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Gerald O'brian

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Should we let homeopathy be?

The biggest dilemma for me is that placebo is proven to work better if the physician also believes he's giving real medecine. In this view, homeopathy is the perfect placebo. Even the people making it, through laborious dilutions, have GOT to believe in it, or their high school knowledge about chemistry would make it tempting to skip the whole process and make more profit selling sugar.
It's even got quantum mechanics watching its back, losing the more curious ones in complexe explanations about just how complexe liquid water is.
And of course, the idea is fun. Like cures like. 1/1000000th of a molecule of ethanol to cure a hangover.
Sure it's tempting to ridicule the whole industry for the billion dollar quackery it is. But one might actually find that it's saving a lot of healthcare money, and that it WORKS! And it works because we let it, because we don't ask for double-blind tests...
So what's your view on this? Is homeopathy a cheap way to heall the credulous? Or has it gone too far and is part of what makes the transition to the age of reason so darn slow?

thanks

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  • Oct 29 2013: Well, Gerald, one of the dilemmas for me is that people who are not responsible for patient outcomes and have no medical credentials wish to horn in on the choices of medical care by people they probably don't actually care about. Did they teach materials science at your high school? Probably not. You might want to read up on the work by Prof. Rustum Roy at Penn. State who illustrated how ultra dilutions of material substances changed the molecular structure of water about 20 years ago. Did they have electron spectroscopy at your high school? Probably not. The Institute of Technology in Bombay was able to scope out the existence of starting materials which formed nano-particles in ultradilutions as high as 200C.
    Since Homeopathy relies on a different paradigm to bulk drugs it can't be tested exactly the same way for a one-size-fits-all disease condition. You can't fit a square peg into a round hole and nobody who does actual research would insist on RCTs for everything as you seem to be doing -- um, exactly what kind of original research have you done lately anyway? How about some RCTs for anaesthetics, and perhaps you could volunteer if you're not afraid of being in the placebo group... You see there's no established mechanism of action for anaesthetics but nobody refuses them or refuses to use them because of this small problem.
    Funny how the pharma industry is now pursuing nano-particle studies for drug delivery systems. It's about 250 years BEHIND Homeopathy. Guess they're just catching up, right?
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      Oct 29 2013: " about 250 years BEHIND Homeopathy. Guess they're just catching up, right? "
      Even if homeopathy had been right all along, this isn't a valid argument. It's not how science is done.
      I could tell you cell phones don't cause cancer and it might be shown that I was right in 250 years, but that doesn't make me a propper scientist. And I certainly wouldn't have a propper theory about it, or propper results from well conducted experiments.

      "who illustrated how ultra dilutions of material substances changed the molecular structure of water"
      Alright. But then what? Does it stay that way? Does this affect the body? What happens when the pellets are dissolved under one's tongue, the changed molecules mix with the normal water molecules of the saliva and... what? Do they change the structure of these, by contact? How?

      "the existence of starting materials which formed nano-particles in ultradilutions as high as 200C. "
      So now it's the discovery of unknown particles??
      How was this mesured. They didn't have a megaquarkotron in my high school, so maybe you can explain this to me. What was the clue for the existence of these nano-particles? Mass? Energy? Interaction with other particles?
      But no, I've read the article. The nanoparticles in question are cristals. Cristals are an assembly of molecules and this has nothing to do with super-avogadro dillutions.

      "um, exactly what kind of original research have you done lately anyway?"
      None. I'm just a guy sitting on his ass, trying to learn stuff. It's a long and strenuous process because I'm cursed with a bullshit-proof brain.

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