Homeopathy Awareness Week

In celebration of “Homeopathy Awareness Week”, various science bloggers are doing their part to raise awareness about what homeopathy really is (e.g. here, here and here); this probably isn’t really what homeopaths had in mind. I thought I’d join in the fun.

For anyone who doesn’t know:

  • The underlying principles behind homeopathy (specifically that like cures like, and that diluting a substance to the point that not even a single molecule remains makes it an even better cure) make no sense and are thoroughly contradicted by the modern understanding of science (even in the early 1800’s most scientists knew better). A lot of homeopaths have tried to explain how it works; these explanations are pretty comical if you have even a basic understanding of science (lots of misunderstood quantum mechanics and theories about water having “memory”).
  • The weight of evidence from clinical trials shows that it performs no better than a placebo (which is what we’d expect from giving people water and sugar pills, after all).
  • And just in case you’re thinking placebos are still good, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be.

Homeopathy is an old superstition that cannot cure any serious medical condition, and it has no place in modern medicine. It should definitely never be publicly funded.

I think this poster sums up my thoughts on homeopathy nicely (excuse the language):

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