Blogging the Organon

January 13, 2008

Hahnemann’s Organon Of Medicine: 1-4

Filed under: Hahnemann,homeopathy,homoeopathy,organon — gimpy @ 12:51 pm

§ 1

The physician’s high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed. 1

1 His mission is not, however, to construct so-called systems, by interweaving empty speculations and hypotheses concerning the internal essential nature of the vital processes and the mode in which diseases originate in the interior of the organism, (whereon so many physicians have hitherto ambitiously wasted their talents and their time); nor is it to attempt to give countless explanations regarding the phenomena in diseases and their proximate cause (which must ever remain concealed), wrapped in unintelligible words and an inflated abstract mode of expression, which should sound very learned in order to astonish the ignorant – whilst sick humanity sighs in vain for aid. Of such learned reveries (to which the name of theoretic medicine is given, and for which special professorships are instituted) we have had quite enough, and it is now high time that all who call themselves physicians should at length cease to deceive suffering mankind with mere talk, and begin now, instead, for once to act, that is, really to help and to cure.

§ 2

The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles.

§ 3

If the physician clearly perceives what is to be cured in diseases, that is to say, in every individual case of disease (knowledge of disease, indication), if he clearly perceives what is curative in medicines, that is to say, in each individual medicine (knowledge of medical powers), and if he knows how to adapt, according to clearly defined principles, what is curative in medicines to what he has discovered to be undoubtedly morbid in the patient, so that the recovery must ensue – to adapt it, as well in respect to the suitability of the medicine most appropriate according to its mode of action to the case before him (choice of the remedy, the medicine indicated), as also in respect to the exact mode of preparation and quantity of it required (proper dose), and the proper period for repeating the dose; – if, finally, he knows the obstacles to recovery in each case and is aware how to remove them, so that the restoration may be permanent, then he understands how to treat judiciously and rationally, and he is a true practitioner of the healing art .

§ 4

He is likewise a preserver of health if he knows the things that derange health and cause disease, and how to remove them from persons in health.

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90 Comments »

  1. I can’t help but wonder if the footnote to section 1 betrays the fundamental weaknesses of homeopathy. It seems this is a discipline that is founded on the notion that complexity and uncertainty are anathema to good medical practice. It propagates the notion that physicians are more interested in ‘mere talk’ than with healing their patients. This is quite a slur on the medical profession.

    Comment by gimpy — January 13, 2008 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

  2. Here is Julian Winston’s summary of each paragraph available at:
    http://www.wholehealthnow.com/homeopathy_pro/organon.html#1

    1. The physician’s only mission is to cure the sick; it is not to speculate on the nature of disease.*

    2. The ideal cure is rapid, gentle, permanent and removes the whole disease in the shortest, least harmful way, according to easily comprehensible principles.

    3. If the physician understands what is curable in disease, and understands what is curative in medicines, and understands how to apply the medicines (according to well defined principles) to the disease, and knows how to remove conditions which prevent the patient from getting well, he is a true physician.

    4. The need to recognise and remove the maintaining causes.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 13, 2008 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  3. Im 55 years, I have never been cured of anything chronic by the “medical profession.” The only true and deep cures have occurred because of homeopathy.

    Deeply cured- where illness that plagued me for most of my life were gently, and permanently removed- without side effects and accompanied by a greater vitality for life and a greater experience of peace within.

    This comment will not be defended or explained any further for the skeptics- I have attempted many times to do so on their blogs. This is simply my grateful entry to this blog.
    -GG

    Comment by GaleG — January 13, 2008 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  4. I may add that,in fact, I have not had any disease ever truly cured by the “medical profession.” Symptoms were suppressed or masked, or things, unfortunately, cut-out, but again, the only cures I have ever experienced were as a result of homeopathy.
    -GG

    Comment by GaleG — January 13, 2008 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

  5. I know you said your comment “will not be defended or explained any further for the skeptics” (which frankly seems so willfully obtuse that it almost looks like parody), but might you at least tell us what illness it was that you’re talking about? Because otherwise I’m going to assume it’s an imaginary one and dismiss your story out of hand, and so I think is everybody else.

    Comment by Andrew Taylor — January 13, 2008 @ 3:19 pm | Reply

  6. It’s all downhill from the the second word – “Physician’s”. What we have today in the overwhelming number of homeopaths are the scientifically and medically illiterate. Walter Mittys masquerading as physicians who couldn’t even muster a pass at the old CSE Chemistry exam (like the old GCE but for academic dunces). Delusionists who despise science and the scientific method, because it is intellectually beyond them, who yet at the same time crave the respect or envy that qualified physicians and real scientists often attract. They steal the terminology of evidence based medicine and try to hind behind the cloak of respectability that science gives by stealing its terminology, all the while understanding nothing of the nature of their physical world.
    The biggest irony of all is in Hahnemann’s own words:

    and it is now high time that all who call themselves physicians should at length cease to deceive suffering mankind with mere talk, and begin now, instead, for once to act, that is, really to help and to cure.

    Of course the disciples of homeopathy, of whom GaleG seems typical, are no clearer in their appreciation of the magical nonsense that is homeopathy than are most of its purveyors*. It matters not one jot to them that so many conditions, chronic or otherwise, are self-limiting. It appears more often than not that they have no idea what “chronic” or “self-limiting” actually mean.

    * I say most purveyors because it is inconceivable that there aren’t homeopaths who are well aware of the deceit they are practising, but who are nonetheless happy to exploit the vulnerable and credulous for whatever financial gain can be managed, because the law allows them to do so.

    Comment by pv — January 13, 2008 @ 3:21 pm | Reply

  7. “He is likewise a preserver of health if he knows the things that derange health and cause disease, and how to remove them from persons in health.”

    Yes indeed. And I think that everyone would agree with that statement. That leaves two further problems. First, what is the best way to find out what “the things that derange health” are, and “how to remove them”? We really need to talk about methods here. lets hope that Hanemann goes into them in the next installment.

    And second, on that vein how can we know “the things that derange health” while at the same time we are instruced that they “must ever remain concealed.” What’s going on? We have to know something that will always be concealed. 😦

    Comment by woodchopper — January 13, 2008 @ 4:50 pm | Reply

  8. The third paragraph seems to say that a physician should know the treatment and dose of a medicine to cure disease as well as the symptoms and cause of that disease. This is a statement that is impossible to disagree with but then why do modern homeopaths remain ignorant of modern medical understanding and treatment of disease? Surely Hahnemann is saying that knowledge is essential to the true practitioner of the healing art. Perhaps a homeopath could enlighten me?

    Comment by gimpy — January 13, 2008 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  9. I’m still struggling with the implications of paragraph one. It seems very open to interpretation from the simplest and most extreme version of simply stating that physicians are there to cure sick people, not to investigate the nature of their symptoms (which, given the need for scientific enquiry into diseases in order to find cures seems odd to say the least) to the more reasonable and complex version where physicians should not simply attempt to baselessly speculate on the nature of diseases and baffle their patients with medical jargon (i.e. behave unscientifically).

    Now then, clearly in either of these definitions the use of jargon-filled bluster is specifically against the principles of the Organon, so why do we see so many homeopaths and supporters of homeopathy specifically abusing scientific jargon to construct wild speculations as to the nature of the cures (and diseases) that homeopathy is alleged to treat?

    Comment by thenanoscientist — January 13, 2008 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  10. I think paragraph 1 is a moan about windbags in general – sounds like the old chap was getting a few things off his chest.
    Paragraph 2, 3 & 4 are a kind of “mission statement” – very worthy stuff, no-one can take objection to this.
    Can’t wait for the next instalment!

    Comment by mugsandmoney — January 13, 2008 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

  11. Galeg said “Im 55 years, I have never been cured of anything chronic by the “medical profession.” The only true and deep cures have occurred because of homeopathy.”

    Good, now we are getting somewhere! You agreed that homeopathy was not recommended for things like bacterial infections, diabetes, seizures and other things.

    So now you are pointing out it is good for “chronic” conditions. Now what are these “chronic” conditions and where is it shown that homeopathy is better for them than real medicine?

    What? You didn’t think I would come over here? Didn’t you notice I am the one who left the link to the Organon webpage on Gimpy’s blog in response to Ohreally complaining that Nash had never read it?

    I would also like to point you to this page from a Dane who has a commented version of the Organon:
    http://www.hans-egebo.dk/skeptic/oom.pdf

    Comment by hcn57 — January 13, 2008 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

  12. It’s very interesting to note that the fundamental clash between homoeopathy and conventional (post germ-theory) medicine is revealed in sentence no. 2. Specifically this part is very interesting: “their [diseases’] proximate cause (which must ever remain concealed)”. This translates as “we cannot ever know what actually causes disease.”

    Assuming that you accept that disease is actually caused by pathogens such as virii, bacteria etc., and that we can actually now identify these pathogens, this statement is completely erroneous and irrelevant nowadays. The rest of the document then uses the belief that we can’t know the causes of disease to justify just getting on with trying to treat the disease. But since we “[cannot]” know the causes of disease, the homoeopath must be treating the symptoms (and just the symptoms). So much for holistic medicine.

    However, the weirdness continues with this apparent contradiction “He is likewise a preserver of health if he knows the things that derange health and cause disease, and how to remove them from persons in health.” So we *can* actually know what causes disease?

    Comment by flimflam_machine — January 13, 2008 @ 6:43 pm | Reply

  13. Well, I am not a homeopath…. and to answer hmc57, I need to clarify something. I and my children a have been cured by homeopathy for bacterial infections (documented), but have no first hand experience with seizures nor diabetes. You will need to discuss these things with a practicing homeopath.

    My acute and chronic ailments for which homeopathy has cured are many and varied over the last 27 years or so…..do you want me to post my entire health history? I have posted in other web sites previously. Unfortunately, the skeptics have determined that everything I have suffered from was self-limiting anyways…so there you go!

    I reiterate: this posting is simply my personal and unique experience- yours and others may be different. We are a universe of complexity and we need to allow this.
    -GG

    Comment by GaleG — January 13, 2008 @ 6:56 pm | Reply

  14. What H is saying is:

    Don’t speculate about particular diseases (what they are/are not, what they are called, what might have caused them, which bit may be at fault) treat the patient and all their outward symptoms as they are presented or felt by the patient.

    There have been many speculations about diseases over the years and it takes an age to define them or their mechanics(see Gimpy’s other blog about Biochemistry), argue about it all amongst peers, and in the meantime patients are not being treated.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 13, 2008 @ 7:28 pm | Reply

  15. He wasn’t a fan of medicine or conventional doctors of his time so he is derogatory about them.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 13, 2008 @ 7:42 pm | Reply

  16. Homeopathy4health (14+15), that fits my interpretation at the top (1). However, the idea that all doctors do is sit and gab about causes it quite clearly wrong now given that GPs only get about 10mins per patient they are so busy. The gabbing is left to scientists while the doctors get on with the healing. Why do homeopaths still assume Hahnemann’s opinions are applicable today?

    Comment by gimpy — January 13, 2008 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

  17. Because doctors send off for tests for a ‘disease’ and examine and measure internal workings not outward and don’t have effective treatments or have no treatment once a particular label has been determined. The word ‘healing’ does not equate with doctors usually. A lot of effort is expended on labelling. Or in my daughter’s case no label and no treatment either.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 13, 2008 @ 7:58 pm | Reply

  18. homeopathy4health; in the context that Hahnemann was writing this, your comments would make perfect sense. Hahnemann appears to be saying “we don’t know what causes disease and there’s no point in wasting time speculating so we may a well get on with the treatment.” However (and this is a fairly crucial and gargantuan “however”) we now *do* know what causes many diseases. This knowledge informs the subsequent treatment and makes it appropriately more effective. To wilfully ignore this knowledge is not only to strand yourself in the middle-ages as far as medical science is concerned, but also to limit the range and effectiveness of your treatments. Hardly in line with homoepathy’s caring agenda.

    “doctors… measure internal workings not outward” that you appear to think that this is a bad thing is fairly good demonstration of what I just said. How can homoeopathy possibly claim to be “holistic” if it ignores what we know now to be the causes of disease?

    Comment by flimflam_machine — January 13, 2008 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

  19. ‘more effective’?: side effects, withdrawn drugs, no drugs, hardly more effective.

    ‘limit the range and effectiveness’?: homeopathic remedies cover a vastly wider range than conventional medicine.

    it is holistic because the aim is to give one remedy that covers more than one symptom, ‘disease’ or ‘syndrome’. If you went to the doctor with anger issues, sleeping difficulties, headache, indigestion and piles you would probably be prescribed a separate treatment for each one. A homeopath would aim to prescribe one; look up Nux Vomica.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 13, 2008 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  20. …speaking of which, I am getting irritated by the unfounded assumptions being put forward here, so this is my last comment here.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 13, 2008 @ 9:26 pm | Reply

  21. Could we try and limit discussion at this early stage to matters stemming directly from the Organon? I think that homeopathy4health’s comments on homeopaths interpretation of the Organon are extremely illuminating and hope that homeopathy4health will continue to stick with us as we go through it. I would prefer it if we didn’t continue arguments from other blogs here and kept things civil.

    Comment by gimpy — January 13, 2008 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

  22. Thank you, I’ll try and stick it out but the deliberate provocations, wildly optimistic assumptions about medical science put me off.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 13, 2008 @ 10:05 pm | Reply

  23. I think flimflam machine hit the nail on the head with comment 18. The Organon was written at a time when no-one had a clue what caused diseases and there was no reason to think that anyone would ever find out. The search for a rationale behind who got ill in what way when, in Hahnemann’s day, is not unlike modern mathematicians’ search for a pattern behind prime numbers. It’s just a great big blank. But we now do have a very deep understanding of why people get ill in what way when; it’s not complete but there’s no reason to think there’s any bits of it we won’t eventually understand if we work hard enough. That’s why people are still toiling away on finding a cure for cancer. This renders the Organon as redundant as all the other medical treatises written at that time.

    Basing your understanding of medicine on an 18th century medical text seems to me to be like basing your knowledge of geography of 18th century maps. Would you want to sail with someone who used charts with ‘terra incognita’ on them? And yet people are prepared to trust their health to someone who uses a medical text with “the phenomena in diseases and their proximate cause … must ever remain concealed” as its base assumption.

    Comment by M Simpson — January 13, 2008 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

  24. ‘if we work hard enough’, ‘toiling away’…it doesn’t have to be that hard, particularly for less complex ill-health that people have to put up with day in day out because there is no effective conventional treatment. Poo-poo if you like, but I get medical staff coming to see me when antibiotics and steroids make no difference.

    The problem is that people ARE getting sicker and sicker and the issues ARE getting more and more complex.

    There may come a time when fewer and fewer people will be able to respond to homeopathy because they are far too ill.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 13, 2008 @ 10:51 pm | Reply

  25. …and the only people who will be benefitting will be more and more and more scientists lining their pockets doing more and more and more research. I think we’re there now.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 13, 2008 @ 11:25 pm | Reply

  26. GaleG wrote “Well, I am not a homeopath…. and to answer hmc57, I need to clarify something. I and my children a have been cured by homeopathy for bacterial infections (documented), but have no first hand experience with seizures nor diabetes. …

    My acute and chronic ailments for which homeopathy has cured are many and varied over the last 27 years or so…..do you want me to post my entire health history?…”

    Well, is it too much to ask that you get my ‘nym right? I was forced into lowercase and five letters by WordPress, elsewhere I am known by HCN.

    I do not want your health history. You agreed that several conditions were better served by real medicine than by homeopathy. At one point that included bacterial infections, though you seem to be withdrawing that claim (who documented the bacterial infections, a technician checking the sample or the homeopath who does not do any testing?).

    But you say it works for chronic conditions, I want to know WHAT chronic conditions.

    You agreed it did not work for a chronic condition known as diabetes, nor for the chronic condition of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I have a family member who found first hand that homeopathy does not work for her bipolar disorder (she had a psychotic episode, her mom called 911, she then spent time county psych, got much better, got out, dropped real meds for homeopathy on advice of naturapath, had a relapse, decided to go back to real meds and is doing much better), so we are pretty sure it does not work for that chronic condition. Also according to this website it may not work for the chronic condition known as MS: http://www.multiplesclerosissucks.com/altmed.html .

    So it is YOUR claim that homeopathy works better for some chronic conditions, now tell us what those conditions are. I like to see some real documentation like a reference to the PubMed index.

    Comment by hcn57 — January 14, 2008 @ 12:33 am | Reply

  27. Well, the Organon is just like the Wholly Babble isn’t it? Written by those who were ignorant of what we now know about the natural world. Not their fault of course, but given that we have discovered the earth is not flat, Pi doesn’t equal 3, living organisms evolved, and disease can be caused by microorganisms and defective genes among other things, we should be leaving both books as a quaint part of history where they belong.

    Comment by ambrielle — January 14, 2008 @ 1:47 am | Reply

  28. …and the only people who will be benefitting will be more and more and more scientists lining their pockets doing more and more and more research

    Terrible thing, research. Heaven forbid that anyone should know anything about anything. Hahnemann certainly didn’t think it was a good idea.
    Tell me homeopathy4health, do you actually know any scientists? Of course you do. This is the Internet and you are hardly likely to say “no”.

    Comment by pv — January 14, 2008 @ 2:02 am | Reply

  29. Yeah, um, no. Generally being a scientist doesn’t pay well and the hours are crap. And despite what the CAMsters like to think, the majority of scientists aren’t in the pay of BigPharma or the Evil Conspiracy Overlords. They do it because they are curious people.

    Comment by ambrielle — January 14, 2008 @ 2:11 am | Reply

  30. hcn57- My, touchy touch are you. A bit of PMS going on? Typos happen…

    I am not aware of any of my medical history being published on PubMed, so let’s keep this blog to the discussion of the Organan and I will step out–
    -GG

    Comment by GaleG — January 14, 2008 @ 5:00 am | Reply

  31. “…and the only people who will be benefitting will be more and more and more scientists lining their pockets doing more and more and more research. I think we’re there now.”

    This is an absolutely shocking and totally inaccurate accusation to make. Do you have any evidence at all that research scientists are profiteering from the nation’s ill-health? I’ve kept my lip buttoned until now, but your hypocrisy is clearly there for all to see – you complain about people provocing with unfounded assumptions and then proceed to do exactly the same thing!

    To suggest that the knowledge, gained through scientific research, into disease causing vectors does not improve treatments just simply beggars believe. To suggest it does, does not deny the shortcomings of conventional medical practice either or suggest that in every case, this knowledge has lead to an effective treatment (cure for the common cold anyone?). Clearly the opening statements of the organon have some clear merit in suggesting that patients should be treated, not held up as medical curios for the profession to inspect and speculate about. However, clearly in the cases where research of the disease is neccessary then we must improve our understanding of it, to fail in this task is negligent to say the least.

    I think we need to clear things up here. I, like many research scientists have absolutely nothing to do with the medical profession or big pharma (in fact I am highly critical of both professions in many of their actions). My meagre pay packet comes out of a government fund so you can accuse me of being a government lacky all you like (although anyone who knows anything about research council funding would laugh at you). As such, it seems highly odd that many pro-homeopathy posters and commentators accuse those who ask questions on the scientific nature of homeopathy to be complicit with big pharma or parts of the medical profession that wish to discredit the area. The problem is that when I hear talk of “object emitted waves” and “singularities”, as a physicist I become interested in how this things can be defined in the context of homeopathic treatment – I never get a straight answer, why is that given that the organon expressly condemns idle bluster?

    Comment by thenanoscientist — January 14, 2008 @ 9:49 am | Reply

  32. homeopathy4health said: “Thank you, I’ll try and stick it out but the deliberate provocations”, then said “more and more and more scientists lining their pockets”.

    homeopathy4health also said “the … wildly optimistic assumptions about medical science put me off.” having previously said “homeopathic remedies cover a vastly wider range than conventional medicine.”

    There’s a saying that addresses this sort of thing. Something to do with pots and kettles…

    Comment by theholyllama — January 14, 2008 @ 11:33 am | Reply

  33. Paragraphs 2 to 4 seem to endorse knowing as much as possible about diseases thus helping one to cure them better – this encourages a knowledge-led approach both of diseases and of cures. I can’t really disagree with any of that so far in its words. It seems that the devil is interpretation (as it is with religious texts).

    Comment by thenanoscientist — January 14, 2008 @ 12:09 pm | Reply

  34. ‘This is an absolutely shocking and totally inaccurate accusation to make.’

    Homeopaths are subject to this all the time.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 14, 2008 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

  35. “homeopathic remedies cover a vastly wider range than conventional medicine”

    Take a look at Clarke’s materia medica for just one remedy (Lycopodium – possibly a good remedy for skeptics (‘cannot bear to see anything new’ – OK I’m still annoyed and being provocative) :http://homeoint.org/books/boericmm/l/lyc.htm

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 14, 2008 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

  36. pv – I probably know as many scientists as you know homeopaths

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 14, 2008 @ 1:59 pm | Reply

  37. but my father was a chemist and my mother a maths teacher.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 14, 2008 @ 2:00 pm | Reply

  38. “as a physicist I become interested in how this things can be defined in the context of homeopathic treatment – I never get a straight answer”

    We do as H says and don’t speculate on the workings of either disease or the remedy action but just apply the symptoms of patient as observed and felt to a remedy that creates similar symptoms in a proving and GET THE PATIENT BETTER.

    I suspect it would entail a massive amount of research to test all the parameters of homeopathy to everyone’s satisfaction but why when it works for 70-80% of patients?

    http://homeopathy4health.wordpress.com/2008/01/13/structures-of-liquids-are-easily-and-regularly-changed-and-homeopathic-remedies-exhibit-biological-activity/

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 14, 2008 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

  39. Homeopathy4health: Two wrongs don’t make a right. Simple as that really. It seems though that any criticism of homeopathy is considered by at least one member of the pro-homeopathy lobby to be a shocking and inaccurate accusation and hence the scientists who choose to look at the evidence for the phyiscal efficacy of homeopathy are also subject to the such things all the time (as your post above demonstrates). I’m simply curious as to why something with no active ingredient in it would work as a physical treatment for an illness and I can’t seem to get a straight answer from anybody, all I get is accusations of collusion with Big Pharma, suggestions that I don’t know because I haven’t read a certain book, that ‘science doesn’t know it all’ or worse, abuse of scientific terms in some sad attempt to bamboozle me. I’m not making accusations, I’m looking for answers.

    Comment by thenanoscientist — January 14, 2008 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

  40. “We do as H says and don’t speculate on the workings of either disease or the remedy action but just apply the symptoms of patient as observed and felt to a remedy that creates similar symptoms in a proving and GET THE PATIENT BETTER.

    I suspect it would entail a massive amount of research to test all the parameters of homeopathy to everyone’s satisfaction but why when it works for 70-80% of patients?”

    Well that’s all well and good, but not all homeopaths refrain from speculation given the number of speculative attempts to give a physical basis to the treatments that I’ve seen from homeopaths themselves. It would take a massive amount of research to look at each homeopathic treatment, about the same amount of research it takes to look at a new natural product with pharmaceutical activity. More knowledge can lead to big improvements so why is it not worth the bother?

    It seems to be me that your interpretation of what Samuel Hahnemann is saying is very different to mine. I seem H’s views as being against ideal, baseless speculation that diverts attentions away from treating a patient, not against research that increases our knowledge of diseases and their cures (given that H’s explicitly encourages knowledge of these things in healers). You however seen H’s comments as a moratorium on any kind of investigation into the efficacy of homeopathic remedies or their unlying physical mechanisms. Personally I think you take a bit of a liberty by having that interpretation.

    Comment by thenanoscientist — January 14, 2008 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  41. I think one of the fundamental differences in understanding what Hahnemann is expressing in these first aphorisms is “what causes disease”. Some people are suggesting that we now know what causes disease and therefore the Organon is pointless. I am assuming that when it is said that we now KNOW what causes disease the understanding is that it is a micro-organism. But the susceptibility to the micro-organism is only one part of the totality of the disease. The cause of the disease is underlying the susceptibility.

    Comment by goodscience — January 14, 2008 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

  42. “I am assuming that when it is said that we now KNOW what causes disease the understanding is that it is a micro-organism. But the susceptibility to the micro-organism is only one part of the totality of the disease.”

    Indeed, and it is only one part of the scientific understanding of a disease too. We don’t just stop at identifying a pathogen, do we?

    “The cause of the disease is underlying the susceptibility.”

    This doesn’t seem to make any sense.

    Comment by thenanoscientist — January 14, 2008 @ 2:47 pm | Reply

  43. goodscience, susceptibility to a disease you say. I suggest you might want to read up on the role of genetics in immunology. Here’s a cracking free textbook.

    Comment by gimpy — January 14, 2008 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  44. Maybe this would help:

    Personal experience:

    Susceptiblity to developing bronchitis/sinusitis after every cold. After homeopathic treatment, no longer happens.

    Susceptibility to getting a bladder infection after getting and chill and feet wet since age 7- again, no longer happens after homeopathic treatment.

    Developing a migraine upon menstrual flow beginning- no longer happens.

    In the above two cases, bacterial infections occurred, but once the “susceptibility” was no longer there, the bacteria no longer caused any problems. Bacteria is all around us, and some people are more “susceptible” to developing symptoms and “disease” from it.

    Does that help at all? I know this is hard to get one’s head around (I do come from a medical background) but once experienced it is hard to deny.

    -GG

    Comment by GaleG — January 14, 2008 @ 4:29 pm | Reply

  45. H$H, comment 17 you wrote “doctors send off for tests for a ‘disease’ and examine and measure internal workings not outward and don’t have effective treatments or have no treatment once a particular label has been determined.”

    You reckon that all diseases, once given a name, are essentially incurable? So how do you explain antibiotics curing people of bacterial infections all the time then?
    Here’s an example which happens all the time. An elderly woman, who’s fine but frail becomes suddenly demented. If you just look at her outward symptoms and ask how she’s feeling then she’d be classed as demented and either given a comfy chair and be left to dribble away her last few days or some antipsychotics with the attendant side-effects. However, if you are aware of the typical underlying causes then you can ignore the outward symptoms and treat the actual disease by giving her a quick course of antibiotics to treat her UTI. This has nothing to do with miasms or other discredited theories of disease and everything to do with germ theory, which everyone but a few cranks now accepts as fact.

    The word ‘healing’ does not equate with doctors usually. A lot of effort is expended on labelling. Or in my daughter’s case no label and no treatment either.”
    I’m sorry to hear about your daughter, but one case where people don’t know what’s wrong doesn’t mean that all of medicine is wrong. It’s better to own up to ignorance than pretend to know what you’re tralking about and bluff the patients into thinking you can cure them. Isn’t that what the footnote to point 1 is all about?

    Comment by tom p — January 14, 2008 @ 4:46 pm | Reply

  46. Do you work in healthcare?

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 14, 2008 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

  47. H4H @ 19 said
    “‘more effective’?: side effects, withdrawn drugs, no drugs, hardly more effective.”
    Actually, none of these are arguments against efficacy (well, maybe the “no drugs”, but nobody claims that a non-existent drug is efficacious, except for homeopaths). A guillotine is perfectly effective at curing headaches, but has the nasty side effect of decapitation, so is rarely used. Efficacy is not the same as safety. All modern medicines are proven in clinical trials to have efficacy (for a given value of efficacy) in the population studied, otherwise they wouldn’t get a license, however it’s only once they’re exposed to the wider population that their safety can truly be studied (hence occasional withdrawals). It’s generally off-label use that is a problem for medicines (see Seroxat and teen suicide) and it’s only very rarely that medicines get withdrawn.

    Comment by tom p — January 14, 2008 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  48. To an extent – Pharmacovigilance – monitoring the continued safety of medicines.
    Why? You’re not about to try and argue from authority are you?

    Comment by tom p — January 14, 2008 @ 5:02 pm | Reply

  49. ‘You reckon that all diseases, once given a name, are essentially incurable’: No.

    ‘antibiotics curing people of bacterial infections all the time’: overoptimistic and likely to reoccur in my experience.

    My point about my daughter stems from: if there’s no label, there’s no conventional medical treatment. Homeopathy doesn’t need a label but can treat the symptoms.

    Demented lady: the particular characteristics of her mental state would point to the similar remedy.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 14, 2008 @ 5:23 pm | Reply

  50. Hello Gimpy, So this forum is NOT about trying to understand the organon. This isn’t a discussion, it is once again about baiting and entrapment. I should have known.

    Comment by goodscience — January 14, 2008 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

  51. goodscience, this is a discussion. We are trying to understand the Organon in light of today’s knowledge and the knowledge of its time. Do you feel that there are some questions we should not ask of the Organon? Do you feel that our interpretation is wrong? Why would you feel entrapped? We would appreciate it if you could clearly define just what it is you have a problem with.

    Comment by gimpy — January 14, 2008 @ 6:10 pm | Reply

  52. Yes goodscience, I do suspect he is trawling and soon we will see a News of The World headline on his main blog…..’Miasms…95% of homeopaths believe that bad air causes disease’

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 14, 2008 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  53. Yes Gimpy, I very much do think your interpretation is wrong, that is why you would post this statement;

    “I suggest you might want to read up on the role of genetics in immunology.”

    As to why would I feel entrapped………I have fenced with you before.

    And homeopathy4health, thanks for the laugh!!

    Comment by goodscience — January 14, 2008 @ 10:03 pm | Reply

  54. goodscience, could you explain where we are going wrong? It’s all well and good implying that I’m a malicious idiot but you should at least provide some evidence of malice or idiocy or you might lead yourself open to accusations that you have no argument to make so you resort to insult.

    Comment by gimpy — January 14, 2008 @ 10:10 pm | Reply

  55. pv – I probably know as many scientists as you know homeopaths

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 14, 2008 @

    I’d say, homeopathy4health, that judging by your contributions you are incapable of answering a question. And this attitude is so typical practically all homeopaths and their supporters. When asked serious questions all that can be managed is bluster and waffle, more obfuscation and generally meaningless tripe.
    I asked you how many scientists you know because you accuse them, collectively, of profiting from the sick; which seems to me to be both an arrogant and ignorant thing to do. So, do you know any scientists? Can you verify your statement? Or is it merely like your touching belief in homeopathy – an article of faith?

    Comment by pv — January 14, 2008 @ 10:27 pm | Reply

  56. My point about my daughter stems from: if there’s no label, there’s no conventional medical treatment. Homeopathy doesn’t need a label but can treat the symptoms.

    So, homeopathy4health, you are saying quite incontrovertibly it seems to me that homeopathy can be used to treat any and every medical condition, both known and yet to be discovered. Fascinating.
    My son has Ocular Motor Apraxia. Do you think homeopathy would be good for that?

    Comment by pv — January 14, 2008 @ 10:32 pm | Reply

  57. This is exactly what I mean, Gimpy. I have NEVER insulted you and I have not implied you are malicious or an idiot. I have simply pointed out that once you enter into your arena you take no prisoners. It is not an insult, it is simply how you operate………good or bad.
    When we try to explain the principles of homeopathy to you and your supporters it is like speaking a different language. In fact we ARE speaking a different language. And because you cannot understand the language, you attack. Homeopathy and allopathy are two different systems of medicine. What works for understanding one system does not work for understanding the other. You are trying to understand homeopathy through the allopathic medical model and it just does not work. I think you are bright and articulate, but I also think you hate homeopathy. And for that I feel sorry for you.

    Comment by goodscience — January 14, 2008 @ 10:48 pm | Reply

  58. There is no “allopathic medical model”. There’s just science, and it’s not directly affiliated with any one theory — it drops them the moment they’re shown not to be true. Saying there’s a way of understanding these things other than science is like saying there’s a way of doing sums other than maths — whatever model works is by definition science and science will support whatever medicine works. If homeopathy works, you can prove it, and understand it, using science — that’s what it’s for.

    Comment by Andrew Taylor — January 14, 2008 @ 11:02 pm | Reply

  59. Re: Ocular Motor Apraxia

    Here’s what irregular eye movement symptoms Kent treated:

    MOVEMENT, eyeballs, constant : Agar., bell., benz-n., iod., sil., stram.

    closed lids, under : Benz-n.

    convulsive : Acon., agar., Bell., bufo., canth., chin-s., coff., ign., kali-cy., mag-p., sulph., verat., zinc.

    light agg. : Bell.

    sleep, during : Hell., op., ph-ac.

    waking, when : Coff.

    involuntary : Agar., calc., canth., cupr., mag-p., nux-v., sulph.

    when staring ahead : Ph-ac.

    pendulum like, from side to side : Agar., amyg., ars., benz-n., carb-h., cic., cupr., gels., sabad., sulph.

    rolling : Aeth., agar., amyg., arg-n., bell., benz-n., bufo., camph., caust., cham., cic., cocc., colch., cupr., euphr., gels., hell., hyos., kali-br., kali-i., lyss., merc-c., merc., nat-a., op., petr., sant., sec., stram., stry., tarent., ter., tub., ust., verat., zinc.

    ———-

    EYE p. 247

    MOVEMENT, eyeballs, constant, rolling, drink, at sight of

    ———-

    drink, at sight of : Bell.

    sleep, during : Apis., ol-an.

    movements, up and down : Benz-ac., sulph.

    upward (See Turned) : Acon., amyg., anan., apis., bufo., camph., cina., cupr., lact., laur., plat., ter., verat.

    EYE p. 268

    TURNED (See Movement) : Bell., con., hipp., meph., nicc., Spig.

    downward : Aeth., canth., cham.

    inwards : Arg-n., bell., benz-n., calc., plb., rhod., ruta.

    left : Amyg., bufo., dig., hydr-ac.

    outward : Bell., camph., crot-h., dig., glon., morph., op., phos., stry., sul-ac., verat., zinc.

    right : Camph., ip.

    upward : Acet-ac., acon., agar., am-c., anan., ant-t., arn., ars., art-v., bell., bufo., camph., carb-ac., chin., chlol., cic., cina., cocc., cupr., eupho., glon., hell., hyos., jatr., kali-cy., kalm., lach., morph., mosch., nux-v., olnd., op., stry., tab., verat.

    right, to : Camph., stry.

    left, to : Amyg., bufo., dig., hydr-ac.

    falling asleep, with : Mez.

    fever, during : Hell.

    and there is the fixed symptom:

    STARING : Acon., aeth., agar., am-c., anac., ant-t., arn., ars-i., ars., art-v., asar., atro., aur., Bell., benz-n., bor., bov., brom., bry., calc., camph., cann-i., canth., carb-ac., carb-s., carb-v., caust., cham., chin-s., chin., chlor., cic., cina., clem., coca., cocc., colch., croc., crot-c., cupr., dor., eup-per., gels., glon., grat., guai., hell., hep., hydr-ac., Hyos., hyper., ign., Iod., ip., kali-ar., kali-bi., kali-c., kali-cy., kali-i., kali-n., kali-p., kalm., kreos., lach., lachn., laur., Lyc., lyss., manc., med., merc-c., Merc., mez., morph., mosch., mur-ac., naja., nat-a., nat-c., nat-p., nux-m., nux-v., oena., olnd., Op., paeon., petr., ph-ac., phos., phyt., plat., plb., puls., ran-b., rhus-t., ruta., sang., sant., Sec., seneg., sil., sol-n., spong., squil., Stram., stry., sul-ac., sulph., tab., tarent., ter., verat., vip., zinc.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 14, 2008 @ 11:46 pm | Reply

  60. H4H, that is world class piece of cutting and pasting. But it’s complete unadulterated bollocks and nothing to do with ocular motor apraxia.
    There is no homeopathic treatment, nor any other kind of treatment or therapy for Ocular Motor Apraxia. I doubt you’d ever heard of the condition before because most qualified medical practioners (real ones that is) have never seen a case. It’s very rare to find it without any of its associated conditions. Currently there is no research being undertaken because it is so rare. However it is recognised and understood well enough to give it a name. See here.
    Anyway, are you suggesting that homeopathy can create previously missing neurological connections and pathways in the brain? It’s doubtful you even know the meaning of the word “apraxia” without looking it up. But such are the delusions of homeopaths and other quacks.

    Comment by pv — January 15, 2008 @ 12:55 am | Reply

  61. Homeopathy and allopathy are two different systems of medicine

    No they aren’t. There’s merely medicine that works (and can be shown evidentially to do so) and there’s quackery. Homeopathy has never, in its 200 year history, been shown incontrovertibly to have cured anything. And contrary to the hysterical claims of homeopaths, homeopathy is very well understood by science. The fact might not be liked by homeopaths because it is their living, but they know well enough that all properly controlled trials of homeopathy demonstrate it to be no better than a placebo. In other words, whatever its effect it is psychosomatic and can be shown to be so.
    The insistence by homeopaths that it is a system of medicine and that it can cure all manner of chronic and non-self-limiting ailments exposes an intransigent, if not deluded, mentality in the face of an incontrovertible if unwanted reality. The current obsession of some homeopaths with creating post hoc theories to support statistical anomalies (that might tenuously give credence to a mechanism by which homeopathty might work), and then rummaging for partial evidence to support the theories (memory of water, quantum gibberish etc.), bears the hallmarks of a psychological disorder. Or is it a deeply held desire to deceive?

    Comment by pv — January 15, 2008 @ 1:31 am | Reply

  62. Wait – there are 114 different homeopathic cures for STARING?

    Now, apart from the fact that this gives you the opportunity to get it wrong 113 times and still claim a cure with a hundred per cent success rate… what the heck is a cure for staring? Does this mean that there are 114 provings on record where the subjects found themselves staring more?

    I have never heard of staring as a medical symptom. Does this mean blinking less or just concentrating on what you’re looking at?

    Please explain because what you wrote is completely meaningless to me (and I’m not talking about the abbreviations).

    Comment by M Simpson — January 15, 2008 @ 7:47 am | Reply

  63. I think this post may be relevant here:

    The following is the comment on the footnote to paragraph 1 of The Organon by two doctors (not homeopaths):
    “The claim as to the primacy of practical interests over the construction of theories and hypotheses regarding ‘the internal essential nature of the vital processes and the mode in which diseases originate in the invisible interior of the organism’ can be explained on the grounds of the scientific backwardness of the era (early nineteenth century), in which really very little was known about such processes. On the other hand, such a claim might appear thoroughly unscientific: for a scientist, giving up any attempt to understand the mechanisms underlying vital processes is unacceptable. In actual fact, the most likely interpretation of this first paragraph is that Hahnemann was not disputing the study of the natural laws governing the functioning of vital processes, since all the rest of the work bears witness to a substantial rational and investigatory effort, this being the only approach allowing an effective form of therapy based on real awareness. The author, evidently, wished to stress that the ‘internal essential nature’ of vital processes is unknowable, and in this sense his claim could hardly be more modern, in the light of recent discoveries regarding biological complexity and chaotic systems, as we shall see in detail below (Chapters 5 and 6). It is likely that the author also intended to criticize those in medicine who limited themselves to devising hypotheses and theories which, though appearing complicated and astonishingly impressive, actually proved utterly useless when it came to solving the patients’ practical problems.”
    Paolo Bellavite M.D. & Andrea Signorini M.D., The Emerging Science of Homeopathy; Complexity, Biodynamics, and Nanopharmacology (Berkley: North Atlantic Books, 2002)

    I think that is a very fair analysis, and I recommend the book.

    Comment by Ohreally — January 15, 2008 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

  64. You see H4H, it is completely useless…………

    Comment by goodscience — January 15, 2008 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  65. Paolo Bellavite M.D. & Andrea Signorini M.D. go on to say:
    “we are amazed at how concepts which have only recently been espoused by the modern sciences of pathology and immunology could be so clearly perceived and expressed over 150 years ago.” (p.15)

    Comment by Ohreally — January 15, 2008 @ 1:23 pm | Reply

  66. The bit anti-homeopaths are missing is that by taking the WHOLE set of information about how a person is ill (including the medical history), one obtains evidence of the composite reaction of the organism to all the causes (known or unknown) of the illness. For there to be a science of medicine, this has to be matched to a treatment.

    The simplest treatment is a single substance of known properties of action on the human organism. If a combination of treatments are to be given, then there has to be a precise prior knowledge of the interactions of these treatments, otherwise you are ignoring the basic principle of a scientific approach.

    The only remaining question is the relationship of the treatment to the information about the illness. As Hahnemann points out, the choices are limited, and his research (which was extensive – much more so than anyone else’s at the time) showed that the relationship was one of similarity. Subsequently both orthodox medicine and homeopathy have verified his conclusions, the latter consciously, the former unwittingly.

    Comment by Ohreally — January 15, 2008 @ 1:40 pm | Reply

  67. “The bit anti-homeopaths are missing is that by taking the WHOLE set of information about how a person is ill (including the medical history), one obtains evidence of the composite reaction of the organism to all the causes (known or unknown) of the illness. For there to be a science of medicine, this has to be matched to a treatment.”

    The bit that pro-homeopaths are missing is that This Is What (Good) Doctors Do Anyway.

    Comment by MJ Simpson — January 15, 2008 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

  68. Except good doctors have not been able to prescribe recently on the signs and symptoms (lethargy, dry hair)of hypothyroidism, only on a blood test value for thyroxine:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/healthmain.html?in_article_id=506717&in_page_id=1774

    Medicine is in a complete state in this article

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 15, 2008 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

  69. Wow – one story about one doctor. Yes, that completely invalidates my argument. You win.

    Comment by MJ Simpson — January 15, 2008 @ 5:07 pm | Reply

  70. Can we please try and limit the discussion to the Organon and its implications rather than getting distracted by reports of bad doctoring. I will be posting more content tomorrow and would appreciate it if we could keep the discussion civil and focus on ideas rather than individuals.

    Comment by gimpy — January 15, 2008 @ 6:38 pm | Reply

  71. pv: Like I said my father was a chemist and I worked as a lab technician for a school a couple of years ago and now I come to think of it a few homeopaths in my year group and lecturers have a science background, but in my day to day life I don’t intimately know many scientists. Now, how many homeopaths do you know? My point is that you and others here are affronted by my ‘lining their pockets’ comment about scientists (because there must be a lot of them researching the very intricate details of science) and your response is ‘how many scientists do you know’: so how come you and others like you can repeat ad nauseum that homeopaths are charlatans out for people’s money without knowing any homeopaths? I can tell you that we would not plough our way through Hahnemann’s Organon willingly if we were just out for money. We are all motivated by GETTING PEOPLE BETTER.

    …(further answers will be coming but I need to be a mother to my children right now).

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 15, 2008 @ 7:05 pm | Reply

  72. My point about the doctor is that he was prescribing on outward signs and symptoms (as H says) but the inner workings medical test did not indicate low thyroid function. He got disciplined for this.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 15, 2008 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  73. Re: ‘ocular macular ataxia’. It’s a label that means ‘eye muscles don’t move’ and has been defined as a ‘disease’ with particular characteristics and physical causes. As it is described as congenital and may result from developmental irregularities it is debatable whether homeopathy would ever correct it, but I would still be interested to try. If I were to take the case I’d want to hear if development had been shown by tests in your child’s case, whether there were any other factors: stress in pregnancy, inherited tendencies.

    So you have a label but no treatment. It wouldn’t be enough for me, that’s why I tried homeopathy.

    H said don’t give fancy labels, describe the symptoms. The basic symptom is: eye doesn’t move, which may equate to ‘staring’, I would need to see your child. There may be some other irregularities with your child’s eyes, a description for those would also be taken. I had actually looked at the page reference you gave, homeopaths always look up the definitions of given disease names to find out what the usual symptoms are, so that if we observe any other descriptive symptoms we note them to help us find the relevant remedy.

    Yes there are a lot of remedies which have either created the symptoms ‘eye staring’ in a proving or have been cured by the remedy in practise. This is why it is necessary to find out much more detail about the child: other ill-health, general state: appetite, thirst, temperature tendencies, sleep patterns, fears, anxieties, interests, medical history, family medical history. All of which comes later in the Organon and all of which helps pinpoint a remedy or a smaller group of remedies.

    We have only got to the first couple of pages in the Organon. H is basically laying the ground here, the opening statements in a court case if you like.

    Now if anyone starts with the ‘it’s ridiculous/garbage/bollocks etc’ as a result of this statement I’m not going any further.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 15, 2008 @ 8:59 pm | Reply

  74. homeopathy4health, I’m going to have to ask you not to discuss peoples personal medical matters on this forum. It is quite unprofessional and will detract from the discussion.

    Comment by gimpy — January 15, 2008 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  75. Ocular Motor Apraxia, H4H, NOT Ataxia. It’s a birth “defect” and is more commonly associated with cerebral palsy.
    And I don’t care if your father was a chemist, the King of Siam or Jack the Ripper. The occupations of your antecedents are really quite irrelevant. If I want someone to do a bit of brain surgery I don’t ask someone whose dad has the qualification, or whose only qualification is in bricklaying or splashing magic water.

    Comment by pv — January 15, 2008 @ 10:04 pm | Reply

  76. Am I to take it from the lack of comment that everyone agrees with the statements made by two doctors?

    “In actual fact, the most likely interpretation of this first paragraph is that Hahnemann was not disputing the study of the natural laws governing the functioning of vital processes, since all the rest of the work bears witness to a substantial rational and investigatory effort, this being the only approach allowing an effective form of therapy based on real awareness.”

    “We are amazed at how concepts which have only recently been espoused by the modern sciences of pathology and immunology could be so clearly perceived and expressed over 150 years ago.”

    Or is it just more convenient to pretend that they never said it?

    Comment by Ohreally — January 15, 2008 @ 10:28 pm | Reply

  77. Ohreally – I think that they were being excessively generous in that part, given that hanneman doesn’t actually touch on what we really know, just vaguely mentions vital forces and suggests that doctors don’t look for some supernatural cause of the illness (such as posession or poor morals, as was considered acceptable at the time).
    Given what we now know, we can seethat hanneman had a point with regards to the state of knowledge than and the practices of his contemporaries, but in light of current medico-scientific knowledge, his approach is laughably backwards. It would be wrong to mock Hanneman as being so, since he was in a comparative dark agaes to now, but it would be equally wrong not to mock latter-day homeopaths because you are being wilfully ignorant and do spread lies about medicine and medical science.
    This hasbeen well covered by flimflam nad pv in the comments of parts 5-9.

    Comment by tom p — January 16, 2008 @ 11:02 am | Reply

  78. Gimpy – I used pv’s example as he asked me. It was a useful example to illustrate how homeopaths work out cases. No actual details were exchanged other than pv’s child’s diagnosis. It was therefore a hypothetical case.

    Apraxia – Ataxia was a mis-spelling on my part. Apologies. I notice you have nothing else to say otherwise.

    ‘And I don’t care if your father was a chemist, the King of Siam or Jack the Ripper. The occupations of your antecedents are really quite irrelevant. If I want someone to do a bit of brain surgery I don’t ask someone whose dad has the qualification, or whose only qualification is in bricklaying or splashing magic water.’ Good grief! Go and take an anti-anger pharmaceutical medication! Are there any? Beta blockers? Try anger management counselling. Be careful of the health of your heart. I knew a scientist, it’s what YOU asked for.

    Gimpy: for future reference about ‘miasms’, such strongly destructive emotions are syphilitc and so are congenital deformities. pv is showing syphilitic tendencies.

    I think the best tack is not to converse with him any more.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 16, 2008 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  79. homeopathy4health, what a fucking despicable comment. Are you truly implying that pv’s personality is responsible for his son’s condition? In which case, fuck off out of here. If not, then please clarify.

    Comment by gimpy — January 16, 2008 @ 6:03 pm | Reply

  80. Tom p, I think you need to read a bit more of the things written by sensible people. flimflam, nad and pv are not good sources, especially when compared with the authors I quoted.

    Comment by Ohreally — January 17, 2008 @ 11:02 pm | Reply

  81. Then tell us where to find these comments (you should really be sourcing your quotes). Even so, this looks like an appeal to authority to me.

    Comment by thenanoscientist — January 18, 2008 @ 12:17 am | Reply

  82. Ohreally, there’s no contributor called “nad”, it was a mispelling of “and” by tom p. This little slip does rather undermine your criticism, since it suggests that you haven’t actually read the comments that you’re referring to and are simply dismissing contributions because tom p has referred to them.

    Furthermore, I’d be interested to know in what way I’m not a “sensible” person. Which particular parts of my contributions would you consider not “sensible”?

    Comment by flimflam_machine — January 18, 2008 @ 10:52 am | Reply

  83. re pv and syphilitic miasm: I observe signs of the syphilitic taint about pv and his son. His son’s condition is not directly caused by pv’s personality but personality is determined by miasm.

    I hope you hyper-critical (destructive/syphilitic) skeptics find balance by taking part in constructive activities in other areas of your lives.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 19, 2008 @ 12:05 am | Reply

  84. Scepticism makes you ill? Gosh, that’s clever. That’s a bit like the “believe us or burn in hell” argument, isn’t it?

    Comment by Andrew Taylor — January 19, 2008 @ 2:02 pm | Reply

  85. No.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 19, 2008 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

  86. thenanoscientist : “Then tell us where to find these comments (you should really be sourcing your quotes). Even so, this looks like an appeal to authority to me.” Post 63 has full details. Post 65 is from the same source. It is not what you alleged ‘sceptics’ alternately call “an appeal to authority” or “references”, depending on whether you are rejecting or accepting a statement. It is a thorough analysis of the relationship of homeopathic theory to modern science by non-homeopaths. it also includes numerous examples of proven cases of homeopathy working.

    Comment by Ohreally — January 19, 2008 @ 10:18 pm | Reply

  87. I think it’s a lot like that. You tell folk that being hyper-critical is the same as being syphilitic, and then you quietly define “hyper-critical” to mean “anyone who doesn’t think homeopathy works” and suddenly it looks like a smart idea to believe it just so you don’t get ill. I’m afraid it’ll take more than one word to convince me that’s not what you’re doing.

    Comment by Andrew Taylor — January 20, 2008 @ 1:19 pm | Reply

  88. I note from your blog Andrew that you have a bit of an anti-religion/anti-catholicism thing going on so it’s understandable that you see things through that filter. It’s called ‘projection’ in the psychotherapy world.

    I’m not even going to try to unravel your logic for you Andrew and I’m not prepared to discuss it with you as your mind is set.

    Bring on the next part of the organon Gimpy.

    Comment by homeopathy4health — January 20, 2008 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  89. You say “projection”, I say “drawing parallels”. I have an active interest in both junk science such as homeopathy and religion, so it’s only to be expected that I will see things they have in common and comment on them. It’s not a “filter”, and it’s not “logic”. It’s just that I have some modicum observational skills.

    Comment by Andrew Taylor — January 20, 2008 @ 3:43 pm | Reply

  90. Ohreally: Post 65 is from the same source. It is not what you alleged ’sceptics’ alternately call “an appeal to authority” or “references”, depending on whether you are rejecting or accepting a statement. It is a thorough analysis of the relationship of homeopathic theory to modern science by non-homeopaths. it also includes numerous examples of proven cases of homeopathy working.

    Apologies for missing the ref. However, this is a case of textual analysis, is it not? Does being an MD give someone more credentials to carry out good textual analysis over someone with a PhD in physics, or someone with no qualifications whatsoever in science? No, it doesn’t. Simply put the quotations you made highlight the opinion of two individuals on what was ‘meant’ by Hahnemann’s text – clearly there are other interpretations that remain just as valid (as are pointed out by the authors) but as we can’t talk to Hahnemann to find out his motivation for those words there really is nothing more that we can say on the matter. The fact that you made a point of bringing up that these individuals are medical doctors on more than one occassion implies that you think that their comments are enhanced by such a position, when they are not – a classic appeal to authority.

    As for proven cases of homeopathy working – the meta-analysis is clear about that – no effect beyond placebo.

    Comment by thenanoscientist — January 21, 2008 @ 10:17 am | Reply


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