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A puzzle in logic

October 4, 2011 - Harry Eagar
RtO had promised early this year to pay more attention to quackery. It hasn't delivered. Not because the material isn't out there, but because it takes a little time to unravel it, and I've been pressed for that kind of time lately.

But Orac at Respectful Insolence has a go at homeopathy, and commenter Moopheus has a brilliant twist. (RtO wouldn't have a go at homeopathy anyway; I'm more interested in new woo, like "quantum light therapy.")

Here's Orac:

"After all, if homeopathic remedies have any action whatsoever, then it should be possible to increase the dose to the point of causing toxicity. If, no matter how much homoepathic remedy you take, nothing happens, then that's an incredibly strong indication that there really is nothing there."

Note, if you are not up on homeopathy, that the medicine, whatever it is, is diluted to vanishing point. The less the dose, the bigger the effect. Sort of like withdrawal of a mother's affection, but I cannot think of any physical correlate to lower input/bigger output. (There is an apparent such effect with ozone holes, which grow when the temperature drops, but that apparent contradiction of the Laws of Thermodynamics is only apparent; when the molecules are cold, they are also closer -- it's a gas -- and the catalytic effect is enhanced, so it only appears that the reaction speeds up when energy is removed from the system.)

But counters Moopheus:

"If homeopathic theory were true, wouldn't it be possible to dilute a solution to the point of toxicity? Does a homeopath ever say, don't dilute past a certain point, it's bad? That would be an interesting challenge to a homeopath: make a solution so dilute it produces a negative effect."

Good point, Moopheus.

How did Hahnemann alight on the exactly titrated point -- dilution of 2 to the 60th power (more than the number of protons in the universe) -- at which homeopathic remedies do not harm, whichever approach is taken to the direction of effect?

And what, at this point, you are asking, is quantum wave therapy?

Glad you asked.

It's "scalar wave low level laser light." Don't wonder what that means. It's gibberish.

What does it do?

It "unwinds the glands."

Really. Overwound glands, the undiagnosed medical threat of the 21st century.


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