Matinum

Taking Charge of Your Health


When you’re sick, the last thing
you want to hear your doctor say is that there is nothing
they can do for you. If conventional medicine
can’t help you alternative medicine
becomes quite tempting. But can it work and does it work? Let’s look at homeopathy. This is a story of water.
Lots of water. I want you to
do something for me. Think of the following question:
What is homeopathy? Did you say ‘natural products’? ‘Traditional medicine’?
‘Personalized medicine’? Let’s look at the facts.
Homeopathy makes three claims. This means that,
in order to cure you of diarrhea a homeopath will
give you a small dose of a substance that
causes diarrhea. Does this make sense? If you’ve been stung by
a poisonous scorpion and you go into shock should we give you a bit of snake venom,
since it can also cause shock? Maybe not… You may think that vaccines work
under this principle of ‘like cures like’ that a little bit of the virus
can help cure you of a viral infection. That’s not true. The fact is that vaccines are used to
prevent the infection in the first place by preparing your immune system
in case you ever encounter the virus. The concept of ‘like cures like’
is metaphysical in nature and there is
no scientific evidence behind it. The more dilute a substance is,
the stronger it becomes. Right… We all know that
the opposite is true: that the more dilute a substance is,
the weaker it becomes. But homeopaths believe the laws
of chemistry just don’t apply to them. If this claim were true,
the amount of alcohol in this homeopathic beer
would surely kill my friend. Warning:
You’re being duped. Just how dilute
are those homeopathic remedies? Let’s take Oscillococcinum,
a preparation of duck liver and heart that is claimed to help you
fight the symptoms of the flu. That remedy is diluted 1 in a 100 –that is one drop of entrails
in 99 drops of water– 200 times in a row. That’s 200 cups,
all in all. Imagine doing this experiment
with red food colouring. One drop of food colouring in 99 drops
of water is already pretty dilute but this is just
the beginning. I then take one drop
of this solution and put it into
99 drops of water and one drop of
this dilution into 99. At some point,
we’re down to mere molecules. And when we reach the 12th dilution,
there’s only a 60% chance of a single molecule of the dye
being left in the dilution. Imagine if you keep going
until dilution number 200… It remembers what
the active ingredient was in the form of some sort of
molecular structure. Chlorine… urine? Fish scales.
Blood, feces… Is that soil? It’s a good thing water doesn’t remember
everything that’s been in it otherwise we’d be drinking
a very potent fecal cocktail. When faced with
extraordinary claims such as these two questions need to be asked:
Can it work and does it work? Given our current
understanding of the world homeopathy cannot work. But our understanding of
the world keeps changing. So does homeopathy work? The short answer is no. There will always be small,
poorly designed studies that claim to show an effect,
but looking at all the studies and weighing their worth
based on how robust they are yields an unavoidable conclusion:
Homeopathy does not work. The United Kingdom’s House of Commons
came to the same conclusion: The UK’s public health service
should not fund homeopathy as it does not work
and cannot work. There’s no shame in
looking after our health. If we feel underwhelmed
by the medical system it’s natural to look for
an alternative. But these substitutes are often
not based on scientific evidence. They don’t work.
Like does not cure like. Diluting a substance
does not make it stronger. And water does not
have memory. If you think homeopathy works for you,
if you think a sugar pill works for you then here’s why. Think about it. Your immune system. Misdiagnosis. Confirmation bias meaning remembering when it works
but not when it doesn’t. And, once again,
your immune system. Do you know for a fact that you’d have been
worse off without the sugar pill? Remember that
you are not a clinical trial. And leave all this water
to the real guppies.

7 thoughts on “Homeopathy

  1. Mr Jarry, first of all thank you for your videos. Secondly, in this one, you make an experiment that is scientifically questionable : in order to show that water has no "memory", you taste it ; as your tongue doesn't feel anything, your conclusion is : water has no memory. Using that kind of demonstration, you should have concluded too that water has no atom of hydrogen in its structure, as your tongue can't taste it. Am I wrong ? Sincerely yours.

  2. Il est étonnant que vous n'ayez pas pris le temps d'ajouter un aspect fondamental sur lequel compte toute forme de médecine parallèle : l'effet placebo. En maintenant l'illusion chez le patient que le médicament est efficace, on augmente sérieusement les chances que son propre organisme fasse le travail. De ce point de vue, les personnes les plus naïves ont un énorme avantage sur les plus érudits.

  3. Bad debunker, no scientific knowledge. I could spend hours here explaining how every sentence in this man's mouth is scientific nonsense. On top of that, he ignores the real principle behind homeopathic treatement. A good debunker knows is subject. Not him.

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