Are vaccinations bad? And homeopathy.

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Grace
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Nov 28 2006 23:29
Skraeling wrote:
A story about placebo effect. My sister's dog had eaten some poison. She (the dog) couldnt walk, was in horrid convulsions, and near death's door. My sister took her dog to her homeopath and almost immediately after taking a pill got better. It was very strange to see, almost miracalous. No other treatment was necessary. So how do you explain this in terms of placebo effect?

Nah y'see, if you'd just left it as it was, it definitely wouldn't have died. Promise.

It just thought it was gonna die, all it needed was time to figure out that poison ain't that bad!

gurrier
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Nov 28 2006 23:33
Grace wrote:
The worst thing that's happened to me from taking a homeopathic remedy (and even this could be explained as not being an effect of the substance) was severe mood swings for a couple of days after treatment. I'm sure other people have had similar or worse experiences.

How do you know that the treatment caused the symptom? I mean, homeopathic pills are pure lactose - they really are, they are unlikely to cause any symptoms. It really is impossible for anybody to identify cause and effect in a single case - especially when you are the test subject in yourself. It's only possible to do so when you look at significant samples and use some statistical analysis. Lots of good things and bad things have happened to people's health immediately after taking a homeopathic pill, just like they have immediately after eating ice cream. You wouldn't assume causation in the second case, why do you do so in the first?

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I've never heard of anyone dying from homeopathic remedies (and I doubt it would pass unnoticed if someone did - can you imagine how much the conservative media would lap it up).

I think you will find that by far and away the biggest mainstream promoters of CAM are the right wing press. The Daily Mail is generally the worst of the bunch, but the health sections of all the tabloids - and even many of the broadsheets - are full of the stuff. Womens' magazines are worse still.

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Lone Wolf
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Nov 28 2006 23:34

Skrae

A great post and a good point!! Homoepathy works very very well on animals... cool

Grace
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Nov 28 2006 23:37
gurrier wrote:
Grace wrote:
The worst thing that's happened to me from taking a homeopathic remedy (and even this could be explained as not being an effect of the substance) was severe mood swings for a couple of days after treatment. I'm sure other people have had similar or worse experiences.

How do you know that the treatment caused the symptom?

If you'll read, I actually said that I wasn't certain. It was just the only possible example in my experience that I could think of.

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Quote:
I've never heard of anyone dying from homeopathic remedies (and I doubt it would pass unnoticed if someone did - can you imagine how much the conservative media would lap it up).

I think you will find that by far and away the biggest mainstream promoters of CAM are the right wing press. The Daily Mail is generally the worst of the bunch, but the health sections of all the tabloids - and even many of the broadsheets - are full of the stuff. Womens' magazines are worse still.

Damn, I've been outed as a non-DM, tabloid or women's mag reader. The shame grin

gurrier
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Nov 28 2006 23:39
Skraeling wrote:
A story about placebo effect. My sister's dog had eaten some poison. She (the dog) couldnt walk, was in horrid convulsions, and near death's door. My sister took her dog to her homeopath and almost immediately after taking a pill got better. It was very strange to see, almost miracalous. No other treatment was necessary. So how do you explain this in terms of placebo effect?

This is the huge causation fallacy again. If your dog had taken a piss and then immediately got better would you think there was a causal link? Have you investigated the predicted length of the symptoms of that particular type of poisoning based upon the size of the dose and the dog's weight? If not, I think you are missing a serious ally of non-miraculous investigation.

The thing is that most illnesses (including poisoning) are of relatively short duration. If you offered a treatment to all sick people that involved punching them in the face and assuring them that they would feel better in 3 days, 99% of the time the treatment would work as 99% of illnesses experienced by the population start to improve within that time frame.

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Steven.
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Nov 28 2006 23:59
revol68 wrote:
Grace wrote:
I'm really starting to lose time for you.

Likewise.

hey hey kids c'mon it's only an argument on the internet. I'm going to bed now, but let's put things in perspective a bit, eh? Sorry if this sounds patronising, it's been a long day...

Grace
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Nov 29 2006 00:05
John. wrote:
revol68 wrote:
Grace wrote:
I'm really starting to lose time for you.

Likewise.

hey hey kids c'mon it's only an argument on the internet. I'm going to bed now, but let's put things in perspective a bit, eh? Sorry if this sounds patronising, it's been a long day...

I meant in the context of the debate tongue

gurrier
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Nov 29 2006 00:39
madashell wrote:
And don't even get me started on giving people with minor anxiety problems placebos, all you're doing is validating their belief that there's something physically wrong with them when the best thing would be regular exercise, a better sleeping pattern and a more active social life.

Although I tend to agree with you in theory, in practice many people simply won't believe you if you tell them that there is nothing physically wrong with them. They will seek out the healer who validates their opinion anyway. I'm just making the point that, in such cases, CAM practitioners genuinely do help to ease the symtpoms.

There is also a huge underlying psychological problem. Due to the nature of our society, many people, in particular women, have an overly critical relationship with themselves. Telling them to devote less time to work or to take more time to rest or socialise, simply isn't going to happen as the trade-off in terms of guilt is just not worth it for them. The fact that some quack has validated the fact that they have a medical problem allows them to relax without guilt. Being a medical patient puts them into a psychological position where they can self-indulge without guilt.

In an ideal world, such underlying psychological issues would be addressed rather than using such band-aid measures. But the ideal world certainly isn't to be found on this side of the revolution.

Skraeling
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Nov 29 2006 00:44
gurrier wrote:
Skraeling wrote:
A story about placebo effect. My sister's dog had eaten some poison. She (the dog) couldnt walk, was in horrid convulsions, and near death's door. My sister took her dog to her homeopath and almost immediately after taking a pill got better. It was very strange to see, almost miracalous. No other treatment was necessary. So how do you explain this in terms of placebo effect?

This is the huge causation fallacy again. If your dog had taken a piss and then immediately got better would you think there was a causal link? Have you investigated the predicted length of the symptoms of that particular type of poisoning based upon the size of the dose and the dog's weight?

you might be right, but when you happen to see in front of your eyes a very sick dog and then it immediately gets better on taking a pill then you do happen to think there is a link between the two.

i'm not saying homeopathy is miracolous, not at all, like all medicine it doesnt work on some occasions. but it did seem to help on this occasion.

Quote:
The thing is that most illnesses (including poisoning) are of relatively short duration. If you offered a treatment to all sick people that involved punching them in the face and assuring them that they would feel better in 3 days, 99% of the time the treatment would work as 99% of illnesses experienced by the population start to improve within that time frame.

this comment, as with many of your others (you seem to arrogantly think people who take alternative medicine are middle-class religious nutters), is a bit over the top, don't you think? homeopathy is not like punching someone in the head, and its stupid to suggest so. the only 'medicine' like that is called electro shock therapy. i'm sure such torture helps wink

i find your earlier statements that people are only seeing alternative practictioners are because they are stressed or anxious is simplistic. Sure, cos of the speed up of modern capitalist society, a lot of people are stressed (and its not just middle class people who get stressed). But its not as simple as that. Diseases are caused by a multiplicity of factors, some genetic, some environmental, some to do with toxicity/pollution, some emotional, some psychological etc. Western medicine is failing for lots and lots of people, it simply does not work for many long term conditions (some are stress related, others not) and in fact makes many worse. Hence people are turning to such wacko things as homeopathy cos they are seeking to get better. And if it works for them, then why the hell not? it's easy to dismiss alternative health as wacko if you're healthy. i wouldn't consider it if my health wasn't stuffed up.

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Nov 29 2006 01:07

Gurrier

I agree with the points you made here in response to MAH who, to his credit, DID say earlier he realised what he said was a tad harsh..

Skrae

Yep agreed again - it is really easy to dismiss something as irrelevant when you have had no need of it personlly.. Experience brings wisdom and expands horizons tho the gaining of this is often painful as you and i have discovered... sad

Love

LW X

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Nov 29 2006 01:27
gurrier wrote:
madashell wrote:
And don't even get me started on giving people with minor anxiety problems placebos, all you're doing is validating their belief that there's something physically wrong with them when the best thing would be regular exercise, a better sleeping pattern and a more active social life.

Although I tend to agree with you in theory, in practice many people simply won't believe you if you tell them that there is nothing physically wrong with them. They will seek out the healer who validates their opinion anyway. I'm just making the point that, in such cases, CAM practitioners genuinely do help to ease the symtpoms.

There is also a huge underlying psychological problem. Due to the nature of our society, many people, in particular women, have an overly critical relationship with themselves. Telling them to devote less time to work or to take more time to rest or socialise, simply isn't going to happen as the trade-off in terms of guilt is just not worth it for them. The fact that some quack has validated the fact that they have a medical problem allows them to relax without guilt. Being a medical patient puts them into a psychological position where they can self-indulge without guilt.

In an ideal world, such underlying psychological issues would be addressed rather than using such band-aid measures. But the ideal world certainly isn't to be found on this side of the revolution.

All true, doesn't mean I have to like it though.

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Lone Wolf
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Nov 29 2006 01:29

Revol

Since when was anarchism about attempting to close someone down cos their opinion is different to yours???

Tbh my comment was more aimed at Skrae directly cos we have had similar experiences but I take yer point i made it publicly...

Thing is Revol I don't want anyone to bow down to me, honest mate... (If I DID want this I could go visit an S and M club, no worries... black bloc )

Just I would like peeps to listen more and be a bit more open-minded - that is all..if you do, you do, you don't you don't.. I just don't think the issue of eg homoepathy is worth getting THAT het up about tbh...as I said in an earlier post on this thread, there are much bigger issues at stake..I am sure me or someone else will start another thread soon...So chill, Hegel boy!!

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LW X

gurrier
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Nov 29 2006 01:40
Skraeling wrote:
you might be right, but when you happen to see in front of your eyes a very sick dog and then it immediately gets better on taking a pill then you do happen to think there is a link between the two.

Personally, if the dog got well immediately after giving a pill, I'd think "I hope the pill that I gave it doesn't make him sick again when it eventually dissolves in his stomach".

Skraeling wrote:
Sure, cos of the speed up of modern capitalist society, a lot of people are stressed (and its not just middle class people who get stressed). But its not as simple as that. Diseases are caused by a multiplicity of factors, some genetic, some environmental, some to do with toxicity/pollution, some emotional, some psychological etc. Western medicine is failing for lots and lots of people, it simply does not work for many long term conditions (some are stress related, others not) and in fact makes many worse. Hence people are turning to such wacko things as homeopathy cos they are seeking to get better. And if it works for them, then why the hell not?

I pretty much agree with all of that. Im also really, really sure that homeopathic medicines have no non-placebo effects.

Skraeling wrote:
it's easy to dismiss alternative health as wacko if you're healthy. i wouldn't consider it if my health wasn't stuffed up.

I don't think it's "wacko" - there is absolutely no question that the placebo effect exists and has a demonstrable positive outcome. I also think that homeopathy is a poor place to look if your health is stuffed. If medical science isn't able to identify or treat your ailment, in my opinion the underlying problem is highly likely to be environmental, psychological or emotional in character. It is far more worthwhile to examine these areas in search of solutions rather than putting your trust in arcane quackery which might provide a sense of immediate emotional release, but which can't possibly address the underlying problems.

Skraeling
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Nov 29 2006 01:46
revol68 wrote:
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you might be right, but when you happen to see in front of your eyes a very sick dog and then it immediately gets better on taking a pill then you do happen to think there is a link between the two.

i'm not saying homeopathy is miracolous, not at all, like all medicine it doesnt work on some occasions. but it did seem to help on this occasion.

oh what bollocks, it could have been a whole host of factors not to mention coincidence. Of course it's hardwired into our brains to find meaning in the world, to seek out patterns and as such we remember things that appear to have a pattern or meaning whilst blocking out all the other shit that fails to enter into our immediate conciousness. I mean poisoning tends to make animals vomit! I mean for fucksake the whole reason your body pukes shit back up is to get rid of poisoins and other nasty shit. I wander if the local priest had came round and splashed it with holy water would you have been convinced?

nope. look i'm not saying this is irrefutable proof that homeopathy works. not at all. you're probably right. but i know homeopathy has definitely helped me get better. but its one factor among many, disease is complex and you need to treat it on many fronts to get results. i wouldnt rely on homeopathy alone. i dont see homeopathy as a panacea.

revol wrote:
Since when was anarchism about indulging peoples fucking superstition and ignorance!?

since when did anarchism become so dogmatic and narrow-minded? why this dismissive attitude towards alternative treatement? if something works for someone, then why not use it? if something doesn't work, like many western treatments, why not avoid them?

Grace
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Nov 29 2006 01:53
gurrier wrote:
I don't think it's "wacko" - there is absolutely no question that the placebo effect exists and has a demonstrable positive outcome. I also think that homeopathy is a poor place to look if your health is stuffed. If medical science isn't able to identify or treat your ailment, in my opinion the underlying problem is highly likely to be environmental, psychological or emotional in character. It is far more worthwhile to examine these areas in search of solutions rather than putting your trust in arcane quackery which might provide a sense of immediate emotional release, but which can't possibly address the underlying problems.

Absolutely. And if homeopathic practise were purely 'arcane quackery', I might agree that it wouldn't be sensible to turn to it if your health's fucked. I've already indicated my doubts in the pills themselves in isolation from overall treatment, I'm not an absolute believer despite having had overwhelmingly positive results from homeopathic treatment.

However, whether or not you believe that homeopathic remedies are actually effective, it can't be denied that the overall treatment is, if you find a good practitioner as I and the other people who've had positive experiences have done, by and large far superior to the approach of conventional GPs, for reasons which I've already outlined. An excellent GP, I'd imagine, would take a more holistic approach and address the underlying problems, and in my opinion this is what all doctors should ideally do (although obviously they are far more restricted in terms of demands on time and resources); this is what a good homeopath will do as standard practise because it is the approach that forms the basis of all prescription. I've never been asked by a GP about my emotional situation, diet, or any aspect of my lifestyle, whereas these are the first questions my homeopath will ask when I go to see her.

No, the holistic approach is not and absolutely should not be exclusive to homeopathic practise, by common sense it should be integral to any medical practise, but the fact is that as it stands it is something that is offered by homeopaths and not by conventional doctors; as such I'd say it is a good place to turn if your health's fucked and doctors aren't helping, even if you then go and tell your GP about the underlying problem and get further treatment from there rather than accepting pills from the homeopath.

Grace
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Nov 29 2006 02:00
revol68 wrote:
Grace the same can be said for religion doesn't mean to say it's not a crock of shit though.

I don't know how stretched your resources are over there, but I've never come across a priest offering medical assistance.

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Nov 29 2006 02:16
gurrier wrote:
Although I tend to agree with you in theory, in practice many people simply won't believe you if you tell them that there is nothing physically wrong with them.

On a sidenote, I'm not so sure that's the case. As long as you don't just dismiss their fears out of hand and actually listen to them, people are likely to be fairly relieved to learn that they're not suffering from a fatal heart condition or going mad.

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Nov 29 2006 02:49
revol68 wrote:
p.s. surely if everyones opinion is equally valid then i have as much right to call people out for being gullible fucks as they do to fill the air with their new age msytic nonsense, or our we only allowed to have beliefs and opinions if we qualify them with the inane prefix "it's only my opinion but...".

fucking grrrrrrrrr!

But I never said you didn't have the right to say what you want...But I equally have the right to refute what you say etc etc..Of COURSE we have to listen to each other. It doesn't mean we have to AGREE with each other, but yeah we need to listen..or what is the point in having these boards..it is not always the Revol show on here y'know.. grin .And soz but peeps views ARE equally valid whether you agree with them or not.. because everyone SHOULD be able to state their views however minority/New Age or how can active debate ensue???? And how is closing them down consistent with anarchist principles etc etc???
Btw tho - as I have said before - you may harp on a bit but at least you DO wanna engage with peeps. On some kinda level. Perhaps. neutral wink
But yeah I would def. like to see you using a host of inane prefixes... wink grin

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LW X

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Nov 29 2006 03:11

Sure. It DOESN'T mean you have to respect the opinion just the persons right to express it but I did NOT mean to include offensive eg Nazi stuff when I talked about the right to air views...etc..I NEARLY said the rider to this being the exclusion of the airing of racist, homophobic stuff etc but I didn't think I needed to..roll eyes .I mean within the context of these boards and the kinda debates we have...cool

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Lone Wolf
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Nov 29 2006 03:47
revol68 wrote:
Lone Wolf wrote:
Sure. It DOESN'T mean you have to respect the opinion just the persons right to express it but I did NOT mean to include offensive eg Nazi stuff when I talked about the right to air views...etc..I NEARLY said the rider to this being the exclusion of the airing of racist, homophobic stuff etc but I didn't think I needed to..roll eyes .I mean within the context of these boards and the kinda debates we have...cool

and how exactly do we decide what is defines offensive, y'know with everyones opinions being equally valid.

Oh come on Revol... you know full well that there are lc guidelines put out by admin on not tolerating Nazi views, homophobia etc..Peeps who express these opinions are banned and rightly so. So we DO have a boundary to work with. And you know it.

it's all a crock of shit, i do not have to express respect for idiocy, respect afterall is something earned, I might tolerate other peoples stupid opinions but that's certainly not the same.

No. Respect of anothers humanity should be a given. It is trust that is earned.

Your position seems to be one of down playing conflict

Nah I think conflict can be quite healthy - don't like peeps being "closed down" which is an act of aggression. Anger/conflict/disagreement is fine - agression not so as it is about one person seeking to dominate another..

of using "respect" and other such liberal bollocks

but it is not just a liberal notion which is not to say that liberals do not distort this notion for their own ends cos they do...

as an imaginary middle ground between two opinions that can never be reconciled,

they don't have to be reconciled no..

and as such I've more respect for the person

but I thought you didn't like the term respect Revol.. tongue

who argues strongly for the most idiotic of views than the person who tries to nullify unbridgable gaps

we don't have to bridge the gap...tho I don't feel it will be impossible to bridge one day...just acknowleding we are on other sides of the gap is what is needed also recognising that your side of the gap is not nec. superior to mine even if you happen to believe it is so..tongue

in a fundamentally dishonest manner.

No I am not dishonest...And i find this suggestion extremely offensive as I am always honest - a fact that has got me into a lot of trouble in the past tbh!!! So no, fuck that - it is just the opposite - I just think you find my style baffling. tongue

Basically fuck the fence sitting!

Nah i am not sitting on it - that is just your perception!!! Btw homoepathy has not worked for me personally but it HAS worked for family and friends. That is not sitting on the fence. It is just.. my experience..I wouldn't want to see it banned just cos it hasn't worked for me personally cos I don't think the world is all about me. tongue

Got to love you and leave you now boy - loads to do before bed and a loooong day tomorrow.. Anarchist Quiz night in the eve.. shame you can't come..

Love

LW X

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madashell
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Nov 29 2006 04:05
revol68 wrote:
right and all assertions and refutals are the same?

To be fair, saying that all viewpoints are equally valid is not the same as saying that they're all equally right. I don't agree with either statement, but they're not the same.

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Khawaga
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Nov 29 2006 09:02
Quote:
A story about placebo effect. My sister's dog had eaten some poison. She (the dog) couldnt walk, was in horrid convulsions, and near death's door. My sister took her dog to her homeopath and almost immediately after taking a pill got better. It was very strange to see, almost miracalous. No other treatment was necessary. So how do you explain this in terms of placebo effect?

I have basically the same "anectode". My in-law's cat had eaten some rat poison, was completely fucked, couldn't do anything. It was given some arsenicum and it revived pretty fast.

Aaaand I could refer to tons of poisoning "anecdotes" like that from personal experience and in literature (but the anti-homeopathy crowd seems to ignore the references I post so why bother).

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Nov 29 2006 11:37

So why do homeopathic remedies fail to have an effect when 'arsenicum' or whatever name they're flogging water under is used in a clinical trial? Was the dose of poison measured and controlled? If it wasn't, what makes you so sure that it was a leathal dose for that animal?

And how come water only retains the memory of things added to it by homeopaths? Would drinking some water in the tap that might have been in contact with some pennecillium mould before it went through the the sanitation process give me a fatal case of septicemia?

These are not dismissals, they are serious questions that all other treatments must go through.

Grace
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Nov 29 2006 12:00

So our conclusion is that the only valid point of view is that which revol agrees with.

I'm just fucking glad he's not a Nazi.

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Nov 29 2006 12:04
revol68 wrote:
i'm afraid it is.

if i said both that the earth is flat and the earth is round and they are both valid viewpoints it would be absurd, one by necessity invalidates the other.

If homeopathy does not work because it's very essence is nonsense and has no backing either theoretically or empirically, this is as true for anyone else or their dog using as it is for me. Now even if I'm somehow wrong (i'm not) it would therefore mean that my view is wrong for me as well as everyone else. You can't just explain away such disagreements by saying "well in your experiance this is true", because we are not making claims about subjective experiance but rather we are making two different truth claims about something outside our own experiance ie you saying you felt it worked for you is subjective, I can not change this retroactively, I can only hope to convince you that this subjective feeling was made in error, however whether or not it actually worked is not dependent on your subjective feelings about it, just as if the statement "I thought the world was flat is subjective" whilst "The world is flat" isn't.

Yeah, well, that's your perspective on it, isn't it?

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Nov 29 2006 12:07

Sorry, couldn't resist, seriously this time:

revol68 wrote:
i'm afraid it is.

if i said both that the earth is flat and the earth is round and they are both valid viewpoints it would be absurd, one by necessity invalidates the other.

If homeopathy does not work because it's very essence is nonsense and has no backing either theoretically or empirically, this is as true for anyone else or their dog using as it is for me. Now even if I'm somehow wrong (i'm not) it would therefore mean that my view is wrong for me as well as everyone else. You can't just explain away such disagreements by saying "well in your experiance this is true", because we are not making claims about subjective experiance but rather we are making two different truth claims about something outside our own experiance ie you saying you felt it worked for you is subjective, I can not change this retroactively, I can only hope to convince you that this subjective feeling was made in error, however whether or not it actually worked is not dependent on your subjective feelings about it, just as if the statement "I thought the world was flat is subjective" whilst "The world is flat" isn't.

Yes, but for instance, the claim "the universe is mostly made up of dark matter, which is what keeps it together" and the claim "the universe is slowly drifting apart" are equally valid at the moment, neither one is any more absurd than the other, despite the two being objective claims that are mutually exclusive.

fruitloop
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Nov 29 2006 12:14

I thought the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate due to it mostly being made up of dark energy?

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Nov 29 2006 12:17
fruitloop wrote:
I thought the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate due to it mostly being made up of dark energy?

I don't have a clue and I don't particularly care, I was just using a random example of a scientific controversy tongue

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Nov 29 2006 12:28

So I was listening to RTE this morning which has some story about the pope visting Turkey and in particualr that he is going to Ephesus today.

The hook of the story was some Irish guy who wheel chair bound and with only days to live from Lukemia went to what supposed to be the (virgin) marys house there to which she retreated after the son got nailed up. (Grace being a classicist and all I presume you'll already be aware of why mary was probably claimed to have been at Ephesus.)

Anyway yer man goes to the house just to pray for a painless death like but then sure enough the goddess (woops mary) cures the bloke. So now hes; right as rain dancing around and telling everyone about the power of religion.

This is pretty much the same story as the dog getting the magic pill or the thrush clearing up except if anything more impressive being Lukemia and all that. It's not even unusual, claims of miraculous cures from various Mary shrines are commonplace in catholicism and people are wheeled out who say it happened to them.

How do the fans of homopathy explain these miracles?

Thora
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Nov 29 2006 12:40
JoeBlack2 wrote:
How do the fans of homopathy explain these miracles?

Maybe there just isn't a rational explanation.