Friday, July 08, 2011

Homeopathic Cranks

So, I took about 15 minutes out of my time this evening, and did a little bit of Googling on "homeopathy". With just a quarter of an hour of research, I have learned that homeopathy boils down to three basic ideas:

  1. The "law of similars". The idea here is that whatever is the cause of your illness, or is similar to it, is also the cure. Have insomnia? Give them caffeine. Radiation poisoning? Give them depleted uranium! Have AIDS? Give them sex with Freddie Mercury.
  2. The "law of potentization". The idea that you make something stronger by diluting it with water. And 40% grain alcohol, making it essentially 80-proof vodka. And why water? That brings us to idea three, that
  3. Water has memory. No, seriously, that's what these morons believe. That water maintains a memory of whatever plant or animal or chemical or turd it was once part of. Oh, and this is enhanced by shaking it around a bit. Sorta like driving down a bumpy road. Or setting it on the bed while you make sweet, sweet love. Or using a centrifuge. Funny stuff, this water. With that kind of memory, it's surprising we don't make hard drives out of it.

So, I got bored shortly after, and decided to confront some of these cranks face-to-face. I ran across the website of a group called "NASH", or the North American Society of Horseshi-, er, I mean, Homeopaths. They even have a fresh steaming load clogging up the 'tubes over at Their motto is: "...dedicated to promote, represent and serve as the voice of all professional homeopaths in North America..." And I didn't know that horseshit had a voice. I thought it just stunk up the place and attracted flies. But I digress.

So, I fired them off this email:

I just saw your website. It needs a revision: "...dedicated to promote, represent and serve as the voice of all professional bullshitters in North America..."

Homeopathy is a load of crap. It doesn't work. It was invented by an idiot.

The idea of diluting a substance to make it stronger is a total load. The idea that water has memory is also a total load. If you think it works so well, why not use water to dilute the gasoline in your automobile's gas tank? Surely the water will maintain the "memory" of the gasoline, and the now-diluted fuel will offer a higher octane rating, providing better performance and fuel economy! But you won't, because you know that it's all crap.

Oh, what if that gasoline caught fire? Homeopathy's rule of similars to the rescue! Let's pour more gasoline on the fire; it will surely quench it. Oh, you have to dilute the hell out of it first with water? Well, why is it that you can put out the fire with pure water? Supposedly, because "water has memory of previously being gasoline". Or some useless shit to that end.

Water has memory? Really? So why the hell don't we make hard drives make of water?! Surely the principles of homeopathy must work outside the treatment of illness, as all validated scientific laws do. But, that is clearly not the case. Gravity works everywhere in the Universe. It doesn't stop working because someone tried to measure it out of context. Homeopathy doesn't work, even when you try to measure it in context.

So, I am awaiting a response from them (if they choose to respond, given the inflammatory message I sent them, it seems unlikely, but at least it's more truthful than the snake oil they are trying to sell us.)

Oh, and to anyone out there that believes that homeopathy actually does something for you, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I'd like to sell you.