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05 January 2012

My Ill-informedness

wawei67 you claimed:
And who do you think I am-an anonymous trolling alien from outer space? Would you treat/doubt me the same way if I was in front of you and talking you through the evidence? Do you think I have nothing better to do (I'm NOT a homeopath btw) than 'convert' you? Do you think I'm self-deluded and/or a liar. These are the questions you really need to ask yourself before you are so sure about your illformed (by biased others, I might add) view of an incredibly effective medicine.
I don't know how you got that from this:
Regarding being even-handed, rational and progressive.

Objective != Even-handed. I do strive to be objective, rational and progressive. That said, I will argue on the side that I see as having the most supporting evidence. Ergo, I cannot be even-handed in such an unevenly divided debate.

Not all opinions are equal. The weight of an opinion is proportional to its supporting evidence and the expertise of the opiner.
Perhaps you could enlighten me in the comments section below, but I assume it stems from "Not all opinions are equal. The weight of an opinion is proportional to its supporting evidence and the expertise of the opiner." Is that correct, wawei67?

I'm not insulting you there. In the scheme of things the opinions of yourself and I are insignificant next to the scientists doing the research. The fact of the matter is that there is so much evidence that supports the efficacy of Modern Medicine (and I'm not just talking about Pharmaceutical drugs either) and there's really nothing that supports the efficacy of Homeopathy. This renders our debate rather one-sided unfortunately.

I'd also like to remind you that I did not begin by being rude to you, in fact I've been quite civil to you. You haven't practiced as much restraint, but then you are sixteen. I try not to take offense.

That said, you want to prove the efficacy of Homeopathy? Do you doubt that Modern Medicine is very effective? Good, doubt is always the first step in scientific inquiry! I would encourage you to persue a science education, get into medical research and try to falsify the claims of Modern Medicine.

I'm not mocking you wawei67, this is how science is done. In those clinical trials in the peer-reviewed literature, the researchers are trying to falsify the efficacy of the drug. The researchers are trying to demonstrate that the drug has no more efficacy than placebo. If the efficacy of the drug is not statistically significant from the placebo effect then the efficacy of the drug is considered inconclusive. If the efficacy of the drug is statistically significant from the placebo effect then the researchers have been unable to falsify it and the drug is considered to work.

Do I think that you have nothing better to do than convert me? I don't know, you seem to work pretty hard at convincing me I'm wrong though I question your methods. I'd find verifiable, peer-reviewed evidence much more convincing than trashing science, peer-review and scientists. In fact, that's what I've been asking you to do from the start; take me through the evidence you believe supports Homeopathy. I probably will look for flaws in your conclusions of what your evidence says, I may even try to find flaws in the evidence itself. This doesn't mean you shouldn't try as long as you've read the evidence that you're presenting yourself then you should at least have a ready answer to my questions if nothing else.

Self-deluded, you? Perhaps, but that's just Cognitive Dissonance. Interesting phenomena that Cognitive Dissonance, we're all subject to it, it's even a survival trait. Science is the only system we have that actually runs counter to Cognitive Dissonance as science's very existence is about questioning everything, even it's own conclusions.

Feel free to answer below. I think you'll find talking about this on the blog a better experience than trying to cram everything into a less-than 500 character limit text-box.