Homeopathy4health

13 February 2008

Homeopathy myths: it’s ‘just water’

The Homeopathy Research Institute  (aims: ‘To perform and promote innovative research of the highest scientific standard in the field of homeopathy.  To enable and encourage communication between the scientific community, the medical profession, professional homeopaths, the media and the public at large’)

reports in its February newsletter:

 

It’s not ‘just’ water

“It’s hard to realise just how complex a substance water really is.  Water is everywhere; it covers 2/3 of the earth’s surface and makes up 60-70% of the human body.  In our daily life, we only know water as either a liquid, ice or vapour. However upon closer inspection, scientists have catalogued 15 different types of ice1, which can be admired in the intricate designs of snow flakes and the amazing pictures of water crystals taken by Dr Imoto2This complexity is due to the precise structure of the water molecule, making water one of the most complex substances known to science3.

Opponents of homeopathy often refer to the simplicity of the water molecule as a key argument why homeopathy cannot work. “It’s just water!” they say.  However this is not the case as has now been shown by several fields of science outside of homeopathy4.

In the field of toxicology there is a known and documented phenomenon known as ‘hormesis’4A substance showing hormesis has the property that it has the opposite effect in small doses, than in large doses.  This supports the use of tautopathy, where homeopathic doses of a toxin are given to accelerate the detoxification of that same toxin (e.g. Arsenic).

Furthermore, in the field of material sciences, there is a phenomenon known as ‘epitaxis’.  This phenomenon is used in the industrial manufacture of semiconductors for microprocessors.  Epitaxy refers to the transfer of structural information from one substance to another, which can happen at the interface between the two substances.  This transfer of structure information can remain after the original substance has disappeared from the system.  This is very similar to the theory of homeopathic dilutions, the only difference being that epitaxy is known to happen in crystaline materials but not in liquids such as water5.

More recently, experiments using the light emission spectrum (Raman and Ultra-Violet-Visible spectroscopy) of homeopathic water vs normal water have shown that homeopathically prepared water has a different molecular structure than normal water6.  Although these are preliminary results they do indicate that homeopathic remedies are not ‘just water’, something has remained of the originally diluted substance.

Finally I want to return to the work of the late Dr Benveniste (1935-2004).  Benveniste’s original publication in 1988 in Nature7 – science’s most prestigious journal – created outrage in the scientific community all over the world.  It showed that dilutions beyond Avogadro’s number (behond which there is no trace of the original substance left in the solution, corresponding to –12C) have a reproducible biological effect onliving cells.  The scandal eventually let do Benveniste having to resign from his position as director of the CNRS, France’s main governmental science agency.  It is reassuring that his results have since then been reproduced and confirmed, showing that indeed highly (homeopathically) diluted substances retain a biological activity akin to that of the substance in its crude form8-9.

In this brief overview of the science of water I hope I have managed to convey some of the strong scientific arguments that support the theory of homeopathic dilutions and thus the validity of the homeopathic principle of potentisation.”

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ice

2. http://www.masaru-emoto.net and his books such as ‘Messages from water’.

3. http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/anmlies.html 

4. Mastrangelo D., (2007) ‘Hormesis, epitaxy, the structure of liquid water, and the science of homeopathy’. Med Sci Monit 13 (1):SR1-8.

5. Roy R. (2005) “The Structure of Liquid Water; Novel Insights from Materials Research; Potential Relevance to Homeopathy.” Material Research Innovations. 9 (4), pg 577-608.

6. Rao ML (2007) “The defining role of structure (including epitaxy) in the plausibility of homeopathy”. Homeopathy. 96 (3); 175-82

7. E Davenas & J Benveniste (1988). “Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE” Nature 816 – 818

8. Belon P. (1999) “Inhibition of human basophil degranulation by successive histamine dilutions: results of a European multi-centre trial.”, 48 Suppl 1: S17-8

9. Belon P etal (2004). “Histamine dilutions modulate basophil activation”. Inflamm Res. 53 (5):181-8

More discussion on water memory here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_memory

Interesting description of hormesis here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormesis ‘The biochemical mechanisms by which hormesis works are not well understood. It is conjectured that a low dose challenge with a toxin may trigger certain repair mechanisms in the body, and these mechanisms, having been initiated, are efficient enough that they not only neutralize the toxin’s effect, but even repair other defects not caused by the toxin.’

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63 Comments »

  1. Opponents of homeopathy often refer to the simplicity of the water molecule as a key argument why homeopathy cannot work.

    FALSE. Critics do not claim that water is simple, but rather it does not have the properties required to support homeopathy. It does not retain structures in response to dissolved substances for anything more than a fleeting instant. It has no way of amplifying and maintaining these structures as a result of ‘succussion’.

    A substance showing hormesis has the property that it has the opposite effect in small doses, than in large doses.

    This does not apply to homeopathy as there is a big difference between small doses and no doses. Homeopathy gives no dose so hormesis cannot apply.

    Epitaxy – This is very similar to the theory of homeopathic dilutions, the only difference being that epitaxy is known to happen in crystalline materials but not in liquids such as water.

    And it is a big difference. Epitaxy requires solid surfaces. Homeopathy works with liquid water. So, homeopathic epitaxy must be nonsense.

    homeopathically prepared water has a different molecular structure than normal water

    FALSE. water is water. Its molecular structure is H20. If it is not H20 then it is not water. No experiments so far have shown a difference between homeopathically prepared water and ordinary water. For a start, the paper you cite was on ethanol, not water. And the paper was torn apart in a subsequent issue of Homeopathy
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/14754916

    Benveniste – are you serious?

    Comment by Andy Lewis — 13 February 2008 @ 5:34 pm

  2. Let me point out the most obviously glaring error here again. You say “experiments using the light emission spectrum (Raman and Ultra-Violet-Visible spectroscopy) of homeopathic water vs normal water have shown that homeopathically prepared water has a different molecular structure than normal water”.

    The reference you give used ethanol as the diluent, not water. The paper was also massiveley criticised for poor experimental procedures in a subsequent issue of Homeopathy.

    Do you care about the truth or will you delete this too?

    Comment by le canard noir — 14 February 2008 @ 9:47 am

  3. In the spirit of fairmindedness I am allowing your comments Andy Lewis even though I dislike their tone and closedmindedness, so that people can access the references themselves and make up their own mind.

    I would warn readers however that sceptics such as yourself have a habit of making statements that they would like to be true but may not actually be facts.

    You infer that I wrote this piece but I am not the author and have no further comment to make.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 14 February 2008 @ 6:16 pm

  4. Thank you for the honour of publishing my comments. How have I been closeminded? Is it true or is it not true that Rao, Roy et al talked about water structure and then used data on ethanol? You may have problems accessing the paper concerned as it is behind a paywall, but it is reproduced here…

    http://www.badscience.net//?p=496

    You will also witness the discovery in the comments there that two graphs, reported to be different, actuall use the same data. The Homeopathy Research Institute would do well not to associate itself with such shockingly poor work if it is to retain any credibility.

    I would welcome engagement in discussion here. I am not being closed-minded. Just pointing out what has been published in the next edition of Homeopathy itself.

    My other comments too. How do you squared hormeses of low doses with homeopathic no-doses? How do you square surface epitaxy with liquid structural memory? Don’t you worry that the Homeopathic Research Institute believes that water can change its ‘molecular structure’?

    If you want to argue for homeopathy shouldn’t you be using more credible sources?

    Comment by le canard noir — 14 February 2008 @ 10:11 pm

  5. Andy lewis says: “The paper was also massiveley criticised for poor experimental procedures in a subsequent issue of Homeopathy.”

    Thank you, Homeopathy4health for writing your comment about Andy Lewis. It should be clearly stated that this man is out to get his own bigoted opinions across by innuendo and unsubstantiated critical comments.

    It is remarkable that he talks about censorship since he invented a method of branding people or web sites as quackery and calls them other nasty names if they subscribe to any thought that is not his own.

    The paper was also applauded by many- but then again ANYTHING to do with homeopathy as far as Andy Lewis is concerned should be ” massively criticized”.

    Comment by bewaiwai — 15 February 2008 @ 12:43 am

  6. Thank you Andy Lewis for your further comments and links.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 15 February 2008 @ 9:14 am

  7. I think whilst we are thanking each other (apart from the rather rude comments by bewaiwai), I would also like to help by pointing out that it is difficult to class the two Belon papers as independent replications of Benveniste’s discredited work. Belon was in fact a co-author of the original Benveniste paper that was retracted after the results could not be replicated with the journal’s editors and investigators present. It might also be worth pointing out that Belon is a Director of the largest homeopathic pharmaceutical company in the world, Boiron, which has income of half a billion dollars per year from homeopathic sugar pills.

    bewaiwai – I am attacking the scientific credibility of the evidence presented here. You appear to not want to defend the research, but rather attack me. If my posts come across as angry, then it may bebecause I find it incredible that homeopaths persists in repeating discredited and nonsense evidence for the memory of water despite serious flaws being repeatedly pointed out. Why is that? To me, this looks like propoganda. A reasonable response would be (for example) to explain why it is still valid for Rao and Roy to use ethanol in experiments on the memory of water? If not, then we might agree that these experiments were poorly constructed and presented and move on.

    Comment by le canard noir — 15 February 2008 @ 10:20 am

  8. Andy Lewis says: “discredited and nonsense evidence “, “serious flaws.”

    Well, that is your opinion and from what I can see you are some guy who sits at his computer day and night and perseverates about homeopathy and CAM. I would not call you an expert nor the junior doctors, pharmaceutical representatives and other skeptic individuals on the web sites you refer to.

    You link to a bad science web site which is run by a person who is paid and glorified by the pharmaceutical industry to get people like you to shill for him and the industry. I am not saying YOU are being paid by the pharmaceutical industry- you are just doing their dirty work for whatever bizarre reasoning you have.

    You even have the gall to put the word “canard” in your name which means: “a false or baseless, usually derogatory story, report, or rumor”. My gosh, what do you take members of the public like myself for? I have seen the benefits of homeopathy first hand too many times to believe your“nonsense”.

    Comment by bewaiwai — 15 February 2008 @ 3:39 pm

  9. Yes bewaiwai (fascinating moniker!)

    “a false or baseless, usually derogatory story, report, or rumor”:

    Goldacre’s nonsense about homeopathy: http://www.badscience.net/?p=578

    and Andy Lewis’s nonsense defense: https://homeopathy4health.wordpress.com/2008/01/20/fact-or-flact/

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 15 February 2008 @ 3:48 pm

  10. Thanks for doing this blog, Homeopathy4health- and I like your word “flact” as a beautiful descriptive of the canards set out by skeptics like Andy Lewis and badscience.

    Comment by bewaiwai — 15 February 2008 @ 4:05 pm

  11. bewaiwai – you appear to have difficulty sticking to discusing the issues and prefer to attack people instead. You accuse critics of being corrupt by taking payments to attack homeopathy – and you do not have the slightest evidence for this. That is defamation.

    So, I do not present opinions – I point out some facts. Let me repeat those facts and see if your opinions might change,
    1) Hormesis requires the low concentration of a substance. Homeopathy most often uses no substance. Therefore, hormesis is not an explanation of homeopathy.
    2) Epitaxy (not epitaxsis) is a solid-state surface process. Water memory would require a liquid phase mechanism. Epitaxy cannot explain homeopathy.
    3) No one has shown that homeopathically prepared water has a different molecular structure than normal water. By definition, this cannot be true. The molecular structure of Water is H20. If it is not H20, it is not water.
    4) Rao and Roy used ethanol in their experiments on ‘water structure’. This is inexplicably strange. Their data presented was obviously wrong. Their spectra for pure ethanol differed markedly from text book spectra. They used the same graph twice to represent different things.
    5) Benveniste and Belon could not replicate their work in front of independent observers. The other authors withdrew their names from the paper. Belon has subsequently republished the work on his own. This is not independent confirmation, especially as the author is a director of the largest homeopathic pill supplier.

    All the above statements are facts, not my opionion or ‘bigoted’ remarks. There is no inuendo or unsubstantiated comment. You can check each of these facts for yourself. I only linked to the bad science site because it contains a freely available version of the Rao paper so that we can all check for ourselves what is in there.

    Now, it is my opinion that because of these facts the above support of the water memory effect is entirely lacking in credibility.

    I am happy for you to ‘massively criticise’ me, but can you, bewaiwai, do that without a personal attack? Can you show me that my facts are wrong or that my oninions unjustified because of these facts? Or do you just want to defame and make irrelevent attacks?

    Comment by Andy Lewis — 15 February 2008 @ 4:21 pm

  12. re: Andy Lewis on blog censorship. Is everyone aware that Mr Goldacre systematically censors, blocks and removes posts to his blog that don’t support his agenda, however on-topic and politely worded? Recently censored contributions to Goldacre’s blog, that I am aware of:

    http://www.publicintegrity.org/GreatLakes/index.htm Public Health Implications of Hazardous Substances in the Twenty-Six U.S. Great Lakes

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7199659.stm Mobiles linked to disturbed sleep

    http://www.slingshotpublications.com/dwarfs.html Cultural Dwarfs and Junk Journalism: Ben Goldacre, quackbusters and corporate science

    http://www.bioinitiative.org/press_release/docs/aug31_2007.htm Renowned Scientists Issue Wake-up Call on EMF and RF Radiation Hazards

    Each post containing these links was a contribution to a relevant article thread, and offered without prejudice, and with no assertion of validity. In each case, Goldacre chose to censor and remove the posts, rather than allow discussion for and against material that does not support his position. It’s unlikely they were the only examples. In other words, the ‘transparency’ claimed by science fundamentalists as their hallmark is completely hypocritical and one sided.

    Comment by auquai — 15 February 2008 @ 4:49 pm

  13. I am not surprised at all auquai, I have had posts deleted by him. His site is more of a skeptic club.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 15 February 2008 @ 6:41 pm

  14. yet another off topic and ad hominem attack by auquai this time.

    PS I cannot recall ever removing any post on my blog and some have been quite vitriolic. I prefer to let people’s anger and incoherence speak for themselves. Debate, polite or robust and combative, are always welcome. As far as I am aware on Goldacre’s blog, only defamatory remarks are removed for obvious reasons.

    Returning to topic – does any homeopath want to defend the artice given the glaring problems with it? Can anyone tackle arguments rather than people?

    Comment by Andy Lewis — 15 February 2008 @ 6:46 pm

  15. Unfortunately Andy Lewis your aggressive stance and that of other sKepticos massively dilutes your message.

    (I just realised what an apt statement that is!)

    It seems to be an unfortunate side effect of science training.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 15 February 2008 @ 6:49 pm

  16. hormesis on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hormesis:

    ‘The biochemical mechanisms by which hormesis works are not well understood. It is conjectured that a low dose challenge with a toxin may trigger certain repair mechanisms in the body, and these mechanisms, having been initiated, are efficient enough that they not only neutralize the toxin’s effect, but even repair other defects not caused by the toxin.’

    This is an excellent description of observed homeopathic action. Don’t forget that Hahnemann started with material doses.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 15 February 2008 @ 7:06 pm

  17. Let’s see if skepticitis hits the hormesis page on wikipedia now! 😉

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 15 February 2008 @ 7:09 pm

  18. I am not sure where I am being aggressive. I have had to defend myself against personal attack. Are you really saying I am more aggressive than bewaiwai who appears only to want to attack me and not defend your article?

    Your quote on hormesis is the first real engagement and I shall continue in that manner. Shall we see if others can too?

    Hormesis – I stand by my belief that it is a poor model for homeopathy. It also has nothing to do with water memory. Hormesis requires small doses. Homeopathy most commonly – no doses. Central to the hormesis idea is that the same substance has beneficial effects at small doses and bad effects at large doses. Water memory requires a different agent – water structures – to play some sort of role if they existed. It has nothing to do with the doses of the substance, since there is no dose in homeopathy.

    Hormesis on one level is quite unproblematic and we deal with it all the time. Vitamin C in low doses is very beneficial, if not vital, for health. In high doses it causes problems. Most vitamins are like this. Re wine has been reported as good for you in small doses. In large doses it causes obvious problems – and I will be experimenting with that tonight. Paracetamol relieves headaches in small doses, and destroys the liver in large. In all cases, it is because the body copes well with metabolising the substances in small doses and may be able to use it or the metabolites. In large doses, the body is overwhelmed. No controversy. What is more controversial is that things that can only be considered poisons are generally good for you in small doses.

    But none of this applies to homeopathy as the substance is not present. It is possible, though implausible, that homeopathic preparations show a hormesis effect below 12C, but a different mechanism is required for greater potencies. If water memory has anything to do with it, then it cannot be hormesis. Potentisation is supposed to increase with dilution and succussion and so should display a normal ‘dose’-response curve – not one based on hormesis. The fact that no-one can show such a curve speaks volumes for the implausibility of such arguments.

    Comment by Andy Lewis — 15 February 2008 @ 7:39 pm

  19. Andy Lewis says : Debate, polite or robust and combative, are always welcome.

    You’ve calmed down in your hormesis post Andy but prior there was A LOT of bigoted statements. Just a few in this post. Like most bigots you don’t notice it or believe you are one.

    Its one thing to debate Andy and another to include canards, bigoted generalizations and characterizations of homeopathy, homeopaths, researchers of homeopathy and homeopathic studies in your arguments. That is what you have done and there is no way I will debate that.

    Comment by bewaiwai — 15 February 2008 @ 7:51 pm

  20. aquai said: “Each post containing these links was a contribution to a relevant article thread, and offered without prejudice, and with no assertion of validity. In each case, Goldacre chose to censor and remove the posts, rather than allow discussion for and against material that does not support his position. It’s unlikely they were the only examples. In other words, the ‘transparency’ claimed by science fundamentalists as their hallmark is completely hypocritical and one sided.”

    Aquai- Thanks for pointing out a serious problem. I appreciate your research and links.

    Comment by bewaiwai — 15 February 2008 @ 7:54 pm

  21. bewaiwai said – “You’ve calmed down in your hormesis post Andy but prior there was A LOT of bigoted statements.”

    One thing I noticed is that you are never specific. Care to name any bigotted comments I have made?

    Comment by Andy Lewis — 15 February 2008 @ 7:59 pm

  22. Can I ask everyone not to post if intoxicated please.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 15 February 2008 @ 8:17 pm

  23. not started yet ;-). Stuff to do.

    Comment by Andy Lewis — 15 February 2008 @ 8:19 pm

  24. Andy, It would be a good exercise for you to go over your posts and find them.

    Cheers.

    Comment by bewaiwai — 15 February 2008 @ 9:21 pm

  25. that sounds like a cop out. And the ‘pot calling the kettle’ etc

    Comment by le canard noir — 15 February 2008 @ 9:36 pm

  26. bewaiwai – you have failed to answer a direct question yet. Care to start?

    Comment by le canard noir — 15 February 2008 @ 9:37 pm

  27. Lewis: “yet another off topic and ad hominem attack by auquai this time… As far as I am aware on Goldacre’s blog, only defamatory remarks are removed for obvious reasons.”

    1. You brought up the topic of blog censorship. 2. Just where is the ad hom you complain of? 3. You are clearly unaware of the level of censorship by Goldacre or his minders. Simple comments such as ‘Worth a look’, with a link, are hastily removed if the link points to contrary or inconvenient evidence or opinion.

    Comment by auquai — 15 February 2008 @ 10:25 pm

  28. How about Andy, you choose from your own comments 10 items you suspect might, just might be bigoted or reflective of a bigot’s mind and then I’ll be happy to show you why they truly are.

    Comment by bewaiwai — 15 February 2008 @ 11:28 pm

  29. auquai – obviously incapable of addressing the ball.

    1. The reason my initial comments about not being posted as this blog appears to be subject to positive vetting. Comments do not appear immediately. Am I wrong? Goldacre does not do this. Nor do I. This suggests an unnecessary need for control.

    2. Ad Hom? Post 5 is almost all an attack – “It should be clearly stated that this man is out to get his own bigoted opinions across by innuendo and unsubstantiated critical comments.” 8 is pure speculation. 9, more attack. 12, an attack on Goldacre. 15, calls me aggressive. All my posts are about evidence, facts and strength of argument. I can’t help feeling there is a total inversion of argument here.

    3. I am not aware of any censorship on the badscience site. Prove it to me. Post a similar article on the main forum about water memory.It will be heavily argued, but not deleted – unless you defame or are rude or otheriwse stupid. Stick to facts and reasonably held opinion and you will be fine. Call names and expect to be deleted. Prove me wrong and repost this article on bad science.

    Now, any chance of addressing my criticisms of the article, or do you just want to attack people?

    Comment by le canard noir — 15 February 2008 @ 11:31 pm

  30. what do you mean by positive vetting?

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 15 February 2008 @ 11:43 pm

  31. Well forgive me if I am wrong, and it may be another problem, but my posts can take ages to appear. Are they automatically approved. Or do you approve posts?

    Comment by le canard noir — 15 February 2008 @ 11:55 pm

  32. I approve posts. Its my blog and not a public forum, although homeopathy blogs can feel like they are.

    Sometimes I find your posts so intensely annoying that I wait until I have assmilated what you are saying before I approve them.

    Perhaps you should link my post to your blog and invite discussion ‘chez vous’.

    H4H has left the building (for today).

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 12:02 am

  33. That is very interesting.

    Ben Goldacre’ site, my site, and the Gaurdiand CiF site automatically allow posts, but are deleted later if libelous etc.

    Your site and the Daily Mail site have to pre-approve and control every comment. Is it something about ‘authority’?

    Why should that be? You are welcome to post on my site at any time.

    Why are my comments annoying?

    Comment by le canard noir — 16 February 2008 @ 12:18 am

  34. It’s called diversity. We can all choose the way we wish to be, we can choose to do things differently. It is my blog and not a forum. I don’t want a gang of skeptic hooligans jumping all over the place when I am away, pointing and laughing and trashing it thanks very much. Do you speak at parties the way you speak here? It’s like talking to a very loud head boy and my reaction is not to talk to you.

    My suggestion is that we take ONLY one point at a time and if you could avoid making completely closed categorical statements entirely based on logic consisting entirely of ‘no it isn’t’ it would really help, although I think that would be a challenge for you.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 11:29 am

  35. Another suggestion: how about starting with you defining some common ground between the science concepts suggested by the article and homeopathic thinking and then defining the differences? If you are just going to stay on your side of the river and shout over to us on the other side it doesn’t help.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 11:40 am

  36. Skeptics are under the impression that this blog is about debating homeopathy. It’s not. I don’t mind discussion but I don’t do ‘logical’ debate.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 1:26 pm

  37. http://www.badscience.net/?p=611
    Harlequin said,
    February 16, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Interesting story here on the the state’s response to foreign substances in the water:
    http://www.publicintegrity.org/GreatLakes/index.htm Public Health Implications of Hazardous Substances in the Twenty-Six U.S. Great Lakes

    Still there?

    Comment by auquai — 16 February 2008 @ 4:10 pm

  38. http://www.badscience.net/?p=601

    Harlequin said,
    January 24, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Mobile phone insomnia
    22/01/2008

    A study funded by mobile phone companies has suggested that radiation from handsets can cause insomnia, headaches and confusion in users.

    http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=conWebDoc.17046

    Still there?

    Comment by auquai — 16 February 2008 @ 4:12 pm

  39. Nope.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 4:14 pm

  40. I’m thinking of setting up a blog: GoldacreWatch 🙂

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 4:15 pm

  41. Lewis: “auquai – obviously incapable of addressing the ball.”
    Foul! Ad hom attack! LOL.

    “Am I wrong? Goldacre does not do this.” Wrong, see 2 posts above, deleted from bad science.

    “Ad Hom?” My misunderstanding, you appeared to accuse me of ad hom against you. Goldacre states his blog is not censored, but I have shown it is. The 2 posts copied here in their entirety were just contributions to ongoing threads, but deleted. If you wish to repeat they were libellous, go ahead.

    “do you just want to attack people?” Having just made the effort to aquaint myself with your provocatively titled blog, its deleted pages, and your history of attacking people as ‘murderers’ and ‘killers’, I’m amazed that h4h allows you in here at all. And you won’t get another word out of me, on this or any other topic, matey.

    Comment by auquai — 16 February 2008 @ 4:26 pm

  42. auquai maybe your comment didn’t get approved because that study was woeful and woefully reported. See my blog here and here for details.

    Comment by gimpy — 16 February 2008 @ 4:31 pm

  43. Oh and homeopathy4health you may not do logical debate but scientific arguments are constructed logically so perhaps you would be best staying out of things you don’t understand.

    Comment by gimpy — 16 February 2008 @ 4:32 pm

  44. Yes, pot and kettle back at yer black duck!

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 4:34 pm

  45. ‘perhaps you would be best staying out of things you don’t understand.’ same to you ‘Gimpy with a first aid certificate’.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 4:40 pm

  46. homeopathy4health, do you think qualifications give an argument more authority?

    I am trying to understand homeopathy as should be clear from the fact that I am ploughing my way through the Organon as you well know. May I suggest, with the utmost respect, that you acquire enough scientific knowledge to understand why comparisons with ethanol or solid substances are useless when trying to argue for the memory of water.

    Comment by gimpy — 16 February 2008 @ 5:18 pm

  47. not exactly qualifications but experience, as I have explained to you before.

    I am not arguing, merely reporting and happy to have links and reasonably expressed points of view countering the reports. It’s pretty pointless trying to be definitive in the current situation.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 5:46 pm

  48. If you don’t care about qualifications then why must you repeatedly make jibes about my confession that I have a couple of first aid certificates?

    However, I am intrigued by your point as it suggests that you do not understand the science. Instead you seek to place a value on evidence by whether or not it confirms your prejudices, or on the authority of the provider. This does seem to indicate that you are not in any position to judge whether or not evidence supports homeopathy. So why bring it up?

    Comment by gimpy — 16 February 2008 @ 5:51 pm

  49. gimpy: I’m well aware the mobile study has shortcomings, but how does censoring it help public understanding? And that has not been the only post to be pulled shortly after appearing online. The Great Lakes study appears to be good science, trashed by CDC purely because inconvenient to corporate and state interests, and no doubt the fear of massive class actions for damages. In my original posting on bad science, I pointed out the difficulty of finding an appropriate topic area for it. If you thought ‘water’ and ‘stifling criticism’ ought to accommodate the Great Lakes survey, think again. It’s been deleted twice, now. More scrutiny of the credentials and credibility of the public arbiters and mediators of science is required, not less. I don’t think bad science helps in that regard, saving most of its ire for easy targets such as naughty nutritionists, and avoiding hard questions about corporate influence on science, government and public health, for starters. A sideshow, really.

    Comment by auquai — 16 February 2008 @ 6:09 pm

  50. ‘Instead you seek to place a value on evidence by whether or not it confirms your prejudices, or on the authority of the provider.’ No I don’t.

    Why bring it up? Why not? Let the public know the possible explanations for homeopathy. Why ‘stifle’ it as auquai says.

    My problems with Andy Lewis’s posts are he says things like this: ‘it’s just this, only that’, very closed definitions. As I have said before, known science is only a subset of what actually happens, we don’t have it all sewn up and I will reject any implication that a particular definition is set in concrete. The wikipedia page on hormesis is a complete rag bag of ideas and notions so for him to say it’s ‘just’ anything is ridiculous.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 6:31 pm

  51. So I am happy to accept this link to the quackometer blog about Mastrangelo’s paper:

    http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2007/06/begging-question-for-homeopathy.html

    [although it hasn’t appeared in a peer-reviewed journal]

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 7:35 pm

  52. perhaps a short extract from that blog item too.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 7:35 pm

  53. and having scanned it quickly, it has a much more reasonable tone than Andy Lewis’s posts here.

    So let’s try that approach to posting here shall we?

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 7:45 pm

  54. I think blogs are an excellent idea. And one of the great things about them is that people can interact through comments. You put some ideas out into the world and see how people respond. Do your ideas stand up to scrutiny? My blog is open in that I am not afraid of people robustly criticing what I do. If someone shows that I am wrong, then I have learnt something new. If a blog is merely about providing a platform without allowing direct criticism, then it looks more like propoganda to me.

    I am not sure how bewaiwai has proved Goldacre censors posts. Maybe I am being thick, but how do we know the posts were there in the first place. If posts are deleted maybe because tey are off topic. I might not do that, but I can see why it would be done. Strangely, only my posts on this blog so far have directly criticised the ideas raised in the original article and yet I am supposed to feel bad for doing so?

    I am also at a loss about how to respond to the ideas that we should not use logic or science here. Since, the original article is supposed to be a logical attempt to argue a case based on supposed science, I cannot see how else we should respond. It was not a piece of poetry. How should people respond. Praise?

    Which brings me back to my posts. Post 11 is perhaps my main comment. Five points are made that I believe show the original article to be flawed. I am not using closed definitions when I say things like ‘water is H20’. That is an agreed definition. It is difficult to see how I could soften the punch a bit when I say that making the statement that ‘water changes its molecular structure’ is utter nonsense. H4H – you either know enough science to agree, or do not know and so should admit your inability to comment?

    Is anyone actually prepared to discuss these five criticisms of the post? Or do you still want to trade insults?

    H4H – if you do not want to discuss your orinial post, why did you publish it?

    Comment by le canard noir — 16 February 2008 @ 8:24 pm

  55. Defintions of ‘blog’:

    A frequently updated journal or diary usually, often hosted by a third party.
    http://www.e-gain.co.uk/online_marketing/news_articles/Search%20Engine%20Marketing/4

    An online Journal.
    matra.sourceforge.net/misc/glossary.php

    Short for “Web log,” a specialized site that allows an individual or group of individuals to share a running log of events and personal insights with online audiences. Blogs with political or current-events themes have grown in popularity and become “soap boxes” for instant mass-audience commentary.
    http://www.pvt.com/oth/glossary.htm

    Web LOG is a journal kept on the Internet. This journal is often updated daily and contains all information that the person maintaining the BLOG (the blogger) wishes to share with the world. …
    http://www.avatar.co.nz/resources/web-site-design-web-marketing-definitions-b.html

    Like an online dairy. This can be about and be used for anything at all, it can be used for news, reviews, products etc for a business, organisation etc. This is great as it helps the user stay in touch with the website with new and up to date information.
    germworks.net/blog/2007/02/11/web-jargon-explained/

    A blog is information that is instantly published to a Web site. Blog scripting allows someone to automatically post information to a Web site. The information first goes to a blogger Web site. Then the information is automatically inserted into a template tailored for your Web site.
    mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/netterms.htm

    A BLOG is a publication of personal thoughts, experiences, and web links. It is updated frequently and is usually a mixture of what is happening in a person’s life and what is happening on the web or in the media. …
    http://www.simplehostfinder.com/glossary.html

    A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.
    keywordmktg.com/Glossary.aspx

    This is a web log or online diary hosted on specific sites such as http://www.blogger.com. It offers readers the opportunity to reply to opinions and link to their own blogs.
    http://www.iab.ie/FAQs/DefinitionofTerms/

    A web-based publication consisting of periodic contributions, often in reverse chronological order.
    studio.brightcove.com/library/help/glossary_help.cfm

    (from “web log”) A journal on the web, which may be pubic or private, individual or collaborative. Blogs defined in wikipedia [top of page]
    iws.cit.cornell.edu/iws2/technology/techinfo.cfm

    BLOG is short for Web log, and our Web pages that work as a journal that our normally updated daily. Blogging sites can provide excellent information on many topics, although content can be subjective.
    http://www.le.ac.uk/webcentre/help/glossary.html

    Blog, short for web log, an online diary written on a computer and posted on the World Wide Web.
    http://www.zwischenbericht.telekom.de/site0107/en/co/glossar/index.php

    A blog (short for weblog) is an online journal or diary of an individual’s opinions and latest news that is updated regularly, in chronological order. Many blogs allow visitors to make comments, or “postings” in response to the blogger, or ask questions.
    http://www.nowwearetalking.com.au/Home/Page.aspx

    A blog (short for “Web Log”) is basically a journal or personal diary that is available on the web. Blogs are typically updated daily using content management software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain them.
    newsletter.blizzardinternet.com/tech-glossary/

    An online diary where people can post messages and others may view and respond to the posts.
    http://www.legalinternetmarketing.com/seo-glossary.html

    This is a term coming from the combination of the terms web log – it is a web page that serves as publicly accessible journal for the author. It can be formal or informal, is usually updated daily and reflects the personality of the author. More Information…
    tig.lsc.gov/techglossary.php

    Blog is a web journal which is otherwise called as a “weblog”. entries are made on a regular or daily basis in a blog like an online diary. Some blogs have definite authors who disclose their names and some with anonymous authors who use a nickname.
    http://www.searchenginegenie.com/search-engine-glossary-b.htm

    A “web log” or online diary. Blogs have been identified as an increasingly popular source of online publication, especially regarding political information, opinion publication and alternative news coverage.
    http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/SARC/E-Democracy/Final_Report/Glossary.htm

    Weblog, a website with a series of postings. Blogs are easily written and published via a webform using a free or low cost software. Many libraries use a blog format as their website.
    http://www.selco.lib.mn.us/help/glossary.html

    (from ‘Web log’) an online journal that is easy to update with short messages and links. The software takes care of generating pages and indexes from the various items that you ‘blog’.
    http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/handbook/web/glossary.htm

    This is the slang term for web log. It is a journal that is kept on the internet. Someone who keeps a journal on the internet like this is called a blogger. They are typically updated daily or on a regular basis. …
    http://www.corporatewebsitemarketing.com/search-engine-marketing-glossary.html

    The word blog is derived from the combination of the two words, web and log. Blogs are virtual diaries created by individuals and stored on the Internet. Blogs generally consist of text and images and can appear in a calendar type format.
    http://www.netalert.net.au/03003-Glossary.asp

    A weblog, web log or simply a blog; a web application which contains periodic posts on a common webpage. These are often but don’t have to be in reverse chronological order. The term “blog” came into common use as a way of avoiding confusion with the term “server log”.
    http://www.master-web.org/glossary.php

    Blogs, a derivation from Web logs, are user-generated Websites for personal use, much like journal entries. Blogs evolve around a certain subject, be it a personal blog where the “blogger” writes in first person, or a political blog, commentary on local news and so on. …
    http://www.dottraffic.com/glossary/

    web log: a shared on-line journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies; “postings on a blog are usually in chronological order”
    read, write, or edit a shared on-line journal
    wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    A blog is a user-generated website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 8:41 pm

  56. Re H20: you are confusing

    molecular formula:

    Medical Dictionary: molecular formula

    n.
    A chemical formula that shows the number and kinds of atoms in a molecule.

    with molecular structure:

    Definitions of Molecular structure on the Web:

    the three – dimensional arrangement of atoms in a molecule
    http://www.course-notes.org/Chemistry/Vocabulary/M_-_Glossary/

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 8:52 pm

  57. No matter how you say it water still consists of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen covaletntly bonded. The distance between the O and the H atoms is about an angstrom and the angle between is about 104 degrees. Water’s structure/composition does not change under homeopathic preparation. There is no evidence for this and the papers mentioned in the above article give no evidence for this. The memory of water, if it is real, suggests that stable clusters are formed between water molecules, presumably electrostatically bu van der Waals interactions. There is no change in water compostion or structure. The rao paper provides no evidence for this, not least, because it studied ethanol.

    The writer of the above article was, at best, sloppy, at worst, misleading.

    Comment by le canard noir — 16 February 2008 @ 9:07 pm

  58. not sure what that blog bit was about!

    Comment by le canard noir — 16 February 2008 @ 9:08 pm

  59. Ok, thank you for your comments. Next point of contention? (will be responded to tomorrow)

    Comment by homeopathy4health — 16 February 2008 @ 9:14 pm

  60. Well let me summarise my five points very quicly as it is a long time ago:

    1)Hormesis is a low dose phenomenon, not a ‘no dose’ phenomenon.
    2)Epitaxy is a solid state process and does not occur in liquid phase ‘substrates’.
    3)The molecular structure of water does not change and the papers presented do not discuss this.
    4)Rao (bizarrely) used ethanol rather than water and failed in ensuring stock consistency to eliminate contamination differences.
    5)Benveniste’s work has not been independently reproduced in an acceptable manner. Belon has a massive conflict of interest in presenting the same work again.

    Comment by le canard noir — 16 February 2008 @ 9:34 pm

  61. Well, blow me down, only this morning the Great Lakes its-just-water story posted on bad science at 4.01pm yesterday, and then pulled (as confirmed by h4h at 4.16), has magically REAPPEARED. I still prefer the original Valentine’s day posting that was promptly disappeared:

    ====
    http://www.badscience.net/?p=611#more-611
    Harlequin said,
    February 14, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Somewhat off the fluoride topic, but worth a look:

    http://www.publicintegrity.org/GreatLakes/index.htm

    I couldn’t find an appropriate thread to post on, as ‘water’ and ’stifling criticism’ appeared to be otherwise engaged.
    ====

    Comment by auquai — 17 February 2008 @ 12:19 pm

  62. […] hasard, parmi les blogues les plus lus aujourd’hui figure Homeopathy4health, avec un billet tentant de défendre cette fausse médecine qu’est l’homéopathie contre l’habituelle – et totalement vraie, juste, bonne et fondée – accusation voulant que […]

    Pingback by Le délire de l’homéopathie « MB’s Chaos — 17 February 2008 @ 6:16 pm

  63. […] and unknown the science of water is. Not simple and never ‘just water’ as I’ve said before: Homeopathy myths: it’s just water and Homeopathy myths: it’s just water […]

    Pingback by The ‘New Age of Water - the most significant scientific discovery of this century’. « Homeopathy4health — 2 April 2008 @ 3:44 pm


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