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Old 19th October 2004, 08:30 AM
MRC_Hans MRC_Hans is offline
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OK, in the context of homeopathy, what is 'science'? Bigger and better double blind placebo-controlled trials (DBPCTS) on potentised remedies, as the conventional scientific community would wish? I don't think so.
There would be a deafening outcry for ever more DBPCTs if they should favor homeopathy, and "Nya, nya, we told you so! if they shouldn't, simply underlining the strength of feeling that homeopathic issues generate (and objectivity can sometimes be the first casualty in this debate).
There is no doubt some truth in this. After all, homeopathy constitutes an extraordinary claim, so it will no doubt be met with demands for extraordinary evidence. However, this does not change the fact that the trials that have so far yielded positive results for homeopathy can be shown to be flawed. So while you can suspect the scientific establishment to be reluctant to accept a valid result, you cannot accuse it of having already done so.

As for the many theories of how homeopathic remedies might act physically, there is still none that do not require some as yet unvalidated mechanism to exist. In other words, there is always a leap of faith to be made.

It must also be remembered that homeopathy does not rest on remedies alone. The whole law of similars is the real cornerstone, and even if certain preparations can be showed to have a medicinal effects (as in the case of certain low potency experiments) the universality of the law of similars still has to be verified.

The weak quantum theory is another unvalidated theory. If one wants to be negative, it could be termed an ad hoc theory. This means a theory that is designed to fit the desired result, not the actual obsevations.

Personally, I think the effect of homeopathy should be found in the doctor/patient interaction, which, probably controversially, at least in the present company, relegates both the actual remedies and the law of similars to a fairly unimportant role.

Hans
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