Let me ask you a simple question. If I had some orange juice and I added more water to it. What would happen to the flavor? Of course, there is only one possible answer. The flavor would get weaker. That's what adding water does. Water is a solvent after all.
I don't think you would find a single person anywhere on Earth who would argue with this statement. But yet there are many people out there who will happily trust a homeopath and who will take homeopathic "medicine".
Homeopathy is perhaps the poster child for pseudoscience.
The basis of homeopathy is that if a person who is healthy takes a drug. The symptoms of the illness that the drug cures will be produced in that person. While a person who has an illness will be cured by that drug.
As these drugs cause undesired reactions they should be diluted down to safe levels. So that no adverse reaction is observed in the patient. This of course also reduced the efficiency of the medicine as well, rendering it useless. However, according to homeopathy if a diluted substance is agitated it actually becomes more potent and can cure the illness, with none of the side effects seen.
This is, of course, a ridiculous notion that a substance that is diluted can have the positive curative effects, but none of the negative side effects.
As silly as this idea is homeopathy actually takes it further. The more dilute a substance is the more potent it becomes.
Homeopathy uses a dilution scale known as C
A one C dilution is a dilution down to 1/100th. A 2 C dilution then takes this same substance and dilutes it down to another 1/100th
The general level of dilution used in homeopathy is 30C. However, dilutions above 12C are unlikely to contain a single molecule of the original "active" ingredient that was being diluted down.
This notion becomes even more ridiculous when you consider that some dilutions are as high as 200C. In order for a homeopathic treatment to contain even a single molecule of the original substance in it at such high dilutions. You would have to start with a sample with more molecules in it than are contained in the entire universe!
This has an implication that in order for homeopathy to work, that water must have a memory of what was once in it. If water does not have a memory then it cannot possibly have any effect at all.
If we suspend reality for one minute and we do accept that water has this "memory" then we also need to accept that all of the water on Earth has been recycled many times. It would have contained at some point some form of toxic substance, be it a heavy metal, urine, faeces etc. According to the very principles of homeopathy. So why does the water not have the memory of these things? Why does consuming any water at all not make us horrendously ill? After all, this water once contained many unpleasant things!
It is very clear that there is no scientific basis at all behind homeopathy. It just doesn't work. But many people who are tempted by homeopathy are just simply unaware of the supposed mechanism that homeopathy works by. Quite simply if homeopathy is to work then it is outside of the bounds of all known physics and chemistry. It goes without saying that all of the studies performed on homeopathy have shown that it has no effect at all other than a placebo effect.
When you are taking a homeopathic medicine all you are doing is taking a bit of water or a sugar pill. That's it.
The real risk of homeopathy is that patients who rely on it are likely to eschew conditional medicine. Or worse still these medicines will be given to children. This is where the real danger is with pseudoscience. Its adherents are utterly convinced by its efficacy regardless of what science tells us. Many people who listen to the advice given by homeopaths of other proponents of alternative medicine while considering the advice given by doctors and scientists to be false and untrustworthy.
Are you concerned that you do not know how to tell the difference between real science and pseudoscience? Do you want to understand the fundamentals of science? Do you want to have the confidence and knowledge to talk about scientific issues or to excel in exams? Well Make Science Easy has science courses designed for you. What are you waiting for? Start your journey today by signing up for our FREE scientific literacy course.
If you are skeptical at all about the video as part of it was sped up, you can watch the full version as well.