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Further irrational thoughts
The end of homeopathy? contains some nicely worded arguments against homeopathy. It addresses such things as the placebo effect, double-blind trials, publishing negative results (or not) and insanely diluted solutions.

It's a good read, although to be honest I don't exactly subscribe to the following:
[..]there are often situations where people want treatment, but where medicine has little to offer - lots of back pain, stress at work, medically unexplained fatigue, and most common colds, to give just a few examples. Going through a theatre of medical treatment, and trying every medication in the book, will give you only side-effects. A sugar pill in these circumstances seems a very sensible option.

When Iím feeling generous, I think: homeopathy could have value as placebo, on the NHS even, although there are ethical considerations, and these serious cultural side-effects to be addressed.

In my mind we would do good to eradicate fuzzy thinking from the human species. We would do well to educate people, especially children, the benefits of the scientific method. Question your beliefs, question current scientific thought, by all means, but do not fall into the traps of quackery, lies and outright stupidity*:
At a homeopathic dilution of 100C, which they sell routinely, and which homeopaths claim is even more powerful than 30C, the treating substance is diluted by more than the total number of atoms in the universe.

You do not have to know the exact number of the atoms in the universe to realize that such a solution is worth no more than the water it's made of. Yes, generally speaking whenever (human) work is put into a system we accept that value is added, however if you're violating the laws of nature by somehow temporarily utilising more atoms than actually exist in the universe I don't think material reward is what you should be looking for.


*) What's interesting is that the same stuff could be said about religion. This is not a coincidence, of course.

Update: Wikipedia estimates there are about 1080 atoms in the universe.

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