In an earlier post I looked at homeopath Louise McLean’s rather long and tedious list of “50 Facts About Homeopathy”. With the help of Wally (of Where’s Wally fame) we identified the occasions where McLean flipped between claiming that:
a) homeopathy has been proven in clinical tests, and
b) homeopathy can’t be tested.
Vitally entertaining as that was, I decided to deal with only 49 of McLean’s 50 “facts”. In this post, I want to highlight the remaining “fact” (it was Fact 20), which demonstrates an important point that is often obscured by the absurdity of all the other claims that homeopaths make.
And the point is this….
Everyone assumes that when homeopaths talk about how a particular clinical trial was “successful”, they mean that the particular remedy that was tested has been vindicated. But that’s not the case. They never say it at the time, but homeopaths take each supposed “positive” result as a vindication for the entire Law of Similars*(see footnote) — and therefore as a vindication of all their other remedies as well.
The Lancet might think it’s publishing a study on homeopathic cough remedies, but homeopaths are thinking rather more grandly. No wonder they get so excited about the faintest whiff of a percent above the placebo effect, and will quibble about it for decades to come.
Clearly, if homeopaths stuck to using only those remedies that have been properly studied, they would have to limit themselves to dispensing (ineffective) cold medicines or headache tablets and the like.
Instead, after a few dubious (no, entirely spurious) “positive results” for minor studies, homeopaths like Louise McLean inform their customers that their “empirically based, clinically proven” method can treat serious illnesses:
[Links to remedies added by me, not in the original.]
And this is where their fanaticism turns deadly. Anyone still wondering why there is such vehement opposition to nice caring homeopaths now has their answer.