Offering homeopathy waters down University of Toronto’s reputation, critics claim

Alternative treatments in healthcare plan is latest in a series of homeopathy-related controversies

August 27, 2015
Woman taking homeopathic medicine
Source: Alamy
Drink me: one scientist described alternative treatments as a ‘fairy tale’

It is probably fair to say that only a vanishingly minuscule concentration of scientists believe that homeopathy is effective. But that has not stopped Canada’s leading university from offering it to staff as part of its employee health plan.

The University of Toronto has also decided to add naturopathy, acupuncture and osteopathy to the treatments available on its plan in 2015-16, resulting in a small increase in the monthly premium.

Jen Gunter, a Canadian obstetrician and gynaecologist who highlighted the issue on her blog earlier this month, writes that it is “hard to reconcile homeopathy being covered…at a place of employment with a medical school and department of physics”.

She adds that it came in the wake of previous recent controversies about Toronto’s stance on alternative medicine, such as its approval of a study of whether attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be treated with homeopathy, and its recruitment of a homeopath (married to the dean of one of its campuses) to teach a course on “alternative health” that questioned the effectiveness of vaccines and promised to reveal how quantum mechanics explained the effectiveness of homeopathy, acupuncture and meditation. The university has since said that the course will not run in 2015-16.

A spokeswoman for Toronto said that adding homeopathy to staff benefits was “negotiated with several unions. It’s something our employees have requested and, as always, we do our best to be responsive to employees’ wishes.”

However, Paul Downes, vice-president for salary, benefits and pensions at the University of Toronto Faculty Association, said that the UTFA - which represents non-unionised faculty and librarians at the institution - had "declined to include homeopathy among the benefits improvements it sought from the university administration in the latest round of bargaining”.

Toronto’s justification was questioned by Jim Woodgett, director of research at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, a medical research institute affiliated with the university.

“How many employees asked for coverage and was the pseudoscientific nature of homoeopathy explained to them?” he asked.

He added that while adding coverage for alternative therapies was “trivial in many respects”, it sent “entirely the wrong signal” given the recent controversies and Toronto’s status as Canada’s leading university.

“Many health insurance plans cover this hocus-pocus and they should all be ashamed for doing so. But given recent embarrassments, Toronto should be setting a clear example, not legitimising bogus methods that can cause real harm through delay of effective therapy,” he said.

“Homeopathy has thrived because it stays below the medicinal radar (when was the last time you saw an advert?) but it’s well past time that it is shown for what it is — an 18th-century fairy tale. Instead of covering this expense, the university could have offered free water. It works just as well. Or it could have demanded coverage [from homeopaths] for 0.0000000001 cents per employee.”

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Print headline: Homeopathy: too hard to swallow

Reader's comments (51)

In due respect, the author of this article seems unaware of the fact that the cutting edge of modern medicine today is exploring "nanomedicines" and "nanopharmacology." and clearly, homeopathy is leading the way to this future. Even the American Chemistry Society's journal, LANGMUIR, published an impressive article showing that various hyper-dilutions of SIX different homeopathic medicines were found to have nanodoses of each of the original ingredients even after six, 30, and 200 (!) dilutions of 1:100. Chikramane PS, Kalita D, Suresh AK, Kane SG, Bellare JR. Why Extreme Dilutions Reach Non-zero Asymptotes: A Nanoparticulate Hypothesis Based on Froth Flotation. Langmuir. 2012 Nov 1. The scientists behind this study show that THREE types of spectroscopy find nanoparticles from these high dilutions...and these scientists provide compelling explanations for how and why this takes place. I urge the author of this article is do more and better homework before he denies the evolution of medicine...
So, Dana, what would be a parsimonious explanation for these results? That much of what we know about physics and chemistry is utterly and completely wrong or that their experimental technique maybe wasn't up to the job?
Based on the rising cost of health care, the constant negative articles about the serious side effects and rising cost of prescription drugs makes intelligent health care consumers look for safer and less expensive health care options. Integrative medicine, including homeopathy has satisfied this growing demand. There is no reason for this trend not to continue. News of the use of homeopathy in every day medical practices is now more common place. For example, a recently published news article in the United States (7/27/15), highlighted the opening of a new office of an acclaimed plastic surgeon who uses homeopathy both pre and post-operatively for his patients. He would not use homeopath, or risk a malpractice lawsuit if his patients did not improve. The article can be read in full by doing a Google search using the words “acclaimed surgeon jeffrey b wise md opens new office in manhattan” On a grander scale, the Prasanta Banerji Homeopathic Research Foundation (Kolkata, India) and their protocol for the treatment of advanced cancers is spreading from India to satellite treatment centers in the United States (New Jersey), the UK (London) and a second location in Bagnan, India. It is not uncommon for the clinic in Kolkata to treat 1,000 patients (from around the world) a day. A newspaper article (11/14/2014) in the money and business section of a New Jersey paper announced the first India based homeopathic drug manufacturing facility in New Brunswick, New Jersey. This article can also be read by doing a Google search.
If only there was good evidence that homeopathy was, indeed, effective, Sandra. Of course, if you know of any good evidence that the specifc effects of homeopathy are greater than placebo, please feel free to link to it here. Telling people to Google it themselves isn't really on, is it? Oh, by the way, did you hear about the survey conducted by the Indian National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) - carried out during the first half of this year found that that "90 per cent people rely on allopathy, while merely six per cent trusted Indian systems of medicine like ayurveda, unani and siddha, homeopathy and yoga and naturopathy". Reported here:
All who are against homoeopathy are actually never used it themselves and believe on the fact which is spread by the big pharma lobby. They don't bother about the health of common people but for the false claims of big poison manufacturing company. Sandra only told about a single clinic in Kolkata. There are thousands of homeopathic clinic in Kolkata, treating lacs of patients daily. Across India numbers are uncountable. 1000's of patients daily come to National Institute of Homoeopathy, Kolkata, India, for their suffering. (Data is not updated recently, recent data is published in its bulletin). These vast number of people are not fool who came here because they didn't get benefits from the conversation medicine. Most of the patients are came here after conversational medicine failed to give relief. They get theirs suffering alleviate, so the numbers of patients increasing here day by day.
@KAUSHAL SAVERA Please provide evidence for your assertions. But rather than telling us how popular it is (but please note the NSSO survey that found that only 6% of the Indian population trust AYUSH), why not provide some good evidence that homeopathy has specific effects over placebo? Then perhaps explain why the life expectancy is 65.5 years in India and fifteen years more at 80.5 years in the UK?
Homeopathy has thrived for one very simple reason - it works! Other contributing factors are that it does no harm and it is economical. This is why against resistance from the pharmaceutical industry of the 18th century and still, Homeopathy is the second most used medical modality after Allopathy today and the fastest growing. The only claim Science can make is that it cannot explain, within the limitations of its materialist/reductionist paradigm how Homeopathy might work, but work it does. While flimsy inroads have been made in the UK, US, Canada, Australia to discredit Homeopathy the ever sensible Europeans take little notice and neither does the world at large. Whoever is driving the irrational campaign to remove Homeopathic practice, it is doomed to failure, simply because it is so highly effective in terms of healing and cure, and unlike Allopathy, does not kill and injure millions annually through treatment. Those who claim Homeopathy does not work simply look foolish in light of the reality that around the world it is practised by hospitals and MD's; taught in medical schools and universities and officially embraced by Governments as part of their medical systems. Anyone with any understanding of science, medicine, academia and Government knows that this would never happen if there was the slightest chance those doing so could be sued or look like fools or frauds. Ergo, Homeopathy works and those who embrace it know it works and are comfortable they are not putting careers, professions, prestige and credibility on the line.
And since much of what science/medicine says, according to noted medical professionals who should know, is wrong - in fact possibly as much as half, why should or would their pronouncements carry any weight? For all those who believe scientists and doctors when they say something is safe, vaccinating our children being a classic example, not to mention medicating everyone at levels never known before in all of human history, and rejecting effective and safe medical modalities like Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Herbal and Nutritional medicine, bear in mind that these pronouncements are coming from an industry which, according to noted medical professionals who should know, is WRONG often, voicing untruths, possibly as much as half of the time. And if the industry is so flawed and corrupted, half of the time may be an estimate on the lower range of what science/medicine gets wrong. Even if one applied 50% across the board that means vaccination is dangerous half of the time or for half of the children all of the time, that medications are at best useless or at worst dangerous and deadly half of the time or for half of the people all of the time, and that other medical modalities like Homeopathy work for half of the people or all of the people half of the time. Modern science/medicine is only ever half-right at best and on some counts is going to be completely wrong. The public is hearing the message and turning to non-Allopathic medical modalities because they know that they cannot take the scientist or doctor's word, and they need to do the research, become informed, and make their own decisions, because 'snake oil salesmen' still abound in the world of orthodox medicine as they have always done. Certainly it may not be conscious or intentional on many or most counts and certainly most scientists and doctors are well intentioned and operate with integrity, but the fact remains the system itself is deeply flawed and systems drive behaviour. Science simply cannot be trusted to pass judgement on anything, let alone Homeopathy, given how it currently operates. And scientists and medical professionals of integrity are finally admitting to it. Quote: The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. As one participant put it, “poor methods get results”. The Academy of Medical Sciences, Medical Research Council, and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have now put their reputational weight behind an investigation into these questionable research practices. The apparent endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals. Our love of “significance” pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale. We reject important confirmations. Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics, such as high-impact publication. National assessment procedures, such as the Research Excellence Framework, incentivise bad practices. And individual scientists, including their most senior leaders, do little to alter a research culture that occasionally veers close to misconduct.
ROSLYN ROSS said: "Homeopathy has thrived for one very simple reason - it works!" Well, you say that, but have provided no good evidence whatsoever to substantiate your assertion that it does work.
ROSLYN ROSS said: "And since much of what science/medicine says, according to noted medical professionals who should know, is wrong - in fact possibly as much as half, why should or would their pronouncements carry any weight?" In the words of Dara O'Briain, "If science knew everything, it'd stop." Bit what matters here is not whether some science is wrong or that some clinical trials are wrong: the topic here is homeopathy and, yet again, you've provided not a jot of good evidence that homeopathy has any specific effects over placebo.
Alan Henness, The only proof ever required is efficacy. Homeopathic doctors and their patients are of course curious about how it works but do not require such knowledge to make use of it because they know it works. If someone chooses a medical option they are under no obligation to prove to anyone else how that modality works, nor in fact to explain or justify their decision. No-one has to provide you or anyone else with any kind of evidence. If you are interested there is plenty of research material available which you may ponder at your leisure.
Alan Henness, no system can or ever will know everything. Science will never know everything because no system of enquiry can ever know everything. And while Science is trapped in a materialist mechanistic reductionistic mindset it will never come close to understanding most of this world since most of it cannot be so reduced. The point was, since even highly respected and experienced medical professionals like Dr Horton state that much of scientific research is not just wrong but untrue, perhaps a half or perhaps more than a half, it would be unwise to put much faith in pronouncements by the Scientific industry on any issue, including Homeopathy. As I said previously, no-one has to prove anything to anyone except the Homeopathic treatment and the only proof required is cure. Since that happens all the time and has done for more than two centuries, it remains utterly irrelevant that science is incapable of understanding how it might work. Science will get there, but, until it does, Homeopathy will continue to heal and to cure.
So, no good evidence to present then, Roslyn? Or is it that there is, but it's all a big secret? Or perhaps you think homeopaths don't need to provide evidence to support their claims? SO, should homeopaths abide by the rules, laws, regulations, etc they are supposed to or should they be granted some kind of special dispensation and exemption?
Plenty of evidence, Alan as you know, having posted on dozens of threads discussing Homeopathy and dismissed dozens of research links. No secret. All very easy for you to find. And no, I don't think Homeopaths have to provide any evidence to support their claims than they do already - the evidence of cure in patients. Since Science is incapable as yet, of fully understanding how Homeopathy works it is rather pointless to play the game of trying to pretend it can and trying to make it work within such a distorted system. Homeopathic doctors, like everyone, are accountable under laws, rules and regulations as is right.
You do realise Alan that much of Allopathic medicine is experimental and unproven? Much of it is also wrong and not through error, but at times corruption? You are demanding of Homeopathy something which Allopathy does not deliver? ( -- May 22, 2015) -- The problem with scientific literature is that much of it may not be true or complete, according to Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet, world’s most well-respected peer-reviewed medical journal. “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue,” Dr. Horton commented in The Lancet. According to Dr. Horton, there are various reasons for the gross inaccuracies; “studies with small sample sizes, tiny eff ects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflict,” he wrote. Dr. Horton accused scientists of pursuing a “quest for telling a compelling story,” stating that scientists too often model data to fit the preferred theories or they tweak hypotheses to fit their data. Actually, the questionable data is due to the nature of modern money dependent society where there is a constant urge for spending less and earning more. It is ‘publish or parish’ society that is driven by interest or fear of failure. However, journals and publications are not the “only miscreants.” According to Dr. Horton, “universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent,” which tempts scientists to slip towards dark side of science. Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of another one prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals, the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), agreed with Dr. Horton. “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines,” Dr. Angel wrote in an comment in New England Journal of Medicine. “I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine,” she wrote. According to one of the most important scientists in history, two-time Nobel Prize winner in chemistry (1901-1994), Linus Pauling, Ph.D. we shouldn’t believe the most cancer studies, because they have been ordered by third parties. “Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud, and that the major cancer research organizations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them,” Collective Evolution quoted Dr. Pauling. Of course, it is not all fraud and deceptiveness. Scientists agree that there are other researchers, serious and independent, that should hold an equilibrium. However, those studies often are not being published and dwell below the radar of scientific community and the public. “On the opposite end there are good studies that are not getting published for many reasons,” states Dr. Kevin Buckman, the CEO of Viratech Corporation. “The good news is that science is beginning to take some of its worst failings very seriously,” Dr. Horton wrote, adding that the bad news is no one yet is ready “to take the first step to clean up the system.” Source:
Roslyn You keep wanting to tell us that conventional medicine isn't perfect. It may come as a surprise to you but that's well known. Now, about that evidence (however flawed, corrupt and biased) for homeopathy...
Every time homeopathy is questioned, it's practitioners run to its defence as exemplified in the (non-Alan Henness) comments above. The pro-homeopathy arguments centre on "we know it works so why question it?" while completely ignoring the fact that there is no scientifically valid evidence of its efficacy. The fact that some people believe it works and are willing to pay for it is not contested by scientists. Billions of people pray to their god every day without scientifically proven evidence that it has any effect. But that is not the issue being raised here. Extending health insurance to cover homeopathy and other alternative medicines impacts everyone in the plan, believers and non-believers. Moreover, a university is a place of learning and education. A place where people are encouraged to ask questions about everything around them, to extend understanding and to enlighten. Those people in the plan who realize that homeopathy has no scientific credibility cannot opt out. This is like one religion forcing everyone to pay for it's propaganda. It infringes on rights to self-expression. I have no problem with people paying for water and sugar pills with their own money - as long as it is clearly marked as not medicinal and makes no unsubstantiated health claims. It is not illegal to believe in something. But it is an affront to expect others to share in the cost of such beliefs - especially an academic institution that should pride itself in the value of evidence.
Well put Jim Woodgett.
Quote:Here is a set of pure chemistry researchers who have found that nano particles of catalyts work in highly diluted conditions, and this condition they have termed “HOMEOPATHIC”. They went one step further. They diluted the catalyst further and although they could not measure the dilution, they were amazed to find that the reaction continued, which would normally stop without the presence of the catalyst. Drawing allegory to this, we can proudly say that although science has not advanced to the level of detecting particles that are beyond the avogadro number, it does ot preclude the fact that such a state of the molecule does not exist. History also teaches us that when someone made a discovery that people could not comprehend, the people critisied his idea. But many years later, when pure science did progress, the discovery is proved. “When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.” – Jonathan Swift Below is a list of scientists who were reviled for their crackpottery, only to be later proven correct. Arrhenius (ion chemistry) Alfven, Hans (galaxy-scale plasma dynamics) Baird, John L. (television camera) Bakker, Robert (fast, warm-blooded dinosaurs) Bardeen & Brattain (transistor) Bretz J Harlen (ice age geology) Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan (black holes in 1930) Chladni, Ernst (meteorites in 1800) Crick & Watson (DNA) Doppler (optical Doppler effect) Folk, Robert L. (existence and importance of nanobacteria) Galvani (bioelectricity) Harvey, William (circulation of blood, 1628) Krebs (ATP energy, Krebs cycle) Galileo (supported the Copernican viewpoint) Gauss, Karl F. (nonEuclidean geometery) Binning/Roher/Gimzewski (scanning-tunneling microscope) Goddard, Robert (rocket-powered space ships) Goethe (Land color theory) Gold, Thomas (deep non-biological petroleum deposits) Gold, Thomas (deep mine bacteria) Lister, J (sterilizing) Lovelock, James (Gaia theory) Maiman, T (Laser) “Concepts which have proved useful for ordering things easily assume so great an authority over us, that we forget their terrestrial origin and accept them as unalterable facts. They then become labeled as ‘conceptual necessities,’ etc. The road of scientific progress is frequently blocked for long periods by such errors.” – Einstein Margulis, Lynn (endosymbiotic organelles) Mayer, Julius R. (The Law of Conservation of Energy) Marshall, B (ulcers caused by bacteria, helicobacter pylori) McClintlock, Barbara (mobile genetic elements, “jumping genes”, transposons) Newlands, J. (pre-Mendeleev periodic table) Nott, J. C. (mosquitos xmit Yellow Fever) Nottebohm, F. (neurogenesis: brains can grow neurons) Ohm, George S. (Ohm’s Law) Ovshinsky, Stanford R. (amorphous semiconductor devices) Parker, Eugene (existence of a ‘solar wind’) Pasteur, Louis (germ theory of disease) Prusiner, Stanley (existence of prions, 1982) Rous, Peyton (viruses cause cancer) Semmelweis, I. (surgeons wash hands, puerperal fever ) Shechtman, Dan (quasicrystals) Steen-McIntyre, Virginia (southwest US indians villiage , 300,000BC) Tesla, Nikola (Earth electrical resonance, “Schumann” resonance) Tesla, Nikola (brushless AC motor) J H van’t Hoff (molecules are 3D) Warren, Warren S (flaw in MRI theory) Wegener, Alfred (continental drift) Wright, Wilbur & Orville (flying machines) Zwicky, Fritz (existence of dark matter, 1933) Zweig, George (quark theory)
Alan Henness, The evidence remains what it has been for more than two centuries - the evidence of cure. Millions of case studies await you, past and present. The only evidence any of us need for a medical methodology is the evidence of cure.
Jim Woodgett. Homeopathic doctors do no more than scientists do in regard to gravity. Scientists do not know exactly what gravity is, nor exactly how and why it works, but they utilise it by studying its effects. It would be foolish for scientists to reject gravity as something useful simply because they don't completely understand it the how and why of the what. Homeopathic doctors do exactly the same thing. It would be foolish to reject Homeopathy simply because no-one completely understands the how and why of the what. You seem to labour under the illusion, or is it delusion, that the approval of science is required for something to be found useful. It is not required. And there is an absolute wealth of material showing efficacy, even if Science prefers to ignore it in the main. And that is why Homeopathy is practised by MD's and in hospitals around the world, taught in medical schools and universities and embraced officially by Governments as part of their State medical systems. The last paragraph details a reality which makes your position look ridiculous since we all know that scientists, medical professionals, academics and politicians are highly sensitive about looking like idiots or frauds and making themselves liable to lawsuits. Ergo, Homeopathy works, of that there is no doubt, or the above reality would and could never exist. Extending health cover to embrace all medical methodologies does impact everyone, absolutely. You have healthier people for one thing and so the State has less healthcare costs. Win-win! And Homeopathy, Herbal and Nutritional medicine, Acupuncture, etc., are vastly cheaper than Allopathic medicine and do no harm. Win, Win, Win! As to people being able to reject Homeopathy as part of State health care systems - don't be silly, of course they can. If you can say no to surgery, chemo, medication, then you can say no to anything. The benefit of Integrative Medicine is that you get more choice but it always remains, your choice.
The same old fallacious arguments Roslyn? Is it that you think readers of the Times Higher Education won't be able to spot them or that you yourself don't understand why they are fallacious? If you please, perhaps you could link to the best evidence that you believe is most convincing that homeopathy has specific effects over placebo? Then we might be able to have a discussion about it.
Alan Henness, make a case as to why they are fallacious. They are factual. And while you are about it explain to me and others why, if Homeopathy is fake, fraud or purely placebo, which in the medical profession would amount to fraud, it is practised by many MD's and hospitals and taught in medical schools and universities, as well as being accepted as part of the official State medical systems in a number of countries. Given the terror medical professionals, scientists, academics, politicians have of being sued and looking like fools, perhaps you could explain how this can happen if you are correct. You are not interested in links showing Homeopathic effect on plants, cells, body tissue, animals, babies etc., because they have been posted many times in the past and you simply reject them. I am not going to waste my time on you because you have absolutely no interest in reading credible research. The most important evidence I have cited - acceptance by doctors, hospitals, universities, medical schools, Governments, says it all and proves you wrong.
Roslyn Ross I have to say you have a funny view of ‘reviled’. Just to pick up on a few; Crick and Watson: So reviled by science they were given a Nobel prize. Clearly the wooden spoon of science? Eugene Parker: So reviled he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences aged 40. Theodore Maiman: Just look at his wikipedia article to see the extensive list of medals and honours not long after his development of the first laser. The Stuart Ballantine Medal from the Franklin institute, Fellowships of the APS, OSA and SPIE. The list goes on.
David Riley, Wikipedia is not accepted as a source by any respectable university in the world. It is more propaganda than fact. However, the point of the post was that many scientists have been mocked, reviled etc., and later found to be correct.
Roslyn Ross said: "Alan Henness, make a case as to why they are fallacious. They are factual." You seem to be having some difficulty here. They may well be factual (but see David Riley's comment), but being factual does not mean that they are not used fallaciously by you in your 'argument'. Then in your second paragraph, you go on to commit several other fallacies: ad populam and appeal to personal incredulity as far as I can see. Your third paragraph is probably a mixture of tu quoque and plain old red herrings. Your fourth presupposes you know a lot about what I think: your beliefs about me are irrelevant, of course and all the more so because you have yet to actually link here to any good evidence that homeopathy has specific effects over placebo. Your fifth paragraph, ditto. We can play the game of spot the logical fallacy all day, but that doesn't progress the discussion one iota - it would be helpful if you could actually provide what you believe to be the most convincing that homeopathy has specific effects over placebo.
You have just demonstrated, Alan Henness, that you have absolutely no case to make to support your claim. Winding yourself up in knots to dissemble and deceive will never dismiss the reality of what I asked: And while you are about it explain to me and others why, if Homeopathy is fake, fraud or purely placebo, which in the medical profession would amount to fraud, it is practised by many MD's and hospitals and taught in medical schools and universities, as well as being accepted as part of the official State medical systems in a number of countries. Given the terror medical professionals, scientists, academics, politicians have of being sued and looking like fools, perhaps you could explain how this can happen if you are correct.
Roslyn What claim?
Claim of fallacy.
Alan, I await your answer...... to this question ..... ....explain to me and others why, if Homeopathy is fake, fraud or purely placebo, which in the medical profession would amount to fraud, it is practised by many MD's and hospitals and taught in medical schools and universities, as well as being accepted as part of the official State medical systems in a number of countries. Given the terror medical professionals, scientists, academics, politicians have of being sued and looking like fools, perhaps you could explain how this can happen if you are correct.
Roslyn LOL! You have your logic completely the wrong way round. I have made no such claim. You, on the other hand made all sorts of claims about the popularity of homeopathy, etc yet have provided not a jot of good evidence to substantiate them (even though they are fallacious). The ball's in your court - you made the claims: you substantiate them.
No ball in my court, Alan. Homeopathy works and has done so for more than two centuries. It remains utterly irrelevant that Science cannot yet work out how. And since you will not answer my question I will take silence to indicate you have no answer and you know that doctors, hospitals, universities, medical schools, Governments, disagree with your position but you have absolutely no way of countering that reality so you ignore it. There is of course no answer because we both know, none of the above would ever exist if you were right. Ergo, you are wrong.
Roslyn I'm not sure why you seem to be expecting me to substantiate a claim I never made. But, to get back to the topic at hand,... You claimed: "Homeopathy works" ...yet have provided not a jot of good evidence for that claim. If you can't provide it or just don't want to, please just say so.
Roslyn Are you denying that he won those awards? There are plenty of other sources to go to if you don't like wikipedia. You make the point that many scientists have been reviled and later proved to be correct. That may be so, but your list does not help you to make that point. Those scientists thought to be wrong and later shown to be right where shown to be right by evidence. Evidence that others could reproduce. The fact that many people believe in homeopathy is not in itself proof- any more than belief in God is proof of his existence.
Alan Henness, Homeopathy works - and I asked you for your response to the reality of: ....explain to me and others why, if Homeopathy is fake, fraud or purely placebo, which in the medical profession would amount to fraud, it is practised by many MD's and hospitals and taught in medical schools and universities, as well as being accepted as part of the official State medical systems in a number of countries. Given the terror medical professionals, scientists, academics, politicians have of being sued and looking like fools, perhaps you could explain how this can happen if you are correct. You refused to respond which means you know doctors, hospitals, universities, medical schools, governments embrace Homeopathy ..... and the reason they do that is because: Homeopathy works. If Homeopathy did not work as you claim, they would not do it because they would be engaging in fraudulent and foolish behaviour. The fact that so many do do it, means, Homeopathy works. It means they have patients who benefit from Homeopathy. Which means, Homeopathy works. It does not take much mental capacity to put those facts together. The fact that billions are turning toward non-Allopathic medicine including homeopathy, means Homeopathy works. The fact that Homeopathy is the second most used medical modality after Allopathy, means Homeopathy works. The fact that Homeopathy is the fastest growing medical modality, means Homeopathy works. And you still try to make the feeble claim that there is 'not a jot of evidence' that Homeopathy works??? You did not respond to my question because you know that the acceptance of Homeopathy by doctors, hospitals, medical schools, universities and governments is a clear indicator that: HOMEOPATHY WORKS!
David Riley, You seemed to miss the point on my post. It was merely to say many scientists have been mocked and later found to be right. Ergo: Homeopathy is mocked but the science will be found to be right. And for the same reason. The scientists were proven right not by suddenly finding evidence, but because Science evolved, progressed, developed and was capable of finding the evidence. That will also happen with Homeopathy. It is not an issue of people believing in Homeopathy, it is an issue of people knowing Homeopathy works because they have been cured and because Homeopathic doctors have seen their patients cured. Cure is the key and the only evidence required. Trust me, no belief, faith or certainty is required. Homeopathy works equally well on those who expect it to work as it does on those who are convinced it cannot work.
Roslyn I'm not sure why it is I have to explain this yet again to you. It really is a very simple concept: when a person makes a claim, there is an onus on that person to provide the evidence to back up that claim when challenged. Concomitantly, if a person does *not* make a claim, then there is no onus that person to back up that non-claim. Now, Roslyn, I hope you able to understand that. You made the claim that homeopathy works (and many other spurious claims): can you now, finally, at last, provide the best evidence to back up tour claims? If you can't or don't want to, please just admit it and say so.
Alan Henness, You asked for proof that Homeopathy works. I provided it. You refused time and again to respond to that proof, i.e. the irrefutable fact that lawsuit and stupidity shy science, medicine, academia and government in many places embrace Homeopathy. Ergo, that is because it works. And because it works they cannot be sued or look like fools. That is clear evidence of the efficacy of Homeopathy. As to research results, having come across you before, I cannot be bothered wasting my time. There are numerous research reports - go find them. I have to prove nothing to you or anyone else. Homeopathy has to prove nothing to you or any other rejecter. All Homeopathy has to do is prove itself to patients - which it does, which is why it thrives and why doctors, hospitals, universities, medical schools and governments around the world embrace it. You know as well as I do, which is why you avoid the question, that if you were even only slightly right, there would not be one doctor, hospital, university, medical school or government which would touch it with a barge-pole. You are quite simply wrong and you keep bleating nonsensical statements because you actually know you are wrong and are just playing a game.
Roslyn said: "You asked for proof that Homeopathy works. I provided it. " No I didn't and you certainly didn't. What I actually asked for was *good* proof that it has specific effects over placebo, not your opinion of it nor what the problems are with clinical trials. Can you appreciate and understand the difference? Based on your 18 comments here, I have my doubts. But you can always show me to be wrong by citing some good evidence that homeopathy has specific effects over placebo. Can you do that? Again, however, to give you a get-out, please just admit it if you are unable or unwilling.
Alan Henness, you are a regular on these discussions and I and others have posted dozens of links which demonstrate Homeopathic effect beyond placebo. I am sure you recall me stating the following more than once: Homeopathic medicine has demonstrated effect on cells, body tissue, plants, unconscious animals and humans and months after being taken - all of which mean it is definitely not placebo. However, the absolute, utter, best proof is that which I have provided in doctors, hospitals, universities, medical schools and governments practising or teaching or embracing Homeopathy. And why is that? Well, to those with a modicum of reason it is because none of the above, not one, would touch Homeopathy if it were pure placebo and they had scientific evidence it was pure placebo, because that would make them frauds and fools and open them to lawsuits. The clinical trials to which I have referred, and which have been posted dozens of times for you to read, are clearly the trials which doctors, hospitals, universities, medical schools and governments are aware, hence their decision to practise, teach or embrace Homeopathy. There is no better evidence than doctors, hospitals, universities, medical schools and governments disagreeing with your position and in fact making a mockery of your claims simply because they embrace Homeopathy.
Roslyn I may occasionally post here and there on homeopathy and other topics - as you do. However, you have made claims *here* so for the benefit of readers here (who may not be a party to your comments elsewhere), it's only reasonable that you provide evidence for the claims you have made here. Or do you think it's reasonable to expect others to seek out wherever elsewhere you've commented in the hope they'll come across the evidence for your claims here? That would be somewhat perverse, wouldn't it? But there again, if you believe you have posted your evidence elsewhere, presumably it'll be straightforward for you to present it here too? If you have it, that is.
Alan, I did provide evidence. I provided the evidence that claims Homeopathy is purely placebo, fraud or does not work are patently untrue since the methodology is practised by doctors and in hospitals, taught in medical schools and universities and embraced officially by Governments in many countries and that could not and would not happen if there were any evidence it was either simply placebo or did not work. The fact that you have consistently ignored this reality, stated many times, means you also know it is true and that just adds weight to my position and weakens yours. The only evidence which matters has been demonstrated.... it would be inconceivable for science, medicine, academia or Government to touch homeopathy with a barge-pole if your claims were correct. Ergo, your claims are wrong and mine are correct. Beyond the fact that anyone of moderate intelligence would reason that no doctor, hospital, university, medical school or government would do anything which might compromise their integrity or make them liable to lawsuits and accusations of fraud and stupidity, the next best evidence is to find a qualified Homeopathic doctor - no self-prescribing, Over The Counter, or someone who does it 'on the side' as many Naturopaths do, and the next time you have a health issue, physical or mental, give it a try. Those who take a more serious interest should read some of the thousands of books published on Homeopathic history, methodology, procedure, research and case histories. As to interest that anyone might have in terms of finding research data, it is easily done. Simply type into a search - Homeopathy research and off you go. Or access any national or international Homeopathic association site and find their research. You should try it some time, Alan. Research does help us to sound credible even if we seek to reject. And as a place to start:
Roslyn said: "I did provide evidence. " Nope. No you didn't, Roslyn. All you've done is regale us with your opinion on various irrelevant matters, demonstrated your utterly flawed and fallacious thinking and obvious lack of any critical thinking abilities and demonstrated your closed mind. You have provided not a jot of good evidence that homeopathy has any specific effects over placebo. Once you post a link to what you believe is the best evidence for this, we might be able to continue this discussion, but only then.
Keep digging, Alan. Keep ignoring and you just keep making my case again, and again and again. You asked for proof that Homeopathy works. I provided it. You refused time and again to respond to that proof, i.e. the irrefutable fact that lawsuit and stupidity shy science, medicine, academia and government in many places embrace Homeopathy. Ergo, that is because it works. And because it works they cannot be sued or look like fools. That is clear evidence of the efficacy of Homeopathy.
Roslyn All I'm 'ignoring' is your complete failure to provide even a jot of evidence for your claims. It has been fun reading your opinion on all sorts of things, though.
No, Alan, this is what you have ignored a half a dozen times.... and every time you do it makes my case, not yours. You asked for proof that Homeopathy works. I provided it. You refused time and again to respond to that proof, i.e. the irrefutable fact that lawsuit and stupidity shy science, medicine, academia and government in many places embrace Homeopathy. Ergo, that is because it works. And because it works they cannot be sued or look like fools. That is clear evidence of the efficacy of Homeopathy. Game. Set. Match.
Roslyn Maybe I'm not seeing some of your comments; you know, the one where you provided a link to evidence that backup up the opinions you gave? Alternatively, you have no clue about what constitutes evidence and you're confusing your inner thoughts with evidence-based rational and critical thought?
Roslyn, Whilst this exchange between you and Alan is entertaining you seem to rely on Dianetics to champion your case. You know, shout loud and say the same thing over and over again and eventually you will be believed?? With reference to your nameless population of medical practitioners practising Homeopathy on their patients as evidence that it works ...if anybody suggested to you that the continual practice of a man beating a woman was evidence that the woman wanted him to do it, what would be your response??
It is clear that people like Roslyn Ross believe the homeopathy works. It is also understandable that believers of something are willing to suspend normal standards of evidence in order to maintain that belief - indeed it is a requisite for that belief. It is equally clear that under such circumstances, no amount of rational argument is likely to change that belief. People (including scientists) hold a variety of superstitions, behaviours and certainties and will rationalize these through circular arguments that satisfy them. Scientists are also prone to such manipulations of thought but the difference, if one is a good scientist, is that there is always a level of doubt that is open to possibility. A-ha say the homeopathy people (climate deniers, etc), then YOU admit homeopathy is possible!! Yes, we say, quickly proceeded by the qualifier that we have seen no convincing evidence yet that it is possible but show us and we'll listen intently. But IT JUST WORKS, retorts the homeopathist, that is all the evidence we need. No, says the scientist, that is your opinion, it is not a demonstrable fact. If it is demonstrable, please demonstrate it! Ah, but gravity - you scientists don't understand gravity but it is clearly real. Doh... Actually, the physical understanding of gravity is pretty well understood. We know exactly how to calculate its force. We can observe it's influence both indirectly and directly. Gravity is not fully understood, but it conforms to every known force of nature. Homeopathy, not so much. We are complex beasts, sentient humans. We have remarkable senses that are easily fooled. We make things up all the time. We willingly suspend belief and our ignorance is profound. It has to be as a safety mechanism. If we questioned everything around us, if we needed to know exactly why the chair beneath us holds our weight, etc., we'd never get anything done. We therefore learn to make assumptions, we simplify and we build our own explanations. Until 250 years or so ago, we got away with that. But then we started to employ empirical scientific method which led to massive increases in productivity, life-expectancy, prevention of disease, technological development, etc. None of that advancement defies the scientific method - it was enabled by it. Indeed, only personal and organized beliefs have been able to persist past that enlightenment. Homeopathy is one of those. Law is another (as judged by the wildly different types of law employed by different societies).
I am the chief negotiator for the University of Toronto Faculty Association and I can tell you, categorically, that we are NOT asking for homeopathy to be added to covered treatments under our benefits plan. This is a plain and simple falsehood perpetrated by the uninformed Ms Guntner. Nobody from the faculty association was contacted for this story. Hence, the article's claim that we did not respond to a request for comment is also false. Homeopathy may be a spurious medical practice, but so is some so-called journalism.

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