Homeopathy4health

21 December 2008

James Randi avoids homeopathic challenge for $1 million prize

I have long suspected that James Randi is ‘all mouth and trousers’.  It seems he has been avoiding Professor George Vithoulkas’s proposed experiment ‘to prove that there is a biological effect on human organism from the ultra high dilutions of homeopathic remedies beyond the Avogadro number’, for two years and claims on his website that the homeopaths have withdrawn.  Professor Vithoulkas states:

“In 2002 the BBC Horizon program presented a documentary that showed that the Benveniste experiment about homeopathy was a fake one and therefore… homeopathy was also fake! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2512105.stm

Mr.Vithoulkas had repeatedly stressed in many communications that the experiment was in any case a falsely conceived one from its very beginning (see the correspondence). The opponents of homeopathy basing in this false experiment by Benveniste their hypocritical arguments maintained that homeopathy was simply placebo effect.

Mr Randi after this false experiment (ignoring all other experiments that showed the effect of homeopathy) declared in his website (http://www.randi.org/) that whoever could prove the validity of the action of a homeopathically potentized remedy beyond the Avogadro number would be winning one million $ as a prize.

Mr Vithoulkas challenged this statement and with this idea a new experiment was conceived that would prove that the highly potentized remedies could actually have a biological effect upon the human organism.

The experiment was simple: An individualized remedy would be given to a number of patients in a double blind fashion and half of the patients would receive placebo the other half would get the real remedy. The Greek Homeopathic physicians that would participate in taking of the cases and prescribing the remedies should point out in the end of the experiment the ones that they had got the real remedy.

The protocol was structured by a group of internationally known scientists and the experiment had to take place in one of the hospitals in Athens.

What follows is the real story (with facts in correspondence that transpired) of how through several “tricks”, Mr.Randi refused to go through the experiment and rescued his million.

We sent the following statement to Mr. Randi in order to be posted to his website but he refused to post it. Read

1 September 2008

Downloadable research on very low dose/high dilution effects

GIRI: ‘Groupe International de Researche sur l’Infinetismal’ / International Research Group on Very Low Dose and High Dilution Effects is a group that ‘organises workshops yearly throughout the world. It convenes systematically in congresses during each of the International Encounters of Monaco. The aim of the GIRI is to bring together pharmacologists, biologists, physicians, chemists and physicists to communicate, exchange experiences and develop joint research projects; the distinctive feature of the research activities of the group is the study of ultra low dose impulses or very high dilutions, homœopathics included. Although the mechanism of action of the very diluted solutions of active principles on biological systems is an important concern of the GIRI, the major interest of the Group is directed towards the possible medicinal and therapeutic relevance of the very low doses. More than one hundred persons are GIRI members, coming from 20 different countries.’

They are publishing a book (downloadable here):

“Signals and Images”

Selected papers from the 7th and 8th GIRI Meeting, held in Montpellier, France, November 20-21, 1993, and Jerusalem, Israel, December 10-11, 1994
Edited by Madeleine Bastide, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Montpellier I, France
Kluver Academic Press

We are now able to propose a book which includes 23 full papers from more than fifty contributors corresponding to the two last GIRI meetings: the 7th (held in Montpellier, France, on 20-21 November 1993) and the 8th (held in Jerusalem, Israel, on 10-11 December 1994). The GIRI gets bigger every year and now includes more than 100 members from 22 different countries. This evolution stimulates more and more researches on this subject often considered as scientific nonsense or a scientific error. All these papers have been reviewed according to the standards of scientific publications and many of them are now published in regular scientific journals. They illustrate perfectly the evolution of the ideas and the new experimental and theoretical approaches of this uncommon research. It becomes obvious that different hypothesis can enlighten the interpretations of these different papers. Part of them can be interpretated according to the classical way of thinking; but the true interpretation of the similia law of homeopathic medicine is quite different from the mechanistic approach.

To help the reader, the papers will be organized into four chapters; each chapter will be introduced by a short analysis of the papers included.

The “Introduction” debates the question of scientific evolution and revolution in the context of modern science.

The 1st chapter “Hormesis” gathers together all the papers related to this concept: these models are often evoked to demonstrate or to explain the similia law although hormesis is always based on a relationship of identity.

The 2nd chapter “In Vitro and in Vivo Experimental Models” includes many experiments which demonstrate low dose or high dilution activity and is introduced by a summary of classical receptology.

The 3rd chapter “Therapeutics and Provings “ discusses the question of analysis of the symptoms in a systemic way of thinking and also includes pathogenetic studies (provings) as well as homeopathic therapeutic studies in humans or in animals.

The last chapter presents an “Epistemologic Approach” which become necessary in order to enlarge the possibility of interpretation of the law of similarity and the high dilution effectiveness considering that these dilutions are above the Avogadro number.

This new field of research is very exciting and introduces new scientific concepts supported by experimental results. Above all, we observe that this nascent science is totally concerned by “living” organisms and as such, it becomes necessary to define what we design as “information” brought by non-molecular high dilutions.

This book presents the brain-storming work of this research group and is one of the starting points of a scientific evolution: ” The proliferation of concurrent variants of the conventional paradigm, the fact of being willing to try anything, the expression of marked discontent, recourse to philosophy and discussion on the theoretical foundations, all signs are many symptoms of a passage from normal research to extraordinary research”. T.S.Kuhn, 1962, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.MB

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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