Article

Swine-Flu Scare Brings Out Homeopathy Kooks

I get email:

Re: … the overhyped swine flu scare…

Hi Mark,

Regardless of media hype, let me give you an inside look. The cases in the US are mild because they are caught at the fever stage. If the virus is allowed to morph past the fever stage, then death is one result of this virus. We saw in the 1917 pandemic that during the Spring there were not a lot of deaths, but in the Fall, people died in 24 hours. What can we take from this?

If you can stop the virus at the fever stage, you are pretty much “home free”. I have isolated four medicines to pick–you pick one. Keep on hand. It is the knee-jerk reaction to danger fever medicine that you not only have for THIS flu but EVERY flu.

It will cost about $7 at the health food store. I outline the four and how they are different here:

http://howheal.com/flu.html

You will be, in my opinion, not 100% protected, but you will stop the virus from morphing at the fever stage and that’s the biggest hurdle.

I agree with you, the media hype is sickening, because they scare people and don’t adequately prepare them. The strategy I outline is the same one used now for over 200 years. It was used more successfully than conventional medicine during the 1917 pandemic.

Regards,

For the nth time, I had to respond to this quackery, and will share it with my readers. I don’t suffer fools gladly:

Homeopathy is a vicious fraud. In all but the “weakest” potencies, the medications contain not one atom or molecule of the original substance–but are only sugar pills.

The homeopathy proponents’ argument asserts that the structure of the atoms of the “medicine” are somehow imprinted on the water or the sugar, etc. and transferred to the person who takes the medicine–paradoxically having a greater effect the less actual medicine is present. This is utter nonsense.

It completely violates the laws of physics. If you understood those laws, you wouldn’t tolerate their violation so glibly.

If you don’t agree, or physics is too technical for you, consider this thought experiment: that every drop of water on earth has been recycled billions of times over the years. It came originally from distant comets in space. Then it landed on earth billions of years ago, where it proceeded to evaporate, fall as rain, eventually pass through the bodies of numerous organisms, be excreted, evaporated, fall as rain again and again, was taken up by plants, stored underground for millions of years, and on and on, beyond our capacity to imagine.

Given this long and storied journey, if homeopathy were true, each contact the water had with any of the substances in its history would have left an “imprint” just as the “medicine” is claimed to. Given all the different contacts and re-purification (over billions of years) where the water touched everything from natural minerals to virulent bacteria to toxins and poisons ad infinitum, and was then diluted again–how are we to expect that contact with a miniscule amount of medicine for a few minutes, hours, or days, which is then fantastically diluted, would have any affect at all–or at least any effect on a scale that would even compare to the “imprint” from the water’s natural journey?

The answer is, we can’t. And that’s even assuming–for the sake of the argument–that water molecules can be “imprinted” on a non-physical level with anything, which they can’t. And it’s also assuming that the “manufacturers” of the “medicine” do anything other than bottle sugar pills. It’s not like there’s any way test it for potency or guard against mislabeling, since none of the pills contain any of the original substance.

The idea of homeopathy relies not just on misplaced trust and bogus diagnosis, but concepts of dualism or non-physical realities having some power to affect the physical world, which is also complete stupidity.

On scientific, logical, and just plain common-sense grounds, homeopathy fails utterly.

QED

p.s. You are asking people to spend their hard-earned money on sugar pills. And it is a cruel hoax to perpetrate such a fraud on ignorant and vulnerable people who may be sick or afraid of getting sick. If they listen to you, they also might not go to a real doctor, and if they really have swine flu, that might actually kill them.

Have a nice day, and take some philosophy and science courses so you don’t humiliate yourself like this again.

As if that weren’t enough, this wackaloon wrote me back again.

Thank you for writing. It was known from the beginning of homeopathy that a medicine could not retain its holograms or images but a few hours when mixed with other substances. This is especially true where medicines are mixed together. So we agree there.

(No, I don’t agree with anything you are saying whatsoever.)  

Theory can fall short of experience. Homeopathy has had stellar results in pandemics: cholera, yellow fever, scarlet fever, 1917 pandemic.

(sarcasm: That’s why the flu pandemic killed tens of millions of people, because homeopathy was so effective, right? /sarcasm)

Experience has shown a result that is different than theory. Talk is cheap :)

To which I replied:

Gobbledygook.

Completely undeterred by logic or facts, the bullshit just keeps on coming, and coming, and coming…

It is sort of hard to judge a medical science that is as mystical as homeopathy. Francis Bacon said that medicine lies somewhere equally between metaphysics and natural history, which if you read the ensuing text, means, natural science. So there’s a place for the metaphysics in healing which is not measurable.

But getting back to reality. I have cured cases of cancer, obesity, all types of serious diseases. If I thought this was bogus, I would have left it, but I have found just the opposite, how amazing Nature is in healing people. How does science explain “synchronicity” which is metaphysical. Some of these things they don’t have a model for.

Damn! *Hitting myself repeatedly over the head like Jeff Spicoli*


Comments (23 comments)

Badger3k / April 29th, 2009, 3:26 pm / #1

I was unaware that you agreed that medicine could not retain it's "holograms" or "images" – I think this loon has no idea what the words mean. A crank thinks you agree (partially) with him. You should feel (dis)honored.

It is amazing how this guy has cured cancer, yet no one is aware of these cases (if they were, his cases would be written up in the literature and he would be famous, instead of sending emails for sugar pills). I also like how amazing "Nature" (does he mean Mother Nature, or someone else?) is in healing people. That's why, until the advent of scientific medicine, millions died from childhood diseases, or the 25 million (IIRC) who died in the first Influenza pandemic (vaccines were developed after that). Nature cures nothing. This moron needs a basic course in bacteria and viruses, to start, along with logic, critical thinking, general biology….

You know, since he's convinced he can cure these things, why not accept the challenge – have him infect himself with HIV and some form of pneumonia, and see how his cures work to completely cure him. Put his money where his mouth is.

AmenASHandF / May 5th, 2009, 4:42 pm / #2

I had pink eye twice in a year.The antibiotic worked the 1st time but the 2nd time it didn't and I suffered terribly untill out of desperation went to the local drug store and tried the homeopathic remedy for pink eye, it's a popular brand sold in local drug stores.I had to use it longer than the antibiotic but it took care of it when the same antibiotic didn't this 2nd time.
Many people have had unsuccesful outcomes with popular medicine.
Herbs, roots,foods have there remedy to impower our own defenses, our body's intelligences to take care of it's self.The mind is a powerful too! Growing my mother couldn't afford insurance and the only rememdy with pink eye was home from school, reg eye drops, cloves of garlic and vitamines-my body did the rest. The mind and emotions are tremendous key factors to the relm of possibilty & impossibility. Homeoapathy wks for me sometimes and when it doesn't,I turn to foods, plants and my own body's intelligences to do the job or of course-though for me it is rarely- over the counter medicines or presciptions. Homeoapathy does work, just not all the time or for everyone.

BlackSun / May 10th, 2009, 5:17 pm / #3

Amen,

I don't know what healed you, but it wasn't the sugar pills. :-)

AmenASHandF / May 11th, 2009, 10:42 pm / #4

I never said the homeopathy healed me-it helped. Upon placing the drops on my eye I got imediate relief, unlike the antibiotic that made it worse this particular time. Sugar pills are not going to give imediate relief. I had to put a couple of regular eye drops that gave me no relief inbetween the antibiotics and getting the remedy. Intens pain-P-A-I-N. A homeoapthy remedy helped me get to bed when the antibiotic that had worked previously-did not. This is the point, not your opinion or perspective. I was in pain, antibiotics didn't work and made the pain and irritation worse, was in desperat need for relief, reg eye drops didn't work, homeoapathy took care of the problem. There are millions of people without insurance and if homeoapathy works sometimes but you don't have even one succesful experience with it, doesn't mean it doesn't work or that the scientific test methods are right.
Science isn't right on everything, experience many times over overrides science everyday.
I don't idolize anything or anyone, I live free and live to be and stay free, not controled by anyone or anything.

BlackSun / May 11th, 2009, 11:07 pm / #5

Amen,

Anecdotal evidence doesn't count. It's precisely the rigorous testing and high standards that have given us life-saving technology and methods. Science is not always right, it deals in probabilities. So it's actually seeking to be proved wrong so as to advance. But it's the best method we have, and lets us know both what we know and what we don't know.

Antibiotics are an example of science working too well, and becoming victims of their own success. Their overuse has led to resistant microbes. That's a people problem–not a science problem. Doctors often have every incentive to prescribe antibiotics when they are really not necessary. Patients often demand them.

But we are symbiotic with vast numbers of bacteria, and pumping in antibiotics cuts a wide swath of destruction in the body and leads to bigger health problems. Science is just now figuring this out.

http://seedmagazine.com/content/print/the_body_po

But that doesn't mean that antibiotics haven't saved possibly millions of lives. They're just nearing the end of their usefulness and will be dropped in favor of better tools.

The scientific method is the still the only reliable way of evaluating anything. What it would say about your experience is a combination of confirmation bias and placebo effect. That doesn't mean you didn't get better. Of course you did. It's an explanation as to why you would continue to believe that sugar pills or sugar water helped cure you when that is not factually possible.

No offense, but it is this same type of thinking that's led to the antivax movement which has cost many children's lives. Experience does not under any circumstance override science.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/20

People without insurance should not go in for quackery out of desperation. What they really need is proper and effective care.

BlackSun / May 11th, 2009, 11:07 pm / #6

Amen,

Anecdotal evidence doesn't count. It's precisely the rigorous testing and high standards that have given us life-saving technology and methods. Science is not always right, it deals in probabilities. So it's actually seeking to be proved wrong so as to advance. But it's the best method we have, and lets us know both what we know and what we don't know.

Antibiotics are an example of science working too well, and becoming victims of their own success. Their overuse has led to resistant microbes. That's a people problem–not a science problem. Doctors often have every incentive to prescribe antibiotics when they are really not necessary. Patients often demand them.

But we are symbiotic with vast numbers of bacteria, and pumping in antibiotics cuts a wide swath of destruction in the body and leads to bigger health problems. Science is just now figuring this out.

http://seedmagazine.com/content/print/the_body_po

But that doesn't mean that antibiotics haven't saved possibly millions of lives. They're just nearing the end of their usefulness and will be dropped in favor of better tools.

The scientific method is the still the only reliable way of evaluating anything. What it would say about your experience is a combination of confirmation bias and placebo effect. That doesn't mean you didn't get better. Of course you did. It's an explanation as to why you would continue to believe that sugar pills or sugar water helped cure you when that is not factually possible.

No offense, but it is this same type of thinking that's led to the antivax movement which has cost many children's lives. Experience does not under any circumstance override science.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/20

People without insurance should not go in for quackery out of desperation. What they really need is proper and effective care.

AmenASHandF / May 11th, 2009, 11:49 pm / #7

Just finished reading about your marriage, very nice. CONGRADULATIONS!!!!! Really admired your statement on marriage, it was summerised and written well.
Experience sometimes has to overide science because science cannot become a methode of control and dependence for humanity. Animals come out knowing what they know and humans have forgotten this side of their awareness always depending on information rather than their instincts, smell and intuition. Science is not everything, nature proves this everyday. I was in pain-nothing science had to offer worked-homeoapathy did. Homeoapathy have ingredients science is unable to test just like there isn't a test for the hormone used in bovine. Again, I was in pain, antibiotics didn't work, homeoapathy did.
Congradulations on your marraige and thk you for making that important statement in your ceremony!!!

AmenASHandF / May 12th, 2009, 4:29 am / #8

I absolutly agree w/the statemnts u made in your resent post on afordable healthcare. Many people live by it, so many of these poeple esp w/kids depend on it. I never said people w/out insrnce should go in for quackery. I said-between the lines-those of us WHO HAVE FOUND HOMEOAPTHY TO WORK & have come to accept it. Chiropratic care is still considered qkry, yet the Olympics always have chiro's present You are convinced it's not ligitamit treatmnt-OK-many of us who have experienced otherwise do. FDA has not developed a test to show bhg in the milk of cows feed the horemone. So who's to say it is or isn't in the milk?? Same w/ homeoapathy. There is no test developed to detect the micro ingredients put in homeoapathy. I'm simply saying when one tries reg med that isn't wrking one has the right & the freedom to try other options. Don't take that away from us.I am aware of the dangers of over prescribing antibiotics. So what is one to do when this happens but what I did?! The human race has the right to always have alternatives when reg med fails. We should decide not science. It is always good that indvdls like u question, challenge & argu, it keeps us on our toes. =)

kim brake / June 18th, 2009, 2:50 am / #9

I have used homeopathy after childbirth, for my son's ear infections, bruising…for my dad's cancer all with great results…….just do one thing: bruise your stupid head (face) with a blunt object, and take 30x Arnica and see the bruise go away………….. it's not about the sugar tablets my friend. You may have to take another dose several hours later as well. Just try it before you spout out against something you have never seen work…you take aspirin, tylenol and advil who is to say that is not a placebo, effect…you hurt, you take the meds (thinking, oh this WILL take away my pain) and down you swallow.
Just let people make their own decision what will work on them and let them be…. free will….free choice………..

BlackSun / June 18th, 2009, 3:52 am / #10

Such hubris!! You cured cancer with homeopathy? Nice. And I have a bridge for sale, it's in New York. Brooklyn to be exact.

I don't generally take pain relievers. But that has nothing to do with what we're talking about here, which is
***the lack of evidence for homeopathy***. It's a typical red herring argument for people trying to defend the indefensible. Try to divert attention. Then claim "free will."

Here's how the free will part works: You have the freedom to take sugar pills for your ailments if you want. But when others sell them and claim health benefits, then they are committing fraud. If you give your child sugar pills and withhold real medical treatment and the child has complications or dies, you might just be guilty of child abuse.

What you want or what you believe has nothing to do with anything outside your own head. It's simple, really.

BlackSun / June 18th, 2009, 3:54 am / #11

Such hubris!! You cured cancer with homeopathy? Nice. And I have a bridge for sale, it's in New York. Brooklyn to be exact.

I don't generally take pain relievers. But that has nothing to do with what we're talking about here, which is ***the lack of evidence for homeopathy***. It's a typical red herring argument for people trying to defend the indefensible. Try to divert attention. Then claim "free will."

Here's how the free will part works: You have the freedom to take sugar pills for your ailments if you want. But when others sell them and claim health benefits, then they are committing fraud. If you give your child sugar pills and withhold real medical treatment and the child has complications or dies, you might just be guilty of child abuse or worse.

What you want or what you believe has nothing to do with anything outside your own head. It's simple, really.

AmenASHandF / June 18th, 2009, 7:06 pm / #12

You go girl!!!!!! Hi five!
The medicine you are idolizing so much Sean have failed and succeded time and time again. As you have read me say before "swiss cheese". Your argument has as much holes as the argument you claim we are making is hubris. Whatever! Get over controling so much! Homeoapathy isn't going away no matter what you argue because IT IS ABOUT FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which in my view you have chossen not to accept because it is as ligitamit as your need to always be right!!!!!!!!!!!! Why do you do that?????????????? It is about free will damn it!!!!!
And you are not supporting our and everyone else's free will who feel the same way. It is clear how you feel about homeoapathy, thk you for it but please don't deminish Free Will to be insignificant to one's argument and livelyhood. Yes one should never under estimate the power of the mind.

BlackSun / June 19th, 2009, 2:57 am / #13

All that punctuation and passion won't change the lack of evidence, which is what I said in the beginning. But I don't need to be right, it doesn't matter what I say any more than what you believe.

No matter how you slice it, this is a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion. Since it has gone through 30 steps of dilution, given Avogadro's number of 6.02 x 10^23, 30X Arnica contains no molecules of the original substance so it could not be "healing" anyone.

There is also no difference between the sugar pills labeled "Arnica" and the sugar pills labeled "Ferrum Phosphoricum" or the sugar pills labeled "Lycopodium." The manufacturers probably just buy bulk sugar pellets and bottle them with all different labels. It's not like anyone would ever be able to test for it. Think about it. If you don't trust pharmaceutical companies who make a testable product, why would you trust people who make a product that cannot be tested? It's ripe for abuse.

This whole thing baffles me to confusion. As Christian Bale recently said "what don't you fucking understand??" As for free will, that includes the right to self-delusion. It doesn't include the right to make fraudulent claims or fail to provide your children with proper medical treatment. I won't keep repeating myself. A word to the wise should be sufficient.

It is a dark day when science is so disrespected in the 21st century that adults are having such a conversation. What went wrong with our system that people can keep a straight face spouting such lunacy? This is medieval-level ignorance. And you're even proud of it. How do you look in the mirror?

Freedom.

Yeah.

yeh whatever / July 18th, 2009, 1:04 am / #14

What 'scientific proof' do you have that homeopathic medicines are sugar pills??
Do you really believe that 'modern medicine' has all been scientifically proven? who do you believe funds most of those studies?
you so-called 'educated' people are ridiculous sometimes – you lose the ability to look outside the box from which you have been carefully moulded into.
have you really had your brain so completely drilled and moulded by society that you have lost the ability to think for yourself and still believe that doctors know everything? – this was drilled into you from a child, but yet you haven't stepped beyond it to even question it.
Even homeopathy were proven to be only as effective as a 'placebo' – well modern medicine is today proving the 'power of the mind' is very effective against illness, even physics itself is proving this. So where is the harm in this?

yeh whatever / July 18th, 2009, 1:05 am / #15

And in case you hadn't been aware, homeopaths do take science courses – including biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, human biology, and a range of other sciences.. often to university level. They also have accreditation bodies, just like doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals.
How many times have people in physics been proven wrong? – it took centuries to build up evidence for many of their ideas.
Some scientific studies prove homeopathy is effective, some don't. Just because it is not 100% proven yet, does not mean it is not effective, just because science doesn't have a current explanation for how it works, doesn't mean it isn't effective, and it doesn't mean that there won't be evidence or explanation in time. How about 'anecdotal evidence' – this is a form of evidence as well and there is plenty of it for homeopathy.
Also in case you didn't know – 'modern medicine' used to closely resemble homeopathy and natural medicine before world war 2. Only WW2 brought about a change in medicine because doctors could not readily get their hands on natural substances…

yeh whatever / July 18th, 2009, 1:06 am / #16

Even 'IF' homeopathy were proven to be only as effective as a 'placebo' – well modern medicine is today proving the 'power of the mind' is very effective against illness, even physics itself is proving this. So where is the harm in this?

Cathy Sander / September 6th, 2009, 3:14 am / #17

However, this "power of the mind" is only possible because the human mind is dependent on the workings of the brain. When people start talking about minds, all of a sudden we fall prey to a bunch of mysterious explanations, which do not answer any question about the mind's workings. [I find it hard here to avoid using dualistic language!, though]

AmenASHandF / July 26th, 2009, 12:58 pm / #18

Sean u know very well I look in the morror the same way u do and one could say ur way of being right in evrey argument is midevil self rightousness. Zicam is a homeopathic nasal spray that is widly used. Micro ingredients in nature harm or fullfill a purpose everyday. One's cough or sneeze is an example of micro elements that are so powerful that cause SOME people NOT ALL to get sick. All medicine is the same. It wks and it doesn't. That's how life goes! I don't need science to figure that out! Gorrilas have figured how to survive in the jungle so did our ancestors without science. I don't believe in replacing God with some other idolization. I have no time to go onwith this argument so I will not be responding any more at this point.

BlackSun / July 27th, 2009, 6:58 am / #19

You have hit the wall of stubbornness that prevents the growth of knowledge. You don't really know enough about this to draw a conclusion, yet you continue to cling to your beliefs for whatever reason. Then you have used the tu quoque fallacy to try to direct attention elsewhere, say on the claimed weaknesses of science. You use the argumentum ad populum with your Zicam example. The company that makes Zicam is being sued, FYI.

Bacteria and molecules are two completely different things that operate on completely different scales. Bacteria cause disease by well-known processes. Again, there are no molecules of the claimed substance in homeopathic remedies. What don't you understand?

Amen, I don't relish the process of making you look foolish. You did it to yourself. Science is in fact the only thing that separates us from gorillas in the jungle. You benefit from it every day, yet you choose to ignore its principles. How pathetically sad. How also pathetically typical. No different from religious belief. Sorry to see you go. Not everyone can hack rationality.

AmenASHandF / July 28th, 2009, 4:41 pm / #20

MAN! how in the world does an Athiest regurgitate the same crap Thies'st do on being seperate from the Gorillas?! Is that u speaking or what's still leftover from religion?! Scientists HAVE TO STUDY NATURE/ANIMALS everyday to come up with the meds we have! So who's showing the scientists what to use to make medicine?! DUH! : >' LiFE IS A RELATIONSHIP not a Supiorship! And SO WHAT if Zicam's being sued, that doesn't prove anything! Determination in being right is my goal WHEN PROVEN WRONG i WILL HUMBLY ACCEPT MY DEFEAT! In the mean time it's a matter of experience, choice and fact-Not all meds work! We should have all options available! FREEDOM TO MAKE CHOICES EVEN IF IT'S IN UR OPINION DOOMING! IS HUMANITY'S RIGHT!

BlackSun / July 28th, 2009, 8:05 pm / #21

WHEN PROVEN WRONG i WILL HUMBLY ACCEPT MY DEFEAT!

Apparently not.

AmenASHandF / July 29th, 2009, 1:32 pm / #22

HELLO!! U HAVEN'T PROVEN ANYTHING! UR THE ONE WHO'S A STUBBURN….GET FOR REAL! – UGH ! HOW MUCH LIKE YOUR MOTHER U R ! YET U SHOULD KNOW BETTER WHERE THATS GOING TO TAKE U. BUT THATS HOW THINGS IN HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF AND KEEP GOING AND GOING AND GOING LIKE THE ENERGIZER BATTERY BUNNY :>'.AHHHH..i GOT OTHER THINGS i HAVE TO DO THAN ENGAGE IN AN ARGUMENT THAT'S AS OLD AS BACTERIA. ARGUING IS NOT PROGRESSIVE. BYE BYE

Lakia Berdin / January 5th, 2012, 12:13 am / #23

Thanks for that cool health tip. I will definitely use it for my daughter next time :)

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