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Randi Backs Out Of Homeopathy Challenge

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Mon, Feb 23, 2009 @ 01:46 PM

Tags: skeptics of homeopathy, Homeopathy Challenge

  I came across a pretty interesting article on Natural Helath News.  I will summarize the article below.  The article pretty much states that an agreed protocol for the homeopathy experiment was going to be used for the 1,000,000 dollar challenge.  However, James Randi conviently backed out of the trial.

  Homeopath George Vithoulkas, a renowned homeopath, began the application process in 2003 for James Randi challenge to prove anything that is paranormal.  Homeopathy falls into this category since some of the medicines use extremely dilute substances well beyond that of avogardos number.  Randi has a strict process that one has to follow to be eligible for the one million dollar prize.

  Randi's team of skeptics and George Vithoulkas team of homeopaths started a trial.  In 2006,  George and his team begin prescribing individualized homeopathic remedies in a double blind fashion to potential patients.  James Randi and his team of skepics were satisfied with the experiment and waived the preliminary application process.  However, Mr. Randi had gotten mysterious ill.  The homeopaths asked to have them send a replacement for him.  Randi refused to do so.  Randi claimed to be ill for 6 months.  Within that 6 month time period, Athens had a new scientific committe chairman and a new hospital adminstrator where the homeopathic experiment was to take place.  

  After 2 years of negotiating with the new authorities, George Vithoulkas was ready to begin the new experiment.  However, Randi sent a letter saying the homeopaths have to start the process from the beginning with an application process.  Randi also stated on his website that the homeopaths had backed out of this experiment.  

  The team of homeopaths were furious.  This proces has taken 5 years to do but Randi was getting cold feet.  The experiment will still continue.  A team of skeptics will observe this experiment and the results will be posted.  The 1,000,000 dollars is lost but the results of homeopathy may not be.  

   If Randi is so confident that homeopathy does not work, why is he trying to back out?    


Homeopathy Challenge

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Wed, Aug 27, 2008 @ 07:06 PM

Tags: Homeopathy, Homeopathy Challenge

  This article is going to take about a couple of homeopathy challenges out there. This article will discuss the homeopathic challenge from James Randi awarding a prize of $1,000,000 dollars to show anything paranormal.  Homeopathy would fall under this category due to the fact that this form of alternative medicine uses dilute substances to heal.  The other challenge is from Simon Singh and Edward Ernst saying that they will award anyone $10,000 pounds that can show homeopathy will work in a placebo based trial using their research methodology.

    The first challenge is the James Randi challenge.  It awards anyone a $1000000 dollar prize to show something that is paranormal.  Some homeopaths have taken up this challenge but their application was denied.  The challenge states that people with serious medical conditions can not stop  their current medication to  participate  in the challenge. 

A homeopath was going to demonstrate  his success treating patients with chronic asthma symptoms via Homeopathy. They felt the participants would be in danger by not taking their current medications for chronic asthma so the trial was denied.

In the James Randi challenge, you would have to design the trial.  James Randi's staff would approve the design trials.  You can begin testing once you are approved.

  The second challenge is very strange.  Ernst and Singh have issued a challenge to homeopathy to demonstrate evidence that this type of alternative medicine works using cochrane research methodology.  The prize is $10,000 pounds.  

  What makes this challenge so strange, you may ask?  Ernst himself did a trial on homeopathy showing it worked for varicose veins.(1)  He tested 61 people with varicose veins and the homeopathic group show a 44% improvement.

Is he going to give himself $10,000 pounds because he proved that homeopathy worked? 

  The question becomes why are people offering these challenges? 

Is it for publicity? 

Is it to discredit Homeopathy?  

Why have some few homeopaths taken up these challenges?

Do people think that these organizations will actually pay if the experiment proves successful?

Do people feel these experiments would be fair?

 

 

 

 

References

(1) http://www.homeopathic.org/articles/view,71