Homeopathy..Delusion of dilutions
#1
When I graduated I sincerely believed that homeopathy is a truly scientific medicine. But soon after I started practicing pediatrics I came across many cases badly botched up by homeopathy and I am sure that those conditions would have been easily treated in the first place. I have seen children with pneumonias and massive effusions, meningitis being treated as febrile seizures, simple impetigos coming with nephritis, ruptured appendix with peritonitis, etc etc…I have been particularly saddened by the plight of the parents who repents on putting faith in homeopathy. I have seen parents losing their only child because it was too late to get proper treatment.

Initially I thought it to be mistakes of the homeopaths rather than homeopathy. Out of curiosity I soon started studying homeopathy. With each day I was dumbfounded by the utter rubbish they teach and propagate.

Let me explain.

The main axioms of homeopathy are that
1) ‘like cures like’, a substance that causes certain symptoms in healthy volunteers is a cure for such symptoms in patients. Eg onion causes watering of eyes, so diluted onion can cure epiphora.

2) less is more. The ‘less is more’ axiom posits that, if we dilute and shake a remedy, it becomes not weaker but stronger. Homeopaths believe that the most potent remedies are those that have been potentized to the point where no ‘active’ molecule is left. Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy, might be forgiven for developing these concepts some 200 years ago. Today, however, we know a lot more, and comprehend that they are not in line with much that science has taught us. Yet homeopaths seem to prefer mystical thinking to science.
"C" dilutions homeo medicines are prepared by serial dilutions of 1:100. Thus, a remedy marked C30 would imply a 1:100 dilution performed 30 times. By simple mathematics, it can be calculated that at dilutions of C12 or greater, it is not likely that the remedies contain even a single molecule of the original substance.

It was in the light of contradictory scientific evidences that they came up with an even more absurd theory, ‘The Water Memory’, the theory that water is capable of retaining a memory of particles once dissolved in it, even after being diluted so much that the chance of even one molecule remaining in the quantity being used is nil!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_memory


Then why do we find many testimonials on the efficacy of homeopathy. Testimonials are personal accounts of someone's experiences with a therapy. They are generally subjective: A patient may improve because of many other factors apart from the treatment he/she receives.

Common sense tells us that we can tell if a treatment works by simply trying it. Does it help me? Does it help my aunt? If so, it’s effective. If not, it doesn’t work.

Right?
Unfortunately, NO, that’s not right.

Medical conditions are an area of life in which direct, common sense observations aren’t reliable at all. The insights brought to us by double-blind studies have shown medical researchers that they can’t trust their own eyes.
The reason why: a horde of confounding factors.

Suppose you’ve invented a truly lousy treatment that fails almost all the time, but helps one in a hundred people. If you give such a nearly worthless treatment to 100,000 people, you’ll get a thousand testimonials, and the treatment will sound great.

Then why do we find some studies confirming the effectiveness of homeopathy? That is because you could just pick out the positive trials, as homeopaths do, and quote only those.
This is called "cherry picking" the literature - it is not a new trick, and it is dishonest, because it misrepresents the totality of the literature. Essentially, when a trial gives a negative result, alternative therapists, simply do not publish it.

There is a special mathematical tool called a "meta-analysis", where you take all the results from all the studies on one subject, and put the figures into one giant spreadsheet, to get the most representative overall answer. When you do this, time and time again, you find, in all homeopathy trials overall, that homeopathy does no better than placebos. This has been proved many times and the Lancet analysis is just one of it.

The link to PUBMED ABSTRACT : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9310601

You can read about more of what I am trying to convey here

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRela...homeo.html

I you still believe in the miraculous cures of homeopathy , then try this.

American rationalist thinker James Randi, now best known as the world's most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims has offered One Million Dollars to any one who can prove the effectiveness of homeopathy in a clinical set up.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/200...athy.shtml

Even after many years nobody has claimed this prize.
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