TED Conversations

Gerald O'brian

TEDCRED 50+

This conversation is closed.

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

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Oct 29 2013: Yes, you are certainly missing information, however nobody is going to volunteer to teach it to you. We should all be willing to acknowledge what we don't know and acknowledge that there are answers to questions that have not been discovered YET.
    Nothing unreal exists. Homeopathy works. Some wish to speculate that it MAY have something to do with placebo effect, however this is not borne out in clinical practise. Experience trumps theory. If people are smart enough to be able to take a drug and "tell" if it's doing something or not, they're smart enough to take a Homeopathic remedy and "tell" if it's doing something or not.
    If my dog has a huge tumour on it's ass that a Vet just told me needs surgical removal and a Homeopathic remedy shrinks it into oblivion you're asking me to take a leap of incredulity and attribute it to placebo effect?
    C'mon Gerald, you're the one who's in denial. Otherwise the Vet (with all of her experience in scientific medicine) would have told me to just ignore it and it would just go away on its own.
    • thumb
      Oct 30 2013: " Experience trumps theory"

      Nonsense. If you base your proof on the outcome of an experiment, you need a theory that backs up the outcome, or you have NOTHING.
      I'm sorry if I'm in denial. But c'mon, Laurie. You have no clue how homeopathy works, do you? Why didn't you just say so? It's ok to not know. In fact, I don't think anybody knows.
      Which is fine. And this is all I'm saying : there is no evidence.
      I don't know how gravity works, and I'm not ashamed of it.
      • Oct 31 2013: I would suggest that instead of arguing theory you pick up a copy of Wenda Brewster-OReilly's translation of Hahnemann's Organon of Medicine and read it first. It fully describes how Homeopathy works and why bulk drugs can't cure disease.
        There are several theories regarding mechanism of action for homeopathics, one of the latest having been advanced by Dr. Iris Bell that suggests that nano-particles cause an adaptive network response in the organism.
        Nobody "needs a theory" to conduct an experiment to determine the outcome of an application. You can simply do something and observe the result. This is called data.
        There's an old Chinese proverb that says a man who says it cannot be done should not get in the way of the man who's already doing it.
        • thumb
          Oct 31 2013: Well you need a theory first because unfortunately direct observation of reality is a myth.
          This is called science. Basic science, really.
          Data without a theory doesn't exist.

          So you can't explain, or don't know. I'll try finding that book, then.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.