Serious encyclopedias: Serious and respected encyclopedias and reference works are generally expected to provide overviews of scientific topics that are in line with respected scientific thought. Wikipedia aspires to be such a respected work.
3. Questionable science: Theories which have a substantial following, such as psychoanalysis, but which some critics allege to be pseudoscience, may contain information to that effect, but generally should not be so characterized.
4. Alternative theoretical formulations: Alternative theoretical formulations which have a following within the scientific community are not pseudoscience, but part of the scientific process.
The subject of this article is controversial and content may be in dispute. When updating the article, be bold, but not reckless. Feel free to try to improve the article, but don't take it personally if your changes are reversed; instead, come here to the talk page to discuss them. Please supply full citations when adding information, and consider tagging or removing unsourced information.
Important notice: Some common points of argument are addressed in the FAQ below, which represents the consensus of editors here. Please remember that this page is only for discussing Wikipedia's encyclopedia article about Homeopathy.
Many of these questions arise frequently on the talk page concerning homeopathy.
To view an explanation to the answer, click the [show] link to the right of the question.
Q1: Should material critical of homeopathy be in the article? (Yes.)
A1: Yes. Material critical of homeopathy must be included in the article. The articles on Wikipedia include information from all significant points of view. This is summarized in the policy pages which can be accessed from the Neutral point of view policy. This article strives to conform to Wikipedia policies, which dictate that a substantial fraction of articles in fringe areas be devoted to mainstream views of those topics.
Q2: Should material critical of homeopathy be in the lead? (Yes.)
A2: Yes. Material critical of homeopathy belongs in the lead section. The lead must contain a summary of all the material in the article, including the critical material. This is described further in the Lead section guideline.
Q3: Is the negative material in the article NPOV? (Yes.)
A3: Yes. Including negative material is part of achieving a neutral article. A neutral point of view does not necessarily equate to a sympathetic point of view. Neutrality is achieved by including all points of view – both positive and negative – in rough proportion to their prominence.
Q4: Does Wikipedia consider homeopathy a fringe theory? (Yes)
A4: Yes. Homeopathy is described as a fringe medical system in sources reliable to make the distinction. This is defined by the Fringe theories guideline, which explains: We use the term fringe theory in a very broad sense to describe ideas that depart significantly from the prevailing or mainstream view in its particular field of study.
Since the collective weight of peer-reviewed studies does not support the efficacy of homeopathy, it departs significantly enough from the mainstream view of science to be considered a fringe theory.
^ Jonas, WB (February 2008). "Should we explore the clinical utility of hormesis". Human & Experimental Toxicology. 27 (2): 123–127. PMID18480136. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
Q5: Should studies that show that homeopathy does not work go into the article? (Yes.)
A5: Yes. Studies that show that homeopathy does not work are part of a full treatment of the topic and should go into the article. Wikipedia is not the place to right great wrongs. Non-experts have suggested that all the studies that show homeopathy does not work are faulty studies and are biased, but this has not been borne out by the mainstream scientific community.
Q6: Should another article called "Criticism of homeopathy" be created? (No.)
A6: No. Another article called "Criticism of homeopathy" should not be created. This is called a "POV fork" and is discouraged.
Q7: Should alleged proof that homeopathy works be included in the article? (No.)
A7: No. Alleged proof that homeopathy works should not be included in the article. That is because no such proof has come from reliable sources. If you have found a reliable source, such as an academic study, that you think should be included, you can propose it for inclusion on the article’s talk page. Note that we do not have room for all material, both positive and negative. We try to sample some of each and report them according to their prominence.
Note also that it is not the job of Wikipedia to convince those people who do not believe homeopathy works, nor to dissuade those who believe that it does work, but to accurately describe how many believe and how many do not believe and why.
Q8: Should all references to material critical of homeopathy be put in a single section in the article? (No.)
A8: No. Sources critical of homeopathy should be integrated normally in the course of presenting the topic and its reception, not shunted into a single criticism section. Such segregation is generally frowned upon as poor writing style on Wikipedia.
Q9: Should the article mention that homeopathy might work by some as-yet undiscovered mechanism? (No.)
A9: No. The article should not mention that homeopathy might work by some as-yet undiscovered mechanism. Wikipedia is not a place for original research or speculation.
Q10: Is the article with its negative material biased? (No.)
A10: No. The article with its negative material is not biased. The article must include both positive and negative views according to the policies of Wikipedia.
Q11: Should the article characterize homeopathy as a blatant fraud and quackery? (No.)
A11: No. Inflammatory language does not serve the purpose of an encyclopedia; it should only be done if essential to explain a specific point of view and must be supported from a reliable source. Wikipedia articles must be neutral and reflect information found in reliable sources. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and not a consumer guide so while scientific sources commonly characterise homeopathy as nonsense, fraud, pseudoscience and quackery - and the article should (and does) report this consensus - ultimately the reader should be allowed to draw his/her own conclusions.
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Alternative views, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's coverage of significant alternative views in every field, from the sciences to the humanities. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion.
Black Kite, Zythe Just a quick question - are we certain that the Bristol centre is the only place left in England offering homeopathy on the NHS? I know that GPs are have been formally advised not to prescribe homeopathic remedies, but are we sure that the are proscribed from doing so? My understanding was that there was a list of remedies that the NHS has said they won't pay for, but if a GP has a regular visitor who comes in with a cold and asks for sugar pills, they were still allowed to prescribe them (to make them go away) unless the specific sugar pill is on the blacklist. I'd be delighted to learn that it is getting completely kicked out, but the stuff I've read is a bit fuzzy. Thanks GirthSummit (blether) 17:59, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Homeopathy can only be accessed on the NHS in England and Wales via individual exemptions. It's not blacklisted, but doctors cannot simply prescribe, they have to get a specific approval, according to Marsh. Guy (Help!) 19:51, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
I think there's a difference here between "available", "offered" and "funded". AFAICS it is still available (in limited circumstances), but it's not offered, and from February 2019 it won't be funded. Though it's so unclear I wouldn't be surprised to see I've got this wrong. Black Kite (talk) 20:00, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Everything is available unless it's blacklisted, but in this case it might as well not be because the NHS doesn't fund it. Reliable sources are generally describing this as "no longer available", notably NHE: . We can safely follow that and ignore any querulous complaints that might arise I reckon. Guy (Help!) 20:11, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Colour me delighted (and happy with current wording). GirthSummit (blether) 20:56, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Hiya. Bristol and Somerset defunded it earlier this year, unless a special panel can justify a patient really needing it (which is theoretically impossible) - so it's legitimate to say it's not funded anywhere in England. You could say "not funded routinely" but that might imply it's still occasionally funded in a way that it's not. CCGs report £0 spending on homeopathy in Wales and Northern Ireland, according to Good Thinking Society research.Zythe (talk) 22:15, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I hereby reign my neck in all the way, and apologise for my earlier revert. I didn't know this had gone so far in England; when I read your edit I did a search to see if Bristol was still operating, which led to the link I cited, but I should have brought it here before reverting. I'm probably just an oversensitive Glaswegian, in denial that my city seems to have the last remaining bastion of this stuff...GirthSummit (blether) 23:56, 21 September 2018 (UTC)