Quite a while back I was dating a girl who was very interested in alternative medicines and often professed their effectiveness. I asked her what she thought about homeopathy. From the start it was clear our definition of the old method of dilution of medicine was very different. She claimed to have a strong background in Eastern and other medical practices that aren't embraced by the scientific community, yet she had no idea who Samuel Hahnemann was nor why he's largely considered the founder of homeopathy.
To give you a little background Samuel Hahnemann was a German doctor who was trying to find a way to provide medicine to poor people as an alternative to the often then used methods of bloodletting. He devised a theory that diluting medicine to a level to where the medicinal properties are non-existent, then use some form of striking method, usually shaking, would suddenly render the substance effective having absorbed material and spirtual properties. While this has no medicinal value at all beyond a placebo effect the poor embraced it and Homeopathy was born.
Now you don't need a strong background in chemistry to see how nonsensical, and possibly dangerous, this is. Again it's basically water, but to abandon traditional science in favor of drinking Aquafina can lead to disastrous results. While Hahnemann is credited with curing the insane and various other wild claims, some of which he was correct about if only partially, the scientific community as a whole scoffs at such practices. Of course most practitioners in homeopathy will tell you it's a conspiracy by the pharmaceutical industry.
The girl was none too pleased about my assessment of alternative medicines. I actually felt kind of bad telling her my opinion, even though I'm firm in my belief. It was like I destroyed someone's faith. No one likes being told they've been lied to. That being said she was still adamant about her belief in the practice and is probably still to this day.
So in honor of Mattbear, who needs to blog more, I'm going to post about his favorite subject, crazy people. In the video below you'll see a renowned homeopath lecturing on physics and alternative medicine. Be warned dear readers for your head will hurt.
"I do not expect that homeopathy will ever be established as a legitimate form of treatment, but I do expect that it will continue to be popular." - James Randi