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  1. #41
    Road Dawg

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    My hard drive died, so it took me a couple of days to get back into full operation. Here's a basic primer on what homeopathy really is. When you realize that there are doctors treating breast cancer with filtered water (I have encountered and challenged one to sue me for calling him a quack in public, and he declined) it becomes a serious matter.

    It is based on the principle that like cures like. So if you have itches then you are treated with poison ivy. If your skin is blue they might treat you with a dilution of colloidal silver, yet the cause could be too much colloidal silver, cyanosis, Reynaud's syndrome, or that the sufferer is a WereSmurf.

    The "active" ingredient is added to water, and shaken or beaten against an object. It is then diluted again and again under the assertion that the more dilute the mixture is the more potent it becomes.

    Mixtures are calculated exponentailly, and a 30C dilution would require more water than is available in this galaxy. At 12C you'd be lucky to find a single molecule of the original ingredient.

    Vendors of homeopathic remedies will claim that this is because water has a "memory" for the ingredient. This doesn't refer to solution but an apologetics claim that the molecules take on a memory of the ingredient they encounter. There are two straightforward counters to this claim:

    1: Assuming water did have a memory then any water involved then must have a memory of any and all contaminants or chemicals leaching out of the container. Every glass of water would be poisonous. Rain would kill you.

    2: On a molecular level they are claiming that the H20 water molecule is capable of reproducing the molecular configuration of a more complex molecule. Try this experiment: Take 3 marbles. Now try and move them so that they represent a molecule of alcohol. If you can make 3 marbles assume a shape that requires 9 marbles you have succeeded at homeopathic claims.

    Additionally homeopathic remedies are often dripped on to sugar pills and sold in dry form. Are we to expect that sugar has a memory as well?

    Homeopathy is not based on physics, chemistry, or medicine. It's "inventor" offered no scientific evidence of it's effectiveness. In fact no scientific study has shown it to be effective. PubMed is an excellent source of papers on the analyses of various quack medicines. (see below)

    The most common use of homeopathic remedies is for the treatment of "self limiting illnesses", those which end on their own due to the immune system or the lifespan of an infection. When a person with a cold takes a remedy of any sort and then gets better in 3 days, they may ascribe it to the remedy itself even if it did nothing to aid in the cure of an illness that typically lasts 2 to 7 days. Echinacea has been claimed to prevent colds for a long time. Studies show it has no effect on colds. But people will assume that if they're taking it and don't get a cold it was responsible.

    This assumptive trait is known as 'confirmation bias' and can be seen quite often manifesting in superstitious actions like carrying a lucky penny, or throwing salt over one's shoulder. But it also works in pretty much any concept we are likely to find ourselves in agreement with. It's why "psychics" are able to amaze people with cold readings. We have a natural tendency to remember the hits, which they focus on, than the misses, which they dash past.

    But returning to the original claims of sympathetic medicine in which like cures like, the presumption is that a given treatment should have an effect on a malady that appears similar. Even if the treatment were more than filtered water the matter of the mechanism in which the treatment and the malady affect the recipient must be brought into question. Proteins, alkaloids, histamines, and other widely varying interactive molecules are treated like modern technology doesn't actually know how they interact with the body and are prescribed by the homeopath based on what can only be described a superficial resemblance between causes and effects whic fails to stand up to scrutiny.

    And to sum up with one last point: the placebo effect does not work on dogs So if the placebo effect benefits you in a minor ailment then maybe it will be worth it. But for treating a dog it's just handing over money.

    Wikipedia has a great writeup on it. As usual, check the article sources.

    Pubmed meta-analyses.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10853874
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16125589

  2. #42
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Lilmamamudd's Avatar

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    I understand nothing of that but hey glad you do your research
    Being trained by Pyr...

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