My education in quackery has undergone a steep learning curve over the last year or so reading Ben Goldacre’s columns in The Guardian and his blog Badscience, and hanging around in the Badscience Forums. Consequently, homeopathy has become one of my bugbears. For the uninitiated, in this incredible ‘parallel universe’ the laws of physics, chemistry and biology do not seem to hold, and serious diseases such as Malaria and HIV/AIDS are treated by water or sugar pills. Let’s also be clear that homeopathy is NOT herbalism. In fact one of the principle tenets in homeopathy is that the more an ingredient gets diluted, the more potent it is. Homeopathic remedies DO NOT HAVE ANY MOLECULES OF ACTIVE INGREDIENT. Sorry, but this can’t be emphasised enough, especially to people who confuse homeopathy with herbal remedies, which although not highly purified, should contain some sort of ‘active’ ingredient.
Over the past few weeks, this part of the blogosphere has become a little more exciting, with the news that the Society of Homeopaths, which has pretensions to regulating homeopaths in the UK, used legal threats to suppress the post of another blogger, Dr. Andy Lewis who runs The Quackometer blog. What was so extraordinary about this incident was the fact that the SoH did not write to Dr. Lewis and ask him to change the parts of his post they had issues with but they sicced their lawyers onto his web hosting company. Dr. Lewis removed his post while he tried to sort out what the problem was. Meanwhile, the whole thing has been replicated dozens of times on skeptical and science blogs (see here for some links).
Andy then sent a polite letter to the SoH, asking just what they objected to. No reply as yet, of course. However, in response to this matter being written about by Ben Goldacre in The Guardian, the SoH has posted a rather bizarre letter to the editor, which thus far, only seems to appear as a press release on their website.
Anyway, the next installment in this little saga is on offer at The Quackometer. I recommend reading the whole article. It demonstrates the kind of double-think (or cognitive dissonance) that most homeopaths must excel at.
Finally, I just had to include this pic from LOLquacks: