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    Dilbert's Homeopathy
    By Hank Campbell | April 19th 2010 04:36 PM | 41 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

    View Hank's Profile
    The mark of any great comic genius is being able to ridicule two groups at once and still be funny.  A few days back Dilbert took on homepathy and he got in some ancient kooks as well.

     If you are unfamiliar with homeopathy, take a look at that handy link.  No, it is not a link to Homeopathy magazine or anything like that but instead a link to all of the homeopathy articles on this site, in no particular order.    Homeopathy deals with supposedly curing ills but gets into odd hypothetical physics/chemistry to make it work, like water memory.

    As I wrote in Homeopathy: Putting Your Money Where Your Science Is ...
    A few hundred years ago, the Germans played a practical joke on the rest of the world; they invented a medical field based on the idea that you could cure a disease by using something that caused similar symptoms.

    It is called homeopathy and some people still haven't caught on to the joke. Why do I say joke? It's medicine that relies on the "energetic imprint" of substances to provoke the symptoms they already have - they're often so diluted that not even a molecule of the original substance remains - and the more diluted, the more powerful the cure, they say.
    Funny stuff, right?   I am no Scott Adams though.  Sure, Scott Adams has gotten a bad rap on here by some, because he will tweak global warming proponents and evolutionary biologists and anyone else he feels like ridiculing and humorists are only funny if they are ridiculing someone else but since he is not ridiculing White Republican Catholic Men raised in The South, the 5 demographics everyone in America regardless of alleged sensitivity can ridicule without any liberal guilt at all, I am safe from his barbs today.  So it's all good.

    Dilbert.com

    Ahhhhh, homeopathy and astrology punctured in under 50 words.  It really doesn't get any better than that.

    Comments

    logicman
    Ace!
    Becky Jungbauer
    Love it!!
    Two thumbs up!
    I am sorry, I have to criticize you. The two above me are placating you. The are giving you no reason why this article has any merit what so ever at all besides "Love it!." I think that you are miss guiding the scientific community with hysteria and generalizations. It makes no sense to disregard an entire body of knowledge without examination. You are holding your discipline down and keeping homeopathic medicine from studied, legitimate and safe.

    You have a right to state your opinion about homeopathy, Cynthia. But do not presume to know the motives of my or anyone else's comments!
    logicman
    You have a right to state your opinion about homeopathy, Cynthia. But
    do not presume to know the motives of my or anyone else's comments!

    Ditto!  And then some!

    It makes no sense to disregard an entire body of knowledge without examination.

    Having examined the 'evidence' for homeopathy, I conclude that it makes no sense.

    The cartoon, however, does.
    I know your wrong because I have medical training, have worked with people with disabilities and ignoring things like that have better than you guys would be stupid.

    Like a better track record...sorry, I am excited which is rare.

    Hank
    Homeopathy, like astrology, is quite old and has been studied too many times to count for centuries.  There is no evidence-based reason to think it works.  It is not Big Science suppressing a legitimate treatment, it is advocates correlating occasional coincidental benefit to a treatment they want to believe in.  Science is not about belief.

    Someone in Iran can claim that women who do not wear a hejjab cause earthquakes - every so often an earthquake will occur and validate his belief.   You are contending that I am suppressing valid science if I do not hear a cleric out on this matter.    Homeopathy is basically women's clothing correlation/causation with earthquakes, except for medicine.
    logicman
    Roosters crow just before the sun rises.
    Therefore, roosters crowing cause the sun to rise.

    post hoc ergo propter hoc.
    Hank
    I suppose I could have said 'false cause' for brevity but we all know I can barely order off a menu in a restaurant using under 1,000 words - and using Latin on someone who believes in homeopathy is just being mean.
    logicman
    ... using Latin on someone who believes in homeopathy is just being mean.

    Fred Phillips
    the Germans played a practical joke on the rest of the world; they
    invented a medical field based on the idea that you could cure a disease
    by using something that caused similar symptoms.
    Hey, wait a minute - that's the principle vaccines are based on.

    And I don't know about women's headgear causing earthquakes - but it does seem well-established that trailer parks cause hurricanes.

    Footnote for the humor-impaired: I'm serious about the vaccines, joking about the hurricanes.
    Hank
    Oh.  Good point.   Then I retract my argument.    Ummmm ... yayyyyy homeopathy??

    "What does not kill us, makes water have memory ... "
    Fred Phillips
    Then again (as I realized just as my thumb hit the 'post' button), vaccines prevent; they do not cure. So you're right!
    Your falacy is that you assume all of the remedies they have are that flipant and are not effect...this would make you look stupid in front of a homeopathic doctor. Some of them are well trained and are experts in the herbal supplement market. They just don't have your degree in their hands. They are well aware that drug interaction exists that the supplement market is confusing and can be harmful if used wrong. We need them, because some people like the above make snap judgments and have no practical clue. This would render you quite dangerous actually in the herbal supplement section of whole foods, which is more rapid and more interesting than the FDA. This is why homeopathic doctors and MDs sometime actually work together. This is why I know that you are arrogant and uninformed. Your confusing commercial, crap, diet medicine for homeopathic medicine and the two are not the same. In fact, none of my doctors would want to hide it if I happen across anything particularly helpful in my mediation visualization tangents that have been more effective than any medicine they have ever been able to prescribe because my illness is enigmatic and undiagnosed as of recent. They know their wrong by now and are open to suggestions because they are starting to realize that they don't have a proven formula for me. Which a lot of people go through and that is why you have no practical medical experience or it is not your forte and it is obvious to me. You have theories and no practical experience. Hi, academics pull your heads out of the sand, pluck off your feathers, pick your knuckles of the ground and start walking upright.

    Hank
    Your falacy is that you assume all of the remedies they have are that flipant and are not effect...this would make you look stupid in front of a homeopathic doctor.
    I would ask a 'homeopathic doctor' the same thing I would ask a voodoo shaman; show me a single study that had effects for benefits that exceeded placebos.   To date, not a single one has been able to do that.

    For your other argument, that since I have never been a homeopathic practitioner I can not possibly dispute that it works (if I took a tiny little bit of diluted homeopathy, it would seem to be good enough for homeopathy believers, right?) is like me telling you that since you have never studied physics you cannot understand gravity.  It's a silly argument.
    You aren't plugged in enough to the practical execution of treatment to have an expert opinion. You don't qualify any you say with a reference or logic. Your starting to sound like Beck to me and I am wondering if you are starting to confuse science with religion. Scientist with any credence will be logical, understands good ideas need to be tested before dismissal. You are not really a good journalist for science because you skipped something major...the scientific method, which means you can't form a conclusion without performing an experiment, observation, or mathematically proof before claiming it is true you have to have no legitimacy...just your opinion doesn't qualify anything. Your not a very good journalist because you no perception of reliability. Your taking a stereotype and using circular reasoning to promote it to fact. I am really scared that people take you seriously. I haven't read really anything that's journalistic, mabye it is an editorial at best...but, a bad editorial. Science 2.0 is a joke because you don't know ethics when its staring you in the face and objectivity has flown out the window. Your defending yourself to the point of being self defeating. If you continue to ignore the fact that I know more about this than you and have given based on reality not just conjecture and fear, is making you look bad and you should stop and clean up your act.

    Gerhard Adam
    You are not really a good journalist for science because you skipped something major...the scientific method, which means you can't form a conclusion without performing an experiment, observation, or mathematically proof before claiming it is true you have to have no legitimacy...just your opinion doesn't qualify anything.
    You're joking, right?  The scientific method is the means by which one attempts to prove a hypothesis.  It doesn't require a hypothesis nor the scientific method, nor even evidence to suggest that something is nonsense.  Instead, anyone making a positive claim is the one incurring the obligation to provide proof.  If such proof exists and someone insists on denying it, then you might have a point, however your statement as it reads is incorrect.

    Therefore, if you're suggesting that homeopathy is legitimate, then show the proof.  Otherwise, you're simply the one with the unsupported opinion.  This is no different than all the people that want to invoke the scientific method (on their critics) to claim vampirism or intelligent design and all all manner of superstitious nonsense.  What is a common theme, is that apparently the scientific method is only considered a requirement for the critic.  It appears that those making the claim never feel compelled to use it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
     If you continue to ignore the fact that I know more about this than you and have given based on reality not just conjecture and fear, is making you look bad and you should stop and clean up your act.
    You really, truly know more than me because you want to believe homeopathy in defiance of any evidence-based application of it?    I feel like I have seen this all before ...

    I would write a column myself give you the proof in and out and upside down and backwards...however, since you don't really respect life experience as evidence worth exploring a subject and a request to look at a topic objectively. Which is all really ask you to do. The burden of proof falls on the person that wrote the column. No matter how many times you use Niche to deflect, or a threat of Scientology. It won't that the article above is point and potential harmful in making advances in the medical community.

    I am sorry, I made a mistake Hank. I dearly apologize for messing up my grammar again. ooops, :-o

    You'll just have to guess.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...since you don't really respect life experience as evidence worth exploring a subject and a request to look at a topic objectively.
    Well you certainly have a flexible set of standards.  First you complain that the scientific method isn't being employed to refute your claims, and then you want to use personal experience as a criteria for proof.  You cannot claim personal anecdotal experience and then claim objectivity.  If there's any "science" involved, then it certainly shouldn't be dependent on your personal experience.  If it does, then your entire set of responses are disingenuous and your claim for the scientific method is as fraudulent as the claims regarding homeopathy.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I am asking you to have standards. I don't have a conclusion or a theory, I haven't jumped to one yet. A suggestion for research, isn't a conclusion or theory. The burden is on the unqualified snap conclusion at the top. Homeopathic medicine would be good for some conditions. Real doctors know that, that's why they want you to tell them and will look up drug interactions, or even be encouraging when they are at a stand still. Chamomile in instead of sleeping pill, will keep from addiction ills.
    However, I do want to advocate for autistic community right now, because I know that they are being treated with psych meds like Geodon. The psychiatric community knows that Geodon can be really dangerous unless you are a patient that fried their brain with illegal drugs. Autistic people are not candidates for this medication, it has nothing to do with their condition, wasn't developed for it and is dangerous over a long period of time in your circulatory system. The drug company doesn't indicate that it should be used that way. Autism and Geodon are an irresponsible combination. This really should only be used in a severe cases in a last case senarios like they are dangerous, gravely disabled, or suicidal. They deserve the educated choices that the psychiatric community has fought for in the name of human rights.
    The drug company has no motivation to stop this because they will not be cop-able unless they claim that they should do it. I also want to point out that there are different kinds of autism. Asbergers patients that don't have any problem living don't need psychiatric medication. They are candidates for therapy and have trouble getting what they need in social skills. That's why some people don't notice them and some of them are in grad school and not telling you they are their.

    Hank
    I don't have a conclusion or a theory, I haven't jumped to one yet. 
    Though you wrote "My theory is that botany proves the fourth force of Stephen Hawking, although no one has made that connection" earlier so I am glad we all agree you do not have a theory.   It shows you are willing to learn.
    Chamomile in instead of sleeping pill, will keep from addiction ills.
    Chamomile is not homeopathy.  Any number of natural remedies were precursors to manufactured ones.   We can't have every kid with acne tearing the bark off of willow trees so salicylic acid was created in the lab.    The discussion is homeopathy, which you so desperately want to believe you have ignored a hundred years of empirical data showing it no more effective than a placebo.
    Gerhard Adam
    A suggestion for research, isn't a conclusion or theory. The burden is
    on the unqualified snap conclusion at the top. Homeopathic medicine
    would be good for some conditions. Real doctors know that,...
    You've run the gamut in that statement.  You begin by indicating a "suggestion for research" and conclude with "Real doctors know...".  Real doctors don't know anything if it hasn't been proven by research.  That's the basis for the scientific method.  The scientific method has no basis in either a suggestion for research, nor an opinion that someone may reach.  The scientific method is used to evaluate a hypothesis.  If you don't have one, then don't invoke it.  As I indicated previously, the only way to evaluate a negative conclusion is if someone blatantly refuses to acknowledge peer-reviewed evidence.  However, you haven't provided anything beyond an assertion that there's a veritable underground of people that somehow "know" something to be true. 

    Regardless of what people think they "know" or believe, that isn't science, nor does it have anything to do with the scientific method.  I don't have an obligation to employ the scientific method for every assertion made by an individual.  It's a waste of time.  If there is a new theory or proposal, then do the research or point to someone that has.  If there isn't any, then it is simply another opinion and without any compelling evidence to suggest a basis for an idea being reasonable, there is no onus on the critic to supply that missing data.
    Mundus vult decipi
    As long as science refuses to look they will never do the impossible. You don't know what and how it might change.

    Gerhard Adam
    ... they will never do the impossible.
    It's called "impossible" for a reason.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Larry Arnold
    For what it is worth there has been little study of what is often reported, that people on the autistic spectrum have abnormal reactions to various medication, or require lower doses.

    It's always difficult to know when to believe anecdotal reports or not, it depends upon whether there is any reasonable hypothesis to support the reports or not and if there is and there is a way to investigate it, then it should be pursued. It is my personal experience that I am more sensitive to most prescription medications anyway and I have to watch the dose.

    I agree that psychotropic medications and autism do not mix, even more so that there are too many multiple prescriptions leading to conditions akin to iatrogenic dementia more than improving whatever it is they are supposed to improve.

    I am afraid though that homeopathy is as much woo as any of the other snake oils out there.
    Larry Arnold
    Nobody has yet been able to explain to me satisfactorily why you can't get homeopathic alcohol.

    It would be wonderful stuff, cheap as chips undetectable and no hangover or cirrhosis of the liver , and while I am about it what about homeopathic cannabis too, I think the homeopathists are missing a thing or two.
    logicman
    Nobody has yet been able to explain to me satisfactorily why you can't get homeopathic alcohol.

    It would be wonderful stuff, cheap as chips undetectable and no hangover or cirrhosis of the liver , and while I am about it what about homeopathic cannabis too, I think the homeopathists are missing a thing or two.

    I volunteer to test the efficacy of dilution at
    50%
    25%  
    12. somethingorother
    2 per thingy  
    0.00000000000
    ten green dollars hanging on the wall hic!
    Count me in too! Although, having Asperger's syndrome myself, the results, in my case, may be somewhat anomalous.
    logicman
    Count me in too! Although, having Asperger's syndrome myself, the results, in my case, may be somewhat anomalous.
    I could hardly get more anomalous than my everyday norm.
    Homeopahtic alcohol is home brew. It is a hobby commonly popular with hic-scientist-america. They are highly specailized and technical hobbist and it is their travel into craft and art. From someone highly skilled you will never find a better beer. They compete in contests and if they offer one and they have been recommend, take it. It is legal here to make mead, beer or wine yourself. Whisky not. It is scientific and creative as if a sculpture could feel and travel across your mouth. I do not drink it anymore because it is not safe for me, however it is craft and one I appreciate and don't debunk.

    Although, your all wearing cowboy hats, and expensive ones at that.
    I am the hick, berkeley in the desert my roots are alive compete with that.

    logicman
    ... your all wearing cowboy hats, and expensive ones at that.

    Oi! Leave it art!  I never wear a titfer1. Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner. :-)

    For EFL students, aka Americans: tit for tat = hat.
    English as first language you see, can be a disability. But, art can just be.

    logicman
    English as first language you see, can be a disability.

    Well, we English sent over shiploads of elocutionists in pretty red uniforms, but the Yanks were too busy shooting at them to take the trouble to learn correct use of English.  Personally, I blame that loonybergian King George III.

    Nb: I can get away with this sort of baloney only because the good folks here know that I am only kidding.  Or at least, they think I am.  ;-)
    Hank
    We never kid about King George III - though if we do, that's what you get for letting Germans sit on your throne.
    The Placebo Effect is the biggest trickster of the human mind.

    I feel so out of sync, I thought that the US south was mostly presbelutherterians, not catholics.

    Hank
    Baptists mostly, but you see how much more oppressed that made me??