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← Why Are Americans Resistant to Science?

vijay_krishnan's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by vijay_krishnan

3. Comment #358261 by bungoton

"I find the strangest thing is discovering scientists who are resistant to science. I work with a geneticist (PhD) who firmly believes in homeopathy."

Have you dug a bit deep into what he actually believes. I have been to practitioners who call themselves homeopathy doctors, and their stuff does work. The important point to note is the following. They prescribe a bunch of stuff there for common cold etc. A typical prescription looks like:
Take 5 of these small sugar balls presumably dipped in some solution that is diluted insanely (1 in 10^30 parts of water etc.), and ingest this other green liquid.
When I tried the stuff, I always thought it was the green liquid that was doing all the work and I now suspect that to be the case all the more.
So, while it is obvious that the basic premise of homeopathy is a sham (the only alternative is to rewrite all the laws of chemistry), it is the case that individual practioners prescribe stuff that is different from pure water as well. And the stuff that is different from pure water does work better than a placebo for sure, often comparable to scientific medicine at least for some ailments.
With this twist, there are going to be enough people rightfully claiming improvement from personal experience.
This reminds me of Feynman's writings from the book/lectures of "The meaning of it all". He cites the example of a witch doctor in a village who prescribes snakeskin and the bark of a tree for a disease, with some theory of spirits etc. But it turns out that while the snakeskin does nothing, quinine from the bark of the tree does lead to improvements.

I think homeopathy needs to be thoroughly overhauled. It needs to be recognized that the fundamental premise is wrong and if there is anything useful left, it should be absorbed.

Tue, 31 Mar 2009 08:29:00 UTC | #342086