Dear internet diary,
I'm not a mean person, I don't always have to be "right." But I admit, I am very selfish. When my friend Kathleen was coming down with the flu, and super-dosed a bunch of homeopathis echinacea, I said nothing. That's because I didn't want her to be mad at me.
There was some logic to that. Using the echinacea wasn't going to effect her much, except to calm her. My pointing out that she was swalling nothing but some gelatin might have caised her some pain. In the long-run, she will have spent thousands on these remedies, but she's loaded and can afford it.
Homeopathy is a 19th-century "modern" response to bloodletting and bodily humours. The term "homeopathy" literally means "like suffering." The theory behind is is that treating an ailment with what you are suffering from will stimulate the "life-force," or the "qi," to begin to heal you. I'm sure you can guess how I feel about the existence of a life force.
There is some merit to the idea: after all, we use snake-venom to make antidotes, right? The problem here is that while they claim to use the actual substance to treat the ailment, they are in fact using nothing but distilled water, or sugars, or plain gelatin. You see, homeopathy works on dilution. Not just kool-aide kind of dilution. If you get a giant vat in space and fill it with all the waters from the seven seas, you begin to get an idea about what homeopathic dilution means. That's good, though. Because according to certain homeopaths, the more diluted the better. Moe Sizlack should hear about this! Unfortunately for alcohol lovers, it's not true. Ask James Randi, who took 64 sleep remedies at once in '97, or Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy who, with others at an Australian Skeptics convention, took part in a mass homeopathic suicide. They are all doing fine.
You find the dilution by looking on the side of the package or bottle. It says something like "24X," or "30X." What that means (and you should take out a piece of paper), one part remedy to 10 to the 30th power water. Take 10 and add 30 zeroes. What's that number called? Does anyone know? How does it look on paper? And where is the one part echinacea? Well, it disappeared completely, at least a million parts of water ago.
It's not just the water that makes for a fantasticly strong remedy. It's the homoepathic shake. Hahneman, the discoveror of this miracle, called this dynamization. The succession of shakes, in certain direction, in certain order, somehow increases the substance's potency. Maybe that's why Bond likes his martinis that way. This agitation apparently releases spiritual powers within the substance, making it "more active." Make sure only homeopathic scientists, like those that graduate from Seattle's Bastyr University. I'd be willing to bet that Seattle's Cornish College of Dance would suffice, but that's just me.
Responding to the charges that no such say, echinacea or sleep enhancer or appetite suppressant , exist in their products, homeopaths rationalize that molecules have memory. It's a more material way of claiming that it's there, we just can't detect it. It indeed would be hard to detect one molecule in a hundred pacific oceans. Anyway, according to them, no molecules disappear in the dilution. That's very interesting. That would mean that what we're drinking remembers everything it came into contact with, ever. That's a lot of dead fish, urine, garbage, beaver feces, soaps and cleaners, and anything else you can think of. That oughta stimulate the spirits.
Thanks for listening, diary.