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If someone pointed a gun at you and demanded that you give them money, you could go to the police and have the thief charged with a criminal offence. If someone claimed that they could prevent or treat a life-threatening disease and charged you $200 per litre for water to do the job, you would waste your time going to the police because this form of theft is called "homeopathy" and there are no criminal sanctions against it. I find it impossible to believe that the people promoting this scam are not aware that it is fraud. I do not believe for a moment that anyone follows the manufacturing process that would be required to produce the extreme dilutions claimed on product labels. Why would you bother to spend money on all that diluting and succussing when the exact same effect can be achieved by filtering some tap water and putting it into small bottles?
Look at this picture of two bottles pretending to contain vaccines against Hepatitis B and Meningococcal Disease. Ignore for the moment the misspelling of the word "meningococcal", and also ignore the principles of homeopathy which reject the concept of vaccines anyway (you can't treat something that hasn't started to happen). Concentrate instead on the expression "200C". This means that these preparations have been made by taking 1% of a mixture, adding 99 times the resulting quantity of water or alcohol, shaking the new mixture, taking 1% again and repeating this process 200 times. That's 200 times that 1% is further diluted a hundredfold.
The final product in these bottles, if prepared according to the labels, would contain the following percentage of active ingredient:
.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001%
In the real universe in which most of us live, if 25 millilitres of water contained only one molecule of the active ingredient, the percentage would be:
For those who think that there is a possibility that manufacturers of homeopathic preparations really do go through the claimed process, consider that each 25ml bottle in the picture above would require in excess of 800 manufacturing steps and would produce 495 litres of contaminated waste water. The amount of water required to produce the number of doses needed for the Australian government's 2003 campaign against meningococcal disease would be 78% of the amount used to produce all of the Coca Cola consumed by Australians in a year. If the "vaccines" had to be produced in a hurry, the quantity of water required would be about the same as is used for all purposes in Sydney (population 4 million) for about eight hours.
Think about these things the next time someone tries to steal your money by selling you some homeopathic medicine. Did I say "steal"? Did I suggest that the practice is dishonest? Why, yes I did. Good! I would not have wanted to make a mistake.
A version of this article was published on the Yahoo! 7 News Blog on September 1, 2009
Great article Peter!Sep 1 06:08 pm
Being informed is rather important, before venturing into writing nonsense, Peter. You should do more reading. And, oh, by the way, the earth is still flat...Sep 2 12:08 pm
None of us should be surprised regarding just how gullible some people can be, nevertheless I am amazed that these products have not been found in breach of advertising guidelines. Homeopathy is obviously and patently rubbish, how it has been able to be publicly sold in Australia for so long is scandalous. As Peter wisely points out, the issue is not about defending the validity of homeopathy as a practice - it is about the fact that the products are not what they claim to be.Sep 4 12:00 pm
You should your ignorance is bigger than your mouth and brain.
Do not talk about what you do not know or have not experienced.
You are the fool ones and I am sorry for your stupidity
How do you know I haven't experienced homeopathy? Actually, we all have, because every glass of water you drink probably either contains or has come into contact with water that contains some molecules that were in the water turned to wine at Cana. Also, sewers empty into the ocean and the surf is a powerful succusser. Think about it.
Bravo, you're so smart.....Sep 9 10:33 am
Homeopathic treatment is as Real as modern medicine. Both do not work 100% of the time. I have never heard of a homeopathic surgeon, have you? Surgeons sometimes cut out healthy organs or leave things inside their patient. Homeopaths do not! The bit of paper you sign before an operation removes any liability from the surgeon & you Agree to this. Where are your laws now?Sep 11 09:09 pm
Peter, If I put a gun to your head & demand money from you or else, You Have the choice to pay up or not. If someone offers you a seemingly impossible cure for a disease & demands a fee for it, You HAVE a Choice again! No one puts a gun to your head & Forces you to accept a cure & pay for it! Perhaps the Crime should be making the wrong choice? Perhaps your article is homeopathetic?Sep 11 09:18 pm
My choice: when I drink water from the tap, I drink the antibiotics or hormones and other non-biodegradable chemicals that users of goods produced by multi-nationals and billionaires money makers gave to you Peter and other killer of our planets and people. Your body just can't absorb your poison. Yet this poison makes millionaires and billionaires: drugs makers and their marketers and deliverers: doctors. The more stupid the human being, the richer they became. You will not find rich homeopSep 12 05:04 pm
homeopaths or deliverers of non-harmful remedies to the inhabitants of my planet. Your drugs are in all water and food, even the organic food (wind). I try to stay away from your drugs and pesticide, but I can't and nobody can't. You and your kind are imposing me all this killer and your attitude is a killing as those who are developing those poisons to the planets and inhabitants
...not $200... .
Peter, it is time to wake up.
To all of you defending or critising Peters article. You haven't read it!
He is not saying homeopathy works or doesn't, he is saying it is a physical impossibilty to achieve the dilutions claimed. Therefore it is misleading advertising and a fraud. If you buy beef mince it must be beef mince.
If homeopathy works, it works for reasons other than the claimed dilutions.
Ever notice that the spammers and defenders of spam merchants have great trouble with spelling and grammar maybe they have been sniffing the "cures"Sep 13 08:14 pm
I love the way any blog posts about so-called alternative medicine (and its many cousins of woo) bring out the panicky, defensive tub-thumping of its supporters. Peter, your voice is like Barry White's on Altie Whacking Day. Nice work. Now where's my whacking stick?Sep 15 09:53 am
I find it both humorous and disappointing that 7News would engage the likes of Peter Bowditch for anything beyond perhaps lavatory duties. Bowditch is likely one of the most hateful and prejudicial blights on the internet. He routinely supports abusing women and children. He lies, deceives and misguides the public with his anti-everything nonsense. There are reports throughout the internet that tell of his legal woes from aggravated assault to civil convictions for defamation.
Homeopathic treatment is as Real as modern medicine. Both do not work 100% of the time
Except that homeopathic treatments don't work any percent of the time.
Hello again. You will be posting evidence of my "legal woes from aggravated assault to civil convictions for defamation" shortly, I assume.
Oh, that's right - you (or someone who sounds just like you) has been saying these things for many years now. When are you going to produce the evidence? (Trick question - I know there's no evidence.)
I just thought you should know that the Queen is a strong believer in homoeopathic (and yes, that is the correct spelling with a dipthong) medicine and that there is a homoeopathic hospital in London of which hm is a patron. Not really into the modality myself, but the Russians have done some remarkable work on genetic memory that might make Peter eat his words one day.Oct 19 08:58 pm
I don't really care what the Queen believes. She is a very nice lady and good at her job, but she isn't a scientist or a doctor.
Oh, and nothing makes a spelling flame lamer than a spelling error - dipHthong.
The more I read about Bowditch and his Australian Skeptics, the more I'm convinced "rumours" of criminal past, lost civil actions, and abuse of women and children are more than just rumours.
7News should be ashamed of associating with such a questionable if not dispicable character.
Great article.Nov 13 01:44 pm
7News....the clock is ticking....When will you nuked the lying reprobate Peter Bowditch?
He views are ridiculous and his comments are incendiary...
Homotherapy I expect has unlike drugs no side affects.I trust it.Jan 10 03:02 am
There is a chronic failure in this article to understand the science of homeopathics. The author assumes a materialistic perspective that so chronically pervades western thought and medicine. That is it assumes that is the molecule of an 'active' incregient that generates the effect. From this perspective the dilution to such very small quantities would be ludicrous.... (Part 1)Mar 1 01:31 pm
If however, you relying on the energy patterns to bring about the result, it is the waveform that is important not the concentrations of an atom/molecule. Dilution if carried out under energetically clean conditions should not alter the waveform present in the homeopathic remedy. Hence, the effect of dliution should be irrelevant. Before damning something, employ a level of skepticism regarding your own knowledge (part2)Mar 1 01:41 pm