Saturday, 20 February 2010

Science or Dogma??

There have been responses to the blog indicating that since homeopathy delivers results in some cases,it can't be a fraud.However,I have dealt with this issue in a previous post in detail.Today science has advanced to a stage where the scientific standards have been well established to test the veracity of any claim which comes in the disguise of science.The proposition is simple -either Homeopathy is correct and medicine and all other science is wrong or vice-versa !! There is no theory which would prove both as correct.Let us not mix philosophy with the science and see the facts as they are.That, a country like India openly supports homeopathy only shows the ignorance perniciously influencing the decision making and the politics of homeopathic pharma companies,practitioners and beyond.


Dr.Saji said...

Please cast your votes here.

Dr.Saji said...

There is an old saying: "The highwayman demands 'your money OR your life,' but homeopaths demand 'your money AND your life!'"

Dr.Saji said...

When I graduated I sincerely believed that homeopathy is a truly scientific medicine. But soon after I started practicing pediatrics I came across many cases badly botched up by homeopathy and I am sure that those conditions would have been easily treated in the first place. I have seen children with pneumonias and massive effusions, meningitis being treated as febrile seizures, simple impetigos coming with nephritis, ruptured appendix with peritonitis, etc etc…I have been particularly saddened by the plight of the parents who repents on putting faith in homeopathy. I have seen parents losing their only child because it was too late to get proper treatment.

Initially I thought it to be mistakes of the homeopaths rather than homeopathy. Out of curiosity I soon started studying homeopathy. With each day I was dumbfounded by the utter rubbish they teach and propagate.

Let me explain.

The main axioms of homeopathy are that
1) ‘like cures like’, a substance that causes certain symptoms in healthy volunteers is a cure for such symptoms in patients. Eg onion causes watering of eyes, so diluted onion can cure epiphora.

2) less is more. The ‘less is more’ axiom posits that, if we dilute and shake a remedy, it becomes not weaker but stronger. Homeopaths believe that the most potent remedies are those that have been potentized to the point where no ‘active’ molecule is left. Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy, might be forgiven for developing these concepts some 200 years ago. Today, however, we know a lot more, and comprehend that they are not in line with much that science has taught us. Yet homeopaths seem to prefer mystical thinking to science.
"C" dilutions homeo medicines are prepared by serial dilutions of 1:100. Thus, a remedy marked C30 would imply a 1:100 dilution performed 30 times. By simple mathematics, it can be calculated that at dilutions of C12 or greater, it is not likely that the remedies contain even a single molecule of the original substance.

It was in the light of contradictory scientific evidences that they came up with an even more absurd theory, ‘The Water Memory’, the theory that water is capable of retaining a memory of particles once dissolved in it, even after being diluted so much that the chance of even one molecule remaining in the quantity being used is nil!!

Dr.Saji said...

Then why do we find many testimonials on the efficacy of homeopathy. Testimonials are personal accounts of someone's experiences with a therapy. They are generally subjective: A patient may improve because of many other factors apart from the treatment he/she receives.

Common sense tells us that we can tell if a treatment works by simply trying it. Does it help me? Does it help my aunt? If so, it’s effective. If not, it doesn’t work.

Right? Unfortunately, NO, that’s not right. Medical conditions are an area of life in which direct, common sense observations aren’t reliable at all. The insights brought to us by double-blind studies have shown medical researchers that they can’t trust their own eyes.
The reason why: a horde of confounding factors.

Suppose you’ve invented a truly lousy treatment that fails almost all the time, but helps one in a hundred people. If you give such a nearly worthless treatment to 100,000 people, you’ll get a thousand testimonials, and the treatment will sound great.

Then why do we find some studies confirming the effectiveness of homeopathy? That is because you could just pick out the positive trials, as homeopaths do, and quote only those.
This is called "cherry picking" the literature - it is not a new trick, and it is dishonest, because it misrepresents the totality of the literature. Essentially, when a trial gives a negative result, alternative therapists, simply do not publish it.

There is a special mathematical tool called a "meta-analysis", where you take all the results from all the studies on one subject, and put the figures into one giant spreadsheet, to get the most representative overall answer. When you do this, time and time again, you find, in all homeopathy trials overall, that homeopathy does no better than placebos. This has been proved many times and the Lancet analysis is just one of it.


You can read about more of what I am trying to convey here

I you still believe in the miraculous cures of homeopathy , then try this.

American rationalist thinker James Randi, now best known as the world's most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims has offered One Million Dollars to any one who can prove the effectiveness of homeopathy in a clinical set up.

Even after many years nobody has claimed this prize.

alert said...

Well said ,Dr. Saji .I have been emphasizing on precisely these points in my previous posts.
We need support from you guys in our efforts.

Anonymous said...

Great initiative sir, it is very sad that our Govt. is broadcasting the effectiveness of homoeopathy as social service messages without any scientific basis.

Anonymous said...

I think its stupid of you to condemn something just because you dont believe in it! If you dont believe in this system of medicine, dont go to a homeopath, turn the opposite way when you see a advertisement for it and avoid making eye contact with homeopaths, but dont go around disgracing yourself and making a BLOG condemning it! Homeopathy is actually more efficient than you think. It has cured millions of people worldwide and is known to be more effective than allopathic surgery!
How much proof do you need? Are you a doctor or a practitioner to begin with?? I didnt believe in it either but when I got to know more about it, it changed my way of thinking entirely!!
Why are you so against it?? Did the treatment have some adverse effect on you? Its a normal system of medicine like Allopathy and Ayurveda, let it go on with itself! Let those who believe in it continue believing! They believe for a reason you know!! No1 is stupid to burn their hard earned money for no reason!
There are so many people who have been cured by homeopathy where all the other systems have failed! How do you explain that? They've tried everything, been to millions of doctors, suffered for YEARS!!! Dont tell me the course of certain diseases takes years and when they approach a homeopath, MIRACULOUSLY, the patient starts getting better!!

You seriously have no work, I suggest reading the Organon of medicine by Hahnemann, it might give you some answers and help you realize how STUPID you are for wasting your time! You thing if Homeopathy is banned, people will all agree?? Its not possible! There will always be people who believe and trust in the powers of Homeopathy!
You should be more open to things, whoever you are!
I hope you give up on this silly little blog of yours, I've forwarded it to everyone I know and we've all laughed at your narrow mindedness!
You seriously NEED Homeopathy!!! Go see a Homeopath before your BRAINS turn to mush and you go totally insane! Theres still hope for you!

Anonymous said...

Dude, Homoeopaths charge NOTHING compared to Allopaths!! What r u crying about????????

And the medicine always manages to cure!!! Unlike other systems of meds!

Take a hike Weirdo!

alert said...


You have repeatedly harped on curative potential of homeopathy.I would urge you to go through posts on "How Homeopathy Works" to get a rejoinder on your claims of effectiveness of homeopathy.
And if it really matters as to whether I am a doctor or not then ,yes,I have a degree in medicine and I have also read sufficient homeopathy to understand the basic nature of this fraudulent system of treatment. I have seen hundreds of patients worsening their ailments due to intake of homeopathic prescription.
And please don't contemptuous words as there is no moderation on the blog!!

Anonymous said...

being a lover of homoeopathy i cant stop saying whatever you people want to do to stop homoeopathy and its a wont stop making place in people minds and hearts..if a bogus and rubbish allopathy can survive ,a divine homoeopathy will roar..and what is this rubbish about scientificity and all..there are hoards of things in universe that is beyond science..50 years from now,will this scietific scenario be the same?keep up all your good work on this blog..atleast homoepathy is giving you people sleepless nights!!!!!!!

Dr Saji said...

Dear anonymous
Your response sounds more like that of a religious man promoting miracles rather than that of a man promoting the scientific outlook. But I am so happy that that you view science and homeopathy as different! That is right!!
If Homeopathy is right then physical chemistry taught in all educational institutions of the world is wrong. And if physical chemistry is wrong then all the industries of the world - chemical, pharmaceutical, ayurveda, metalugical, petroleum, petrochemical ... - will have to be scrapped. Is it not much easier to scrap homeopathy which has caused much harm by delays caused in accessing professional treatment. Homeopathy per se is harmless - after all it consists of administering plain water labeled as medicine. It is also a very cheap form of treatment. But the real harm it causes comes from the delay Homeopathic treatment causes in accessing professional treatment. Thus there are cases of people dying because they first resorted to Homeopathy and by the time they resorted to professional medicine it was too late. Homeopathy is placebo and it delivers beneficial effects like any placebo upto a certain point. After that it can be dangerous like any placebo mainly due to the delays narrated above
Yes, homeopathy is giving sleepless nights to paediatricians all over India like me. Homeopathy is a paediatrician’s nightmare. We are fed up and disheartened with treating and saving the lives of helpless children being botched up by homeopathy.
Now, homeopathy was invented more than 200 years ago. In that time, if homeopathy is the success as its proponents claim, there should have been thousands; even hundreds of thousands of studies should have come out in its favour. But not a single example has been forthcoming. Just hot air and drivel, casting aspersions and creating diversions from the inescapable fact that homeopathy is fraudulent practice.
Dr. Saji

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Anonymous said...

even a great scientist like einstein believes in the fact that a supernatural power has created this universe and we as humans are just discovering what he has if dr. saji claims that is rubbish,he might be a great man,having much scientificity than einstein himself..he claims to know everything..all others are fools..even god wouldnt be existing for him as nobody has seen god..
enough said,his knowledge that homoeopathy is crap comes from the fact that he read few pages of the beautiful work done by dr.hahnemann years back,which needs a lot of insight and thinking..i feel pity on sorry states of affairs he is in regarding his knowledge of this great science and on top of that his assumption that he is the greatest scientist of the dr.saji be happy in your fool's paradise and live your life as you like it..

Anonymous said...

maybe dr. saji got few patients messed up by few homoeopathic doctors who might not be well versed with homoeopathic principles but for homoeopaths across the world,99% of cases come after being messed up by allopathic system,that too by eminent doctors.homoeopathy offers relief to millions of patients messed by allopathic the scope of homoepathy begins where scope of allopathy any point of time if you people fail in your treatment or feel unsatisfied i strongly suggest to get an appointment with a good homoeopathic doctor.thanks to allopathic system of medicine,had it not been disastorous effects of so called modern(read crude and ancient)medicines, homoeopathy would not have flourished so much.

Dr Saji said...

A typical ‘homeopathetic’ response. Instead of putting forward any plausible arguments he/she/? has resorted to personal attacks, comparing the incomparable, bringing supernatural forces Einstein, God into the argument!!!
The anonymity makes it seem as if you're afraid to stand behind your statements.
Dear anonymous..millions of doctors around the world are treating patients in the deathbed. No sane person will go to a homeopath if he/she has a life threatening illness. So it is natural that millions/day die at the hands of doctors and perhaps none with the homeopath. So it is foolish and will reveal only your ignorance of statistical methods if you compare doctors with psychopaths.
Anyway to the person who thinks that it's arrogant to say that homeopathy is quackery: Homeopathy has been tested many times even with the methods designed by the homeopaths themselves and till now there is no iota of evidence that homeopathy works. None. Zero. Zilch. Not only that, homeopathy's principles fly in the face of what we know about science. It's mere wishful thinking that no amount of name calling or exaggeration can change.
Even if like did cure like, there is nothing in the solution after so many dilutions. Let me put it to you this way: most homeopathic remedies are diluted to 30C or 60C. At this dilution, you would have to drink 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of homeopathic remedy to get one molecule of active ingredient; this is 10 billion times the volume of the earth in liquid remedy. In the volumes that you would be ingesting, you will not get any ingredient. No active ingredient, no physiological response, no remedy.
Oh! I forgot water has memory!!! If homeopathic remedies are supposed to “remember” the original molecule, what happens with the memories of the plastic container or contaminants, such as pesticides and chemicals that’s in water? Do homeopathic remedies “forget” those bad things, and remember only the good stuff?

Science is all about scepticism and curiousity. If we were to believe all that Hahnemann said was the absolute truth and just shut up, then how would there be any advancement? If given a choice between a system of medicine that is developing so fast that it is frightening even for doctors, investing money and the best brains on the planet to bring new cures and has helped eradicate, control, treat and prevent life threatening illnesses and has almost doubled the life span of an average human being in the planet or a system that is based on belief of a set of unscientific principles set up 200 years ago and has always been pre-occupied in defending itself till the last breath, I know which system I would choose!

Anonymous said...

Homeopathy adherents don't have a brain. They have skull water with the memory of a brain

Anonymous said...

hey hey ,and you people have brains with a skull which is closed from all sides and someone inside shouting,im right,im right!!
if modern medicine was supposed to be such a beautiful science,people wouldnt be going to homoeopaths and you people wouldnt be crying ban homoeopathy on top of your we homoeopaths are just crossing our fingers and waiting when you people will succeed in iradicating us from face of this earth.
and dr.saji's was a typical allopathic response-foolish,wasteful,narrow minded and childish.

Anonymous said...

all ur questions are coming from an ignorant mind.if a science is to be questioned,it has to be studied thoroughly.just reading few pages and assuming something is dangerous.remember,little knowledge is a dangerous first of all study homoeopathy(i bet it will take half of your life to study this vast science),try to assess by applying its principles fully in clinic or be with some reputed doctors in homoeopathy and then comment.millions of people are being cured by this science and its concept is post modern.

Fiachra said...

@ Dr Saji,

unfortunately by this statement,
"Not only that, homeopathy's principles fly in the face of what we know about science. It's mere wishful thinking that no amount of name calling or exaggeration can change."
you have limited yourself. You are stating that science is not to be contradicted.
More than 2,500 years ago in Greece the atom was spoken of as being at the foundation of matter. They were laughed at, and abused by the knowledgeable men of the day. We now know, finally, that they were right, and wrong, because atoms are divisible, and so are the particles that are within.
Please don't be one of those who thinks, "science has arrived" and that is the end of it. Scientific endeavours are continuous,and there will be no end to it.
People of the world are sick of authoritative figures telling them what is best for them.
Tell me this, why, after 140 years of allopathic treatments, is Tuberculosis still rampant around the world?
If, perhaps, the Scientific Academy in France had not been so willing to bend over to the plagiarist Pasteur ( as he was patronised by Napoleon III, and bankrolled by dubious persons) and supported instead the great, honest and tireless Antoine Bechamp, the germ theory, which is still so ludicrously prevalent in today's biology, would not have taken root and spread amongst them who are willing to accept the simplest of explanations and go no further.

Anyone who wishes to read further on this scientific travesty should read,
-Bechamp or Pasteur?- by Ethel Douglas Hume.