An article that appeared in the Guardian newspaper yesterday offering a pro-case for homeopathy has caused quite a stir amongst it's online users. I was going to write a piece about it, but as you'll see the barrage of comments following the article give a clear indication of the overwhelming opinion on it. I was particularly drawn to a comment by a user called Brawnwilliams, which pretty much sums up my own take on it.
"There is a simple concept underlying this and I honestly, really and truly cannot believe that anyone intellectually capable of making a cup of tea or putting on their own trousers or scratching their head cannot grasp it: If you take a medicine for a condition and that condition subsequently improves, this ALONE does not demonstrate that the medicine CAUSED the improvement.
There are OTHER explanations which have been covered above and elsewhere ad nauseum and the only way to rule out these other explanations and demonstrate causation is with rigorously conducted, properly controlled tests, published following peer review all done in a totally transparent way. That’s all. Anecdotes CANNOT give you this vital information which is the only way that science and medicine moves forward, and dosnt stay stuck, say, in 1798. This has been done extensively for homeopathy and it has been conclusively and repeatedly shown that homeopathic remedies work no better than placebo. That is a fact supported by the evidence, not a matter of opinion. You may have an opinion about whether I’m a nice guy, but you cannot have an opinion or debate about the fact I’m 5ft 10 and 36 years old.
The Guardian, in what I assume was a clumsy attempt to show the ‘other side’ of the debate has damagingly given the impression that the jury is still out and printed information that simply isn’t true eg ‘mounting evidence that homeopathy is effective' "
It also gives me the perfect opportunity to post this...