Gabor from Hungary
Posted: 12 June 2007 02:45 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi, I am Gabor from Hungary, Budapest. I am active in the Hungarian skeptic movement for a decade. In December we finally officially registered the Hungarian Skeptic Society.

I am writing articles (in Hungarian) on my web page X-Wiles (X-Aknak) for several years on various aspects of naturalistic worldview. Originally being a biologist, now I would like to focus on alternative medicine. I know homeopathy is not such a big issue out there in the US, but here in Europe this seems to be the major challenge for science. It is widely accepted as real science among politicians and doctors as well. Based on the regulations only doctors can practice as homeopaths - and many of them is doing that. I am looking for partners to work on an international (European, EU) level to review legislation and possibilities for stepping up more actively. I would be also happy to have more reports, interviews on alternative medicine on Point of Inquiry also.

Bye,
Gabor

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Posted: 12 June 2007 07:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Nice to meet you, Gabor!

I had never really heard much about homeopathy until a few days ago. I only knew of it as it was mentioned among other forms of pseudoscientific medicine, but I only recently heard the details. I watched a video of The Amazing Randi explaining how it supposedly works, and I was amazed at how nonsensical and irrational it is. Hopefully your work will help to keep it in its place outside of accepted medicine.

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Posted: 12 June 2007 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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brainlesssteel - 12 June 2007 07:07 AM

I had never really heard much about homeopathy until a few days ago.

Well, I know the background quite well. I read their scientific-like peer-reviewed (!) journal: Homeopathy (formerly known as British Homeopathic Journal - BHJ). It is quite amazing how they had built an alternative “scientific” domain that had practically no overlap or gateways to the normal scientific community.

Gabor

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Posted: 12 June 2007 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hello, Gabor, and welcome to this forum.

Almost all of the scientific community in the United States rejects homeopathy.  They believe it is a hoax to get money from the uneducated.

However, if as you say, it has a very different approach to medicine than conventional science, you can choose particular principles from each and compare the two.  That way you can decide which of them is the more accurate and useful idea.

Occam

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Posted: 12 June 2007 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Occam - 12 June 2007 10:53 AM

However, if as you say, it has a very different approach to medicine than conventional science, you can choose particular principles from each and compare the two.  That way you can decide which of them is the more accurate and useful idea.

Am I misunderstood? I am sure homeopathy is voodoo science! I only would like to say that in Europe there is NO consensus within the scientific community about this unfortunately. The difference between the situation could cause that in PoI (which I like very much) they discuss more the religion-atheism controversy (and evolution-creationism of course) than homeopathy and alternative medicine in general. I think we - here in Europe - would speak more about alternative medicine and thus about homeopathy than about religion. But that is normal - I just wanted to report that we do not have the same problems - or at least not with equal weight.

Excuse me about my English; most probably I speak Hunglish smile

Gabor

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Posted: 12 June 2007 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I’m sorry for misunderstanding you, Gabor.  And your English is quite good.  It was my fault.  Since you said you would be studyiing homeopathy, I assumed incorrectly that you had some positive ideas about it.  I tried to answer very gently and objectively so I wouldn’t criticize you.  I think I now understand what you are saying.  In the U.S. we have more of a problem with religious fundamentalists and less with those who believe in homeopathy.  In Europe more of your uneducated believe in homeopathy than in religion. 

As silly as I think homeopathy is, I would gladly have your problem rather than ours.  I believe religion is more socially destructive while homeopathy only hurts the individual who depends on it.

Occam

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Posted: 12 June 2007 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Gabor,

Welcome to the forum! I am a practicing veterinarian here in the U.S., and I struggle daily against the invasion of real medicine by homeopathy and other aletrnative nonsense, so from my point of view the problem is more widespread than Occam suggests. And I have some family members in human medicine who find the same thing. The government is even spending scarce research money trying to validate AM therapies because there is a well-funded lobby in favor of them and very poor scientific literacy among our politicians. There are some good resources for those in the U.S. opposed to this trend, such as Skeptic’s Refuge and Quackwatch . I’m interested in how the problem manifests itself in Europe which, since it is a less religious place, I would have thought was more scientific and less credulous about alternative medicine as well, though it sounds like that’s not true. Anyway, welcome and enjoy the discussions.

[ Edited: 12 June 2007 11:53 AM by mckenzievmd ]
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Posted: 12 June 2007 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Occam - 12 June 2007 11:20 AM

As silly as I think homeopathy is, I would gladly have your problem rather than ours.  I believe religion is more socially destructive while homeopathy only hurts the individual who depends on it.

You are not quite right - although I do not want to make a competition on our challenges smile The attack on the naturalistic worldview and on science is quite direct in your country, i.e. it is faith versus science. Here it is more stealthy. Homeopathy is considered as science and this makes the destruction on rational thinking from inside.

Ten years before - based on the guidelines of EU (!) - they created a new law about alternative medicine. It is “controlling” AM as they say; in fact it makes it legally supported. Now in the law there are normal remedies and homeopathic remedies:

(21) Having regard to the particular characteristics of these homeopathic medicinal products, such as the very low level of active principles they contain and the difficulty of applying to them the conventional statistical methods relating to clinical trials, it is desirable to provide a special, simplified registration procedure for those homeopathic medicinal products which are placed on the market without therapeutic indications in a pharmaceutical form and dosage which do not present a risk for the patient.

And yes, based on the new law homeopathic remedies can be registered without providing any safety and efficacy tests. And they are doing that, and homeopaths (doctors!) refer to them - rightfully - that those are remedies. In Hungary these remedies are not yet covered by the health insurance system, but in some other countries they are.

I guess we should continue this discussion within the appropriate topic…

Gabor

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Posted: 12 June 2007 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Good idea.  And I defer to the greater knowledge of Brennen and Gabor.  I shouldn’t have extrapolated from the very small sample of the beliefs of my friends.

Occam

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Posted: 12 June 2007 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Homeopathy is also protected in the US ... it is legally considered a type of medicine. (It was protected by pro-homeopathic members of congress). This is clearly a travesty of enormous proportions.

Glad to have you here, Gabor!

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Posted: 12 June 2007 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Glad to have you here, Gabor.  smile

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