Blogpost: Should homeopathy be banned on the NHS?

March 20, 2012

A quickie about this poll: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/poll/2012/mar/19/homeopathy-banned-nhs

Prof Edzard Ernst has said that homeopathy should not be offered on the NHS.

Correct.

In a nutshell, it is an implausible modality which lacks robust scientific evidence to demonstrate:
A) that it works
B) how it works.

Application of Occam’s razor (still a valid tool in scientific deduction) suggests that it is nothing more than a highly ritualised placebo (see posts passim).

However, this poll in ‘Teh Grauniad’ has been worded (either accidentally or not) in a way to polarise opinion and push any undecided liberals (small ‘l’ – them who generally dislike banning of anything – myself included) in the direction of the ‘no’ button, and add to the popular fallacy/delusion amongst the altmed community that OMG THE SKEPTIKZ ARR FACISTS.

The wording Prof Ernst, should not be offered, is a much better way of posing the question, as it sticks to the heart of the matter without invoking any sort of totalitarianism amongst those that seek to only offer evidence-based treatment on the NHS.

I strongly believe that homeopathy should not be offered on the NHS, because it has not been conclusively demonstrated to work any better than a placebo. A cash-strapped NHS (whatever may become of it) should not be spending taxpayer’s money on stuff that does not work.

If people want to waste their own money on some of the most expensive sugar imaginable, that’s their own business.

Besides, this poll is nothing more than a “who can spread the word around their community fastest” competition, and irrespective if the outcome, is just an appeal to popularity.

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Is it warm or it is just me?

May 21, 2010

It’s rather warm outside today – so where are all the “zOMG!!!!1! Totally Global Warming”, stories?


Whenever it snows in the UK, you can generally rely on some moron to write a piece for the tabloid/right-wing press which basically states:

It has snowed. Thus I have proven that climate change is not happening.

Such an asinine comment demonstrates that the author clearly fails to appreciate the difference between “weather” and “climate.”

CONCLUSIVE PROOF OF GLOBAL WARMING!!

However – it is rather warm today. When I climbed into my car, the temperature was 31ºC (see pic) and it later climbed to 32ºC. There is a tree over my driveway which means that my car was mostly in the shade as well. Anyway, according to the BBC/Met office, the average maximum temperature for May in Birmingham (nearest big city), is only 16ºC. The highest temperature ever recorded in Brum in May is only 29ºC!! The not-in-my-car temperature in Birmingham today is apparently 25ºC – pretty close to the record May temperature.

So the question I have is… where are all the articles in the tabloids proclaiming that the warm weather is proof of global warming?