Talk:Homeopathy/Archive 56

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First of all I edited the article to show that the reference was to unethical effects of funding homeopathy. This is reverted because there is a reference to homeopathic remedies being unethical per se. Then when I clarify exactly what the reference says Alexbrn justifies his next reversion by arguing that the quote is about funding. So we've gone in a circle my first edit ought to stand. I do not have much hope that my edit will stand but Alexbrn's arguments for reversion are of interest. I think there is a clear lack of neutral tone here and that you wouldn't this in Encyclopaedia Britannica or Citizendium. However it seems to be a feature of Wikipedia that in controversial subjects one side wins. often succeeds in having editors from the opposing side banned and then produces something which (in my view) is very far from neutral. I think the public at large has an interest in knowing this and I am glad that Alexbrn provided arguments to illustrate my point . Sceptic1954 (talk) 19:20, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

The article supporting this statement (that homeopathy had been criticised as unethical) consists of five arguments why homeopathy is unethical, yet your edits were trying to deny this criticism was there, or water it down. That would be to misrepresent the source blatantly. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 19:42, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
It is possible to quote the text from the source in the note, see as an example,_17th_Earl_of_Oxford#cite_note-187 so that readers may readily judge how closely the source supports the quote. This text shows up when readers hover their mousepoint over the note number in main text. The point will have more (or possibly less) authority if you do this. I am going by the title of the article and am sure that other readers do the same. I note that various visitors to the article have commented on a lack of neutrality in the lead and I agree with the reader that this tends to weaken the authority of the article.Sceptic1954 (talk) 19:50, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
To include a quotation showing how the journal article was arguing homeopathy was unethical would require us to include pretty much the entire text, since that article - from start to finish - is arguing that point in various ways. The article is accurately represented here at the moment, and I don't see a need for a change in that, especially not so as to misrepresent it! Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 19:58, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
In that case you should judge the source article by its lead which does not support your point. But if you don't then someone reading the article may think that the word 'unethical' is not supported by the source and thus you risk undermining the authority of the article. Sceptic1954 (talk) 20:04, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Huh? We read, we understand, and we relay accurately what the source means. Restricting oneself arbitrarily to a particular section risks misrepresenting the source and is pretty sure to be WP:CHERRYPICKING. I think any reasonable person reading the source article will see that Wikipedia is accurately representing it. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 20:13, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Well I think that if a reasonable person saw the statement "homeopathic remedies have been criticized as unethical" backed by a source article entitled "Homeopathy is where the harm is: Five unethical effects of funding unscientific 'remedies'" they would not have too much confidence in the main wiki article. Why would a reasonable person want to spend reading an article to see if any part of the content justified the statement in the main text when the title doesn't appear to do so? I suggest you ask yourself what you are seeking to achieve with this article: 'self-expression' or to persuade the reader. Ever heard of the 1983 Labour Party (U.K.) Election manifesto, dubbed 'the longest suicide note in history'? Doubtless the authors of the document felt great about themselves and their ideological purity but they were trounced in the election. I respectfully suggest that you are not only undermining the confidence of the reader in the authority of the article but damaging the reputation of wikipedia by allowing this version to stand. Up to you Sceptic1954 (talk) 20:59, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
suggest you add from the article "The first and most important potential unethical effect of homeopathy is that patients seek homeopathic remedies instead of, rather than as well as, traditional medicine. Even for minor ailments, this could result in greater suffering for the patient than would be the case had they remained within mainstream medicine." I used to know how to do this but things have changed and it's late at night where I am.Sceptic1954 (talk) 22:28, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
This aspect is already treated in the article. See, for instance, the second-to-last sentence in the lede, or the mention of the Ernst 2012 systematic review later in the body, or the entire subsection of the "Ethics and safety" section which discusses this in depth. We don't need to pile too much information into the lede, which is quite dense as it is. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 08:26, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes the lead is much too dense because, in my view, editors give vent to their personal feelings by straining to put in emotive terms like 'sham' 'quackery' and 'unethical'. Get rid of them and the simple sober statement that most members of the orthodox medical community consider that homeopathy can be dangerous because it delays people seeking other treatment would stand out - that way you might save some lives rather than giving vent to spleen. I write as one who does use homeopathic remedies now and then but tends to resort to orthodox treatments for anything that might be serious. Sceptic1954 (talk) 11:04, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Hang on - you're criticising the sourcing on the basis of the title of the article used? We generally use the actual content. Brunton (talk) 11:11, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I'd moved on a bit but 1 I don't think there is a formal wiki guideline 'don't confuse the reader' but that is what you do unless you quote from the text of the article in the note. 2 Put the quote from the source article in the main text and scrub out a lot of the other stuff and you'll bre masking your point much more effectively. Using all those emotive terms is quite counter-productive. You ought to get some disinterested people to review this for neutrality of tone, you've got rid of the opposition here (largely) and there is nothing to ensure balance. Sceptic1954 (talk) 11:25, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

The author of the letter in question concludes, in part,:

"Patients who are prescribed homeopathic treatments are very possibly being deceived, and thus are being treated unethically."

This seems to be adequately summarized in our article. And no, the title of an article is not the important part--the "conclusions" section at the end of the article is where the important stuff is. Desoto10 (talk) 03:58, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Suggest whatever part is important get's quoted in the note.Sceptic1954 (talk) 04:23, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Suggest this is unnecessary as reference contains link to full text. Brunton (talk) 06:12, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
It's good practice to make references as exct as possible to help the reader. Are you trying to satisfy some p[rocedural nicety or actually make your point clearly? Sceptic1954 (talk) 07:21, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
The reference is exact. It has the author's name, the year of publication, the title, the specific page and issue number of the journal where it was published, and the doi and PMID for the article, with those last two as working links which will allow the reader to read the text of the article. I don't know whether it is an actual policy, but Wikpedia generally seems to use references without quoting the specific words in the reference that support the text. It could, perhaps, be argued that in some cases where text isn't readily available it might be a good idea to include a quotation, but where sources are quoted it generally seems to be as a quotation in the article rather than in the reference. It is clearly unneccessary for references that have full text freely available online, and the mere fact that the title of a reference doesn't say exactly what the article uses it to source doesn't matter - we use what the source says, rather than its title, and we summarise what the source says in the article. Very few, if any, of the sources Wikipedia uses are going to have the exact point they are used to source quoted in their title. Brunton (talk) 08:05, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Most (if not all) of the "cite" templates have a quote= parameter which can be useful when we are in fact using a source just the once. (This is particularly helpful in the case of printed references.) - David Gerard (talk) 11:00, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

'sham' and 'quackery'

The following sentence appears to have be written by someone who is critical of homeopathy and wishes to use emotive language to disparage it.

"The scientific community regards homeopathy as a sham;[14] the American Medical Association considers homeopathy to be quackery,[15][16]"

Sham suggests that it is pretending to eb something which it isn't - I don't quite see how that's the case. The author of the RS calls it a sham but their source doesn't describe it as such, it's a bout doctors in the UK proposing a motion that the NHS shouldn't fund homeopathy. The first of the sources used, and also quoted, to describe the American Medical Association's view refers to a decision made more than 150 years ago.

I don't intend to get involved in this article, I am just giving feedback as a reader. There must be better ways to characterise the attitude of the 'scientific community' Sceptic1954 (talk) 08:13, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

If we're to say what the "scientific community" thinks, we really need a source stating that. What we have does just that (and it was after some debate and searching). Can you find something better? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 08:18, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
See the archives. This has been discussed ad nauseam. Brunton (talk) 08:20, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
No I do not have an alternative source for this. As a first time visitor to this page I am simply giving feedback on how it appears to me. I have no quarrel with homeopathy being treated as 'fringe' however I think this could be presented in a way which is more neutral tone. It's up to the editors of the page, are you trying to produce something which satisfies you or something which might carry authority with the general public? Sceptic1954 (talk) 09:03, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
I think that the sentence is a neutral representation of a non-neutral statement. TippyGoomba (talk) 15:19, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
It's a lot more restrained than "the fraudulent bastards ought to be pubically flogged, tarred and feathered, castrated with a blowtorch and burned at the stake". Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 17:02, 31 July 2013 (UTC)
The point is, if you haven't got a good source to say that it is a sham then don't say it's a sham. By all means say rejected by the scientific community. If it was branded as quackery 150 years ago say this precisely. You will make the point more effectively if you appear disapassionate and neutral. Sceptic1954 (talk) 00:01, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
To quote the source says: Within the non-CAM scientific community, homeopathy has long been viewed as a sham. We're just as "dispassionate and neutral" on the Fan death and Flat earth articles as we are here. TippyGoomba (talk) 03:14, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
I should also point out that it isn't our job to pretend the position of the scientific community is more reserved in order to "make the point more effectively". If the firm language used by the scientific community has some readers walk away with the impression that bigpharma wrote the wikipedia article on homeopathy, nuts to them. TippyGoomba (talk) 03:18, 1 August 2013 (UTC)
Another gross violation of the guidelines - which clearly state The statement that all or most scientists or scholars hold a certain view requires reliable sourcing that directly says that all or most scientists or scholars hold that view. Otherwise, individual opinions should be identified as those of particular, named sources. and of course this does not exists. Furthermore the opinion of scientists varies according to the sources I cited above. --JayR1977 (talk) 14:22, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
To repeat, the source has: "Within the non-CAM scientific community, homeopathy has long been viewed as a sham". Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:17, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
This is not accurate--- for instance the older organization statements up to 2000 did not stated that homeopathy was regarded as sham ------they said While most homeopathic remedies are not known to have harmed anyone (probably because of the extreme dilutions involved), the efficacy of most homeopathic remedies has not been proven. Some think it a placebo effect, augmented by the concern expressed by the healer; others propose new theories based on quantum mechanics and electromagnetic energy. This is from the arhcives and the link does not work but that was what they stated then. So the current statement is somehow problematic. Homeopathy has not been long regarded as sham and quacery.--JayR1977 (talk) 09:55, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
The non-withdrawn source says, "Within the non-CAM scientific community, homeopathy has long been viewed as a sham". This is the third time this has needed to be pointed out in the space of half a dozen comments in this thread. The hearing problems are beginning make productive discussion difficult. Brunton (talk) 10:41, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

There are a thousand WP:FRINGE topics, and all of them are covered in glorious detail at Wikipedia, so this kind of discussion is frequently repeated. One aspect of homeopathy that makes it different from other mere crankery is that people make significant amounts of money by selling bottles of water, and that's what makes the word "sham" (with its source) appropriate. Per WP:REDFLAG, it is not necessary to find multiple gold-plated sources to verify mainstream science, so the current sources appear more than adequate. Topics of a FRINGE nature are often surrounded by shape-shifting hocus pocus—perhaps "quantum mechanics and electromagnetic energy" justify selling bottles of water, but if that is the case it will be necessary for multiple highly reliable scientific sources to say so (per WP:REDFLAG). Meanwhile, editors should not quibble about what "long" means based on such straw-clutching jargon. Johnuniq (talk) 10:50, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

You just have to report what ALL mainstream sources say and NOT edit out what it does not conform with the the skeptical point of view. (Try to respond rationally and specifically to the questions asked). --JayR1977 (talk) 10:56, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Brunton AMA used to hold a very different view for homeopathy until very recently- so the "long" regarded as sham is wrong -according to the organization statement. They are not my words. Try to respond rationally to the discussion instead to try to block me from editing or (insult ) people here because they don't agree with you. I m asking a very specific question here. --JayR1977 (talk) 10:56, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
The only way to become familiar with Wikipedia and its procedures it to gain experience by editing articles in several different topics. It is not possible for editors to spend sufficient time explaining everything to someone whose experience is limited to three edits in this article, and 62 comments on this page. Johnuniq (talk) 11:07, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Try to answer rationally to what has been said instead of trying to discourage me to participate in the discussion. --JayR1977 (talk) 12:43, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
JayR1977: the words "the "long" regarded as sham is wrong" are very clearly your own words, because the AMA made no such statement. Using the AMA's statement, which from what you have posted says nothing about whether homoeopathy was regarded as a sham, to support a claim that they thought it was not a sham would clearly violate WP:SYN. The source used says, "Within the non-CAM scientific community, homeopathy has long been viewed as a sham"; your source (such as it is, having been withdrawn from the AMA's website) does not contradict this. Do you have any evidence to support your claim that the "AMA used to hold a very different view for homeopathy"? Brunton (talk) 11:13, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
"I m asking a very specific question here." - No, you aren't. You haven't asked any questions in this thread so far. Brunton (talk) 12:34, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes , i do ; the report about Homeopathy that used to be previously in their website part of which I cited. --JayR1977 (talk) 12:37, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Have you read what it says? It isn't very positive. Brunton (talk) 12:57, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes it is not but it does not say they regarded homeopathy as sham. They used to have a more neutral approach. --JayR1977 (talk) 13:58, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

There is no justification to use the word "sham". As has been pointed out, its one person summarising in their own words. That hardly justifies being used here, never mind in the lead. But, given that most eds here are "skeptics" and have a mission to have such things said whether it's true or not, does serve to highlight the bias quality of this article for readers. It's certainly not justified, even according to wiki policy. Cjwilky (talk) 12:44, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Very well said. Agree. --JayR1977 (talk) 12:45, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
No justification apart from a source which specifically uses the word. Brunton (talk) 12:54, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Brunton you can write whatever you want- you have the votes and the majority of the editors but you cannot prevent people to show their dissatisfaction from not following the guidelines. Yes it has been long regarded as sham since ....2009 when AMA removed the report on alternative medicine..Is this a joke? . It is certainly a point of view in the AMA homeopathy = sham----- but It is quite ridiculous to state that an entire organization AMA regards homeopathy as a sham based on the opinion of one author who cites a ...newspaper to support his view. It does not look good for the article which is already a low level polemic statement. --JayR1977 (talk) 13:55, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
How many sources don't use the word? I think POV is obvious in that person choosing to use that word, it just happens to coincide with various editors POV. The same goes for quackery which is also an emotive term. Cjwilky (talk) 14:16, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
The AMA report does not say anything about whether or not homoeopath was regarded as a sham, or quackery, so therefore doesn't contradict sources that say it is regarded as a sham or quackery. Brunton (talk) 14:17, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Loads of sources don't use the words "sham" or "quackery", but that doesn't mean that they contradict the sources that say homoeopathy is regarded as a sham or quackery. If they don't say anything about whether or not homoeopathy is regarded as a sham or quackery then they are simply not relevant to that particular question. They would only contradict it if they used a form of words that indicated that it is not regarded as a sham or quackery. Brunton (talk) 14:22, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
They have to say it ---what are talking about ? - otherwise it is in your imagination. --JayR1977 (talk) 14:37, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Brunton, lets not mess about. There is ONE reference to "sham" in a letter to a jounal, which cites an article that doesn't mention the word, and indeed has NO reference whatsoever to "long term", which discredits the author further. Cjwilky (talk) 15:46, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
In this journal, a "letter to the editor" is an article, as set out here: "these [letters to the editor] can take three forms: a substantial re-analysis of a previously published article, or a substantial response to such a re-analysis from the authors of the original publication, or an article that may not cover 'standard research' but that may be relevant to readers." It is highly appropriate for the use we make of it. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 16:00, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
How is possible an opinion article to support that an entire organization regards homeopathy as sham ? It is kind of a joke. Escpecially when the author cites as a source a newspaper which does not use the actual word.And when the previous position of the organization WAS really more neutral to homeopathy - let alone the "long" term thing. --JayR1977 (talk) 17:25, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Alex - It being the sole example of the use of an emotive word, "sham", and you conclude that it is therefore "highly appropriate"? Indeed, in that same article he "cites" it is claimed ""Some of these patients, for whatever reason, find benefit and relief in homeopathic treatments, because of a placebo effect or not." so where does that go in the article here? In the lead perhaps? Cjwilky (talk) 17:37, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

It's an uncontroversial statement about what a community (not an organization) thinks about homeopathy, and is well-supported in-line with WP policies. There is no problem here (other than Talk page disruption). Cjwilky — the word "sham" is actually quite kind and gentle compared to other characterizations of homeopathy by experts: "Nonsense on stilts" was the phrase used by some BMA folk. So if anything, this article is admirably restrained and soft in its description of homeopathy. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 17:44, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Alex, why try and dig up worse terms to attempt to make "sham" seem reasonable? Its not, it is emotive. It is not what most doctors would say - or maybe you have evience? Likewise with quackery. Its not used except by activists and the occasional American. As an encyclopedia we are here to represent all kinds of things in a balanced way. Using emotive language is unacceptable. More so when it is in only ONE letter to an editor.
So having ignore what else I said, as well as accusing me of disruption when the passive POV skeptic army are continually mobilised on here, I take it you're fine with adding in "Some of these patients, for whatever reason, find benefit and relief in homeopathic treatments, because of a placebo effect or not." Cjwilky (talk) 18:22, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Is there some kind of policy I'm not aware of? It sounds a lot like WP:UNENCYCLOPEDIC. Where are you proposing to add this sentence? TippyGoomba (talk) 18:32, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
CAn you stop using the term dirruption every time someone disagrees with you?--JayR1977 (talk) 19:05, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I didn't use the word disruptive. But yeah, we're well into WP:IDONTHEARYOU territory now, which is disruptive. And now you've brought us to a meta-discussion about the use of the word disruptive, which is also disruptive. TippyGoomba (talk) 19:13, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Cjwilky — No, we can't include your suggested biomedical claim from the article because biomedical claims (especially those which ae extraordinary) need strong, WP:MEDRS-compliant sourcing; besides your quotation comes from a different article to the one we're discussing. However the obvious statement, that homeopathy is a sham, only needs commonplace sourcing (though this article goes the extra mile in providing strong sourcing for this information). Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 21:13, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Just to clarify before it gets jumped on: the "obvious statement" that only needs commonplace sourcing is that homoeopathy is regarded as a sham. Brunton (talk) 04:20, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that is what we are sourcing. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 05:44, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
What obvious statement? Who says that it is obvious? You need to provide evidence besides an opinion article which cites a newspaper ( without even using the term --JayR1977 (talk) 07:33, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
The source uses the term "sham" in the sentence "Within the non-CAM scientific community, homeopathy has long been viewed as a sham." Brunton (talk) 07:43, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Although we don't use the word "obvious" in the article, there may be a case for it. Timothy Caulfield, a Professor of the Faculty of Law and the school of Public Health, University of Alberta, has written: "Homeopathy is a 'treatment' so obviously devoid of scientific merit that it is consistently mocked on TV shows, by comedians and, of course, by skeptics." Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 07:50, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Furthermore, the words "sham" and "quackery" are backed up by a plethora of sources that express the exact same ideas with out using the exact same words. They are therefore fair paraphrases, and they sound a lot moe encyclopedic and less inflammatory than "utter bullshit and drivel". Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 07:54, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
A plethora of other sources do NOT use or imply these words. The fact that homeopathy is intergrated in national health systems supported by the state is a very strong evidence that it is NOT regarded as a sham.--JayR1977 (talk) 08:06, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Nice try, but no cigar. Laws and regulations reflect the opinion of the political community, not those of the medical and scientific communities. A huge part of the sham in recent years is to abandon trying to convince the medical community, appealing instead to the gullible pulic and governmental bodies. The fat that it has worked to some degree says nothing about it's validity. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 08:17, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Governments do consult medical authorities as well besides responding to public pressure. If you mean medical and scientific bodies they do NOT regard homeopathy as sham - some they do - some they don't. You can see it yourself in their statements. AMA for instance up to 2010 had a very neutral approach about homeopathy which was official and had a form of a report. NOT a letter to the editor which the article falsely presents as AMA view on homeopathy. That's really absurd by itself and not in line with the guidelines. --JayR1977 (talk) 09:18, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
The AMA report doesn't express an opinion on whether or not they consider it to be quackery, so can't be used one way or the other on this point (incidentally, I'm not sure whether it can be said to be their opinion "up to 2010" - even when it was still on their website the page included a disclaimer that it "represents the medical/scientific literature on this subject as of June 1997"). See WP:STICKTOSOURCE, which cautions against using a source "to advance a position not directly and explicitly supported by the source" (emphasis in original). By the way, I've had a look at the two sources the lede cites to support the statement about the AMA's view - neither of them is a letter to the editor. Brunton (talk) 10:03, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
The report doesn't say or implies that it is sham. For sure "it is long regarded as a sham" conflicts with the reality. If there were a report of the entire body stating that I would accept that it is reasonable to say x organization regards homeopathy as ..whatever. But now it is just ONE opinion - there is no way to imply that this an entire body's stance just because it was published in the their journal -Don't you see that it is absurd?--JayR1977 (talk) 10:12, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
What is absurd is that you are trying to attack a statement that the article doesn't make. It would help if you discussed what the article actually says, and the sources it uses to support what it says, rather than this strawman. The article doesn't say that it is the AMA's opinion that "it is long regarded as a sham"; as per the source it uses, it says that the scientific community regards homeopathy as a sham. The separate statement about the AMA's position is supported, in the lede, by two other sources. Brunton (talk) 10:42, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
"the American Medical Association considers homeopathy to be quackery,[15][16]" is this my imagination?--JayR1977 (talk) 10:46, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
No, that isn't. But that isn't the statement that the item from the journal is used to support. That the article, as you claim, "impl[ies] that this an entire body's stance just because it was published in the their journal" is most certainly a figment of your imagination. Neither reference [15] or reference [16], the two sources supporting the statement, is a reference to a journal. The source you are complaining is not an adequate source for the AMA's opinion is not used to source the AMA's opinion; it is used to source the statement that the scientific community regards homoeopathy as a sham. Do you get it now? You are attacking sourcing that the article doesn't use. Brunton (talk) 11:04, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes Brunton you are correct in that - however even the source which is cited to support that AMA says homeopaty = placebo is inadeqate; this is historical refenrence not a present position -the most recent official report does NOT regard homeopathy as sham or quacery. In general the article reads as a sceptic polemic site - editing out everything from the mainstream source which reports positive on homeopathy. --JayR1977 (talk) 08:24, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
The report that you describe as "the most recent official report" does not say anything about whether or not they regard it as quackery; it is a report on "the medical/scientific literature on this subject as of June 1997" (that can hardly be said to come to a positive conclusion). It therefore cannot be used to to source the AMA's opinion on whether homeopathy is quackery, any more than a letter to the editor that doesn't express an opinion that homoeopathy works can be used to imply that its author has concluded that homoeopathy works. Please put down the stick. Brunton (talk) 09:30, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Agree, This is a deadhorse argument that is going nowhere. Further discussion is pointless and a waste of time. It's time to WP:DROPTHESTICK. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 10:51, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
You repeat the same thing from the beginning of the discussion. Instead of discouraging people to discuss the issues here - try to respond with rational arguments. Brunton you keep using irrelevant arguments. The article should include the different views on Homeopathy in author words - Linde for instance STATES that Homeopathy = placebo is a significant overstatement and the article falsely states that he concurs with Shangs that homeopathy = placebo. This is false. AMA does not state that homeopathy = sham = quackery - The source can be used as an historical reference not as AMA current stance on homeopathy.--JayR1977 (talk) 14:17, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Only JayR seems to be using the A = B formulation, which clearly is an inappropriate wp:STRAWMAN. There are many other placebos besides just homeopathy, hence homeopathy is a subset of the set of all placebos, which is not a mathematical identity. The proposition that "X is a placebo" is unverifiable in any finite experiment, though it is easily disprovable if X is significantly different from a placebo. The closest one can get to it is "X is statistically indistinguishable from placebo". That is what has been repeatedly shown in the highest quality sources available. Accept it unless you can bring a reliable source that says otherwise. (If that happens, I'll ride through wikimania naked on a polychromatic unicorn). LeadSongDog come howl! 16:53, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

Thats false. There ARE expiriments showing real effects of homeopathy according to Linde researsh and written statements for this research in the Lancet-- not according to me. Are you suggesting that the Lancet and anns of internal medecine I cited are NOT reliable sources?--JayR1977 (talk) 06:25, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
I think it's pretty clear there's no consensus for your suggested edit and you have nothing new to say. Please stop wasting everyone's time. TippyGoomba (talk) 06:39, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
"You repeat the same thing from the beginning of the discussion" - you are getting the same responses because you are repeating the same arguments without taking any notice of the responses they have already received.
"Linde for instance STATES that Homeopathy = placebo is a significant overstatement" - nope, the letter says that "Given these limitations on its method, Shang and colleagues’ conclusion that their findings “provide support to the notion that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects” is a significant overstatement" - it is a comment on that specific paper, not on homoeopathy generally. Once again you are trying to use a source to support something that it doesn't actually say.
"There ARE expiriments showing real effects of homeopathy" - yes, the article already says that: "Although some trials produced positive results..." I suggest that before making further comments on this talk page you should read this.
"Are you suggesting that the Lancet and anns of internal medecine I cited are NOT reliable sources?" No, I'm suggesting that you are ignoring what other editors have already said about these sources. Brunton (talk) 08:19, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Sadly, the example raised in the OP shows the bias inherent in this article. However, it helps people with a modicum of nouse to see the POV from the off. Cjwilky (talk) 14:46, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

biased article

The article is so biased - if is so ridiculous - the chery picking and style.--Joijoi89 (talk) 23:23, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Can you explain in what ways you consider that the article contravenes Wikipedia policy? Before doing so, I suggest that you read WP:FRINGE, and WP:MEDRS as clearly relevant to the topic. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:26, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
you have to wait - I will --Joijoi89 (talk) 23:34, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
While we're waiting, I suggest that in addition to the pages Andy has recommended you should also look at the archives for this talk page (and indeed the discussions currently on the talk page) to make sure that you aren't just bringing up the same points and sources that have already been discussed. Brunton (talk) 09:28, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, and be sure to study also the FAQ right at the top of this page. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 09:30, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Also, welcome! I look forward to your contributions here Joijoi89 :) Cjwilky (talk) 14:40, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

The "non-CAM" scientific community?

Do we really need this qualifier attached to the view of the scientific community in the lede? Surely "the scientific community" should be taken as being the mainstream view, with CAM being a fringe view? Brunton (talk) 20:08, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Checking the source, it says "non-CAM scientific community", so that it what we should follow. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 20:21, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but we are allowed (indeed supposed) to summarise what sources say, and from the policies about fringe topics and pseudoscience it would appear that as far as Wikipedia is concerned "the scientific community" and "the non-CAM scientific community" should be synonymous. Brunton (talk) 12:29, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
I'd say they were the same, but I can imagine some would disagree. However, on second thoughts there is maybe a plagiarism issue here in paraphrasing so closely. What's troubling too is an implicit implication that CAM is part of the scientific community, which would need much stronger sourcing since it's quite a claim! Perhaps we could say something along the lines of "Outside CAM, the scientific community regards homeopathy as a sham" ?? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 12:36, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
No, absolutely not. We don't say, "outside Southern Baptist Christian scientists, the scientific community rejects the idea that the earth is 6,000 years old. I understand that you want to be respectful to other people's believes, Alex, but facts are facts. False balance provides an inaccurate description of reality. JoelWhy?(talk) 13:25, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, the source has "Within the non-CAM scientific community, homeopathy has long been viewed as a sham". How do we represent that with integrity? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 13:31, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Quote and attribute it, if you're taking care not to misrepresent the source? (I'd find that a statement that carries a problematic implied welcome of CAM into science myself) - David Gerard (talk) 13:58, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
To me it is a little too close to the "critics say" that someone tried to attach to the scientific consensus view a while ago, although not quite as egregiously weaselly. Brunton (talk) 14:36, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Then find a better quote. This one is too confusing. We already use some others that are just as strong or stronger. -- Brangifer (talk) 15:53, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── One issue here is that this material is unique to the lede. Perhaps if it were moved to the body, some way can be found to summarize it in lede which solves the immediate problem. This is how it should be done too ... Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 16:12, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Good point. It should not be used in the lede before being used in the body. That's why I prefer to use full references, with reference "name" format, in the body, and then use the short <ref name=blabla/> ref in the lede. That not only makes the lede less cluttered with long references, it ensures we don't have unique content in the lede. -- Brangifer (talk) 06:51, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Actually, this material is not unique to the lede. It's in the body of the article at the start of the "Evidence" section, where the same source is used to support the statement "outside of the CAM community, scientists have long regarded homeopathy as a sham". Brunton (talk) 15:14, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, my mistake. Could that same wording be good for the lede then? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 15:16, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. That is one possible, and more logical, interpretation of the phrase. Following Occam's Razor, the simplest and most logical interpretation could be chosen. Go for it. -- Brangifer (talk) 05:25, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Guys you are treading the line of WP:original research. What ever your POV is ,the cited reference makes a very clear statement. if you want to put another sentence come up with another reference. (talk) 13:28, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
IP79, if you wish to avoid being blocked for sock puppetry, I suggest you follow the advice on your talk page, and also at User_talk:JayR1977#Sock_puppetry. -- Brangifer (talk) 04:06, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't think so with the current proposal; how does User:BullRangifer's text falsify the source, would you say?
Oh, but I note has reverted this claiming it falsified an AMA-related source. Which it doesn't - the source is quite clear about the "sham" statement as a distinct claim (funnily enough this exact same confusion about which-source-applies-to-what here, came up just a few weeks ago). Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 13:44, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
The cited source is making a crystal clear distinction between "CAM scientific community" and "non CAM scientific community". twisting the citation description according to your personal POV is WP:Original Research violation. pure and simple. if you don't like the reference definition. suggest a new reference
regarding the AMA reference - it is too original research to assume it hold this official attitude of "quackery" unless someone can find a source from the AMA. i couldn't79.180.169.83 (talk) 13:48, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Now THAT is OR. It's obviously being used as an adjective, in the same sense that "non-vertebrate jellyfish" is being used. That does NOT imply that there are "vertebrate jellyfish". It just states something that is obvious - jellyfish are non vertebrates, just as the scientific community is "non-CAM". I agree that the wording is a bit unfortunate, but English (and other languages) can have ambiguous meanings at times, and the context determines which meaning to choose. Since there really is no other choice proven to exist, we are left with the choice of an adjective being used to show a contrast between two mutually exclusive concepts. This may be confusing to foreigners, or to POV pushers seeking validation for CAM where it doesn't exist. To resolve the problem it is best to paraphrase, rather than quote exactly. -- Brangifer (talk) 15:32, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
But a CAM scientific community does not exist - CAM and Science are mutually exclusive. There is no intersection of curves with a shaded area. --Roxy the dog (talk) 14:30, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Correct. Once proven, an alternative medical method ceases to be "alternative" and becomes "medicine". -- Brangifer (talk) 15:35, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
And the beauty of the proposed new text is that it doesn't even shut down the possibility there could be a CAM-based scientist. Everybody should be happy. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 15:54, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Utter nonsense. You are twisting logic like a pretzel .The reference author could have easily used "The scientific community regards homeopathy as a sham" . he didn't . you disagree with him = original research. publish your own review in an academic journal or find a new reference to use here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:03, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
IP79, if you wish to avoid being blocked for sock puppetry, I suggest you follow the advice on your talk page, and also at User_talk:JayR1977#Sock_puppetry. -- Brangifer (talk) 04:06, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Just took a look at the reference. Yes, it is crystal-clear that "non-CAM scientific community", as used in the source (and properly referenced here), is referring to scientists. The author is absolutely not implying that the scientific community can be separated between those who do and do not subscribe to CAM. That's a preposterous interpretation. JoelWhy?(talk) 18:11, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Is it possible that there is a simple misreading of the source going on here? The phrase "the non-CAM scientific community" is ambiguous. It could mean "that fraction of the scientific community that does not support CAM" (that's what most of us seem to be assuming here) - but it might equally mean "the entire scientific community (which does not, in any way, support CAM)"? This would be in much the same way as you might say "the gas-guzzling Ford Explorer" without implying that there is somewhere a Ford Explorer that does not guzzle gas or "the extinct Dodo" without implying that there are non-extinct Dodo's.
If I'm right, and the second meaning is what's intended, then it would be better for us not to use the same confusing language and to state the situation more simply.
Since very few (if any) true scientists in the field of medicine are pro-CAM, this interpretation of the language makes a lot more sense than the other. SteveBaker (talk) 16:08, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Once again WP:original research violation. " few (if any) true scientists" ??! that is a POV/belief statement. can i have a WP:RS for that conclusion ? (talk) 16:14, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
You don't need an RS - I'm not suggesting that we write that in the article. I'm just pointing out that my interpretation of the phrase in question makes a lot more logical sense than the interpretation that has been placed on it throughout this thread so far. At the very least, I have clearly demonstrated that the phrase in our lede is ambiguous. SteveBaker (talk) 16:25, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Right, so we treat it with respect by passing on that ambiguity (while avoiding plagiarism) by saying "outside of the CAM community, scientists have long regarded homeopathy as a sham". Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 16:38, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Leaving the so called ambiguity - and there is non = leaving the phrase exactly as stated in the reference. Plagarism ? LOL . stop inventing ridiculous excuses. (talk) 17:39, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
IP109, if you wish to avoid being blocked for sock puppetry, I suggest you follow the advice on your talk page, and also at User_talk:JayR1977#Sock_puppetry. -- Brangifer (talk) 04:06, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Guys. enough with these games already. if you can find an academy of sciences statement that states "Homeopathy is bull carp" or a list of 50 nobel laureates signing a petition saying "Homeopathy is a sham" or a link to the AMA stating "Homeopathy is quackery and the whole scientific community is against it" - by all means bring it. Until then - you are not representing the scientific mainstream view. you are forcing YOUR OWN view which is ofc WP:Undue Weight and WP:Original research what to say of WP:POV ofc. You even feel the need to twist the references YOU YOURSELF CHOSE ! it is beyond sleazy. and certainly destroying wikipedia's credibility. I urge you to come to your senses please. (talk) 17:50, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

This comment, that the scientific mainstream view is being misrepresented, is nonsense on stilts. --Roxy the dog (talk) 18:50, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
The POV of some eds here is astounding. The bilk of this discussion has been, "we don't like it, how can we say what we want to say". Look at yourselves guys.
And whilst the sockpuppet comments are important to sort out (though I note you didn't bother with that when it was someone with your beliefs, Orangemarlin/Skepticalraptor) don't use it as a way of avoiding the issues. Cjwilky (talk) 14:31, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Your own POV-pushing falls under precisely the same umbrella. Here is an authoritative source that calls homoeopathy nonsense:; "mad"; "rubbish"; a neutral summary of the evidence by the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee:; NHS Choices: And the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health found the same: - even NCCAM, set up by a homeopathy believer to provide evidence for SCAM, says it doesn't work:
So perhaps we can put that to bed once and for all. The scientific consensus is abundantly clear: there is no reason to suppose homeopathy should work, no way it can work, and there is no good evidence it does work. Our job is to document the scientific consensus, describe the beliefs of homeopaths, show that the scientific consensus accounts for them through the null hypothesis, and probably help people to understand its context as an exemplar of pathological science, pseudoscience and cargo cult science; it's also relevant in discussion of the work of Ioannidis and his finding that false positives are more likely when the underlying theory is implausible. If Wikipedia sends people away understanding why homeopathy is still believed, despite its doctrines being long refuted and its premises contradicted by basic science, then we've done our job as an informational source.
If you want to present homeopathy from the perspective of believers and without the filter of rational scientific consensus, then you can do that on Wiki4cam. They could do with the help, the project has been moribund almost from its launch. Guy (Help!) 14:17, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
I fixed this. The clear implication is to separate the CAM community from the scientific community, not to posit any significant CAM scientific community. Any proper application of the scientific method shows homeopathy to be wrong, regardless of the background of the scientist. Guy (Help!) 13:55, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Edit warring and warning about ArbCom discretionary sanctions

I have warned this IP hopping editor about socking and the existing ArbCom discretionary sanctions. I suggest that all their edits be reverted on sight until this stops. We're dealing with ONE Israeli editor who needs to appear here as ONE registered editor, since a dynamic IP creates confusion and the appearance of multiple editors. It also fails to collect all their edits in one contribution history. -- Brangifer (talk) 04:35, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

That's ludicous. I suppose you shoot on sight anyone wearing a keffiyeh? If an edit has value it counts. Cjwilky (talk) 14:34, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Only edits made by editors who are following our rules here count. Sock puppetry is not allowed, and their edits can be deleted on sight. I have told the editor in question that I want to give them a chance, and that they need to sort this out and use only one account. Their edits and discussions will be worth discussing at that time, but not until then. You may not have noticed, but this matter only came up when obvious socking became evident, and that their POV was not the reason for my warnings and advice, so AGF. As far as your comment in the previous thread, if you believe another person is using sock puppets, deal with it. -- Brangifer (talk) 16:07, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
I was not aware my IP was changing. must be automatic with my Internet supplier. I have not abused aka playing different roles here. you could all easily see that i am the same person. and if i would have been asked i would gladly confirm it. i do not wish to register to Wikipedia. You cannot force me too . and you cannot demonstrate i am a vandal in any way or fashion. (talk) 17:21, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
You are not a vandal, but your IP is dynamic, and that means you automatically violate our policy against sock puppetry, whether you intend to do so or not. It is not up to us to "see that you are the same person". Your contribution history should show ALL your edits in one place, and you (and other editors) should be able to trace every edit you've made, but you probably can't. You are one human being, and, with few exceptions, are not allowed to use more than one account. If you had a static IP, you could just continue using it, but you don't. Creating an anonymous account will stop these problems, give you more respect, give you more privacy, and give you many more rights and abilities here. There is nothing to lose, and a lot to gain. As it is, every single edit and comment you make is in violation of policy, and can be reverted by any editor. Right now some of your edit history is accessible here Category:Suspected_Wikipedia_sockpuppets_of_79.180.48.58, but this isn't the appropriate way. -- Brangifer (talk) 18:27, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
BullRan - the editor in question - orangemarlin/Skepticalraptor was proven to be a sockpuppet, I dealt with it. He was told not to come back, and has in the main been a good boy. Many other eds here knew about this, probably yourself too, and did nothing about it. POV exists even amongst those who believe their cult doesn't have a POV. I agree wholeheartedly that sockpuppetry is harmful for wiki, and in this case it really should be sorted, however, your first line of attack has been to dismiss the arguments on the basis of sockpuppetry, not good. Meanwhile, you yourself are not following procedure on here and are bullying. Reverting edits because you feel its better... what's that about? Cjwilky (talk) 21:34, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
"Reverting edits because you feel its better... what's that about?" Improving the article, I suspect, "better" being a word that is more or less synonymous with "improved". Brunton (talk) 22:12, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
That would be the same edit of his that you reverted Brunton. My point above was intended with an emphasis on the the you and feel ie "Reverting edits because you feel its better... what's that about?" Meaning there is a talk page for discussion rather than edit warring which he was doing, a talk page with that topic already there for discussion even. Cjwilky (talk) 13:05, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Whether of not I reverted it has nothing to do with Brangifer's motivation to improve the article. And you should probably try to avoid implications that other editors are part of some sort of "skepto klan" conspiracy in your edit summaries; it fails to assume good faith (as, I think, does your comment about "those who believe their cult doesn't have a POV"), and it has the potential to make you look silly if, in the same edit, you go on to say that they are reverting each others edits.
Incidentally, why do you bring orangemarlin/Skepticalraptor into this thread as "the editor in question"? I don't think there's been any suggestion that IP79... is OM/SR, and their editing styles seem quite different. Brunton (talk) 14:31, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Cjwilky, of course editors have a POV. There is nothing wrong with having a POV. We know that, so your accusation, besides being a personal attack (cult), makes little sense since it applies to you even more, especially the "cult" aspect. Homeopathy is a cult. You, as a professional homeopath, actually have a serious COI and should be very careful here. Your POV is attached to monetary gain, and of course you don't like this article exposing the fact that you are making money from nothing, quite literally. Homeopathy is a scam, fraud, and "nonsense on stilts", and you're a part of it. You have no credibility, and credibility is important here. -- Brangifer (talk) 15:40, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Who knows what Bullrans motivation is, but he did go on to threaten me, plus ignore the process. That you reverted it, shows that you care about process and were actually able to see the point of why that inclusion is misguided. Bullran had an attitude of "I am right, stuff the process".
So long as eds here persist with the varies comments and references to people who don't share their skeptic perspective, I'll continue batting it back. Not all skeptics here are as fixed minded and one sided as others. Those that are, are in a group that does have a POV, and it seems some aren't able to see that.
Orangemarlin and skepticalraptor are undoubtedly the same, I'd be interested how you would be suggesting they weren't? Their edits are similar, categories are similar, abuse is simlar, their times of activity are linked, and their connections are similar. If you want proof, I'm happy to give it. If you want to know why skepticalraptor stayed away from here, go ask him, you never know, he may have learned to be honest. Cjwilky (talk) 15:00, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
I wasn't suggesting that OM and SR were not the same. I was questioning your assertion, in a thread regarding edit-warring by an editor using a number of IP addresses starting with 79, that "the editor in question" is OM/SR. The only common point between them is the edit-warring. Other than that there doesn't seem to be any similarity at all. Unless you can produce some credible reason for thinking that the IP editor the thread is about is a sock of OM/SR, OM/SR is irrelevant here. Brunton (talk) 15:18, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Brunton, sorry if that was unclear, its to do with another thread that Bullran was referring to. There is nothing to suggest anyone else here is Orangemarlin/Skepticalraptor. Cjwilky (talk) 18:26, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── By this time, I think we can safely assume that Cjwilky is no longer here to improve the article, but has a huge commercial COI and is using Wikipedia as a battleground for advocacy and personal attacks. He has been warned about ArbCom's discretionary sanctions on his talk page, to which he replied with derision. It's time this time sink gets a topic ban. We don't need this type of distraction wasting our time. -- Brangifer (talk) 15:48, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Erm... who stepped up the aggression here? Who was it started chucking around edit war warnings and arbcom threats? Who was it failed to follow established procedure by ignoring the talk page? Who do you think you are? As for your assertions, you have nothing to back them up, nor could you have. I don't expect you to fully reply to this, and just suggest you chill and quit the Bullying. Cjwilky (talk) 18:20, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
It's been a bit much recently, anyone collecting diffs? TippyGoomba (talk) 03:24, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Removal of Bruce Hood

User:Cjwilky has been removing content attributed to Bruce Hood (psychologist); yet this seems RS for its purpose. Hood is an expert on human irrationality and the Supersense book used for the source has been well-cited in other scholarly publications. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 15:56, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Your edits are being defended since they improve the article. That a fringe editor makes their presence conspicuous in this manner can only result in sanctions for them. This article is under ArbCom's discretionary sanctions and any uninvolved admin can drop the hammer. -- Brangifer (talk) 16:12, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
The Bruce Hood reference is ten fold better than the "Sham" reference which is quite a joke authoritatively (read the reference origin). i have no objection for the Hood reference. though i would add the whole paragraph from the book in the citation box and link Hood's name to his wiki article in the box as well. I would consider removing the "Sham" reference all together to keep that criticism paragraph serious looking. (talk) 17:40, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

ok, now really WTF. i quote word for word from the reference that has been chosen and accepted, but simply because it is not negative about Homeopathy suddenly it is not valid. ENOUGH ALREADY ! (talk) 20:15, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

I followed procedure here. When someone makes a change to the article and it is challenged we take it to talk, thats the way its always done.

Whats with BullRan playing big bully here? No surprise there as the edit made by AlexBurn goes with Bullrans POV. Bullran - who are you calling fringe? Who are you referring to re sanctions?

Edit reverted until its discussed one here, as per wiki procedure. The significant change is challenged, discuss my friends, or be a BULL and bully... Cjwilky (talk) 21:26, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Increasing popularity?

A sentence about "increasing popularity" was recently added to the lede, backed up by a source relating to the UK. It seems to be contradicted by well-sourced information in the Regulation and prevalence of homeopathy article, which states that in the UK "homeopathy has been in a state of steady decline over recent years", and cites, among other things, a drop in homoeopathic prescriptions, the closure or rebranding of three of the five NHS homeopathic hospitals, the closing of degree courses, low referral rates, and the withdrawal of junior doctors' placements at one of the remaining homoeopathic hospitals. In view of this, talking about the increasing popularity of homoeopathy wrt a UK source is almost certainly not appropriate, and I've therefore removed it. Brunton (talk) 20:02, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Either this source is WP:RS and authoritative on the subject or it's not. you cannot play it both sides. erase this then erase the "supernatural quackery" quote as well. (talk) 20:25, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
[Restoring comment that was deleted by IP79] - Yes, "increasingly" may have been true in the UK in 2007, but it isn't true now as you indicate, and certainly won't do as universalized statement of the current situation. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 20:28, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
P.S . sorry i did not mean to erase your comment ofc, i think there was a conflict in edit. anyway my appology79.180.181.168 (talk) 20:32, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't even think it's a reliable source for this statement. The source simply asserts this without giving proper context. The next sentence goes on to talk about education enrollment in the UK in 2007, is that the context? TippyGoomba (talk) 20:39, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Increasing popularity? According to whom? In the UK, the NHS is withdrawing funding and publicity around the measles epidemic and ASA cases has coincided with its virtual disappearance form Boots and other high street pharmacies. I know that, like big tobacco, big sugar is targeting vulnerable communities in the developing world, but that is not "popularity" it's lack of proper restraint by governments who should know better. Guy (Help!) 13:38, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Message to IP79

The locus of your disruption is this article, I will maintain semi-protection as long as this disruption continues. Your IP address is changing, that is the pragmatic way to control your disruptive behaviour. You have violated policies that would have resulted in your being blocked and sanctioned as a logged-in editor, but we aaccept that new users may not understand the policies in place and thus we cut a small amount of slack.

At this point, you need to register an account (or return to your account if you already have one) and start engaging in productive debate rather than merely re-stating your position endlessly. The others here know more about Wikipedia and its policies than you do.

Final point: you cannot change the article by brute force. Others hold all the cards in that particular game. The only way you can change the article is by bringing better arguments. Guy (Help!) 11:12, 8 September 2013 (UTC)


In the light of comments already made and the unambiguous ArbCom results, the edits by the IP-hopping anonymous can only really be interpreted as vandalism - deliberate attempts to enforce a POV known to be unsupported by consensus, in defiance of policy and consensus, and with an apparently conscious effort to evade individual restriction. I have semi-protected the page for one week. Guy (Help!) 20:40, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

"Scientific research has repeatedly found"

Four distinguished references are attached to this sentence in the Lead " Scientific research has repeatedly found homeopathic remedies ineffective and their postulated mechanisms of action implausible.[6][7][8][9]". i just read each and every reference and to my bitter surprise - that sentence is misrepresenting their findings. I have taken statements of all 4 references (which surly are repetitive as the original sentence describes) to represent the authentic state of things in the "Scientific research". this is it: Scientific research has repeatedly found that "there is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition", that "there is weak evidence for a specific effect of homoeopathic remedies" or "no good evidence of efficacy" and that "no homeopathic remedy has demonstrated to yield clinical effects that are convincingly different from placebo" [6][7][8][9]. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:23, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

One more thing i suddenly notice - i don't understand why the same concept is repeated twice in the Lead . First one is the "Scientific research has repeatedly found.." the second one (two paragraphs lower) is "Homeopathic remedies have been the subject of numerous clinical trials. Taken together, these trials showed at best no effect beyond placebo, at worst that homeopathy could be actively harmful..." shouldn't we synthesize the two together? why this confusion of talking about the same thing in different descriptions ? thanks79.180.181.168 (talk) 18:33, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Ok i restructured the whole Lead. same material is there. (talk) 18:53, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Sources do not need to be quoted, we summarise them. In particular the lede summarises the important points from the body of the article. And they weren't being misrepresented. Here's what it said before you edited it: "Scientific research has repeatedly found homeopathic remedies ineffective and their postulated mechanisms of action implausible.". Here's what you substituted it with: "Scientific research has repeatedly found that "there is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition", and that "there is weak evidence for a specific effect of homoeopathic remedies" or "no good evidence of efficacy" and that "no homeopathic remedy has demonstrated to yield clinical effects that are convincingly different from placebo"". Both indicate that there is no good evidence that it works, and all you've really achieved is to increase the length of the lede and make it less readable.
the way you restructured the lede may have left the same material, but it changes the balance. Please discuss further "restructurings" here. Brunton (talk) 19:24, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Not to say that the lede doesn't perhaps need editing to reduce the repetition, but it needs to be done more carefully, to preserve the current balance. Brunton (talk) 19:37, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
ALL the sources say "weak Efficacy" not "ineffective". the is a difference between misleading the reader and making the lead a bit longer and keeping it legit. the balance is there - 2/3 of the lead is Criticism for God's sake79.180.181.168 (talk) 20:19, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
I've had another go at restructuring the lede, editing the last three paragraphs so that they deal with (1) evidence of efficacy; (2) scientific plausibility; (3) ethics, regualtion & prevalence. There's still some tidying up to be done, for example it isn't really necessary to quote from the sources in a lede, which is supposed to summarise the article. I think we also perhaps ought to change "Scientific research has repeatedly found homeopathic remedies ineffective" to something more along the lines of "scientific research has repeatedly failed to demonstrate efficacy", although this would also require rewriting the second part of the same sentence so that it doesn't imply that research has failed to find the postulated mechanisms of action implausible. Brunton (talk) 21:22, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
As an alternative, I'm removing the word "repeatedly" from the sentence. Research (i.e. systematic reviews and meta-analyses) has repeatedly and consistently failed to find it effective; the conclusion that should be drawn from this, in plain English, is that the research has found it ineffective. Brunton (talk) 09:57, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
According to all 4 references conclusions, the sentence should be : "scientific research has repeatedly found that homeopathic remedies have demonstrated to yield clinical effects that are not convincingly different from placebo" this is the authentic conclusion of all four citations. anyt other statement is misrepresenting their findings.
Further more, the sentence : " Taken together, these trials show at best no effect beyond placebo, at worst that homeopathy could be actively harmful.[14]" should be according to the very reference cited " Taken together, these trials show at best no effect beyond placebo, at worst that SOME homeopathy REMEDIES could be actively harmful.[14] (talk) 11:28, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
This is Wikipedia. We are allowed (indeed encouraged, for copyright reasons) to summarise what sources say. We do not have to use the exact wording that the sources use. There is no real difference in meaning between your suggested wording on efficacy and what the article currently says (if homoeopathic remedies have been found to "yield clinical effects that are not convincingly different from placebo" then they have been, in plain English, found not to be effective - that's what "not convincingly different from placebo" means), and the current version is more easily intelligible. The only real difference is that your version is less intelligible because it is written in less plain English.
As for your second suggestion, if "at worst SOME homeopathic REMEDIES could be actively harmful", then, at worst, homoeopathy could be actively harmful. Again, you are proposing a change of wording that achieves nothing bayond adding additional verbiage to the lede. Brunton (talk) 12:32, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Brunton , those are your words and meaning NOT the references words and conclusions. If you want to summarize the citations words it should be " Scientific research has found homeopathic remedies to have weak efficacy " or "efficacy not convincingly beyond Placebo" . it's not black and white. it's borderline. Not one time do they give a NO statement. that is what i have been repeating here over and over. The current statement is a false polenic statement that is not a represantion of the references , but only of members with negative POV about Homeopathy. Regarding the "actively harmful" line, the current statement gives the notion as if Homeopathy is dangerous as a whole. - that is nonsense and is not what the reference says. Listen ofc it's possible to leave all the edits to Anti Homeopathy emotional fanatics. but you discredit the whole article. all one needs to do is to read the references attached and see the distortion and cherry picking in the article - it becomes Pathetic79.179.161.241 (talk) 18:19, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Scientists use different wording in research papers than do journalists in news articles. It is impossible to prove that "homeopathy never works". Instead, researchers set out to prove that "homeopathy works sometimes", and if they cannot, they conclude "there is no evidence that homeopathy works". That scientific language means the same thing as "homeopathy does not work". All that is true for the word "placebo" too; if a treatment is only as effective as placebo, that means that it is not effective. We are summarizing the scientific language in the language of journalists; our words will not match theirs all the time, but the meaning does, which is backed up by reliable secondary sources. We can't say homeopathy has "weak efficacy". That's simply not true.   — Jess· Δ 18:47, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Yes, and it's precisely this type of tightly-restrained language used in science journals that naturopaths attempt to hide behind. Saying something is as effective as a placebo is the same thing as saying it doesn't work. No peer-reviewed journal will ever publish an article that definitely says X therapy can never, ever work. It's not the way the scientific community operates. If individuals wish to use homeopathy, that's fine by me. But, don't pretend such use is supported in any way, shape, or form by the science. Maybe it only works when it's not being studied. Maybe it only works if you believe it will work. Whatever you want to think is up to you. But, the Wiki article is going to remain based on the scientific evidence which clearly provides zero support of its efficacy. JoelWhy?(talk) 20:10, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
I understand the scientific jargon very well, you simply don't like it's findings. you write " "there is no evidence that homeopathy works"" But the 4 references write "there is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition", "there is weak evidence for a specific effect of homoeopathic remedies" ,"no good evidence of efficacy" and that "no homeopathic remedy has demonstrated to yield clinical effects that are convincingly different from placebo". they conclude "little evidence" and "weak evidence" - not "no evidence". they conclude "no good evidence" not "no evidence" Good is debatable and prone to bias, they conclude "not convincingly" not "it isn't". it's all border line. why hide this fact from the casual reader? why so much fear? if you are into ideology or religion naturally you are afraid of the facts. science shouldn't be (and it isn't) and so should the wikipedia article (if it doesn't want to be totally not a reliable source). (talk) 20:59, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
It's right that WP should try and "translate" the formulaic wording of the academic papers into lay language. What the papers are saying, in aggregate, is that whatever evidence there is, is insufficient to make the case for Homeopathy's effectiveness, and not there there is zero evidence. In my view the article as it stands is fairly representing the sources it cites in this case. It's quite common on Wikipedia to see the formulaic wording of a paper set into a lay context in a way which gives a misleading impression (e.g. "more research is needed" quoted as if it's an encouragement). We need to be careful to avoid doing that. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 03:30, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
The lede also states, BTW, that "some trials produce positive results" (and explains why this is not good evidence), so claims that the article "hide[s] this fact from the casual reader" are unjustified. Brunton (talk) 12:28, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
It's a classic piece of homeopaths' sophistry, and a blatant straw man. They claim that skeptics state that there is no evidence, cite some weak evidence, and thus "prove" that skeptics are "dishonest". It is entirely accurate to say there is no proof it works, or that there is no good evidence it works, or that the consensus is that there is no compelling evidence of effect beyond placebo, all these things are true and accurate, and especially relevant in the light of Ioannidis' observation that the less plausible a treatment is, the higher the probability a positive result is wrong. The one thing homeopathists really cannot tolerate is a balanced and neutral discussion of homeopathy; the term "sectarian medicine" perfectly sums it up. If they can frame it as black and white, us and them, big pharma and little kaftan, then they can establish sympathy for their airy-fairiness and thus slipstream unproven assertions about homeopathy. Bad Science was one of the most dangerous books ever published for homeopathy. It shows us the science that gives us the facts about medicine that quacks exploit to undermine our faith in it, is precisely the same science that shows their claims to be wrong. Guy (Help!) 17:33, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
The placebo effect is what's complicating this. Studies may well find that homeopathy is a "weakly effective" treatment for some condition - but so are sugar pills. What we need to say (and what the science is most certainly saying) is that homeopathy doesn't do's's just's a failed is entirely worthless.
It is an unreasonable mistake to use the exact form of words of a specific paper. In every case, they are intending to say "it's no better than placebo - so it doesn't work and it's useless" but because scientists are careful about use of language here - the conclusions are more likely to be couched in scientific code-words like "weak evidence"...where "weak" means "no stronger than the placebo effect" or "statistically insignificant". It's remotely possible that homeopathy simultaneously completely suppresses the placebo effect and then has some true, unforseen biochemical effect on the patient - thereby producing an effect that looks no better than scientific papers have to couch things in terms of what they can actually prove. (It's also possible that green space aliens from the planet Quaarg sneak in at dead of night and provide real treatment for people who are taking homeopathy). But the truth is that nobody believes that this can be what's going on - and Occam's razor says that homeopathy is quite literally just a placebo.
The difficult problem for science is that the placebo effect is poorly understood. Why do actual, real diseases get somewhat better if you convince the sufferer that this sugar pill will cure them? If we understood that then we could look to see if that mechanism is what's being turned on by homeopathic treatments and solidly state the homeopathy produces the weak successes that it does only because it's a fairly reasonable placebo.
SteveBaker (talk) 18:19, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Part of the problem is the way science operates. Trials and reviews by their very design won't produce proof that a treatment doesn't work; they are designed to falsify the null hypothesis (which is that the treatment doesn't work) by demonstrating a difference between the treatment and placebo. For a completely ineffective treatment the most negative result you will see, when it is tested against placebo, will be that a trial or review has failed to demonstrate efficacy. There will never be a trial, review or meta-analysis that states "it doesn't work" in precisely those terms. But if there is an evidence base consisting of a series of reviews that have failed to demonstrate efficacy, then "it doesn't work" is an inference that can legitimately be drawn.
I don't think that any of the reviews has found evidence that homoeopathy is "weakly effective"; "Scientific research has found homeopathic remedies to have weak efficacy" was one of's paraphrases. What they have found, at best, is weak evidence of efficacy. Whether the reported effects from individual trials that have managed to produce a statistically significant difference between homoeopathy and placebo are clinically significant is a different question. Brunton (talk) 22:09, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes. It's about evidence, versus the conclusion drawn from that evidence. Or in this case lack of evidence: in over 200 years there is no actual proof that like cures like, and the basis on which it was originally claimed is refuted; there is no actual evidence that dilution increases potency, and the basis on which this was claimed is also refuted, as well as it being the opposite of what is found in scientific tests; and there is no proof that it works. In order for homeopathy to work, we'd have to be profoundly wrong about some pretty basic science, so some reasonably compelling evidence is needed. Instead we have no evidence at all that refutes the null hypothesis. So homeopathy is right up there with the existence of deities and Velikovskian catastophism on the scale of seriously unlikely things. Gravity? Its's only a theory. Guy (Help!) 14:36, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Lead should be much shorter

I think the lead should be much shorter. It is sufficient to state that the homeopathic remedies are ineffective. A detailed discussion of trials and metastudies should be left for later sections. -- Heptor talk 08:43, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

The article is about homeopathy, not a skeptic's view of whether it's effective or not. Maybe you'd like to start an article focusing on just that aspect? <added> Or are you meaning the paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of the lead? Cjwilky (talk) 10:08, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
Heptor, you need to read WP:LEAD. The lead must sum up the whole article. I have written an essay (unfinished) about "How to create and manage a good lead", if you care to look. -- Brangifer (talk) 07:36, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it's about homeopathy. It's a pretty good overview - it describes the beliefs, the history, the scientific consensus and the conflict with evidence-based practice. The fact that it's bogus is an important one, and it's fair to debate how much of the silly in-universe arcana should be in the lede. Guy (Help!) 14:30, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree with what is written in the lead, I just think it is too long for its own good. It is sufficient to state once that the homeopathic remedies have no medical effect, and homeopathy is considered to be a bogus science/quakery by the scientific community. The detailed discussion belongs in the body of the article. To be specific, I propose that following material should be moved into the body: paragraph 3 except the first sentence, paragraph 4 and paragraph 5. A few other sentences could also be shortened. Heptor talk 07:34, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Just as long as there's no loss of prominence of the reality-based perspective. The homeopathy community is in massive snowstorm mode at the moment as more and more people are becoming aware that it's bogus, the lede needs to make it rapidly plain that there is no reason to suppose it should work, no way it can work, and no proof it does work. Guy (Help!) 10:36, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Heptor talk regarding paras 3,4 and 5. Has anybody actually said the following anywhere we could use it - there is no reason to suppose it should work, no way it can work, and no proof it does work. --Roxy the dog (patronize me) 12:22, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, I think (going back to a discussion of several months ago), the answer here is not to alter the lead, but to alter the body and then make the lead summarize it. I agree the article needs to make its point strongly, as required by WP:PSCI, but at the moment it goes a bit too far and we have a "maximum overkill" that - if anything - might raise doubts in a reader's mind about why it's quite so shrill. The lead is a symptom of that. I'd be in favour of making the "Remedies and treatment" and "Evidence" sections terser and punchier by culling the weaker and more repetitive sources, and then I think we could look at having a punchier lead too. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 12:29, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree with that as well. Those section are written for overkill, which makes them appear week. I think this is a result of the previous content disputes. They can be written better now that those disputes are resolved. Heptor talk 21:24, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
To be clear, this is how I think the lead should look like: Heptor talk 21:43, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
No, that's too short. It misses the harm caused by belief, the sheer strength of the consensus that it's twaddle, and the many levels on which it is wrong. A single sentence saying that, in effect, science finds this to be wrong, is insufficient given the extent of the propaganda campaign by believers; it is too easily missed.
I agree that a more concise and forceful treatment of the reality-based perspective is desirable. Much of the current rambling is caused by believers picking away at the rational balance and challenging every statement in every sentence; the result is science-speak, which is completely accurate but hedged about with caveats and the like. The version Heptor is too short (it's likely to be missed by a skim-reader leaving only the in-universe description) so I have condensed the three paragraphs to one, moving some material down into the body. I don't think I have lost any references in the process.
So the reality-based perspective is now a single concise paragraph with minimal redundancy. Guy (Help!) 18:28, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Hey, we really don't need the kind of language Guy is using here. Yes it's his POV, he's welcome to that, but he oversteps the line as far a wiki goes, is far from NPOV, and is causing aggravation. Cjwilky (talk) 00:41, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
This is the talk page, where NPOV does not apply. It applies to the article, where this mainstream encyclopedia favors the scientifically verifiable position, but still describes the homeopathic fringe position. Guy is not attacking you, so it's not a personal attack. Your discomfort with having the focus of your nonsensical belief (very clearly described by RS as just that) criticized is not our concern. -- Brangifer (talk) 07:16, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Heptor, I think the sentence about Hahnemann and miasms is unnecessary. Whilst historically it was a significant development in homeopathy, it's not that significant in a summary of the main features of homeopathy for an introduction/lead.

The last para Homeopathic remedies are ineffective and their postulated mechanisms of action are scientifically implausible. is stated as fact, where it is a matter of opinion. To say the scientific community has not found sufficient evidence that... is more accurate. Cjwilky (talk) 00:59, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

It is stated as fact because it is not just an ordinary opinion, but recognizes a fact so firmly established as to approach fairly nearly the certainty that the theory of gravity is a fact. So yes, there is more likelihood of homeopathy being proven to be true, than gravity shown to be false, but only by a micro-hair's breadth of difference.......which happens to be in favor of homeopathy being false and gravity true. When solid, reproducible, and firmly established evidence proving the efficacy of homeopathy is produced, the article will reflect that to be true, but not until then. Even then, it would likely be for something so insignificant that it would hardly make any difference, sort of like how spiritualists claim that ghosts can make knocking sounds, gobbledygook sounds on tape recorders, and move tables a few inches. BFD! If that's all ghosts can do, big deal. Ignore them. (Fortunately such attempts have been shown to be frauds and/or pure pseudoscientific piffle, much like homeopathic "research"....think Jacques Benveniste's Digibio.) -- Brangifer (talk) 07:16, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
And that sir is your opinion, and the opinioin of skeptic activists that make up the vast majority of editors here. For a Skeptic to not say what you have said would be akin to heresy - I can't imagine what the punishment would be. And its the opeinion of such people as Randi the magician and self publicist, Ernst the fake homeopath, and one or two studies that gather together info in a way that shows what is wanted to be shown. It is possible to gather info together that shows the opposite. There are many studies that show that homeopathy does work. To claim it is of the level of fact as gravity is a bit daft to be fair. Cjwilky (talk) 12:11, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Chris, the issue you seem unwilling to grasp is that this is not the opinion of skeptical activists, it's the consensus scientific view. If like genuinely cured like, it would be a meaningful part of the standard drugs research process. It isn't, because it's wrong. If dilution increased potency, it would be a core part of the design of pharmaceutical interventions, and would be considered as a part of the dose response relationship. It isn't, because it's not true. If miasms caused disease, there would be a scientific endeavour to measure and quantify them. There isn't, because there's no evidence they exist. If homeopathy actually worked, it would be part of normal medical care rather than being an alternative therapy that believers are trying to weasel into practice using fallacious nonsense like "integrative medicine". It's not, because there's no good evidence that homeopathic remedies are anything other than sugar pills.
You might as well assert that the non-existence of unicorns is "the opinion of skeptical activists".
The facts are the facts: there is no reason to suppose homeopathy should work, no way it can work and no proof it does work. You can hedge those around with formal scientific statements such as "there is no way it can work consistent with our current understanding of the nature of matter, human physiology or biochemistry", but that only introduces confusion when fundamentalist believers start saying "ah yes, but we don't yet know everything about the nature of matter, human physiology or biochemistry". Sure we don't, but we know an immense amount more than we did in 1796, and all of it conflicts with the claims of homeopathy.
I understand why BullRangifer uses the example of gravity, but in my view young-earth creationism is a better example. The likelihood of homeopathy being right is on a par with the likelihood of earth being 6,000 years old and all life on earth being the result of special creation. Our articles on both should be similar in tone.
What you have to remember is that science asks "is this true?" whereas the goal of believers in YEC and homeopathy is "how can we show that this is true?" - the former is the core of the scientific method, the latter is the path to pathological science and ultimately pseudoscience. The infamous Bornhoft paper demonstrates this perfectly, setting out to redefine the hierarchy of evidence in order to be able to claim support for the authors' beliefs. Guy (Help!) 11:50, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree that young-earth creationism is a better example than gravity, hence why I hedged my comment. The effect is still the same. Homeopathy is still "nonsense on stilts". -- Brangifer (talk) 17:22, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Guy: IMHO the current state of knowledge / reliable sources about the efficiacy of homeopathic remedies are both clearly and concisely summarized with the statement that the "homeopathic remedies are ineffective and their postulated mechanisms of action are scientifically implausible". The formulation "no reason, no way, no proof" could also be used if supported by a reliable source. In addition, homeopathy is indroduced as a pseudoscience in the first sentence. I think this is sufficient, and anything more is, as Alex said, an overkill.
Cjwilky: efficiacy of homeopathy is not a matter of debate, we are discussing if the lead would be better off by being more concise. The one source you brought up in your version of the lead essentially states that there are some low-quality articles that show that the homeopathic remedies are somewhat more efficient than placebo. This is not significant enough to be included in the lead, if it is to be included in the article at all. If you want further debate about this, please start a new section on the talk page.
I suggest that we put up the debate about the length of the lead to a poll, so we can get it over with. Heptor talk 07:46, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
More concise is good. Making a statement that is evidently not true is ridiculous. For sure the skeptic activist majority here will go with that, its their mission to get such things on wiki. To put this to a poll when the editors here have proved to be one sided (show me where they are not) is naiive way of editing what is supposed to be a serious encyclopedia. Cjwilky (talk) 12:11, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Please check out wp:truth. Verifiability is the gold standard here, not truth. The concepts of "truth" or "fact" are otherwise very difficult to define. Heptor talk 17:24, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Chris, what statement is "evidently not true"? The weakness in Heptor's proposal is that it focuses on the wrong thing. Any discussion of homeopathy that focuses on clinical evidence, is missing the point, because the vulnerability of this evidence to confounding, inferential errors and the like is well known - and we know for a fact that homeopathists exploit it. As Ioannidis notes, not only are most positive research findings wrong, but the likelihood of a positive result being wrong is strongly determined by the prior probability of the base premise under test. This absolutely predicts that a numerical average of all published material will be weakly positive for a clinically useless treatment. To focus on the fact that the positive result is weak albeit positive is almost guaranteed to mislead, because believers will always focus on the positive, gloss over the weak and completely ignore the fact that this is fully consistent with the expected outcome for an inert treatment.
This is why it is so important to focus on core facts like the lack of any credible mechanism, the absence of any remotely plausible mechanism of action, and the fact that all clinical results to date are fully consistent with the null hypothesis.
Medical science is necessarily full of uncertainties, because of the complexity of the human body. In physics, few non-specialists would consider themselves qualified to venture an opinion. In medicine, the crossover with superstition and religion means that non-specialists still want to think they have a valid view. As Brian Cox said back in October 2012, there is a reason we don't have homeopathic airliners (start around 9:00). Guy (Help!) 12:11, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
Heptor: That is insufficient because it does not reflect the sheer weight of evidence that homeopathy is nonsense, nor does it reflect the many different levels at which it is wrong. To say that it's scientifically implausible is an incomplete statement. There are three fators in play, and we need to ensure that the lede covers all three.
The three factors are: there is no reasosn to suppose it should work (the doctrines are refuted); there is no way it can work (the claims are inconsistent with basic physics); there is no proof it does work (the totality of evidence shows no effect beyond placebo).
I am fine with a shorter lede as long as it contains a robust statement of these three essential facts. Guy (Help!) 11:09, 21 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Guy's revision of the lede. For the lede just to say that it doesn't work is not adequate, either as an explanation in its own right or as a summary of the article. Brunton (talk) 10:42, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
Seconded, it's much punchier by virtue of sticking to the main points. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 10:46, 22 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree. The lead is good now. Not quite as punchy as I was aiming for, but fairly good nevertheless. Heptor talk 03:31, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. I believe we now fulfil the purpose of the lede, which is to give a 50,000ft view of the entire subject. We should strongly resist the addition of cruft from now on; we all know that there are ifs and buts and so on but we also know that changing it from "The scientific community regards homeopathy as nonsense" to "Health organisations such as the UK's National Health Service, the American Medical Association, and the FASEB have issued statements of their conclusion that there is "no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective" has only one purpose: to reduce the clarity of the statement and try to position the dispute as homeopaths vs. allopaths, opinion vs. opinion, two competing philosophies, rather than what it is: homeopaths vs. objective reality. Special pleading such as "though the American Medical Association offers physicians Continuing Medical Education credits for attending courses on Homeopathy" does not belong in the lede, it adds confusion not clarity.
The danger in all such articles is the fallacy of false balance. The scientific consensus is inherently balanced. It may take time to shift when new evidence arises, but not much time as a rule. You opposing camps are not science versus homeopathy, the opposite endpoint would be to advocate jailing homeopaths and banning the practice entirely. Some skeptics might advocate that, but not many, and the fact that skeptics support the scientific consensus does not make it the skeptic view, it is simply that skeptics in general follow the scientific consensus.
We have a recent precedent of an independent review by a body that is not an active skeptical organisation, the UK's Advertising Standards Authority. They demand only that claims are robustly supported, and they demand this of all advertisers, from broadband suppliers to washing powder manufacturers to sellers of patent medicines. Their conclusions are entirely straightforward: homeopaths have provided no credible evidence that they can effectively treat or cure any disease (and much of the evidence they supplied in attempting to support this claim turns out to be refuted, out of date or grossly misrepresented).
Right now our article is in line with the conclusions of NCCAM, the AMA, the NHS and ASA in the UK, Australia's TGA, the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, senior science and medicine advisors to UK and other governments. That is as it should be. What we are witnessing now is that homeopaths are generally stepping away from the pseudoscience and framing the debate politically: they are following the route of climate deniers and (in past decades) the tobacco lobby. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I think the golden age of homeopathy pseudoscience is over; I believe Shange et. al. was the beginning of the end for that. Guy (Help!) 09:00, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Not to mentioned that the UFO-logists and quite a few others got collectively snuffed out by the advent of smartphone. The world is indeed going forward. Heptor talk 05:22, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
[Like] Guy (Help!) 18:14, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Lead shortening survey

Please sign your name using four tildes (~~~~) under the position you support, and please add a (hopefully brief and well thought out) comment. If you are happy with more than one possibility, you may wish to sign your names to more than one place. Extended commentary should be placed below, in the section marked "Discussion", though brief commentary can be interspersed.

  • The lead should be made shorter, essentially by moving the paragraphs 3 and 4 into the body of the article, except the sentence "Homeopathic remedies are ineffective and their postulated mechanisms of action are scientifically implausible", which should remain in the lead.
    • As the original proposer, I support this option. Some are concerned if the shorter lead adequately summarizes the view of the reliable sources on efficacy of the homeopathic treatments. The shorter version include the sentence quoted above, and in addition keeps the statement that "[Homeopathy] is widely considered a pseudoscience. IMO, this is sufficient to summarize the most important aspects of what the reliable sources say on the matter, as it is suggested in WP:LEAD. Heptor talk 08:18, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The lead should remain as it is.
  • The lead should not be altered before the body is improved.
  • The lead should be shorter, but not as prescribed above.
    • Request for clarification. Cjwilky, you added this option, could you please clarify in what way you propose the lead to be shortened? Are you sure this option shouldn't be in a different survey? Heptor talk 17:45, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Survey aborted, a consensus on the length of the lead was reached through discussion. Heptor talk 03:32, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

This will not fly. There is reasonable consensus for a less rambling version of the reality-based perspective in the lede, but there is no way we can weaken the lede to the point that the scientific facts might be missed or downplayed. The single most important fact about homeopathy is that it's wrong. To have a single short statement might work for something like Velikovskian catastrophism, which is self-evidently batshit crazy and nobody now seriously believes, but this is a thing that is believed by a number of people, with the result that well meaning fools are causing real harm through promoting the belief (e.g. [1]). Cjwilky is a believer and a practitioner; we should listen to practitioners sufficiently to keep us honest but we should not lose sight of the fact that homeopathy is objectively nonsense and that belief in homeopathy is widespread and can and does cause harm.

We should take our cue from the coverage of another well-kn own pseudoscientific delusion, young-earth creationism. They both claim to be separate and whole theories of biology, they both lose out to science wherever they touch, they both require absolute belief in the work of individual humans as divine revelation, they both try to dress up belief in the trappings of science i order to try to muscle their way into forums where they have no place (science curricula and hospitals). We are pretty good at dealing with widely believed but refuted nonsense, and there's a long history of doing exactly that in this article. And an equally long history of true believers trying to undo it! Guy (Help!) 12:03, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Semiprotected again

Due to persistent addition of non-compliant content, plainly intended to whitewash. Guy (Help!) 08:30, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

You have unjustifiably locked the article. the Reference from Forbes are the words of very strong Anti Homeopathy skeptic, there is no whitewash whatsoever here. it is a plain fact and utmost relevant to the AMA position. your act is an abuse of admin powers.(I am the editor) (talk) 13:47, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
The article is not locked. Brunton (talk) 17:00, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Feel free to register an account. The article is under a general probation, the changes you made violate policy and very obviously lack consensus, semiprotection is the simplest and least disruptive way of ensuring that site policy is followed. The article has been protected on over 20 separate occasions by well over a dozen separate admins, almost always for the same reason. Whether or not you've been here before, we have. Many times. Guy (Help!) 17:49, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
If you do register an account (or, indeed, if you don't) it would probably be a good idea if you avoid the sort of edit-warring that was going on earlier today before the article was semiprotected. Brunton (talk) 18:51, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Request: wikilink(s) to Blind_experiment ( #Double-blind_trials where applicable)

I'd like to request the addition of wikilink(s) to Blind experiment and/or Blind experiment#Double-blind_trials in any or all of the following locations in the article:

Homeopathy#Provings: "the process is subjective, not blinded"
Homeopathy#Efficacy: "One of the earliest double blind studies"
Homeopathy#Public_opposition: "would be indistinguishable from each other in a blind test"

I would have been bold and done it myself, but the article is protected (arguably for the better). Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:A60:100A:DE01:224:1DFF:FE77:8DF5 (talk) 15:58, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

This sounds like a good idea. Heptor talk 20:35, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
I changed the article as you suggested. Thank you for contributing to improvement of this article! Heptor talk 23:43, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Reorganisation of the evidence section

I would like to rename the "evidence" section to "Evidence and effectiveness" and organize it as following:

  • Evidence and effectiveness ==

General summary of evidence

  • Effect of high dilution ===
  • Water memory ====
  • Clinical tests of efficacy ===
  • Explanation of positive effects ===

Please comment if you have any thoughts about this. Heptor talk 05:56, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

I think it might be a good idea to put the subsection about the clinical trial evidence first ( after the general summary). This is the most important evidence. The high dilutions and water memory stuff is to do with plausibility, not whether it actually works. Even if water memory were to be found to be real, for example, it would still not mean that homoeopathy works. You need actual clinical trials for that. The practice of looking for mechanisms to try to validate an effect that has not been demonstrated to be real is probably symptomatic of pseudoscience. Linde and Melchart said something about the motivations for homeopathic research in their 1998 systematic review: "The motivation for doing trials seems less to be innovation or self-critical evaluation of performance (which is generally considered to be the motivation for good research) but rather justification in front of a hostile scientific establishment.” They were talking specifically of clinical trials there, but I think much of the research that tries to find possible mechanisms or reasons to think homoeopathy less implausible probably also falls into the latter category. Brunton (talk) 07:43, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Actually I disagree. I know this is not an uncommon view, but Ioannidis shows that when something is very unlikely to work, the chances of a false positive are much higher. The randomness of the trial results only really makes sense when you understand that there is no actual connection between remedies and the conditions they treat, and no remedy in the remedies anyway. Once you have that in your mind, you can take into account Ioanidis and the fact that negative results are essentially never published in the SCAM-specific journals homeopaths prefer (, and then you're ready to understand the clinical trial data. Guy (Help!) 09:38, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it actually matters that much. Both arguments against homeopathic remedies are strong enough to stand on their own. The amount of clinical trials that the homeopathic remedies underwent would be enough to detect the tiniest of effects even with maximum of "bad luck". A single clinical trial always has a small probability of showing efficacy when there is none (1%-5% chance), so if you run many enough trials then some of them are bound to be wrong by pure chance. Of course, when taken together those trials leave little to doubt. In addition, today we have an amazing amount of knowledge about how biological organisms work, and based on this knowledge it is safe to say that the homeopathic remedies have no effect beyond placebo, even without conducting a clinical trial. Heptor talk 05:34, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
But the chance of a false positive is much higher when the base hypothesis is unlikely to be true, so it's more than the usual 5% predicted by random chance. That is, the prior probability is a significant modifier to the chance of a false positive. Guy (Help!) 10:29, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, yes, except that the probability of a false positive increases from 0% for a medicine that works to 5% for a medicine that doesn't. The chance of a false positive is equal to the chance of your hypothesis being false times the chance of getting a positive result when the hypothesis is false, that is P(false positive)=P(positive result and hypothesis is false)=P(fh)*P(pr | hf).
The 5% refers to the p-value of a test, which is the probability of obtaining test results that are at least as positive by pure chance, when the medicine in fact does not work, that is P(pr | fh). If the medicine in fact works, then the probability of obtaining a false positive is 0%, because P(fh) =0. As you mentioned, this probability increases with the chance of the medicine not woking. If you are testing a medicine that is known not to work, then you have a 5% chance of obtaining a positive, which of course will be false positives.
For example, if you develop a luck potion that supposedly increases the chances of winning at a roulette (potentized crap?). You want to put it through a clinical trial with a p-value of at most 5%. So you drink the potion and go play at the roulette. There are two possible outcomes:
  1. You bet on a number, and you win. The probability of that happen by chance is , which is less than 5%. So you correctly conclude that the trial suggests that the potion in fact does work. You present your findings to FDA and demand that they approve it as a medicine, but instead they rudely tell you to go away. You claim that they are narrow-minded bigots, and sell the potion anyway.
  2. You don't win. It's a setback, but not a cause for despair. Unlike water, the roulette has no memory. You can spin the roulette again until you finally hit the number you bet on or make a mistake or just decide to lie. Then you are back at point 1.
That is why p-value of 5% is only good when there is good when there are good reasons to believe that the medicine works in the first place. Heptor talk 20:25, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
 Heptor  talk 20:25, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Ioannidis explains this much better than we can :-) 20:44, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
It's a surprisingly difficult topic, I hope my additional explanation was also helpful... Heptor talk 23:47, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

The first line of the Lead's criticism

The Lead's criticism first line is not serious and does not conform to Wikipedia guidelines. One should quote such general and wide statement only from authoritative organizations that can give such a general description of Homeopathy on behalf of the medical/scientific establishment. further more the current actions of such organizations regarding to Homeopathy should be mentioned (even if seem puzzling). This is my edit for the criticism paragraph (i took the first line from the body of the article), i made them into 2 paragraphs dealing with the entire article :

Health organisations such as the UK's National Health Service,[10] the American Medical Association,[11] and the FASEB[12] have issued statements of their conclusion that there is "no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition."[10] though the American Medical Association offers physicians Continuing Medical Education credits for attending courses on Homeopathy.[13] The Scientific skepticism community considers Homeopathy to be "supernatural quackery"[16]

Homeopathic remedies lack any biological plausibility,[14] and are found to be no more than a placebo.[15] Although some clinical trials produce positive results,[16][17] systematic reviews reveal that this is because of chance, flawed research methods, and reporting bias.[18][19][20][21] Homeopathy postulated mechanisms of action are not only scientifically implausible but precluded by the laws of physics.[18][22][23][24][25]

Wikipedia must not give undue weight to proponents/practitioners of Homeopathy and neither to the hard core skeptics, but only to the official authoritative establishment's statements. (talk) 04:16, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
As you can imagine there has been a lengthy debate about this on Wikipedia already. The current consensus/arbitration decision is that homeopathy, just as other pseudo-scientific theories, is to be clearly described as such. Heptor talk 04:19, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Absolutely not true. the "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)" has summarized the consensus/arbitration :
Q4: Does wikipedia consider homeopathy a fringe theory? (Yes). {Fringe not Pseudo science. (Not 1 of the establishments call it Pseudo. they state it was checked, and it doesn't work}
Q11: Should the article characterize homeopathy as a blatant fraud and quackery? (No.)
Wikipedia should give weight to the Scientific/medical mainstream. not to Homeopaths or to the Scientific skepticism community. (talk) 04:31, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Please click on Q11 to expand it. It is about inflammatory language. The article simply states that the homeopathic remedies have no therapeutic effect. Also, verbatim from Q11, sources commonly characterise homeopathy as nonsense, fraud, pseudoscience and quackery - and the article should (and does) report this consensus. Heptor talk 04:35, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Source [3] clearly labels homeopathy a pseudo-science. Heptor talk 04:40, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Heptor, your link is a classic example to what i have been pointing out : Your link is certainly a mainstream source, but it quotes this view as the view of 1 group (Scientific skepticism) :
"According to one group studying such phenomena, pseudoscience topics include yogi flying, therapeutic touch, astrology, fire walking, voodoo magical thinking, Uri Gellar, alternative medicine, channeling, Carlos hoax, psychic hotlines and detectives, near-death experiences, Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), the Bermuda Triangle, homeopathy, faith healing, and reincarnation (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal)" (talk) 04:52, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Further more. it is certainly possible to use "nonsense, fraud, pseudoscience and quackery" but not in a general way like "the Scientific community etc". Only authoritative Organizations official positions should represent the Consensus. (especially when it is repeated by all 3 ), it is possible to say "the Chief UK scientist considerers Homeopathy to be Nonsense" etc. we must not do original research and must comply to NPOV79.177.179.118 (talk) 05:02, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Local consensus does not overrule policy or arbitration findings. Homeopathy is one of the more widely cited examples of pseudoscience, it would be perverse not to give that fact due prominence. The point of the FAQ is that it should look like a Wikipedia article not RationalWiki. A quick comparison of the two shows that we have an appropriately measured tone, which is exactly as it should be. Guy (Help!) 09:19, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  • This is a topic related to health. The scientific point of view is the neutral point of view, and the scientific point of view (as reflected by statements from numerous authorities) is that homeopathy is bogus. As above, we should describe homeopathy in the same tone with which we approach "creation science" - both are essentially religious dogmas which are entirely contradicted by all relevant science, both try to dress up their claims in the language of science, both are widely characterised as pseudoscience as a result. Guy (Help!) 08:35, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Guy,I have followed policy/arbitration findings to the word. your very example from RatoinalWiki proves and strengthen my point. their own Lead is similar to my Edited Lead and not to the spurious Current lead here. not 1 time do they use the words "nonsense, fraud, pseudoscience and quackery" in their lead (And I do). they simply site that Homeopathy has been checked and found not to work. - This is the mainstream view. which is represented in the Authoritative organizations Official statement on Homeopathy. You seem to be a member of the Scientific skepticism community and have a big POV .that's why you also not liked the well referenced fact of AMA giving medical credits for Homeopathy course. Your view is not the Scientific mainstream view, though you want it to be and believe it to be truth. Wikipedia is not Truth, and not original research. it should represent all sides according to their Due weight. number 1 is the establishment/concensus then comes Homeopaths and the Scientific skepticism community view.
Also in General - your militant approach on the lead is counter productive to your own cause by the way , let me inform you. all that is needed , is to tell the truth in a moderate way for people to listen, not to try to hammer it in their ears with cherry picking propaganda. the current lead criticism looks hysterical and coming itself from " religious dogma".(I"m the same author as before). (talk) 13:37, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
The lead may have had its recent problems, but the current version seems quite calm to be, if robust. It's good. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 13:57, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Alexbr, my criticism is regarding only to the first line of the Criticism paragraph. the previous work on the paragraph body has been excellent.
There is a trying to force the Scientific skepticism community view as the current Scientific mainstream view. (talk) 14:34, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, it looks well-sourced to me. The scientific community seems to be taking a tough line. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 14:43, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Scientific skepticism is an oxymoron. Skepticism is inherent in the scientific method, and the major characteristic that distinguishes pseudoscience from science is the substitution of belief for skepticism. I can't remember the exact quote but a recent episode of Jim Al-Khalili's The Life Scientific had an opinion along the lines of: if you're going to go into science, you'd better be comfortable with the idea of being wrong. Homeopathy is founded on the belief that an 18th Century German was right, and everything discovered since then about the nature of matter, human physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology is pretty much entirely wrong. I think it's fair to say that the scientific community generally regards this as implausible. There are not many things the UK's Chief Scientific Officer feels the need to call out as nonsense. Guy (Help!) 17:56, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

A comparison

"If anyone can show me one example in the history of the world of a single homeopathic practitioner who's been able to prove under reasonable experimental conditions that solutions made up of infinitely tiny particles of good stuff dissolved repeatedly into relatively huge quantities of water have a consistently higher medicinal value than a similarly administered placebo...I will give you my piano, one of my legs and my wife." --Tim Minchin, If You Open Your Mind Too Much, Your Brain Will Fall Out

Homeopathy is a type of alternative medicine based on two ideas: that "like cures like" (similia similibus curentur),[1] meaning that a substance that causes disease symptoms can also cure those same symptoms; and that dilution increases potency.[2] Both ideas are not only the opposite of what medicine usually observes, but the opposite of common sense, too. While other alternative medicines and practices (at least purport to) date back thousands of years, homeopathy was invented in the late 18th century by a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann.

Homeopathy is fundamentally different from herbal medicine, with which it is often confused. While some "homeopathic" medicines are simply herbal supplements labelled as homeopathic, true homeopathic remedies are so greatly diluted that they contain no active ingredients. The only measurable ingredients are water[3] and/or alcohol,[4] which is used to "preserve the medicinal power for a long period of time during storage."[5]

The scientific and medical consensus, based on numerous studies and meta-studies, is that homeopathy has no effect above that of a placebo. Aspects of homeopathic practice such as elaborate "provings" and one-on-one consultations can raise a patient's expectations and thus position homeopathy to be an especially convincing placebo — but still a placebo. The theories behind its purported efficacy beyond a placebo would, if true, overturn most of modern chemistry, physics and biology.

Heavy on Snark, leads with Tim Minchin, scare quotes, mocks homeopathy (particularly through the cited footnotes). "Both ideas are not only the opposite of what medicine usually observes, but the opposite of common sense, too", for example.

Homeopathy Listeni/ˌhoʊmiˈɒpəθi/ (also spelled homoeopathy or homœopathy; from the Greek hómoios- ὅμοιος- "like-" + páthos πάθος "suffering") is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like, according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people.[1] It is widely considered a pseudoscience.[2][3][4][5][6]

Hahnemann believed that the underlying causes of disease were phenomena that he termed miasms, and that homeopathic remedies addressed these. The remedies are prepared by repeatedly diluting a chosen substance in alcohol or distilled water, followed by forceful striking on an elastic body.[7] Dilution usually continues well past the point where no molecules of the original substance remains.[8] Homeopaths select remedies by consulting reference books known as repertories, and by considering the totality of the patient's symptoms, personal traits, physical and psychological state, and life history.[9]

The scientific community regards homeopathy as nonsense,[10] quackery[11][12][13] or a sham,[14] and homeopathic practice has been criticized as unethical.[15] The axioms of homeopathy are long refuted[16] and lack any biological plausibility.[17] Although some clinical trials produce positive results,[18][19] systematic reviews reveal that this is because of chance, flawed research methods, and reporting bias.[20][21][22][23] Homeopathic remedies are found to be no more than a placebo,[24] and their postulated mechanisms of action are not only scientifically implausible[25][26][20][27] but precluded by the laws of physics.[28]

Bit dry, explains homeopathy, explains why science dismisses it. I think some minor expansion of the bit about dilution and twerking is in order, and there is some context missing from the reasons why Hahnemann invented it. Guy (Help!) 18:06, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Homeopathy i/ˌhoʊmiˈɒpəθi/ (also spelled homoeopathy or homœopathy; from the Greek hómoios- ὅμοιος- "like-" + páthos πάθος "suffering") is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like, according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people.[1]

Hahnemann believed that the underlying causes of disease were phenomena that he termed miasms, and that homeopathic remedies addressed these. The remedies are prepared by repeatedly diluting a chosen substance in alcohol or distilled water, followed by forceful striking on an elastic body.[2] Dilution usually continues well past the point where no molecules of the original substance remains.[3] Homeopaths select remedies by consulting reference books known as repertories, and by considering the totality of the patient's symptoms, personal traits, physical and psychological state, and life history.[4]

Health organisations such as the UK's National Health Service,[5] the American Medical Association,[6] and the FASEB[7] have issued statements of their conclusion that there is "no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition."[5] though the American Medical Association offers physicians Continuing Medical Education credits for attending courses on Homeopathy.[8] The Scientific skepticism community considers Homeopathy to be "supernatural quackery"[9] and a Pseudoscience.[10]

Homeopathic remedies lack any biological plausibility,[11] and are found to be no more than a placebo.[12] Although some clinical trials produce positive results,[13][14] systematic reviews reveal that this is because of chance, flawed research methods, and reporting bias.[15][16][17][18] Homeopathy postulated mechanisms of action are not only scientifically implausible but precluded by the laws of physics.[19][20][21]

Bit dry, explains homeopathy, explains why science dismisses it. I think some minor expansion of the bit about dilution and twerking is in order, and there is some context missing from the reasons why Hahnemann invented it. Guy (Help!) 18:06, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Gives Authoritative Organizations general Statement and current state of affairs Due Weight and priority. Also adds the notable opposition's opinion (Scientific skepticism community), and Summarizes the scientific findings without repetition.( If people choose not to listen to the conclusions of these authoritative organizations, and the finding of the Scientific research - nothing else will convince them).

Homeopathy or homoeopathy — from the Greek hómoios (similar) and páthos (suffering) — is a system of alternative medicine based on the observation of "like cures like" or the "principle of similars", the idea that substances known to cause particular syndromes of symptoms can also, in low and specially prepared doses, help to cure diseases that cause a similar syndrome of symptoms.

Homeopathic remedies are prepared by diluting drugs and other compounds into extremely small doses, which are then vigorously shaken ("succussed") in water or ethanol and finally dispensed in pills or liquid form. In 2010, an Indian team claimed to have found that commercially manufactured metal-derived high-dilution remedies contain nanoparticles of the metals and their aggregates.[1][2]

The founder of modern homeopathy was a medical doctor, many modern medical practitioners all over the world prescribe some homeopathic remedies, and most governments recognise homeopathy as legitimate treatment.

Homeopaths point to a long safety record for their very dilute remedies. On the other hand, homeopaths assert that there are much greater risks in utilizing conventional medical treatments even when these treatments have been "scientifically verified" because medical history is replete with evidence that such verification changes dramatically with time.

There are many clinical trials and studies which show that homeopathy is effective[3][4].

From website of proponents of Homeopathy (one of the editors here linked it on the talk page). not much need to explain here :o). (I'm same OP) (talk) 19:26, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

I restored the text of mine that you deleted. If you delete or in any other way screw around with anyone's text on this talk page, I will semiprotect his as well. Wikipedia does not tolerate that kind of crap.
Wiki4cam is so insignficant that it's not even the top google hit for wiki4cam (the RationalWiki article on it gets a higher ranking). It has, as of last checking, exactly three "active" editors, and the last edit was in February 2012. You can only register by emailing an address at If you seriously believe that is anywhere close to being neutral, then we might as well save time and ban you now. Guy (Help!) 21:54, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Guy you moron, i haven't deleted anything. you have mistaken your box with the box i added, so you added your text under my box as well. check and see.
And i added the lead from Wiki4cam ,ofc not because they are neutral. i just wanted us to have the full spectrum of Ledes. from proponents to hardcore opponents. so we can have perspective. (talk) 14:44, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
The point is that Wiki4cam is not a notable source. And please refrain from name-calling. Heptor talk 17:22, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
You are correct, I apologise. The result is that you have shown our description to fall nicely between that of hardcore apologists and snarky debunkers, which is a good sign (though it is never necessary to "split the difference", as this is the fallacy of false balance; in science any compromise between a correct statement and a wrong statement, is a wrong statement). Guy (Help!) 10:34, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Who are you fooling Guy? you yourself are part of the "snarky debunkers" group. that is why you use the derogatory acronym SCAM for CAM. My Edit is the correct presentation of the scientific mainstream. but hey you and your friends from the scientific skepticism community want to hijack wikipedia articles. Go ahead and enjoy. the only thing you achieve is discrediting the article and wikipedia.(same author) (talk) 16:49, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Maybe you need to take a moment to read the scientific skepticism article you keep linking to. "Scientific skeptics believe that empirical investigation of reality leads to the truth, and that the scientific method is best suited to this purpose. Considering the rigor of the scientific method, science itself may simply be thought of as an organized form of skepticism...Scientific skeptics attempt to evaluate claims based on verifiability and falsifiability and discourage accepting claims on faith or anecdotal evidence." What part of this are you objecting to? That we are demanding empirical evidence to support claims? Do you object to us wanting to see reproducible experiments to prove claims? The fact is, this is an article about a form of 'treatment' that has no plausible mechanism for functioning and, more importantly, is devoid of credible evidence supporting it. End of discussion, let's move on. JoelWhy?(talk) 17:15, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
SCAM stands for Supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it's a term coined on Science Based Medicine and it's used because the supplement industry is a prolific source of bogus and exaggerated claims, and also because many companies make products within several sub-sectors of SCAM. Obviously it's particularly apt in the case of homeopathy because homeopathy is actually fraudulent, but that's accidental.
You claim your edit is the correct presentation of the scientific mainstream, but that is not the case. The scientific mainstream is precisely as presented by NHS Choices, Sir Mark Walport, Sir John Beddington, Dame Sally Davies and many more. Homeopathy is scientifically indefensible. Guy (Help!) 17:44, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
An early usage of the term "supplementary, complementary and alternative medicine" can be seen here, from January 2006. The European Board of Veterinary Specialisation seems to have used the term in a press release (quoted here) about 9 months earlier (their policies and procedures refer to "so-called supplementary, complementary and alternative treatment modalities"). Neither of these originates from what the ip editor characterises as "the scientific skepticism community". Brunton (talk) 08:07, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
The "SCAM" term goes back earlier than that, at least to this presentation by Peter Bowditch to the Australian Skeptics 2003 National Convention, which clearly indicates the acronym was intentional. That said, there is at least one current practice which refers to itself as offering "supplementary, complementary and alternative medicine" right on its homepage. LeadSongDog come howl! 19:53, 27 September 2013 (UTC)


The lede as it stands is light on the distinctive characteristics of homeopathy and their origin. I propose a somewhat expanded middle paragraph, leaving the lede thus:

Homeopathy /ˌhmiˈɒpəθi/ (also spelled homoeopathy or homœopathy; from the Greek hómoios- ὅμοιος- "like-" + páthos πάθος "suffering") is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, based on his doctrine of like cures like, according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people.[1] It is widely considered a pseudoscience.[2][3][4][5][6]
The idea that "like cures like" was prompted by Hahnemann's taking cinchona, which was known to cure malaria. He experienced cinchonism, a reaction to quinine, and believed that because the symptoms were similar, so this indicated that the curative effect was due to this similarity in symptoms. Hahnemann was particularly deeply opposed the practice of "heroic medicine", including bloodletting, vomiting and purging, which he saw as barbaric (he coined the pejorative term allopathy to characterise these practices) and in reaction he developed the idea of giving more and more minute quantities of the remedies he used. Eventually he settled on the notion of serial dilution with intermittent striking on a resilient surface - termed succussion. The process of dilution and succussion is termed dynamisation or potentisation by homeopaths. Over time he developed the idea that the underlying causes of disease were phenomena that he termed miasms, and that homeopathic remedies addressed these. It is now known that quinine cures malaria by killing the plasmodium falciparum parasite that acauses it, and homeopathic dilution usually continues well past the point where no molecules of the original substance remains,[7] but neither of these was known at the time. Finally, Hahnemann posited that a true cure should be effected by a single remedy, the similimum, which matched the totality of the symptoms of the patient. In pursuit of this similimum, homeopaths select remedies by consulting reference books known as repertories and conduct lengthy case taking, covering symptoms, life events and habits.[8] It was Hahnemann's contention that homeopathy was the complete and sole source of cure for disease, something that categorises it as a whole medical system in the lexicon of alternative medicine.
The scientific community regards homeopathy as nonsense,[9] quackery[10][11][12] or a sham,[13] and homeopathic practice has been criticized as unethical.[14] The axioms of homeopathy are long refuted[15] and lack any biological plausibility.[16] Although some clinical trials produce positive results,[17][18] systematic reviews reveal that this is because of chance, flawed research methods, and reporting bias.[19][20][21][22] Homeopathic remedies are found to be no more than a placebo,[23] and their postulated mechanisms of action are not only scientifically implausible[24][25][19][26] but precluded by the laws of physics.[27]

I realise this is not peerless prose, so let's polish it up. Guy (Help!) 18:22, 23 September 2013 (UTC)


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Hahnemann was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ CSICOP, cited in National Science Foundation Subcommittee on Science & Engineering Indicators (2000). "Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Public Understanding: Science Fiction and Pseudoscience". National Science Foundation. Retrieved 13 July 2007. 
  3. ^ Raimo Tuolema. [ "Science, protoscience and pseudoscience."] J C. Pitt and M. Pera (eds), Rational Changes in Science, p83-101. D. Riedel, 1987.
  4. ^ Adolfo Peña, Ofelia Paco. "Attitudes and Views of Medical Students toward Science and Pseudoscience." Medical Education Online, North America, 9 Dec. 2009.
  5. ^ Kevin Smith. "Homeopathy is unscientific and unethical." Bioethics Volume 26, Issue 9, pages 508–512, November 2012, DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2011.01956.x
  6. ^ Alan D. Sokal. "Pseudoscience and Postmodernism: Antagonists or Fellow-Travellers?" Garrett Fagan, ed. Archaeological Fantasies: How Pseudoarchaeology Misrepresents The Past and Misleads the Public. 2004. "Examples of pseudosciences are astrology, homeopathy ..."
  7. ^ "Dynamization and Dilution", Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Creighton University Department of Pharmacology, retrieved 2009-03-24 
  8. ^ Hahnemann S (1833), The Organon of the Healing Art (5th ed.), aphorisms 5 and 217, ISBN 0-87983-228-2 
  9. ^ "Homeopathy is nonsense, says new chief scientist". Daily Telegraph. 18 Apr 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2013. 
  10. ^ Cite error: The named reference Hood2009 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ Paul S. Boyer. The Oxford Companion to United States History. ISBN 9780195082098. Retrieved January 15, 2013. After 1847, when regular doctors organized the American Medical Association (AMA), that body led the war on "quackery," especially targeting dissenting medical groups such as homeopaths, who prescribed infinitesimally small doses of medicine. Ironically, even as the AMA attacked all homeopathy as quackery, educated homeopathic physicians were expelling untrained "quacks" from their ranks. 
  12. ^ James Randi (1995). An encyclopedia of claims, frauds, and hoaxes of the occult and supernatural. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9780312109745. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Supported by science?: What Canadian naturopaths advertise to the public". Retrieved January 15, 2013. Within the non-CAM scientific community, homeopathy has long been viewed as a sham 
  14. ^ Cite error: The named reference unethical was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  15. ^ Atwood, Kimball (January 11, 2008). "Homeopathy and Evidence-Based Medicine: Back to the Future – Part II". Science Based Medicine. Retrieved September 18, 2013. 
  16. ^ Ernst, Edzard (2012). "Homeopathy: A Critique of Current Clinical Research". Skeptical Inquirer. 36 (6).  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  17. ^ Cite error: The named reference pmid10853874 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  18. ^ Cite error: The named reference Caulfield2005 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  19. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference shang was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  20. ^ Cite error: The named reference pmid1825800 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  21. ^ Cite error: The named reference pmid9310601 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  22. ^ Cite error: The named reference Linde1999 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  23. ^ "Homeopathy: an introduction". NCCAM. April 2012. 
  24. ^ Ernst, E. (2002), "A systematic review of systematic reviews of homeopathy", British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 54 (6): 577–82, PMC 1874503Freely accessible, PMID 12492603, doi:10.1046/j.1365-2125.2002.01699.x 
  25. ^ UK Parliamentary Committee Science and Technology Committee - "Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy"
  26. ^ "Homeopathy: An Introduction" a NCAAM webpage
  27. ^ Grimes D R (2012), "Proposed mechanisms for homeopathy are physically impossible", FACT, 17 (3): 149, doi:10.1111/j.2042-7166.2012.01162.x 
I think that's way too much historical detail for the lede of this article. If the article was about a purely historical treatment, some of this might be worth having there, but since we are discussing a therapy that is still used and promoted, the important things to have in the lede are a brief definition (as we currently have in the first sentence), an indication of some of the philosophies (like cures like, dilutions, miasms, repertorizations and individualisation, as currently covered by the second paragraph), and the mainstream view, covered largely in the third paragraph. The details of Hahnemann's reasoning (such as it was) are best left in the body. Brunton (talk) 12:26, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

Homeopathy promoted in other articles

Here is a fine example: (talk) 14:26, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Unreadable Sentence

"Homeopaths have asserted that Hippocrates, in about 400 BC, "perhaps originated homeopathy" when he prescribed a small dose of mandrake root – which in larger doses produced mania – to treat mania itself;[27] in the 16th century the pioneer of pharmacology Paracelsus declared that small doses of "what makes a man ill also cures him."[28] Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843) gave homeopathy its name and expanded its principles in the late 18th century. "

There's something so wrong with this sentence, I would not presume to try to fix it (talk) 02:20, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

I agree. Way too complex. I've made an attempt at correcting it.   — Jess· Δ 00:53, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

External Links

Hi, I deleted an external link to the Ten23 site on the basis that it is a campaigning organisation with a clear bias. Daffydavid reverted this saying that was fine and mantioning deleting homeopathy organisations. Now, I don't see any homeopathy organisations in that External Links section, maybe you unbiased editors could suggest some? Cjwilky (talk) 13:53, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. --George1935 (talk) 18:43, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure I'd argue on the basis that it is a campaigning organisation, as there are at least two other links to people/organisations that campaign against homeopathy. However I do still think that it should be removed as it isn't adding anything to the article beyond what's already said in it. Samwalton9 (talk) 14:20, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
A little bit of willful blindness CJ? I see - Homeopathy organizations on the Open Directory Project, which when you click on it you get a whole whack of Homeopathic Orgs.--Daffydavid (talk) 20:00, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
So why not keep a balance and do the same with the anti's rather than highlight them as with the ten23 - who as said above, doesn't add anything. Would that be because you are a supporter of that campaign? Cjwilky (talk) 20:18, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Cj, you are going to have to do better than advocating for removal because it is against your point of view. WP:NPOV has been explained over and over again on these talk pages. Why do you say it doesn't add anything? I would have to disagree with you there. I did not add any of the external links on this article so I'm kind of surprised at your attempt to taint the discussion. By clearly implying I'm not capable of a neutral point of view, "Would that be because you are a supporter of that campaign?", seems to me that you don't actually have a point. Frankly Cj, while we don't often agree, I expected better from you. --Daffydavid (talk) 05:33, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Seems you don't have an argument Daffy, and inventing my reasons for deletion doesn't count. My stated reason is that it doesn't add anything more than any other anti or pro site would offer - maybe you can be explicit with what it does add when compared to other sites both pro and anti, and when the whole gamut is covered in those OPD links.
As you know, you chose to revert my edit, so presumably you have a reason, so far not stated.
You are a well known ten23 tweeter and I dare say have been involved in some of their campaigns, but you can choose to deny that or continue to avoid it as you did above - so I was just putting forward that side of you as being your reason for reverting... possibly... if you were explicit in your reasoning about why you reverted then I wouldn't have to guess and try and get a reason out of you :) Cjwilky (talk) 19:55, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Cjwilky Homeopathic Detective at first I found you amusing. You really should change your user name to this. Let's begin examining your evidence, shall we? "Inventing my reasons for deletion doesn't count" - I didn't invent anything, you stated clearly your reason - " I deleted an external link to the Ten23 site on the basis that it is a campaigning organisation with a clear bias", given that views opposing the use of Homeopathy are not a reason for deletion, this only leaves the option that as an admitted practicing Homeopath you disagree with it and want it removed. Why did I revert your edit? Because your stated reason was an invalid reason for removal. You then attempted to change your argument to - "My stated reason is that it doesn't add anything more than any other anti or pro site would offer." Sorry NO, that wasn't your stated reason and as such I chose to ignore it because wasn't going to debate points that weren't actually made. But, to answer you, on investigation I find that it offers a link to a well organized campaign that is endorsed by JREF and Richard Dawkins. It seems unique in it's message as compared to the other links, but this is all irrelevant as you have still failed to give a compelling reason for it's deletion and continue to attempt character assassination. To continue on - "you chose to revert my edit, so presumably you have a reason, so far not stated", I stated it clearly, but I'll state it again, - You have no valid reason for deleting the link. And finally we come to what I presume you consider to be your coup de grâce - "You are a well known ten23 tweeter and I dare say have been involved in some of their campaigns, but you can choose to deny that or continue to avoid it as you did above - so I was just putting forward that side of you as being your reason for reverting... possibly" You really need to stop being passive aggressive. Unfortunately for you Cjwilky Homeopathic Detective your evidence is Homeopathic evidence. By that, I mean and pay attention here because I am growing tired of your assertions that I'm not being clear, there is not a single molecule of actual fact in your evidence, just like the medicine. For the record - Cj, I do not nor have I ever had a Twitter account nor have I belonged to 1023 at any time. To be clear Cj, I am tired of your childish antics. When you state a VALID reason for the proposed deletion, others may listen. Until then, adieu. --Daffydavid (talk) 01:26, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Let's try not to make any personal attacks or ad hominems. The guidance we should be looking at is that of the external links guidelines which state that "Some acceptable links include those that contain further research that is accurate and on-topic, information that could not be added to the article for reasons such as copyright or amount of detail, or other meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article for reasons unrelated to its accuracy." I do not see any real reason that the 10:23 link conforms to this. The website doesn't "provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article." (WP:ELNO) and thus I don't see any reason for it to be included; the public opposition section already mentions them and other info on the site can be read at either 10:23 Campaign or in this article elsewhere. As a disclaimer I live in Merseyside and attend many Skeptics Society talks. Though as I'm arguing for removal I don't exactly see that being used against me. Samwalton9 (talk) 10:40, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Samwalton9 (talk)I'm going to have to disagree on your interpretation of WP:ELNO specifically the assertion that it doesn't "provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article." If the WP article was much more detailed then I would agree, as it stands now the article is clearly lacking and does not give an accurate description of all the content available at the site itself. --Daffydavid (talk) 23:55, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Teeny Tiny edit war

John Snow and I disagree about the use of implausible/impossible as regards the plausibility of homeopathy in the "Plausibility" section of the article. In order to maintain "neutrality" John wants to use the word "implausible" rather than the more accurate "impossible" and in an edit summary, says -

"the section is entitled plausibility, and whether or not it's plausible is what it's about. Keep it civil please"

Would anybody else like to comment before I restore "impossible" to the text? John, Why do you think "implausible" is better, I would be interested to know? To me it is just less accurate, not more neutral. --Roxy the dog (resonate) 12:05, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Firstly let me ask you not to restore 'impossible' to the text before a consensus for the change has been made. Can someone access the article that is sourced to and see if it says plausible or impossible? I'm having trouble logging in to Science Direct for some reason. FWIW I think implausible is better; it's fair and safe to say that the mechanism is implausible ("not seeming reasonable or probable; failing to convince.") but impossible might not be quite right ("not able to occur, exist, or be done."). As for an argument with a little more weight, sources seem to use the word implausible rather than impossible e.g. "physicians find such notions implausible", Samwalton9 (talk) 12:37, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
By the same token, I think that implausible should be removed until consensus for the change from impossible is reached. Can't have it both ways. --Roxy the dog (resonate) 12:59, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Since implausible was there first and is assumedly backed up by the source, the apparently controversial change to impossible is the one which should be discussed. Samwalton9 (talk) 13:12, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
The sources used mention "implausible" not "impossible". However, the wider sources say it's both - I'll have a go at fixing ... Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 13:06, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Sorry, I was looking at these words in the Lede. Teixeira neither says "impossible" nor "implausible" - he just says water memory theories are ... wrong. I've changed the word to "erroneous" to reflect this better. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 13:26, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

I agree with Roxy as to the substance - homeopathy is, within our extant science, impossible. I'd just like to let the facts speak for themselves as much as possible rather than goading the enthusiasts. If there's a way to cover both terms diplomatically Alex, please do. I'm happy to be 'hands-off' as even teen weeny edit wars are best avoided if we can. John Snow II (talk) 14:45, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

I have to wonder whether it's worth mentioning both "implausible" and "impossible" in the lede: the first term looks a bit superfluous in light of the second. Or is there some subtlety here I'm missing? Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 14:47, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, fair question. I suppose 'implausible' indicates that homeopathy is highly unlikely to be based on any working mechanism, whereas 'impossible' suggests that there is and never can be any such mechanism, even in our wildest dreams. The former seems the crucial knowledge to impart, whereas the latter could stimulate a rather pointless debate. John Snow II (talk) 15:13, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
"highly implausible"? "profoundly implausible"? How to indicate the precise shade of meaning that says "not philosophically impossible" ... - David Gerard (talk) 15:17, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Brian Josephson, a Cambridge physics professor and Nobel Prize winner, has suggested a mechanism by which homeopathy may operate, so simply dismissing it as 'impossible' seems hasty. Check the link at the bottom of his homepage to see his discussion. Generally, the entire tone of the article is so vehemently condemnatory that it reads nothing like a normal encyclopedia article, or even like the typical Wikipedia article. Just contrast your article with the tone a traditional encyclopedia like the 'Encyclopedia Britannica' adopts when discussing homeopathy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:59, 22 February 2014 (UTC)
Until Josphson comes up with something better than "a suggestion" of how Homeopathy may work in a letter to the editor it's safe to keep the article as is. Next time please link to the actual page you are referencing so we can ensure that we are discussing the same page. The link wasn't at the bottom of his page but it was the only one mentioning this topic. --Daffydavid (talk) 22:17, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

This article contain so much non senses,see comment of learned person like Prof Dr Hegde(MBBS, MD, MRCP(UK), FRCP(London), FACC(Bethesda Md USA), FRCPG(Glasgow USA), FRCPE(Edn), FRCPI(Dublin), FAMS 1. Former Vice Chancellor, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Deemed University 2. Former Pro Vice Chancellor, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Deemed University 3. Former Dean, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore 4. Former Principal, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore 5. Former Director of PG studies, Professor & Head of the Dept. of Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore 6. Former professor of cardiology, the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London) spoke about the importance of alternative medicines like Ayurveda and Homeopathy. He said, “There are all kinds of tactics are used to suppress Homeopathy as a form of treatment. But it is one of the best medicines. 'It is much more scientific than modern medicine. Just because one cannot detect the chemical present in the nano particle of the pills, you call it unscientific? This is not fair.” — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:02, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Actually, according to most WP:MEDRS, homeopathy is dangerous nonsense which deters seriously ill people from seeking treatment via science-based medicine. DavidLeighEllis (talk) 01:08, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with User talk: the article is so biased it is just a polemic - totally inappropriate for an encyclopedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by George1935 (talkcontribs) 01:59, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
You are entitled to your opinion but an edit suggestion would be much more helpful. --Daffydavid (talk) 19:13, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Ok guys, sort of backing up Daffydavid's point remember talk pages are WP:NOTAFORUM if you have WP:MEDRS sources that suggest homeopathic remedies are anything other than mislabeled and expensive water please present them. Otherwise there are more appropriate venues to talk about "tactics used to suppress Homeopathy". Simonm223 (talk) 19:24, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Of course there are - but the editors here have chosen to edit them out. --George1935 (talk) 02:25, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
It is probably because those sources were not considered reliable per Wikipedia policy. Can you please give an example? Heptor talk 09:42, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
I will give many -below --George1935 (talk) 18:34, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Co-operation on this article

I'm writing this with a view to clarify some issues that are being brushed under the carpet that prevent a co-operative atmosphere in this article. I'm not claiming I'm doing it in the best way, but certain things are ignored without some "outing".
I agree that the work here is to be done on the article. However, the bullying here that has been raised is not anyone's imagination. I don't care for going back over what has happened in the past. With the worst culprit being warned off by the high powers on wiki, things HAVE improved, but some editors persist in sniping comments without any provocation. This is bullying, and I find it appalling that it is allowed to continue without being pulled up by anyone. The only reason I will use the terms and the manner that I do is to reflect this. I am doing no more than the skeptics. I think it's unhelpful, but clearly it's considered okay to act like this by various admin or wherever in the wiki hierarchy people are that edit and visit here. Brunton tells me, and me only, to note WP:AGF. Brunton I acknowledge is well behaved :) although does display one sidedness in not saying similar to other eds.
The other ongoing issue that seems to spark a reaction is me calling eds skeptics, and identifying the difference between a true skeptic who would apply balance and a psuedo one who has an a priori judgement - evident in many places, not least in writing and not reverting aspects of the lead. For sure we can discuss that particularly elsewhere, but that is not the point here - just about every ed on this article has a POV, skepticism, of one version or other, is one of them. I have no problem with that except in its denial. Cjwilky (talk) 14:18, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
How do you define sceptic? -Roxy the dog (resonate) 15:43, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
There's the actual definition - you can look it up quite easily. Cjwilky (talk) 01:26, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
Agreed.--George1935 (talk) 00:41, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Cj, your whole comment reads like someone who has no intention of following the rules, in particular your "outing" comment - see WP:NPA and do try to follow it henceforth. If you have a problem with bullying here(clearly it takes a bully to recognize bullying, right Cj?) then take it to the notice boards. Until then please read WP:NOTAFORUM and make suggestions about edits. --Daffydavid (talk) 03:53, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Interesting you should say that Daffydavid as I recall being bullied for being a homeopath by several editors before saying that was my profession, and not one complaint from the skeptic editors about that. Bias? It would seem that way. Did you not notice this? Cjwilky (talk) 01:26, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
There is plenty of evidence of bullying - Im afraid --George1935 (talk) 06:05, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
George, if you think you have a case feel free to go to WP:ANI. Otherwise this is WP:NOTAFORUM. --Daffydavid (talk) 06:30, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
I did but the administrators appear to believe that bullying is OK if it is coming from the "skeptic" ( so to speak) group. --George1935 (talk) 19:40, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
There is no bullying going on here - but accusations of bullying abound, and it is getting silly. This tactic is familiar when minority groups cannot get their own way against consensus - they make these false allegations in order to distract us from their tendentiousness. - Please stop it, it detracts from our goals here, of presenting the mainstream view. -Roxy the dog (resonate) 20:30, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
I was asked for evidence - I presented the evidence. And it was ignored as expected. You should be pleased by the result. --George1935 (talk) 02:23, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
George, the sources you presented were not ignored; they were addressed in some detail. See above, and see the second paragraph (in particular) here. Brunton (talk) 07:32, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
I replied about the bullying part I did - the discussion still is going on and i see other people having similar concerns. --George1935 (talk) 18:03, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
This is a place where editors can try and get along. Suggesting that things are taken to complaints is not conducive to that, certainly not as a first base - wiki policy is clear on this. Cjwilky (talk) 01:26, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
The first place? I don't know what you have been reading but I see endless allegations of bullying and this is an article on Homeopathy and not a forum, so therefore this subsection should be closed and the allegations should be taken to WP:ANI or other appropriate notice boards. --Daffydavid (talk) 07:46, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Neutrality of the Homeopathy page, and summary of discussion on the subject

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Demands for a POV tag on this article fall are WP:PERENNIAL. See Jimbo's response here. Wikipedia cannot become more sympathetic to the views of homeopaths without sacrificing its core ideals, unless and until the homeopathists come up with robust science to support their claims. This article is the same as the article on Intelligent Design: a robustly sourced and factual account which a minority reject outright because it contradicts their beliefs. This is not Wikipedia's problem to solve. Guy (Help!) 20:13, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Several editors have stated their belief that the homeopathy page does not conform to Wikipedia's neutral point of view guidelines, namely that the page is biased against homeopathy, and conforms to be sceptics point of view. It has been suggested that a {{POV}} tag gets added to the page.

Other editors, myself included, have stated that the page is generally written from a neutral point of view because there is no evidence to support the effectiveness of homeopathy and because homeopathic claims are physically impossible. I have even stated that I find the page does not entirely send the message that homeopathy is utterly ineffective.

There have been accusations of bullying and censorship of opposing views, as well as accusations that several editors are trying to force their beliefs onto the page. Also, in the discussion, very little specific points were addressed. Until now, the POV tag was not added and the general consensus was that the page did conform to the neutral point of view policy. I would suggest that we all calm down a little and discuss this with some civility. I would also suggest that some experienced editors (admins) get brought in to review and comment. Also, I would propose that the page is neutral, and no POV tag needs to be added. I find that the page adequately explains the lack of evidence for homeopathy, the lack of plausible mechanism, and reflects the scientific consensus on homeopathy. Thank you. NHCLS (talk) 23:15, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

I would be happy to discuss it in the event - they dont ban me- for disagreeing with the current point of view. --George1935 (talk) 23:33, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
So, George1935, what exactly are the specific issues you have with the page, why do you believe they are issues, and how do propose they get fixed? Thanks! NHCLS (talk) 20:23, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
  • No tag. The article as written does not reflect equally all points of view, which is exactly as it should be written (per WP:NPOV, WP:UNDUE, and WP:FRINGE). What the article does do, however, is provide a neutral summary of the best secondary sources available. In reviewing the article I removed a use of "as ever" [2], which might be read as a little less than neutral. There may be other issues of similar magnitude, but taken as a whole this is an excellent article that exemplifies WP:NPOV. Lesser Cartographies (talk) 14:38, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes tag. There are Three POVs at play here: 1)Homeopathy community 2)Scientific community consensus 3)Scientific skepticism community
Right now the Scientific skepticism community has Undue-Weight in the article.
As i have written earlier, Scientific skepticism group ≠ Scientific community consensus.
The distinction of the Scientific skepticism community as just one group within the scientific community at large, it the distinction used in an official review of the National Science Foundation:
"According to one group studying such phenomena, pseudoscience topics include yogi flying, therapeutic touch, astrology, fire walking, voodoo magical thinking, Uri Gellar, alternative medicine, channeling, Carlos hoax, psychic hotlines and detectives, near-death experiences, Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), the Bermuda Triangle, homeopathy, faith healing, and reincarnation (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal)"
George1935's original edit to the lead was representing the scientific consensus, exactly as they are stated in the reviews. and therefore strictly adhering to WP:NPOV, WP:UNDUE, and WP:FRINGE
An earlier edit to the lead, summarized the scientific consensus from a different approach, not via the the reviews, but via the official statements of establishments who have the authority to speak in the name of the scientific consensus:
"Health organisations such as the UK's National Health Service,[10] the American Medical Association,[11] and the FASEB[12] have issued statements of their conclusion that there is "no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition."[10] though the American Medical Association offers physicians Continuing Medical Education credits for attending courses on Homeopathy.[13] The Scientific skepticism community considers Homeopathy to be "supernatural quackery"[16]" (talk) 23:47, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I will explain what I mean. I think this is a fair edit. There are sources who say that. --George1935 (talk) 00:21, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes tag. The best way to determine if there is a consensus in the scientific community and what is this consensus is to evaluate the weight of every source used and unused as long as they are reputable and high quality.If there is an agreement in that then we can decide which sources should be included. Correct? --George1935 (talk) 01:03, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
So, which sources should we base the scientific consensus on? I would argue that a review of several distinguished organisations could be used as a base demonstrating the scientific consensus on homeopathy. We should see which groups oppose homeopathy, which groups support homeopathy, and the strength of that opposition/promotion. I would also like to mention that, in my opinion, several of the edits that George1935 originally made to the page were good edits, seeing as they cleared up the language a bit (such as "its principles have been challenged for some time," which was originally "the axioms of homeopathy have been refuted for some time"). However, I would still argue that those edits minimised the lack of evidence in regards to homeopathy. Thanks! NHCLS (talk) 02:10, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
No Tag If there was evidence for POV problems then it would be worthwhile but instead we have a few editors (the IP's on here are socks) who spend 95% of their time talking about alleged slights and grievances and only 5% of the time talking about the article. Adding the tag will not do anything except encourage fringe authors to continue behaving badly (violating WP:NPA). --Daffydavid (talk) 06:55, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
After all this abuse,calling names , false accusations, threats for banning I have been through -I hope you don't mean my case. Correct? Ask from someone to investigate if you think there are socks here. Be kind and please stop the false accusations. Participate in the discussion meaningfully- you know reasons and reliable sources. --George1935 (talk) 12:40, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Again with the false accusations George? Just because you didn't understand the homeopathic pun, or play on words, doesn't give you an excuse to invent name calling. Admittedly, because the pun was homeopathetic, it was particularly weak. -Roxy the dog (resonate) 13:15, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

So which organizations and other sources - people think should be used to determine the consensus if any. --George1935 (talk) 13:54, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

The consensus is that we use the ones we are already using, George. -Roxy the dog (resonate) 14:43, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes this is a discussion using sources - if you want you can participate. I found this for instance: The practice of homeopathy is currently addressed in the AVMA Guidelines for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine, and these Guidelines are up for review by the CoVS at their spring meeting. and according to this there include Homeopathy in their practice and do not take any position on its effectiveness. --George1935 (talk) 15:01, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
If they don't take a position on effectiveness it is pretty useless as a source, wouldn't you say? -Roxy the dog (resonate) 15:08, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
I think it makes for an interesting contrast with the DeFRA information we already have in the article. I wouldn't mind a sentence added to the end of the Veterinary section along the lines of

In contrast, in 2014 the American Veterinary Medical Association defeated by at 9–1 margin a resolution declaring "Homeopathy has been conclusively demonstrated to be ineffective." Commenting on the vote, AVMA president Dr. Clark K. Fobian observed the AVMA Council on Research failed to find any scientific justification for homeopathic treatments, and that the AVMA "is in no way saying it is a valid, legitimate treatment modality."[3]

The references would need to be cleaned up, of course. Lesser Cartographies (talk) 15:37, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
I dont understand - what is the official position of the American Veterinary Medical Association for homeopathy? Do they concur with that "it is in no way saying it is a valid, legitimate treatment modality" - Did the American Veterinary Medical Association adopted this personal opinion or not. Is seems not from the sources cited. Their site writes

The resolution will be forwarded to the Executive Board for consideration. It is no longer considered a proposed policy, nor is it a resolution anymore. Simply put, it’s now an item for discussion and consideration. The House of Delegates’ recommendation that the item be referred to the Council on Veterinary Service will be taken into consideration by the Executive Board. The practice of homeopathy is currently addressed in the AVMA Guidelines for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine, and these Guidelines are up for review by the CoVS at their spring meeting

--George1935 (talk) 16:04, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
The blog post you're quoting[4] was from Jan 10, 2013. Homeopathy is indeed listed in the "Guidelines" [5], but I don't see anything particularly interesting there. The press release I quoted above was from Feb. 12, 2014 and concerned a separate resolution. This received zero outside press coverage (and I could see excluding it from the article on that basis alone), but I think the two sentences draw a useful and interesting picture, particularly when juxtaposed to the British approach. That said, what is the specific edit you're proposing? Lesser Cartographies (talk) 16:35, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
I think it should be weighted with other scientific organizations position. But let me think for the specific edit. --George1935 (talk) 16:49, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
If they haven't adopted a position on the effectiveness of homoeopathy we can't report their position on the effectiveness of homoeopathy (and if they are, as quoted above, "in no way saying it is a valid, legitimate treatment modality" then we can't imply that they say that it is). Brunton (talk) 16:57, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
One can report the suggestion made that Homeopathy is ineffective and should be discouraged and the final decision in their own words. That reflects the situation accurately. What do you think? --George1935 (talk) 18:11, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
I think you'd be much better served by proposing a concrete edit, as I did above. Lesser Cartographies (talk) 19:05, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
OK then this is what I suggest

In contrast, in 2014 the American Veterinary Medical Association defeated by at 9–1 margin a resolution declaring "Homeopathy has been conclusively demonstrated to be ineffective." American Veterinary Medical Association stated that in its guidelines there is not intent to determine or describe the relative value of the individual modalities. and that the evidence pertaining to, and the practice of, individual CAVM modalities differ. Commenting on the vote, AVMA president Dr. Clark K. Fobian observed the AVMA Council on Research failed to find any scientific justification for homeopathic treatments, and that the AVMA "is in no way saying it is a valid, legitimate treatment modality.

Similar to yours. --George1935 (talk) 19:18, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for making a specific proposal. I think I can make a reasonable argument why our homeopathy article should mention the fact that largest American veterinarian association couldn't come close to passing a resolution disavowing homeopathy, despite the wishes of their own president and research council. It might not be a successful argument, but I think I could make it a plausible one. However, I'm not seeing the benefit of including a reference to their guidelines, esp. when those guidelines do not specifically address homeopathy. Can you give me an argument as to how you see this improving the article? Lesser Cartographies (talk) 19:34, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Ah, maybe you're trying to draw a contrast between the guidelines and the opinions of the research council? Perhaps this makes that approach more clear? (san citations for now)

In contrast, in 2014 the American Veterinary Medical Association defeated by at 9–1 margin a resolution declaring "Homeopathy has been conclusively demonstrated to be ineffective." The vote was consistent with the group's published guidelines on alternative medicines, which while calling for "effective, safe, proven" treatments and diagnoses rooted in "sound, accepted principles of veterinary medicine", does not provide any recommendation to the effectiveness of any alternative treatment regiem and instead urges veterinarians "to critically evaluate the literature and other sources of information." Commenting on the vote, and in contrast to the guidelines, AVMA president Dr. Clark K. Fobian observed the AVMA Council on Research failed to find any scientific justification for homeopathic treatments, and that the AVMA "is in no way saying it is a valid, legitimate treatment modality.

Now that's probably too long (and probably strays into WP:OR), but citing the guidelines now helps explain why the vote happened as it did. Is this along the lines of what you were thinking? Lesser Cartographies (talk) 19:48, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
There is a direct reference in the guidelines. Look at at the pdf you posted. This is a clear statement that they do not want to 'It is not the intent of these guidelines to determine or describe the relative value of the individual modalities. The evidence pertaining to, and the practice of, individual CAVM modalities differ." Your second sentence is kind of misleading - I think - my version just describes the situation. The vote, the clear intention of their guidelines and the president comment as well. --George1935 (talk) 20:15, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree the pdf says that, but why is the fact that a that a veterinary association declines to assign relative value to alterantive modalities important enough to put into the article? Lesser Cartographies (talk) 21:38, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
For the same reason the President's comment has a place as a response and because there was a significant effort in the American Veterinary Medical Association defeated by at 9–1 margin a resolution declaring "Homeopathy has been conclusively demonstrated to be ineffective." The guideline shows EXACTLY what their position in homeopathy is. I think as a reader I would like to know this fact. --George1935 (talk) 21:56, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm...., no, I'm not convinced. The resolution, the vote, and the president's comments were related directly to homeopathy and contain positive information. The fact that there's obviously some tension within the organization helps make that information interesting enough to include in the article. The guidelines, on the other hand, go well out of their way to say nothing definitive. If this was an article on the organization, I could see an argument for why that might be appropriate. Here, it comes across as stretching to lend credence to a pro-homeopathy stance. Lesser Cartographies (talk) 22:21, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Not a all. In fact, I think that this inclusion of the guidelines accentuates the "anti homeopathy" stance since it clearly shows that the vote did NOT mean to endorse homeopathy - by denying to declaring it ineffective -just wanted to remain neutral. So feel free to remove it even if I think is better to include to illuminate the motivations. No problem. --George1935 (talk) 22:55, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

There is an attempt to close the discussion by locking the section - by an editor who does not participate in the talk page. Can someone stop him? this is so rude and disrespectful to people who participate in the discussion . --George1935 (talk) 20:20, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Not sure how far this debate has derailed, but my vote is no tag. There is currently no significant scientific debate about efficacy of the homeopathic remedies. There have been a few positive findings, some even published in well-regarded journals. However, replication of those findings is irregular at best. Unrepeatable results like this happen in other fields as well. The current presentation in the article is consistent with the vast majority view, i.e. that "the systematic reviews reveal that this is because of chance, flawed research methods, and reporting bias"

Maybe we should get back to talking about sources to determine the scientific consensus. Could someone propose some other distinguished sources? I know that the NHS states on their website that "there is no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition," ( and a report by the British government found that "the systematic reviews and meta-analyses conclusively demonstrate that homeopathic products perform no better than placebos." ( Could someone find the equivalent institutions/reports for other countries? Thanks! NHCLS (talk) 20:33, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

More neutral lede Suggestion

Less neutral lede suggestion rejected.
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I dont know how meaningful it is to suggest a change in this hostile and abusive environment but I will try:

Overall there is no evidence of efficacy should be replaced : with

Most rigorous clinical trials and systematic analyses of the research on homeopathy have concluded that there is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition. from

I think that the article should be tagged - for {{POV-check}} - I did not see any explanation why it should not. --George1935 (talk) 16:35, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

I don't think that this change is necessary. This would be moving too far from the mainstream view to be a realistic proposal.
The full and frankly tedious explanation for why there is no need for your tag consists of the patient efforts made by mainstream editors in response to your IDHT comments from the very beginning of your time as a SPA here. -Roxy the dog (resonate) 17:45, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Wow. This a very rational explanation and tone. I have to say it is in line with your way. to introduce yourself. In a way I understand you - you realized that this kind of bullying is acceptable - if not encouraged --- as long you have strong anti homeopathy feelings - So you say to yourself-- why I should stop?--George1935 (talk) 18:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
We were discussing putting some of the early inconclusive reviews into their own sub section of Efficacy. I think changes to the lead to accommodate your concerns are a non-starter. Jojalozzo 17:58, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
No, I changed my mind due to the hostile response of some of the people. I suggest this change. This is reliable source - according to the article - I don't see why anyone who trusts this source would disagree. Unless you think that nccam 's view departs from the scientific consensus-??????? even the artificial one created for the purpose of this article--George1935 (talk) 18:05, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
The lede is supposed to summarise the article. It isn't a place to parachute in quotations that aren't even included in the article. As it stands, the lede summarises the consensus reported in the article and sourced from peer reviewed papers. The quotation that you are proposing adding is not, in fact, incompatible with this consensus. Brunton (talk) 20:27, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
So do you think that The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) departs from the scientific consensus ? So why you are using it as a source in the article? Is it reliable to for extracting quotes against homeopathy's efficacy but unreliable to report the scientific consensus ? How many sources you need to see that they are NOT in agreement with what the article states. That's why I think the article should be tagged - It is so ridiculously biased - the only real improvement is to be rewritten without distorting the reliable sources and censoring the other points of view. --George1935 (talk) 20:49, 24 March 2014 (UTC)>
Hello. I would like to point out that the NCCAM does depart from the scientific consensus: most informed commentators think that it is a waste of money (check out the Centre's study on Reducing Children's Anxiety Using Homeopathic Remedy Before Dental Treatment at Also, the NCCAM website does say that "There is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition." ( And there is a good reason for that: there is no evidence to support the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies. It would be surprising if there was evidence, seeing as homeopathic remedies are made of water. No one expects that tap water will cure cancer. If anything, I would argue that the page is not strong enough on the point of the pseudoscientific nature of homeopathy and the lack of any good reason to believe that homeopathy is effective. Thanks! NHCLS (talk) 21:15, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
"Informed commentators" are not reliable sources-you need that to support what you are saying- sorry. - NCCAM is regarded as a reliable source in wikipedia. Maybe you want to remove it. --George1935 (talk) 21:29, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────George, this is the same sort of proposal you've already made several times. Consensus opposes your suggestion for reasons based soundly on wikipedia's foundational content policies. This needs to stop. There are three options: 1) make a new proposal unlike the ones you've been making. 2) drop the stick, 3) I'll take this to ANI myself. This has been going on for weeks; it's been the top of my watchlist every day. You've received plenty of input. It's time to take that input and move on.   — Jess· Δ 21:36, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Hello. In response to George1935's comment about "informed commentators," here is a list of sources criticising the NCCAM:

I do agree with Jess about closing the debate. Thanks! NHCLS (talk) 21:57, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

So next step is to remove it from the reliable sources and not using - this is really magic- cristism from news papers make a source unusable ? --George1935 (talk) 22:11, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
Jess thats was the first time i suggested that but your tone is not really inviting ---- Wikipedia's foundational content policies dictate that it is OK for the majority to distort sources, to cherry pick, and to censor reputable journals ? Maybe-- if the majority says so ---why not? If the majority here is also forcing me to stop editing, I have no choice - I will stop. --George1935 (talk) 22:11, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Before I go, congrats to the editor who "corrected" the most reliable meta analyses conclusion -quote in Ocsillo article from Cohrane reviews with the summary : More honest statement. Yes we SHOULD "correct" the reliable sources to comply with what we believe. --George1935 (talk) 22:27, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Probably for the best George. I hope you don't leave Wikipedia altogether, but instead try to find less controversial areas to work in, somewhere where you have a more mainstream view, and it wont be difficult to fit your ideas in. Your efforts to shoehorn stuff in here against consensus has apparently left you feeling resentful, but it has been frustrating for more experienced editors too. I would suggest keeping away from fringe medicine and pseudoscience altogether, as you don't seem to understand yet how we deal with that sort of thing. Do you have any interest in the former Soviet countries, the Balkans, Crimea or perhaps Bollywood? -Roxy the dog (resonate) 23:02, 24 March 2014 (UTC)
NHCLS your list is a wonderful example of what is really going on here. Your last 3 sources lists the opinions of the same 2 people Gorski and Novella from sciencebasedmedicine who are members of csicop (your first source). csicop does not represent the scientific consensus. all these articles are the opinion of one group within the scientific community. The definition of "one group" it the definition used in an official review of the National Science Foundation:

"According to one group studying such phenomena, pseudoscience topics include yogi flying, therapeutic touch, astrology, fire walking, voodoo magical thinking, Uri Gellar, alternative medicine, channeling, Carlos hoax, psychic hotlines and detectives, near-death experiences, Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), the Bermuda Triangle, homeopathy, faith healing, and reincarnation (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal)"

The tag of neutrality should definitely be in the article. The problem is that a main foundation for this pseudo-skeptic group is using Homeopathy as there main example. Take that away from them, they will look silly. They cannot afford to be so exposed. This is an ideology dispute, not science. (talk) 03:42, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
The problem is not that the article is not neutral, but that a neutral article like this contradicts the beliefs of proponents. We have the same arguments over articles on intelligent design, which are considered not to be neutral by creationists. The problem is their end. Homeopathy is an 18th Century delusion based on conjectures refuted over a century ago, time to move on. Guy (Help!) 23:10, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree with (talk) -- This a biased article - I think the editor refers to the exclusion of the first rate sources which state something different from your beliefs. --George1935 (talk) 00:31, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Guy, the article is not Neutral because it represents ONE fringe group within the scientific community. This article does not represent the scientific consensus. the scientific consensus is represented in all the material that you and your buddies here censor from this article. anybody who reads this article sees its just a piece of negative propaganda. (talk) 04:10, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Hello. It has been suggested that CSI are just "one group" within the scientific community. That group includes some very notable scientists and sceptical researchers. Also, it is not just that one group who discounts homeopathy:
There is a scientific consensus on homeopathy: it doesn't work. Thanks! NHCLS (talk) 19:20, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for participating in our discussion. If you look above you will see that there are cited equally reputable sources which depart from this point of view. So it is not true that there is clear consensus - if one wants to be neutral - and in line with the wikipedia policy for neutrality. --George1935 (talk) 19:38, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Hello. So, at the beginning of this discussion, you suggested that the sentence "Overall there is no evidence of efficacy..." should be replaced with the sentence "Most rigorous clinical trials and systematic analyses of the research on homeopathy have concluded that there is little evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any specific condition." I would first ask if there is a significant enough difference between the two sentences to make the change worthwhile. Second, I find that this discussion has deviated from the original purpose of discussing the proposed change. Maybe we should start a new section for an overall discussion on the neutrality of the page. Thanks! NHCLS (talk) 20:42, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
I agree. Feel free to open a new section- and I will explain. Keep in mind that several editors and admin in this forum want to ban me from the talkpage - they believe that there is "nothing " to discuss". Since you want to discciss the subject - I would be happy to. Thanks again. --George1935 (talk) 21:54, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


To Do List
  • add explanation of healing crisis in the context of homeopathy, and how this relates to how homeopathy is claimed to work, including both the homeopathic explanation, and the conventional medical critique.
  • add a broad-brush description of the work of Constantine Hering and James Tyler Kent and how it differs from Hahnemann, keeping the depth of coverage appropriate for a summary article. Kent is noted for "the well-known Kent repertory, on which virtually all modern practise of homeopathy is based"
  • homeopathic hospitals in the late 18th and early 19th centuries were attended by the rich and powerful as the best locations where one could get better. They were relatively clean and calm institutions that had a better cure rate than many of the mainstream clinics of the day. Of course, this was due to the fact that most mainstream hospitals of the day were filthy places where one was more likely to die of an infection rather than be cured. In this, homeopaths of that era were closer to the do no harm dictum of the Hipocratic Oath than many of their contemporaries and, indeed, many practices perfected in homeopathic hospitals are still employed today as best practices for palliative care. The fact that they didn't use the "heroic" measures in common use, such as bloodletting, powerful drugs like arsenic, strychnine, mercury, belladonna, etc. meant that more patients survived, since these drugs often caused more deaths. In many cases doing what amounted to nothing, i.e. placebo homeopathic treatment, was better than doing something, i.e. overkill with poisons, thus letting the body's own recuperative powers do the healing, which for many ordinary ailments is just fine.