The weekend of February 5th and 6th will showcase the second year of the #Ten23 campaign across the world. It is a campaign with similar goals to World Homeopathy Awareness Week. WHAW seeks to educate the public about what homeopathy is and how it works, and tell people it does work. 10:23 seeks to educate the public about what homeopathy actually is, how it actually works, and its actual efficacy.
The events in Australia are being centrally co-ordinated by Kylie Sturgess at the website for her podcast, The Token Skeptic, with (currently) more cities in Australia being involved than any other country. For more information on what’s happening near you, just keep an eye on that page for updates.
Those overseas, there’s no better site than the official 10:23 website.
And while you’re checking out sites, vote for me in #NoPants for the Shorty Awards. Sorry, had to.
The core and most famous part of the #Ten23 campaign is the homeopathic overdose, where people take entire packs of homeopathic preparations (I refuse to call them medicines). The point is that homeopathy has nothing in it, literally, by taking an entire pack and having no ill effects, or for that matter, any effects at all.
Homeopathy – So what exactly is it?
Homeopathy was invented out of whole cloth in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann. Back in 1796 conventional medicine was quite dodgy in and of itself with very dangerous and ineffective procedures such as blood letting being quite popular, so the simple act of doing nothing in many cases was actually better for the patient. Conventional medicine however has learnt from its mistakes and progressed an unbelievable amount in that time. Homeopathy on the other hand has remained stagnant.
Many people mistakenly believe that homeopathy is a natural medicine similar to herbal medicine. Herbal medicine however has more in common with conventional medicine than anything else. Homeopathic preparations are discovered via methods known as “provings”, the medicines are made through a process called “potentization”, and act by … magic?
Homeopathic remedies are discovered via methods known as “provings”. First a substance is chosen to be tested. A highly potentized (30C or more) remedy is created. Healthy volunteers are recruited. No set number of volunteers, however descriptions of provings posted online generally suggest a mere 5-10 people are used – a pathetic number by scientific and conventional medicine testing standards.
These volunteers are then given this potentized preparation for a month, while being denied coffee, tea, spices, and even chess due to being “too exciting”. Throughout this period they are to self-report any symptoms that occur over that month, and this information is then fed back to the homeopath.
The symptoms self-reported back are then claimed to be symptoms of the remedy itself. There are no controls for outside influences other than coffee, tea, spice and chess. There are no specific measurable tests done. Just methods which tend to induce and encourage confirmation bias and mistaken impressions.
If the method of finding which substances work on which illnesses wasn’t poor and pathetic enough for you, you have not seen anything yet. Potentization is the method used in creating homeopathic medicines that makes them so effective. The more it is potentized, the stronger it is. How does this potentization work?
First you take 1ml of the substance, and drop it in to 10ml or 100ml of diluted water or alcohol (I’ll just say water from this point on simply for the sake of brevity). This solution is then succussed. To succuss a subject you shake it up and down ten times, bang it against a piece of leather ten times, shake it side to side ten times, bang it against a piece of leather ten times, shake it back and forth ten times, bang it against a piece of leather ten times. You now have a 1X (if 10ml water was used) or 1C (if 100ml water used) of potentized Homeopathic Remedy.
That’s right, homeopathic remedies are made “stronger”, by a process that according to all known rules of chemistry, physics and even reality makes said remedies weaker!
To create a 2X solution, you would take 1ml of a 1X solution, place it in 10ml of distilled water and succuss it again. To create a 2C solution you would take 1ml of a 1C solution, place it in 100ml of distilled water, and succuss it again. Repeat this process as many times as required, keeping in mind that many remedies are said to be 200C or 300C.
By the time a substance hits 13C, it will have been divided and diluted (succussed) enough times that mathematically there would not be a single molecule of the original ingredient left.
Remedies in pill form have simply had a single drop of the final solution dropped on to a sugar pill and then dried.
Acts by …
Magic? It may as well. Homeopaths like to claim that the process of succussion imprints the water with the molecular structure of the substance. Water as you know, is two Hydrogen atoms linked by an Oxygen atom (H-O-H). There’s only so many structures such a molecule can take. One. We’re not talking about the chemical here with a large number of molecules, just a single molecule.
The imprinting claimed by homeopaths has never been demonstrated, let alone proven. Many also like to misuse the word “quantum” in their attempted explanations which like homeopathy, do not make any sense what so ever.
If Homeopathy works.
If there was anything to homeopathic succussion, then every glass of water you drink would contain a chemical cocktail wilder than anything you can buy on the black market. Follow this story for a few moments if you will.
You go to the bathroom. Your urine is diluted in the bowl, mixes with the water in a roughly one to one ratio. You flush, a larger amount of water comes down the cistern mixing with the urine, diluting it. It gets violently mixed and shaken (succussed) as it travels down the sewage pipes. Potentized.
These pipes from your home meet up with larger pipes. The small amount of water from your flush gets introduced to a much larger body of water, diluting it further still. The pipes wind and weave through the city, mixing and shaking the water (succussed) as it travels, constantly finding larger and larger pipes until it gets to a treatment plant. Potentized.
When being treated, the “active ingredient” is removed supposedly leaving just the water. But this water has already been highly potentized by the process of diluting and succussing in the pipes on the way to the treatment plant. The plant may remove active ingredients, but the water is already imprinted with the memory of the substances which is all that’s needed to get higher than a 13C potentization.
Eventually it all gets pumped out in to a much larger body of water known as the ocean where it’s diluted again. Currents, fish, whales, waves, boats. There’s more than enough things in the ocean to succuss, mix, and violently shake up the water. Potentized.
Eventually it gets evaporated in to clouds. Thousands of tiny drops, and brought inland to be diluted with a river. As this river winds through the countryside it gets mixed and shaken (succussed). Potentized.
The river finds its way to a large dam, diluted again and where it meets there are currents mixing and shaking it up more. Potentized. At the other end of the dam, large pipes suck the water down, mixing and shaking it more. Potentized. These go in to a treatment plant where the water is cleaned. Contaminants removed. But the water, with its “memory” remains. Eventually this is piped to your home out your tap, and in to your drinking glass.
If homeopathy works, you would be drinking your own urine. Not to mention the hundreds of other substances the water comes across throughout this process. Tap water, no matter where in the world you lived, would be a vile, undrinkable, extremely toxic substance.
Homeopathy, there’s nothing in it.