Let me ask you a question:Take a bucket of water. Put a spoonfull of sugar in it. Mix thoroughly. Now take another bucket of water. Take a spoon of the sweetened water from the first bucket and mix in the new bucket( call this solution 2p). Now take another bucket of plain water.
And put a spoonful of the 2p solution and put this in the new bucket. Keep repeating this: keep taking a spoonfull of the diluted mixture and mix it in a new bucket full of water. After 20 such repeated dilutions do you think the water in the 20th bucket is sweet? “Certainly not!” I can hear you say. But there are people who believe that the water will remain sweet even after 20 such repeated-successive dilutions. These people believe in Homeopathy!
Homeopathy is based on two principles:
1) Like cures like: If a substance can produce an symptom similar to a disease then it can be used to cure the disease itself.
2) Law of Infinitesimals: If you dilute a substance with water or sugar to infinitely small quantities it will work even better than the orignal substance. The more diluted the substance the better its healing powers.
There are two sorts of dilutions that are in common use in Homeopathy: X and C. In a X dilution you mix one part of substance in 9 parts of water. Then you shake violently. To make a 10X dilution you will repeat this process 10 times, each time taking one part of the mixture and mixing in 9 parts of water. So in a 30 X solution the above process has been performed 30 times. In a C dilution you take one part of substance and ,mix in 99 parts of water and so on. Most homeopathic drugs come in 30X dilutions or more. More “powerful” drugs come with as much as 30C dilutions. A 30 X dilution means that the orignal substance has been diluted 1000000000000000000000000000000 times! This mixture is SO dilute that if you were to drink a cup full of this there is almost NIL probability that it would contain a molecule of the orignal “curing” agent. It is just water!!!!
And the homeopathy people know that there may not be any molecule of the curing agent in the drug you take. So how do they explain their “science”? They say that water has a memory! Water remembers the substance that it was once in contact with! So the water molecules remember the molecules that they touched and retain the healing powers of the curing agent. So more you dilute it and shake vigorously the more it remembers the orignal curing agent. (Homeopathy people lay a lot of stress on diluting and shaking vigorously). The shaking vigorously is to help the curing agent molecules hit as many water molecules as possible!
Any person who has studied any science will tell you that all this is nonsense. And that is why Modern Science does not believe in Homeopathy. And that is why VERITAS does not believe in homeopathy.
This article was inspired by a beautiful program that I saw in BBC’s Horizon series. In this program the well known sceptic James Randi offers a million dollars to anyone who can show that homeopathy works( The prize still being offered. Want to try?). The Horizon team decides to try. The experiment takes places in the labs of the Royal Society of Sciences. It is carefully monitored. After a long trial with plain water samples and medicinal samples diluted to homeopathic levels it was shown that both have the same ( NIL) effects on blood samples. So a homeopathic drug is just the same as water! Lots of other controlled experiments have been conducted and they all lead to the same conclusion: water does not remember and that homeopathy is nonsense.
Then why do some people get cured by homeopathy? Medicine knows that faith( or mind) is a healer( the placebo effect). So if you get cured with Homeopathy then that is just the placebo effect at work. Modern Medicine ( the real one ) can be marketed only if it shows an effect beyond the placebo effect. But if you still have faith in homeopathy then please continue with it. I am sure it will have no side effect on you!
Go, wondrous creature! mount where Science guides:
Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides:
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old time and regulate the Sun;