Friday, August 26, 2005 Medics attack use of homoeopathy

*Knocks head against door*

How credulous could the BBC conceivably be?!! Could they not under the miracle that is homoeopathy?!!! Do they not understand how absolutely mind-boggling the concept is?!! How could they not understand the fact that a solution SO SO incredibly DILUTE that at 'normal' homeopathic solutions, it contains one part active ingredient in 50 earth sized pools of solvent can actually CURE SOMETHING!!!

That was sarcasm in case you didn't realise it =P.

But seriously though, I still think that BBC takes the idea of 'balanced' news way way too far and most media unfortunately give too much credence to woo-woo pseudo-science. The basis of journalism I feel is objectivity, which means sometimes you should point out when something is just bollocks.

Allows me to quote from and their description of how homeopathic 'remedies' are made. Hold onto your seat when you read it. The author disclaims all liability for any personal injuries and/or damages to any articles of chattel from the result of laughing too hard and falling off your chair, or the sudden desire to slam your head repeatedly against furniture so the awful knowledge can be removed from your cranium.

"Homeopathic products are made from minerals, botanical substances, and several other sources. If the original substance is soluble, one part is diluted with either nine or ninety-nine parts of distilled water and/or alcohol and shaken vigorously (succussed); if insoluble, it is finely ground and pulverized in similar proportions with powdered lactose (milk sugar). One part of the diluted medicine is then further diluted, and the process is repeated until the desired concentration is reached. Dilutions of 1 to 10 are designated by the Roman numeral X (1X = 1/10, 3X = 1/1,000, 6X = 1/1,000,000). Similarly, dilutions of 1 to 100 are designated by the Roman numeral C (1C = 1/100, 3C = 1/1,000,000, and so on). Most remedies today range from 6X to 30X, but products of 30C or more are marketed.

A 30X dilution means that the original substance has been diluted 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times. Assuming that a cubic centimeter of water contains 15 drops, this number is greater than the number of drops of water that would fill a container more than 50 times the size of the Earth. Imagine placing a drop of red dye into such a container so that it disperses evenly. Homeopathy's "law of infinitesimals" is the equivalent of saying that any drop of water subsequently removed from that container will possess an essence of redness. Robert L. Park, Ph.D., a prominent physicist who is executive director of The American Physical Society, has noted that since the least amount of a substance in a solution is one molecule, a 30C solution would have to have at least one molecule of the original substance dissolved in a minimum of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules of water. This would require a container more than 30,000,000,000 times the size of the Earth."

This is why active ingredients sometimes include things are arsenic. It's impossibly safe. In fact, on two separate occasions, scientists and skeptics have made 15C dilutions of arsenic and gulp them down. And no, they're not dead yet for very obvious reasons.



At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A big congrats shout out goes to Vespa blogger Jonathan Ogilvy. His wife had a baby boy this week.


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