Monday, September 06, 2010

Homeopathy: Sharp As A Sackful Of Wet Mice

Homeopaths are such fun. Not only are their beliefs completely at odds with reality, it's also fun to see how they change them to suit conditions. Like Polly Millet's report of A Case of Epithelioma in a Horse.

The article describes how she prescribed various remedies based on the horse's personality in order to

“tune” her vital force and thereby resolve the tumor

What EoR finds interesting, though, is her process of "bucket dosing" — placing the magic drops in the horse's water bucket.

In our barn, the buckets are never shared, so I could safely put Iris’ remedy in her bucket. I also knew that the remedy would become a little stronger each day, in the horse barn equivalent of what homeopaths call “potentization” (successive steps of diluting and shaking). Our buckets are thoroughly cleaned once a week and are refilled from a hose several times a day. Essentially, Iris got a more and more dilute solution for a week after the remedy was added. Since horses really mess with their water when they drink, and the pressure from the hose “shakes up” the water, it may well have been a little more potentized each time she drank, as well!

So here we have a homeopath stating that you don't need the ritual leather bound Bible, nor the 'regulated 10 thumps, turn around three times, pray to the gods and repeat' steps either. Just sloshing the mysterious remembrances of lycopodium while scrubbing a bucket is enough. Just think about all those millions of homeopathic remedies you're imbibing every time you drink from a cup that has previously been washed by water that has, also, previously been sloshed around and washed by countless others. And who could imagine the powerful potentisation that has taken place with all that sloshing of every molecule of water in the past few billions of years in the oceans and sky, and in numerous sewerage systems. Which, to EoR, is definite proof that all homeopathy really is full of shit.

Homeopathy is for idiots

Nice girl, but about as sharp as a sack of wet mice


  1. Alternately, every glass of water you drink cures you of everything! Wonderful!

  2. So if water remembers each occasion it came in contact with arsenic, and dilution strengthens this memory, why aren't we seeing mass die-offs from arsenic poisoning?

  3. Because water only has happy memories.

  4. No, no, it only remembers the good things. Sheesh.

  5. 'the horse barn equivalent of what homeopaths call “potentization”'

    Can an interpreter from whatever planet she comes from translate this sentence into Human, please?

  6. EoR was particularly impressed by the 200C remedy. That's a dilution of 1:10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Take that, evil Avogadro!

  7. TRIPLE-BLIND STUDIES in support of homeopathy medicine

    Journal of Psychosomatic Research (Pergamon) (2004) //Chronic Fatigue

  8. Thank you Dr Malik. EoR has downloaded the paper for later perusal, but notes that the abstract concludes (EoR's emphasis):

    "There is weak but equivocal evidence that the effects of homeopathic medicine are superior to placebo. Results also suggest that there may be nonspecific benefits from the homeopathic consultation. Further studies are needed to determine whether these differences hold in larger samples.

    The UK Parliamentary Science Select Committee noted

    "There have also been positive findings in RCTs investigating: Chronic fatigue syndrome, Premenstrual syndrome, Post-partum bleeding, Sepsis, and Stomatitis, however, for these conditions conducted between 2001 and 2005, there has been no replication to verify the findings."

  9. Re: further studies, I'm with the UK Parliamentary Science Select Committee:

    "A common refrain among reviewers is to call for more trials and larger trials. However, it would be more meaningful to consider not only the need for more and larger trials, but for trials of more rigorous quality. Furthermore, we suggest that there should be a greater emphasis on comparisons to conventional treatments."

  10. Having now read the full paper, EoR notes the following in the Discussion section:

    "For one of the primary measures, MFI general fatigue, this trial found that the mean improvement in score for those who had homeopathic medicine is significantly greater than for those who received placebo. For the other primary outcome measures (the other subscales of the MFI), differences between treatment and placebo arms in mean improvement from baseline to posttreatment scores were not statistically significant. Differences between treatment and placebo arms in the proportion of people showing clinically significant improvement on each of the five primary outcome measures were not statistically significant.


    Shortcomings in the trial have probably contributed to the problem of interpretation of these results. Outcome measures were carefully selected to reflect the multidimensional diagnostic features of CFS. In retrospect, it may have been appropriate to identify a single outcome as defining clinical improvement before commencing the trial. Sample size was disappointing. Recruitment of patients dramatically decreased in the latter stages of the trial, and the trial was underpowered. We have assumed that missing outcomes were the same for patients in both groups and there are good reasons for this. Nevertheless, it is an assumption and should be borne in mind when interpreting the results. We believe this was a methodologically sound trial, which was underpowered to show a statistically significant difference. A post hoc power calculation shows that for the MFI general fatigue scale,the trial shows only 49% power at P = .05. Larger studies are needed to verify the results of the current trial. Results obtained for the proportion of people showing clinically significant improvement on the general fatigue subscale suggest that follow-up data for 112 patients in each arm would be needed for the study to have 80% power."

    There were only 43 participants at the conclusion of the study in both the treatment and placebo groups.

    So, like other studies that 'prove' homeopathy, it's not all that persuasive (even in the view of the authors).

  11. Triple Blind studies, Double-Blind Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trial, Systematic Reviews & Meta Analysis, Evidence-base

    130+ studies in support of homeopathy medicine published in 51 peer-reviewed international journals

    Medicines for specific disease conditions, Ultra-molecular dilutions, Structure & Memory of Water, Animal Studies, Plant Studies

  12. @Dr Malik:

    Scientific evidence for homeopathy?

    "Dr" Nancy Malik is spamming my blog again...

    Should We Maintain an Open Mind about Homeopathy?

    You appear to be gaining a reputation, and it's not a pretty one. EoR humbly suggests that your arguments would be more effective if they were not spammed everywhere. Perhaps reducing them down to homeopathic concentrations would be the ideal way to go.

  13. Nancy's been busy lately. I've sent a bunch of her comments to the spam box in recent weeks. I doubt I'll ever publish her again. She makes no arguments and no sense.


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