Saturday, November 17, 2007

Homeopathy

One thing that drives me nuts is when someone says, "All I know is, I get better with homeopathy."

If that drives you nuts to, you need this: Ben Goldacre's "Bad Science" post about homeopathy.

The extra twist to the article is that Goldacre provides a clear, concise introduction to the contemporary medical application of the scientific method.

There's also a short version of the same thing here (which Goldacre published in Lancet this week).

Here's the beginning of the Lancet piece:

"Five large meta-analyses of homoeopathy trials have been done. All have had the same result: after excluding methodologically inadequate trials and accounting for publication bias, homoeopathy produced no statistically significant benefit over placebo.[1–5] And yet homoeopathy can still be clinically useful."

("[1-5]": that is a footnote in the original.)

2 comments:

Sayeed said...

I do not understand why allopath are after homoeopathy out of their jealousy and are afraid due to its efficacy and popularity. Let homoeopathy work and they should bother themselves to control their adverse effects which they are multiplying diseases and turning patients into museum of diseases. It hardly matters how homoeopathy works since it works spiritually. Has anyone find out why we are working, talking and enjoying life and when our spriit is taken away by God why this body is useless and instead of finding fault with homoeopathy such people should reasearch and find out what is spirit and soul and test it in their laboratory that is more important.

Andrew Shields said...

Sayeed, if you read what Goldacre wrote, he is not afraid of homeopathy at all. He is actually quite willing to admit that homeopathy can be effective in some ways.

But he also wants homeopathy to be subject to the same kind of testing that other medicines are subject to. And that testing is not a matter of what kind of "-pathy" one propounds, but simply a matter of whether any given treatment (of whatever kind) is a) better than doing nothing and b) better than giving a placebo. If a homeopathic treatment could say YES to both a and b, then Goldacre would accept it (and so would I), whether or not a physical explanation were possible.