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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meg2 View Post
    Sorry for all these posts, I'm just catching up on this thread from yesterday. This review looks at 6 studies of homeopathy... 6!! Now I'd hardly call that a reasonable sample size. If these are the only valid studies of homeopathy done to date then it looks like it is a topic that has had very little research done on it, and certainly has not been wholeheartedly disproved by scientific research.
    I think you miss one important part of the equation, homeopathy goes against our current understanding of matter. This is pretty fundamental understanding, well studied, tested and accepted. It is exceedingly rare that new scientific knowledge changes fundemental understanding, of course not impossible the theory of relativity springs to mind. In the case of homeopathy it's prudent to take the position that homeopathic remedies offer no more value than placebo.

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  3. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euphrosyne View Post
    I think you miss one important part of the equation, homeopathy goes against our current understanding of matter. This is pretty fundamental understanding, well studied, tested and accepted. It is exceedingly rare that new scientific knowledge changes fundemental understanding, of course not impossible the theory of relativity springs to mind. In the case of homeopathy it's prudent to take the position that homeopathic remedies offer no more value than placebo.
    Making that type of assumption is not a very scientific approach to the issue though is it? We may not understand the mechanism by which homeopathy works, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't. We also don't have a very good understanding of the mechanism by which placebos work, but we know that they do.

  4. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by beebs View Post
    Western medicine is by no means perfect, and some medicines have worse side effects that the symptoms of the illness you are treating. I am by no means a Western only medicine type person. I've tried so many different things myself. I remember this one where they have a little machine with cups and it pulses tiny electronic currents where your injury is, I can't even remember what it is called.

    I have no problems with people choosing to do what they want re their own treatment. I never have believed in forced anything, vaccinations, pregnancies etc

    The only problem I have is when I see people spreading false & inflammatory information on the net about things to do with health care. Like "vaccines contain embalming fluid", or homeopathic vaccines work as well as normal vaccines but without the side effects.

    Other than that, I have no problem with people taking charge of their own health.
    I feel pretty much the same as you. I know some people have been absolutely slammed for not taking the advice of their doctors but, honestly, their doctors can give their advice but they have no ownership over their patient. It's up to the patient to decide what happens with their body. I was really disheartened and upset to see Bob Marley's death used as a political tool to promote having bits and pieces cut off and implied he died because he was a Rasta. He died from melanoma. It would have killed him anyway (I have a friend who died recently of the same rare melanoma - 30 years on - he took the conventional route and fared no better, in fact I would say worse. But I supported his choice to take that route.)

    There does need to be strict legislation re people giving advice that is potentially deadly- whatever medicine they promote and there needs to be strict freedom of choice as to what patients choose. I'm glad I went against my doctors advice and used "non empirical medicine" instead.
    Last edited by Benji; 29-10-2013 at 12:29. Reason: spelling - der

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  6. #94
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    When thinking of homeopathic remedies, my eyes glaze over and none of it makes sense. Water is great stuff, it's my favourite thing to drink, bathe in and play around in. Will it cure cancer? I don't see how it could. Can it cure a common cold? Yes, probably, since fluids are needed to help the body recover. So it can have what some people might call a medicinal effect for certain things.

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    Well we all would die without water after all

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  10. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meg2 View Post
    Making that type of assumption is not a very scientific approach to the issue though is it? We may not understand the mechanism by which homeopathy works, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't. We also don't have a very good understanding of the mechanism by which placebos work, but we know that they do.
    One woman's assumption might be another hypothesis. I counter that the mechanism by which homeopathy cannot work is well understood. I cannot state with certainty that homeopathy doesn't work, rather that on the weight of currently available information it's highly unlikely it does.

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  12. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euphrosyne View Post
    One woman's assumption might be another hypothesis. I counter that the mechanism by which homeopathy cannot work is well understood. I cannot state with certainty that homeopathy doesn't work, rather that on the weight of currently available information it's highly unlikely it does.
    If you are saying that homeopathy can't work through to a particular mechanism (i.e. the diluted ingredient acting the same way that an active ingredient would in conventional medicine), then I think that is most likely correct. But then to say that it can't work through any mechanism at all is not a logical extension of that argument. It is possible for science to demonstrate that something works, even if it can't show how it works.

    ETA. I will happily agree that with our current understanding, it does seem unlikely that homeopathy works.
    Last edited by Meg2; 29-10-2013 at 13:54.

  13. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meg2 View Post
    If you are saying that homeopathy can't work through to a particular mechanism (i.e. the diluted ingredient acting the same way that an active ingredient would in conventional medicine), then I think that is most likely correct. But then to say that it can't work through any mechanism at all is not a logical extension of that argument. It is possible for science to demonstrate that something works, even if it can't show how it works.
    I don't think we disagree, I've not made that extension.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meg2 View Post
    Making that type of assumption is not a very scientific approach to the issue though is it? We may not understand the mechanism by which homeopathy works, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't. We also don't have a very good understanding of the mechanism by which placebos work, but we know that they do.
    Placebos CAN work, but they are not effective for everyone or every condition/symptom.
    The mechanism by which homeopathy is supposed to work - the whole, 'water has a memory if you tap it this way' thing- I think we can safely say that if water could remember the one diluted ingredient a homeopath added, it would remember all the other things that had been in it, which would potentially make the remedy do many other things than it was intended- yet they don't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meg2 View Post
    If you are confident that you know what the scientific consensus is, then sure, go with that. If you are prepared to read a lot of different research papers (not just articles in New Scientist or the like) then you probably have a pretty good handle on the issue. But this is a pretty big ask and most people don't have the time or inclination to wade through heaps of dry scientific papers in their spare time (if it's not related to my work or something very important to me then I certainly don't), which is why I don't really trust non-specialists telling me what the scientific consensus on an issue is. I intuitively don't believe in homeopathy, as I think is probably the case with most scientifically inclined people. But, I would be reluctant to tell people that science has shown it to be false unless I had done a thorough review of the literature myself (picking out a couple of studies then saying 'there are heaps more like this' isn't convincing).

    It's a tricky one, because we all want to know what the best information out there is, but it is very difficult to find without putting a lot of time in. I guess my stance is that if you read a paper or information that makes sense to you and you think it provides good scientific facts, then you will be likely to believe it. I just wouldn't tell other people that you know what 'science' says on the issue unless you have done a lot of work.
    I'm really not sure I need to post every single study, review, paper or article I have ever read on the subject of homeopathy. That's why I said there are many more. You said you were a scientist, I'm sure you can access even more that I can. I have read LOADS on this subject. I have to step kids whose mother refused to allow them conventional meds for some time, only treating them with homeopathics- in essence, I watched them both suffer through illnesses where their symptoms could have been easily alleviated. My reading on. This started then, when DSD was 4. She turns 12 next months. No, I'm not a scientist but I do still consider myself pretty informed on the scientific consensus on this topic. I have read studies that seem to show homeopathics working or at the least an outcome worthy of further study. They are out there. I have then gone on to look up the researchers, the methodology and any other information I can find about that study- I'm yet to find one with a positive outcome that hasn't been shown to be flawed in some major way. If researchers can conclusively show homeopathy is an effective remedy for anything, I would be more than happy to accept their findings. But to date, I haven't seen anything like that.


 

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