Comment by Dale Headley on January 17, 2013 at 4:08pm

   We enlightened folks of the 21st century often look smugly and condescendingly at the gullible people of the 19th century who bought into various forms of "snake oil."  But the fact is, they couldn't hold a candle to the ignorance and credulity of our generation.  And it's not just homeopathy; it's the majority of nostrums and supplements on the shelves of drugstores and supermarkets.  Homeopathy is just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of worthless products and therapies (acupuncture, subluxation, therapeutic touch, magnets, etc.) purported to make us healthier.  All they really do is lighten our wallets.  

Thanks to a law passed by Republicans in 1994 to please Orrin Hatch's donors in the Utah-based dietary supplement industry, the FDA has been rendered virtually helpless in trying to make sure that pills, tonics, and sprays (That means YOU, "Airborne!") actually are safe and effective.  Consequently, most of them aren't.  But Americans continue to shell out billions of dollars for substances that have not even been tested, much less approved by any recognized authority.  It is perfectly legal, for instance, for someone to bottle mud and sell it as a "mineral supplement," as long as they don't claim, without proof, that it cures disease.  The FDA can warn people about it, but they can't prohibit its sale without first proving that it fails to deliver what it promises, which takes years.  But for every product that finally gets tested, 20 others hit the market shelves, untested.  And we (well, not ME!) are stupid enough to buy them.

Perhaps most discouraging of all, whenever the information put out by the FDA, EPA, CDC, NIH, etc. conflict with ads on TV, the overwhelming majority of Americans believe the ads rather than the science.  It's just another example of the disdain Americans have for science.  It's why half of all Americans don't believe in evolution.  

Check out any of the ads for health support products on TV.  Nearly all of them consist mostly of warnings of possible dire  effects (to forestall lawsuits); and many of them point out in the tiniest print, that the product hasn't even been tested for efficacy.  Still, people spend their hard-earned money on them, despite the fact that they are demonstrably useless, if not downright dangerous.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on January 17, 2013 at 5:00pm

This pisses me off.  It's preying on the ignorant--aparantly a profitable business model.  What an embarrassment to our society that we allow this to go on.

Comment by Ray R. on January 17, 2013 at 5:28pm
To give you guys an idea of the size of that number , there are approximately 3000000000000000000000000 stars in the known universe . Three followed by twenty four zeroes , which is a smaller number than the dilution of this delusion !
Comment by matt.clerke on January 17, 2013 at 5:41pm

I'm struggling with homeopathy with my wife at the moment.... I insist it's complete hokum, and she agrees, and then she buys it anyway because it makes her feel better.

Comment by matt.clerke on January 17, 2013 at 5:44pm

Also, from wikipedia:

12C
10−24
Has a 60% probability of containing one molecule of original substance if one mole of the original substance was used.
Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on January 17, 2013 at 5:47pm

The dilution is so great that there are no traces of the “active” ingredients remaining. Explained here with humor.

Comment by Logicallunatic on January 17, 2013 at 8:34pm

Homeopathy is given credit when in fact people would be cured with or without it. People will give credit to all sorts of false causes. So at best it is a placebo when it 'works' for mild illnesses and it is dangerous when it doesn't for serious illnesses. Homeopathy is just one big logical fallacy, it's the classic post-hoc fallacy.

Comment by Doug Reardon on January 18, 2013 at 12:04am

If homeopathy worked, wouldn't sea water cure everything?

Comment by Ray R. on January 18, 2013 at 2:45am
Perhaps desalinated sea water .
Comment by Strega on January 19, 2013 at 10:16pm

I found a website that is called "How does homeopathy work"  Here is the link

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