RELEASE: CFI and Dawkins Foundation Urge FTC to Stop Homeopathy’s False Advertising

Nov 23, 2015

For Immediate Release: November 23, 2015
Paul Fidalgo, CFI Communications Director
press@centerforinquiry.net – 207-358-9785
Robyn E. Blumner, RDF President & CEO
robyn@www.richarddawkins.net – 202-733-5276

CFI and Dawkins Foundation Urge FTC to Stop Homeopathy’s False Advertising

The Center for Inquiry and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science are urging the Federal Trade Commission to put an end to false advertising by the manufacturers of homeopathic products. They point to the overwhelming scientific consensus that these pseudoscientific alternative remedies have no effect (other than a placebo effect) on any condition, and harm consumers who rely on them in lieu of real, science-based medicine.

CFI and the Dawkins Foundation, jointly filing comments, remind the FTC that its mandate is “to protect the American public, not to safeguard the sales of relics from the cabinets of 18th century medicine.” They argue that the FTC should use its authority to stop manufacturers from falsely advertising homeopathy’s safety or efficacy until such claims can be scientifically proven. The FTC itself has recently expressed its own concern about the harm to American consumers posed by the unsubstantiated claims of the homeopathy industry.

“Homeopathy does not work, has never been proven to work, and based on universally accepted, fundamental scientific principles, it cannot work,” said Michael De Dora, director of public policy for the Center for Inquiry. “Nonetheless, the homeopathy industry enriches itself by deceiving consumers by falsely promising to cure all manner of conditions, wasting Americans’ money and putting their health at risk.

“The FTC has a mandate to protect Americans from this kind of dangerous misinformation, and we strongly urge them to act on that mandate.”

“Homeopathy isn’t real medicine. It’s snake oil, and its manufacturers have evaded regulatory scrutiny for far too long with tragic consequences,” said Robyn Blumner, president & CEO of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science. “The FTC needs to end this dangerous deception of American consumers.”  

Homeopathy is an 18th century, pre-scientific concept based on the fiction that “like cures like,” compounded with the fantastical idea that water can retain a “memory” of a given substance once diluted to an infinitesimal degree, to the point that literally nothing of the original ingredient remains. Homeopathy has been entirely disproven and rejected by modern science, with zero evidence of effectiveness in treating any condition, beyond a placebo effect. In the UK, government health officials are considering blacklisting homeopathic products from the National Health Service altogether.

Yet Americans continue to throw away billions of dollars on homeopathic products, and too often use them in place of actual medicine, putting their health at serious risk with useless products such as homeopathic “vaccines” and asthma treatments.

CFI and the Dawkins Foundation point to Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act that prohibit both the “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in commerce and “the dissemination of false advertisements” related to drugs.  “Homeopathic products clearly fall within these parameters,” De Dora said.  “Homeopathic products are consistently advertised as both effective and safe in addressing a range of health conditions. Yet, empirical studies have illustrated decisively and repeatedly these claims are false.”

Earlier this year, the Center for Inquiry publicly testified before the Food and Drug Administration to argue that homeopathic remedies must be held to the same standards for safety and efficacy as any other drug.

The full comments are available here.

* * *

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. CFI‘s web address is www.centerforinquiry.net.

The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., whose mission is to remove the influence of religion in science education and public policy, and eliminate the stigma that surrounds atheism and non-belief.

42 comments on “RELEASE: CFI and Dawkins Foundation Urge FTC to Stop Homeopathy’s False Advertising

  • Meanwhile in the UK:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34744858
    Ministers are considering whether homeopathy should be put on a blacklist of treatments GPs in England are banned from prescribing, the BBC has learned.

    The controversial practice is based on the principle that “like cures like”, but critics say patients are being given useless sugar pills.

    The Faculty of Homeopathy said patients supported the therapy.

    A consultation is expected to take place in 2016.

    The total NHS bill for homeopathy, including homeopathic hospitals and GP prescriptions, is thought to be about £4m.



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  • For the foregoing reasons, we recommend that the FTC use its power, as outlined in Sections 5
    and 12 of the FTC Act, to ensure that homeopathic products on the market do not make
    advertising claims of safety or effectiveness in treating any health conditions unless the
    manufacturers of those products can support those claims with sound scientific evidence.

    Get out of that!



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  • “In the UK, government health officials are considering blacklisting
    homeopathic products from the National Health Service altogether.”

    The shame here is that it ever was accepted by the NHS in the first place. The National Health Service represents the idea of proper responsibility of Government towards its citizens; something those in power here regard as the pointless waste of a usefully credulous set of consumers. I’m sure at least some MP’s realised that homeopathy was selling water to the uneducated, as medicine. Why was that not all MP’s?



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  • Homeopathy is probably the most brilliant medical modality ever developed. Like any medical system it should be well regulated, completely professional and accountable, which in the main it is.

    The fact that a campaign against Homeopathy has had some traction in the UK and US in particular remains largely irrelevant in the face of Homeopathy’s use worldwide. It is the second most used medical system after Allopathy and the fastest growing – for the simple reason that it works, but also because it is very economical, hence even faster growth in China and India, and it does no harm.

    There are charlatans everywhere, including in Allopathic medicine, but no-one would seek to dismiss Allopathy because of them and neither should they seek to do so for the occasional incompetence, or lack of professionalism, or profit-driven purveyor of Homeopathy.

    The mere fact that there are many MD’s and hospitals around the world which practise Homeopathy, medical schools and universities which teach it and Governments which include it in their official medical systems, is clear evidence that Homeopathy is effective and there is nothing fraudulent involved in the modality. Anyone associated with the medical profession, academia, politicians and Governments know they live in fear of looking stupid or being sued and so when they embrace something they do so after research and a sign-off from their legal advisers.

    Homeopathy works. The only claim which can be made at this point in history is that science cannot yet explain how it might work but science will advance and those answers will come. In the meantime Homeopathy will continue to heal and cure and to survive and thrive as it has done for more than two centuries.



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  • Roslyn Ross
    Nov 24, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    The mere fact that there are many MD’s and hospitals around the world which practise Homeopathy, medical schools and universities which teach it and Governments which include it in their official medical systems, is clear evidence that Homeopathy is effective and there is nothing fraudulent involved in the modality.

    This is merely evidence that politicians and administrators are scientifically illiterate, and corrupt!

    Homoeopathy works.

    But only when it works as a placebo, or when the patient happens to recover anyway.

    The only claim which can be made at this point in history is that science cannot yet explain how it might work but science will advance and those answers will come.

    Science has already explained how it works and when it works. It is a placebo. On most occasions it does not work and deludes those using, it into thinking it is providing treatment, when they actually need effective modern medicine.

    In the meantime Homeopathy will continue to heal and cure and to survive and thrive as it has done for more than two centuries.

    Nope! It will be sold by charlatans, and bought by gullibles who want someone to hold their hand while they recover naturally – or not as the case may be!



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  • Quote: Homeopathy is the most frequently used complementary therapy in pediatric oncology in Germany. Most HUs had used homeopathy before the cancer and would further recommend homeopathy to others in a similar situation.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2958565/

    Beyond research showing Homeopathy is more than placebo, here are some reasons why it cannot be mere placebo:

    It demonstrates effect on cells, body tissue and plants.
    It demonstrates effect on unconscious animals and humans.
    It demonstrates effect months after being taken.

    It demonstrates effect equally well on those who are adamant it cannot work and those who are adamant it can, and all those in between.
    It demonstrates effect on animals and babies, who, presumably, are not influenced by placebo effect unless they are picking up thoughts from parents/owners/doctors which is a pretty remarkable thing in itself.



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  • Roslyn. You have selectively quoted from the abstract of that German study. Here is the full abstract.

    Homeopathy is a frequently used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment. We present results comparing responses of homeopathy users (HUs) and users of other forms of CAM (NHUs) in pediatric oncology (PO) in Germany. Differences between these two groups (usage, associated demographic characteristics, previous experience with CAM) are investigated. 186 (45.2%) of the 367 CAM users were exposed to homeopathy. The treatment duration amounted to a median of 601 days for HUs and 282 days for NHUs. Parents with p (127; 76.5%) also used homeopathy for their child’s cancer. Nonmedical practitioners played a considerably greater role as source of information than did treating physician. In the majority HUs received their prescriptions from nonmedical practitioners (56%; 29.4% of NHUs). HUs communicate more frequently with their physicians about the CAM-use (77.7% versus 65.2%) and recommend CAM more often than NHUs (94% versus 85.6%). Homeopathy is the most frequently used CAM treatment in PO in Germany. HUs sustain treatment and therapies considerably longer than NHUs. Most families who had used homeopathy before their child was diagnosed with cancer also used homeopathy for the treatment of their child’s cancer. Compared to other CAM treatments, patient satisfaction with homeopathy appears to be very high.

    The only thing this research says is that users of Homeopathy are happier with their Non Medical Practitioner than users of Complementary and Alternative Non Medicine practitioners. It says ZERO about the efficacy of homeopathy. I invite you to post links to research to support your claims:_

    It demonstrates effect on cells, body tissue and plants.

    It demonstrates effect on unconscious animals and humans.

    It demonstrates effect months after being taken.

    Your German article provides no such support.



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  • The reason why links are provided is so people can read the complete report or article. The quote I included was a part of that and therefore relevant.

    The first line of what you have decided to quote, says it all and makes my case:

    Homeopathy is a frequently used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment.

    The point was, that Allopathic doctors make use of Homeopathy and yet the claim is that it is pure placebo, i.e. the doctors involved in this use are therefore fraudulent. Patently they are not. My claim was that Homeopathy is used by MD’s and in hospitals and it is and the report demonstrates that.

    I never said the German report proved:

    It demonstrates effect on cells, body tissue and plants.
    It demonstrates effect on unconscious animals and humans.
    It demonstrates effect months after being taken.

    Remember, if the claim that it is pure placebo were correct then none of this could happen.

    I suggest you do some research into ncbi regarding what I have cited, if you are interested. It is easy enough to do. I suspect you are not interested and I have no interest in wasting my time posting links which you can easily find.

    If it were correct that Homeopathy was pure placebo and its practice fraudulent, there would not be one MD, Hospital, University, Medical School, Government in the First World anyway, which would touch it – there are many. Ergo, Homeopathy works and it is neither pure placebo or fraudulent.



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  • Okay lets dissect the facts from the emotion.

    Homeopathy is a frequently used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment.

    This is not evidence of efficacy. People “Frequently” pray, but that has no effect. So your argument is that if something is done by a body of people “Frequently” it has some evidentiary value. Fail.

    You have made the claim that homeopathy does these things.

    It demonstrates effect on cells, body tissue and plants.

    It demonstrates effect on unconscious animals and humans.

    It demonstrates effect months after being taken.

    You have put up a proposition which requires you, to make the argument. You need to cite proof in this forum that what you claim is factually correct. I didn’t make this claim. You did. This is the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science discussion forum. There is no onus on me to prove anything. The ball is in your court. And let me tell you, the denizens of this forum are hard markers so time is short for you to justify your claim. (They wake up in the Northern Hemisphere soon)

    Would you like Fries with that. Your argument. If doctors use Homeopathy as a placebo, to cheaply dispose of Munchhausen’s Syndrome patients or anyone else, I have no problem with that. “Here you go sweetie. A glass of water will cure you.”

    Now this is the Free Kick in Front of Goal.

    If it were correct that Homeopathy was pure placebo and its practice fraudulent, there would not be one MD, Hospital, University, Medical School, Government in the First World anyway, which would touch it – there are many. Ergo, Homeopathy works and it is neither pure placebo or fraudulent.

    Are you seriously suggesting that what you have written has any evidentiary or scientific value in arguing your case. This is not science. It’s not double blind long term studies. Twang. That sound folks was the Long Bow being drawn by Rosslyn to try and say that usage is equivalent to scientific proof.

    They’re waking up soon. They will want to see testable scientific links to prove you case. If you fail, they can be a bit scary so hang on to your seat.



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  • The study was conducted by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and to avoid bias, the evidence was assessed by an independent contractor. “No good-quality, well-designed studies with enough participants for a meaningful result reported either that homeopathy caused greater health improvements than placebo, or caused health improvements equal to those of another treatment,” the report found.

    Findings:-

    There was no reliable evidence from research in humans that homeopathy was effective for treating the range of health conditions considered: no good-quality, well-designed studies with enough participants for a meaningful result reported either that homeopathy caused greater health improvements than placebo, or caused health improvements equal to those of another treatment. For some health conditions, studies reported that homeopathy was not more effective than placebo. For other health conditions, there were poor-quality studies that reported homeopathy was more effective than placebo, or as effective as another treatment. However, based on their limitations, those studies were not reliable for making conclusions about whether homeopathy was effective. For the remaining health conditions it was not possible to make any conclusion about whether homeopathy was effective or not, because there was not enough evidence.

    Conclusions:-

    Based on the assessment of the evidence of effectiveness of homeopathy, NHMRC concludes that there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective. Homeopathy should not be used to treat health conditions that are chronic, serious, or could become serious. People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness. People who are considering whether to use homeopathy should first get advice from a registered health practitioner. Those who use homeopathy should tell their health practitioner and should keep taking any prescribed treatments

    http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/cam02a_information_paper.pdf

    Yep. Pretty conclusive.



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  • Fact: Medical professionals, academics and Governments are highly sensitive to claims of fraud and libel, not to mention stupidity, and they go to great lengths and take legal advice to ensure they do not make themselves liable in any legal sense. One can assume fraudulent behaviour makes one liable. Ergo, where Medical professionals, academics and Governments embrace a modality one can logically assume they have done their research and their legal checks and are confident they are not acting fraudulently, which means, Homeopathy is not in the least fraudulent, which means it works.

    Nothing else is relevant – it works, i.e. it has efficacy and that means it has integrity which is why there are many medical professionals, academic institutions and Governments which embrace it.

    You may not have a deep understanding of how the medical profession, academia or Government works, but trust me, they venture nowhere that will take them into litigation, particularly not with something as controversial in recent times as Homeopathy. Logic.



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  • The NHMRC study was deeply flawed and betrayed the claims of scientific rigour so often raised. I doubt many doctors would accept a report into the efficacy of Oncology for instance where no Oncologist was on the panel, none were consulted and the research admitted was selective to ensure the most positive were omitted. Not to mention including people on the panel with conflict of interest. This is how the NHMRC study was done into Homeopathy – a joke, and a parody of those claims of scientific rigour and objectivity.



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  • The NHMRC study was deeply flawed and betrayed the claims of scientific rigour so often raised.

    I won folks. I predicted that this would be the response. Pity I’m not so good with the Lotto numbers.



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  • legal checks and are confident they are not acting fraudulently, which means, Homeopathy is not in the least fraudulent, which means it works.

    This is not science. It is not proof of anything. It is an assertion. A vehement assertion I’ll give you that, but still just an assertion. Do you understand the Scientific Method.

    Are you a practitioner Rosslyn. You’re clearly a supporter. I’ve not seen you in these forums before. Have you logged on just to respond to this issue. Is this some sort of campaign for the practitioners to try and circumvent the proposed US outlawing of the advertising claims. Very sus.

    P.S. The folks in this forum are pretty observant. I wonder if they spotted the evidence you have provided in support of your claims. I certainly did. Here it is.

    Nothing else is relevant – it works, i.e. it has efficacy and that means it has integrity which is why there are many medical professionals, academic institutions and Governments which embrace it.

    To quote Porky Pig, the cartoon character…. “That’s all Folks.”



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  • Interesting that you infer you would accept a report into other modalities on the same basis. As in, no qualified representative on the panel, none consulted and research papers chosen selectively and subjectively. It hardly sounds like scientific rigour to me.

    And yes, I do understand the scientific method as it stands at this point in our history. I think the materialist reductionist mechanical approach is enormously useful when dealing with that which is mechanical or can be largely reduced to the material, but less useful and often dangerous when applied to that which cannot, i.e. the natural world and the human body.

    Science is brilliant for machines and equipment, but not so much on other counts and it becomes dangerous when it thinks that it is or could be.

    Science is a system of enquiry and at its best encourages objectivity and curiosity. Unfortunately today, it is more often dogma and ‘theology’ than curiosity and rigorous objectivity, hence the dismissal of Homeopathy, generally from a place of high subjective prejudice and ignorance.

    I take an interest in Homeopathy, having found it about ten years ago and found it enormously effective where Allopathy had failed. I also find it fascinating as a modality and study it out of curiosity and interest. I have an abiding interest in health and medicine of all kinds but my background is journalism. I have however, worked for hospitals, Governments, academic institutions, hence the understanding of their sensitivity to being sued or looking stupid.

    Mockery seems to be part and parcel of the approach of those who decry Homeopathy. Time would be better spent in research so you can at least come from a place of knowledge, which, one presumes is the basis of scientific rigour. Not much of that around, which of course is the irony.



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  • Ok. Paragraph by paragraph.

    As in, no qualified representative on the panel, none consulted and research papers chosen selectively and subjectively.

    You keep saying this without supporting evidence. Prove your claim. The Who question and the Why question. Journalism 101.

    but less useful and often dangerous when applied to that which cannot, i.e. the natural world and the human body.

    Again, an assertion without evidence and a definition of what is the “natural world” would be helpful, in your eyes. I hope you’re not talking Woo in this forum. Science, as applied to the understanding and health of the “Human Body” has a sound and proven track record. If my blood test comes back and tells me my cholesterol is high, I pay attention. So I would contend, in the absence of further definition or evidence that this is just another assertion.

    Science is brilliant for machines and equipment, but not so much on other counts and it becomes dangerous when it thinks that it is or could be.

    The universe doesn’t care what you think. It couldn’t care less if you like it or not. Believe it or laugh. It will still occur, according to the underlying laws of physics. If you seek to select which areas of the universe where science works, and other areas where science doesn’t work, you will have a fight on your hands. You are doing a very common thing called “Selective Cherry Picking the Science”. The science you like, and the dismissal of that you don’t or won’t agree with. Its medical term is Confirmation Bias. Hence when you say:-

    Unfortunately today, it is more often dogma and ‘theology’ than curiosity and rigorous objectivity

    This is opinion, and unsupported. It says the scientific method is selective, depending on the observers personal tastes. It tries to glue ideology to facts. It is often used as a disparaging remark. Research Scientism. I think this is what you are trying to say. But clearly wrong.

    If you have a background in journalism, then you should be familiar with the concept of checking your sources. Given there is no credible source to support your views on homeopathy, I say you need to resit the exam.

    Mockery seems to be part and parcel of the approach of those who decry Homeopathy.

    Stick around in this forum. You will find that if someone makes a ridiculous claim, unsupported by evidence, then the forum reserves the right to use ridicule in response. Wait till some Young Earth Creationist tries to convince us that the world is 6000 years old.

    Time would be better spent in research so you can at least come from a place of knowledge, which, one presumes is the basis of scientific rigour.

    Scientific Rigour. This is why I inhabit this place, and numerous other scientific source web pages. (Wait till Alan4D replies) Why I buy and read on a broad and diverse range of scientific topics. You should see my library. Not a J K Rowling in sight. Why when I toured Europe, the first place I went was the Large Hadron Collider.

    I follow the scientific method. My view is based on the prevailing evidence. If the evidence changes, so does my view. I am a Skeptic. That is why when anyone presents an assertion, I will remain a skeptic, until credible evidence is presented in support of that assertion. No evidence. No belief. So if you have the evidence that says that Homeopathy works, you are about to win a Nobel prize for Physics, not medicine, and I will believe you. You just have to SHOW ME THE MONEY… Sorry. Wrong movie. Show me the evidence. You might enjoy this as well.

    http://www.crispian.net/page2/page2.html



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  • The woo is indeed strong in this one. The appeal to “natural” is unsettling. The flung insult of our theological attitude hilarious given the paper could as well have been about people’s satisfaction with the efficacy of, say, Christianity. Its fame runs before it, beating mere Zoroastrianism effortlessly.

    Of course, parents want to have achieved something extra for their desperately ill kids. D’uh!

    Where’s the real science? This nonesense stands in the way of developing proper psychotherapeutic treatments as ameliorating adjuncts to proper medical treatments, the while draining big resources that could be put to better use.



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  • Alan, Phil, Dan et al, fair play to you guys for managing to keep control when talking to some of the posters on here, we have had a couple this week, the woo-merchant on this thread and Tyler the Theist who have been particularly annoying, one with the same old washed up soul and god arguments and now someone who seems unable to put any sort of coherent argument together. I enjoy lurking and reading your responses and know i would get too angry if I got fully involved but thought I would throw this in.
    I have had to deal with more than my share of homeopaths and natural remedy cranks over the years. Five or six, who were, supposedly, qualified and legitimate tried to persuade me to use Ginko biloba for my blood and told me my reasons for refusing were wrong because I did not understand how it works. Firstly, I think it would probably have no effect at all but, more to the point, Ginko is an anti-coagulant so if it did have an effect it would be really “useful” for a haemophiliac. Of course, I was just wrong and too bigoted to accept their ways. These people are bloody, literally in my case, dangerous and are just as devoted to their crank ideas as the theists are to their gods, reason and logic are wasted on them, they will continue to mis-quote, cherry-pick and generally bluster.
    Any Shakespeare fans here “. . . it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” That may have been about the turmoils of Macbeth but it would make a good preface to any theological work or book on alternative medicine.



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  • Roslyn Ross
    Nov 24, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    The NHMRC study was deeply flawed and betrayed the claims of scientific rigour so often raised.

    This is the sort of asserted claim we hear all the time from pseudoscientists like Ken Ham about mainstream biology and geology!

    Strangely whenever the science they claim is poor is examined, it is found to be rigorous, while their cherry-picked so called pseudo-scientific “circular thinking”, is laughably full of amateurish mistakes and scientific illiteracy.
    I am quite sure that homoeopathic pills are a convenient way to encourage hypochondriacs to go away and stop wasting their doctor’s time, and that they may also have a placebo effect, but the fact remains that small doses of almost pure sugar or pure water have no medical properties.

    As with “faith-healing”, “good-luck charms”, and fortune telling, this is also are way for charlatans to make a lot of money from those who misplace trust in assurances from people who are either self-deluding or rogues.
    Any effects are purely psychological, but dependence and “belief”, is also encouraged in adherents.



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  • Roslyn Ross
    Nov 24, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Fact:

    Nope – you can’t make up your own facts!

    Medical professionals, academics and Governments are highly sensitive to claims of fraud and libel, not to mention stupidity, and they go to great lengths and take legal advice to ensure they do not make themselves liable in any legal sense.

    This claim is laughable when we look at the real world!
    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/11/homeopathy-could-be-blacklisted/#li-comment-191023

    (Have you thought of “consolidating” your savings in a Nigerian “bank”???)

    There are politicians and rogue professionals, babbling astrology, climate-change denial, and all sorts or mysticism and quackery.
    In the USA there are even accredited universities promoting YEC pseudo-science.
    They take legal advice to see just how much they can get away with!

    The validity of science is decided by double-blind testing and scientific methodology, – not by the opinions of lawyers or politicians!

    One can assume fraudulent behaviour makes one liable.

    Assumption is the mother of error! Even massive fraud often goes on for years, before a proportion of the culprits are eventually caught. (Madoff?)



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  • Roslyn Ross
    Nov 25, 2015 at 1:07 am
    Time would be better spent in research so you can at least come from a place of knowledge, which, one presumes is the basis of scientific rigour. Not much of that around, which of course is the irony.

    Science is a system of enquiry and at its best encourages objectivity and curiosity. Unfortunately today, it is more often dogma and ‘theology’ than curiosity and rigorous objectivity, hence the dismissal of Homeopathy, generally from a place of high subjective prejudice and ignorance.

    Classic psychological projection! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

    Mockery seems to be part and parcel of the approach of those who decry Homeopathy.

    It is usually quite comical when assertive pseudo-scientists try to lecture real scientists on the nature, rigour and workings of science and logic!
    Especially when they accuse those with a deep understanding of rigorous scientific methodology, of “ignorance and prejudice”!

    Astronauts probably laugh at Flat-Earthists and Moon-landing deniers in a similar way!



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  • Roslyn Ross
    Nov 25, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Interesting that you infer you would accept a report into other modalities on the same basis. As in, no qualified representative on the panel, none consulted and research papers chosen selectively and subjectively. It hardly sounds like scientific rigour to me.

    Strangely, there are no qualified Flat-Earthists at scientific conferences on satellite navigation systems – and none of their “research papers” discussed.
    Similarly papers from the “Institute for Creation Research”, are not discussed at biological, geological, or astronomy symposia, and none of their “researchers” are invited!

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Institute_for_Creation_Research

    Perhaps that’s because they are NOT scientists, and their “papers” are based on preconceptions, NOT science!



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  • I just couldn’t help myself when I replied to the woman who posted this on FaceBook and said she was going to a seminar soon. She is suffering from depression and I found I really had to be gentle. I told her she was a wonderful individual who had partially healed herself but I worried where she might end up once the realisation of being fooled kicks in. She sent me a ton of love and disappeared.



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  • Stephen Mynett
    Nov 25, 2015 at 6:42 am

    The: “I have not put links to support my argument, because you can all look up the irrational ramblings and assertions of irrelevant crank nonsense on the internet for yourselves,” is good for a laugh! – As are assurances from scientific illiterates, that the world’s leading scientists have got it wrong, and don’t know how to do science – due to a lack of woo-reading in their methodology! (See Tredinnick’s comments on Brian Cox!)



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  • Alan, they are a sadly predictable lot, although one sort I have not spotted for a while is the I am a highly qualified expert therefore you are in no position to argue with me type. i am sure one will turn up again soon.

    Meanwhile, in the UK, sane people who want to cut down on wastage in the NHS are now fascists: https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/11/homeopathy-on-prescription-could-be-banned-from-nhs/#comment-191128 although from such a short and well argued post I suspect drive by troll.



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  • Stephen Mynett
    Nov 25, 2015 at 10:21 am

    one sort I have not spotted for a while is the I am a highly qualified expert therefore you are in no position to argue with me type. i am sure one will turn up again soon.

    The wonders of Dunning-Kruger confidence!

    I must admit it has been a long time since some astrologer or Moon-landing denier turned up to impress ME with their “profound” understanding of astronomy and rocket science!!!!

    YEC (proud of their books) self-published authors, with theology college qualifications in “Bible-Biology”, and utter ignorance of high-school biology, are good for a laugh!
    I think I demolished the last one’s “refuting evolution and refuting geology assertions” in about four posts!



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  • Roslyn Ross
    Nov 24, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Homeopathy is probably the most brilliant medical modality ever developed.

    Ha! ha! ha! – and I thought immunisations and antibiotics were the world leading medicines!



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  • Olgun Nov 25, 2015 at 9:10 am

    It’s the mentality, Olgun. It’s just homeopathy she’s talking about, but it could be something far more dangerous – like climate change or creationism or some racist ideology. This kind of dishonesty, rigidity, and irrationality is depressing and unfortunately quite common. It is depressing when you can’t reason with someone. This type of mentality, if we become outnumbered, can lead, ultimately, to disaster.

    Check out Dawkins’ debate with creationist Wendy Wright on YouTube. Maybe you shouldn’t. I don’t want you to feel even more depressed.



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  • I concur Dan. When I was engaging with her, it was exactly the same as engaging with a religious person. She held a view on homeopathy in the absence of evidence, and contrary to prevailing scientific evidence. A religious person believes via faith, that god exists, without any evidence, and contrary to prevailing evidence.

    Rosslyn reacted the same way the religious react when they are pointed to a piece of reliable evidence. She didn’t believe it because the committee of scientists inquiring into homeopathy, didn’t have any homeopaths as members. She demonstrated textbook Confirmation Bias. I only believe the things that support my belief. She repeated the same assertions over and over again thinking than an oft repeated assertion somehow becomes evidence. (Is this a circular argument Alan4D?)

    I am hopeful she has returned to the forum to view the collective judgements of the members. If you are there Rosslyn, I’d be interested to hear what you think of the juries verdict.



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  • David R Allen: f you are there Rosslyn, I’d be interested to hear what you think of the juries verdict.

    We are not homeopaths or believers in woo, therefore unqualified to judge would be in line with her usual “reasoning”.



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  • Schopenhauer gets a bad rap on this site, David, but check this out: he argued that when we face the kind of stubborn refusal to adhere to reason as in the case with your tenacious interlocutor – and nice job, btw – we are confronting a person whose intellect is in the service of their will. With rational people, their will is in the service of their intellect. Not a bad point, wouldn’t you say? That is why oftentimes you can’t get anywhere with the first category of people. Say what you want, you are not addressing reason; you are up against passion, feeling – Will, essentially. And they have no insight. The will is their lord and master. And they are its slave.
    Language supports this: they WILL not understand.



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  • Dan: Say what you want, you are not addressing reason;

    Good point and Martin Luther certainly realised the dangers of reason, a couple of his quotes: “Die “verfluchte Huhre, Vernunft.” (The damned whore, Reason). and following on from this: “Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.”

    I like these quotes as they show the basic dishonesty of faith and faith-based thinking.



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  • Hey Stephen. What’s up?

    Well at least M.L. conceived of faith as something antithetical to reason. Many of these religious kooks today (and I am really starting to develop a deep detestation of religion) think that you can defend faith with reason, and that’s even worse.



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  • Dan
    Nov 26, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Well at least M.L. conceived of faith as something antithetical to reason. Many of these religious kooks today (and I am really starting to develop a deep detestation of religion) think that you can defend faith with reason, and that’s even worse.

    That is the usual semantic twisting of words to pretend that they have special “theistic meanings” contrary to standard definitions.

    The RCC is on record with claims that TRRrrroo science cannot contradict faith dogmas!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_evolution#Catholic_teaching_and_evolution

    159. Faith and science: “… methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.” (Vatican II GS 36:1)

    283. The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers….

    284. The great interest accorded to these studies is strongly stimulated by a question of another order, which goes beyond the proper domain of the natural sciences. It is not only a question of knowing when and how the universe arose physically, or when man appeared, but rather of discovering the meaning of such an origin….

    It pretends that science is limited in its scope, religion has a separate domain. ( otherwise known by the rational as delusional fantasy land)

    It then follows up with the laughable claim that this “TRRrrroo science” is mainstream science not YECery pseudo-science!

    Paragraph 283 has been noted as making a positive comment regarding the theory of evolution, with the clarification that “many scientific studies” that have enriched knowledge of “the development of life-forms and the appearance of man” refers to mainstream science and not to “creation science”.

    Asserting drivel on faith, is of course, the antithesis of scientific methodology, but to sheeples, it is “TRRrrroooo science”, and can be asserted to be such!



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  • Dan
    Nov 26, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Well at least M.L. conceived of faith as something antithetical to reason. Many of these religious kooks today (and I am really starting to develop a deep detestation of religion) think that you can defend faith with reason, and that’s even worse.

    The irrational babblings of the self-pronounced “infallible” Pope Pius IX, were even more specifically anti-science and anti-logic”.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_evolution#Pope_Pius_IX

    “9. Hence all faithful Christians are forbidden to defend as the legitimate conclusions of science those opinions which are known to be contrary to the doctrine of faith, particularly if they have been condemned by the Church; and furthermore they are absolutely bound to hold them to be errors which wear the deceptive appearance of truth.” (Vatican Council I)

    “10. Not only can faith and reason never be at odds with one another but they mutually support each other, for on the one hand right reason established the foundations of the faith and, illuminated by its light, develops the science of divine things; on the other hand, faith delivers reason from errors and protects it and furnishes it with knowledge of many kinds.” (Vatican Council I)

    With this tripe as a basis for role models and educational teaching, it is unsurprising that many theists cannot reason or use proper evidence, and think that circularity based on faith preconceptions IS reasoning!

    This sort of indoctrinated brain fumbling, carries over into many other forms of woo and pseudo-science thinking.



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  • Roslyn Ross
    Nov 24, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    If it were correct that Homeopathy was pure placebo and its practice fraudulent, there would not be one MD, Hospital, University, Medical School, Government in the First World anyway, which would touch it – there are many.

    Actually the percentage who touch it, is a tiny fringe, and in the UK the government is debating banning it in the reputable NHS all together!

    Alan4discussion
    Nov 23, 2015 at 2:41 pm
    The total NHS bill for homeopathy, including homeopathic hospitals and GP prescriptions, is thought to be about £4million.

    https://www.england.nhs.uk/allocations-2013-14/
    NHS England has a budget of £95.6 billion



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