Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 04, 2016, 04:13:02 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Last post Author Topic: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective  (Read 15091 times)

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2007, 11:24:15 AM »
thanks Darwin for taking the trouble

It's easy for me to say what I've said - if someone aggravates me, I react too.. or if I frustrated or whatever
Suppose I just expect more in scientific debate/commentary .. but then why should I...

Think of it this way -
say if you supported an Anthropological theory that had no scientific backing but for some reason you had belief in it,
then you read an article about it by a member of the establishment* where in the first line they're talking about "quackery" or the anthropological equivalent (hoaxery maybe) - I reckon that would get your back up.
Well,
that's how Ben Goldacre starts his article.
Thats why I say what I've been saying - it's harder to see I think when you either agree or are disinterested/neutral

* the establishment which is very conservative, tends to react very strongly to new ideas from inside or out, or old ideas (even though they, or the drug companies I should say are now making drugs from herbs for example that were scoffed at as remedies at for years) etc.etc.
-
In fact the more I write in this thread the more I realise my problem is really that I am [unfortunately] a very disillusioned patient of modern medicine.
I think this is the reason people are turning in droves to alternative treatments, very many of which are much scarier than you who have posted above find homeopathy...[this, naturally, is not a defence of homeopathy!]

I think I've made my point about 20 ways at this stage so will retire to my life

PS nontroppo: I agree with you it is appalling behaviour on the part of the SoH threatening to sue bloggers speaking against them.
Doesnt do them any favours does it!
Tom

nontroppo

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 649
  • spinning top
    • View Profile
    • nontroppo.org
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2007, 12:38:19 PM »
Quote
Judging by what he's saying, he is reacting against, well, lots.
But unfortunately reacting is a key word.

I don't see this as a reactionary piece at all. Most of the article constructively talks about evidence-based medicine and the basic mechanics of the scientific method. The first couple of paragraphs and the last probably contain what you feel is offensive.

Quote
And there is the rub. Because Winterson tries to tell us - like every other homeopathy fan - that for some mystical reason, which is never made entirely clear, the healing powers of homeopathic pills are special, and so their benefits cannot be tested like every other pill

This may seem offensive, but it is merely accurate. Homeopathy is based on mysticism. If one is offended by that I'd imagine it is because one feels mysticism is negatively construed. Ben makes it very clear that that mysticism is valuable, and makes the placebo effect stronger. But when one takes the mysticism and pushes it into the realm of life-threatening ailments, adds misleading use of the scientific method, and makes un-validated claims as if they were as factual as anything else, there is valid cause for concern.

His first paragraph, aimed squarely at Jeanette Winterson, *was* pretty caustic. But rightly so, she is craftily evasive as only a Politician could be on HIV (dismissive of HIV virus revisionists then wooly over what she believes the clinic she sent her fee for the article actually does), and her silly use of pseudo-science jargon words was rightly critiqued, it was deliberate word abuse to sound convincing.

The "dialog" between his fictional homeopathy fan and critic is pretty sympathetic to the fan:

Quote
So let's imagine that we are talking to a fan of homeopathy, one who is both intelligent and reflective. "Look," they begin, "all I know is that I feel better when I take a homeopathic pill." OK, you reply. We absolutely accept that. Nobody can take that away from the homeopathy fan.

It is not however sympathetic to the evasive defense of homeopathy, because the scientific method cannot be sympathetic. He is not emotionally blasting homeopathy, but giving a clear trail of empirical data for the majority of the article as to why we cannot deal with homeopathy using a method which has given us so much.

Quote
But when they're suing people instead of arguing with them, telling people not to take their medical treatments, killing patients, running conferences on HIV fantasies, undermining the public's understanding of evidence and, crucially, showing absolutely no sign of ever being able to engage in a sensible conversation about the perfectly simple ethical and cultural problems that their practice faces, I think: these people are just morons. I can't help that: I'm human.

Note where the "moron" is being directed to. It is *not* aimed at all homeopaths, but those who have been obstructive, deceptive and antagonistic. There have been recorded cases where the malarial advice they gave has resulted in deaths, and their regulatory body has failed an investigation -- this is important stuff! He also gives the clear suffix that naming those obstructive homeopaths morons is his emotional response to such behavior.

To reiterate: IMO the vast majority of the article is constructive, and not some emotional tirade aimed at hurting people. His first paragraph is specifically dismissive of Wintertons article (not all homeopaths), and his last paragraph is clearly framed as an emotional response to those homeopaths who have exhibited despicable behaviour.

edit: typo correction
FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 05:00:17 PM by nontroppo »

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,713
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2007, 03:11:53 PM »
I agree wholeheartedly with nontroppo's statements in this post. Though I'm only quoting his summary, the entire post is a good explanation of my opinion on the article's tone.

To reiterate: IMO the vast majority of the article is constructive, and not some emotional tirade aimed at hurting people. His first paragraph is specifically dismissive of Wintertons article (not all homeopaths), and his last paragraphs is clearly framed as an emotional response to those homeopaths who have exhibited despicable behaviour.


Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2007, 03:27:11 PM »
Lashiec - don't even get me started on the scientific method. One of the great trials of daily life is dealing with people who absolutely refuse to accept the differences between an hypothesis, a theory, and a law. How many times have you heard something dismissed as being "just" a theory?

Hey, Darwin, more reading for you :)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,713
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2007, 04:17:00 PM »
Lashiec - don't even get me started on the scientific method. One of the great trials of daily life is dealing with people who absolutely refuse to accept the differences between an hypothesis, a theory, and a law. How many times have you heard something dismissed as being "just" a theory?

I dismiss stuff as being "just" a theory all the time. For instance, speaking of Darwin, the theory of evolution. But I'm one of those people who don't like to use words incorrectly, so I'd be happy for you to point out the error of my ways and I'll live a better life using words properly.

« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 04:19:40 PM by Deozaan »

nontroppo

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 649
  • spinning top
    • View Profile
    • nontroppo.org
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2007, 04:51:51 PM »
Quote
Theory: A theory is more like a scientific law than a hypothesis. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. One scientist cannot create a theory; he can only create a hypothesis. ...both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology.
http://wilstar.com/theories.htm
FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2007, 04:54:43 PM »
The first couple of paragraphs and the last probably contain what you feel is offensive.
true, designed to put off any one with any homeopathic sympathies
WHY put an article in an offensive sandwich???

Someone said in an earlier post it would be nice if there was more debate
I say simply:
this article will not encourage any debate.
He says it is not an attack.
The Lancet article, if you have read it, is not an attack - it is a model article - brief, succinct, referenced, to the point.
The Guardian article unfortunately is an attack.

First sentence:
"There are some aspects of quackery that are harmless - childish even - and there are some that are very serious indeed."
nontroppo -
imagine if someone said something like that about your career for example or something you believe in?
Maybe you are the type to smile nonchonantly but most people arent - they get their backup

I am not defending homeopathy or attacking this facts quoted in this article.
(so there's no need to argue them with me at any rate)
I am simply saying he is damaging his own case if he really wants to get talking to the homeopathic community
Tom

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,713
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2007, 05:01:11 PM »
Quote
Theory: A theory is more like a scientific law than a hypothesis. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. One scientist cannot create a theory; he can only create a hypothesis. ...both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology.
http://wilstar.com/theories.htm

Thanks. That's helpful. But I'm a little confused about this part:

Quote
Development of a Simple Theory by the Scientific Method:

    * Observation: Every swan I've ever seen is white.
    * Hypothesis: All swans must be white.
    * Test: A random sampling of swans from each continent where swans are indigenous produces only white swans.
    * Publication: "My global research has indicated that swans are always white, wherever they are observed."
    * Verification: Every swan any other scientist has ever observed in any country has always been white.
    * Theory: All swans are white.

Prediction: The next swan I see will be white.

Note, however, that although the prediction is useful, the theory does not absolutely prove that the next swan I see will be white. Thus it is said to be falsifiable. If anyone ever saw a black swan, the theory would have to be tweaked or thrown out. Real scientific theories must be falsifiable. So-called "theories" based on religion, such as creationism or intelligent design are, therefore, not scientific theories. They are not falsifiable and they do not follow the scientific method.

So if there's a chance it could be proved wrong (it's falsifiable), it's a theory. But if there's no chance it could be proved wrong (creationism/intelligent design), it's not able to be a theory?


CWuestefeld

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,001
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2007, 05:06:38 PM »
Yes, most people seem to associate "theory" with the idea that "hypothesis" is meant to convey. Any theory (speaking currently, not of history) is much more than a guess. It started life that way, but has been subjected to testing to verify its ability to explain the observed phenomena. Sometimes experimentation reveals that a theory is flawed, and it's discarded (e.g., the idea that everything revolves around the Earth, and the invention of "epicycles" to explain the motion of the heavenly bodies). Other times it just needs tweaking, like with Newton's laws of motion: Einstein showed that in some circumstances Newton's laws break down, but they're still good for explaining day-to-day phenomena.

It's simply incorrect to dismiss something because it's only a theory. In the world of science, there is nothing more certain than a theory. Nothing is ironclad, precisely because scientists, at least in principle, are always open to the possibility that something will force them to change their world view.

But the fact is that is that there is very little in this universe that is known with any more certainty than Einstein's or Darwin's theories. Anyone dismissing Darwin in favor of another explanation is, from a scientific point of view, ignorant or attempt to mislead.

CWuestefeld

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,001
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2007, 05:09:11 PM »
The Guardian article unfortunately is an attack... imagine if someone said something like that about your career for example or something you believe in? Maybe you are the type to smile nonchonantly but most people arent - they get their backup
At some point even the most reasonable person can't be expected to be patient with people who are sticking their heads in the sand. At some point you have to stop treating them with kid gloves and be blunt.

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2007, 05:14:38 PM »
Deozaan - I don't have a problem with you rejecting Darwinism and/or evolution but puh-lease don't dismiss it as just a theory! When you do so, what you are really implying is that it is just an educated guess, and an untested one at that. In reality, what you should be saying is that is an hypothesis (although as we'll see even an hypothesis is much more than "merely" an educated guess). A very simplistic definition of an hypothesis is that it is an educated guess. What we mean by an educated guess is that when we seek to explain some phenomenon or phenomena that we observe around us we draw upon existing knowledge to explain it - ie  we generally base hypotheses on previous observations or on extensions of scientific theories. Key to being able to describe an educated guess as being a hypothesis rather than, well, a random guess, is that a hypothesis must be both falsifiable and repeatable. So, anyone reading the hypothesis should be able to test it themselves and it must be possible to negate the hypothesis - ie provie it wrong. This does not mean that all hypotheses must be wrong, what it means is that it must be possible to come up with If...then statements to test it with. That is, if my hypothesis is true, then x,y, and z must also be true (or be wrong). So, if an hypothesis is tested against one of these (or many of these) if...then statements and the statement holds true, the hypothesis has passed that test. Two points here, even though the hypothesis passes a particular test it may fail another one today, tomorrow or a thousand years from now. Thus, no hypothesis is ever proven to be 100% true. Rather, hypothese can only ever be proven wrong. Now, a theory is a hypothesis, or group of hypotheses, that have been tested many, many times and that have thus far passed every test. A theory, then is a very rigorously tested scientific explanation for something. Finally, a law is a theory that has been tested so many times that no one expects it to fail and eveyone accepts as being as close to "true" as we can hope to get. Note though that if a law were to fail a verified scientific experiment and if the results are replicable the law would have to be rejected.

Wow. While I typed this the thread has moved on! As nontroppo correctly notes, individuals come up with hypotheses while theories are the result of many individuals working independently on the same problem. Deozaan - you are right: if a statement or series of statements cannot be falsified (ie there is no conceivable event/observation/outcome that would lead to it being rejected) then it is not a theory.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

nontroppo

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 649
  • spinning top
    • View Profile
    • nontroppo.org
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2007, 05:26:16 PM »
Quote
"There are some aspects of quackery that are harmless - childish even - and there are some that are very serious indeed."
nontroppo -
imagine if someone said something like that about your career for example or something you believe in?

Yes I suppose I would have replaced the word "quack"[1] with "mysticism" if I was him. But as a scientist, I engage with criticism and welcome it, even if it is a post-modernist telling me science is nothing more than a social construction and pure human fantasy ;-) The majority of the post was gentle and I'd hope those serious about homeopathy would not just stop reading at the first sentence.

----
[1] Though as homeopathy can show no significant medical efficacy above placebo, to continue convincing people it works better than placebo (and taking their money for it, homeopathy ain't cheap) is debatably closer to quack than mystic...

FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2007, 05:27:55 PM »
Just found this quote about theories from Stephen Hawking courtesy of wikipedia:

Quote
a theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model which contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations". He goes on to state, "any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis; you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation which disagrees with the predictions of the theory.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

nontroppo

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 649
  • spinning top
    • View Profile
    • nontroppo.org
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2007, 05:36:32 PM »
Quote
Anyone dismissing Darwin in favor of another explanation is, from a scientific point of view, ignorant or attempt to mislead.
This is maybe for another thread, but some critiques of the theory of evolution are cogent, articulate and thoughtful. The jump from micro to macro evolution is a battleground that is not yet cleared... That there are many unresolved holes in ToE does not imply that the alternatives are somehow better though ;-)

Quote
So if there's a chance it could be proved wrong (it's falsifiable), it's a theory. But if there's no chance it could be proved wrong (creationism/intelligent design), it's not able to be a theory?

Yup, it becomes a belief, or a dogma. Note there are scientists who are stubbornly dogmatic and would probably twist evidence to maintain their dogma. Scientists are human; sharing mankinds foibles, power trips and irrationality. The scientific method is simply the best way to keep overall progress running forward in spite of this ;)

Quote
On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation which disagrees with the predictions of the theory.

Which is why one black swan is so much more valuable than a lake full of white swans...
FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]

Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,713
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2007, 05:55:31 PM »
Wow. While I typed this the thread has moved on! As nontroppo correctly notes, individuals come up with hypotheses while theories are the result of many individuals working independently on the same problem. Deozaan - you are right: if a statement or series of statements cannot be falsified (ie there is no conceivable event/observation/outcome that would lead to it being rejected) then it is not a theory.

Thanks for the great explanation. But I'm still a little confused. I think a lot of it probably has to do with the way the layman has mixed up those words, for instance, many times people will say "My theory is because [blah]..." to describe a situation. So perhaps there's room for the distinction between a scientific theory, which follows the scientific method and meets the aforementioned definition, and just a regular old theory, which is more like the basic definition of a hypothesis.

But right now, as I'm trying to adjust my own personal definition of these words, and re-categorize things (if necessary) based on these definitions, I'm left wondering how there can be any observed and verified conclusions to theories such as big-bang, darwinism.

Some of the articles I've just read from this thread said that evolution has tons of undebatable evidence, but I don't see where. Sure, we have fossils and bones, and in some cases preserved corpses of old creatures, but how does that prove that these creatures are pre-evolutions of any other creatures? I know it can't be proven, but why is it accepted as as factual as it can be when perhaps maybe they were just different creatures that are now extinct? How can it be accepted as true when it's just as likely that evolution doesn't exist and there have just been a bunch of creatures over the eons that have similar features?

I'm not trying to get into an argument against darwinism. I'm just trying to figure out how it has been verified, since evolution is a scientific theory, and the definition of a scientific theory is something that has repeatedly been verified. I guess what I'm asking is, what are the If...Then tests that have passed?

I'm also curious about the Big Bang theory. How can we verify something that happened zillions of years ago when no one was around to witness? How did that change from an educated guess to a scientific theory that has been verified repeatedly and become "accepted as true by the scientific community as a whole"? What tests did that hypothesis pass to become a theory?


Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,713
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #40 on: November 27, 2007, 06:04:51 PM »
Quote
So if there's a chance it could be proved wrong (it's falsifiable), it's a theory. But if there's no chance it could be proved wrong (creationism/intelligent design), it's not able to be a theory?

Yup, it becomes a belief, or a dogma.

But what if there's a chance it could be proven right? Hypothetically, if Christians are right about their beliefs, eventually Christ will return and everyone would know there is a God, He created the world/universe (disproving the Big Bang theory), He created mankind (disproving the theory of Evolution), etc. I'm not trying to get into a religious debate. I'm honestly just curious about this from a scientific standpoint.

It's an odd situation because it can't ever be disproved, but it could potentially be proved.


Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2007, 06:53:12 PM »
But what if there's a chance it could be proven right? Hypothetically, if Christians are right about their beliefs, eventually Christ will return and everyone would know there is a God, He created the world/universe (disproving the Big Bang theory), He created mankind (disproving the theory of Evolution), etc. I'm not trying to get into a religious debate. I'm honestly just curious about this from a scientific standpoint.

It's an odd situation because it can't ever be disproved, but it could potentially be proved.

Absolutely, but it still doesn't qualify as a scientifically explorable proposition (did that sound good? I just made it up  :P Aw, c'mon...) because the key criterion is that the explanation must be falsifiable, not proveable. This doesn't invalidate your point of view or make you "wrong" it simply means that at a practical level Christian beliefs cannot be investigated scientifically. Why? Because we have no way of either proving or disproving the existence of something that is absent (ie that is not directly observable). Which is a hamfisted way of saying that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Armando

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,727
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2007, 06:55:45 PM »
[OUps : erased my post by mistake — trying to clear up the mess now…]

You guys...  ;D Wow, this thread is taking quite a turn...

First - I think that jumping from a “debate” about the efficacy of homeopathy as a remedy (ie : better than a placebo) to a discussion about evolution theory and then… Christ resurrection…  is quite a leap...!!! :)

Second -  I hope that those who want to discuss and question Darwinism (or neo-Darwinism for that matter) are well read because it's an immensely complex subject -- not one you can pretend understanding in all its important subtleties in a few days of reading... or even a couple years of intense study!! Are you guys prepared to talk about intelligent DNA auto-reorganization under environmental stress ? Genomic transformations in response to the environment ? the difference between genetic mutations and normal gene behavior ? Etc. I’m not… it’s not just about a “bunch of dead bones” anymore.

Third - Darwin (our darwin  ;) ) and nontroppo remind me how very very few people seem to understand what a hypothesis, a theory, a law, a thesis, etc. are. And maybe even less know what "the" essence of the scientific method is. I'm confronted to that fact almost every week. I wouldn’t care too much  about that situation if I was only talking about everyday life here (talking to my brothers, father, mother, friends…), but what  I consider "alarming" (and almost painful) is that I’m talking about masters and PhD level students (granted, most of them are in the arts field, but still!).   :Thmbsup:

Fourth - As far as many are concerned... scientific inquiry, scientific method is still the best known way to disclose "valid" or "invalid" knowledge. And, even in everyday life, it just makes more sense to apply a hypothesis that works (worked) 99% of the time, than a hypothesis that works only 80% of the time (assuming you’re using it for the right purpose)… And it makes complete sense to follow a law that works 100% of the time (until proven false), than a hypothesis that works only 90% of the time…

Fifth - Tomos nontroppo : your black swan image is nice, but it doesn’t say much without any contextualization. What proposition are we trying to refute here : “all swans are white” ? “most swans are white” ? etc.  In the same manner, if there should be any meaningful debate about homeopathy, evolution, etc., it should always be about precise aspects, and IMO it should be backed up with serious studies (preferably multiple) ..

Sixth - Back to the validity of homeopathy as a medical treatment… I don’t want to beat a dead horse but… Why would one pay for a tasteless and “nutritionless” placebo :) ? My (and most probably other’s…) main problem with homeopathy is not only the absence studies showing that it actually “works”, but ALSO the absence of regulation around their selling (the fact that it’s sold under false propositions). It’s a serious issue, it’s unethical (I’m aware that some other medication fall in the same category, but I’m talking about homwpathy here).

I’d rather have vegetables instead… Or fine chocolate… While imagining it’s a miracle cure for my chronic disease.

BTW : some stuff is identified as being homeopathic when it’s not even that. Here, some highly concentrated herbs or vegetable extracts (like Echinacea) are sold under the homeopathic “tag” — No wonder “homeopathy” works! :)
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 07:09:54 PM by Armando »

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #43 on: November 27, 2007, 07:03:10 PM »
Tomos : your black swan image is nice, but it doesn’t say much without any contextualization. What proposition are we trying to refute here : “all swans are white” ? “most swans are white” ? etc.  In the same manner, if there should be any meaningful debate about homeopathy, evolution, etc., it should always be about precise aspects, and IMO it should be backed up with serious studies (preferably multiple) ..

eh,
I think you got me and the black swan out of context there Amando -
I didnt say anything about a white swan :) or a black one either... :D
Tom

Armando

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,727
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2007, 07:07:54 PM »
You're right! it was nontroppo. Bad nontroppo.  And bad BAD me, of course  ;)

edit : (in light of what Darwin just wrote) that white/black swan mix-up is actually quite funny ;D...
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 07:14:35 PM by Armando »

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #45 on: November 27, 2007, 07:10:35 PM »
You're just a black sheep, Tom? :o
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

nontroppo

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 649
  • spinning top
    • View Profile
    • nontroppo.org
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #46 on: November 27, 2007, 07:33:41 PM »
Armando: ah, rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno...
Quote
For some 1500 years the black swan existed in the European imagination as a metaphor for that which could not exist.
FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]

tinjaw

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,927
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #47 on: November 27, 2007, 07:37:35 PM »
As I have stated in these forums in the past, I am an Athiest. So I think this is about the time where I jump into this thread and say that I believe in homeopathy because I have personally have eaten several babies and felt better almost immediately. They were grown at home and not under FDA regulation or some large drug company.

Did you hear about the biologist who had twins? She baptized one and kept the other as a control.

Evolution is God's way of issuing upgrades.

Man did not originate from a monkey, but from two monkeys...

Plus, anybody on a forum with a name like Darwin must be a Jesuit Priest.

Armando

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,727
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #48 on: November 27, 2007, 07:40:37 PM »
Armando: ah, rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno...
Quote
For some 1500 years the black swan existed in the European imagination as a metaphor for that which could not exist.

Thanks nontroppo.  :)

Darwin must be a Jesuit Priest

I suggest creating a poll to sort that one out.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 07:44:44 PM by Armando »

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Interesting article on homeopathy - from a medical perspective
« Reply #49 on: November 27, 2007, 07:41:23 PM »
You're just a black sheep, Tom? :o
nope,
I'm a piebald :P

nice read about the black swans there nontroppo
Tom