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karina


Member

Posted Sat Nov 5th, 2011 2:08pm Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

The subject of placebo and homeopathy and how it works on QI last night [4th nov 2011], one explanation being it doesnt work and that the results [people seemingly appearing to feel beter] is due to the power of suggestion.

If the argument of "the power of suggestion" is the answer to "...it doesnt work..." then how come - homeopathy - does work on animals?

I have successfully treated mainly cats and dogs in the past, some being classed as incurable by the veterinary sector.

Fact: animals are not susceptable to the "power of suggestion" when they're ill and wretched and especially not so when grabbed by the scruff of the neck, have their mouths pryed open and getting a tablet shoved down their throat!

There also is no "power of suggestion" if and/or when the tablet [or liquid drops] are hidden in a juicy piece of sausage or the animals favourite food. You cannot convince an animal by saying [begging] "...eat this and you'll feel/get better...".

Animals given placebo's [sugar tabs] on the other hand give no positive results and so with animals a placebo is just that - a placebo, it does not work, unless the animal is diabetic meaning its insuline dosage would have to be slightly increased/monitored even more closely if say dosage was set at 2 tabs 3x daily!

I would like to know Stephen's view/answer to homeopathy and its positive effects on - resistant to the "power of suggestion" - animals

K.


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karina


Member

Posted Sat Nov 5th, 2011 5:41pm Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

ps. I forgot to mention that there are basically 2 possible reasons for homeopathy not working:

The first is that the chosen remedy is wrong ie not for the complaint at hand resulting from wrong "diagnosis" and or incomplete fact-gathering [questioning patient]. This concerns Classical Homeopathy where the remedy is a single plant or mineral. Incomplete symptom/fact-gathering is less important when a complex solution is used which can consist up to 6 different ingredients. Its basically a hit-and-miss remedy, one of the 6 ingredients is sure to be the right one!

The second is use of steroids/a steroid.
The "patient" has been using steroids, be it by prescription [GP/Specialist] or otherwise [sport].

One readily used steroid in "regular" medicine for example is prednisolon!

Homeopathy is based on making the body, or rather the white blood cells that are the body's defence mechanism, aware it is ill and/or has been invaded by a foreign body in the form of a virus, bacteria or a simple infection.

Steroids on the other hand suppress symptoms, in which case, with a lack or absence of symptoms homeopathy cannot work as a trigger device or alarm clock to alert the white blood cells that there's something wrong.
Result, homeopathy "does not work".

K.


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elfinsue


Member

Posted Sat Nov 5th, 2011 11:35pm Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

Thank-you Karina, I usually enjoy QI but just had to turn it off! I found Stephen's attitude unbelievably arrogant. Yes homeopathy does work on animals-- and humans. It is in fact used for treatment by the NHS, although there are also many other effective alternative treatments that aren't. It was just the huge assumption that I found quite shocking -- that if something hasn't been scientifically tested then it must be totally ineffective-- even referring to homeopaths as "quacks". Of course such tests have their uses. But treatments such as homeopathy work on a very subtle level which is why it can be far more effective. The skill of the practitioner lies in diagnosing exactly what is right for this person at this particular time. Perhaps it can sometimes be a little hit-and-miss initially, until the correct balance is found. So of course this is going to skew any scientific testing. Why not have a little trust in people's anecdotal evidence? Why be so arrogant? It's great to have a brilliant mind, but there is much in this life that the mind simply cannot comprehend.


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karina


Member

Posted Sun Nov 6th, 2011 8:52pm Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

Great to have a brilliant mind? hmmm I sometimes wonder. Is it not greater to have a brilliant and - open - mind?
I always thought Stephen belonged to this latter brilliant and open minded group as he is always questioning facts, figures, situations. I always classed him to basically live the journalistic rule of 5 "W's" and 1 "H" being Who, What, When, Where, Why and How...
I know I do and I'm not even a journalist!
By posting here I was hoping to draw his attention on there being proof homeopathy is a viable medicine, using the argument that, unlike humans, animals are not susceptible to the power of suggestion and so hoping he would either recant his declaration of "it doesnt work" or at least publicly be more open minded towards it.
Another possibility and hence giving QI [Stephen] the benefit of the doubt, maybe a large multinational multibillion farmaceutical company whispered into the bbc's ear that they should "mention" homeopaths are quacks and that homeopathy and alternative medicine "doesnt work", after all, what beter way to keep the competition down than by having a celebrity - an intellectual celebrity at that - declare it to be so? It wouldnt surprise me, just like it didnt surprise me when I discovered that the multinational multibillion sugar industry is doing its darndest to have the Stevia plant extract banned! The natural sweet substance is extracted from the leaves of the Stevia plant. The brilliant thing about Stevia is that it is safe for diabetics to use, ie substitute sugar with a few drops of stevia extract into the cake mixture and diabetics can have their cake and eat it too! Also, it would appear that Coca Cola [which I never drink] use Stevia as a sweetner in their cola light...
But I digress... oh, I didnt switch off, I muted the sound and took the dogs for their last walk of the day knowing that by the time I returned the programme would have ended


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ginj


Member *

Posted Mon Nov 7th, 2011 1:02pm Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

I would think that the answer to animals perceived improvement under homeopathy is the same as it is in people. And that is, that it is people who are interpreting the results, and therefore subject to the same power of suggestion. People see an improvement in their animal's condition because they expect to see an improvement. If animals were able to record there own feelings, symptoms and improvements, we may see a different response.


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mvet88


Member

Posted Mon Nov 7th, 2011 1:27pm Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

I have to agree with Ginj here and I think I'm well qualified to comment in this area. A pet owner who wants a medication or any treatment to work will always say they have seen an improvement. I do not deny alternative medicines have their place in the world, however I would not be so quick to dispense with the steroids at this stage!

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TobiasMonk


Moderator

Posted Mon Nov 7th, 2011 4:30pm Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

karina said: By posting here I was hoping to draw his attention on there being proof homeopathy is a viable medicine, using the argument that, unlike humans, animals are not susceptible to the power of suggestion and so hoping he would either recant his declaration of "it doesnt work" or at least publicly be more open minded towards it.

Stephen Fry rarely posts here so I'm afraid you'd be wasting your time on that, but he has said publicly on many occasions that he believes in the principles of good science, the gathering of empirical evidence etc..

I cannot be awake for nothing looks to me as it did before, Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.
Walt Whitman

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aSyd


Member

Posted Thu Nov 10th, 2011 1:08pm Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

Since the scientific evidence is that it doesn't work for humans, Karina is in the strange position of arguing that it "somehow" works for other mammals, but not for one particular species of mammal! That sounds like a magical argument... unsurprisingly!

A real man is a kind man.

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Nikkuk


Member

Posted Sat Jul 14th, 2012 11:53pm Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

I would be surprised if anyone, homeopaths included, would consider it possible to realistically obtain substances that are 100% free of all impurities so it is highly likely that there are traces of substances in homeopathic reagents, and also in the dilutants, which will have contraindications to that of the primary substance. These impurities will undergo the same homeopathic potency enhancing process, repetitive dilution and succession, as the required ingredients and so will remain embodied in the final ‘remedy’ at an even greater dilution than the primary component, I suspect you know where this is going. The main principle of homeopathy is that the more dilute the ingredients are the more potent the remedy will be, therefore by applying homeopathy’s own set of "laws"? or to be correct hypotheses, in their “remedies”? the unwanted impurities will have a greater effect than the desired remedy and are probably more likely to have negative rather than positive effects if they were right.

I rest my case.

Q.I. - To put some ‘visual’ numbers homepathic products; a '30C' remedy is equivalent to diluting one drop of the required substance diluted in a bucket about 100 times bigger than the size (volume) of our solar system.


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enjoydiablo3


Member

Posted Thu Apr 18th, 2013 11:29am Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

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WannaBeLinguist


Member

Posted Thu Apr 18th, 2013 7:04pm Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

^^^
Uh... Person above me, who are you exactly?

That is an excellent question-- I don't know.

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Simon Brown


Member

Posted Thu Jun 6th, 2013 3:21pm Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

aSyd said:
Since the scientific evidence is that it doesn't work for humans, Karina is in the strange position of arguing that it "somehow" works for other mammals, but not for one particular species of mammal! That sounds like a magical argument... unsurprisingly!

aSyd; I have, somewhere in the cupboard which is my mind, a Zoology degree. I regard your mammal argument as entirely valid. I would ask you however to respect my expertise* when I suggest that it may be possible, when applied with the help of the correct crystals, that homeopathy might work on ducks.

Remember, Quark is not just an elementary particle but also the noise made by Harley Street homeopathists and posh ducks.

*I had a particular interest in cephalopod neurobiology and it's impact on respiratory behaviour, but I have eaten ducks


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jacktimo


Member

Posted Tue Jun 11th, 2013 11:52am Post subject: placebo & homeopathy... QI 4th nov 2011

By posting here I was hoping to draw his attention on there being proof homeopathy is a viable medicine, using the argument that, unlike humans, animals are not susceptible to the power of suggestion and so hoping he would either recant his declaration of "it doesnt work" or at least publicly be more open minded towards it.


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