Re: Links to scientific studies of homeopathy

David Lubkin (
Fri, 06 Aug 1999 00:28:39 -0400

On 8/5/99, at 4:02 PM, Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

>In response to my request to document the claimed effectiveness
>of homeopathic treatment, Mr. Lubkin responded with statistics
>from three epidemics and citations of two meta-analyses (one
>even from Lancet).

I responded with the epidemic statistics because you asked what they were. I was not providing them as evidence of efficacy.

Besides the citations of meta-analyses, I also provided links to several articles that cite double-blind studies and/or purport to explain homeopathy. Have you looked at any of these?

>The meta-analyses are harder to dismiss (though all such are
>susceptible to selection bias and very vulnerable to fraud).
>Here's what Dr. Stephen Barrett says about them:

Who is he, and why should we consider him more credible than the peer reviewers of Lancet and British Medical Journal? And I note that even he acknowledges the sterling reputation of BMJ (pun alert), and only faults the study for being a few years old.

>Make no mistake: the claims of homeopathy are extraordinary claims
>that would overturn much of what we think we know about chemistry and
>biology. Because such extraordinary claims demand extraordinary
>proof, and the proof offered here barely even rises to ordinary, I
>remain convinced that homeopathy is bunk. Until they can either
>come up with an explanation that doesn't fly in the face of common
>sense, or demonstrate an independently-reproducible result at least
>as good as those demanded for conventional drugs, I will continue to
>consider homeopathy tantamount to fraud.

Read the other papers. How many double-blind studies in peer-reviewed journals do you need???

Some of the papers were written by physicists who saw homeopathy as readily explainable using established physics. I'm not sure I believe those particular explanations, but it seems reasonable to me that more of physics is relevant to biology than medicine currently acknowledges. We've seen that before, as when Linus Pauling was ridiculed in 1931 by chemists for applying quantum mechanics to chemistry.

Again, I am amazed at your hubris in pointing to the work of thousands of scientists, around a million physicians, and some of the most respected medical journals in the world, and declaring that it's "drivel", "bunk", "quackery" or "fraud".

There are research areas that I consider a waste of time, wrong-headed, or where I am not yet convinced of the validity of their theories or approaches. But I would not condemn them with the sort of offensive, inflammatory language that you (and some of the other posters) have used. I accept that men of good will can disagree, and acknowledge the possibility that I may be wrong in my assessments. || Unreasonable Software, Inc. || a trademark of USI:

> > > > > B e u n r e a s o n a b l e .