Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Argument Against Arguing Against Homeopathy

In Canada, folks are getting angry about homeopathy. Follow the link to read a rebuttal of a letter to the editor which is a rebuttal of another opinion piece against homeopathy. In the letter, responding to the letter, responding to the article, a Mr Marc Carrier,  makes hay about the psuedoscience of homeopathy. The content is of course, like most anti-pseudoscience retoric, falls upon deaf ears (as does most writing unless someone reads it aloud). More specifically. the author makes many mistakes and does not take into account basic tenants of pseudoscience that would effectively persuade their audience to abandon their ways.

The staff at Boys Books is always surprised by anti-homeopathy rhetoric on several fronts. First, arguments against pseudoscience would be more effective if diluted. The entire response would convince the homeopaths to abandon their ways if you had just one comma. However, since homeopathy is based on diluting poisons that create similar symptoms as the disease, the argument would need to be 'for' the suspension of rational thought, rather than 'against' it. In other words, the context of the comma is important to the cure.

Next is that the best arguments are anecdotal. There is no science behind the homeopathic cures, of course not! Grandma took homeopathic remedies, and it did not work for her! No reason why it would definitely work for you now.  Why, because grandma didn't believe in homeopathy and you do! That's just science! We know it is because we used the exclamation points!

The next step is to explain homeopathy in the context of history. Did you know that Homeopathy was invented because doctors at the time were prescribing poisons? Poisons including lead and strychnine  were used. We don't really know why, maybe because poisons could kill parasites or a dead patient is a cured patient? In fact, doctors of that day did not know about germ theory, surgeons didn't even wash their hands.

Finally is that most anti-homeopathic arguments summarize the homeopathic process. Instead, they should be much more descriptive to allow their readers to fully understand how utterly modern the drug preparation process is compared to even today's chemistry intensive process of modern medicine. Here is a quick summary of what the proper homeopathic label should look like:

  1. Find a poison that duplicates symptoms of a disease or something that cures the disease or even sound like it might cure the disease or just a cool name (basically anything, there are no rules).
  2. Dilute one part poison to 100 parts of mixing medium (water, alcohol, or milk sugar).
  3. Strike the mixing container with a leather strap stuffed with horse hair 5 times.
  4. Dilute one part of mixture to 100 parts of of the mixture medium.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there is no possibility of a biological effect from the poison.
  6. Price marked up for a lot of money because it has been scientifically proven that when you have a higher price.
The next step is challenge the homeopathic hatters to an experiment. If homeopathy works, prove it! Start with a beer colored with a few drops of green food coloring. Then, using the technique described above, create homeopathic green beer. If by definition a dilution of a poison, and alcohol is a poison, can cure a symptom (in this case intoxication, then a homeopathic beer should make you sober. Because of the green food coloring, it should also make you drunk as an Irishman kissing the Blarney Stone.

There you go! All done. Everyone will know that Homeopathy will soon surpass real medicine and nobody will be under-hydrated again!