Author: Jan Scholten
Editorial October 2008
by Jan Scholten
There is nothing new under the sun.
I have just been reading the book "Trials of Homeopathy" by Michael Emmens Dean. He describes the history of research in homeopathy and it shows that homeopathy has a long tradition of research. sice 1820 research has been going on.
It is a very interesting book showing that nothing much has changed since the start of homeopathy. For instance the French Doctor Andral did several researches in homeopathy, one with intermittent fever. He wrote "I took for this second series the most clear cut cases; firstly intermittent fevers. Some of these were treated with globules of quinine; some recovered, but they would have recovered anyway; these partially successes don't prove anything. Others resisted stubbornly, and finally I was forced to resort to the traditional method [blood-letting] which quickly brought them out of it." From this and other things it is clear that Andral did not know much of homeopathy. He did not individualize and just prescribed on one symptom, the intermittent fever. He even then had successes, but denied the success as having "recovered anyway", without substantiating why.
It reminded me of the research of Ernst, professor of alternative medicine, but in essence he is only trying to disprove homeopathy. Ernst did research on the effect of Arnica in operations for carpal tunnel syndrome. This kind of operation would be the last one to do research on for a normal homeopath, as it is the least bloody operation one can imagine. Ernst of course saw hardly any effect.
The strange thing is that they try to prove that homeopathy has no effect. But it is clear that having no effect doesn't mean that there is no effect. It is obvious that one can look in the wrong direction and see nothing. The fact that one doesn't see swallows in the winter, doesn't prove that they don't exist.
So nothing new under the sun: adversaries of homeopathy pretend they can do better research on homeopathy than homeopaths themselves. It is the same as assuming psychologist would have some say about physics.