Mod+ 271. DR. LARRY MALERBA, HOW MATERIALISM FAILS MEDICINE

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. Bucky

    Bucky Member

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    The article is not just talking about homeopathy. It is reporting global sales of herbal medicine and homeopathy combined with a figure of $6.4 billion in 2012.

    Any single top selling prescription drug does roughly the same of the whole field, and likely twice as much of the yearly sales of homeopathy :)
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/825053

    The article also mentions a figure of $115 billion but it is referring to the global alternative medicine sector, and it is a projection.

    The global expenditure for prescription drugs has almost peaked to 1 Trillion $US in 2011, and that's for drugs that require an Rx, then there's the OTC sector, which is roughly another 10-12%

    Homeopathy does roughly $3 billion/year, at best. 300 times smaller than big pharma. Definitely "little", imo.

    cheers
     
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  2. Bucky

    Bucky Member

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    Okay, so you're saying... homeopathy attempts to "replace" mainstream medicine but at the end of the day it is another "take these pills for this problem" type of approach that sounds as mechanistic as the allopathic way?

    If that's the case I don't think this paints a fair picture of the approach. Probably a bad homeopath would do that :D Ask what bothers you and give you a bunch of pills.

    I think you have to make some distinctions. For starters an holistic practitioner takes into account everything is going on in your life and illness, not just the isolated body part that hurts. He will look for other patterns of disfunction or secondary health problems that may be playing a role in the main condition. He will investigate the psychological and emotional state of the subject etc... He will probably also investigate the life style and correct it, if necessary.

    At the end of the day any form of healing works by examining the patient, listening to his complaints and finally executing the healing. Be it via shamanic ritual, an IM injection, homeo remedies...

    Of course there will one or more mechanisms of healing put in motion by the therapy. I don't see a real problem with that. The difference is that here we're dealing with physical, psychological and energetic mechanisms at once. Instead of concentrating on isolated broken parts to be fixed.

    Isn't that more about human nature than homeopathy per se?
    We see the same problem with mediums or energy healers, with similar money grabbing schemes that certainly don't help the cause.
     
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  3. Alex

    Alex New

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    agreed. this dopey "conventional medicine is under attack" meme doesn't fly.
     
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  4. john.sundog

    john.sundog New

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    I haven't been following this thread but I scanned through it and didn't see a reference to the late, great Prof. Rustum Roy. Prof. Roy was a big gun in materials science, heading a major lab at Penn State among many other accomplishments. He made the point in lectures and publications that ultra-low concentrations of the solute do not invalidate homeopathy because it's the structure of the water that carries the effect, not its chemistry. An entertaining and informative audio-only presentation is found here:



    Similarly, In the Skeptiko interview Larry Malerba said it's not the chemistry it's the energy (as I recall). I don't at all intend to denigrate Dr. Malerba when I suggest that the word energy is used so widely and loosely (e.g., "energy" healing, or "dark energy") that it has really just become a placeholder meaning "watch this site for improved terminology in the future when we figure this stuff out". Our language may take a few generations to catch up.

    Another more thorough and technical (but still accessible) discussion of the structure of water is found in the book, The Fourth Phase of Water by Gerald Pollack, mentioned earlier by Michael Larkin (it deserves a second mention - it's an impressive book with a bazillion useful illustrations). It's mind-blowing stuff for those of us taught that liquid water was simply an homogeneous, amorphous liquid, handy for drinking and holding boats off the ocean floor.
     
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  5. Does boiling or distilling eliminate the effectiveness of a remedy? Are homeopathic remedies always aqueous or are some in pill form?

    http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/homeopathy-topic-overview
     
  6. Shut up and calculate: When you reach the bottom turtle, there is no physical reality, there is nothing to understand except mathematical relationships, so all you can do is calculate.

    http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threa...materialism-is-baloney.989/page-20#post-29799

    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-fine-tuning-of-universe-to-one-part.html

    Many people have wondered how the universe could be so mathematically precise: how natural laws could follow mathematical rules, and how the universe could be so fantastically, improbably, fine-tuned to permit the existence of life. There is a simple answer for that.

    First, consider the analogy that the universe might be a simulation running on a computer. That would explain how it could operate with such mathematical precision. All the laws and fine-tuned parameters could be specified in the program. But that is just an analogy. I am not suggesting the universe is a computer simulation. However, it may be that the universe was created in the mind of God. In which case God is analogous to the computer and the universe is analogous to a program running on the computer.

    Mathematics consists entirely of ideas. God is pure mind. God creates through thought. All that can exist is mind. But your consciousness is not part of the "simulation". Your brain and body are part of it, but you, your consciousness, is not physical. You would still exist if the "simulation" ended. But the physical universe of space and time may exist only in the mind of God. This may be what mystics mean when they say everything is part of God.

    If this is right, then God can create miracles with a thought. He can cause improbable events such as the origin and evolution of life with a thought.

    It also makes sense of quantum mechanics. If the physical universe exists as thought in the mind of God, then there is no ultimate reality to explain quantum mechanics or to explain what a wave function is. There are only mathematical formulas that describe how our reality will behave. It is exactly what you would expect if you found natural laws that obeyed mathematical rules that made no physical sense. It might be because there isn't anything physical behind them. There is only a mathematical engine (consciousness, the mind of God) behind them. It could explain wave/particle duality, quantum entanglement, and the quantum Zeno effect. It is also consistent with the theistic and mystical belief that the continued action of God is necessary to keep the physical universe extant.


     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
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  7. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    Agreed. A strict adherence to the Scientific Method does not allow opinion a seat at the table. So, are you claiming main-stream scientist strictly adhere to the Scientific Method and the science they produce completely lacks any influence by opinion (e.i. bias, subjective worldview etc...) and therefore belief plays no role?
     
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  8. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    This is not so. There is opinion in which topic is selected for study, which experimental approach to use, which theoretical explanation to consider. It is nothing but opinion all the way. Just as a hammer, a screwdriver and a spanner (wrench) are tools, so is the scientific method. But as soon as one lifts a tool in order to use it, one is applying personal choice such as which tool to use, which task one is aiming to carry out, which result one would consider desirable...
     
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  9. bishop

    bishop Member

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    Yeah. The problem is when someone grabs a banana to bang a nail into the wall.
     
  10. RumShams

    RumShams New

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    Science is not a matter of opinion indeed , in principle at least.
    But , i am not claiming that a-priori held subjective beliefs or world views do play no role in science , on the contrary.
    Major proof ? : materialism as a world view , a belief , a 19th century outdated false and superseded philosophy , conception of nature, ideology .... has been taken for granted as science or as the scientific world view by the majority of scientists and other people, without question, since the 19th century at least and counting..
    Science is thus just a human social activity , and to some extent , just a cultural one as well ( see thus how the Eurocentric materialism has been equated with science ) .
    Better still , QM has proved the fact that the old Cartesian dichotomy between the subjective and the objective ,and that they are allegedly separate or independent from each other , is false.
    "Objective " science is a myth thus.
     
  11. Bucky

    Bucky Member

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    One of the funny aspects that modern medicine shares with homeopathy is that its proponents have no idea how both works. :D

    Sounds provocative enough...?
    http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-editorial-on-serotonin-and-depression/

    Most psychiatrists are quite happy to admit to patients that they do not know precisely how antidepressants work. Their primary focus is on treating depression effectively and safely.
    ...
    ...
    Exactly how SSRIs work could only be irrefutably proven by opening up someone’s brain. Even then, methods of observation would be likely to affect what we observe.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
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  12. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    I agree, but that wasn't my point. Opinion alone is subjective and cannot be singularly admissible. Opinion is a starting place, of course, but that's all. However, answers from an opinion, must be reached by objective methods all can empirically agree upon. Main stream science increasingly seems less interested in objectivity and more concerned with defending subjectively and dogma, was my point.
     
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  13. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    Mine too, I guess :) At any rate I don't disagree.
     
  14. Matt²

    Matt² New

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    I disagree. It only appears that way because (IMO) humanity, as civilization, has and continually is hobbled by a select few, a cabal of self appointed "elite", that keep the gears of innovation stagnated. Only doling out wigets and trinkets just enough to keep the things moving, but very slowly. All in the name of greed, power, and, of course, dominance.

    Objectivity is the only way science can positively advance and the only way it should. Which makes objectively a threat and why we see so little of it.
     
  15. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    I'll second that. Really interesting interview that goes into many directions beyond homeopathy. Loved the stuff about the patient's experience being viewed suspiciously (to some degree at least) by conventional medicine. I think that applies to many fields. In psychology-psychotherapy, some theorists who advocate that a more accurate and helpful therapeutic practice stands close to the subjective experience and meaning-making of the patient, borrowing a concept from the philosopher Gadamer, have talked of developing a "hermeneutic of trust" in engaging the experience of the patient, rather than the abstracting and objectifying "hermeneutic of suspicion" of the "medical model" or approaches like classical psychoanalysis (i.e. Freud).
     
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  16. morvern_c

    morvern_c New

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    I loved this interview. There has been a campaign to suppress homeopathy in the UK over the last 10 years. It used to co-exist quite happily with mainstream medicine but a group calling themselves Sense About Science have lobbied hard to close down homoeopathy services offered by the NHS, close down universities offering courses in homeopathy and influence public opinion. They have fought a really effective campaign. Sense About Science have some interesting links - they are funded by industry and are vociferously in favour of GM crops, amongst other things.

    I think this is something that we don't pay nearly enough attention to. Science may be a tool for understanding the world but I have come to realise that it has been bought and paid for.
     
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  17. Shut up and calculate because if you think about it, you might realize the implications of quantum mechanics are that consciousness must be non-physical because you have to have consciousness first before matter can exist and that God must exist to collapse the wave function of the universe and to run the simulation which is the physical universe.

    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-contents-evidence-for-afterlife.html#articles_by_subject_god
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015

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