Thursday, March 29, 2007

Earl Day Motions: the placebo for action?

Besides health and safety fascism, one other thing that really gets my back up is the anti-Enlightenment tendency toward mysticism and scientific nonsense. My blood pressure increases even more when I see people try and claim that there is some sort of scientific value in utter nonsense. Homeopathy is one such mystical bollocks that is peddled as being a genuine and actual treatment for illness.

I've mentioned it before on here I think, but homeopathy is based upon the most non-sensical approach to active ingredients in a treatment ever known. The theory goes like this. Take x of active ingredient, dilute x with water by the power of ten, then do it again, and again, and again. The more you dilute the active ingredient, so the homeopathy fans says, the stronger it becomes. The water from the initial dilution you see, has memory.

In homeopathy there are different weaknesses strengths of active solution. The weakest strongest is so diluted the active ingredient is about the equivalent to a couple of grains of salt in the Atlantic. Any impact of homeopathy can be explained anyway by the placebo effect.

This bring me neatly on to a motion tabled by Rudi Vis MP calling on the Government to ensure that homeopathy and other quack alternative snake oils therapies be protected and provided on the NHS because they are "national assets".

There are many people who think the EDM system is a bit of waste of time, and is simply a means for Parliamentarians to be seen to be doing something. In this case they're right, ironically the motion is a placebo for action about placebos.


Anonymous said...

Doctors point out that crapyopathy seems restricted to vague ailments. So it kinda sounds like an antidepressant might help the "patient" who often feels that conventional (ie proper) medicine doesn't understand them. And it is partly true: normal medicine does not cope with hippies and the unemployable feeling vaguely uncomfortable with the pace of modern life. "A kick in the arse" is no longer able to be prescribed, unforntunately. I loved the doctor from India who commented that he might consider homopathy to be useful to medicine once they had nailed the mix of herbs that could deal with sudden crushing chest pains, but until then...
My particular favourite alternative to proper medicine, a good diet and some excercise: those crystals. Magic!

Chris Paul said...

Is Rudi and his co-conspirator in the pay of any specialist water bottlers, suppliers of special asceptic and ph-neutral and clean of trace water that can then be the basis of solutions designed to part patients from sponney and give them hope?

Where is the homeopathic remedy for anything that needs more than a chat with a good friend to sort out?

Good post.