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More on the Homeopathic Vet

July 8, 2011

So my comment passed moderation and received the following reply:-

Dear Paul,

Yes, I have – I have two science degrees from Edinburgh University. They took me six years to achieve. The thesis for my dissertation on immunology. What biological science degrees do you have?

The Shang paper in The Lancet in 2005 was the sixth metanalysis (the highest evidence base in Evidence Based Medicine) in the last few decades. It cherry picked a fraction of the total number of papers available and came to this negative conclusion. it also said ‘‘Homeopathy and conventional medicine showed a similar positive treatment effect overall’. The previous five metanalyses concluded that the effects of homeopathy were greater than placebo.

The House of Commons S&T Committee was prejudiced against homeopathy by Dr. Evan Harris MP an arch skeptic. In their overall conclusion they state homeopathy is placebo. The five metanalyses above suggest otherwise, so their ‘conclusive’ report is wrong. The Faculty of Homeopathy has dealt adequately with this:

Here’s some physics on ultradilution studies, from London Southbank Uni, as requested:

The 1023, How Does Homeopathy Work and the Sense About Science websites are so biased, narrow minded and unscientific that I will not grace them with even a reply.

If homeopathy does not work, could you please explain that to the thousands of animal patients that were cured with its use? You can argue with me all you like, but you can’t tell them homeopathy is merely placebo.

Here’s 145 human studies, 50 animal studies 8 plant studies and 23 in vitro studies. Can i suggest you lot stop crowing that ‘there aren’t any studies in homeopathy’:

So, Paul, can we just be a bit adult about this and agree to differ. There are children dying in Africa – why don’t you spend your considerable energy doing something to help them rather than badgering the homeopathic community in this country who are doing their best to improve health in the UK.

And then we got:-

 

Looks like Paul’s beaten me on the ‘who can use WordPress the best’ competition. The links I was trying to put in are:

BHA rebuttal of S&T Committe report:http://www.britishhomeopathic.org/media_centre/news/STC_part_1.html

Ultradilution research: http://www.googlesyndicatedsearch.com/u/lsbu?q=homeopathy&sa=Go&domains=lsbu.ac.uk&sitesearch=lsbu.ac.uk&hq=inurl%3Alsbu.ac.uk%2Fwater%2F

Research in homeopathy:

http://homeopathyplus.com.au/robert-medhurst-research/

 

OK, let’s have a look at this. Here’s my response:-

 

Nick – I’m a doctor. MB BCh, FRCA.

The “Here’s some physics…” link doesn’t work – maybe because it’s a homeopathic link! The link to the 145 human studies etc doesn’t work.

Why do you claim that the 1023 campaign and Sense About Science websites are biased? Do you have evidence to support these allegations or are you simply upset/irritated/annoyed that they present evidence that is counter to your views?

Can you actually show that animals have been “cured” by homeopathy and exclude the regression to the mean that typically explains the apparent success of “alternative” therapies? Don’t bother with the “homeopathy cured bovine mastitis” paper, which is fundamentally flawed:-

http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2010/09/can-homeopathy-cure-mastitis-in-cows….

I have a problem with the homeopathic community claiming to improve health as – based on the currently available evidence – they are making false claims of benefit. Therefore they are deceiving the public, either by being deluded (in the true meaning of the word  – holding false beliefs) as to benefits of the therapies they claim benefit for or they are not being honest with the public. This is why the Advertising Standards Authority is dealing with the claims being made on the websites of homeopathists, http://www.asa.org.uk/Resource-Centre/Hot-Topics/Homeopathy-complaints.aspx

If the BHA’s rebuttal of the Science & Technology Committee’s was based on evidence that stands up to scientific scrutiny, then I presume that they can present their evidence to the ASA? Please note that the BHA did submit evidence to the Committee, along with a number of well-known homeopathists:-

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/45/4510.htm

Where has the ultradilution research been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals? The London South Bank University page gives a bunch of links to various websites, nothing peer-reviewed, frequently linking back to other pages in the same list. A common theme is linking back to the discredited work of Jacques Benveniste:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Benveniste

You accuse the Shang et paper of cherry-picking and then link to an Australian homeopathist’s list of research papers? What’s sauce for the goose….

Meta-analyses are an excellent technique for synthesising data from varying trials to try to reach a conclusion regarding the effectiveness of a therapy. The biggest issue with conducting a meta-analysis is to ensure that the results of poorly-conducted trials do not affect the conclusions drawn from the analysis of properly-conducted trials. In Shang’s analysis, they had to discount many trials due to the poor scientific methodology.

So, yes, let’s be adult about this discussion. If children are dying in Africa, the last thing they need is homeopathy. Clean water, good nutrition and, when needed, treatment with proven effective medicines.

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3 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    I tried to post my comment twice – seems to not even get to the moderation stage. I think he’s blocked me from posting. Hmm.

  2. Anonymous permalink

    Curious. Maybe it’s an issue with the blog host. I’ve managed to post part of the above response, but cannot then post a second chunk. Will keep trying to do it piecemeal

  3. Anonymous permalink

    Finally, my post has been accepted, albeit somewhat piecemeal. Let’s see if we get a response……

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