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Homeopathic Skeptic In Legal Trouble

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Mon, Mar 15, 2010 @ 05:10 PM

Tags: Homeopathy in England, skeptics of homeopathy

  There have been many skeptics and doubters of homeopathy.  One of the more famous skeptics in homeopathy is Simon Singh. He was on BBC television citing numerous trials on homeopathy.  He stated all trials in homeopathy that he ever studied were failures when compared to a placebo

  He and follow skeptic Edward Ernst published a book called Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial.  The book was very critical of homeopathy.  Ernst and Singh also were offering a $10000 reward to anyone showing that homeopathy actually does work.  No one took them up on this challenge.  Homeopaths said this was a publicity stunt for their book.

  Singh did not get into legal trouble for his criticism of homeopathy.  He was actually bashing chiropractic care.  He wrote in one his articles that chiropractic happily uses bogus treatments to help children with ailments.  The British Chiropractic Association sued him for libel.  In the first trial, the judge ruled that in this article that Singh's intention was to show the chiropractors knowingly were dishonest in treating childrens' illnesses.  Singh appealed this decision.  Now an appeal court will hear Singh side of the story and what he was trying to convey in his article.  

  A charity Sense About Science has said English law of libel has no place in scientific disputes.  This group has launched a campaign to draw attention to Simon Singh's case.  Many people are afraid that criticisms of alternative medicine will not be possible if scientists are sued. The English libel law needs to be reformed according to this charity.  They also states that this is a free speech violation in England.  This organization is primarily funded by pharmacetical companies.

  The appeals have a long way to go.  This will be a land mark case in Great Britain.  I am sure everyone looks forward to the verdict.            

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?    

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