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WHAW - Homeopathy

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On 10 Apr 2011 at 9:26pm bloke wrote:
This week from 10-16th of April is World Homeopathy Awareness Week (WHAW). So I would just like to make you all aware that it is a complete load of bollox.

Check it out here »
 
 
On 10 Apr 2011 at 9:45pm Arthur Reitus wrote:
Hear hear!
 
 
On 10 Apr 2011 at 9:52pm Plar C. Beau wrote:
Hear hear!
 
 
On 11 Apr 2011 at 12:12am Dave wrote:
Had a great deal of personal experience of homeopathic treatment then have you?
 
 
On 11 Apr 2011 at 1:57am bloke wrote:
I might ask you whether you have had a great deal of experience of being given a kick in the balls as a treatment to relieve headaches? If someone provided evidence that a kick in the balls relieved headaches I would be prepared to believe it without trying it myself.
 
 
On 11 Apr 2011 at 1:27pm Williamdyer wrote:
Homeopathy does not work beyond the placebo effect (which in and of itself has *some* value). If you want to find out more about this and take action against some of our local bone-benders and shamen, you can do far worse than look into coming along to Lewes Skeptic in the Pub (google it) at the Ellie. Judging by how quickly the first three meetings sold out you'll be in good company!
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 9:42am 'ere be monsters wrote:
If only modern medicine works, how come they cured the Black Death and the Great Plague then?
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 10:37am expat two wrote:
Er... 'The Black Death' and 'The Great Plague' are the same thing, Bubonic Plague. Bubonic Plague was finally brought under control through the discovery anti-viruses (ie modern medicine), but still surfaces around the world in antiviral resistant forms.
Maybe I got it wrong though EBM, maybe homeopathy has seen it off. (citation needed).

 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 11:52am 'ere be monsters wrote:
Er...(how rude), so the Black Death, c1350, was brought under control by modern medicine? The Great Plague, c1660s, also had to wait for anti viruses as well? Perhaps, if it still surfaces round the world, modern medicine doesn't work either. Don't know really, just asking.
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 12:16pm expat two wrote:
thats exactly my point...
"If only modern medicine works, how come they cured the Black Death and the Great Plague then?"
They didn't 'cure' it then (ie without modern medicine), and it isn't 'cured' now.
Despite my misgivings about Big Pharma, modern medicine works a bloody sight more effectively than homeopathy ever will. Definitely when it comes to Bubonic Plague.
1
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 12:51pm Ed Can Do wrote:
I'm pretty sure with the Black Death they just waited for people to stop dying of it, once the remaining communitites were far enough apart for it to stop spreading. With the Great plague, it was largely the great fire of London that stopped that, or at least slowed it down a lot.

You can still get Bubonic plague, there was a thing about it on Bizarre ER on BBC 3 just last week but these days it's treatable with anti-bitotics. You're unlikely to catch it in the UK but in the deep south of the US you can get it and probably a bunch of other places out of the way. The government keep some in this country too which they experiment on to try to create a vaccine but so far after 600 odd years of trying, there's still no vaccine for it.

That said, homeopathy is entirely placebo effect but then that's often enough for some ailments. Not neccessarily bacterial or viral ones but for aches and pains and more mental stuff, a placebo can be just as good as real medicine.
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 12:58pm Im Not an Expert, but... wrote:
Have not the results of meta analysis into hoemeopathy shown that whilst there is no conclusive proof as to its efficacy, the results were in fact better than could be expected from the placebo effect alone?
The main problem that people have with homeopathy it seems, is that the active ingredient is diluted to a point where it could not exist any more, so how can what is essentially a bottle of water retain a memory of it, and how can it pass on any benefit to the patient. The only explanation must be the placebo effect. There is however a theory relating to the process of epitaxy, by which the molecular structure of the water is actually changed by whatever was originally dissolved in it, and this changed molecular structure can remain even after the dissolved substance has long since gone. This is not something made up by hoemeopaths, it is a real process. Perhaps there is something in it?
In my opinion, I couldn't really give a damn either way. If I am prescribed a treatment, and it works, then great. I don't care if that is down to the medicine itself, the placebo effect or indeed some unknown mechanism not know to science.
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 1:23pm bloke wrote:
@I'm not an Expert
"Have not the results of meta analysis into hoemeopathy shown that whilst there is no conclusive proof as to its efficacy, the results were in fact better than could be expected from the placebo effect alone?"

In a word. No.

"I couldn't really give a damn either way. If I am prescribed a treatment, and it works, then great. I don't care if that is down to the medicine itself, the placebo effect or indeed some unknown mechanism not know to science."

The problem with this view is that you can get the placebo effect from anything, including medicine that is known to be effective beyond the placebo effect. In effect you're being short changed with homeopathy. Why add to the coffers of enormous homeopathy manufactueres like Weleda and Boiron (h t t p:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiron) who had a turnover of ‚?¨313million in 2004 when all you're getting from them is sugar and water and they (or indeed the prescribing homeopath) cannot offer you any real cure. The placebo effect derives from the patient's confidence in the treatment and the person offering the treatment. Belief in the efficacy of homoeopathy is ill-founded and based-upon subjective assessment. This belief can also lead you to rely on a homeopathic treatment when what you need is real medicine. There are countless examples of people with treatable conditions who rejected modern medicine in favour of homeopathy ending up with conditions getting far worse or even dying when a simple course of antibiotics of a vitamin supplement might have solved the problem.

Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital was closed because because West Kent PCT did a study which concluded that not enough evidence of clinical effectiveness to justify funding routine homeopathic consultations there. It wasn't value for money. in these times especially we should be spending money on medicine that has a proper evidence-base and not on sugar and water substitutes.
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 1:26pm 'ere be monsters wrote:
What about Coevolution or Herd Immunity then?
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 1:48pm Twinky wrote:
@bloke - hear hear. Everyone should read Ben Goldacre's "Bad Science". There are NO studies that support homeopathy over and above the placebo effect, that have been carried out to a decent standard of scientific research (this implies standards of method and impartiality). As soon as you look hard, the benefits vanish.
The placebo effect HAS value - the trouble occurs when people place time and resources into that effect rather than go to a doctor.
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 1:55pm I'm Not an Expert, but.. wrote:
On the first point, we will have to agree to disagree. Can't remember the full details of the studies off the top of my head, but that was certainly the finding.
On the second point, are you suggesting that I would choose my own treatment? I would not do this for anything serious enough that a couple of paracetamol or a bottle of Benylin could not help, so no, I would go to the doctor and trust that they would give me the most suitable treatment. If it worked, then I would not mind or question how it did so.
I am not advocating hoemeopathy, nor any other kind of treatment. It is simply that on previous occasions when this subject has come up, like most other people my initial reaction was to dismiss it without having any actual knowledge of the subject or how it was claimed it worked. So I looked a little deeper and did some reading on the subject. I am clearly still not claiming to be an expert, just making a couple of points gleaned from the reading that I did, and I am happy to be proven wrong.
I do know that the Great Fire of London didn't stop the Great Plague though!
It's a widely accepted 'fact', but actually quite untrue..
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 2:52pm bloke wrote:
@I'm not an Expert
"On the first point, we will have to agree to disagree."

I don't know what this is supposed to mean. We can't agree to disagree about a matter documented fact. Either meta-anaylsis has shown an effect unexplainable by the placebo or it has not. I happen to know for a fact that it has not. See the highlighted page from the link below.

"On the second point, are you suggesting that I would choose my own treatment?"

I am not sure what would lead you to conclude that. I never said anything about what you may or may not have done. Merely that some people do rely on homeopathy when they should be seeing a doctor. Here is a tragic example from a couple of years ago h t t p://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/28/homeopathy-baby-death-couple-jailed

"like most other people my initial reaction was to dismiss it without having any actual knowledge of the subject or how it was claimed it worked."

I don't know about 'most people' but personally I don't think this a wise course of action for any subject. A claim should not be rejected out of hand, but first examined for plausibility; the more implausible the more robust the supporting evidence should be.

I had earlier decided not to bother pointing out to Ed Can Do that the claim that the Great Fire had killed off the plague had been indicated to be false on an episode QI as I wanted to stick to the subject of the thread. As I understand it the condition was seasonal and the number of cases trailed off in the winter of 1665/6.
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 2:54pm bloke wrote:
Bah link didn't work. Try this.

Check it out here »
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 5:31pm I'm Not an Expert, but.. wrote:
Jesus, Bloke, what is your problem?, or is it that you just have a problem with everything?
Firstly my comment about meta analysis is based on what I have read. I happen to believe that this source was reliable, so really it is your word against theirs. I am not planning to have an argument with you about it though - as I said, I am not an expert.
Secondly, 'rejecting modern medicine in favour of homeopathy' (your words, not mine) would suggest a definite choice. That is what led me to conclude what I did about choosing treatment. I can't see what your argument is there.
Thirdly, nobody said it was a wise course of action, which is why I made an effort to find out more on the subject. Suggest you read what is in front of you a bit more carefully before telling me what I should be reading.
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 6:57pm Dr. Nancy Malik wrote:
Real is scientific homeopathy. It cures even when Conventional Medicine fails. Evidence-based modern homeopathy is a nano-medicine bringing big results for everyone

Check it out here »
 
 
On 12 Apr 2011 at 11:25pm bloke wrote:
@I am not an expert
I don't know what you mean by my word against someone else's. Objective facts are not reliant upon someone's honesty. Scientific knowledge is not analogous to jurisprudence.
You know I can go and find a page on the Internet telling me that it is a fact that the Sun goes round the Earth - h t t p ://homepage.ntlworld.com/malcolmbowden/Geocexpl.htm Now I don't happen to believe this to be a reliable source because it goes against well-established and demonstrable facts. You say "I happen to believe that this source was reliable" but you do not say what this source is. How are we to know whether your source on the subject of meta-analysis of homeopathy is any more reliable than Malcom Bowden is on the subject of astronomy?

On the other hand I linked to the conclusions of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's report into the efficacy of homeopathy - "Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy" which reported in February of 2010. It specifically stated (in the section I highlighted)

"The Committee concurred with the Government that the evidence base shows that homeopathy is not efficacious (that is, it does not work beyond the placebo effect) and that explanations for why homeopathy would work are scientifically implausible. The Committee concluded-given that the existing scientific literature showed no good evidence of efficacy-that further clinical trials of homeopathy could not be justified"

If you delve into the report you will see that they looked at meta-analysis and indeed as I stated earlier found no effect beyond the placebo. Somehow you have equated me citing this as "my word"!? I'm not sure why you have decided that your unnamed source and "your/their word" should carry equal or greater weight here.

I don't understand your second point. The specific example I gave is one of hundreds of dreadful examples of people who because of their acceptance of magical thinking and their belief in the efficacy of homeopathy have rejected reality-based medicine. You can see more at h t t p ://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html At no point have I been talking about your personal experiences. I don't understand why you think have. You seem to have gone on the defensive here.

On your third and final point - you said "my initial reaction was to dismiss it without having any actual knowledge of the subject" - I was stating that this initial reaction is unwise. So it appears you agree with me that your gut reaction was flawed and we have no argument on that point. Great. Your re-examination is commendable but it appears, your research such as it was, was inadequate. Your claim about meta-analysis is demonstrably wrong and you would be wise to accept that you or or your unnamed source were in error here and move on.
 
 
On 13 Apr 2011 at 10:06am Mystic Mog wrote:
Good link about the so called 'memory' of water. Explains the fallacies very well.

Check it out here »
 
 
On 13 Apr 2011 at 11:21am Ed Can Do wrote:
Once again QI quashes a belief I've held since being taught it at primary school.

Still wavering off topic but the new series on the BBC about filthy cities had a fair bit about the Black Death in it in the episode about London and the one about Paris last night was good too. Well worth a look on the old i-Player.

I have to say one of the things I like best about coming to this forum is learning small but interesting facts and getting things I thought to be true straightened out. Keep up the good work!
 
 
On 13 Apr 2011 at 4:32pm Grrr wrote:
Holy Moses Bloke, chill out.
Methinks someone is suffering from a case of Scientism - the idea that Science (with a big 's') can definitely explain everything in the whole wide world and universe. (It's the new Religion, don't you know.)
True, it is our best tool, but it science with a small 's' shouldn't be confused with Science as a belief system. You don't have the right to decide that your view is definitely correct and someone else's view is definitely incorrect - just because yuo read it in a government report doesn't make it true either (cf. the dossier pre-Iraq War).
Not so long ago Science told the world that the smallest thing in existence was the atom, but then that got broken down further and further still (by using science with a small 's'), so what's to stop it ending up correcting itseslf on this argument too).
I'm not saying I think that homeopathy works - I know literally nothing about it - but I am saying that you should try to keep a little bit of an open mind in case you end up looking like a mug... one day.
 
 
On 13 Apr 2011 at 5:19pm I'm Not an Expert, but. wrote:
Thanks Grrr. Not only is someone suffering from a case of Scientism, they are also suffering from a case of not reading other peoples posts properly before arguing against them

Firstly I stated that I had read something. I did not claim it to be fact, but actually asked the question as to whether it was true. Cue Bloke jumping down my neck spouting books and websites I should read.

I then mention a process that has been suggested could give water a memory of sorts. No comment from Bloke on that one - maybe it is true - I don't know because I AM NOT A F'ING EXPERT.

Thirdly I make a comment that whatever might help any ailment I might have is fine by me. As long as it works I am happy. That is a personal viewpoint, not a scientific fact, and there is certainly no need for a 2 hour lecture on how much money Homeopaths make, what Government Committees do (like you can always rely on them!), and how the sun doesn't revolve round the earth!

Just to set the record straight, I do not believe that homeopathy works, and have at no point suggested otherwise. Furthermore I did not make any claims about the validity of the meta analysis, I have merely commented on things that I have read about it. Even then, just because I cannot remember the author of a report that I read about a year ago, and Bloke has not read the same thing, then it is obviously wrong! (If it helps Bloke, I can see if I still have it at home and let you know, but to be honest I don't know that I can be bothered because it will just set you off again)

So, Bloke, please get down off your intellectual high horse and take your personal vendetta against homeopathy elsewhere. I assume you are the same person that has ranted at length on this subject before on this forum. I suggest you have a lie down, have a cup of tea, try losing the attitude and be civil to people for a change. More importantly learn to understand what people are saying to you and don't just assume you are so clever that you already know.

 
 
On 14 Apr 2011 at 10:02am expat two wrote:
Dr. Nancy Malik, what the hell third rate university awarded you a doctorate? How much can I get one for?
Seriously, I need to know where to not send my kids.
 
 
On 14 Apr 2011 at 10:16am bloke wrote:
@Grrr.

This ridiculous 'science as a religion' argument that you're using (aka "Scientism") is usually used by creationists, climate change deniers and alt-medders who aren't able to offer any truly convincing argument as to why their opponents ideas are wrong and so come back with an attack on their opponents themselves as adherents of a "Science is never wrong" religious style cult. But as anyone who knows anything about science will tell you - nothing is ever proven right in science; all results are tentative and based on current evidence; and scientists are constantly trying to prove each other wrong. As Dara O'Brian says in his act, "If Science knew everything it would stop". Science is the best, but not a perfect tool for discovering how nature works and for improving the human condition. It's a process and a tool. It's not a belief system. WRT the HoC report - it's all in the open you examine the report closely if you choose and read all the evidence presented to the Committee by organizations representing homeopaths and from clinicians and decide what you belief for yourself.

@I'm Not an Expert

This is still World Homeopathy Awareness Week. I still think it appropriate to make people aware that it is not just nonsense but potentially dangerous nonsense. For example here is a homeopathy telling you which homeopathic preparations can protect you from radiation poisoning - h t t p ://homeopathyworks.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/homeopathy-and-radioactivity/ .

You might think that it's either benign nonsense, or might have some validity because (you're not an expert but..) you read something on the Internet about a year ago that said their was some validity in water memory and you read something that said that there was an effect beyond the placebo. For some reason you become personally offended when I try to indicate that whatever you read was not correct. I am not sure why.

I have read your posts very carefully. You said "... that [i.e. meta analysis into homeopathy [has] shown that .. the results were in fact better than could be expected from the placebo effect alone] was certainly the finding .. " and "I happen to believe that this source was reliable". And now you say "I did not make any claims about the validity of the meta analysis". So which is it? Do you think the source reliable or not? If you do how is this not making a claim about the validity meta analysis. With regard to epitaxy. I didn't address for fear of piling on to you too much in one post: Epitaxy is real but it refers to applying a thin layer of crystal onto a film. There have been a couple of articles published which have tried to make a connection between this and homeopathy and indeed one of these was referred to in the HoC report I linked to but the 'science' of it does not stand up to critical analysis see - h t t p ://www.quackometer.net/blog/2007/06/begging-question-for-homeopathy.html
 
 
On 14 Apr 2011 at 10:50am Grrr wrote:
@Bloke
At the risk of prolonging your tiresome tirade at people you know nothing about, I do not fall into any of the three categories you are suggesting. I am not a creationist (but I am not a neo-Darwinist either). I am not a climate change denier. I am not an alt-medder (although I do believe that western society is prone to over-medicating, and the human body can sometimes heal itself given the appropriate conditions).
It's people like you that give science (with a small 's') a bad name because you claim that "nothing is ever proven right in science", but then go on to claim that someone else is definitely wrong even though science has only really just started on the subject and much of the topic is still an open debate. You can't say that "nothing is ever proven right in science" and then say "but I'm definitely right about this and you're wrong because science tells me so" - that just doesn't make sense.
Finally, I hope you weren't suggesting that I no nothing about science - it's quite important for my job that I do, otherwise I could be in a lot of trouble...
 
 
On 14 Apr 2011 at 4:32pm williamdyer wrote:
Everyone,
Take a moment to breathe, and then consider what Homeopaths are claiming.
There is no evidence to support the theoretical basis of their discipline, and what evidence for clinical benefit is provided is generally weak and not (to my knowledge) reproducible. Contrast this with the vast amount of reproducible evidence for much of conventional medicine.
Homeopathy is absurd.
 
 
On 14 Apr 2011 at 4:41pm bloke wrote:
@Grrr I quite specifically said "nothing is ever proven RIGHT in science" but that does not infer "nothing is ever proven WRONG in science". Falsification is a fundamental part of the scientific method. If the predictions of your theory do not match observations or experimental results your theory is wrong. Game Over. Get a new theory and try to explain the new observations and test further predictions of the new theory. While observations match they theory the theory is tentatively the best explanation for the observations. That's how science makes progress.

It was a firmly held belief for the majority of the 18thC and 19thC that light travelled through a medium dubbed the luminiferous ether. If correct the Michaelson Morley experiment would have shown light travelling at different speeds depending on the direction it was travelling through the ether. The experiment detected no change in light speed (a classic null result) and showed conclusively that the luminiferous ether did not exist.

The only important thing I've said is definitely wrong in this thread is that meta-analysis of homoeopathic trials has shown an effect beyond the placebo. I said this is wrong because it is demonstrably not the case and I posted a link to verify.

Re-read what I wrote. I said you are using an argument often used by people who fall into those anti-science agenda camps. I never claimed that you personally fell into any of those specific groups. I genuiniely have no idea why this rdiculous argument appeals to you and I made no assessment your scientific knowledge.
 
 
On 14 Apr 2011 at 11:10pm Jonathan Spencer wrote:
I would go back to an earlier post and ask why has not more research been done on the placebo effect.
 
 
On 15 Apr 2011 at 9:41am I'm Not an Expert, But.. wrote:
For goodness sake Bloke, even after I suggest that you read my post properly, you still fail to do so!!!! If you want to quote me in context, then quote all of my words instead of picking out the ones that suit your argument. The statement you claim I made was actually preceded by the words 'Have not the results...etc, etc' and then I followed this with a question mark. This is not me making a claim, this is me asking a question - maybe at school you didn't have time for English lessons as well as science.
The claim of which I spoke, was reported on in scientific literature, as I said, about a year ago - possibly more. I did not read it on the internet as you suggest (you seem to imply by the tone of your post that this would makes it unreliable, yet you still constantly refer me to other websites). The author of this articlet is not responsible for the meta-analysis either, merely reporting on its results. Now, I happen to know the author of the article, who is an intelligent and respectable member of the scientific community (and does not believe in homeopathy by the way), so yes, I do consider them to be reliable. So tell me this, am I more likely to listen to what they say, or to the argumentative rantings of some unknown person on a Lewes forum?
Lastly, the reason that I find your posts offensive is nothing to do with their scientific content, or whether my own limited scientific knowledge is indeed right or wrong. It is to do with you assuming I am saying something that I am not, your failure to take this on board even when it is repeatedly pointed out to you, your relentless and lengthy attacks on homeopathy which are a waste of your time and mine when I have already told you I don't believe it works, and most of all your high and mighty, argumentative attitude. Trouble is, you just can't see it, can you, you just think you are being wonderfully clever!
 
 
On 15 Apr 2011 at 11:48am bloke wrote:
When I pointed out that the answer to your question was actually a "no" you said "we will have to agree to disagree"; explicitly stating that you did not accept the answer I gave you even though I supplied the evidence that my answer to your question was correct. If you were never going to accept an answer to your question that disagreed the view you had obtained from your unknown 'reliable' source why did you pose it as a question in the first place?

Further to this you said "I happen to believe that this source was reliable, so really it is your word against theirs.". Again we are not talking about a matter of opinion. My word or their word or even your word. Either the evidence of and effect better than placebo from meta-analysis exists or it is not. You've get to give any hint of its actual existence.

Now you say "the claim of which I spoke, was reported on in scientific literature, as I said, about a year ago - possibly more" More unsupported assertions.

"I happen to know the author of the article, who is an intelligent and respectable member of the scientific community (and does not believe in homeopathy by the way), so yes, I do consider them to be reliable. " You're now presenting an argument from authority (although unnamed). It's whether what they say is true or false that counts not what their respect in the scientific community is like. Nobel prize-winners like Linus Pauling and Richard Lindzen have opinions on Vitamin-C and Climate Change respectively, that do not hold up to scrutiny.

"So tell me this, am I more likely to listen to what they say, or to the argumentative rantings of some unknown person on a Lewes forum?"

Neither. The motto of the Royal Society is Nullius in Verba (take nobody's word for it). Look at the evidence, not opinion.
Finally once again this is still WHAW and I make no apology for making people aware that Homeopathy it is not some benign herbal treatment. It's a dangerous and waste of money. I already linked to a homeopath recommending treatments for radiation poisoning. Why aren't you shocked an appalled by this?

Check it out here »
 
 
On 15 Apr 2011 at 2:27pm bloke wrote:
Bah. Sorry about the numerous typos on a rush post.
 
 
On 15 Apr 2011 at 4:58pm I'm Not an Expert, But.. wrote:
@Bloke, "The motto of the Royal Society is Nullius in Verba (take nobody's word for it)". Well, why don't you stop going on about it then! (Or does it not apply to your word?)
BTW, nobody has said that I am not shocked and appalled by the claims you say are being made about homeopathy, and if you read my posts I have said several times now that I don't believe it works so why the hell do you keep coming back with these lectures?. What I am arguing about is the fact that I read something written by someone I trust, about SOMEONE ELSE'S findings. By your twisted logic, you conclude that this makes either myself or the person I know that wrote the article a supporter of homeopathy. You also conclude that the claims being made in the report that was being written about were MY claims! Neither of these assumptions are correct and I am not sure how many times, and in how many ways I have to explain this to you without risking another onslaught of derision. I am not making any unsupported assertions, and I am not trying to present an argument from a position of authority, other than that I am a better authority on what I might have read and who I might know than you could possibly be (I read something - you are telling me I didn't?). I think we have all got the message about your views on homeopathy, so again I ask that you stop your ranting (it impresses no-one), forget everything that you THINK I am saying, and direct your energies to trying to understand what it is I am ACTUALLY saying. You might well find that we agree.
 
 
On 16 Apr 2011 at 8:51am bloke wrote:
@I'm not an Expert.

"Well, why don't you stop going on about it then! (Or does it not apply to your word?) "

I already stated that you should NOT take my word for anything. The evidence in the link has got nothing to do with my word. Why do you think it has?

"I have said several times now that I don't believe it works"

Search through the posts above and see if you can find any point where I've suggested that you do believe it works?. I've never thought or implied that you do believe in it. Only that you say you trust something about the meta-analysis that is not supported by the evidence. I really can't understand why you're getting so defensive about this.

"I read something written by someone I trust, about SOMEONE ELSE'S findings."

I am not sure why you don't understand that whatever you read was obviously mistaken. Not because I assert that it is mistaken but because the actual evidence from the HoC report indicates the opposite to what yo say this thing you read said. Any reasonable person would now be saying something like - "fair enough. Either I was wrong about what I read or the person who wrote the thing I read was themselves wrong about meta-analysis". For some reason you want to argue the toss over this despite the black and white evidence from the link I initially posted.

"By your twisted logic, you conclude that this makes either myself or the person I know that wrote the article a supporter of homeopathy. You also conclude that the claims being made in the report that was being written about were MY claims!"

Er.. no. I don't. I don't know how you get any of this from what I've posted here. All I've ever been arguing about is whether or not the meta-analysis leans one way or the other.

"I am not making any unsupported assertions"

If someone says they read something, somewhen, by somebody that says X is true and then can't elaborate on the who, what, when and where; that's an unsupported assertion. The assertion that X is true, or indeed that anyone even said that X is true is unsupported by any actual evidence to back it up.

"I am not trying to present an argument from a position of authority"

If someone says X's argument has validity because X is a respected figure; that's an argument from authority by definition. It's a logical fallacy.

"forget everything that you THINK I am saying, and direct your energies to trying to understand what it is I am ACTUALLY saying."

I think you need to forget what you think I think you are saying. Again at no point have I suggested that you are a supporter of homeopathy, I seriously cannot understand how you have picked this idea up from anything I have written. In your post of Tue 12 Apr 12:52 you indicated that consider it benign and posed a question about the statistical evidence. I've only ever been addressing these points.
 
 
On 18 Apr 2011 at 9:41am Grrr wrote:
@Bloke
Can you please explain to me why you say the following: "I am not sure why you don't understand that whatever you read was OBVIOUSLY MISTAKEN. Not because I assert that it is mistaken but because the actual evidence from the HoC report indicates the opposite to what yo say this thing you read said."
Why is I'm Not An Expert obviously mistaken? Why can't YOU be mistaken? Why is your source of evidence so much more definitively correct than I'm Not An Expert's?
I don't understand. Is it because it's a government report? So what? They've been wrong before and the research they rely on is often funded by private companies with an interest in a certain outcome (e.g. Big Pharma).
I know that I'm Not An Expert hasn't given us the actual source, but why is it that you can assume that YOUR report is correct and HIS report is obviously mistaken?
Anyone who knows anything about statistics knows that the same data can be manipulated (either purposely or by accident) to show one thing in one report and another thing in another - why have your sources got it definitively right when compared to I'm Not An Expert's? That smacks of arrogance on your part.
 
 
On 18 Apr 2011 at 11:20am I'm Not an Expert, But.. wrote:
Thanks Grr. You know I am starting to find Bloke and his ramblings all a bit of a joke. He is obviously so obsessed with arguing that he needs to prove a point even when there is no point to be proved! He can't seem to understand or accept the fact that I am not actually trying to validate anything, although by selective quoting he tries to make it seem that way. Just because someone I have referred to said something, it does not mean that I said it, believe it, or support it. He cannot grasp that simple premise.
I think he is a bit boring and a bit sad, but most of all, extremely arrogant, but I am going to see if I can find the article I have been referring to, name some names, and perhaps that will shut him up. After all, the only thing I am arguing about is the fact that it exists, NOT the validity of it.
 
 
On 18 Apr 2011 at 11:25am bloke wrote:
Let's be clear about what the the HoC report is, rather than what you are trying to suggest it might be.

It was the evidence submitted to the Committee and the conclusions made by the Committee following a number of open sessions (you could watch the recorded sessions on the Parliament channel or the Web) examining the evidence submitted to the Committee by advocates and detractors of Homeopathy. The purpose of the Committe's hearing was to determine, based-upon the evidence, the efficacy of Homeopathy and whether the NHS should continue funding Homeopathic consultations out of the public purse. The Committe concluded that there was insufficent evidence to continue funding and that because there was no good evidence of efficacy further clinical trials of homeopathy could not be justified.

On the pro-homeopathy side written and oral submissions were made by (but not limited to) The Society of Homeopaths, Robert Wilson (Chairman, British Association of Homeopathic Manufacturers), Dr Peter Fisher, Director of Research, Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, Dr Robert Mathie the Research Development Adviser for British Homeopathic Association, The European Committee for Homeopathic Medicine in Europe, The Prince‚??s Foundation for Integrated Health and The European Central Council of Homeopaths. The full list of contributors can be seen on page 51 of the link I provided earlier. Nowhere among any of the oral or written evidence submitted to the Committee (which you can read in full in the link provided earlier) is there any indication whatsoever that meta-analysis shows a positive result for homeopathy beyond the placebo. On the contrary the evidence submitted to the Committee regarding meta-analysis which includes but is not limited to M Cucherat, M C Haugh, M Gooch, J P Boissel, "Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy. A meta-analysis of clinical trials", European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, vol 56 (2000), pp 27‚??33; K Linde, N Clausius,G Ramirez, D Melchart, F Eitel, L V Hedges et al., "Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials", Lancet 1997, vol 350, pp 834‚??84 show that there is NO positive effect beyond the placebo.

In order to determine if there are any meta-analysis studies that give the opposite conclusion all you have to do it search the published literature. There are no meta-analysis studies that make this conclusion.
 
 
On 18 Apr 2011 at 12:20pm I'm Not an Expet, But wrote:
Sorry Bloke, I didn't bother reading the above beyond the first sentence, in which once again you are putting words into my mouth so that you can argue against them. I have not even mentioned the HoC report, let alone suggested what it might be.
The rest of your babble is, I assume, along the same lines.
 
 
On 18 Apr 2011 at 1:06pm bloke wrote:
@I'm Not an Expert.
It's a reply to Grrr. Answering his question. Your unwillingness to read beyond the first sentence is unsurprising and of no consequence.
 
 
On 18 Apr 2011 at 2:24pm I'm Not an Expert, But wrote:
OK, thanks, that was not clear, but why would you find it unsurprising that I would not want to read yet another long and drawn out post repeating the same old stuff over and over again? Just listing names that mean nothing to anyone outside the scientific community, and posting links to reams and reams of scientific jargon is hardly the sort of thing that will engage people in a discussion, or even hold their attention, is it?
 
 
On 18 Apr 2011 at 7:05pm bloke wrote:
@I'm Not an Expert, But..

"OK, thanks, that was not clear"

At the time I began posting my reply to Grrr you had not posted your latest "contribution", but nevertheless I think it would have been pretty obvious if you had bothered to read it that I was addressing Grr's question.

"repeating the same old stuff"

As it is clearly NOT repeating the "same old stuff" but answering a question from Grrr with a precise answer to his actual query I don't feel I really need to address this point, but given that you have already stated that you didn't read beyond the first paragraph I am somewhat surprised that you said it was "putting words into my mouth so that you can argue against them". You apparently made this judgement without reading the actual words that I was supposedly putting in your mouth.

"reams and reams of scientific jargon"

I'm not sure which "scientific jargon" you're referring to? "Placebo?" "meta-analysis". Anything else jargon-like that you're struggling with? These are the things we are talking about are they not?

"Just listing names that mean nothing to anyone outside the scientific community"

Perhaps you should try to read again (if indeed you have read at all) the context of the list of names of people and organizations from my last post. They are not of particular meaning to "the scientific community" but of homoeopaths. For brevity's sake I won't repeat the context in this post. The paragraph also includes the names of the published meta-analysis studies considered by the Committee which show no effect beyond a placebo. These are listed, as is common practice, by author; article name; publication. I'm not sure how you expect one to point to these without naming them and the "scientific jargon" of their titles.

I find that providing evidence that what one is saying is correct, however long and boring it may be is a much more honest way to approach discussion of a subject than your chosen tactics of: asserting something as fact without providing evidence; ignoring the factual evidence that contradicts your point, accusing one's opponent of being arrogant, boring; falsely claiming that your views are being misrepresented; not bothering to read responses properly (by your own admission) and at the same time accusing your opponent of doing the same thing.

I note that you have yet to acknowledge the substantial point from the last post and instead refer to my style of debate as i that has a consequence on the validity of issue being discussed.

To be honest I get the impression that you have simply being trying to wind me up from the first. If so, so be it. The point of the original post was simply to counter the positive spin being put on homeopathy from practitioners and supporters during their World Homeopathy Awareness Week. The week is now over and so is this thread.


This thread has reached its limit now
Why not start another one


 

Pells Pool Perspective 97:132
Pells Pool Perspective

To be more specific~ on the pages of posts, above " the quote of the moment" box, there is another box "last post". I clicked it... more
QUOTE OF THE MOMENT
I like BONFIRE NIGHT, and of course all the out-meetings which go on around this time - and the loud bang at the crack of dawn!
Jojo