One more thing occurred to me after reading yesterday’s post from The Quackometer - The Society of Homeopaths: Truth Matters – it was a quote from Dr Peter Fisher (who is apparently Brenda’s Homeopath). Fisher was talking about how some homeopaths recommended sugar pills to protect against malaria:
"I'm very angry about it because people are going to get malaria - there is absolutely no reason to think that homeopathy works to prevent malaria and you won't find that in any textbook or journal of homeopathy so people will get malaria, people may even die of malaria if they follow this advice."
Well, of course, we should be grateful that a senior homeopath feels able to say this. But I wondered, how does he know? Seriously, how does he know that homeopathy is no good for malaria? What method is he applying to determine that homeopathy is no good for malaria?
Now, I know what method I apply to determine that homeopathy is no good for malaria. I consider homeopathy’s total implausibility, plus the knowledge that Hahnemann simply made the whole thing up, and combine that with the fact that homeopathy always fails well run trials such as these 110 trials that homeopathy failed – and I determine homeopathy doesn’t work. But the conclusion I come to from this is that homeopathy is no good for anything.
But Fisher presumably thinks homeopathy works for something. Certainly, The Queen’s homeopath should believe the stuff works for something, wouldn’t you think? For example, homeopathy is supposed to work for anything from allergies to rheumatoid arthritis. So what consistent method is he applying to evaluate homeopathy, where the conclusion is that homeopathy works for (say) allergies , but that it is no good for malaria? Has he run tests? Tests where homeopathy succeeds with allergies but fails with malaria? And where can we read about these tests? Because they must exist, right? Otherwise, how does he know?
Edited to add: And remember, Hahnemann’s belief that like cures like started after he discovered that taking quinine to treat malaria produced the same symptoms in a healthy person as malaria itself. It’s from this that he drew up the Law of Similars. In other words, homeopathy started with the principle that homeopathic quinine should prevent and/or cure malaria. So if homeopathy works for anything it should work for malaria, wouldn’t you think? So what does Fisher know that Hahnemann didn’t, and how does he know it?
The alternative is that Fisher knows homeopathy is nothing but a placebo, and that a placebo isn’t good enough to prevent malaria.
Can that really be what he means? Inquiring minds want to know.