Working Logic Of Homeopathic Remedies

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Kumar, May 14, 2004.

  1. geistkiesel Valued Senior Member

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    geistkiesel responds

    You of course are able to demonstrate the truth of the matter asserted that the brain is "only a chemical computer" aren't you? I mean the statement is not mere opinion is it? What ae the memory limitations, I/O, Operating System, who pushes the "start button"., changes threads and TV channels, copulates, converses, thinks, remembers, analyzes, loves, hates and fears. Is there a place for the person? Does the brain think? Are communications with spacemen a brain function? How did the brain develop, assuming we humans have brains develop.

    I am intterested in your assessment of the storage capacity of the brain and how it works withjout going belly up
     
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  3. Omnignost Registered Senior Member

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    To reason about complicated matters like the brain, a good starting point is a null-hypothesis. This would be the hypothesis that assumes as few things as possible and especially reqires as few new concepts as possible. I would say that a reasonable null hypothesis in this case is the chemical computer. If we analyze the brain we can measure electric potentials, neurotransmitters, blood flow and many other things. We are far from having a complete picture of how the brain does all the complex computations it does but we have very good knowledge of some very simple brains like that of the sea slug aplysia. We understand it in almost complete detail. Nothing but chemistry here so I think the simplest explanation for all the complexity of the human brain is just more of the same thing. Now, it is important not to get carried away by the analogy with the computer. The brain cell, the neuron, is an analog integration machine that integrates incoming signals from either other neurons or sensory cells so we don't operate digitally. Please start a new thread if you want to discuss this further. I believe there are some data on storage capacity for example.
     
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  5. BigBlueHead Great Tealnoggin! Registered Senior Member

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    Geistkiesel:
    Try to contribute to the conversation instead of getting bogged down in your own world view. You've shown yourself to be a dogmatic type with this sort of statement:

    Which is basically a big gripe that Omnignost is insulting your belief in psychic phenomena and that you're taking offense to his attack on all the things that you hold dear. Its value as an argument is zero, since you've started out with an appeal to the ignorance of your opponent, and basically called him a savage. Two can play the "You're a savage" game, that's why we try not to play it.

    I had a long talk with Hahnemannian and one of his buddies a while ago on this forum, where they waxed loquacious about the Organon of Medicine and Hahneman's supposed great accomplishments and discoveries. Hahn in particular was quite unrestrained in his temper tantrums, saying that anyone who did not openly and unquestioningly adopt homeopathic medicine as their only form of health care was responsible for the murder of the millions of people that allopathic medicine had (supposedly) killed. Apart from the fact that this was one of my first introductions to the standard forms of argument used by pseudoscientists, I also learned quite a bit about homeopathy. There are a few criticisms that can easily be levelled at the field.

    Scientific concerns about homeopathy:
    1) The Vital Force is not verifiable in any way, except for the supposed fact that homeopathy works. So, accepted homeopathic theory is based on an assumption of an unverifiable force.
    2) The demonstrable existence of pathogens (viruses, bacteria) is entirely out of line with Hahneman's theories. They should not be present if he is correct, but they are.
    3) To date, the scientific evidence for the effects of homeopathic remedies is insufficient and usually corrupt - that is, the procedure is poorly designed and introduces too many errors for the observations to be considered credible.

    Arguments from within homeopathy:
    1) Homeopathy has no consideration for emergency medicine, particularly with respect to injury and poisoning. Hahnemannian was of the opinion that emergency medicine was a field undeserving of attention, where one would normally believe that far more people died from problems dealt with by emergency medicine than by the kind of long-term chronic diseases that homeopathic remedies are supposed to treat.
    2) Vaccines, which should theoretically fit homeopathic theory to the extent that allopathic treatments can, are reviled by the homeopaths. No good explanation for this is given.

    Arguments against the sort of logic that the Homeopaths employ:
    1) The science that the homeopaths criticise as being incorrect is often long out of date; Hahnemannian, for instance, strongly criticized the 19th century form of the Germ theory of disease, which is certainly not the most modern of scientific theories and is likely to be wrong. So, he was shooting at a real big target, but that doesn't make him right.
    2) Hahnemann's research is two hundred or so years old. The theses of homeopathy - namely that a) Hahnemann somehow discovered absolute truth, b) the "medical establishment" has been trying to suppress his findings for two centuries, and c) the last two hundred years have been the story of intellectual stagnation for the entire human race, despite our apparent advances in all other fields which homeopaths cannot deny - are all insupportable garbage.
    3) The homeopaths have been quick to pursue theories in popular science, such as quantum entanglement, and incorporate them into homeopathic theory with little or no knowledge of what these things actually mean. This has largely been a shallow attempt to sound authoritative.
    4) Often, in an attempt to prove themselves correct, the homeopathy proponent will (in the belief that they Know the Truth Already), demand that their opponents conform to standards of proof that they would never apply to their homeopathic selves, such as DEMANDING THAT THEY EXPLAIN EVERY PHENOMENON IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, AS YOU HAVE JUST DONE WITH OMNIGNOST. Demanding such high standards of proof from other people is idiotic, and if you believe that you can answer the questions that you are asking then you are living in a fantasy world.

    The placebo effect is a well-documented one, and it has very little to do with the treatment - instead its effect usually depends on how much the patient trusts the administrator of their treament. It is for exactly this sort of reason that the double-blind test was invented, to prevent the people involved (testers and subjects alike) from knowing which group of people was the control and which was the test group. More generally, experiments are controlled in order to remove confounding variables, of which the placebo effect is only one.

    When Crisp says
    He is saying that homeopathic remedies have no more or less effect than distilled water or some other substance deemed to be inert. That is, no more or less effect than NOTHING AT ALL.

    Kumar started this thread with a relatively reasonable question about homeopathy, namely, whether anyone could explain a way by which it could work as described. The Physics and Math forum may not be the best place to ask this question, but it was an honest question.

    Trying to attribute homeopathic effects to VF, psychic phenomena, and other such unprovable things will get this thread moved to pseudoscience, which is probably not what Kumar wanted.
     
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  7. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    BigBlueHead,

    Thanks for honest posting. Frankly, it looks that "HE" remained divided in giving complete & perfect knowledge to any one system or to any one. So good & bad can be there, in every system. So if we want the most, we may have to look at several systems. The problem with homeopathy is that it is based on both 'science & sprituals. Its most of the introducers, pursuers & followers were/are educated with modren medical studies. It compete directly with modren medicines as its remedies looks like modren medicines. All these things creates confusions, contradictions & anticipations to know in logic & in science. There can be two aspects in this regard. 1. Either these works on ultramolecular energy levels but could not be yet tested within the means of modren technologies OR 2.There are some misinterpretations in presenting the theory & the working logics of remedies.

    We can not look at first possibility, till we get suitable measuring technologies but we can now, only look at the second possibility(which I think can be possible). However, till mass public accept it, we should not deny it completely & should go on trying. I noted the possibilities of just " name change" of several ancient mentionings or just a " language differance ".
     
  8. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    What part of the phrase, "completely unsupported by empirical evidence", do you fail to understand?
     
  9. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    1,990
    OK just tell me: what is/are the physiological effect/s of taste or other sensations of any substance to our any sensory part/organ? Does the body prepare/be ready in any sense to deal with that substance?
     
  10. chunkylover58 Make it a ... CHEEEESEburger Registered Senior Member

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    592
    This is similar to people claiming the "healing power of prayer." Someone is sick and 8 of their friends and family members sit around the patient, holding hands and praying together. Very frequently, this seems to really work. The proposed mechanism is that the act of the prayer meeting comforts the patient to the point of complete relaxation and lessening of stress. They've left it all "in God's hands." This leads to a relaxed state in the body which helps elicit an overall "feeling better" situation. "Laughter is the best medicine" is the same basic principle. Besides the relaxation element, there is also a release of endorphins which helps in pain relief. (This could also be an element in the above prayer example. People get excited during the prayer session and overwhelmed with being "full of the spirit.) In general, however, the relief if temporary.

    People who receive homeopathic therapy to the extent that they are "healed" (or at least they "feel a bit better") are experiencing the same thing. They have comfort fom the hope that they will recover. Their mind is at ease and their body follows suit so that they just feel a bit better. My understanding is that, many times, when treatment is being administered, it is in a very warm, comforting environment with soft music playing, soft lighting, soft speaking, etc. All to help in the relaxation and the "healing effect."

    Question is, are they really being "healed"? Or do they just feel a little better for awhile because they are relaxed and the pain and discomfort is further in the back of their head because of the treatment? I personally vote the latter. That's fine to just help you feel a little better, but it's not going to treat cancer the way surgery or chemo will, for example. It would just make the process a little less agonizing.

    Also, I doubt homeopathic therapy would work on a devout Christian any more than prayer would work on an atheist. Lack of belief in the process would likely not enable the comfort and relaxation mechanism triggered by the belief system.
     
  11. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    1,990
    chunkylover58,

    Thanks for posting. We at least agree that some effect can be there as PE. Can you tell me in percentage that how many people can be cured/treated of any common diseases by (1) If no medicine is given (2) By placebo effect if pills or any other mean is given (3) By current medical care. Pls consider all usual negligences.

    However my question was bit differant. I asked about the physiological changes which can take place in our body when we taste & then take any food OR if we apply any sensation (light heat or electric) to any of our sensory part, do our body prepare itself by making some physiological changes to handle that food or sensation?
     
  12. Omnignost Registered Senior Member

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    It is a fact that the body is indeed reacting to sensory input. If you look at a lemon your mouth will water. If you taste something sweet your insulin level goes up (Don't drink diet Coke, it will make you crave for more sweets) in anticipation of increased blood glucose. I don't think there are so many well investigated areas here but I sure there are may effects of this type.
    (Well put, BigBlueHead, but long.)
     
  13. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    1,990
    Omnignost, thanks for good reply. Now what will happen if we just taste or sense any food or otherthing but don't take it in physical quantities? Our body will make necessorary physiological changes on just taste/sense any food to handle that food but if we don't take will it not assimilate/metabolize the substances of that food which are present in body normally or in excess? Just think of logic of vomating, diarrhoea, and other discharges & their reabsorption/taste senses. However the intensity of 'so possible physiological changes' can depend on need & requirement of that food in the body.

    This is most impotant aspect to understand. Vomating, diarrhoea, running nose, sweat etc. may have their logic in this mentioning.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2004
  14. BigBlueHead Great Tealnoggin! Registered Senior Member

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    So, by smelling hot caramel but then not eating any, I can make my body metabolize excess sugars?

    How about people who are diabetic?
     
  15. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    1,990
    Capacity should be there to secrete. Orgon's permanent damage can not be a case to this concept for that replacement/supplements may be necessary.
     
  16. BigBlueHead Great Tealnoggin! Registered Senior Member

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    Does homeopathic medicine allow for the concept of organ damage? I'd understood that any expression of disease was due to bad patterns in the Vital Force.
     
  17. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Before we start worrying about how homeopathy works, we should first figure out if it works. Last I've heard, there has never been a credible double-blind study that showed homeopathy to be effective. Until someone can show some evidence that homeopathy actually works, there's really no need for further discussion.
     
  18. BigBlueHead Great Tealnoggin! Registered Senior Member

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    But you see, Nasor, Kumar already doesn't seem to believe in canonical homeopathy; that was the point of my previous question. Perhaps he's just trying to learn about medicine, and comes from a difficult background.
     
  19. Kumar Registered Senior Member

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    Replacement/supplements is not only allopathic. They are not medicine.

    I am trying to first find out acceptable logic for working of homeopathic remedy. I just see it as is based on 'just tasted/sensed but not taken' theory.
     
  20. BigBlueHead Great Tealnoggin! Registered Senior Member

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    1,996
    Studies suggest that, with homeopathic dilutions, most do not contain any of the original substance. In any case, the amounts are definitely supposed to be below the human threshhold of sensitivity... how would you sense them?
     
  21. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know why people treat homeopathy like that.

    First of all, homeopathy was designed by a scientist that used to study the effects of flowers on our behaviour (by smelling them or drinking a liquid prepared with them).

    Ok, so let's see. Does anyone here believe that marijuana actually produces allucinations? Marijuana is a plant. Homeopathy is prepared using plants. So wouldn't it be obvious that other plants may have different effects?

    Have anyone ever studied first nation's medicines? It's all by using plants. If you talk with a first nation's person while you are walking in the forest, you are likely to hear him/her (probably him, cause usually the guys are the ones that are responsible for such things) saying that this plant or that plant is good for treating this or that. And it actually work.

    Also, traditional medicine uses some plants for cure. In the beginning, it was much more common. Today, most are done in laboratories, but in the beginning, it was all plants.

    Finnally, keep in mind that the placebo effect also work the other way around. If you believe you can't be treated with homeopathy, no matter how many times you tried, it is likely that it won't work.


    The good thing about homeopathy is that it is natural. There are no side-effects in homeopathy. Also, homeopathy has an holistic approach, which means that it takes care of the whole body and it attacks the root of the problem wheter than the symptoms. The reason why it works slowly is that it brings balance back to the body, which takes not only time, but an effort from the patient to a change lifestyle.

    Yeah... I only say all that cause I have studied that before, and my mom have always used it...

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    PS: What the heck is this thread doing in the Physics & Math section!?!?

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  22. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    Btw, I'm much more inclined to defend homeopathy than astrology...

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  23. BigBlueHead Great Tealnoggin! Registered Senior Member

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    Truthseeker: So, you believe that highly diluted (i.e. so diluted they are no longer there) plant extracts can change the spiritual energies of your body, the VF, thus treating diseases - which are of course, not caused by viruses, bacteria or genetic defect, but instead are caused by mystical energy fluctuations?

    If Kumar wants to look for a better cause... may he. But VF is just insupportable, unsubstantiated garbage.
     

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