The two worst diagnosticians in the world are Dr. Google and Dr. Hearsay.
Dr. Google gives so much information that it is easy to believe that you only have days left to live from whatever ailment you manifest. Dr. Hearsay, on the other hand, gives no information at all and consists entirely of recommendations such as “It worked like a charm for me”.
Towards the end of my fourth run-in with the vicious viral infections that have been raging this winter, my wife arrived home with a Dr. Hearsay remedy which, according to a friend, was guaranteed to fix me up. I looked at the description on the box and immediately recognised it as a homeopathic formulation. It appears that this form of quackery has now attained the level of acceptance required for it to go commercial on a grand scale, so I decided to write a short article of caution. And I have to say that writing has proved more therapeutic than ingesting the sugar pills.
A decade or two ago I tended to accept ‘naturopathy’ while rejecting ‘homeopathy’, but the definitions have changed over time and I now reject both. Naturopathy has become a catchall category for alternative medicine, including homeopathy. I don’t have any problem with the idea that natural plants and minerals can serve as valid medications, but I have several problems with the non-natural holistic pseudo-medical ‘sciences’ that fall into the naturopathy basket.
Homeopathy is based on two scientifically disproven claims – firstly, that like cures like, and secondly that the substance used as the basis of the cure imprints itself on the water used to carry it even when there is no longer any observable trace of the original substance. To use the ‘medicine’ that I was given as an example, the producer claims that it is an extract of Muscovy duck liver and heart diluted to 1 part to 10 to the power of 400 parts of water. Yes, that is ten cendotrigintillion times dilution!
I am not going to comment on the scientific invalidity of homeopathy because there are many articles available that do this most ably.
For instance, a recent article in Smithsonian.com starts with the words ‘a major Australian study analysing over 1,800 papers has shown that homeopathy, the alternative treatment that relies on super-diluted substances and the principle of “like cures like” is completely ineffective’.
Read more HERE.
As my reading audience consists mainly of Christians, I want to pose a question from that perspective that goes to the heart of the homeopathy delusion. If, as science ably demonstrates, there is no logical or medical support for homeopathy, why do so many followers of Jesus Christ not only accept it but swear by it? The usual response is, ‘It appears to work’ and ‘Dr. Hearsay recommended it’. But this is a ridiculously naïve and uninformed view. Let me illustrate this with a story that has been around for decades:
A man wanted to make some quick money so he advertised his special ‘pregnancy prediction pills’ for just $10. If a woman took a blue pill each morning for the first 40 days of pregnancy, then she was guaranteed a boy baby, and a pink pill would produce a girl child. If, in the unlikely event that it wasn’t effective then he would give a full refund. What a scam! For starters, there was a 50:50 chance that it would appear to work, and if it didn’t then there would be very few ladies prepared to admit that they had been silly enough to believe that it would work, and thus the refunds would be very few indeed.
Along the same lines, I was amused to read the claims on the packaging of my Dr Hearsay homeopathic sugar pills: No drowsy (sic), no side effects, no drug interactions.’ Duh!… they are just tiny sugar pills after all!
But there is a darker side to homeopathy. What if there was some validity to the idea that like cures like and that diluting sufficiently while hitting the solution repeatedly against a leather block releases a spiritual essence/imprint with the power to heal? If this was indeed so then we are talking about manipulating untraceable ‘spiritual’ energy… and that is called occult magic!
Why would a follower of Jesus want to get involved in this any more than consulting Tarot cards, crystal balls, or occult spiritual healers!?
Now here is a shocking thought – those who claim that prayer has power in itself to heal or to bring about prosperity are also practicing occult magic.I say this because the notion that the act of saying words of prayer releases spiritual energy is no different from believing that incantations, charms, and homeopathic ‘imprints’ have power in themselves. Spiritual power is real, but it is God the Holy Spirit who is its source and it is He who sometimes releases it in response to the prayer requests of His people. God cannot be manipulated and to attempt to manipulate His power is surely a form of witchcraft.
So, my best advice to Christians is not to waste money on homeopathic sugar pill placebos and not to put their faith in any unseen power that man can manipulate… because that is ‘occult magic’ and ‘witchcraft’.
I have written quite a bit on the subjects of prayer and healing and all you need to do if you are interested is to use the search facility at the top right-hand corner of the site’s Home Page.