A Hearty, Dilluted Hallelujah! And A Challenge…

The Brits have ruled, and it’s a victory for the side of reason. The National Health Service will no longer be providing funding and licensing for homeopathy. Orac has a brilliant examination of the pertinent details, plus his own exceptional commentary if you want to give that a read. For my part, I have a challenge to put out there.

Homeopathy believes that water has memory. If you properly succuss and dilute a solution of water, the water will remember the chemical properties even as it is diluted, ensuring that the tincture will work even as the quantity of the solution becomes nothing more than pure water. A remedy that is listed as 12C means that for every molecule of remedy, it has been mixed with 1024 molecules of water, and 30C means 1060 molecules. That is a ridiculous ratio, and it can easily be said that without water memory, there would be no way to have any reaction given the minute quantity of the active ingredient.

So I am hereby issuing a challenge. Any homeopathic practitioner can take me up on this. I cannot reward you with money like the JREF’s million dollar offer, as I am a poor bastard. But I can offer you a far greater reward. The bodies and testimonials of the Meddling Kids.

We can choose a treatment together. It could be sleep aid, it could be something to increase heart rate for people suffering from arrhythmia, it could be formaldehyde. It would have to be something with a measurable impact. Either Marc or myself would be given a properly prepared (we’d like to witness the preparation) homeopathic solution in water of the remedy we agree to. One of us will get the homeopathic solution for the course of one month and the other will get distilled water. We will drink 8 cups of our assigned water per day, and otherwise maintain our lives including both alcohol consumption and exercise to ensure that any impacts caused by any outside factors are as mitigated as possible. You will also not know which of us is getting water and which is getting homeopathic solution. In the beginning of the experiment, we will both go through an evaluation to determine a health base line for both of us based around the expected impact of the remedy. We will be evaluated at least once mid-way through the process to ensure that all is well, and again at the end of the process to form a comparison.

If this remedy is to have an impact, then one but not both of us should see a difference before, during, and after the remedy. It’s a simple challenge, and if it correlates with an impact greater than what would be dismissed as placebo effect then we will gladly go on the record explaining the results of our treatment and outlining the experiment in detail. Obviously a single case will not prove or disprove homeopathy, but a victory for you would be a big step in the right direction.

So what do you say, homeopaths? I CAN HAZE WATERZ?

Also, Marc has no idea I’m offering him up for this. :) I’m such a dick.

Jim

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About biguglyjim

Like a caterpillar that spins a coccoon and emerges as a walrus with a mohawk, Big Ugly Jim has become something unexpected. Raised a fine young Christian boy in the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Jim began to question his teachings, first evaluating the wisdom of other religious and eventually realizing that none of them seemed any more accurate than any other, and not a one of them made a lick of sense. Today, Big Ugly Jim is a musician, a Business Analyst with Large Oil Company Whose Name Is Not Important, a music promoter with the Calgary Beer Core, a writer of fiction and non-fiction, a prick, an atheist, a father, an ex-husband, a role model, a horrifying vision in a red speedo (or at least he would be, if ever that happened which IT WOULD NOT), an announcer, and soon to be an officiator of weddings. Also, he's nice and does dishes. Madly enamoured with his partner, The Lovely Lady, Jim continues to live in Calgary, spreading his filthy doctrine of free, critical thinking and appreciation for music. His turn-ons include and are utterly limited to all that is The Lovely Lady. His turn-offs include people being shitty to each other, fundamentalism, and zebras. Who the hell do they think they are, really?

7 thoughts on “A Hearty, Dilluted Hallelujah! And A Challenge…

  1. Awesome!

    I look forward to seeing who takes you up on the offer! If (in some strange and diluted parallel universe) I were a homeopathic practitioner, I’d jump at the chance to prove that which I placed so much trust in!

    Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help, such as gathering photographic evidence of poison oak rashes you’re trying to get rid of, or someone to drink with as you maintain your normal lifestyle during the experiment. ;)

    Boyd

  2. I accept the challenge!

    A skeptically minded co-worker brings up a valid point: Jim and I are going into the challenge with the preconceived notion that the potion will have no impact. A homeopath could argue that our anti-homeopathic mindset could have it’s own placebo effect, canceling out the effects of the potion. I suggested a third, neutral or pro-homeopathic participant to level the playing field … thoughts?

    An additional challange could be to down a whole bottle of one of these potions. Something that is purported to have some kind of drastic effect that could be measured. If we down a whole bottle of the ‘medicine’ we should see some kind of dramatic response.

    I hope someone takes the challenge!

  3. @boyinfidel: So let’s say we use rat poison. If I injest rat poison and truly believe I will not die from it, I will still die. If it is diluted and shaken and diluted and shaken and diluted and shaken to the point where all we can rely on is the water’s memory, then it should have the same chemical reactions. However, so long as there is monitoring, I would be happy to have some other participants. As an addition to the structure of the experiment, perhaps we should make it so that all participants do not know what nostrum they may or may not be drinking? That way, they have no way of knowing what symptoms to expect.

    @Boyd: Have you seen James Randi’s TED talk where he overdoses on homeopathic sleeping pills? Classic.

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