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I haven't read much but homeopathy just doesn't make sense to me

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  • I haven't read much but homeopathy just doesn't make sense to me

    I'd love if someone could give me a very brief scientific explanation of how homeopathy works. I'm taking chemistry and high school now and at first glance it doesn't make any sense to me for a few reasons:

    1. Diluting a substance to a greater degree should reduce it's effects, not increase them.

    2. When I look at the substances being used/diluted I don't see scientific reason as to why that particular substance would cure a disease.

    3. When looking at things that are diluted to a ratio of 1 x 10^24 or higher wouldn't that mean you likely have only a few molecules of the substance in the actual treatment/medicine? How could this be enough to cure someone of a disease? And if it's diluted significantly higher like around 100, the odds of there being a single molecule of the substance in your treatment are incredibly small.

    I've only just taken an interest in this today and may have a lot of things wrong. Right now the only reason I can think of it working is a placebo effect, but any simple further explanation of how homeopathy works would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    There are various theories, but the truth is that nobody knows how homeopathy works. According to our current scientific understanding - it shouldn't work. But it does. It would seem that science's belief that a substance can be diluted completely out of existence is incorrect.

    For convincing evidence that homeopathy works:

    Sock horror in homeopathic cholera statistics Laughing my socks off
    The history of homeopathy in the Russian Empire - Alexander Kotok, M.D.
    Homeopathy for Influenza
    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


    • #3
      Originally posted by Similibus View Post
      There are various theories, but the truth is that nobody knows how homeopathy works. According to our current scientific understanding - it shouldn't work. But it does. It would seem that science's belief that a substance can be diluted completely out of existence is incorrect.

      For convincing evidence that homeopathy works:

      Sock horror in homeopathic cholera statistics Laughing my socks off
      The history of homeopathy in the Russian Empire - Alexander Kotok, M.D.
      Homeopathy for Influenza
      "It would seem that science's belief that a substance can be diluted completely out of existence is incorrect."
      Not diluted out of existence, diluted out of probability. It's just math.

      1 gram of phosphorus (P) contains 1.947 * 10^22 molecules of phosphorus
      10 grams of water (H2O) contain 3.348 * 10^23 molecules of water

      So say your dosage is 2 grams and is diluted by 10 50 times.

      You have a 2 in 10^27 chance of getting one molecule of phosphorus in your dose. Expressed without exponents that's about a 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 chance of one molecule being in your dose. Your chances of being killed by lighting are 1 in 2,320,000.

      -----------------------------------

      As for the websites, they're all citing the flu pandemic and one source. I'm more interested in placebo controlled studies published in the last 10 years. The vast majority that I looked at showed homeopathy to be only slightly more or less effective than a placebo, and much less effective than commonly prescribed medicine.

      Also, some of the authors of those articles actually profit off of homeopathy making them biased, as their income depends on people believing homeopathy works.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by alach11 View Post
        "It would seem that science's belief that a substance can be diluted completely out of existence is incorrect."
        Not diluted out of existence, diluted out of probability. It's just math.

        1 gram of phosphorus (P) contains 1.947 * 10^22 molecules of phosphorus
        10 grams of water (H2O) contain 3.348 * 10^23 molecules of water

        So say your dosage is 2 grams and is diluted by 10 50 times.

        You have a 2 in 10^27 chance of getting one molecule of phosphorus in your dose. Expressed without exponents that's about a 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 chance of one molecule being in your dose. Your chances of being killed by lighting are 1 in 2,320,000.
        That is certainly the current scientific view. Unfortunately for science, the fact that homeopathy works throws this into question. Of course you are assuming that you need a molecule of original substance for the medicine to work, which might not be the case.


        Originally posted by alach11 View Post
        As for the websites, they're all citing the flu pandemic and one source.[1] I'm more interested in placebo controlled studies published in the last 10 years.[2] The vast majority that I looked at showed homeopathy to be only slightly more or less effective than a placebo, and much less effective than commonly prescribed medicine

        Also, some of the authors of those articles actually profit off of homeopathy making them biased, as their income depends on people believing homeopathy works.[3]
        1. Look again - they refer to the 1831 cholera epidemic and the 1918 'flu epidemic. The aggregate statistical results for cholera treatment in Europe and America show that allopathic hospitals had a mortality rate of 40%, compared to 4% in homeopathic hospitals.

        For the 1918 'flu - allopathic hospitals had a mortality rate of 30%, compared to <1% in homeopathic hospitals.

        2. RDBPCT's can never be a true measure of homeopathy's efficay. They are designed to show the effect of pharmaceutical medicines.

        3. If that is your reasoning you must also discount every single piece of scientific reaearch and clinical drug trial ever conducted by a pharmaceutical company in relation to a pharmaceutical medicne.


        All these topics have recently been discussed at length here: http://www.otherhealth.com/research-...eopathy-4.html

        Why not join the discussion?
        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


        • #5
          Originally posted by Similibus View Post
          1. Look again - they refer to the 1831 cholera epidemic and the 1918 'flu epidemic. The aggregate statistical results for cholera treatment in Europe and America show that allopathic hospitals had a mortality rate of 40%, compared to 4% in homeopathic hospitals.

          For the 1918 'flu - allopathic hospitals had a mortality rate of 30%, compared to <1% in homeopathic hospitals.
          These are 177 and 90 years old, respectively. To suggest that this is a valid comparison when talking about modern medicine is stupid. Show me studies today comparing conventional heart disease treatment and homeopathic treatment that shows how effective homeopathic treatment is.

          Originally posted by Similibus View Post
          2. RDBPCT's can never be a true measure of homeopathy's efficay. They are designed to show the effect of pharmaceutical medicines.
          [/quote]
          How exactly do they favor traditional medicine? In my eyes an RDBPCT is the only way you can truly measure the effects of a medicine. This is an interesting article discussing the reasons why any other method of proof is unacceptable:
          Double-Blind Studies


          I may join that discussion, though it's slightly more long winded than I prefer. Thanks for the link.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow!

            You have a really bad attiutude!

            Search the forum next time - this has already been discussed.

            I'm not interested in talking to you.
            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by Similibus View Post
              Wow!

              You have a really bad attiutude!

              Search the forum next time - this has already been discussed.

              I'm not interested in talking to you.
              I understand that you might not feel comfortable having your beliefs questioned, sorry if I came across as challenging.

              It just frustrates me when I see threads on people that treat their babies with homeopathic remedies that as far as I see wont work. I feel the same way about people that refuse their kids medical treatment instead opting to pray over them.

              Comment


              • #8
                But I expect you would happy to immunise your children - even though most vaccines have never been subjected to RDBPCT's!!!

                Double standards!

                I have no objection to having my views challenged - homeopathy is a science, and as such can withstand any degree of scruitiny. It was your attitude in your previous post, as I said.
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by alach11 View Post
                  These are 177 and 90 years old, respectively. To suggest that this is a valid comparison when talking about modern medicine is stupid. .
                  I did not suggest this was a comparison - I suggested it was convincing eveidence for homeopathy's efficacy. Yet you imply I am stupid for (not) making this comparison!

                  Originally posted by alach11 View Post
                  Show me studies today comparing conventional heart disease treatment and homeopathic treatment that shows how effective homeopathic treatment is..
                  Who are you to give me orders? Attitutde!


                  Originally posted by alach11 View Post
                  How exactly do they favor traditional medicine?
                  Traditional medicine means herbs. In relation to pharmaceuticals it suggests bloodletting and the use of crude mercury as a medicine.

                  The validity of RDBPCTs is currently being discussed on another thread.
                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                    I did not suggest this was a comparison - I suggested it was convincing eveidence for homeopathy's efficacy. Yet you imply I am stupid for (not) making this comparison!
                    What's the point of mentioning it if it has no bearing on modern medicine?

                    Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                    Who are you to give me orders? Attitutde!
                    If you can't find a study of a similar standard don't be offended, just admit that there is not evidence to prove the effectiveness of homeopathy in these fields of medicine.[/quote]


                    Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                    Traditional medicine means herbs. In relation to pharmaceuticals it suggests bloodletting and the use of crude mercury as a medicine.

                    The validity of RDBPCTs is currently being discussed on another thread.
                    Pharmaceuticals have progressed beyond bloodletting in the last few hundred years. Homeopathy hasn't changed much as far as I'm aware.

                    Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                    Of course you are assuming that you need a molecule of original substance for the medicine to work, which might not be the case.
                    Without a trace of the original substance all you have is pure water.

                    Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                    homeopathy is a science, and as such can withstand any degree of scruitiny.
                    I disagree. It does not stand up to mathematical scrutiny as I proved earlier.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by alach11 View Post
                      What's the point of mentioning it if it has no bearing on modern medicine?
                      Homeopathy is modern medicine - it has a bearing on that.

                      Originally posted by alach11 View Post
                      If you can't find a study of a similar standard don't be offended, just admit that there is not evidence to prove the effectiveness of homeopathy in these fields of medicine.
                      I wasn't offended - I didn't like your attitude! Can you produce RDBPCT's for the DPT vaccine?

                      Originally posted by alach11 View Post
                      Pharmaceuticals have progressed beyond bloodletting in the last few hundred years. Homeopathy hasn't changed much as far as I'm aware.
                      The term 'traditional medicine' applied to pharmacuetical or coventional medicine suggests bloodletting. Homeopathy hasn't changed much because it is a true science - just like Newton's physics hasn't changed - it has been expanded upon.


                      Originally posted by alach11 View Post
                      Without a trace of the original substance all you have is pure water.
                      Pure water that is conducting an electrical charge can kill you.

                      Originally posted by alach11 View Post
                      I disagree. It does not stand up to mathematical scrutiny as I proved earlier.
                      So we have to update our understanding of the realtionship between energy and matter. How do you explain homeopathy's proven efficacy in the cholera and 1918 'flu epidemics?
                      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


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                        Homeopathy is modern medicine - it has a bearing on that.
                        I'm saying that your claim that homeopathy is more effective than modern medicine is in part based on the comparison of homeopathy to conventional medicine more than 200 years old. This is just stupid, we have progressed incredibly far and that should be taken into account by comparing homeopathy to conventional medicine in current studies.


                        Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                        I wasn't offended - I didn't like your attitude! Can you produce RDBPCT's for the DPT vaccine?
                        I can't, but I can provide you for RDBPCT's for many other vaccines that are legally required by public schools if you're interested.


                        Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                        The term 'traditional medicine' applied to pharmacuetical or coventional medicine suggests bloodletting. Homeopathy hasn't changed much because it is a true science - just like Newton's physics hasn't changed - it has been expanded upon.
                        Are you saying true science can't be changed? A vital part of science is the evolution of ideas as new breakthroughs and discoveries are made. For example when the Hubble telescope mapped our universe whole theories had to be rewritten to explain things we learned.

                        Homeopathy hasn't changed much because it's not compatible with our newer and more realistic grasp of science. Maybe 100 years ago it could pass as acceptable theory, but now much evidence suggests that homeopathy really wont work.


                        Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                        Pure water that is conducting an electrical charge can kill you.
                        This is stupid and has no bearing on our discussion. Pure water is not medicine.


                        Originally posted by Similibus View Post
                        So we have to update our understanding of the realtionship between energy and matter. How do you explain homeopathy's proven efficacy in the cholera and 1918 'flu epidemics?
                        Are you saying that due to controversial anecdotal evidence that has been refuted by many reliable sources that we should change our understanding of energy and matter?

                        As for the cholera and 1918 flu epidemics, it's been so many years since those events occurred the sources could be unreliable. Doctors in the homeopathic hospital may have lied about figures in hopes of greater profits, it's hard to say. Why do you have to keep beating this dead horse? An example from 200 years ago is hardly scientific proof. Surely there are some studies or comparisons to modern medicine?


                        Finally, it's worth thinking about the fact that the more mainstream branches of medicine did not appreciate attempts to force them to adopt RDBPCSs. A RDBPCS is by it's nature unbiased.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This discussion is already taking place on another thread.

                          Why don't you post your comments there like everybody else?

                          Then I will be happy to address any points you make THAT HAVEN'T ALREADY BEEN ADDRESSED.

                          http://www.otherhealth.com/research-...html#post81381
                          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


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by alach11 View Post
                            I'd love if someone could give me a very brief scientific explanation of how homeopathy works. I'm taking chemistry and high school now and at first glance it doesn't make any sense to me for a few reasons:

                            1. Diluting a substance to a greater degree should reduce it's effects, not increase them.
                            Actually, this is a bit of a misunderstanding. It is very common among skeptics to say that homeopaths claim that diluting a substance makes it stronger, but this is not what homeopathic doctrine says. It says that potentization (which consists of serial steps of dilution and vigourous agitation) will purify the effects.

                            2. When I look at the substances being used/diluted I don't see scientific reason as to why that particular substance would cure a disease.
                            Well, no, because a "scientific reason" implies a dose-dependent pharmacological effect, and such effects vanish at or around the PPM level for all but the most potent substances (way below the Avoadro limit). However, homeopathic doctrine works in another way: It expects the medicine to mimick the disease. While the founder, Hahnemann, does not actually mention this, present day homeopaths tend to assume that there is some kind of resonance phenomenon at play.

                            3. When looking at things that are diluted to a ratio of 1 x 10^24 or higher wouldn't that mean you likely have only a few molecules of the substance in the actual treatment/medicine? How could this be enough to cure someone of a disease? And if it's diluted significantly higher like around 100, the odds of there being a single molecule of the substance in your treatment are incredibly small.
                            Most homeopaths assume that some kind of essence of the original substance is transferred to the carrier. That is why many call it an "energy based" medicine.

                            I've only just taken an interest in this today and may have a lot of things wrong. Right now the only reason I can think of it working is a placebo effect, but any simple further explanation of how homeopathy works would be greatly appreciated.
                            Besides placebo effect, there are several other rational explanations for why homeopathy is perceived to work:

                            - Reporting bias: If you read the extensive base of case accounts, you will soon notice that homeopaths tend to attribute all positive observations to the remedy, and all negative observations to other things.

                            - Cherrypicking: Even the more extensive collections of case acounts are obviously incomplete. For instance, Hahnemann himself only describes a few hundred cases, that from several decades of practicing. Obviously, even if he treated jsut a single patient per day, he must have hanlded thousands of cases. This begs the question: Did he leave out all those that did not show a positive result?

                            - Concurrent treatment: Since homeopathy has always been an alternative treatment, we have to assume that many patients were receiving conventional or other treatment concurrently.

                            - Malpractice by conventional practitioners: Sad as it is, various degrees of malpractice occurs, and not that infrequently. People get the wrong medicine, they get too much, or they get it for too long. Such patients are very likely to get disenchanted with conventional medicine, and look to alternatives. If they have their faulty prescription replaced with effectless homeopathic medicine, they are likely to get better.

                            - Poor side effect management: Related to the group mentioned above are patients who may get he right conventional medicine, but experience strong side effects. For some patients, the side effects may be perceived worse than the disease. If they change to homeopathy, they will report an improvement.

                            - Self-limiting conditions: Remember the old joke: "This will cure your cold in 7 days, otherwise it could take a whole week to get well." After all, most diseases are neither fatal nor chronical; even left without any treatment at all, most people will recover from most diseases. Homeopathic treatment often takes quite some time; a remedy is prescribed, and if it doesn't help, the patient gets another, etc. Sooner or later, the patient recovers, and the homeopath writes up another homeopathic cure.

                            - Fabrication: Unfortunately, some homeopaths will fabricate cures. I have caught some in doing that. I think very few totally fabricate reports, but I have seen homeopaths report cures of e.g. cancer, and when you start to go into the details, it turns out that there was no positive diagnosis of cancer, and in fact the symptoms reported could easily be something else.

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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dear Alach
                              Please see link for:
                              Cured case database
                              cure database
                              1 2 3
                              "Great ideas often recieve violent opposition from mediocre minds"...................Einstein

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