Posts Tagged ‘Louise McLean’

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Homeopathic “Where’s Wally” Part 2 — The Missing “Fact”

April 19, 2012

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: 

Fact 20 – Homeopaths treat genetic illness, tracing its origins to 6 main genetic causes: Tuberculosis, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, Psora (scabies), Cancer, Leprosy.

[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.

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Homeopathic “Where’s Wally” (Part 1)

April 10, 2012

Homeopath Louise McLean has written an article called 50 Facts About Homeopathy. This is a fact. So that counts as my first fact today. Thank you, thank you. Once I got about half way through that sentence I realized it might turn out to be a fact, and it was!

And Louise McLean can do it too!

…..Okay, I’ll just come out with it……This post will probably get a bit dull in places. But I am going to go through with it anyway, because the best way to observe the behavior of homeopaths is to watch how they try to hide amongst their own camouflage. To make things a bit easier, I’ll point out that she will be following standard homeopathic rhetorical procedure:

She’ll claim that homeopathy has already been proven by clinically controlled tests, and that it can’t be tested.

Yes, you read that right. But she can’t say it as clearly as I just did because people would notice it’s crazy. So she’ll bury it among dozens and dozens of other statements. These other statements in fact turn out to be just as absurd, but will at least serve as a distraction.

See if you can stay awake long enough to catch her doing it! It’s a bit like playing Where’s Wally (or Where’s Waldo for US readers), but with Wally hidden amongst thousands of other Wallys. See how many times you can find that particular Wally!

(You might also notice that one of the “facts” is missing. That extra one is dealt with in the next post, here. There’s a reason for this.)

McLean’s article is quoted in bold. The plain text in between is my commentary.

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