Mini-Science Q & A – Homeopathy: dilution or delusion?

Mini-Science logo At the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. Here are questions from Dr. Ariel Fenster’s lecture “Homeopathy: dilution or delusion?” (May 12, 2010 ).

Q: If homoeopathic medication has no effect, why do doctors ask you to list medications and homeopathic pills?

A: I was not aware that some did but obviously it does not make any scientific sense.

Q: How do you explain the positive effects that pet owners witness when following the advice of homeopathic vets, after medically trained vets have been unsuccessful?

A: Who determines the positive effect? If it is, as you imply, the pet owner, then the results are not properly blinded.

Q: Since your fibromyalgia was “cured” by homeopathic treatment, would you advise other people suffering from the same symptoms to be treated by homeopathy?

A: I never said that my medical problem was “cured” by homeopathy. The only possible explanations for my getting better are either the placebo effect or other unclear effects. If people are in pain I certainly would not prevent them to try homeopathy even if there is no scientific evidence for it.

Please visit the Mini-Science website for more information about the lecture series.

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