Stephen Fry - Richard Dawkins - BBC Horizon - Charles Menninger - Julian Wilson - Mahatma Gandhi - Robert Mendelsohn - Yehudi Menuhim - Mark Twain - Dizzy Gillespie - Paul McCartney -
63,128. People want to take control of their own lives, and ironically they seem to think that they are taking control of their lives more by using so-called complementary or alternative medicines than by using orthodox medicine. In other words, they think it’s a statement of originality and individuality. To you and me it seems self-evidently ridiculous, this homeopathic medicine. It is so preposterous, and yet some people I know and respect insist on believing it. (Alternative Medicine & Homeopathy) Stephen Fry
76,120. 500,000,000 people worldwide claim to use it. What is it? It’s a system for dosing up on a dilute solution of water. Welcome to the bizarre world of homeopathy. Homeopathy was dreamed up in the late eighteenth century as a way of boosting the body’s vital spirit. One of the central tenets handed down by its founder Samuel Hahnemann was that like cures like. Superficially this might sound faintly plausible but unlike a vaccine that introduces a diminished form of a virus into the body in order to provoke its immune system, like cures like makes the unfounded assumption that what causes similar symptoms can cure those symptoms ... Homeopaths claim that the more you dilute an active ingredient in water the stronger medicine it becomes. Professor Richard Dawkins, Enemies of Reason: The Irrational Health Service
76,121. In 2005 the medical journal The Lancet surveyed all the meta-analyses – the analyses of the analyses – and failed to find any reliable effect of homeopathy. ibid.
76,122. The events that would lead to Horizon’s million-dollar challenge began with Professor Madeleine Ennis, a scientist who may have found the impossible. Her work concerns a type of medicine which defies the laws of science. She has reawakened one of the most bitter controversies of recent years. It’s all about something you can find on every high street in Britain: homeopathy. Horizon: Homeopathy: The Test
76,123. The first principle is that to find a cure you look for a substance that actually causes the symptoms you are suffering from. It’s the principle that like cures like ... The second principle of homeopathy: the more you dilute a remedy the more effective it becomes, provided it is done in a special way. ibid.
76,124. This is equivalent to one drop in the Atlantic Ocean. But even this is not enough for most homeopathic medicines. A typical dilution is 30c, a truly astronomical level of dilution. ibid.
76,125. But homeopaths believe that a drop of this ultra-dilute solution placed on to sugar pills can cure you. That’s why homeopathy is so controversial, because Science says that makes no sense whatsoever. ibid.
76,126. Science and homeopathy have been at war for over a hundred years. ibid.
76,127. So, in June 1988 Benveniste’s research appeared in the pages of Nature. It caused a scientific sensation. Benveniste became a celebrity. His memory of water made news across the world. He seemed to have found the evidence that made homeopathy scientifically credible ... The team [Nature] wrote a report accusing Benveniste of doing bad science, and branding the claims for the memory of water a dilution. Benveniste’s scientific reputation was ruined ... Science declared homeopathy impossible once more. ibid.
76,128. If homeopathy is scientific nonsense then why are so many people apparently being cured by it? The answer may lie in the strange and powerful placebo effect. ibid.
76,129. So Horizon decided to take up Randi’s challenge. We gathered experts from some of Britain’s leading scientific institutions to help us repeat Ennis’s experiments. Under the most rigorous of conditions they’ll see whether they can find any evidence for the memory of water. We brought James Randi over from the United States to witness the experiment. ibid.
76,130. A statistical analysis confirms it: the homeopathic water has had no effect. ibid.
76,131. So Horizon hasn’t won the million dollars. It’s another triumph for James Randi. His reputation and his money are safe. Homeopathy is back where it started: without any credible scientific explanation ... Homeopathy is impossible. ibid.
76,133. Homeopathy is wholly capable of satisfying the therapeutic demands of this age better than any other system or school of medicine. Dr Charles Menninger, founder Menninger Clinic
76,134. In the records of three years of diphtheria in Broome County, New York from 1862 to 1864, there was a report of an 83.6% mortality rate among the allopaths and a 16.4% mortality rate among the Homeopaths. Julian Winston
76,135. Homeopathy ... cures a larger percentage of cases than any other method of treatment and is beyond doubt safer and more economical and most complete medical science. Mahatma Gandhi
76,136. Effective natural remedies that have no side effects. Dr Robert Mendelsohn, University of Illinois Medical School, author
76,137. Homeopathy is the safest and more reliable approach to ailments and has withstood the assaults of established medical practice for over 100 years. Yehudi Menuhin, violinist
76,138. The introduction of homeopathy forced the old school doctor to stir around and learn something of a rational nature about his business. You may honestly feel grateful that homeopathy survived the attempts of allopaths to destroy it. Mark Twain
76,139. There have been two great revelations in my life: The first was bebop, the second was homeopathy. (Jazz & Homeopathy) Dizzy Gillespie
76,140. I can’t manage without homeopathy. In fact, I never go anywhere without homeopathic remedies. I often make use of them. Paul McCartney