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Homeopathy: Fake Medicine

This first clip is Mr Randi explaining how the consumers have been duped by corporations selling fake medicine. At the end of makes his challenge to the homeopathy community, to put together an experiment that shows homeopathy working by its proposed mechanisms, supervised by respected scientists. Should be easy money except that, by the homeopath's own words, "it's impossible to prove"...for a host of fascinating reasons which I won't go into here. Suffice it to say that I think Mr Randi explains the situation quite well, and that all those who would argue against him might do well to investigate their own patterns of magical thinking.



This one is pure humor. Homeopathy is rich fodder for jokes among skeptics.



Frankly, it's a relief for me whenever a reasonable person speaks out against homeopathy. These videos both reached me today.

Comments

rick_day
Feb. 9th, 2011 05:02 am (UTC)
curious: why do you always seem to have an 'us vs them' mentality for alternative forms of medication?
liveonearth
Feb. 9th, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC)
Us: reasonable people who see that a lot of alternative medicine is quite shady, and rather than believing everything we are told, we look at the science and the practice and make our own decisions.

Them: People who "want to believe" so much that they are unable to discuss it, don't want to be challenged, dissuaded or educated, just want to continue attributing cures to potions without regard for the fact that they may have made a mistake. I am willing to admit that I may be wrong. I can, will, and have updated my understanding of how things work based on new information.

Homeopathy is just one of millions of alternative forms of medicine. It happens to be the one that the most people believe in the most strongly, and the one that lacks scientific backing the most terribly. I "believe" in any alternative form of medicine that has a rational and reasonable mechanism of action that is at least slightly backed up by both science and my own experience. I'm sorry to say that homeopathy does not.

I am surrounded by THEM in my current program and I must keep my mug shut about my skepticism because there are so many highly emotional (shall we say religious?) believers in that population. When people "believe" so strongly, they are unavailable to rational discourse.
liveonearth
Feb. 9th, 2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
Hey did you watch the 1st on from Mr Randi? You seem like a reasonable enough person that you might see the possibility that he is right. And he does draw the distinction between homeopathy and herbs.
rick_day
Feb. 9th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
OK, fair enough. I'm not on the homeopathy bandwagon, only the herbal one. You do have to admit that there is some 'medical studies' out there that are just not accurate/honest in their presentation.

The whole "E eats brains! oops that was meth sorry" episode, for example?

Curious: how do "us" (rational science) explain the very real phenomenon of placebo effect?
liveonearth
Feb. 9th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
There are several known mechanisms and certainly more that we are unaware of. A topper is that taking *anything* induces endogenous endorphins---ie we make our own opium, and OF COURSE we feel better. But it only lasts a little while, which is why so many placebos are dosed at very regular intervals, to continue inducing the physiological responses that have been measured.

I have a tag for placebo, I am tracking the research carefully! I haven't posted yet about the most recent study in which they demonstrated that placebos work for IBS even if the patients are told in no uncertain terms that it will not work, and even if the bottle is labelled "placebo pills". Pretty cool research. =-]

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