Thats right folks. You may or may not have known that last week (10 - 16 April) was World Homeopathy Awareness Week. Otherwise known as 'WHAW'.
It must be an important event as it even had its own 'trending' hashtag on Twitter as, yep, you guessed it, #WHAH
So what was WHAH in aid of?
WHAW was created to promote homeopathic awareness all around the world. During this week homeopaths and friends of homeopathy will come together to share with the world the miracles of homeopathy.
So what has WHAH got to do with RiPA?
Well long term followers of RiPA will know that the work RiPA do is more than just ghosty stuff! Not only do we research into paranormal, psychological and mysterious claims. RiPA also spend alot of time looking into various aspects of 'woo'.
'Woo'? What the hell is 'woo'?
Woo is a word skeptics use as shorthand to describe pseudo-scientific and often anti-scientific ideas - ideas that are generally irrational and not based on evidence commensurate with the extraordinary nature of the claim. These are ideas that usually rely on magical thinking, are rarely tested to see if they are real, and are usually resistant to reason and contrary evidence.
A woo can also be a person who hold those beliefs. So you could say, for example, “homeopathy is woo” or “woos believe in homeopathy.”
Its use has been criticized because it is seen as insulting. Maybe, but its use is not fallacious if you explain why the woo belief is a woo belief. Irrational beliefs based on magical thinking should be ridiculed. Alternative terms such as “believer” don’t really cut it. But if something that is woo PROVES to be valid. Then minds will change. Remember the RiPA mantra:
Its not impossible, just improbable.......... unless of course its homeopathy!!
Anyhow, back to Homeopathy. Ok, RiPA knock Homeopathy a fare bit and I believe it is all justified. Every week I hear at least one account of a death of a child that could've been saved if the parents hadn't relied on Homeopathy. I also believe it is wrong to sell remedies that have nothing to them. Remedies that have less ingredients than filtered water. Remedies that claim these wonderful cures but all they really do is empty your wallet.
Lets take a closer look at the facts about homeopathic remedies:
No Ingredients: Homeopathic remedies are so extremely dilute that most do not contain a single atom of their claimed active ingredient. The most popular homeopathic remedy, oscillococcinum, is based on a dilution of one part duck liver to 10^400 parts of water. 10^400 is the number 1 with 400 zeroes after it. To make such a dilution, you’d have to mix a single molecule of duck liver with more matter than exists in the entire known universe.
No Testing: Homeopathic remedies are exempted from regulations requiring drugs to prove they’re effective and accurately labeled with respect to dosage and potency. What’s more, homeopathic remedies were never even tested by their inventors to make sure they work. Homeopathic remedies are invented by a process homeopaths call “proving”: they give a substance to a healthy person, observe the symptoms it causes, and then take it on faith that homeopathic doses of the same substance will cure those symptoms. For example, coffee causes sleeplessness—that’s all homeopaths need to know in order to prescribe homeopathically-diluted coffee as sleeping pills, called “coffea cruda.” According to homeopathic principles, there’s no need to test whether it actually helps anyone sleep.
No Facts: Major pharmacy chains like LLoyds, Superdrug, and [some] Boots sell useless homeopathic products right alongside real medicine, with no warning to consumers. Manufacturers and retailers profit by denying customers the facts they need to make up their minds. UK law exempts homeopathy from certain rules that govern drugs and nutritional supplements, so manufacturers can market homeopathic remedies for the treatment of illnesses despite the fact that reputable studies show homeopathy to work no better than dummy pills made of plain sugar.
If you are a Homeopath and find offense at what you have read, then please, come forth and prove to us that what you do has quality. Show to us that Homeopathy actually works. This is our offering to your claims.
Email me direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Come join us at RiPA HQ and speak of what you do.
Oh and just as a little treat, Lets hear from our friends Richard Saunders, James Randi & Simon Singh as they share their views on this un-medicine.
PS: Check out the Homeopath who claims that Quantum Science will help prove Homeopathy works.
Till next time folks.