Homeopathy, Why people want to Believe

#1
Before any comments please read the Wikipedia article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy

It boggles my mind why people unabashedly give credence to such a fanciful idea that the more diluted a proving is the more potent it becomes and to cure someone you give them a proving that would cause similar reaction - aka Law of Similars - example, to cure vomiting you giving a highly diluted proving that causes vomiting. Let the games begin.
 
#2
Steve, I bet that dissing homeopathy will step on the toes of more than a few regulars here.

To me, it's a good "indicator" subject - if someone believes homeopathy works, that is a good test to show that he is completely credulous and unable to think critically.
 
#3
Steve, I bet that dissing homeopathy will step on the toes of more than a few regulars here.

To me, it's a good "indicator" subject - if someone believes homeopathy works, that is a good test to show that he is completely credulous and unable to think critically.
Play nice. We shall see.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#4
With homeopathy, you have to buy at least eight amazing things:
  • Like cures like.
  • Succussion "potentiates" the active ingredients.
  • Nothing in nature mimics succussion.
  • The more dilute the "active" ingredients, the more powerful the effect.
  • Past Avogadro, the "memory of water" can retain the effect of an incredibly complex set of molecules and their interactions.
  • The effect can be transmitted electronically.
  • Packaging, shipping, shelving, and purchasing the product does not cancel the water memory.
  • In contrast, disposing of the medical waste down the drain does no harm to the environment.

I'm sorry, too many amazing things for me.

~~ Paul
 
#6
It isn't at all mind boggling. The processes used to say that homeopathy 'works', are the same processes which led us to find that bloodletting 'works' or that sticking needles in your body 'works'.

If doing nothing wasn't so damned effective, we wouldn't be in this mess. :)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11372012/
(Conclusion: in most cases, placebo is no better than doing nothing. A small, clinically insignificant difference can be found on some subjective measures, which is indistinguishable from a reporting effect.)

Linda
 
#7
If homeopathy works, I don't think it works in quite the way it is claimed to work (hey - that may well be true of some drugs too!). I think that if it works, it is because it carries some good intentions from the person preparing the medicine to the person who needs it - in other words it is akin to healing by mere touching, and similar procedures.

I wouldn't rule it out, and once used it. In my case, I didn't see any obvious effect, but the problem turned out to be a nasty reaction to a prescribed drug!

Unlike everyone else here, I would not rule out intentional effects - indeed, that may be how the placebo effect works - at least in part. There is some experimental evidence for intentional effects, in general.

David
 
#8
It isn't at all mind boggling. The processes used to say that homeopathy 'works', are the same processes which led us to find that bloodletting 'works' or that sticking needles in your body 'works'.

If doing nothing wasn't so damned effective, we wouldn't be in this mess. :)
That's technically true, but oversimplified, in my opinion. Western medical "scientismists" (for lack of a better word) have claimed undue credit for political and non-medical technological advances that have improved population "host factors" for a long time, and the effectiveness of doing nothing is not fixed or universal.

My impression, from reading stuff like this, is that certain populations have historically had different insights into the relative strengths and weaknesses of doing nothing.
 
#9
That's technically true, but oversimplified, in my opinion.
Probably. It's hard to summarize all of the process of testing for efficacy in a single sentence (not that it stops me from trying :)).

Western medical "scientismists" (for lack of a better word) have claimed undue credit for political and non-medical technological advances that have improved population "host factors" for a long time, and the effectiveness of doing nothing is not fixed or universal.
Sure, they're in the line with homeopaths in that regard.

My impression, from reading stuff like this, is that certain populations have historically had different insights into the relative strengths and weaknesses of doing nothing.
I'm sorry. I've read the article, but I cannot figure out your point.

Linda
 
#10
Steve, I bet that dissing homeopathy will step on the toes of more than a few regulars here.

To me, it's a good "indicator" subject - if someone believes homeopathy works, that is a good test to show that he is completely credulous and unable to think critically.
Yeah, homeopathy is a bellwether. I wouldn't say "completely credulous and unable to think critically". But it does indicate whether someone's understanding has managed to progress beyond "a statistically significant result means there is evidence for the idea" (assuming they've managed to get past "post hoc ergo propter hoc").

Homeopathy research provides good examples for discussion with respect to research methodology, so maybe we can discuss it from that perspective.

Linda
 
#11
I'm sorry. I've read the article, but I cannot figure out your point.

Linda
Groups with different "host factors" are going to be drawn to different types of "often effective nothing". I bet the treatment described in the article "worked better" in the sort of medical setting the author was previously accustomed to.
 
#12
Groups with different "host factors" are going to be drawn to different types of "often effective nothing". I bet the treatment described in the article "worked better" in the sort of medical setting the author was previously accustomed to.
Ah. I was suggesting that "host factors" are what matter, and in the absence of evidence for efficacy, the rest is effectively window-dressing for "doing nothing".

Linda
 
#13
Ah. I was suggesting that "host factors" are what matter, and in the absence of evidence for efficacy, the rest is effectively window-dressing for "doing nothing".

Linda
I don't disagree. I guess I'm just thinking more about the "costs" and "benefits" (not necessarily monetary) of the different types of nothings and their appeals to various demographics.

In the case of public hospitals in the 30s, the poor weren't exactly using the "E.R." of the time as a free clinic for colds, flus, etc, and today, the wealthy are being targeted by advertisers pushing "lifestyle, natural, self-image" products and philosophies as "health-promoting".
 
#14
It isn't at all mind boggling. The processes used to say that homeopathy 'works', are the same processes which led us to find that bloodletting 'works' or that sticking needles in your body 'works'.

If doing nothing wasn't so damned effective, we wouldn't be in this mess. :)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11372012/
(Conclusion: in most cases, placebo is no better than doing nothing. A small, clinically insignificant difference can be found on some subjective measures, which is indistinguishable from a reporting effect.)

Linda
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10643726

It sounds like you're claiming to know for sure that "sticking needles into skins" does absolutely nothing, I havn't researched this in depth or anything but I have heard things to the contrary.

Perhaps you know about these studies but found them lacking in some respects? If so, I'd be interested in hearing your criticism and how you feel they might be improved to the point of general acceptance.
 
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#18
Wow, I didn't know that!

Did you know that you didn't read any of the links I posted where a quick google search turned up studies that suggest otherwise? :p
 
#20
However, real EA elicited significantly higher activation than sham EA over the hypothalamus and primary somatosensory-motor cortex and deactivation over the rostral segment of anterior cingulate cortex. In the comparison of minimal EA versus mock EA, minimal EA elicited significantly higher activation over the medial occipital cortex. Single-subject analysis showed that superior temporal gyrus (encompassing the auditory cortex) and medial occipital cortex (encompassing the visual cortex) frequently respond to minimal EA, sham EA, or real EA. We concluded that the hypothalamus-limbic system was significantly modulated by EA at acupoints rather than at nonmeridian points, while visual and auditory cortical activation was not a specific effect of treatment-relevant acupoints and required further investigation of the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms.
Note the strong activation patterns in the visual cortex and the absence of any patterns in the auditory cortex. In Figure 2, there is the opposite effect; there are strong activations in the auditory cortex (unilateral, right-sided) but none in the visual areas due to the stimulation of the K3 point. Finally, stimulation of the sham acupuncture point, SP6, did not result in activation in either the occipital or auditory cortex (Figure 3).
 
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