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Stop Homeopathy Funding on the NHS - a petition

Stop Homeopathy Funding on the NHS - a petition

Posted 1/7/2016

About 3 months ago a petition was started to stop the funding of homeopathy on the NHS. It has so far received fewer than 200 signatures so I want to do my bit to raise awareness of the petition since I am certain more people would sign it if they knew about it.

Homeopathy funding on the NHS is small, a mere drop in the water. Plenty more money is wasted in many different ways. Stopping the funding of homeopathy on the NHS would make next to no difference to the funding crisis the NHS is facing.

So, you might wonder, why bother signing this petition?

Because this is the single most simple decision any government should ever have to make. If our government cannot make a simple decision like this, how can we trust them with ANYTHING? As a basic matter of principle, no public money whatsoever should be spent on homeopathy.

If you don't know the facts, it's possible you'll need some persuading of how simple a decision this is. Well, here are some facts.

Homeopathy is based on two principles:
1. That a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people
2. That the more one dilutes that substance in water, the more potent the healing effect

Both of these principles are utterly implausible. They have no scientific basis and there is no known mechanism by which either of these principles could be, in general, true. They are just an idea that somebody came up with 200 years ago. Of course every great scientific theory was once just an idea, but homeopathy is remarkable in that there is still nothing to support its founding principles 200 years later.

Of course, we poor ignorant mortals have been surprised before and there is no doubt that there could be some significant breakthrough in our understanding of biology or quantum mechanics which demonstrates that maybe some of the claims of homeopathy are correct. These vague principles cannot be proven wrong with 100% certainty.

You might therefore be tempted to have an open mind.

And you might be right, if it weren't for the fact that it is possible to test whether or not homeopathic "remedies" are effective. Overwhelmingly, the result of those tests is that homeopathic remedies are exactly what they appear to be: pure water delivered through the medium of a sugar pill. They have all the curative power of mummy kissing it better.

At this point, a well-armed homeopath will highlight a few studies which show that there was some healing effect or other by some remedy or other. Don't be fooled or surprised. These few positive results are the results of random chance that people happened to get better at the same time as taking the remedy. It's the same as rolling a pair of dice - every now and again you'll get snake eyes. We would be surprised if these spurious results didn't exist, just as the casino would be surprised (and out of business) if we never rolled a pair of ones.

To use another water simile, the positive results for homeopathy are like the occasional freak wave on the surface of a planet-sized ocean of negative findings.

We are as sure that homeopathy doesn't work as we are that the Earth *does* go round the sun. We've been to space and we've seen it. Just as we've seen that homeopathy does not work.

Homeopathy is no longer a serious topic for rational debate. We KNOW for certain that it doesn't work. We're nearly 100% certain that it can't work.

NHS funding of homeopathy is an embarrassment for our country. Do you part to help end it now.

Please sign and share this petition and persuade all your rational friends to sign it!


Here's the link again: Stop the funding of homeopathy on the NHS

PS In this post, I have deliberately not combed over all the negative effects and potential harm of promoting homeopathy, although a book could be written on the subject. It is not necessary to attack homeopathy to demonstrate that it is ineffective.