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I question the AIDS establishment. Join me!

Then they laugh at you

Mahatma Gandhi

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Mahatma Gandhi

In the wake of yesterday’s piece by Ben Goldacre in The Guardian (Stick to sugar pills and avoid the hard stuff), gleefully ridiculing homeopathy once again, I found Gandhi’s words (left) coming to me loud and clear as they frequently do when I read articles like this. Now there was a man who knew a thing or too about bringing about sea-changes in prevailing opinion …

Things are running true to form, just as Gandhi predicts. For years homeopathy was ignored as a complete irrelevance, then laughed out of court. Now people are taking it a bit more seriously, we’re into the fighting stage, with the ridiculers continuing to throw their weight in now and again.

A cursory apprehension of Goldacre’s point of view might seem plausible enough, but it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. What is glaringly obvious to anyone who has anything beyond the most superficial acquaintance with the therapy is that he, and other professional detractors such as Professor David Colquhoun, have never bothered to go further than the prejudice on the ends of their noses to understand why so many people – both patients and practitioners – abandon conventional medicine in favour of it.

Is that good science? Hmmmm …

To attempt to dismiss so many people, among whom will inevitably be a good proportion of rational and intelligent individuals, as misguided fools (or worse) seems more than just a little foolish.

The entire content of Goldacre’s piece comes across as mostly supposition – a set of opinions based on a few choice snippets of information taken out of context, much as American schoolkids’ essays on London often wax lyrical about fog. Goldacre’s assertion that “Peddling fiction is the homeopath’s trade” is typical of the logic that he and his ilk resort to employing in order to support their viewpoints, when in fact what they are peddling is the fiction – a view of homeopathy that coalesces out of the fog of their imagination and bears little or no resemblance to the actuality of daily homeopathic practice in any of its myriad permutations. The notion that all homeopaths are liars, cheats and frauds because what they’re doing can’t be “true” is not a very scientific argument, is it? In fact, it’s on a par with racism. Perhaps The Guardian should send Dr Goldacre out to India to experience the no-nonsense frontline of the therapy in a busy homeopathic hospital, where they treat “the hard stuff” every day. It would be interesting to see how long his theories about what constitutes ‘evidence’ hold up.

Such being the nature of projection, Goldacre is of course massively guilty of the ‘Bad Science’ his column purportedly stands against. Though what is really at issue here is the nature of “proof” itself and the belief in an objectively determinable “reality”. For more on this subject, see my series of essays starting with Unscientific Attachment.

“In theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice they’re different.”

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Thanks to the current insanity revolving around homeopathy in this country, in both media and blogosphere, it's become necessary to insult your intelligence by explicitly drawing your attention to the obvious fact that any views or advice in this weblog/website are, unless stated otherwise, the opinions of the author alone and should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you choose to take anything from here that might be construed as advice, you do so entirely under your own recognisance and responsibility.

smeddum.net - Blog: Confessions of a Serial Prover. Weblog on homeopathy, health and related subjects by homeopathic practitioner Wendy Howard