Homeopathy has raised its head in my local rag, Stroud news and journal.
Let’s get the facts right.
Christian Hahnemann invented homeopathy in 1796. He had been trained as a doctor, but not as a scientist [*1].
In the 221 years since, not one single scientific study has been carried out anywhere in the world which has provided credible evidence, however tentative, that homeopathy “works”. Anecdotes are not evidence.
This isn’t surprising because homeopathy is based on a belief that what makes you ill will make you better. There is no evidence that this primitive superstition is true.
Present day homeopathy ignores all the advances in science and medicine made in the last two centuries and more without, as far as I know, giving any reason.
If homeopathy “worked”, thousands―tens of thousands―of studies would have been carried out over the past 221 years which conclusively demonstrated this. I don’t see any.
If homeopathy “worked”, it would be available in every hospital and clinic in every country for the simple and obvious reason that it is cheap. It’s just water. I don’t see this.
If homeopathy “worked”, research establishments around the globe would be actively developing methods to make it even more effective. I don’t see these.
Homeopathy is a pseudoscience, a set of wrong beliefs tarted up to look scientific to delude the ignorant, the better to take money off them.
Homeopathy is an ideal belief, like the existence of ufos and the Loch Ness monster, for people who want to be different from the crowd without having to make any effort.
It is unethical for a doctor to prescribe a product which he or she knows to be ineffective. The risk in doing this should be obvious. Homeopathy is positively dangerous because it deludes the patient into thinking their condition has been “cured” when it can’t have been. This is why homeopathy must not be provided on the NHS.
Just because someone feels better after going to a homeopath doesn’t mean the homeopath has cured them. Correlation does not imply causation. As Ben Jonson wrote in the sixteenth century, “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease”.
People may put whatever they like into their bodies if it makes them feel better. That isn’t a reason for the NHS to supply it, whether it be Smarties, ‘ecstasy’ or homeopathic products.
Believing that something is true doesn’t make it true.
Wanting it to be true doesn’t make it true.
Not understanding why it’s not true doesn’t make it true.
*1 Wikipedia article on homeopathy
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