A canna’ change the laws of physics

Scotty, The Naked Time, stardate 1704.3, Episode 7

Posts Tagged ‘The Lancet 2005 366:2083-2085’

Making your own reality – part 2

Posted by apgaylard on August 26, 2008

Last week, having failed to get Sue Young to engage with a very simple criticism of a clearly erroneous statement made by American homeopath and author Dana Ullman in an interview she is carrying on her site, I sent my comment directly to the Zeus Information Service. 

Mr Ullman has very thoughtfully copied me in on the reply that he made to Louise McLean of Zeus.  Given that this is a Zeus’ official response to my query, I have decided to post it – along with a few comments.

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Posted in homeopathy | Tagged: , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Making your own reality

Posted by apgaylard on August 19, 2008

This is just a short post to note, with disappointment but not surprise, that some homeopaths are still making up things about the meta-regression analysis of Shang et al and others are only interested in parroting them.

Well-known American homeopath Dana Ullman, in an interview which is being carried on the Sue Young Homeopathy website is making up his own reality and it seems that Sue Young would like to live in it, unencumbered by the intrusion of nasty facts. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in homeopathy, unpublished | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Publish and be damned

Posted by apgaylard on August 16, 2008

One of the things that I’ve noted as I have been drawn into debates with advocates of homeopathy, dowsing, and other strange belief systems over the last year or so is the total lack of appreciation for what science is and how it works.  Its values and methods are misunderstood, misrepresented, misinterpreted, or even maligned.

This week a homeopath, Clive Stewart, has provided an excellent example of the failure to understand the value of scientific publications and the debates they provoke.  I’ve been exchanging views with him on the merits of the meta-regression analysis of homeopathic treatments published by Shang et al in The Lancet.  He made some claims about the ailments covered by the eight ‘higher quality’ – lowest bias studies of homeopathy from which the authors concluded, “the effects seen in placebo controlled trials of homoeopathy are compatible with the placebo hypothesis”.  I demonstrated that these claims were incorrect and he went on to make the very guarded apology shown below.

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Posted in homeopathy | Tagged: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Spying on Shang

Posted by apgaylard on August 10, 2008

It seems like I’m becoming a collector of misconceptions about the Lancet paper published by Shang et al (2005).  This week I’ve been having a small disagreement with a homeopath named Clive Stuart on Margaret McCartney’s blog at Ft.com.

One of his criticisms of Shang et al was new to me.  He said, “When the 8 studies were finally revealed, it turned out that most of them were for the prophylaxis of flu.”

Now, having read the paper in question; the ‘webappendices’; the author’s letter of reply in the Lancet and the additional material they have made available on-line: I was surprised. 

I pointed out that there were only two studies in the final eight that were concerned with ‘flu-like symptoms: Rottey (80) and Papp (71) [note: the references are to the webappendix and additional material].  I thought that this would be the end of it, but no, he countered, “You say that “only two related to flu-like symptoms”. This is incorrect. Actually 5 of the 8 studies related to influenza. Three dealt with prophylaxis of influenza and two with actual treatment of influenza. One study dealt with prophylaxis of conjunctivitis, one with treating acute respiratory inflammations and one with muscle soreness in runners.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in homeopathy | Tagged: , , , , , | 19 Comments »