Saturday, January 30, 2010

Simon Singh and Andy Lewis on homeopathy

Simon Singh and Andy Lewis (Quackometer) discuss homeopathy, filmed by myself at the CFI UK Trick or Treatment event (preceded by 10:23)

Postscript - now showing new version kindly edited for CFI UK by Mark Williams.

2 comments:

Marc said...

There isn't any credible evidence to show that homeopathy works. Any impartial person who looks at the evidence knows this. I think it is an interesting psychological question of why so many people seem to believe they are effective. Obviously the personal anecdotes of people who have been "healed" by these types of "medicines" are important. Also, the credibility given to them when they are placed alongside actual medicines in shops like Boots. With regards to the mass overdose, Paula Ross (The Society of Homeopaths chief executive)said: "This is an ill-advised publicity stunt in very poor taste, which does nothing to advance the scientific debate about how homeopathy actually works."
If someone had suffered severe side effects from the overdose I'm sure The Society of Homeopaths would have jumped on this case of evidence that they're "treatments" actually work. The really worrying aspect of this story though is that "from 2005 to 2008 the NHS spent almost £12m on homeopathic treatments"
Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8489019.stm
Although £12 million is not that much in consideration of the whole NHS budget over three years, it is still a considerable amount. It also gives the impression of credibility to homeopathic treatments which they simply don't deserve. If the NHS had spent £12 million on a type of reverse voodoo in which little dolls of patients are treated there would be outrage. Why? Because it is clearly quack medicine. Why? Because there is no credible research at all which supports it. Hopefully the mass overdose and other events like it will help to persuade people that homeopathy is bogus, but it'll be a hard task.
Regards,
Marc Zeller

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