Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Homeopathy is a lie, and other frustrations with modern idiocy.

I'ill just get the first part out of the way.

Homeopathy is a lie.  Homeopathic practitioners are liars, fools, and/or idiots.

Homeopathy presumes to work on "resonance", which is an unproven pseudoscientific idea (calling it a theorem or a hypothesis is too kind, it is neither of these) that chemicals maintain a "memory" of atoms they have bumped in to.  This is ludicrous, and completely unfounded.  If that was the case, then every drop of water we drink would have the resonant "memory" of dirt, shit, piss, blood of various species, diseases, salt, mercury, the various organic compounds that compose what we refer to as "oil", semen of various species, just an incomprehensible amount of chemicals which water has come in to contact with over the eons of geological history.  But it doesn't, of course, because the homeopathic "vibrations" concept is utter bullshit.

Following on that, one of the basic principles of homeopathy is that the more dilute a solution is, the stronger it is.  This is because to prepare a homeopathic "remedy", one puts a small amount of it in water, then shakes it, and then dilutes that further, then shakes it, then dilutes it further-- supposedly making it stronger each time.  This goes against every single basic concept of chemistry.  The reason one dilutes concentrated sulfuric acid is to WEAKEN its effect, not to strengthen it.  And we shake/stir/etc our goddamend H2NO3 quite well thank you very much, you fucking lying, thieving charlatans.

But even worse than that, they also try to claim that they can violate the laws of physics and statistics with their remedies.  Their "strongest" solutions are so dilute that they pass a crucial point in chemistry and physics-- Avagadro's Number.  This is roughly 6*10^23-- once a dilution gets past this point, there is only a chance of there being one single molecule of the substance in the mixture.  Some of the "strongest" medicines are so dilute that there is only a one in a million chance of there being only one molecule in the mixture.  This is equivalent to taking a grain of rice, grinding it in to a powder, and then mixing it in to a pool of water the size of the solar system, then adding the same amount of water a couple dozen times, and then taking a single sip out of that mass of water.

THAT... is fucking dilute.  The reason I rage so hard about this, aside from being professionally offended as a chemist who knows that every lie they spout confuses the scientifically illiterate, is that they're fooling people.  Stealing their money by selling miracle water and snake oil.  They're liars, they're cheats, they're worthless trash and scum, every single one of them, and yet they make millions and even billions off of ripping poor, unfortunate folk off, people who don't really understand the science (or lack thereof) behind this quack system of remedies.  They prey on fears, taking advantage of people who are afraid of anthrax attacks.  They prey on the unfortunate, selling miracle water to cancer patients and ripping them off as the cancer patient suffers and gets worse because of their lies.

There's plenty of this crap going around.  Faith healing, psychics, ghost whisperers, and other liars prey on the grieving, the unfortunate, the suffering.  These aren't merely hobbyists, no, if that were the case they'd be magicians/conjurers, doing it for entertainment value.  No, they're predators.

To a lesser extent, this sort of thing has involved itself in the political system of the US as well.  People believe what they want to believe-- damn the facts!  Obama is a jew-hating muslim who wants to sell us to the chinese!  Romney will force everyone to take multiple wives!  Bush is a backbiting hick who sold the country to private military contractors!  And so on and so forth.  People allow themselves to be distracted by the spectacle of it all, they get caught up in the emotional lies that are told to gain their support.

Doesn't matter which side you're on-- think for yourself, not for your party.  Skeptical thinking should be applied to people you disagree with, certainly, but even moreso it should be applied to those you agree with, because they're the ones that can fool you the easiest otherwise.


  1. My whole comment was ruined but here's the general idea.

    My mom was into that kind of healing and natural healing which is mostly bogus and snake oil. Some of it could have a placebo effect where you think it'll work so you feel better because you think you will (which does happen). My mom was also into psychics and other BS people spewed when she was alive. My roommate is sometimes into 9/11 and other conspiracy theories.

    I find what you say to be agreeable but you get far too angry. Being angry isn't good for you. People spout bullshit whereever you go and sometimes people believe every politician or policeman is a crook whether based on fact or not.

    Nice to see another blog from you.

  2. I'm angry because these people are lying to unfortunate sick individuals and taking their money that could be spent on a REAL cure.

    Let me emphasize that-- they're lying to people, they're taking advantage of the unfortunate individuals in society.

    They are nothing more than leeches upon society.

  3. I really must praise you frankness, society keeps going down that road of we mush hurt people's feeling, we must not offend. The results are people like this just getting ways with stuff!