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Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medicine

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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Arouet » 31 Oct 2011, 11:56

If you want to get into homeopathy just let me know...
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby craig weiler » 31 Oct 2011, 20:55

You do not have the proof to back up your statement. Case closed.
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby ProfWag » 31 Oct 2011, 21:06

"Proof" is such a hard word as very few things in this world can be "proven." Although I'm an American, the British House of Commons released a report last year that said they don't work so that's a pretty good place to start with "evidence"...
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... /45/45.pdf
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Craig Browning » 31 Oct 2011, 21:26

:o This reminds me of when I was in boy scouts and we'd have contests as to who could piss the highest up on a tree. . :?

Fact is, I spent most of my 20s and 30's using alternative treatments many of which helped considerably but in reality much of it simple postponed the inevitable. . . my reaching the point with my various ailments that would require traditional medication and dealing with the pharmaceutical world.

My belief is that the two can work well TOGETHER but one really shouldn't lean more (or exclusively) on one over the other. It is a commercial LIE that alternative treatment gives people a better quality of life, longevity, etc. it's crass commercial hype just as we find with every commercial advertising any other chemical compound that's supposed to help us with anything that ails us. B.S. makes the world go round and HOPE sells more HYPE than anything.

Yes, there are gross ramifications when it comes to taking certain meds for extended periods of time. . . same is true with alternative treatments; especially self-medication with herbs in which one really doesn't know how this and that herb set will interact with one another or with something as innocent as taking an aspirin. . . which, by the way, is still considered an herb-based treatment because of it's willow bark compound.

If it weren't for the pharma industry and western medicine I'd probably be dead right now along with MILLIONS of others. I can't fully support this industry because of the greed and obvious corruption it is riff of, nor can I support (trust) the AMA & FDA when it comes to what it and isn't released when & where and even to whom (based on price). On the other hand, when all the chaff is actually removed, it is a good thing and logically superior to the other in that it evolved out from those old wives remedies and shamanic fixes. Working the two together in a sound manner is always the best when it comes to over-all results. ;)
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Arouet » 31 Oct 2011, 22:38

craig weiler wrote:You do not have the proof to back up your statement. Case closed.


So you don't want to discuss the subject in detail but consider the case closed? If you want to get into a discussion about homeopathy I'm willing to dig up sources and examine it with you. If you're not, then I'm not going to bother.

Also, as PW said, we're not looking for "proof", we're looking for evidence for and against whether homeopathy actually works in an attempt to determine how likely it is that homeopathy is indeed effective as promosed on the labels.

I'm not going to spend time putting together material to present if you're just going to refuse to discuss it. So let me know...
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Nostradamus » 01 Nov 2011, 07:44

The problem with homeopathic medicines is that there is no way to tell the difference between the meds and the original water. If these materials are effective then it should be possible to tell the difference, but no one has devised a test that can differentiate between meds and not meds.

In tests, homeopathic meds show positive results at the rate expected from false positives. Studies are done to a 95% confidence level. About 5% of the studies done show a positive. That's what is expected for tests done at that level.

Do we need to show that homeopathic meds are ineffective? That has been done. Nothing distinguishes a homeopathic medicine from a placebo - not the meds themselves or clinical results using the meds.
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Arouet » 01 Nov 2011, 08:45

Hey Nostradamus, you look like an old time reg! Welcome back!
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby NinjaPuppy » 01 Nov 2011, 09:00

Hey ND! Good to see you.
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby ProfWag » 01 Nov 2011, 20:46

Yes ND, good to hear from you!
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Nostradamus » 01 Nov 2011, 20:59

I'm not aware of any such study, but here is what I think would show homeopathic medicines as total bunkum.

Do an experiment in which you have a homeopathy practitioner prepare a homeopathic remedy. Then have other homeopathic practitioners deliver it to their patients. Now here is the test. You tell the preparer to make meds for condition A, but tell the delivery people that they are receiving meds for conditions B, C, D, and E. I'll bet the people receiving the meds all report improvement even though the meds are not targeted towards their condition.

So if the treatment is for headaches and the recipients are treated for stomach upset or whatever they will think they have improved just because they believe in the treatment. Then again I'm willing to bet that if you told these people that there could be side effects you could elicit those side effects just as can be done with placebo tests.

Of course, we won't know until such a test is done.

PS. A recent placebo test had an interesting effect. Even though the patients were told that they were being given sugar pills they suggested that it helped. If I recall properly they were told they were being given sugar pills to control pain.
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Nostradamus » 01 Nov 2011, 21:14

Nice to see that discussions here are at a high level on both sides of the issue.

I do see a place for homeopathy. It is not in the meds to the claims of the methodology. It lies in the fact that someone can go speak to someone for a while. A homeopathic practitioner and others in the alt med side spend a lot of time with people and that in and of itself is useful.

I think a label should be posted on all things from food to meds to homeopathic meds. For the homeopathic meds it should say something like:

active ingredients: 0%
inactive ingredients: 100%
Analytical testing guarantees that this product is indistinguishable from distilled water. It is lower in sodium, fluorine, heavy metals, and radioactive materials than any of the bottled water in aisle 7.
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Craig Browning » 01 Nov 2011, 23:21

Nostradamus wrote:The problem with homeopathic medicines is that there is no way to tell the difference between the meds and the original water. If these materials are effective then it should be possible to tell the difference, but no one has devised a test that can differentiate between meds and not meds.

In tests, homeopathic meds show positive results at the rate expected from false positives. Studies are done to a 95% confidence level. About 5% of the studies done show a positive. That's what is expected for tests done at that level.

Do we need to show that homeopathic meds are ineffective? That has been done. Nothing distinguishes a homeopathic medicine from a placebo - not the meds themselves or clinical results using the meds.


Over how many years?

The big thing about homeopathics (though this thread is about other healing forms as well) and even certain herb work is that it is based on time, which is why it falls under "Preventative" care. . . but all this really doesn't seem to matter to the research groups that want to prove it impotent.
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Nostradamus » 02 Nov 2011, 00:10

Craig Browning wrote:
Nostradamus wrote:The problem with homeopathic medicines is that there is no way to tell the difference between the meds and the original water. If these materials are effective then it should be possible to tell the difference, but no one has devised a test that can differentiate between meds and not meds.

In tests, homeopathic meds show positive results at the rate expected from false positives. Studies are done to a 95% confidence level. About 5% of the studies done show a positive. That's what is expected for tests done at that level.

Do we need to show that homeopathic meds are ineffective? That has been done. Nothing distinguishes a homeopathic medicine from a placebo - not the meds themselves or clinical results using the meds.


Over how many years?

The big thing about homeopathics (though this thread is about other healing forms as well) and even certain herb work is that it is based on time, which is why it falls under "Preventative" care. . . but all this really doesn't seem to matter to the research groups that want to prove it impotent.


Craig this is a typical statement from a believer, i.e. the tests are not properly done. That is stated about tests showing astrology does not work. The response is something like you tested the wrong type of astrology or you tested it incorrectly or whatever. Even in cases where the believer states up front that the test is legitimate, when failure happens the believer complains about the test.

Homeopathic meds are no different than placebos. They are indistinguishable from placebos. Placebos even work when you tell people that they are taking a placebo!

Herbals are different. Herbals often contain effective compounds. Unlike homeopathic meds herbals are usually distinguishable from placebos. They often contain active ingredients. The problem is that people do not deliver them in well known doses. People think they can't do harm because they are "natural" or whatever. Herbals that are active can have interactions with pharmaceuticals and other herbals.

Herbals have been tested. Some are not effective. Some do not have the properties that believers assign to them. An example is black cohosh.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,237499,00.html

Some have been shown to be effective such as St John's wort as an antidepressant.
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/herbal-medicine-000351.htm
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Craig Browning » 03 Nov 2011, 04:14

Like all cynics, you will never accept any form of proof because you don't want to believe in anything other than all of the world must buy into your narrowed opinion as to how it all works. . . you may as well be a baptist or any other born-again jerk in that your dogma is of the same mind-set.

Randi got clocked on this during a recent talk (I can't remember the location, I want to say Oakland) but he was so backed into a corner over what skeptics don't consider when looking at Astrology (for instance) that he had the professor throw out the handful of educated believers that were making him look a fool that could only say, "It's all Cold Reading" when in truth it's not.

I've put magicians that think they know how it all works into Psychic Fairs and they weren't just found out quickly by the patrons, they were nearly lynched in a few cases because they assume all believers are uneducated idiots and Cold Reading scripts work on everyone. Then we have those like Jamie Swiss who use such tactics for sake of sexual exploitation while calling people like me immoral, unethical charlatans because I get $30.00 bucks for giving someone hope. . . that really sounds intelligent, doesn't it?

The fact is western Science is the afterbirth of Religion where as primitive religion (prior to Christian Orthodoxy) was a combination of science and folklore; the way of the wise as they say in that the old religion promoted education over superstition. Today's cynics deliberately ignore this fact and worse, they exchange the recognition of mythos and even magick so as to paint it as something it is not. It is "Metaphor" and always has been and the patrons of those elder Gnostic traditions never concealed said fact, nor did they conceal the fact that the festivals and celebrations through the year were merely symbolic; a time to honor a certain side of the higher self, not to kiss the tukkis of some divine IS in a literal manner.

Regardless, what became today's "science" oozed from this culture, every bit of it! To say other wise is to prove the fallacy of your own chosen faith and the gospel you choose to preach. ;)
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Re: Skeptics' ultimate hypocrisy regarding alternative medic

Postby Nostradamus » 03 Nov 2011, 04:31

Craig Browning wrote:Like all cynics, you will never accept any form of proof because you don't want to believe in anything other than all of the world must buy into your narrowed opinion as to how it all works. . . you may as well be a baptist or any other born-again jerk in that your dogma is of the same mind-set.

Randi got clocked on this during a recent talk (I can't remember the location, I want to say Oakland) but he was so backed into a corner over what skeptics don't consider when looking at Astrology (for instance) that he had the professor throw out the handful of educated believers that were making him look a fool that could only say, "It's all Cold Reading" when in truth it's not.

I've put magicians that think they know how it all works into Psychic Fairs and they weren't just found out quickly by the patrons, they were nearly lynched in a few cases because they assume all believers are uneducated idiots and Cold Reading scripts work on everyone. Then we have those like Jamie Swiss who use such tactics for sake of sexual exploitation while calling people like me immoral, unethical charlatans because I get $30.00 bucks for giving someone hope. . . that really sounds intelligent, doesn't it?

The fact is western Science is the afterbirth of Religion where as primitive religion (prior to Christian Orthodoxy) was a combination of science and folklore; the way of the wise as they say in that the old religion promoted education over superstition. Today's cynics deliberately ignore this fact and worse, they exchange the recognition of mythos and even magick so as to paint it as something it is not. It is "Metaphor" and always has been and the patrons of those elder Gnostic traditions never concealed said fact, nor did they conceal the fact that the festivals and celebrations through the year were merely symbolic; a time to honor a certain side of the higher self, not to kiss the tukkis of some divine IS in a literal manner.

Regardless, what became today's "science" oozed from this culture, every bit of it! To say other wise is to prove the fallacy of your own chosen faith and the gospel you choose to preach. ;)


Sorry, I just don't believe you about Randi. You sound like scepcop.

The problem is that there is zero proof. So why do you make a comment such as not believing anything where in fact there is nothing to dispute.

Primitive religion has never been about science. That is simply false. Science is a rather recent innovation. The Greeks did not do science according to modern usage of the term.

The problem is that alternative medicine is in general ineffective. It is not possible to distinguish between a placebo and homeopathy and many herbals and acupuncture and healing touch and magnetism and all sorts of other issues.

If you have anything to support any of the many ways people claim to practice alternative medicine then please post it instead of making vague and unsubstantiated claims. Please give us anything to latch onto. Please provide one iota of evidence that alternative methods are anything other than hooey.
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