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Which is more scientific: Allopathy or Homeopathy?

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  • Perhaps the most recent use of homeopathy in a major epidemic was during
    the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. The Journal of the American Institute
    for Homeopathy, May, 1921, had a long article about the use of
    homeopathy in the flu epidemic. Dr. T A McCann, from Dayton, Ohio
    reported that 24,000 cases of flu treated allopathically had a mortality
    rate of 28.2% while 26,000 cases of flu treated homeopathically had a
    mortality rate of 1.05%. This last figure was supported by Dean W.A.
    Pearson of Philadelphia (Hahnemann College) who collected 26,795 cases
    of flu treated with homeopathy with the above result.

    The most common remedy used was Gelsemium, with occasional cases needing
    Bryonia and Eupatorium reported. Dr. Herbert A. Roberts from Derby,
    CT, said that 30 physicians in Connecticut responded to his request for
    data. They reported 6,602 cases with 55 deaths, which is less than 1%.
    Dr. Roberts was working as a physician on a troop ship during WWI. He
    had 81 cases of flu on the way over to Europe. He reported, "All
    recovered and were landed. Every man received homeopathic treatment. One
    ship lost 31 on the way."

    Closer to our present time, there were the Polio epidemics in the
    mid-1950s. Dr. Alonzo Shadman, a homeopath in the Boston area,
    emphasized that until *actual paralysis* was observed, it was hard to
    distinguish the prodromal symptoms of Polio from those of the common
    cold-- and he treated many "summer colds" during the time. Were they
    incipient polio? No one can tell.

    Dr. Francisco Eizayaga or Argentina, tells of a polio epidemic in
    Buenos Aires in 1957, where the symptoms of the epidemic resembled those
    of the remedy Lathyrus sativa. The homeopathic doctors and pharmacies
    prescribed Lathyrus 30c as a prophylactic, and "thousands of doses" were
    distributed. "Nobody registered a case of contagion."
    Eizayaga points out that in other epidemics of polio, Gelsemium was the
    indicated remedy-- emphasizing, again, the need for individualization.

    Homeopathy has been very effective in treating many of the epidemics
    during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Why the successes are not
    better known is a subject for conjecture. It could be that, like the
    physician quoted below, most would rather not see the ineffectiveness of
    the conventional therapeutics nor accept the efficacy of homeopathy.
    From "Homeopathy In Influenza-A Chorus Of Fifty In Harmony" by W. A.
    Dewey, MD (Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, May 1921):

    One physician in a Pittsburgh hospital asked a nurse if she knew
    anything better than what he was doing, because he was losing many
    cases. "Yes, Doctor, stop aspirin and go down to a homeopathic
    pharmacy, and get homeopathic remedies." The Doctor replied: "But that
    is homeopathy." "I know it, but the homeopathic doctors for whom I have
    nursed have not lost a single case."--W. F. Edmundson, MD, Pittsburgh.

    --
    "Great ideas often recieve violent opposition from mediocre minds"...................Einstein

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Gina View Post
      The House of Lords asked for an explanation,
      and it was admitted that if the homeopathic figures were to be included
      in the report, it would "skew the results."

      When the House of Lords challenged the Board of Health about suppressing these figures, the Board explained... "The figures would give sanction to a practice opposed to the maintenance of truth and the progress of science."

      So they told a Whopping Great Big Lie in order to 'maintain the truth' and manipulated the statistics for the sake of the progress of science!

      Love it!
      Last edited by Similibus; 1st October 2008, 12:48 AM. Reason: missing word
      These are my personal views and not necessarily my professional views.The content is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR LOCAL PHYSICIAN.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Similibus View Post
        No. The point here Moopet is that you have argued all along for RDBPCTs as the standard scientific evaluation of the effectiveness of a medicine and that any medicine can be tested by them. You have argued that statistical analysis and clinical audit, while they have a degree of value, are not sufficient scientific evidence of a medicine's efficacy - for that you insist on RDBPCT's. You have argued that the homeopathic profession's assertion that RDBPCTs are not a suitable measure of homeopathy's efficacy is special pleading. Please don't make me quote you.

        You really need to address this or your argument against homeopathy loses all credibility.
        Sorry I didn't reply earlier, I seem to no longer be getting emails telling me when someone's replied.
        We have a slight problem though - your comment above was directed to me saying two things, and you seem to be ignoring one of them.

        One was that you can see clinical statistical results in a population before and after the vaccine is used, which we seem to both agree (from slightly different viewpoints) is good but not conclusive evidence.

        The other was that you can inject someone and tell whether they have received verum or placebo afterwards by checking antibodies. This is a simple procedure which can be blinded, and will produce pretty damn conclusive evidence that the drug is doing *something* and that it actually *exists*.
        Last edited by moopet; 29th September 2008, 10:36 AM. Reason: I still can't spell

        Comment


        • Originally posted by moopet View Post
          Sorry I didn't reply earlier, I seem to no longer be getting emails telling me when someone's replied.
          We have a slight problem though - your comment above was directed to me saying two things, and you seem to be ignoring one of them.

          One was that you can see clinical statistical results in a population before and after the vaccine is used, which we seem to both agree (from slightly different viewpoints) is good but not conclusive evidence.

          The other was that you can inject someone and tell whether they have received verum or placebo afterwards by checking antibodies. This is a simple procedure which can be blinded, and will produce pretty damn conclusive evidence that the drug is doing *something* and that it actually *exists*.
          I'm not sure what your point is Moopet - are you now changing your opinion that the only truly scientific way to measure a medicine's efficacy is through RDBPCT's?

          What is your opinion on the above examples, posted by Gina? Results for homeopathic treatment of epidemic diseases, with a frighteningly high mortality rate, is pretty impressive isn't it? Look at the fear that still exists regarding the 1918 'flu epidemic - look at the scare-mongering in recent times in relation to bird 'flu and the comparisons that have been made with the 1918 epidemic. Look at the mortality rates (<1%) in homeopathic hospitals. Compare that to mortality rates for allopathic hospitals or for no treatment at all. Does that not convince you that homeopathic treatment does 'something' at least, even if you do not understand how a hyper-dilute medicine can have a measurable effect?

          You keep using the word 'magic' in relation to homeopathic medicines. Here is quote from Arthur C Clarke (I believe):

          "Any sufficiently advanced technology will seem like magic to a primitive people", or something like that anyway.

          This is not intended as an insult, but simply to demonstrate the fact that, just because science does not yet have an explanation for how homeopathy works, it does not necessarily follow that it cannot possibly work. You yourself have commented that science is constantly improving it's understanding of the world and that things that were previously considered facts (the earth is flat) are often found to be entirely wrong as our understanding of the world deepens, and so the science books are re-written.

          When there is such an overwhelming abundance of convincing evidence in favour of homeopathy, such as in the examples above, is it not likely that our current understanding of the relationship between matter and energy needs updating?

          Vital Energy is that which either a) is generated by living things or b) generates living things, depending on your belief system. It really isn't that different to other types of energy, such as radiation or electricity. Conventional science has never investigated it because it has always considered it to be within the domain of the Church and consequently not to do with science - to do faith not fact if you like, not to mention the fact that the Church has been extremely powerful up until recent times.

          This is probably the first time in history when we can openly investigate this Energy scientifically. Why is no-one doing it? It is undeniable that this energy exists. Children have it in abundance, the elderly do not, and the dead have none at all. It is something different to the human Spirit and Soul. It is Vital Energy. Life Energy. Conventional Science in general knows nothing about it - it has never even looked at it. Why not? It has fully investigated all other known forms of energy in our Universe!

          Hahnemann's work is the only known scientific investigation into Vital Energy, and it's influence in health, disease and cure. When our Vital Energy becomes disturbed through various stresses we develop symptoms of disease. As disease is essentially a disturbance of this Life Energy, it requires a 'dynamic' medicine to correct the disturbance in order to cure the disease - hence the need for hyper-dilute medicines. Ever heard of someone dying of a broken heart? This is clearly not due to a physical cause.

          Homeopathy is the Pure Science of Medical Therapeutics (the science which governs the administering of medicines in order to cure disease). I would love to tell you more about this science, if you are interested to know more. Why don't you ask some questions and I will do my best to answer them?

          I hope you appreciate that I am letting you off the hook by allowing the discussion to move on, but only because I believe you are sincere (unlike MRC_Hans). It isn't easy to change one's view of the world- it can only happen slowly over time. There was once a time when people couldn't see how the Earth could be a sphere - obviously they were looking at it and could clearly see that it was flat. But spherical it is and humankind has had to change its perspective on this - a paradigm shift.

          Homeopathy works. It is the true Science of Medical Therapeutics and, like it or not, humankind will eventually have to change it's perspective. I hope it is sooner rather than later, for the sake of mankind, and for the sake of our fragile existence on this ailing planet.

          Regards
          Sim
          These are my personal views and not necessarily my professional views.The content is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR LOCAL PHYSICIAN.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Similibus View Post
            I'm not sure what your point is Moopet - are you now changing your opinion that the only truly scientific way to measure a medicine's efficacy is through RDBPCT's?
            I can't think how I can make my position any clearer without just repeating the same things again.
            Originally posted by Similibus View Post
            What is your opinion on the above examples, posted by Gina?
            No opinion on anything Gina writes, or rather doesn't write. Everything she posts is pasted from other forum posts by other people with no thought of her own. Half of them stop in the middle of the argument or are dead links or in other languages. If you have a nugget you've extracted, post it and I will take a look.
            Originally posted by Similibus View Post
            Results for homeopathic treatment of epidemic diseases, with a frighteningly high mortality rate, is pretty impressive isn't it? Look at the fear that still exists regarding the 1918 'flu epidemic - look at the scare-mongering in recent times in relation to bird 'flu and the comparisons that have been made with the 1918 epidemic. Look at the mortality rates (<1%) in homeopathic hospitals. Compare that to mortality rates for allopathic hospitals or for no treatment at all. Does that not convince you that homeopathic treatment does 'something' at least, even if you do not understand how a hyper-dilute medicine can have a measurable effect?
            No. But it does indicate that the methods used are worth investigating further.
            Originally posted by Similibus View Post
            You keep using the word 'magic' in relation to homeopathic medicines. Here is quote from Arthur C Clarke (I believe):

            "Any sufficiently advanced technology will seem like magic to a primitive people", or something like that anyway.
            I remember the quote, it's a popular one, and good one. I see your point, and I haven't seen anyone use that argument before.
            Homeopathy has never pretended to be an advanced technology.
            For instance, while showing a stone-age man a television would probably impress him, televisions weren't made up by someone working in a cave, and supported by cavemen who were convinced that while they didn't know how it worked, it just did. All attempts to describe the method by which homeopathy is supposed to work are struggling, at best. Water memory isn't viable, there are no vital forces which have been discovered...
            What I'm obviously not saying is that it's impossible for us to discover, in years to come, a viable method for homeopathy to work. A technology to support it.
            I am saying that's not here now, and we shouldn't wast time trying to make a TV before we can show it works on electricity (homeopathic laws) and not steam (placebo).
            Originally posted by Similibus View Post


            Vital Energy is [...]

            It is undeniable that this energy exists [...]

            Conventional Science in general knows nothing about it - it has never even looked at it. Why not? It has fully investigated all other known forms of energy in our Universe!
            Originally posted by Similibus View Post
            Ever heard of someone dying of a broken heart? This is clearly not due to a physical cause.
            Are you saying, for example (not ignoring the rest of your comments, just picking out the one challenge) that stress is not physiological?
            Originally posted by Similibus View Post
            [...] Why don't you ask some questions and I will do my best to answer them?
            I have only the preliminary questions to ask: How can you prove that it works, what evidence is there, what is the method of operation, where is the science, can you show that a vital force exists, etc. If we ever get past those, I don't know.
            Originally posted by Similibus View Post
            I hope you appreciate that I am letting you off the hook by allowing the discussion to move on, but only because I believe you are sincere (unlike MRC_Hans).
            I don't want to sidetrack this any further either, but why do you think MRC_Hans is not sincere?

            Let me take a moment to explain my position here:
            I think the position of a lot of skeptics is simply 'screw homeopathy'. I lean that way myself depending on how bad the threads get. But I like the conversation, mostly, and I am curious as to why people defend it in the face of conventional medicine/science and I like to keep track of what's going on in this tiny part of the world. I don't know which politicians are in charge at any time but I like the things I like. So this is a hobby.
            If homeopathy could prove itself to my satisfaction - which probably means proving it to the satisfaction of most of the scientific establishment - then I wouldn't be unhappy that I had been skeptical of it. I also wouldn't be upset that it was true. It would mean re-evaluating a lot of modern science and could lead to all sorts of exciting advances. For making my lifetime more interesting and a more fun time to live in, it'd be great if it was true. But I don't expect it to be because it looks just like pseudoscience.

            Comment


            • I didn't reply to the quoted bit in the middle of that that I'd so carefully snipped.

              The vital force: do you have anything to support it? I think there's a reason that there isn't much research on this apart from by quacks. There hasn't ever been shown to be any such thing.
              You talk about it infesting the living and running out in old people and being gone in dead people.

              You mention the church.

              Do you think that there is a vital force, do you have anything to back this up that isn't homeopathic research (because this force should be ubiquitous and seperable from any specific medical procedure I think) And do you think it has something to do with souls or spirits or gods?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by moopet View Post
                Do you think that there is a vital force, do you have anything to back this up that isn't homeopathic research (because this force should be ubiquitous and seperable from any specific medical procedure I think) And do you think it has something to do with souls or spirits or gods?
                Great question.

                I know that there is a Vital Force, just like I know there is a Gravitational Force. An electrician works with electricity, a homeopath works with Vital Force. Like gravity it is not easy to measure and, like all forces, it is only possible to study it by observing it's effects, or influence, until we develop the specific technology which will enable us to study it more precisely.

                There is nothing mystical about Vital Force, or at least it is no more mystical than fire once was. Traditionally humankind has had a tendency to give mystical status to observed phenomena beyond our comprehension (a sufficiently advanced technology...). Vital Force has nothing whatsoever to do with Souls, or Spirits, or Gods. Does a blade of grass have a Spirit or Soul? However it may seem to be the same thing in humans, which is probably why science has failed to recognise Vital Force thus far, although it most certainly lies within the realms of science.

                Vital Force is simply that which defines the living. A thing is alive only because it has Vitality, or Vital Force. Vital Force holds living things together, maintaining their integrity. It explains why living things do not break down and decay. In relation to an individual organism, it is an energy - like light, heat and radiation. Collectively, it is a Force - like Gravitational Force.

                Do I have anything to back this up - I assume you mean scientific data? That is a little more difficult to provide, because conventional science has never investigated it, and as far as I am aware, does not even acknowledge it. Hahnemann's research is currently the only scientific work that I know of in support of it, just as initially Newton's work was the only evidence of Gravitational Force. In this respect the science is still at an embryonic stage. The fact that homeopathy works is also evidence of it, although I understand that this is not evidence that you are likely to accept.

                We can see for ourselves that people have differing levels of vitality. We are all aware of this, without ever really considering what might be responsible for this difference - what can it be attributed to? Of course if we look after our health, eat well and exercise we will have a higher level of vitality than a person who smokes, drinks too much, eats junk food and never gets off the sofa. Children are extremely vital - they have lots of energy for life. In the elderly we see that the vitality starts to wane. What we are observing is the strength and particular quality of the persons life force (Vital Force). If we can observe that some have more than others, then we have evidence that it exists. Look around you - the planet is teeming with Life. Life is a Force. Vital Force.

                We already associate health and vitality (Vital Force) in our consciousness. An individual who has a strong vitality is considered to be in good health. The chronically ill are considered to have a weak vitality. We can observe the vitality diminishing as a person approaches death. An individual's 'state of health' is clearly related to their level of vitality. The degree or quality of life force available to an individual influences their 'state of health'. The two are actually the same thing. Homeopathic medicines affect the Vital Force and consequently improve the 'state of health'. Homeopathy is the true Science of Medical Therapeutics.
                These are my personal views and not necessarily my professional views.The content is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR LOCAL PHYSICIAN.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by moopet View Post
                  No. But it does indicate that the methods used are worth investigating further.
                  Thank you.


                  Originally posted by moopet View Post
                  I am saying that's not here now, and we shouldn't wast time trying to make a TV before we can show it works on electricity (homeopathic laws) and not steam (placebo).
                  Cholera does not respond to placebo.

                  Originally posted by moopet View Post
                  Are you saying, for example (not ignoring the rest of your comments, just picking out the one challenge) that stress is not physiological?
                  I am saying that the cause of the stress is not always physical.

                  Originally posted by moopet View Post
                  How can you prove that it works
                  You prescribe a homeopathic medicine in accordance with the Principles of Homeopathy and see if it cures. This is the experiment that tests the specific hypothesis.

                  Originally posted by moopet View Post
                  what evidence is there
                  This has been discussed.

                  Originally posted by moopet View Post
                  what is the method of operation
                  In order to maintain homeostasis the body must continually respond to changing conditions in it's internal and external environment. It does this mainly through negative feedback systems. It monitors a particular parameter, e.g. body temperature. When it detects a change, e.g. the body starts to overheat, it responds by opposing it, e.g. sweats to cool itself down. In negative feedback systems the response is always opposite to the stimulus. By giving a medicine that causes similar symptoms, the body is encouraged to oppose the influence of the medicine. As the medicine is extremely dilute, the response from the body easily overcomes the medicine, and goes on to address the natural symptoms of the disease. The remedy is like a switch or brief signal to focus the body's attention/ reaction. It is the natural response of the body that overcomes the disease.


                  Originally posted by moopet View Post
                  where is the science
                  Hahnemann was a child prodigy. He qualified as a physician, but gave up the practice of medicine after a few short years on a matter on conscience. He felt that the medicine of his time was unscientific and did more harm than good. He gave up a potentially lucrative career and earned a meagre living as a translator of medical textbooks, but he took it upon himself to search for a set of scientific principles on which to base a new system of medicine, more suitable for the dawning scientific age.

                  Since the time of Hypocrates, physicians have postulated that if a Law of Cure exists in nature it must be either a Law of Similiars or a Law of Opposites. Hahnemann read that Cullen attributed Peruvian Bark's ability to cure malaria to it's bitterness and (?astringent) action on the stomach. Hahnemann thought this was rubbish. He conducted an experiment - he took some - he developed the symptoms of malarial fever. When the symptoms subsided he did it again - the same thing happened.

                  He started testing other medicines of his day, e.g. Belladonna (for scarlet fever) - he found that often the medicine would produce the symptoms of the disease that it was known to cure. He had satisfied himself that the Law of Similars was the Curative Principle in Nature. He tested lots of different substances on his friends and family, carefully noting the specific symptoms that they produced (Provings) and armed with this new knowledge he went back into practice to test his theory and try his medicines on the sick.

                  He ran into a problem. When medicines in crude doses were prescribed according to the Law of Similars, horrific aggravations of natural symptoms occurred. However, if the patient survived the aggravation, the medicine went on to cure the natural disease. Hahnemann knew that he was onto something, so in effort to eliminate the initial aggravation of symptoms he began to experiment with diluting his medicines. He found that he could get to about 1 part in a million but aggravations still occurred. If he diluted the medicine much beyond this, it ceased to have any medicinal effect at all.

                  Nobody knows why he started to do this (Hahnemann never wrote about it) but he began to succuss the medicine at each stage of dilution. He discovered that as long as he did this, he could dilute the medicine ad infinitum and it would retain its medicinal properties. This also went a long way towards eliminating or reducing the aggravation of natural symptoms and thus homeopathy was born.

                  Hahnemann was also a knowledgeable chemist. He suspected that there could be no physical substance left in his medicines at these extremely high dilutions. He deduced from this that the medicine must be acting 'dynamically' and went on to conclude that the cause of disease must therefore also be 'dynamic', which in turn led him to conclude that the mechanisms at work in the processes of health, disease and cure must be essentially dynamic in nature and not physical, as he had previously believed. This led him to the idea of a Vital Force.

                  There is a lot more to it than that - I haven't gone into susceptibility, suppression, chronic disease, minimum dose, single medicine, and a billion other things, but it gives you the basic idea. I'm not entirely sure I have all my facts straight, but on the whole this is the story (and the science method, experimentation, observations, and conclusions) that led to the development of Homeopathy- the Pure Science of Medical Therapeutics.
                  These are my personal views and not necessarily my professional views.The content is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR LOCAL PHYSICIAN.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                    A couple of percentages!!!

                    You call "The AGGREGATE STATISTICAL RESULTS FOR THE TREATMENT OF CHOLERA IN EUROPE AND AMERICA" a couple of percentages???

                    Just let me emphasise - that is mortality rates for ALL HOSPITALS IN THE ENTIRE CONTINENT OF EUROPE AND THE WHOLE OF AMERICA!!!

                    And you dismiss that as a couple of percentages! LMAO!!!

                    And you want people to take you seriously as a scientist? Maths really isn't your strong point is it Mr Hans?

                    Address the question please - you are rapidly losing all credibility.
                    You keep making statements. Unsupported statements. What are your REFERENCES for those statements?

                    All you have said is:

                    4. The aggregate statistical results for allopathic treatment in the treatment of cholera in Europe and America show a mortality rate of 40%; statistics for homeopathic hospitals show a mortality rate of less than 9%.
                    What is the source of those figures? When was data collected? By whom?

                    You are, hopefully, aware that those figures must be at least a century old?
                    Are you so naive that you think that organized statistical recording existed internationally at that time?

                    Have you any idea AT ALL what is behind the figures you quote?

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

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                      Cholera does not respond to placebo.
                      Probably not. It does, however, respond to a number of factors beside medical treatment.

                      You prescribe a homeopathic medicine in accordance with the Principles of Homeopathy and see if it cures. This is the experiment that tests the specific hypothesis.
                      In principle, yes. The big question is: How do you "see that it cures?"

                      In order to maintain homeostasis the body must continually respond to changing conditions in it's internal and external environment. It does this mainly through negative feedback systems. It monitors a particular parameter, e.g. body temperature. When it detects a change, e.g. the body starts to overheat, it responds by opposing it, e.g. sweats to cool itself down. In negative feedback systems the response is always opposite to the stimulus. By giving a medicine that causes similar symptoms, the body is encouraged to oppose the influence of the medicine. As the medicine is extremely dilute, the response from the body easily overcomes the medicine, and goes on to address the natural symptoms of the disease. The remedy is like a switch or brief signal to focus the body's attention/ reaction. It is the natural response of the body that overcomes the disease.
                      Nice explanation. Not quite in accordance with original Hanemannian doctrine, though. You have left out the vital principle, the notion that disease must allways be a malfunction of the vital principle, and the implication that the body can only holde one disease at a time.

                      This omission is perhaps wise, since contemporary knowledge of how the body functions, and of what causes diseases massively contradicts the Hahnemannian notion. Unfortunately, the omission also kills the internal logic that did after all exist in Hahnemann's explanation:

                      The basic flaw is that your medicine mimicks, not the effects of the disease, but the body's reactions to it. For instance, when the patient runs a fever, it is not an effect of the disease; it is the body's countermeasure against the disease. Now, if your medicine mimicks that symptom (I'm aware that few remedies address fever, it is just an example) it is really countering the body's method of fighting the disease.

                      Also, of course, you say that the medicine is "extremely dilute". That is, for most of the remedies used in practical, classical homeopathy, a gross understatement; according to anything we know about physics, they are diluted out of existence.

                      Hahnemann was a child prodigy. He qualified as a physician, but gave up the practice of medicine after a few short years on a matter on conscience. He felt that the medicine of his time was unscientific and did more harm than good.
                      And to a certain degree, he was right.

                      He gave up a potentially lucrative career and earned a meagre living as a translator of medical textbooks, but he took it upon himself to search for a set of scientific principles on which to base a new system of medicine, more suitable for the dawning scientific age.
                      Actually, I have not seen any of his biographers claim that he lived a meagre living. Do you have a reference for this?

                      Since the time of Hypocrates, physicians have postulated that if a Law of Cure exists in nature it must be either a Law of Similiars or a Law of Opposites.
                      Not quite true. Since long before Hypocrates, the law of similars and the law of opposites have been among the hypotheses in circulation.

                      Hahnemann read that Cullen attributed Peruvian Bark's ability to cure malaria to it's bitterness and (?astringent) action on the stomach. Hahnemann thought this was rubbish. He conducted an experiment - he took some - he developed the symptoms of malarial fever. When the symptoms subsided he did it again - the same thing happened.
                      Yes, this is one of the intriguing anecdotes of homeopathy. You see, attempts to replicate it have always failed: Neither Perivian Bark, nor what was later discovered to be the active substance in it, quinine, will give symptoms like malaria when given to healthy persons.

                      So why did Hahnemann report such symptoms? Well, we shall never know, but several possibilities exist:

                      1) He was allergic to some substance in the preparation he took.
                      2) The preparation he had happened to contain some foreign substance that caused his symptoms.
                      3) His taking the substance happened to coincide with some infection causing the observed symptoms.
                      4) He *gasp* made the story up after the fact.

                      As you can see, whatever the explanation, one of the cornerstones of Hahnemann's basic theory turns out to be nonexistent.

                      He started testing other medicines of his day, e.g. Belladonna (for scarlet fever) - he found that often the medicine would produce the symptoms of the disease that it was known to cure.
                      Often? Already retreating, ehh? Now if homeopathic doctrine is true, this has to be a universal principle! "Often" is simply not good enough.

                      He had satisfied himself that the Law of Similars was the Curative Principle in Nature.
                      Unfortunately, satisfying himself is not good enough. Neither is your capitalisation of words. To declare something a natural law based on a few experiments is not good science. It wasn't good science in Hahenmann's time, either.

                      He ran into a problem. When medicines in crude doses were prescribed according to the Law of Similars, horrific aggravations of natural symptoms occurred. However, if the patient survived the aggravation, the medicine went on to cure the natural disease.
                      Which was just the same as his contemporary practioners, whom he detested so much, did: Try some medicine on the patients, and if they survived, he chalked it up as another victory for his principle. That had gone on for millienna, nothing new there.

                      Hahnemann knew that he was onto something, so in effort to eliminate the initial aggravation of symptoms he began to experiment with diluting his medicines. He found that he could get to about 1 part in a million but aggravations still occurred. If he diluted the medicine much beyond this, it ceased to have any medicinal effect at all.
                      No. You are making this up. Hahnemann does not describe anything about a specific limit, and with good reason: We are here talking about a common dose-dependent pharmacologic effect, and the point where a dilution has no observable effect will vary widely from substance to substance.

                      Nobody knows why he started to do this (Hahnemann never wrote about it) but he began to succuss the medicine at each stage of dilution. He discovered that as long as he did this, he could dilute the medicine ad infinitum and it would retain its medicinal properties. This also went a long way towards eliminating or reducing the aggravation of natural symptoms and thus homeopathy was born.
                      Oh, the big mystery ritual, "succussion"! How come you never say "violent shaking"? Perhaps it takes too much magic out of it? It is not so mysterious why he did that: That is standard procedure when you want to mix something. Especially as some of the substances he experimented with are not really soluble in water: Of course he had to shake them well.

                      Hahnemann was also a knowledgeable chemist. He suspected that there could be no physical substance left in his medicines at these extremely high dilutions.
                      Exactly! Even Hahnemann himself acknowledged this. Why is it we still need to discuss this matter with some homeopaths (present company, apparantly, not included)?

                      He deduced from this that the medicine must be acting 'dynamically' and went on to conclude that the cause of disease must therefore also be 'dynamic', which in turn led him to conclude that the mechanisms at work in the processes of health, disease and cure must be essentially dynamic in nature and not physical, as he had previously believed. This led him to the idea of a Vital Force.
                      Yeah, and this is where he left the path of science: When the facts did not support his theory, he invented an ad-hoc hypothesis.

                      *snip* I'm not entirely sure I have all my facts straight, but on the whole this is the story (and the science method, experimentation, observations, and conclusions) that led to the development of Homeopathy- the Pure Science of Medical Therapeutics.
                      Excuse me? You are not sure you have all your facts straight, but you still proceed to declare something "the Pure Science of Medical Therapeutics"? ... And YOU talk about credibility???

                      Please explain: Why should I give you any credibility at all?

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

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                        Great question.
                        I wish I could say the same about your answer.

                        I know that there is a Vital Force, just like I know there is a Gravitational Force. An electrician works with electricity, a homeopath works with Vital Force. Like gravity it is not easy to measure and, like all forces, it is only possible to study it by observing it's effects, or influence, until we develop the specific technology which will enable us to study it more precisely.
                        Excuse me? Is gravity not easy to measure?? Surely you joke? Not all known forces are easy to measure, but gravity is by far the easiest. We have been measuring it since prehistoric times (on an instrument called a scale).

                        There is nothing mystical about Vital Force, or at least it is no more mystical than fire once was. Traditionally humankind has had a tendency to give mystical status to observed phenomena beyond our comprehension (a sufficiently advanced technology...). Vital Force has nothing whatsoever to do with Souls, or Spirits, or Gods.
                        Oh, fine, we seem to have gotten religion out of it. But, not mystical? This is something we cannot measure, cannot observe, cannot know exists, still you claim it is not mystical?

                        Vital Force is simply that which defines the living. A thing is alive only because it has Vitality, or Vital Force. Vital Force holds living things together, maintaining their integrity. It explains why living things do not break down and decay. In relation to an individual organism, it is an energy - like light, heat and radiation. Collectively, it is a Force - like Gravitational Force.
                        Ahh, so "Vital Force" is simply another expression for biochemistry? OK, fine! We have a comprehensive knowledge about that. Not perfect, but extremely comprehensive.

                        Do I have anything to back this up - I assume you mean scientific data? That is a little more difficult to provide, because conventional science has never investigated it, and as far as I am aware, does not even acknowledge it.
                        Oh, nonsense! Science has investigated it at great lenght, and it would take you years to read up on it, but there is no need. As long as you define "Vital Force" as "what distinguishes living from dead", we are solidly on scientific ground.

                        Hahnemann's research is currently the only scientific work that I know of in support of it, just as initially Newton's work was the only evidence of Gravitational Force. In this respect the science is still at an embryonic stage. The fact that homeopathy works is also evidence of it, although I understand that this is not evidence that you are likely to accept.
                        Well, here is the catch: Your definition, above, does NOT support homeopathic doctrine.

                        We can see for ourselves that people have differing levels of vitality. *yada, yada* Look around you - the planet is teeming with Life. Life is a Force. Vital Force.
                        Biochemistry. Fine! No support there for homeopathy, however.

                        Hans
                        Last edited by MRC_Hans; 1st October 2008, 08:46 AM. Reason: Correction of fault
                        You have a right to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by MRC_Hans View Post
                          You keep making statements. Unsupported statements. What are your REFERENCES for those statements?.......What is the source of those figures? When was data collected? By whom?

                          You are, hopefully, aware that those figures must be at least a century old?
                          Are you so naive that you think that organized statistical recording existed internationally at that time?

                          Have you any idea AT ALL what is behind the figures you quote?
                          I have selected this article because it is fairly comprehensive, because it is extremely well referenced, and because it is written by a person with a medical qualification. For those not wishing to read the entire thesis, articles 1.2.2 'The Cholera Years and 1.9 'Comparative Aspects' are probably most relevant to this discussion. I look forward to your comments after you have read it, Mr Hans - perhaps then you would kind enough to address my previous question, which as yet remain unanswered.

                          Enjoy...

                          The history of homeopathy in the Russian Empire - Alexander Kotok, M.D.
                          Last edited by Similibus; 1st October 2008, 04:25 PM. Reason: Clarification as to the most relevant articles in the reference
                          These are my personal views and not necessarily my professional views.The content is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR LOCAL PHYSICIAN.

                          Comment



                          • Originally posted by Korsakov
                            Veratrum is the specific medicine against this disease. I lost no choleric patient, whilst many recovered'
                            Leaving aside for a moment what he means by none vs. many, are you saying that in this instance a single remedy was used to cure all the patients? Sounds like this would be repeatable in a RDBPCT, because Korsakov didn't need to do any of that individualisation you were saying was all-important?

                            Can you clear this up?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                              I have selected this article because it is fairly comprehensive, because it is extremely well referenced, and because it is written by a person with a medical qualification. I look forward to your comments after you have read it. Enjoy...

                              The history of homeopathy in the Russian Empire - Alexander Kotok, M.D.
                              A long tearful story about the alleged prosecution of homeopathy. Where is me handkerchief??

                              Seriously, if you have derived your statistical information from that source, please point to the exact place (page) where it is. I couldn't find it on a cursory look, and I have neither the time nor the stomack to read through the whole article.

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

                              Comment


                              • Ahh, and on this:

                                Veratrum is the specific medicine against this disease. I lost no choleric patient, whilst many recovered'

                                ...Which I assume is from the article above.

                                He lost no choleric patient, and many recovered??? What happened to the rest? Those that neither died ("I lost the patient" is a common MD euphemism from "this patient died from me") nor recovered? I mean, cholera is a self-limiting condition, with some mortality, so we should assume that if no patients were lost, then all recovered.

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

                                Comment

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