Quackery such as homeopathy need to be treated as such; quackery. Endorsement for quackery from the government, NHS or the meddling Royal family need to be challenged. Additionally, silence or inaction can be interpreted as an endorsement for quackery. It is a hard battle fighting nonsense, but we do need to get away from these witch-doctors., to get out of the darkness of backwards thinking and move into the light. I do still find it astonishing that seemingly intelligent persons can delude themselves into believing in such magic. But I expect that this is a result of the recent cultural trends to avoid conflict and not to “offend” anyone; such behaviour soon assigns critical thinking to a dwindling few. What an insane way to live! Everyone should be practiced in the skills of critical thinking as this is the way to cut away the nonsense, the chaff and get to the truth.
But is that the whole picture? No, because there are others out there who gain financially through the promotion of nonsense and quackery. Witness Boots, who continue to sell homeopathic solutions as if these things were real medicine and refuse to acknowledge that all credible trials have evidenced that homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo.
A few months ago, there was the UK Parliament House of Commons Select Committee (Science & Technology) “Evidence Check: Homeopathy”. A YouTube video is here:
I was disappointed to see Paul Bennett of Boots evading questions and not giving a straight answer. He did eventually admit that he/Boots had seen no evidence that suggested that homeopathy had any effects beyond the placebo effect (although he started to bandy the word “efficacious” around which seems to me to be a deliberate ploy by him to avoid using the word “placebo” whilst discussing the topic of homeopathy because placebos can be “efficacious” ie have an effect within certain confines). But despite his admission, the lack of supporting evidence, he stated that he (or at least Boots) did not believe or disbelieve that homeopathy was a real effect [my words here]. That is a very strange statement from him. He is well aware that all the evidence indicates that homeopathy is a placebo…and such evidence is getting stronger, not weaker. He is obviously afraid of saying it…that Boots sells products that are shown to have no effects beyond the placebo. It was most sad to see Paul trying to get out of this difficult position…he was trying not to lie but at the same time he also had to protect Boots shareholders and probably his job. But you know, he did come out as a nice bloke. Perhaps if this had been a private session without the shackles of Boots, he would have felt freer to express himself.
And then we come to Robert Wilson. In my opinion a most disagreeable person who misled that session. And with his attitude a dangerous person who is culpable for the dangers that homeopathy brings. Let’s be clear…most homeopathy pills (ie sugar pills) in themselves are not dangerous but the entire fabric of homeopathy can delay the diagnoses and treatment of serious illnesses. And as much as Paul Bennett seems like a nice bloke he needs to realise that he also contributes to the falsehoods and witchcraft that Homeopathy brings. That’s why I was disappointed with him.
But what can be done about homeopathy? There was the recent 10:23 campaign at http://www.1023.org.uk/ which should bring some awareness to some people. One particular message at 10:23 that did strike a chord with me was that homeopathy had abused its placebo privileges.
The ever resourceful Quackometer has an interesting article relevant to homeopathy. Check it out at:
Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2010