand why you can’t just say, “I took a class with so-and-so in in 1995. Oh never mind, Steve, never mind, it doesn’t matter. Let me ask you this instead, if homeopathy is just placebo, how was the homeopathic materia medica compiled? You know it’s done with provings, don’t you; which means trials. In a proving, all the provers take the remedy in over-dose–separately–and keep a journal. They can’t confer with each other. What is the likelihood that everyone who proved Arnica “imagined” the same bruised sensation as the other provers, was it just a coincidence? Was it telepathy? But you don’t believe in that either! So how was the materia medica compiled, Steve, let’s hear your theory on that.

                    • “Thanks for the rudeness there at the end, Steve”

                      There was no intended rudeness, merely a statement of fact. If you find facts to be “rude”, I don’t really think that’s my problem, do you?

                      “You know it’s done with provings, don’t you; which means trials.”

                      Actually it tmeans “tests”, as in “proving dough” when bread-making, or “40 degree proof whisky” or “the proof of the pudding i sin hte eating”, etc, but I’ll forgive your ignorance of the language of your own “profession”. (But don’t let “Janice” see it in case she takes it as evidence that you don’t know anything about homeopathy.)

                      ” In a proving, all the provers take the remedy in over-dose–separately–and keep a journal.”

                      I know how a proving is done; I’ve read several. The words “you must be $%&$ joking!” lurched to mind! A whole hotch-potch of symptoms get reported and the homeopath selects a few. In some I’ve read, the homeopath *reporting* it somehow has several people who are supposedly not in touch using *exactly* the same words to describe their “sensations”. Telepathy or fraud or ????

                      “What is the likelihood that everyone who proved Arnica “imagined” the same bruised sensation as the other provers, was it just a coincidence?”

                      You’re begging the question in a somewhat disingenuous way: “everyone who proved Arnica” did not report “the same bruised sensation”. But you already knew that.

                    • Wow, do I seem to have hit a nerve, Janice! Maybe there’s a remedy you can take for all that anger? 🙂

                      Let’s deconstruct this a bit, shall we:

                      You accuse me of lying and your “evidence” is:
                      * You don’t like what I am saying.
                      * I asked you to explain what “energy medicine” is and how it works.

                      Classy!
                      (That was irony, by the way – I thought I ought to flag that up because it’s blatantly obvious that you have been impervious to the irony in my previous posts here.)

                      Elsewhere on here as “evidence” you wrote:
                      “you quote some classical homeopathy books written by 19th century authors stating that they don’t mention energy medicine. Energy medicine is a term that didn’t come into common usage until the latter part of the 20th century so no you won’t find mention of it in 19th century books.”

                      That was royally disingenuous. I cited four books, one of which was never published in the 19th Century at all and two of which were revisions (not reprints, revisions!) from the latter part of the 20th century. Only one of them was a reprint of a 19th Century edition.

                      An analogy is this: I have a “latter part of the 20th century” revision of the Flammarion Book of Astronomy (first published in the 19th century). It has a whole section on satellites (first launch was 77 years after the book was first published) – how do you think that is possible, given that it is, by your definition, “written by 19th century authors”.

                      I am left with an abiding image of someone, who has been caught out being disingenuous, lashing out then shoving her fingers in her ears and screaming “liar, liar, liar!” in the hope that others, and maybe even herself, will come to believe it.

                      Hook, Line, Sinker.

                    • Steve I’m not quite sure how my original point has led to you citing 19th century authors in an effort to prove that you have never heard the term ‘energy medicine’. My original point remains the same:
                      BBC Horizon were looking for material doses in energy medicine-in that respect it was set up to fail so it doesn’t prove anything.

                      You clearly DO have an understanding of energy medicine because, as you stated, you believe it is “mind-numbingly implausible”. So please don’t lie and say you have never heard of it. You’ve been sounded out all over this blog page and you are now embarrassing yourself. I certainly don’t know what point you are trying to make-you are not adding to the debate. You are just creating diversions, As Jerome has already pointed out.

                      Your last response seems somewhat scattered and if I may so, somewhat confused. A long ramble about publishing reprints in an effort to show…what? What exactly is it that you think I am angry about? You have a picture of me screaming with my fingers in my ears? I simply made the above points about the Horizon program and have expressed my doubt that you have ever been a student of homeopathy-and I am not alone in this-it is blatantly obvious.

                      Your sarcastic tirade and ‘deconstruction’ makes little sense to me. What is your point? That I do your bidding and write a precis of the vast area of energy medicine-just for your benefit? Just why exactly are you on a blog about energy medicine when you don’t know what it is??
                      I hardly feel like pandering to the wishes of a troll who has shown themselves to be dishonest and frankly-nothing more than a pseudosceptic sceptic loon out to disrupt a good discussion

                    • Janice, you wrote: “Steve I’m not quite sure how my original point has led to you citing 19th century authors in an effort to prove that you have never heard the term ‘energy medicine’. ”

                      More disingenuity, Janice: my citing of 10th AND 20TH century authors was in direct response (as is obvious form the context) to your assertion that “ANYONE with any knowledge of homeopathy knows that homeopathy is energy medicine”.

                      “You clearly DO have an understanding of energy medicine”

                      Oh, do make up your mind, Janice. First of all you claim that I cannopt know anything about homeopathy because I don’t know what energy medicine is. Now you claim that I *do* know what energy medicine is (so, by your reasoning, I now do know about homeopathy).

                      You continued: ‘ you stated, you believe it is “mind-numbingly implausible”.’

                      That is demonstrably untrue. I was asking you a quesstion, Janice. There is a clue: a question mark at the end. Is your untruthful accusation that I stated somethign that I didn’t just another red herring designed to conceal the fact that you have dodged yet another question?

                      You then said: “I[…]have expressed my doubt that you have ever been a student of homeopathy”

                      You are entitled to have – and express – doubts. What you are not entitled to do is is accuse me of lying without evidence. I presume you will have the decency to apologise when you see the contrary evidence in my blog?

                      (Clue: that was irony as well: I presume nothing of the sort)

                      But it is nice of you to confirm, yet again, that you are not prepared to answer my questions to you on what “energy medicine” is and how it works.

                    • Steve let’s face it-this is becoming boring. I will try to be as clear as I can. I am disputing the fact that you have ever studied homeopathy. Ask any homeopath if they agree that homeopathy is synonymous with energy medicine and the answer will be a resounding YES. When you say you have studied homeopathy, you cannot mean at any practitioner level because you would then agree with all homeopathic practitioners that homeopathy is synonymous with energy medicine. You may well have read some old books that don’t use the word energy medicine but in modern homeopathy-homeopaths see homeopathy as energy medicine. You can debate the validity of this all you like but ask a homeopath and you will find it to be true.

                      It is for these reasons that I dispute your claim to have studied homeopathy, rather you should stick with saying that you have read a few books. Yes i can doubly confirm that I am not prepared to answer your questions on what “energy medicine” is and how it works. First and foremost I think you are highly disingenuous on just about every level-with demonstrably poor knowledge around alternative medicine-whilst blatantly lying and saying you have been a homeopathy student!
                      It is not my job to educate someone who has made it a crusade to attack the thing they claim they want to be educated about. Do you really think I have time to elucidate on such a vast subject area for the benefit of a time waster? The answer is no. Look into it for yourself and if you find it not to your liking, then don’t opt for energy medicine therapies. Fair enough isn’t it?

                    • You wrote: “Steve let’s face it-this is becoming boring.”
                      Indeed; the most boring things about it are (a) that you will not (presumably because you cannot) answer the simple questions about “energy medicine” even though you *claim* to know what it is and how it works, (b) you keep calling me a liar, even though you have not presented a shred of evidence for this, (c) you keep making things up (e.g things htat you pretend I have said, or that 20th century authors are 19th century). I have rarely encountered such a gish-gallop of rampant disingenuity.
                      “I am disputing the fact that you have ever studied homeopathy.”
                      Dispute away. Just be prepared to apologise when you are shown to be wrong (nah, you would never do that; you’d find some trumped up excuse, just as you have for not being able to answer the “energy medicine” questions).
                      “Ask any homeopath if they agree that homeopathy is synonymous with energy medicine and the answer will be a resounding YES.”
                      Again, simply untrue! John Hughes-Games, for example, did not hold that view.
                      “you cannot mean at any practitioner level”
                      More disingenuity! Why are you now pretending that I ever claimed to study it “at practioner level”. All I wrote was that I have studied homeopathy. Whether or not you like it, it is true.
                      Waiting for the next round of excuses, disingenuity and abuse from you….

            • Oops, sorry, just realised that I didn’t really respond to the “gist” (as opposed ot the actualite) of your post. I will get around to writing up, in detail, the long and boring (and, I promise you, it is both) story of me & pseudomedicine, but I want to do it only once, so I’ll probably do it as a blog post so I can refer to it whenever I am quesioned on that issue. It won’t be any time soon, as I have a load of deadlines coming at me like a swarm of freight-trains, but I’ll try to remember to leave a note here, with a link, when it’s done.

              • Why not a short excerpt in the interim?

                • Why not be patient?

                  • Need more time Steve? Been a week since you said: “I will get around to writing up, in detail, the long and boring (and, I promise you, it is both) story of me & pseudomedicine, but I want to do it only once, so I’ll probably do it as a blog post so I can refer to it whenever I am quesioned on that issue. It won’t be any time soon, as I have a load of deadlines coming at me like a swarm of freight-trains, but I’ll try to remember to leave a note here, with a link, when it’s done.”

                    • You wrote: “Need more time Steve?”

                      Yes. I’m about 1/3 of the way through; I’ve got up to 1985. If you don’t like that, tough.

                • Laurie Willberg has kindly posted a three part video about Homeopathy in relation to energy-based medicine. You’l find it in posts from today (May 13th). It covers far more ground and in far more detail than I could in ‘a short excerpt’. I hope that helps.

                  • Ah excuse me helps4hardtimes, I thought you were requesting information from me. My mistake.
                    I can’t really see Steve posting a short excerpt about anything but I suppose we shall see.

              • Hello “Steve” or should I say Alan Henness. How’s the “Nightingale Collaboration” doing these days-is this what you do with yourself since ASA asked you to refrain from sending in hundreds of complaints about homeopaths? You simply cannot hide yourself behind your friend and fellow humanist’s name-“Steve Tompkins”- your gish-gallop of disingenuity, pompous and arrogant tone and slippery ways will always show you for who you really are. So you admit you’ve never studied homeopathy at practitioner level-jaw dropping surprise-not! What you might have done, although I doubt it, is read a few books. That doesn’t qualify you to comment in any authoritative way on healthcare matters and definitely not at all about RCT’s. I would have thought you would have shut up and gone away by now after you were shown to be the pseudo sceptic loon that you are in a BMJ discussion-funny!
                “In his comments, it is clear that Alan Henness has not understood the distinctions between an observational study of a population; a randomised controlled trial using a sample of a population; and the need and reasons to randomise the sample in the latter, but not the former. This distinction is covered in most books on basic medical statistics, to which I direct his kind attention.”
                “The people of Eastern Cuba may count themselves fortunate that Alan Henness is not their Chief Medical Officer.”

                http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e6184/rr/610750

                • elainelewis says:

                  Janice, I forgot all about the “sending in fake complaints” about homeopaths, but why should that surprise me? Do they pretend to be patients of said homeopaths? And then what do they claim happened to them as patients and what is their goal in doing that?

                  • No it seems to be that Alan Henness via the Nightingale Collaboration, that he set up with money from Simon Singh, set about sending complaints en masse to ASA about homeopaths websites. The thrust seems to be complaints that homeopaths claim to treat particular diseases. ASA is funded by advertisers and as such doesn’t have any real authority. What Alan has failed to realise in his campaign is that homeopaths treat people. For example, if I went to a doctor’s saying I was feeling down and had trouble sleeping and no appetite, the doctor would send me away with anti-depressants or sleeping pills. If I went to a homeopath, I would be asked lots of questions to get to the root of the problem. Let’s just say, by way of example, that the root of my problem was a bereavement. The homeopath would then give me a remedy to help me with that personal loss. So for homeopaths it is not about treating ‘diseases’ but about finding the root of the problem and dealing with that. It is really of no consequence to homeopaths to talk about diseases but the sceptic community fail to understand this. As such any campaign by sceptics to prevent homeopaths from talking about diseases-is misdirected. It totally misses the point of homeopathy. As I said in my earlier posts-the whole sceptic debacle is pointless.

                • ” So you admit you’ve never studied homeopathy at practitioner level-jaw dropping surprise-not!”

                  What are you on about? You make some big deal about my never having done something that I’ve never claimed to have done! I might as well say to you, “So you admit you’ve never removed a splinter from a flea’s left-rear tarsus using a pair of boxing gloves as tweezers -jaw dropping surprise-not!” Just as nonsensical!

                  • Well I’m glad we are clear now. Misunderstandings online are inevitable. Now that you have confirmed for us that you have never studied homeopathy on a practionioner course I can only conclude that you are perhaps not the best person to challenge qualified homeopaths about the core concepts around homeopathy. It is clear that you definitely don’t understand that Classical Homeopathy is merely a framework. You keep quoting snippets from Classical texts as though this is all homeopaths work with. Modern homeopathy combines aspects of Classical homeopathy with a practical approach that has been informed by new understandings of health, science and eastern approaches to health over the last 200 years. New provings take place all the time but you won’t find these in the common Classical texts which are generally from the 1800’s and 1900’s. The fact that you are ‘unaware’ of modern homeopathic philosophy and practices-further evidences your unsuitablility to comment with any authorative on anything homeopathic.

                    And one further point, you claim to have knowledge of homeopathy and happily challenge every homeopath on this blog and yet you refer to homeopaths as “homeopathists”. I have never of any homeopathic course, homeopath or homeopathic practice that uses the word “homeopathists”….
                    it really does point to, at best-a very weak or at worst-a fabricated knowledge of homeopathy.
                    If you can’t even spell the word correctly, is anything else you have to say about Homeopaths of any value at all? I would have to conclude that the answer is a resounding NO.

                    • You wrote: “If you can’t even spell the word correctly”

                      Oh dear! Is English not your first language? In which case, this explains your inability to reason in that language. Because, surely, if it was your first language, you would have to admit to knowing sweet Fatty Arbuckle about homeopathy because you are unaware of the meaning of “homeopathist”: one who uses or practices homeopathy. See, inter alia, http://www.onelook.com/?other=web1913&w=Homeopathist

                    • elainelewis says:

                      Janice, homeopathist is an archaic term, it’s not in use anymore. Why they’re using it, who they got it from or why, I don’t know.

Trackbacks

  1. 18 and abused account

    Homeopathy and the threat of endarkenment –  Body of Evidence

  2. seo outsourcing services

    Homeopathy and the threat of endarkenment –  Body of Evidence

  3. […] What I’m speaking of is Jerome Burne’s natty blog, BODY OF EVIDENCE, and this is the way it should be. The latest entry, the one in reference here, is entitled Homeopathy and the Threat of Endarkenment. […]

%d bloggers like this: