Thursday, 18 August 2011

Even by Homeopathic standards, this is stupid

This story is covered much better at sciencebasedmedicine.org but it's so gob-smacking, I just had to write something. It's seems that the industry does a good job of convincing people that homeopathy is the same as "natural" or "herbal" remedies. It isn't. It literally has no active ingredients and apparently they don't like little people pointing this out.

Basically, a large multinational corporation (Boiron) is threatening a lone Italian blogger for pointing out that one of their products did not contain the active ingredient they claimed. No surprises there, given that homeopathy is expensive water and has no active ingredients of any kind. (According to geeks who have done the maths, the stated dilution is approx. equivalent of diluting one teaspoon of substance in a volume of water the size of the Universe.)

What is more surprising is that the "active ingredient" - oscillococcinum - almost certainly does not even exist before it is diluted! All the evidence points to it being an early Twentieth Century microscopy artefact. There is certainly no evidence that it does anything, let alone cause the symptoms of flu, which is at the heart of Homeopathic nonsense (despite an utter lack of any theoretical or empirical scientific basis, remember). Naturally, as even the existence of oscillococcinum is unproven, the idea that the duck liver extract being diluted to non-existence is high in oscillococcinum is pure speculative fantasy.

Even by Homeopathic standards, oscillococcinum appears to be sham. While every single step of the Homeopathic method lacks evidence and totally contradicts modern scientific understanding, oscillococcinum seems to contradict the homeopathic principles too. No wonder they don't want anyone drawing attention to it.

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