How Much of a Risk Would it Be…
Posted: 13 July 2007 01:15 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I saw this video of James Randi talking about Homeopathy…

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=387650092279471061&q=james+randi+on+homeopathy&total=16&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

And I’ve been considering videotaping myself overdosing on homeopathic medicine and posting it on YouTube to debunk it and to amuse myself. So here’s the question(s):

1. Would it be entertaining?

2. How risky would it be, and what precautions can I take?

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Posted: 13 July 2007 01:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Personally, I don’t think it would be entertaining, and also, you’ve missed the point of homeopathic medicine.  While the idea is irrational to me, as I understand it, they believe that the smaller the dose the more effect it has.  Therefore, if you overdosed, you would be going against their principles and wouldn’t prove anything.

Occam

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Posted: 13 July 2007 02:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Step 1) Drink a class of distilled water.

Step 2) die of an overdose of everything

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Posted: 13 July 2007 06:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Homeopathic medicine should be pure distilled water, or sugar pills. Any “active” ingredients should have been diluted into nonexistence by the processes involved. The only danger I could see to trying such a thing is that there is no real regulation on what homeopaths do. So you do have to assume that the relevant homeopathic witch-doctor has actually done the required dilutions, and not (e.g.) taken a holiday that day.

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Posted: 13 July 2007 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The idea might even backfire in that the quacks would argue that you’ve proved their snake oil to be far safer than conventional medicine. They constantly claim effect without side-effects, which no real medicine can claim, and being as resistant to logic as they are, they would likely see your stunt as confirmation of that point.

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Posted: 13 July 2007 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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There is one important issue to remember: not all homeopathic “medicines” are diluted on water. Some are made in an alcoholic solution that, if ingested in great amounts (as you propose) could cause adverse symptons. Also, the distilled water is hypotonic, so it could cause damage to the gastric mucosae end, therefore, cause pain or vomits.

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Posted: 14 July 2007 04:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Ha! Quite true, Stefano. But all that said, I did think that Randi’s stunt demonstration was apt, and rhetorically forceful.

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Posted: 07 September 2007 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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So the more nothing there is in the water I drink, the more effect it has?

A homeopath who wants to commit suicide would presumably just drink clean water? Does this mean that to avoid overdoses they can only drink non-aqeous liquids? It all sound very complicated to me.

They must also be very confused about toxicology as well. How do you calculate the LD50 for something that kills you more the less there is of it? If their practices weren’t so damaging to real medicine, I’d say keep them around for entertainment value.

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