There needs to be a SCAM index, some quantitative tool, a formula for ranking the SCAMs, so one SCAM could reign supreme, to be definitely declared the the goofiest of all SCAMs. Perhaps (number of adherents)x(number of Pubmed publications)x(age of SCAM) all divided by a plausibility factor.
Homeopathy would win and any SCAM index that did not rank homeopathy at number one would have to put up a very convincing argument indeed that their formula was not somehow fundamentally flawed.1
For first time readers, homeopathy is based on several fictions, totally divorced from reality, made up in the 1800′s.
The first law,2 with less reality than Joe Abercrombie’s, is, “similia similibus curentur,” or “let like be cured by like”. Substances which cause specific symptoms can be used to cure diseases which cause the same symptoms. If like cures like, I am uncertain what moonlight, one of many fanciful homeopathic nostrums, would cure. Lycanthropy?
Say you have a headache. What causes a headache? Being smacked on the head by a hammer. So in homeopathic thinking, being hit on the head with a hammer would cure your headache.
But you would not want to give known poisons like arsenic or belladonna to people in attempt for like to cure like, unless one would classify death as cure. Even the otherwise chemistry-challenged homeopaths know that would be a bad idea.
So there is the second law, that of infinitesimal dilutions, where the substances are sequentially diluted in either water or alcohol, and the potency increases with each dilution. And dilute it they do.
Take the hammer for the migraine. Take 100th of it. Thump the remainder against a Bible to activate it, the succussion of homeopathy. Then take 100th of that. Thump it against a Bible. Then 100th of that. Thump it against a Bible. And so on. Do that 6, or 15, or 30 or even 200 times. When finished you will have the an extremely small, perhaps nonexistent, but potentized hammer with power exceeding Mjölnir. Use that to hit the skull to relieve the headache.
It doesn’t get goofier than that. Homeopathy is one of those topics which demonstrates that I am not a true skeptic. A true skeptic would say that homeopathy is highly implausible. I tend to say it is wackaloon impossible on basic principles. Zero plausibility would make homeopathy infinite on the SCAM index.
Homeopathy and adverse effects
Given that homeopathy is nothing that does nothing, not only would I expect any homeopathic preparation to have no efficacy but also no toxicity. With the caveat that it is the dose that makes the poison. Any product with . . .
- What is Homeopathy? (illuminutti.com)
- Homeopathy Ramblings (sciencebasedmedicine.org)
- ASA smackdown on homeopathy advertising (devoidofthought.wordpress.com)
- “You shall not pass”, says the ASA to Society of Homeopaths (doubtfulnews.com)