I had wanted to post something for World Homeopathy Awareness Week (WHAW), which ended a few days ago.
However, I have been hampered by the fact that, whenever I think about writing anything more about homeopathy, I tend to find myself losing conciousness. Or the will to live.
This partly reflects just how many words – undoubtedly running into tens of thousands – I have expended on homeopathy in other places – right back to around four years ago when I started commenting on Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science blog.
But I would still like to do my little bit to mark the occasion.
And also – the comments on Stephen’s blogpost reminded me that there always remain hard-core enthusiasts for Alternative Medicine Realities, people whom nothing could ever “un-convince”.
And, of course, there also remain people in science who can always use a small reminder of just how far from their world a fair number of the Alternative Medicine Reality people are.
So I thought I would give you a small literature comprehension exercise.—————————————————————————————————————————-
Unreality Detection 101
You are provided with the URLs of two freely accessible online papers concerning quantum mechanical descriptions of homeopathy.
One of the two is a spoof.
One of them is not.
After reading briefly through as much of the papers as you find necessary, answer the following questions:
1. A scientist or scientists with a PhD wrote
A paper A
B paper B
C both paper A and paper B
2. The spoof paper
A depends which universe you are in
B is paper A
C is paper B
3. The likelihood that a homeopath can tell which paper is the spoof is
C homeopathically dilute
In case you were wondering, question three is set because homeopaths posting pro-homeopathy links on Twitter have linked approvingly to both of the above papers as:
“Evidence that homeopathy works by quantum mechanics”
Following which, any comment seems superfluous.
Though here’s one. Finally, whenever I think about homeopathy, the following line always floats back into my mind:
“Only two things are infinite…..
…the universe and human folly.”
“And I’m not sure about the universe.”
(Attributed to Albert Einstein)