29 June 2013

Why hounding homeopaths is both batty and arrogant.

“Ultimately what Nightingale is attacking is the intelligence and judgement of people who are trying to find an effective way to heal themselves. If homeopathy, which even its most virulent critics cannot claim is remotely likely to be harmful, works for you, then someone needs to combine serious arrogance with real battiness to believe they have the right to stand in the way.”

 Body of Evidence

There is no shortage of villains in the world. Psychopaths – domestic and national – whalers, toxic waste dumpers, global eavesdroppers, billionaire tax avoiders and their army of accountants –  all well worth campaigning against with the aim of getting them banged up or forced to cough up.

There is also an infinite supply of people who are mildly irritating who misplace apostrophes, wear Croc shoes, do crochet, litter their sentences with “you know” and text using their middle finger.

However most of us can tell the difference. In fact mixing the two categories up is a pretty reliable indicator of a serious level of battiness . Picketing shops that sell Crocs or campaigning to forbid the sale of mobiles to clumsy texters puts you firmly in the mild-to-fairly-irritating and definitely-a-bit -potty class.

Step forward the Nightingale Collaboration, earnest and self-styled defender of rationalism, whose seriously potty members have got…

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27 February 2010

Who are the MPs who recommend the end of homeopathy in the NHS?

Voice of (Not So) Young Homeopathy:

“Stop funding NHS Homeopathy, MPs urge”. But who are these MPs?

The Science and Technology Committe report was ‘ratified by THREE MPs: TWO of whom were NOT EVEN PRESENT AT THE COMMITTEE MEETINGS  – and ONE of the two was NOT EVEN A MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE when the hearings were held, and is due to stand down at the election in May this year.’

‘Evan Harris, associate of Sense About Science and it’s fair to say rabid anti-homeopathy campaigner, 1023 participant and ’senior counsel for the prosecution’.

Ian Cawsey – IT expert, who joined the S and T committee in October 2009, just a month before the meetings and yet chose not to attend the committee’s investigation – in fact was nowhere to be seen until the ratification meeting.

Doug Naysmith – an immunologist – did not join the S and T committee until January 2010 – so was not even on the committee until after all the hearings – yet was present for the ratification of the report.  And he is standing down at the next election.  Surely not?’

26 November 2009

Parliamentary Science and Technology Evidence check for Homeopathy

Thanks to ‘Voice of (not so) Young Homeopathy’ for their comments on this week’s Parliamentary Science and Technology Evidence check for Homeopathy here:


You can watch the whole meeting here:   http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=5221

Vo(ns)YH promises a transcript too.

Some funny moments: I thought Goldacre’s comment that he wasn’t interested in Physics quite hilarious given that homeopathy allegedly ‘goes against all its laws’, and Ernst saying that he thought it was the long consultation that helped homeopathic patients REALLY begged the question: ‘is there any evidence for that? and if there is then why does the NHS only allow 10 minutes?’ and David Colquhoun got a dishonourable mention about going around collecting anecdotal evidence.

I’m disappointed that no-one mentioned that only 13% of NHS treatments are backed by solid evidence: http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/ceweb/about/knowledge.jsp

Update: Here is the evidence supplied to the committee:


22 December 2007

Fundamentalism – one of the great problems facing the world – leading to extreme scientism?

Homeopaths will recognise some of the themes in Dr Barry Morgan’s speech about how the rise in fundamentalism is polarising the world, in the current negativity about homeopathy from sceptic scientists who claim homeopathy has no scientific proof and should therefore be excluded from the already limited NHS provision despite high levels of reported effectiveness.  Is this homeophobia an indication of how extreme fundamentalist scientism will shape future health care?


The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, has described a rise in “fundamentalism” as one of the great problems facing the world.

He focused on what he described as “atheistic fundamentalism”.

He said it led to situations such as councils calling Christmas “Winterval”, schools refusing to put on nativity plays and crosses removed from chapels.

In his Christmas message, he said: “Any kind of fundamentalism, be it Biblical, atheistic or Islamic, is dangerous.”

The archbishop said “atheistic fundamentalism” was a new phenomenon.

He said it advocated that religion in general and Christianity in particular have no substance, and that some view the faith as “superstitious nonsense“.

God is not exclusive, he is on the side of the whole of humanity with all its variety
Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan

As well as leading to Christmas being called “Winterval,” the archbishop said “virulent, almost irrational” attacks on Christianity led to hospitals removing all Christian symbols from their chapels, and schools refusing to allow children to send Christmas cards with a Christian message.

He also said it led to things like “airlines refusing staff the freedom to wear a cross round their necks” – a reference to the row in which British Airways (BA) suspended an employee who insisted on wearing a cross necklace.

Dr Morgan said: “All of this is what I would call the new “fundamentalism” of our age. It allows no room for disagreement, for doubt, for debate, for discussion.

Children's nativity play

Only one in five schools perform a traditional nativity, say bishops

“It leads to the language of expulsion and exclusivity, of extremism and polarisation, and the claim that, because God is on our side, he is not on yours.”

He said the nativity story in St Luke’s Gospel, in contrast, had a “message of joy and good news for everyone”.

He said: “God is not exclusive, he is on the side of the whole of humanity with all its variety.”

Dr Morgan said it was “perfectly natural” to have a “coherent and rational debate about the tenets of the Christianity”.

But he said “virulent, almost irrational” attacks on it were “dangerous” because they refused to allow any contrary viewpoint and also affected the public perception of religion.

This month community cohesion minister Parmjit Dhanda said the UK should “celebrate” the role of Christianity in the country’s heritage and culture.

His comments came after Mark Pritchard, Conservative MP for The Wrekin, called a Westminster debate on “Christianophobia“, saying attempts to move Christian traditions to the “margins” of British life had “gone far enough”.

The National Secular Society has said Christians in the UK have “nothing to complain about“.

10 December 2007

Growing acceptance of Homeopathy – under threat in UK

Homeopathy is gaining acceptance in large economies such as India and France.  Unfortunately a small group of skeptic scientists  are impeding its use in Britain by a concerted propaganda campaign against NHS homeopathic hospitals, homeopathy and homeopathic professionals.   Is it moral to prevent the UK taxpayer access to a form of medicine that many people find effective worldwide?  Will we all end up having to go abroad for treatment?

Homeo biz to touch $500m: Times of India 10th December 2007

‘Sujata Dutta Sachdeva | TNN

New Delhi: For years, it has grown quietly in the shadows of the pharma industry, settling for second place to allopathy. But now things are changing fast. Finally, the Indian homeopathy industry is coming out on its own. Estimated to be worth Rs 1,250 crore, the industry is now growing at 25-30% and by 2010, it’s expected to touch Rs 2,600 crore. In fact, more and more people are turning to homeopathy as a first line of treatment, especially for chronic ailments. That’s because it has effective remedies for many diseases now. Perhaps this explains the sudden mushrooming of practitioners in every corner of urban India. Realising its importance, many hospitals too have started enlisting homeopaths in their panel of doctors.
   Interestingly, not only India, the homeopathy industry has seen exceptional growth across the globe. The size of the global industry has gone beyond Rs 135 billion and it’s growing at around 25% per annum. At Rs 45 billion, France has the largest homeopathy industry in the world. This was revealed by a study done by Assocham. ‘

9 December 2007

Skeptics critical of homeopathy/alt med are not interested in your health…

they are only interested if something is scientific or not.

 You can tell by the tags they use in their blogs, the tag ‘health’ never appears.  So their criticisms of homeopathy or other alternative medicine, and of the ‘deluded’ people who use them do not appear to those of us who are interested in their own health and the health of others and use the tag ‘health’.  They feed off each other and egg each other on in their own scientific beliefs.


Ben Goldacre: http://badscience.net/


 David Colquhoun: http://dcscience.net/

Have a look see how much they know about science and how much they know about health.  Your health.

Update 2nd Jan 2008: my suspicions about Goldacre confirmed: Goldacre’s conflicts of interest exposed

5 December 2007

Ineffective medications call the double blind placebo controlled clinical trial into question

Freetochoosehealth weblog : Conventional medicines ineffective for sinus infections

So our suspicions may be correct about prescription medicines being ineffective.  But surely these medications have been subject to double blind placebo controlled trials for effectiveness before being released to the public?  Does this mean that these trials are not a good indicator of how drugs will perform out of the laboratory?   How much are people paying out for these ineffective treatments?

And how on earth do doctors decide what is an effective treatment with conflicting trial data?

4 December 2007

Concerted campaign against homeopathy by skeptic individuals – confirmed

We homeopaths are not ‘deluded’ or ‘paranoid’ about the recent activism against homeopathy.

James Randi forum: Individual activism against homeopathy


 ‘Acting alone is very hard work. I managed to pull together a small group of people who have made concrete progress in reducing UK public spending on homeopathy, but it helped a lot that these were prominent scientists and physicians. Small groups have disproportionately increased power – the homeopaths think we are a huge and wealthy organisation!’

Not any more

How come a small group of self-appointed prejudiced individuals can drive health policy in the UK?

Skeptic insults to homeopaths – daily count – December 4th 2007

‘nitwit’ :  1
‘religious shit’: 1

 Homeopathy is in the Bible. (freetochoosehealth blog)

Scienceup: ‘This religious shit is for nitwits like you. Just show us some scientific proof and stop the religious mumbo jumbo.’

This manages to insult both homeopaths and religions.

But on the whole a fairly pleasant day’s postings. 

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