The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

Homeopathy is a load of crap and it doesn't work.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,709 times Debate No: 22597
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (1)




-I'm going to be arguing, that homeopathy (the pseudo scientific idea that using super diluted substances (diluted in water usually so much so that the no remaining molecules of the original substance are left so it's basically water (water in which homeopathy practitioners say has some form of healing power left in it)) you can cure illnesses and diseases.

-I'm going to argue there is no or next to no scientific evidence for it (evidence from understanding what goes on in the substances and water or evidence from FAIR, VIABLE, DOUBLE BLIND and UN-BIASED experiments completed by reputable scientists and/or scientific places of study or research.

-I will also argue that the techniques and 'medicines' have no effect other than occasionally the placebo effect.

First round isn't just acceptance - please feel free to post your arguments.

The burden of proof or overwhelming scientific evidence lies on con/against as I can't PROVE CONCLUSIVELY it doesn't work but it would be possible to show it does. By accepting this debate you are agreeing to that.

Citations would be good for any experiments ect.

Thank you and I look forward to this debate.


I thank pro for the oppertunity to debate this topic - it's good to do a medical topic that doesn't involve marijuana for a change! As the second most widely practiced form of medicine in the world, homeopathy is a very controversial topic. Just as my opponent will attempt to show that it is unlikely that homeopathy works, my burden of proof in this debate is to show that it is likely homeopathy is effective and has some effect. As suggested by my opponent, I will use scientific evidence to show this is the case.

Note, however, that I do not need to show that homeopathy is more effective than some other treatment or remedy. I only need to show that it is effective beyond the placebo level, not that it is the most effective. I'm going to conceed right here and now that homeopathy is generally not as effective as what we might term "modern science". For that ~60% of the world's population that don't have good access to modern medicine, I argue that homeopathy is the next best alternative.

NOTE: Dilution in this debate refers to concentration. Most homeopathic remedies today are manufactured in pill form (concentrating in sugar or similar), but since my opponent keeps talking about water-concentration levels, I shall use dilution for this debate.

1. Dilution
I'm going to define homeopathy as being a medical system with a method of prescription based on matching symptoms with symptoms the same as what the therapeutic agent has been known to cause. So if white arsenic causes food poisoning, homeopathy would proscribe white arsenic as a remedy for food poisoning. It is true that this will usually be heavily diluted, to avoid the medicine posing a serious threat to the patient, but most modern homeopathic providers do not dilute it nearly as far as my opponent framed it. The level of dilution is a big argument in homeopathy, but most practitioners today have avowed the spiritual idea of potentisation being an eternal process. The balance is delicate - include too much medicine and you'll kill or hurt the victim, include too little and you won't stop the desease. After many decades of practice, most modern homeopaths have the balance pretty accurate. Like my opponent, I agree that dilution to the extent that you're no longer given treatment is dumb, and I would further argue, completely contrary to all the principles of homeopathy (if we bear in mind that it was Hippocrates who was the first homeopathic healer).

That some of these spiritual ideas in homeopathy exist, however, is no surprise. Conventional medicine also has it's fair share of non-scientific spiritual beliefs among a small minority of its practitioners too (Mary Baker Eddy, I'm looking at you), but that doesn't mean conventional medicine is wrong. Niether is homeopathy wrong just because it's been abused. A similar controversy once existed over the concept of miasms, which most mainstream practitioners of homeopathy never believed in. Since about the 70s, after a heated argument over Penicillin, the idea has been more or less completely dropped. Like modern medicine, homeopathy is self-correcting, and the effectiveness of its treatments have been improving over time as dilutions have become more accurate.

2. Scientific research
There has been a significant amount of scientific research. Unfortunately, most meta-analysis studies have included experiments that had high-dilution remedies, which again, are not really what homeopathy's about.

There has been lots of scientific research for homeopathy (ie “American Journal of Pain Management” 3 July 1998, “British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology” 1980), but the big challenge is to make it reproducable. Given the amount of assertions that it's not reproducible, there have been surprisingly few studies on this, but every single scientific study investigating whether homeopathy is reproducible has yielded a positive result. For example, in 1994 six doctors tried to reproduce two previous scientific trials supporting homeopathy and succeeded in replicating the results (using a clinical trial and a placebo-control group in a double-blind controlled experiment). Surprise surprise, homeopathy worked again (The Lancet, 344.8937, 1601-1606). Another more recent trial, in 2000, set out to disprove earlier evidence of homeopathy being different from a placebo (using all the same controls), and ended up proving that it was significantly different. The trial was also significant in that it used a relatively high dilution (but obviously still enough for the treatment to remain - given the nature of the illness was relatively benign, a low dilution was not required). Nobody has been able to explain the results otherwise (British Medical Journal, 321:471).

What objections are there to these trials? Some of the strongest objections come from the homeopaths themselves, who suggest that their ideas are holistic, and that individual treatments, on their own, cannot be shown to have the kinds of effects homeopathy promises. There has, as yet, been no longitudial study on the effects of homeopathy, although several are in planning. There is, however, good scientific evidence to believe that these will deliver positive results too - mostly from the scientists and statisticians, who argue that those who go to homeopaths are more likely to be health-concious, and do things such as exercise regulary. The only other objection is that the results could be due to chance, which is true. In the case of the BMJ study I cited, that chance is about 0.3%. That's why I can't prove homeopathy conclusively. Still, it's very likely that homeopathy is effective.

3. Experts agree
These aren't just rouge scientific studies - this data is well-supported by the scientific establishment. The United Nations-sponsored World Health Organisation (WHO Bulletin, 1999, 77.2, 160-165), who are advised by some of the top scientists, doctors, and other medical professionals, issued a memo that they believed "western medicine" should be integrated more closely with homeopathy. Following the controversial memo, the European Parliament decided to do their own fact-finding, and decided to agree with the WHO recommendation (Archives of Internal Medicine, 1999, 159.17). As a result, whole countries have changed their behaviour. These are not decisions made lightly - politicians are far more likely to be paid off by a drug company than by a homeopath. We're talking about decisions like India deciding to award all homeopaths who have undergone homeopathic training to be called "doctor". In Switzerland, homeopathy is a recognised treatment by all the major medical insurers. In the Netherlands, almost half of the doctors proscribe homeopathic remedies. I could go on.

This isn't an appeal to authority. This is a testament to the quality of the scientific research I have shown earlier. Unlike how my opponent will try to frame it, interest in homeopathy is increasing around the world, not decreasing. The source of this is clearly the doctors, and they're most motivated by the science. That means the science is probably sound.

Ghandi once said "Homoeopathy … cures a larger percentage of cases than any other method of treatment and is beyond doubt safer and more economical and the most complete medical science." It's pretty clear that the scientific evidence for that doesn't exist, but it's also clear that homeopathy isn't completely useless. Homeopathy does have some effect beyond the effect a placebo has, and this has been proven multiple times. I look forward to reading my opponent's objections and wish him the best of luck for the debate.
Debate Round No. 1


First off; thanks for accepting this debate. :)

I agree you do not need to show it's more affective than other medicines, you do only need to show it works BEYOND the level it would as a placebo.

1. Dilution
To be fair to homeopaths, I shall use information from pro homeopathy websites to gain this information. I disagree with you saying here that most modern homeopathic providers do not dilute it nearly as far as I said. For example, on the society of homeopaths website in the 'what is homeopathy' section [1], they give the example of thyroxine in a dilution of 30C. 30C is almost certain not to contain a single molecule of the oringinal substance. On average, it would require 2 billion doses per second, to 6 billion people, for 4 billion years to deliver a single molecule of the original substance to the patient. [2]

30C was the dilution recomended for most purposes by the CREATOR of homeopathy; Samuel Hahnemann.

Not all homeopathic remedies use this diltution though. For example, the popular remedy for flu, Oscillococcinum, is diluted to 200C. Here's an idea of how diluted this is:
-There are 10^80 atoms in the observable universe.
-A dilution of one molecule (of the substancve used in oscillococcinum) in the observable universe is about 40C.
-We would therefore require 10^320 more universes, just to have ONE molecule in the final substance.

Occasionally, homepathic remedies have smaller dilutions down to around 5C. Even so the number of molecules of the original substance is negligable.
2.Scientific Research
Often people claim there is scientific research in favour of homeopathy though most of the research turns out to be hopeless in the sense that it bias in some way.

To demostrate my point, I simply post the following link:

This horizon documentary proves homeopathy to be wrong and outlines the problems with the so called 'scientific experiments' that favour it.

Unfortunately, whether homeopaths are PLANNING to do longitudial studies or not, doesn't help your case at all.

3. Experts agree
Right away this point hit me as a worthless generalization. 'Experts' isn't defined and 'agree' is ambigous (eg a certain scientist may agree to part of a study).

You say India has given homeopath's the title of doctor and other like remarks but these don't support your case. Only that certain other people agree.

4.Demostrating that homeopathy doesn't work
You can demostrate homeopathy doesn't work in a number of ways. For a start, there are no studies proving it works but more importantly there is no science behind it.

Not one single person has found a satisfactory explanation for why homeopathy might work. People have hypothesised here and there but nothing has been confirmed. There is no good chemical OR biological reason why homeopathy should make a difference. Curing something with something else that causes the same problem is like saying "my swimming pool has been dyed red. To remove the redness, lets add more red!".

What I find quite enjoyable is demonstrating homoepathy doesn't work in your kitchen!!
That video explains how to do it and shows the uselesness of homeopathic 'remedies'.

You can also prove homeopathy doesn't work by taking a massive overdose of homeopathic sleeping pills and staying up to your normal time feeling normally tired. This is often done by james randi.

If none of that persaudes you, then watch this video; it basically is a sensible way of looking at homeopathy.

-Homeopathy doesn't work.
-Homeopathy is an absolute waste of money.
-Homeopathy isn't backed up by science.

Thank you and I look forward to your conclusion.



I thank my opponent for opening his case. Rest assured that since there's another three rounds of debating to go, I won't be concluding my case any time soon.


First of all, let me clear this up - anybody who seriously believes Samuel Hahnemann "created" homeopathy couldn't be further from the truth. Hahnemann helped formalise it. He performed lots of scientific experiments around it. He did lots of brilliant research. Unfortunately he also advocated the mystical idea that potentisation was eternal. He even fudged his data to cover for the fact that the least potent of his remedies worked the least. When this was found out, he invented the concept of miasms to cover for his mistake. This doesn't mean the experiments didn't work - it's just that they didn't show what Hahnemann wanted. Homeopathy can work, but you need to get the dilution right.

In fact, Hahnemann's first homeopathy-related experiment tested quinine, a substance known to cure malaria. Hahnemann took it himself and proved that quinine also causes malaria. Today quinine remains one of the most effective and cheap medicines for malaria, used by both homeopaths and non-homeopaths, but it remains a fundamentally homeopathic medicine. The difference is that homeopaths dilute it enough to ease the unpleasent side-effects it causes - other doctors just watch as the patient suffers. So much for "do no harm"! Both formulations work in curing malaria (non-homeopathic works slightly faster but not necessarily better), and this has been proven in multiple peer-reviewed journal articles.

There is vague evidence that homeopathy goes back to prehistoric times, but the first to formalise most of the aspects of homeopathy was Hippocrates, most famous for his oath (which essentially holds doctors to being honest, contrary to the beliefs of some modern homeopaths), for the four humors, and for his rule about how to cure people - "Omoia Omoiois Eisin Iamata". Like cures like. Today that's called the Law of Similars, and it's the foundation on which Hahnemann built. Paracelsus, the great medieval doctor, wrote long lists of remedies that were mostly homeopathic. Homeopathy is not some modern craze, it's an ancient tradition.

What's the point? The point is that I've already agreed some formulations are way too dilute. That doesn't mean that homeopathy is wrong, it just means that a few doctors are doing it wrong. So yeah, Oscillococcinum is not a remedy. That's why the company making it are currently in court for medical fraud, brought about in part by homeopaths themselves - that kind of dilution is a disgrace to the profession. Many modern homeopaths, and almost all of the early pioneers before Hahnemann introduced mysticism to the profession, never went beyond 6C, and usually stuck to 3 or 4X dilutions (, which is about 1-0.1mg/g. Either way the defining notion of homeopathy, that like cures like, is scientifically validated. In my view "high-potency" homeopathy is nothing more than quackery, but low-dilution clearly works. That's all I need to prove.


My opponent has claimed that the four research studies I cited are biased. That's quite a claim to make. Pity my opponent didn't tell you how these studies are biased, or else I would be able to rebut the claim more precisely. The reason why he won't tell you how they are biased is because they're not biased. It's far more likely that the youtube video he goes on to cite is biased (even the title is suggestive of confirmation bias) than anything ever published in an academic journal.

First, I provided significant evidence that skeptics and scientists from all around the world have all looked over these studies carefully, and throughly embraced their findings. Second, if you read the studies, you'll find that they all controlled for bias. Third, all of these studies are peer-reviewed and from professors at major universities, all of them experts in their field. They wouldn't want to stake their reputation on allegations of bias. Fourth, I told you these experiments have been replicatable over and over again, even in experiments that have controlled more and more carefully for any bias.

Next my opponent cites a documentry to "prove homeopathy wrong". Actually, the documentry just attacks some of the spiritual beliefs held by a minority of homeopaths. I won't go through all of the assertions made by the so-called "documentry" because my opponent doesn't make them, but it's very selective in the experiments it looks at in favor of homeopathy. None of the experiments used by my studies were looked into - only fallacious experiments with a minimum of scientific controls. Just because some experiments fail to prove something doesn't mean it's not true - you only need one experiment to prove something is true, unless another proves the hypothesis false. The documentary proves that for certain symptoms, high-dilution homeopathic remedies are not significantly different from a null hypothesis, but that's ignorant of low-dilution remedies, not to mention the homeopathic objection that a remedy must not be administered in isolation, plus the fact that the level of significance in their experiment was not particulary low, which makes it much more likely that the experiments shown were just chance.

He also has a second youtube clip, which encourages you to test selected homeopathic remedies in isolation under uncontrolled conditions like Randi. At best, that's an observational study, not an experiment. Even so there are countless things wrong with doing that sort of science in your kitchen, such as the inevitably small sample size and the fact that observational studies can never establish causation (but experiments, like the ones I cited, can).

Most importantly though, every single assertion they made in both videos was against high-dilution homeopathy. In case you haven't noticed yet, that's not what I'm advocating in this debate. No scientific studies were cited at all and no

Finally he states that the predictions of top scientists and statisticians as to the probable outcome of a longitudial study is irrelevant. Science is all about prediction based on known data. The point of the prediction is to indicate some of this known data, such as the increased health-conciousness of people who use homeopathy, and to indicate the effects thereof. Again, my aim in this debate is to show that homeopathy is likely to be true, not to prove it absolutely.

Experts Agree

My opponent doesn't think countries like India take their healthcare seriously. He denies that Indian health policy makers are experts. He also vaguely claims that they don't agree with the studies I have cited (which is a silly assertion, since they did exactly the things that the studies I cited would call for). India spends a lot of money on healthcare annually. So do all of the other countries I cited. And their health administrators are extremely well-qualified. That alone would indicate that people in other countries value their healthcare too.

Demonstrating Why

It's not my burden of proof to demonstrate why homeopathy works. Scientists don't know all the details about how a human brain works, but that doesn't mean a human brain doesn't work. People don't know why the Big Bang happened but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Often, explainations that seem the silliest are the most correct. String theory, from physics, would provide a great example of this. What scientists do know is that homeopathy works - what they now need to investigate is what mechanism it works by. Absence of evidence concerning why it works is not evidence of absence of evidence considering why it works.


Homeopathy does work, and Pro hasn't rebutted my science. Pro only argues against the manner in which some people practice homeopathy, not against the science of homeopathy itself. I look forward to reading his rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 2



Unfortunately everything I wrote has just been deleted due to my computer shutting down unexpectedly.

Please do not see this as bad conduct. It is purely unlucky on my part (especially as I was nearly finished I had written loads!) Please just ignore this round or just answer however you like and I will re write (god it's going to take ages!) my debate the next round.

Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience.



I appreciate my opponent not forfeiting. Of course, this could just be a ploy to gain an extra three days on writing his argument. My internet died just as the last round was due to be posted and I had to go over to a friend's place to post the round, which thankfully I had properly saved to an external memory device. So while I encourage you to not vote conduct against pro in this debate, since I actually believe him, let this be a lesson in always saving and backing up everything you write. It saves wasting precious debate rounds.
Debate Round No. 3


Thanks for the response and for ignoring the last round!

Here is my response:

First off I would like to say that whilst we disagree on whether Samual Hanemann created homeopathy or not, irrelevantto the question at hand.

Now the citation you posted ( does mention lower dilutions BUT it mentions them thusly:

"Many of the early homeopaths were originally doctors and generally tended to use lower dilutions such as "3X" or "6X", rarely going beyond "12X"."

This quote says 'early homeopaths' which, given that you have said homeopathy is an ancient tradition, would suggest those dilutions were used long ago instead of today. And logically, why (assuming like yourlink says that common dilutions today are much higher "30C is a common dilution") would homeopathic practitioners, almost cease using those lower dilutions and more often use what you refer to as 'quackery'?

I would like to point out that the reason I struggled to comment individualy on your studies is that I couldn't find them! If you post any more; I think it would be useful to link to the published medical studies for ease and consistency. None the less I have done some searching and I think I may have found a couple of the experiments in question.

[1]“British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology” 1980
My contradiction to this study is relatively simple. When doing medical trials it is vital to have a decent sample size. This study used only 46 patients.
My second contradiction is that the people who were given the placebo had had the disease for much longer on average. (8.8 for placebo group vs 7.2 for homeopathic group). Therefore, phycologically and physically a placebo may have had less of an effect.

"The Lancet, 344.8937, 1601-1606"
According to Science Direct [2], it would cost me $31 to read the publication which I don't have so I'm unable to comment on the trial however in the summary I noticed the sample size is even smaller than that of the previous trial I analysed so the results are certainly unreliable.

British Medical Journal, 321:471 [6]
This one was really funny to read because whilst you claim that dilutions where none of the original substance is remaining are 'quackery', this very trial you cited, tests a 30C dilution! So a contradiction in your own argument.

Also, the sample size AGAIN is too small. I see a pattern!

I do not believe the video I posted was bias. In fact, it was a fair and careful study completed by a team of experts. It isn't bias.

The other video actually allows for a massive sample size - eg everyone who tries the experiment so not a small one as you said.

Please do not put words in my mouth. I never said the predictions of the OUTCOMES of longitudial studies were irrelavent, I said that whether the studies were going to happen or not is irrelevant.

Experts agree
India's decision is irrelevant. Govermental bodies often make awful decisions and I don't think any have ever made one EVERYONE agrees with (the new UK budget for example). As this citation shows [3], the WHO don't actually remotely agree with homeopathy or homeopathic practice.

And by the way, I do think India takes healthcare seriously I just think it's irrelevant. Please stop putting words in to my mouth!

Evidence AGAINST homeopathy
Though the burden of proof lies on you, I thought I might give you a reason why homeopathy definitely DOESN'T work.

The argument is this:
Tap water contains more than just water. [4]. One of the things routinely added to tap water is liquified chlorine. Chlorine exposure can cause a cough. [5]. Therefore surely drinking just a tiny bit of tap water should cure coughs? Well it doesn't; I drink tonnes and I have a cough and have had for the past week! This is the same for all the different chemicals in water. All the different chemicals with all the different problems over all this time couldn't just be coincidence.

Homeopathy doesn't work.
Trials for homeopathy that have a poitive result all have either bias in them or a sample size too small.
Homoepathy can't work or we would all be cured from coughs and other troubles by tap water.

Little extra
P.s. I thought you might find this amusing. It sums up homeopathy pretty well ;)

Thank you and I look forward to your rebuttals.




I thank my opponent for finally getting his case up.

The problem with believing fairy-tales, such as eternal potentisation, is that they're not logical. I can't rationalise a belief that is based on such a fantasy, however I'm not defending it either. Homeopathy is, and I've said this time and time again, the doctrine that like cures like in medicine. These dilutations do continue to be used today, as your wikipedia source noted, among some homeopaths. Others have embraced a tradition for which there is insufficient scientific evidence - that does not make homeopathy any less a science.

I'm sorry that I couldn't post links - I access these articles through my university's proxy server. Most large libraries have access to these journals, however, so you should be able to get to them.

Sample size determines the level of significance, which is the chance the test is just down to luck. There are quite simple statistical equations for working out a sample size given the variables of the test, such as the expected standard deviation and significance level of the experiment ( It's not as if a sample size of hundreds is needed for every clinical trial - in fact, the numbers in these trials are quite large compared to most other medical research. That's why the level of significance of the studies was so high. The reason why this works is because the sample is random - in a truely random cross-section of society, you would expect the results of even a small sample to be strongly representative of the effects on a big sample. Exactly how representative is determined by the significance level. As each of these studies reported results that were "highly significant", and their statistical equations were error-free, my opponent's sample size objections are likely based on a misunderstanding of basic statistics.

Note especially that experiments only need to have much smaller sample sizes than observational studies. If there was an equation editor in DDO I could prove it mathmatically, or you could read any textbook on statistics, or ask any statistician. I say this because I've been in a situation before where my opponent pointed to a bunch of studies and said "look, this had a sample size of 1000", and I said "look, that wasn't an experiment and it had a completely different significance level". So please ensure you actually understand the statistics at work here before you criticise it. In each study the significance level was less than 1%, which leaves virtually no room for random chance affecting the sample.

AJPM Study
My opponent skips this one.

BJCP Study
First, 46 is actually exactly the correct minimum sample size for their expected and actual outcomes, as they prove in their methodology section. Second, on the length of the desease, a placebo will not have any less or more pain-reducing effect the longer the desease has been diagnosed. That's because the pain is still the same - rheumanoid arthritis is typically diagnosed because of the immediate pain the patient suffers. I agree the desease is regenerative, but this study didn't examine cures - only relief. If I was fatally shot but not yet dead, it wouldn't matter if I took a placebo one second later or one minute later - the pain would still be intense.

Lancet Study
Aside from the sample size objection, which again doesn't hold true (the lower sample size was due to a lower expected standard deviation among the sample group, as the trial had been previously conducted), my opponent has nothing more to say on this one. The Lancet is probably the world's most widely distributed medical journal, so I find it very hard to believe my opponent can't find a physical copy on loan somewhere.

BMJ Study
I did warn my opponent that this one used a particulary "high-potency" dilution. I said that my belief is that these kinds of solutions are often nothing more than quackery. In this case, however, it seems we have an exception. Homeopathy should not assume that more dilute is always better, but that doesn't mean that more dilute is always worse. Homeopaths should rather proscribe whatever works to heal the patient - and in this case, dilution to 30C works. Con also keeps believing that every study he sees has too small a sample size.

I guess since I brought it up it can also be seen as evidence now. No response from my opponent as yet.

As to the "bias" in the video, my opponent does nothing to rebut my claim of confirmation bias. All he does is appeal to the authority of the experts in the video. However, the "experts" weren't actual experts but homeopathy critics. It's no wonder they agree with the point of the video. You just know a video has confirmation bias when the formost critic of homeopathy, James Randi, is on the Youtube still (who recently declined G.Vithoulkas' challenge to a FAIR homeopathic test after delaying it for four years, even though his own team of experts had concluded the test was fair and Randi had made a signed agreement to that effect - see - which completely undermines the idea that Randi is interested in the science of homeopathy but rather seems more bent on exposing a few false homeopaths in an effort to bring down the whole profession).

The idea that the other one had a scientific test at all is ignorant of what a scientific experiment is. Failing to control for any variables - not even doing a blinding study! - is not an experiment and CANNOT establish causation. Besides that, it cites no evidence at all other than James Randi, which is a sample size of one. So no, that's not a scientific experiment.

Longitudial studies
If my opponent agrees the likely outcomes are relevant, then he is obliged to rebut them. He has not done so.

I agree experts can be wrong about outcomes. That's why I'm arguing most of the scientific establishment is wrong about homeopathy. However, I think the method is different. If the UK had allocated its budget by drawing straws, EVERYBODY would hate it, even those who agreed with the outcome. If they do a fair process based on the ideologies of the elected officials, then you might disagree with the decision, but you can't really argue with how they got to that decision. That's why many experts have tried to confirm the results of previous studies under more stringent conditions, over and over again. Every time they succeed.

Of course, if India does take their healthcare seriously, then my opponent would agree that they put experts into their health ministry.

On the WHO, note that they do not recommend homeopathy for SERIOUS deseases, like HIV. Niether do I. But if there is no modern medicine as an alternative, the WHO continues to believe homeopathy is better than other alternative systems.

Tap Water
This would only be a homeopathic remedy is cholrine causes coughs - remember that homeopathy means the symptoms must match. Since chlorine does not cause coughs, it also does not cure coughs homeopathically.

I look forward to my opponent's reply.
Debate Round No. 4


owen99999 forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited.

Ergo suffragium RIVALIS!
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by larztheloser 6 years ago
Oh yeah, forgot about that music composition challenge thingy. I'll start one with you in a moment.

I'll try to avoid comment section rebuttals. I did a debate once on whether there was any historical evidence for Jesus (I negated) and had something like 500 comments, most of which were rebuttals. I will say, though, that the whole point of a blinding study is to remove even subconscious hints.

As for the chlorine thing, since it wasn't in the debate, I guess if it did work you'd put it down to the fact people drink lots of fluids. Some other sort of scientific test would need to be devised to control for that. But you do raise a very good point about practical implications. Even if it has no more than a placebo effect, I'd still prefer it to remedies such as faith healing and dianetics, both of which can definitely have a negative effect.
Posted by owen99999 6 years ago
oops formatting!
Posted by owen99999 6 years ago
Yep it is that type of coughing. Like sneezing but less loud! Any comment section rebuttals (not counting to the debate of course)? And remember it's not just chlorine in water; there are loads of other things in water eg:
Typical Tap Water Content:
•Fluorine compounds
•Trihalomethanes (THMs)
•Salts of:

I just took the top one for the debate but it applies to ALL of them.

If you really truly think about it. Water doesn't have a memory. Any medicine which has none of the original substance left isn't a medicine. It's water.

What about the bigger picture? There are so many more experiments where homeopathy has failed so as a whole it doesn't work. I think in some ways you overate any given experiment. Unfortunately mistakes appear very often in 'scientific' research and when you are measuring things like pain on opinion, then human error can be accounted for. In that experiment you posted about pain, it says the participants rated their pain but not how. For example, a doctor with a conformation bias (and I think this is quite likely) could have been questioning them like this:
Non homeopathic placebo: "Did you feel an increase in pain?"
Homeopathic 'remedy': "How much increase in pain did you feel?"
These small psychological hints even when given by accident subliminaly can have enormous effects.

I guess yeah TV programs are mostly biased. But in general I think horizon and panorama aren't, they take both sides of the story.

Thank you too; it was a great debate and even tough (obviously) I disagree I think you made a good case! I saw you were doing a music composition debate with someone else so start one with me any time!
Posted by larztheloser 6 years ago
Huh, I thought you meant coughing as in the common cold. Side effect of being ill right now I guess.

If it sounded like I contradicted myself, I'm sorry. "High-dilution" is fairly vague, but in general high-dilution homeopathy is quackery. Of course, if science confirms otherwise, then a specific exception needs to be made. This should not be applied to homeopathy more generally, but only to the results of that particular study.

I think most TV programs are biased in one way or another just because they're TV programs. That itself gives rise to a number of tropes that makes it very hard not to fall into a confirmation bias trap, because if a show didn't have such a bias it's very hard to advertise. Mythbusters usually does it pretty well so it's not totally impossible, but even they have had some controversies.

I earnestly do believe that homeopathy should be used in the third world, over the sorts of spiritual healing techniques that are often used there, such as exorcisms. Of course, I also believe it's way overmarketed and probably overused in our society.

Thanks for a fun debate and I hope to face you again some time in the future.
Posted by owen99999 6 years ago
And about that high dilution experiment; I still think you contradicted yourself. Saying it doesn't work (quackery) and then saying there's a case when it does is a direct contradiction.

The thing is there are so many more experiments where homeopathy hasn't worked you have to look at the bigger picture; scientifically it just isn't viable; it's just fairytales. The horizon program didn't have conformation bias really tbh. The scientists they used were nuetral and you can see that scientifically homeopathy had no effect.

There is just no basis it's a hopeless case. By the way do you actually believe it works or are you just arguing your side for the joy of debating because you seem a pretty intelligent guy.
Posted by owen99999 6 years ago
Ah crap I didn't have time oh well my fault this time conduct to you I guess.

BTW! Chlorine does cause coughs; that's one of the side effects of chlorine gas which is why it was used in the war.
Posted by larztheloser 6 years ago
I know - few people would even think about that extra days thing so I totally believe you, but to avoid suspicion I'm glad you've learnt from your mistake.
Posted by owen99999 6 years ago
I swear I'm not trying to gain extra days I'm in school holiday's so no reason to. Will post my response today or tommorow time permitting. Thanks for understanding! And in future I'll save my work on to a word document in my computer somewhere!
Posted by owen99999 6 years ago
Thanks for your response. I'll try and hit back tommorow so I can give you a thought through response.
Posted by Zaradi 6 years ago
Semantics.....god I wanna go semantics...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: For homeopathy to be true all its distinguishing claims must be true. The claim of low dilutions is granted as false. the cited evidence grants that allergists use low dilutions of allergens to cure allergies; that's medicine not homeopathy. the homeopathy claim is that treatment by matching symptoms rather than causes works. Chlorine causes coughing, but is not a cure. The evidence shows that bogus studies are a problem in homeopathy proofs, therefore extraordinary evidence is required.