Sunday, December 13, 2009

I wrote a letter to the editor...

I have never written to a newspaper or news site about their content until now. Huffington Post has been posting idiotic medical stories lately - and the last one, about homeopathy, was my last straw.

The article in question is here, entitled "Nanopharmacology at its best"
No, seriously.

Here's a good snippet for you -
Homeopathic medicines are made through a specific pharmacological process of dilution and vigorous shaking. However, when skeptics say that there is nothing but water in homeopathic medicine, they are proving their ignorance, despite the incredible arrogance in which they make these assertions.

Allow me to expand on that -
They make homeopathic medicines by taking substances and diluting them, and then shaking them.

Seriously. That's the entire process. It works on the water retaining a "memory" of chemical properties. OH HEY and guess what, the water you drink, by this method, has fish poop in it. Oh, and we peed in it. At some point.

Jesus people.

So here's the letter I wrote to - I wish more people would do the same.


I love the Huffington Post. It's one of the first 4 or 5 webpages I first open when I'm wasting time at work, in fact. :)

That said, I'm rapidly losing my will to open the page. The false medical stories you spread are dangerous, at best. Today, there was a homeopathy article claiming the same tired scam lies that have made the "alternative medicine" snake-oil salespeople billions this year. You want to rail against wasteful spending? THAT'S where you go. The antivaccination, alternative med, and homeopathy communities kill people while callously preying on the public's gullible nature about all things "natural".

Please show more skepticism when posting those stories.

For more information, check out-

I am also posting this letter at - thank you for your attention.

(EDITED TO FIX "CO-OP" vs "CO-OPT". Because I'm a moron sometimes. Okay? I'm going to go cry in the corner now, Internet. HAPPY?)


  1. Anonymous3:10 PM

    Its co- opt, not co-op.

  2. Goddamnit. You're right.
    Thanks. Hate it when that happens.

  3. Internet3:33 PM

    Yes I am happy now. Your tears are delicious.

  4. Anonymous3:53 PM

    Oh yeah and homopathic treatments only demonstrate effectiveness inside the opaque human body and those finicky mass spectrometers just can't quite find the harmonic healing energies.

    Psssh, what does science even do anymore?

    (This was sarcasm, dana ullman should be waterboarded with ultra-dilute irony)

  5. Anonymous5:45 PM

    And apparently you aren't doing it right unless you dilute the stuff so much that there is no chance of finding a single molecule of the original substance in a dose. In fact, the more dilute it is, the more "powerful" it gets. This is called "dynamization" (

  6. Anonymous8:15 PM


    The pseudmedicine-alternative-scam-therapy industry is driving me crazy. Thank 4 the opportunity to vent.

    Nice coherent letter BTW. You do realize that you are preaching to the tinfoil hat crowd that must have infiltrated Huffington Post when no one was watching (probably part of the Bilderberg group conspiracy). Y'know it was bad enough when these people would get air time on Art Bell's late night mania show, but now they're getting airplay on otherwise reasonable outlets.

    Reason will never work with the unreasonable. But I could be wrong. Hey, I've tilted at a few windmills myself. Let me know how it works out for you

  7. I think everyone who has any kind of influence over other people (media, community leaders, etc.) should be made to watch (amongst other pieces on using your brain), James Randi's lecture to NASA on homeopathy.

    It's on youtube, in about 12 separate videos.

  8. Yeah, I know... there's not much point to me writing the letter other than the lots of readers from today (wherever you came from, wow). Still, I feel like I need to do SOMETHING - and engaging in the flame war of ever-increasing idiocy in the comments are of the linked article seemed like a dumb idea, so a letter was about it.

  9. Anonymous6:59 AM

    Jeremy said "lots of readers from today (wherever you came from, wow)." Pharygula

  10. Anonymous7:01 AM

    Opps, Pharyngula. Typing is my second language.

  11. Thanks Anonymous...

    (though to be honest, about 20 seconds after I said that, I noticed down below a little "Links to this post" section I hadn't noted before. :))

  12. Anonymous2:38 PM

    the scientific properties of substances in highly-diluted water have a growing base of scientific research

    ah! slings and arrows! great example of what early researches have to deal with

    there is growing evidence-not of homeopathy per se-but that highly diluted water with a substance responds differently than a control group

  13. If you were right, I'd agree with you. If that research actually existed and was credible, I'd be ALL over it. In a heartbeat.

    There's all sorts of very cool, VERY cutting edge research going on right now that completely breaks the rules for what we knew about healthcare for decades. We're growing body parts from stem cells. We're finding ways to repair neurons. We're using VIRUSES to implant genetic information to change cellular behavior. THAT stuff, the stuff of science fiction, works.

    The "dilution" crap? Doesn't. There hasn't been a single CREDIBLE and REPEATABLE study to show that it does. It's a scam, and I feel badly for you - you've bought it, hook line and sinker. Let the snake-oil guys fleece you, feel free... but you're supporting some pretty evil people who disguise themselves under the natural banners.

    It's sad, really.

  14. All the extra readers would have come from Reddit. This story was posted there a few days ago.

  15. Cool. Thank you Dan! I hope some of the new readers subscribe to the RSS or stop by occasionally. :)