The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A YouTube Homeopath Cites POSITIVE Evidence

This guy on YouTube (I know...I know...picking the high fruit again, I am) who says he's a homeopath is trying to explain how it works. He's all up in James Randi's face and in the comments, a person calling him/herself "skeptic4life18" asks this guy (known, apparently, as either "JB" or "sloop987") to provide just one scientific study regarding homeopathy. In case you want to watch, here's the video (editor's note: the video has been "removed by the user" - perhaps he was embarrassed. I doubt it):
JB responds by citing five meta analysis and a snarky comment as follows:
Cucherat etal 2000* 16 Hi-Qt studies POSITIVE.
Linde& Melchart 1998* 32 Hi-Qt studies POSITIVE.
Lindeetal 1997* 89 studies POSITIVE.
Boissel etal 1996 15 Hi-Qt studies POSITIVE.
Kleijnenetal 1991 105 studies POSITIVE.
Will you allow your prejudice or scientific mind to win out. You have lost the argument but your prejudice is much more comfortable, isn't it?
I wanted to see if his citations actually were as "POSITIVE" as he seems to think they are so here are the studies with the links to the pages and copied conclusions for you to check out. My emphasis is throughout.

Cucherat Et Al 2000 from the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology here:
Conclusions: There is some evidence that homeopathic treatments are more effective than placebo; however, the strength of this evidence is low because of the low methodological quality of the trials. Studies of high methodological quality were more likely to be negative than the lower quality studies. Further high quality studies are needed to confirm these results.
Linde& Melchart 1998 from the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine here:
The results of the available randomized trials suggest that individualized homeopathy has an effect over placebo. The evidence, however, is not convincing because of methodological shortcomings and inconsistencies.
Linde Et Al 1997, from PubMed via Lancet from here:
The results of our meta-analysis are not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homeopathy are completely due to placebo. However, we found insufficient evidence from these studies that homeopathy is clearly efficacious for any single clinical condition. Further research on homeopathy is warranted provided it is rigorous and systematic.
Boissel Et Al 1996 was not found anywhere as JB cited. The closest I could find at PubMed was the same study as the initial one cited above where Boissel was a co-author with Cucherat. Obviously the conclusion is the same.

Kleijnenetal 1991 from the PubMed via the BMJ, here:
At the moment the evidence of clinical trials is positive but not sufficient to draw definitive conclusions because most trials are of low methodological quality and because of the unknown role of publication bias. This indicates that there is a legitimate case for further evaluation of homoeopathy, but only by means of well performed trials.
I find it amusing that every one of these says essentially, "Homeopathy might work, but these trials suck so we need more studies with better controls...oh, and the well-controlled studies we did see were negative." Not the best endorsement and hardly worthy of the label "POSITIVE".

Fabulous parting gifts for you. Thanks for playing.

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4 Barbaric Yawps:

At 7/6/10 5:10 am, Blogger Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Funny, homeopaths seem incapable of reading the fucking summary's of trials. I took 10 hours earlier this year to carefully go through the studies cited in an essay by the head of a homopathy company here in Australia ( on a site that claimed homeopathy cures aids). It's the same shit, the either selectively quote, misread, or mislead.

 
At 9/6/10 12:32 pm, Blogger Yojimbo said...

Well, one would hardly expect them to say "we have carefully read through the available evidence and it is clear that everything we believe is bullshit".

As refreshing as that might be :)

 
At 10/6/10 3:28 pm, Anonymous Chris W said...

"A man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest." -- Paul Simon, "The Boxer"

Still as true now as it was then (and has been throughout human history).

 
At 16/6/10 10:18 am, Anonymous Obekim said...

I don't know if this homeopath is a member of the British Homeopthic Association but, whatever the case, he doesn;t seem to have read the BHA's definition of what homeopathy is: their description of the preparation of "remedies" using dilution and succussion, plus the idea that the greater the dilution the more potent the "remedy", tallies exactly with what James Randi, and other critics, say.

 

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