homeopathic physics abuse, take two

It really seems homeopaths don't understand basic middle school physics and are hoping you don't either in the asinine pitches for their snake oil.
snake oil

After reviewing the horrifying evils unleashed on unsuspecting physics equations by Dr. Charlene Werner and explaining just how wrong she really was, I thought that her video would go unrivaled as an example of wild, clinical inanity for a long, long time. And as odd as it may seem, I was wrong. Cancer surgeon and glutton for punishment, Orac, has found a certain Dr. John Benneth who boldly tries to jump the bar set by our airheaded homeopathic optometrist and comes disturbingly close. Yes ladies and germs, we have another desecration of physics on our hands and believe it or not, if homeopathy really worked the way he explains, it would be an extreme weapon that would rival nuclear warheads and weaponized pathogens in any military arsenal…

As anyone who’s familiar with homeopath’s explanations of how their cures are supposed to work can guess at this point, Benneth’s speech is all about energy and how this energy reacts with the cells and molecules in the client’s body. The disturbing thing is where he claims this energy comes from and how it works…

The dilution and succussion process that is used to make homeopathic medicines creates self- replicating hydrate clathrates. These are crystalloid polymers that appear as nanobubbles that are emitting electromagnetic radiation transformed from the natural background radiation. The cells of the body pick this up and react to it.

Why oh why do woo-meisters love to use words like energy and radiation while blissfully oblivious to what the words mean or how the physics behind them actually work? Let’s think about this for a moment. Energy, if we go by the strict physical definition, is the ability of a system to perform work. That’s it. If you direct energy into a body, you’ll be knocking around molecules. And if you’re an organism, that’s a really bad thing because all the particles and ionizing electromagnetic rays will eventually start hitting something important. Like your genome for instance. When exposed to high levels of radiation, living tissues decay and die. So when you’re drinking a radioactive remedy that works by bombarding your cells with energy, you’re effectively drinking poison. Why do you think beams of radiation are used in oncology? They bombard cancer cells and kill off tumors. The irony of an alt med practitioner ranting against the destructive power of modern medicine while promoting radiation as the key to homeopathic remedies would be hilarious if we knew people didn’t fall for it.

Oh and there’s more. The background radiation we experience in everyday life is heat, light and a steady buzz of microwaves from communication satellites, cellular towers and power lines. And all of these phenomena take the form of waves propagating through space, or electromagnetic radiation. So how exactly does shaking up water with a few drops of some mysterious substance transform electromagnetic radiation into more of the same? Could it be that (gasp!) Dr. Benneth has no idea what he’s talking about and that since all releasing a propagating wave of energy in water would do is heat it up, he’s really telling you that if you just warm up water, you’ve effectively made a viable homeopathic cure right at home? No, of course not, the woo faithful will cry in his defense. That’s not the “right form of energy” and it would never work. But since energy is just the ability for work to be done in a system, energy only comes in different levels and vehicles. Under the hood, it’s the same effect working its way through stars, planets and living things via different mechanisms.

As most other skeptics who tackle homeopathy, I’m asked all the time why I can’t just ignore this fluffy woo and let it coexist with modern medicine. What’s the harm in having people do what makes them feel good as long as they’re not hurting themselves or others? For all those who ask, I want to point to Charlene Werner and the other homeopaths who trip over their own tongues when they try to explain what they actually do and make so many gross mistakes, they would fail eight grade science in a heartbeat. Would you trust a doctor who’s totally lost when you ask about the heart’s basic functions? Or one who thinks that your spleen is somewhere below your kidneys, sandwiched between your reproductive system and the large intestine? Why would you possibly trust someone who clearly has no clue how their remedies are supposed to work and why would you choose them over people who actually know enough about anatomy and biology to explain how they’d rather treat you and why they want to do it that way?

# health // energy / homeopathy / physics / radiation


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