Re: Hey, I don't want it to be true, either

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Thu Nov 08 2001 - 11:12:53 MST

> `Bizarre chemical discovery gives homeopathic hint.'

New scientists usually does better than this; they did a reasonable
job of covering the effect itself--and I'm not surprized that some
homepaths will latch onto this as justification--but their coverage
of that angle really dropped the ball. Quacks frequently latch onto
some vaguely-related real scientific result and make it sound like
it applies to what they do when it doesn't apply at all.

Even the first sentence with the "H" word here is hopelessly flawed,
mentioning something like "...may help explain how homeopathic
remedies work..." is a classic rhetorical technique that implies to
the reader that such remedies do actually work, when they don't,
and that we just don't know the mechanism. Homeopathy isn't just
an "unexplained" effect--it's a theory that's been well tested
for decades and failed every test (except one or two you might
expect it to pass just by chance).

He then goes on to confuse high-dilution homeopathy (which is the
vast majority of homeopathic remedies, the only ones sold over
the counter, and to which this result doesn't apply, with the
low-dilution stuff which isn't really homeopathy at all, but
which modern homeopaths have started selling (under prescription,
because they actually contain things) to boost their image. Even
here, while this new result might have something to do with low-
dilution remedies, no real attempt is made to connect them, and the
reader is still left with the unstated assumption that these things
actually work and we just don't know how.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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