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Which is more scientific: Allopathy or Homeopathy?

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  • Originally posted by boyf View Post
    Homeopathic remedies can provide a fast, lasting cure for depression. Part of the reason these natural remedies are so effective is that they match your personality and individual symptoms. Homeopaths have discovered the alternative medicine can be used to treat depression and anxiety


    Homeopathy Sydney - effective homeopathic remedies that work
    Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
    Homeopathic treatment of depression and anxiety (1997) //58% of patients responded to homeopathy for anxiety and phobia
    http://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/

    Comment


    • Originally posted by ckurz7000 View Post
      Yes, you can prove that PI is an irrational number with an infinite number of decimal places.
      Let's not nitpick this too far, but I said verify. I know you can provide a theorethical proof, but according to Popper .....

      And yes again on the the observation that very few areas of interest qualify as science in the strict sense. But it bears considering the consequences of this definition: something like medicine is NOT a science!
      Medicine can be approached scientifically. As I say, science is a method, so medicine is not science, but it can be approached using scientific methods.

      Things like the application of statistics even become questionable in the medical context because statistics only strictly apply to REPEATABLE events. And no treatment is repeatable.
      This is false, even within homeopathic doctrine. Even in homeopathy, epidemic occurrences are treated as repeatable (with the same remedy for all patients). It is, of course, true that no two cases are exactly identical, but that does not mean they are not repeatable. Statistic methods are perfectly capable of handling noise factors. In fact, one of the important uses for statistic methods is to extract the repeatable parts of complex functions.

      I agree. But what's the meaning of evidence if you can't repeat the claim made by somebody else because the phenomena observed are in principle not repeatable. That's the very situation medicine is in.
      That is not correct. Even if though there are wide variations, it is still possible to prove causal relationships in medicine.

      And homeopathy isn't better off than conventional medicine in this particular respect, either. But it makes me smile if a member of the established allopathic medicine accuses homeopathy of being "unscientific". They should abstain from throwing stones while sitting in a glass house themselves.
      Well, you will notice that this thread was started by a homeopath. However, I do certainly consider conventional medicine to be using a far more scientific approach than homeopathy.

      Not so. Quantity does not signify quality. And we have to be very careful what we regard as "evidence" in a scientific world.
      Well that was sort of my point. Nancy is the one posting loads of reports, and I sad that IF that was the measure, I could easily beat her.

      Why do you say so?
      I say that homeopathy and conventional medicine are mutually exclusive because their paradigms are incompatible. - In homeopathy, what is the definition and cause of disease?

      That's a very relevant and extremely important question to which entirely too little thought has been given.

      I don't want to write a book on this (yet) but I can tell you one thing I don't particularly consider very important in judging the merits of a therapeutic system: being "scientific".
      No, the merits are to be judged on their practical ability to treat disease. However, the crux of the matter is: HOW do you judge this ability? By scietific methods (even given their limitations), or do you prefer anecdotical evidence?

      Hans
      You have a right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by MRC_Hans View Post
        Let's not nitpick this too far, but I said verify. I know you can provide a theorethical proof, but according to Popper .....
        Yes, even according to Popper. Pi is an irrational number which can be proved irrefutably.

        Medicine can be approached scientifically. As I say, science is a method, so medicine is not science, but it can be approached using scientific methods.
        Strictly speaking and according to Popper: no. You can't apply scientific methods outside the field of science PER DEFINITION. Because science is defined (and here I agree with you) to be that part of knowledge which can be learned by the application of scientific methods. Scientific methods imply and are based on the repeatability, verifiability and falsifiability of its statements and premises. Most knowledge in medicine is not repeatable and therefore not verifiable or falsifiable. For example: the same medication may act in an unpredictable way and different from time to time. Treatment in allopathic medicine is most of the times a trial and error approach. If one medication doesn't work, let's try another one. This is not scientific. Don't get me wrong: there's nothing wrong with trial and error backed by some heuristic knowledge. It's just not a science. Still useful, but not a science.

        As an aside: even though I am a nuclear physicist, I have never understood why it is of such paramount importance for allopoathy or homeopathy to be regarded as "scientific". There are places on the endless map of knowledge which lie within the realm of natural sciences and many more places which don't. Neither knowledge is more important or "better" than the other. It alludes me completely, why homeopathy even wants to be measured by the scientific yardstick. And sometimes I find it funny that allopathy really thinks that it can be. It reminds me of Grimm's fairytale of "The Emperor without Clothes."

        This is false, even within homeopathic doctrine. Even in homeopathy, epidemic occurrences are treated as repeatable (with the same remedy for all patients). It is, of course, true that no two cases are exactly identical, but that does not mean they are not repeatable.
        Homeopathy isn't a science, either. I never claimed it would be. And much misunderstanding has arisen from the fact that the many among the homeopathic community dearly want it to be one. Epidemics aren't repeatable events. They are a number of events that have one basic trait in common -- the genus epidemicus. And they differ in many other respects.

        That is not correct. Even if though there are wide variations, it is still possible to prove causal relationships in medicine.
        Let's not go there. First, "cause" is an entirely elusive concept and many times a figment of our imaginations. To prove that A causes B again requires repeatability can strictly only be achieved if you understand the phenomenon in question at all levels. And we don't even begin to understand the underlying effects in medicine.

        Well, you will notice that this thread was started by a homeopath. However, I do certainly consider conventional medicine to be using a far more scientific approach than homeopathy.
        You can claim this many times over but it won't get more true by repetition. This is simply not true.

        I say that homeopathy and conventional medicine are mutually exclusive because their paradigms are incompatible. - In homeopathy, what is the definition and cause of disease?
        If that were true, than eating and drinking were mutually exclusive, too. Two things can only be mutually exclusive if either one doesn't leave room for the other and is capable of explaining all phenomena. Since this is not true for either of them, I contend that we cannot determine their mutual relationship. Probably they are both "true" in the sense that they both are valid frameworks for a beneficial therapy depending on circumstances. It all depends on the circumstances.

        No, the merits are to be judged on their practical ability to treat disease. However, the crux of the matter is: HOW do you judge this ability? By scietific methods (even given their limitations), or do you prefer anecdotical evidence?
        Right there you have pointed your finger to the crux of the problem: since their definitions of health and disease are very different, how can you compare them? What counts as "patient treated successfully, case closed" in allopathy will many times not be considered a "cure" for a homeopath. You are comparing appleas and pears.

        -- Chris.
        ------------------------------------------------
        Chris Kurz
        If you like my posts, you might also like my book:
        "Imagine Homeopathy -- a book of experiments, images and metaphors"

        Comment


        • Originally posted by MRC_Hans View Post
          I say that homeopathy and conventional medicine are mutually exclusive because their paradigms are incompatible. - In homeopathy, what is the definition and cause of disease?

          Hans
          Disease is not an entity. It is dynamic disposition (alteration) in harmony of constitution (due to dis-arrangement of vital force) not just the physio-chemical alteration of tissues.
          http://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/

          Comment


          • how homeopathy defines health, disease and cure

            Originally posted by ckurz7000 View Post
            Right there you have pointed your finger to the crux of the problem: since their definitions of health and disease are very different, how can you compare them? What counts as "patient treated successfully, case closed" in allopathy will many times not be considered a "cure" for a homeopath. You are comparing appleas and pears.

            -- Chris.
            This is how homeopathy defines health, disease and cure

            Health is not just merely an absence of disease but a state of equilibrium of the vital force that keeps the constitution of an individual in harmony.

            Disease
            is not an entity. It is dynamic disposition (alteration) in harmony of constitution (due to dis-arrangement of vital force) not just the physio-chemical alteration of tissues.

            Cure
            (-the single purpose and highest ideal of the medicine) is “the rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, based on easily comprehensible principles” . Cure means the recovery of the state of stability of physiological norms.
            http://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/

            Comment


            • Strictly speaking and according to Popper: no. You can't apply scientific methods outside the field of science PER DEFINITION.
              Definitions seldom survive meeting the real world.

              Because science is defined (and here I agree with you) to be that part of knowledge which can be learned by the application of scientific methods. Scientific methods imply and are based on the repeatability, verifiability and falsifiability of its statements and premises.
              OK, fine then. However, a surprising number of scientist will be surprised to know they are not working with science. Astronomers, meteorologists, biologists ....

              Most knowledge in medicine is not repeatable and therefore not verifiable or falsifiable.
              I disagree. Our knowledge in medicine is certainly not absolute, but the say it is not repeatable and verifiable (not to mention falsifiable) is wrong.

              Our predictive power in medicine is not 100%, but less will do in the real world.

              For example: the same medication may act in an unpredictable way and different from time to time.
              I cannot say for sure that no such medication exists, but certainly most recognized medicines are pretty predictable.

              However, if you insist on your all or nothing approach, perhaps you need to ponder where that leaves homeopathy.

              Treatment in allopathic medicine is most of the times a trial and error approach. If one medication doesn't work, let's try another one.
              Well, the term 'allopathy' really refers to the mainstream medicine practiced in Hahnemann's era, and it was indeed trial and error. So was, in fact ALL medicine systems of the era, certainly including homeopathy.

              However, that kind of allopathy does not exist any more. A few medications persist from that time, proven effective by time, but in general modern medicines are backed by objective, repeatable evidence.


              This is not scientific. Don't get me wrong: there's nothing wrong with trial and error backed by some heuristic knowledge. It's just not a science. Still useful, but not a science.
              As an advocate of homeopathy (which I assume you are) you can hardly afford to claim otherwise, since homeopathy is still practiced as trial and arror.

              As an aside: even though I am a nuclear physicist, I have never understood why it is of such paramount importance for allopoathy or homeopathy to be regarded as "scientific".
              For modern medicine it is paramount because it is required of it. It must, in this era, live up to quite rigorous scinetific standards (whether this is science in the Popper way, I will not continue to discuss, since I don't much care) . Why homeopaths are so eager to be scientific, is a bit of a riddle to me, too. I can only suppose they are unawate that the application of scientific methods will be the death of homeopathy.

              And sometimes I find it funny that allopathy really thinks that it can be. It reminds me of Grimm's fairytale of "The Emperor without Clothes."
              Hans Christian Andersen, not Grimm.

              Let's not go there. First, "cause" is an entirely elusive concept and many times a figment of our imaginations. To prove that A causes B again requires repeatability can strictly only be achieved if you understand the phenomenon in question at all levels. And we don't even begin to understand the underlying effects in medicine.
              I'm sorry, but you are mistaken. You seem to be under the illusion that we are still in the 19th century. We are not.

              You can claim this many times over but it won't get more true by repetition. This is simply not true.
              See my replies to Nancy.

              Hans
              You have a right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Dr. Nancy Malik View Post
                is not an entity. It is dynamic disposition (alteration) in harmony of constitution (due to dis-arrangement of vital force) not just the physio-chemical alteration of tissues.
                Thank you, Nancy. And here we clearly see why modern medicine and homepathy are incompatible: Modern medicine does not recognize a 'vital force' as an entitiy which can, in itself, govern health and disease. Likewise, modern medicine does not work by trying to influence the same vital force.


                Originally posted by Dr. Nancy Malik View Post
                This is how homeopathy defines health, disease and cure

                [SIZE=2]Health is not just merely an absence of disease but a state of equilibrium of the vital force that keeps the constitution of an individual in harmony.
                Again a totally different paradigm. Modern medicine sees health as the correct function of the complex of more or less connected processes that makes the body function.

                Disease is not an entity. It is dynamic disposition (alteration) in harmony of constitution (due to dis-arrangement of vital force) not just the physio-chemical alteration of tissues.
                Modern medicine: Disease is the failure of one or several systems in the body to function normally. The cause can be internal or external.

                Cure (-the single purpose and highest ideal of the medicine) is “the rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, based on easily comprehensible principles” . Cure means the recovery of the state of stability of physiological norms.
                Apart from the 'easily comprehensible' part*), there is not discord here, however, the actual methods are very different:

                Homeopathy claims that disease can be comprehensively characterized by externally observable symptoms and that addressing these symptoms can revert the disease.

                Modern medicine posits that disease must be characterized by the actual biophysical malfunction, basically regardless of symptom manifestation (although observation of symptoms is still one of the diagnostic tools), and that cure requires that the cause for the malfunction is found and addressed.

                Obviously, the two systems assume two different modes of the basic functioning of the body.

                Hans

                *) While no system wants to make things more complex than necessary, modern medicine has been forced to realize that some disease mechanisms and their possible cures are in fact far from easily comprehensible.
                You have a right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

                Comment


                • By changing the name from allopathy to conventional to modern medicine does not change the fact that it is not scientific
                  http://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Dr. Nancy Malik View Post
                    By changing the name from allopathy to conventional to modern medicine does not change the fact that it is not scientific
                    The name has nothing to say, but how do you conclude it is not scientific?

                    And how do you conclude homeopathy is?

                    Hans
                    You have a right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by MRC_Hans View Post
                      The name has nothing to say, but how do you conclude it is not scientific?

                      And how do you conclude homeopathy is?

                      Hans
                      Evidence of homeopathy is undeniably positive and consistent. It's a human evidence of experience, gathered from a real-world observation in a real-world setting (not in an ideal artificial laboratory) giving real-world solutions.
                      http://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Dr. Nancy Malik View Post
                        Evidence of homeopathy is undeniably positive and consistent. It's a human evidence of experience, gathered from a real-world observation in a real-world setting (not in an ideal artificial laboratory) giving real-world solutions.
                        If that is your definition of scientific truth (I have to disagree, but that is another matter), how do you conclude, by the same definition that 'allopathy' is not scientific?

                        Hans
                        You have a right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by MRC_Hans View Post
                          If that is your definition of scientific truth (I have to disagree, but that is another matter), how do you conclude, by the same definition that 'allopathy' is not scientific?

                          Hans
                          Millions of deaths due to side effects of allopathy signifies it is not scientific

                          Incidence of Adverse Drug Reactions in Hospitalized Patients, April 15, 1998, Lazarou et al. 279 (15): 1200 ? JAMA //adverse drug reactions
                          BBC NEWS | Wales | South East Wales | Boy, 14, died after acne tablets //clearsil for acne
                          http://www.deathbymodernmedicine.com/ //a book by Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND
                          http://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Dr. Nancy Malik View Post
                            Millions of deaths due to side effects of allopathy signifies it is not scientific

                            Incidence of Adverse Drug Reactions in Hospitalized Patients, April 15, 1998, Lazarou et al. 279 (15): 1200 ? JAMA //adverse drug reactions
                            BBC NEWS | Wales | South East Wales | Boy, 14, died after acne tablets //clearsil for acne
                            http://www.deathbymodernmedicine.com/ //a book by Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND
                            Millions of deaths would be unacceptable (fortunately, it's a lie), but it wouldn't make it unscientific. The atom bomb is hightly scientific.

                            Hans
                            You have a right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by MRC_Hans View Post
                              Millions of deaths would be unacceptable (fortunately, it's a lie), but it wouldn't make it unscientific. The atom bomb is hightly scientific.

                              Hans
                              Yes the deaths due to side effects of ConMed (Conventional Medicine) rans into millions

                              http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19125683.900?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=mg19125683.900
                              http://www.hugesettlements.com/articles/Medical_Malpractice.htm
                              http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080317/full/news.2008.676.html
                              http://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Dr. Nancy Malik View Post
                                Yes the deaths due to side effects of ConMed (Conventional Medicine) rans into millions

                                http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19125683.900?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=mg19125683.900
                                From that article:

                                Imagine the outcry if 500 people in a developed country such as the US or UK died after being given a fake medicine. Then consider that in the early 1990s a similar number of children died of kidney failure in India, Haiti, Bangladesh and Nigeria after taking fake paracetamol syrup contaminated with a toxic solvent. Barely anyone noticed bar their families and a few doctors.
                                So this is an article about fake and toxic medicine. Not about side effects.

                                http://www.hugesettlements.com/articles/Medical_Malpractice.htm
                                http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080317/full/news.2008.676.html
                                This is slightly better, but:

                                Of 1,574 deaths, 3% were probably caused by an adverse drug reaction, the authors conclude.
                                And:

                                The study does not necessarily mean that these patients would still be alive had they not received the drugs that apparently killed them.

                                “This is only looking at one side of the coin,” says Simon Thomas, a therapeutics expert at Newcastle University, UK. “The kind of drugs that cause haemorrhage actually have large benefits. What the figures don’t pick out is the number of patients with cardiovascular risks who don’t have myocardial infarction or stroke because they are taking aspirin.” Thomas adds he wasn't too surprised by the results.
                                So, considering that billions of people use conventional meds, (thank you for using the proper expression, btw), the deaths where side effect 'probably play a role' may well be counted in millions. There is only one kind of medicine that is completely harmless: The one with no effect at all.

                                Hans
                                You have a right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

                                Comment

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