Posts Tagged ‘dilution’
Posted by mattusmaximus on February 4, 2012
I found this image via a skeptical Facebook friend, and it just screams “skeptical teacher”! I’m just jealous that I didn’t think of it first :)
Three words: FOR THE WIN!!!
Image source: Reddit
The solutions (pardon the pun) to these questions reveals one glaring fact: homeopathy, there’s nothing in it, except water.
**Update (2/5/12): For those interested, I have calculated the actual answers to these questions. Contact me if you would like to see the math; here are the answers:
a) 3.46 x 10^21 or 3,460,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms
b) 3.46 x 10^15 or 3,460,000,000,000,000 atoms
c) 3.46 x 10^-39 or 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 00346 atoms (a number so stupidly small we can safely say that there are effectively NO arsenic atoms remaining within the solution!)
Posted in education, medical woo | Tagged: alt-med, alternative medicine, chemistry, class, dilution, homeopathy, homework, physics, question, Reddit, skeptic, solution, teacher, teaching, woo | 6 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on November 2, 2011
In the way that only XKCD can, a very cogent point is made regarding homeopathy. Recall the specific claim that homeopathy proponents make regarding their “solutions” basically containing no active ingredients, then read this comic…
In case you don’t click the link, mousing-over the XKCD graphic on their page reveals the following text:
“I just noticed CVS has started stocking homeopathic pills on the same shelves with–and labeled similarly to–their actual medicine. Telling someone who trusts you that you’re giving them medicine, when you know you’re not, because you want their money, isn’t just lying–it’s like an example you’d make up if you had to illustrate for a child why lying is wrong.”
Well said, XKCD. Bravo :)
Posted in humor, medical woo | Tagged: alt-med, alternative literature, alternative medicine, altmed, CAM, CVS, dilution, homeopathic, homeopathy, humor, internet, medicine, pharmacy, pills, sCAM, solution, web comic, xkcd, xkcd.com | 3 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on February 26, 2011
As a follow-up to the successful 10:23 Campaign: “Homeopathy: There’s Nothing In It!”, I wanted to share with you all an excellent video challenge from skeptic James Randi, who is laying down the gauntlet to homeopathy manufacturers and pharmacies that sell this scam “medicine”…
In addition, please consider taking a few minutes to go over to Change.org and sign the petition which encourages these manufacturers & pharmacies to come clean to the public about these bogus products…
Posted in medical woo | Tagged: 10 23 Campaign, 10:23, 2011, alternative medicine, CAM, challenge, complementary medicine, dilution, homeopathy, Homeopathy There's Nothing in it, James Randi, James Randi Educational Foundation, JREF, law of infinitesimals, law of similars, Little Sugar Pills, magic, manufacturers, medicine, pharmacies, pharmacy, potency, quackery, Randi, remedies, remedy, sCAM, skeptical activism, sleeping pills, solution, suicide, treatment, woo, Ziztur | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on February 3, 2011
You may recall that about one year ago there was a very widespread and public examination of the pseudoscience of homeopathy in what was billed as the 10:23 Challenge – read more about how homeopathy failed to kill anyone via “suicidal overdose” at that event. In keeping with the spirit of grassroots skeptical activism, the 10:23 Challenge is back for 2011, and it’s taking place this Saturday, Feb. 5th. Check out the 10:23 website for more information…
The 10:23 Challenge is a follow-up to the ‘overdose’ protest staged by the 10:23 Campaign in 2010. International protesters from more than 10 countries, and more than 23 cities will gather for over the weekend of February 5-6 2011, to make the simple statement: Homeopathy – There’s Nothing In It.
The challenge will culminate on February 6th at the QED conference in Manchester, where 300 protesters will participate the largest ever single demonstration against homeopathy.
**Update: As a follow up message, I’d like to share with you a Youtube video by my skeptical colleague from Down Under, Kylie Sturgess…
Posted in medical woo | Tagged: 10 23 Campaign, 10:23, 2011, alternative medicine, CAM, complementary medicine, dilution, homeopathy, Homeopathy There's Nothing in it, law of infinitesimals, law of similars, Little Sugar Pills, magic, medicine, potency, quackery, remedies, remedy, sCAM, skeptical activism, sleeping pills, solution, suicide, treatment, woo, Ziztur | 2 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 9, 2010
Every now and then a little nugget of skeptical humor comes my way, and I simply must share it with others. Many times on my blog I’ve exposed various forms of medical pseudoscientific woo, and one of my favorite targets is simultaneously one of the most ludicrous & popular – homeopathy.
To give you an idea of just how silly the whole notion of homeopathy and their mantras of “like cures like” and “dilution is the solution” really are, check out this quick Youtube video by “That Mitchell and Webb Look” :)
Posted in humor, medical woo | Tagged: alt-med, alternative medicine, CAM, complementary medicine, dilution, funny, health, homeopathy, Homeopathy A and E, Homeopathy A&E, humor, medicine, pseudoscience, sCAM, solution, spoof, That Mitchell and Webb Look, woo, youtube | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on February 1, 2010
This is a follow up to my recent “Suicide by Homeopathy?” post – and by calling the event a “miserable failure” I mean that it was the homeopathy that was an epic fail. Hundreds and hundreds of skeptics attempted to overdose on a variety of homeopathic remedies, and not one person was adversely affected. Which begs a question: why do homeopaths bother mentioning anything at all about dosage on their remedies when it is apparent that dosage doesn’t matter?
Apparently, the press caught wind of this public experiment and thought it was interesting – check out the BBC article on it. In addition, here’s an update on the event from the 10:23 Campaign, along with some neat footage as well…
Posted in medical woo | Tagged: 10 23 Campaign, alternative medicine, CAM, complementary medicine, dilution, homeopathy, Homeopathy There's Nothing in it, law of infinitesimals, law of similars, magic, medicine, potency, quackery, remedies, remedy, sCAM, sleeping pills, solution, suicide, treatment, woo, Ziztur | 3 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on January 24, 2010
If you’ve been running around in skeptical circles for any amount of time, then you’ve no doubt heard of the quackery called homeopathy. According to the Skeptic’s Dictionary entry on homeopathy…
Classical homeopathy originated in the 19th century with Samuel Christian Friedrich Hahnemann (1755-1843) as an alternative to the standard medical practices of the day, such as phlebotomy or bloodletting. Opening veins to bleed patients, force disease out of the body, and restore the humors to a proper balance was a popular medical practice until the late19th century (Williams 2000: 265). Hahnemann rejected the notion that disease should be treated by letting out the offensive matter causing the illness. In this, he was right. On the other hand, he argued that disease should be treated by helping the vital force restore the body to harmony and balance. In this, he was wrong. He rejected other common medical practices of his day such as purgatives and emetics “with opium and mercury-based calomel” (ibid.: 145). He was right to do so. Hahnemann’s alternative medicine was more humane and less likely to cause harm than many of the conventional practices of his day. …
Homeopaths refer to “the Law of Infinitesimals” and the “Law of Similars” as grounds for using minute substances and for believing that like heals like, but these are not natural laws of science. If they are laws at all, they are metaphysical laws, i.e., beliefs about the nature of reality that would be impossible to test by empirical means. Hahnemann’s ideas did originate in experience. That he drew metaphysical conclusions from empirical events does not, however, make his ideas empirically testable. The law of infinitesimals seems to have been partly derived from his notion that any remedy would cause the patient to get worse before getting better and that one could minimize this negative effect by significantly reducing the size of the dose. Most critics of homeopathy balk at this “law” because it leads to remedies that have been so diluted as to have nary a single molecule of the substance one starts with.
And this is the real rub with a notion as loony as homeopathy. We already know from modern science-based medicine that, in the case of drugs, there must be a certain amount of active ingredient in the drug in order for it to have the desired effect. Of course, there are dangers from using medical drugs: one of the most common is that of over-dosing. If someone takes too much of a certain active ingredient, it can be harmful or – in the worst case – fatal. For example, we all know about stories of people committing suicide by over-dosing on sleeping pills.
However, with homeopathy, this is all turned completely on its head. Homeopaths, invoking their magical “law of infinitesimals”, insist that by diluting the active ingredient to the most ludicrous extreme (i.e., imagine diluting a solution so much that only one molecule of active ingredient remains in it) this will somehow transfer the healing power of the ingredient to the patient and actually make the solution more potent.
A classic example of debunking this particular woo-woo claim has been performed numerous times by James Randi as he lectures on the topic of homeopathy & other quackery. As he lectures, usually for roughly an hour, Randi will consume an entire bottle of homeopathic sleeping pills that he’d purchased earlier from a nearby pharmacy. Needless to say, despite performing this feat numerous times, James Randi has yet to die from such an “over-dose”.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in medical woo | Tagged: 10 23 Campaign, alternative medicine, CAM, complementary medicine, dilution, homeopathy, Homeopathy There's Nothing in it, law of infinitesimals, law of similars, magic, medicine, potency, quackery, remedies, remedy, sCAM, sleeping pills, solution, suicide, treatment, woo, Ziztur | 10 Comments »