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Skeptical Analysis of the Paranormal Society

"Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde."

—Voltaire

Homeopathy Explained

SAPS explains the practice of homeopathy

Homeopathy is a system of medicine devised on the basis of three basic principles.

The first principle is "Like cures like," meaning that a substance that would normally cause the symptom you are experiencing will, in fact, cure it. So, if you are suffering from, say, lung cancer, breathing asbestos should be an effective homeopathic treatment.

However, before testing out this incredibly risky treatment, we reach the second principle of homeopathy which is "dilution".

Homeopathic remedies are incredibly diluted. So much so that, in fact, there is little to no remedy in them. The remedy is taken in a standard (though sometimes this can vary) dilution of one part remedy to 1,000,000,000,000 parts water. Rather like dumping a teaspoon in the ocean. This is why some homeopathic remedies claim to contain poison. It is possible, for example, to purchase homeopathic arsenic or homeopathic belladonna. If you decide to take these, it is highly unlikely that the product will actually contain belladonna or arsenic in a high enough quantity to be measured.

Recently, a group of Belgian scientists, opposing the decision of insurance companies to pay for homeopathic treatments, tried to prove that homeopathic remedies do not actually contain anything.

They decided to commit suicide by homeopathy, and overdosed on various homeopathic treatments.

You can read the results of the mass suicide attempt here: http://www.randi.org/jr/060404mass.html

The third principle of homeopathy is "Single Remedy." No matter how many symptoms you have, they can all be cured with a single remedy, taken with nothing else.

So, looking over these, you must take filler, and the filler will cure you because:

A) Homeopathic treatments are poison that will make you ill except...

B) They don't actually contain anything measurable and...

C) One type of homeopathic remedy, which is supposed to be poison but contains basically nothing, will cure everything that is wrong with you.

The premise, while silly when laid out in these terms, is not silly to people who practice it. Sometimes really ill individuals latch onto homeopathy. It's a bad choice, but is it really? Could there be some secret of homeopathy that we just don't know yet?

SAPS has decided to find out. See what happens when SAPS tests Washington Homeopathic Products Homeopathic Sulphur.

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All content © 2007 by Alison Smith
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