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The Skeptics argument

I have yet to encounter a skeptic whose experience of homeopathy was that they had given it a thorough and fair trial and found it to be ineffective, or even that they had assessed the clinical evidence for themselves.

On the contrary, Homeopathy skepticism is normally based on a dogmatic logic: The main argument advanced by skeptics states that the incredibly low concentrations used in homeopathy, make it extremely unlikely that there is any of the diluted substance contained in it.

The above is all reasonable and widely accepted science. However, they then go on to say therefore homeopathy can't work. The leap of faith from the premises is unjustifiable. To clarify, the premises are:

  • Explicitly:
    • That there is none of the diluted substance.
  • Implicitly:
    • That the diluted substance is the only active ingredient.
    • That all factors defining the interaction between the remedy and surrounding liquid are known. Specifically that the diluted substance has had no effect on the surrounding liquid.
However ...

Recent research has found that water molecules form microscopic clumps when shaken with a small quantity of another chemical. The nature of these clumps is dependent on the chemical being shaken in the water. These clumps, will also build clumps on themselves, when shaken in more water, without any of the original substance being present.

This may or may not be relevent to how homeopathy works, but it does show that the skeptic's implicit premise, that the water molecules have had no effect on the surrounding liquid, is untenable.

It is not necessary to understand how it works, but simply to try it and see if it works. The only real window to knowledge is personal experience, and without it, knowledge is empty.

Further Reading

Having spent a significant amount of time producing this site, I can no longer claim to be unbiased, and I'm sure my enthusiasm is evident. There are many studies out there, and many of them published on the web.

A good source for details of proper placebo controlled double blind homeopathic clinical trials is: http://www.lyghtforce.com/King_bio/research.htm

Here is an article in the esteemed and unbiased British Medical Journal: http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/319/7217/1115

Alternatively, you may want to investigate the matter yourself on a search engine. You could do a lot worse than examining google. A word of warning though; the majority of studies have given a group of patients with the same disease, the same remedy. This is not how Homeopathy works. For the same disease, different patients may exhibit different symptoms; the negative findings are in large part polluted by this factor.

Another factor to bear in mind is who is financing the study, and where it is published. The huge profits realised by pharmaceutical companies are not possible in homeopathy, because Homeopathic medicine can not be patented and Homeopathic medicine is not addictive. Studies undertaken by pharmaceutical giants are as reliable as the work the mobile phone companies have done 'proving' the safety of mobile phones.