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This week’s abusive email

For a bit of light amusement, I decided to publish the occasional bit ot email correspondence. This one arrived on 9th Feb 2007.

From: “Stephanie Ginn”To: d.colquhoun@ucl.ac.uk

Subject: homoeopathic medicine

If Homoeopathic medicine doesn’t work, and it is all in the mind, how is it that if I give the wrong remedy my patients don’t get better, but when I find the right one they frequently do?This is as true of sore throats and ear infections in small children as it is to asthma and Rheumatoid Arthritis in adults.

You really should do more research before shouting your mouth off over things you clearly know nothing about.

We can’t all be that stupid…


Dear Ms Ginn

Thanks for writing. I’m always interested to hear from people like you. (though my reply will be a bit more courteous than your letter).

You say “how is it that if I give the wrong remedy my patients don’t get better, but when I find the right one they frequently do?

I think that you have hit the nail on the head, If you can produce the numbers to show that what you say is true, then I and everyone else I know will believe you (it would, of course, have to be done by comparison with an appropriate control group).

The problem is that the homeopathic community have had 200 years to produce the evidence, and so far it has not been forthcoming.I suppose it is true to say that the evidence would have to be good in view of the inherent implausibility of homeopathy.

If it turned out that it was possible to produce an effect with no molecules present, the whole of present day chemistry and physics would be overturned and since it seems to work rather well that would be surprising. Nevertheless, it is what would happen if you produced the evidence (and you’d probably get a Nobel prize too).I think though, it is your responsibility to do the research, not mine

Best regards

David Colquhoun

Thank you for your reply. Homoeopathy may sound implausible, I agree, it does if you only look at modern so called science. There are plenty of things in life which are unexplained, such as love…you can’t see it but would you deny it’s existance? I am sure and hope that you must have felt it?

You are right so far in that to convince people they need proof. However, for most of us as Homoeopaths, our proof is that our patients get well, and they do, most of the time. That is generally enough proof for our patients too, especially when their brain tumours disappear. Of course there will always be some placebo effect in some people as in medicine of any sort. Perhaps you should try it for yourself and FEEL the proof…you will probably find that to be enough for you too..

Oh and by the way I think that present day physics and chemistry beliefs need overturning, desperately.


Thanks for those comments. I see that you really do appreciate the need to produce evidence if you are to convince people, however convinced you may be yourself.

Your most intriguing comment, though, was ” I think that present day physics and chemistry beliefs need overturning, desperately”. But it seems to me that your scepticism about the success of chemistry and physics doesn’t extend to computers, email, the web, mobile phones, motor cars and aircraft. They are all products of the application of chemistry and physics and 100 years ago they would have seemed miraculous). That leaves me wondering which bits of chemistry and physics you don’t like!

Best regards

David Colquhoun

At this point, all I got back was

Ok maybe redefining and definately [sic] rethinking are closer to the mark.Stephanie
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