More to Medicine than “Biologically Active”
Nick Collins trades the usual predictable comments of the common sceptic but homeopathy and science make good companions since homeopathy has a rational basis. Here’s a possible reply to Collins.
SIR – Nick Collins in his Daily Telegraph article ‘Homeopathy biologically implausibe’, gives a one-sided criticism of Homeopathy, quoting the usual critics, but forgets that when they point the finger at Homeopathy there are three more pointing back at themselves. He quotes prof Ernst “a former homeopathist” (sic) who coincidentally happens to have the “best evidence available.” Yet Ernst is also a doctor who can’t cure the common cold! Treatment is not meant to be biologically plausible because disease, like humans, cannot be reduced to the purely biological. Disease is vital and usually dynamic which is why only the living get sick! Corpses are not biologically active yet don’t succumb to illness. Can you put susceptibility under a microscope? No, it’s invisible, metaphysical.
And on that point: metaphysical, it’s worth reminding Collins et al. that the word “biology” means the study of life. What is life? It’s not biological but vital, energetic, so before Collins and co. can begin a discussion reducing everything to the material, the purely biological; they can’t, as they have entered the world of the metaphysical, or Mind as philosophers refer to it.
Medicine itself prescribes homeopathically: radium causes cancer but is used to treat cancer; the epilepsy drug, Epilem, causes epilepsy etc etc. Thus a chef will apply heat to a burn because “like cures like”- the law of cure as formulated by Prof. Samuel Hahnemann. Of course, proper Homeopathy is more complex.
Commenting on medicine, a biologist is overstepping his scientific boundary but what does he mean by a medicine being “effective”? A hammer on the back of the head is effective – you soon forget the pain in your knee. Collins says the NHS spends £4 million each year on Homeopathic treatment yet if he read his own article online he’d see a link to an article claiming NHS spending on it fell to £122,000 (30 Aug 2011). Where’s the truth?
There are many questions regarding drug trials and science or lack thereof. Vioxx was proven – proven to kill 40,000 according to Merck. Bizarrely, Merck’s defence lawyer (Kenneth Frazier) claimed, ‘It wasn’t knowable based on objective scientific evidence,’ which begs the question; what good was the scientific trial? Maybe trials should be on trial, not Homeopathy. A former boss at Glaxo famously said their medicines only work on 50% of people. Further, placebo effect is of no use to a Homeopath. We look for improvements in specific ways not merely a vague improvement.
And vaccines have nothing to do with Homeopathy as they are isopathic prescriptions and were disproven 200 years ago by Hahnemann. (Very recently the Daily Telegraph reported a whooping cough epidemic ‘despite a very satisfactory vaccine uptake’). However, since Koch and Pasteur plagiarised Hahnemann, vaccines have since been attenuated, yet credit was never given to Hahnemann for his discovery.
Medicine provides no science regarding paediatric doses (Telegraph, 8 Sept 2005) and according to my BNF, there have not been any double-blind trials for the use of cortisone in asthma. Science!
If these armchair critics were true scientists, like Hahnemann, or even true sceptics, they’d investigate. After all, to be a sceptic should mean to inquire, to consider carefully, if we are to accept the origin of the word. Hahnemann, the first pharmacologist, tested 100 drugs in his own lifetime and quoting another pharmacologist, Professor Baroness Greenfield (Telegraph, 12 Feb, 2010), ‘Absence of evidence does not equate with evidence of absence.’
There’s only one rational way to treat and that’s homeopathically as James Le Fanu illustrated only yesterday in Doctor’s Diary when he referred to the homeopathic treatments for tinnitus found in Aristotle (“who noted how ‘buzzing in the ears ceases when a greater sound drives out the less'”) and the religious cure at Stival.
Instead of trading on caricatures of Homeoapthy, the critics could start by studying Hahnemann’s findings which he made freely available ‘for suffering humanity’ and do it with a truly scientific mindset.
Image: Wiki commons