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.

How has it lasted so long? It's like how those phone sports betting services stay in business. If it's Sunday and the Steelers are playing the Cowboys and they tell 50% of their customers each team, they have gotten 50% of proven gamblers to give them multiple chances to get money out of them over and over again.

So it goes with homeopathy. Since each person is unique, each cure must be unique. You can't really be wrong if you have unlimited opportunities to be right.

Homeopathy has/had its proponents; I don't know what all Gandhi and Dizzy Gillespie agreed on but I know they agreed on that. Obviously it can have risks. If you try to cure diabetes by experimenting you could lose body parts.

Still, there is a wealth of evidence, mostly anecdotal, and it will never die as long as there is an internet. That doesn't mean it will go unchallenged. Professor Edzard Ernst of Exeter University has offered $16,000 to anyone who can show it is better than a placebo in a controlled trial.

Proponents of homeopathy say it is a publicity stunt so Ernst can sell some books. Yes, it's a publicity stunt by scientists to denigrate voodoo medicine that says mixing a million units of water with one unit of an obscure cell salt will cure maladies. Critics say homeopathy is the placebo effect in action and have 200 controlled studies to prove it.

So, do you want to earn a Nobel Prize and $16,000? Prove homeopathy works. If you do, I will prove I am Dizzy Gillespie reincarnated.