Wednesday, August 3, 2016

#1698: Judd Handler

Judd Handler is a homeopath and sometimes blogger at the Mother Nature Network, where he inadvertently reveals the abject inanity of the amazingly stupid pseudoscience of homeopathy. His rather illuminating post “What’s the difference between holistic and homeopathic medicine?” is discussed in some detail here. One thing that makes homeopathy holistic is apparently that “[h]omeopathic medicine examines the whole person. It integrates a person’s constitution, diet, emotional and mental state and stressors, among other factors – hence the term holistic.” Of course, homeopathy hardly offers any efficacious treatment, but that’s not part of what goes into being holistic. Something that distinguishes homeopathy from holistic medicine, however, is that “the homeopathic doctor would prepare a remedy in liquid or tablet form, while the holistic doctor would provide a patient with the option of a pharmaceutical drug in addition to alternative treatment.” Can’t dilute the homeopathic treatment with real medicine, can we? Moreover, whereas “[h]olistic medical doctors [sic] often encourage diagnostic testing […] in an attempt to find the underlying cause that led to the imbalance [yess; Handler reads uncannily like a 13th century text in its understanding of how the body works] homeopathic physicians treat the whole person, but generally do not suggest the use of modern diagnostic tests.” It’s telling that Handler appears to believe that he is selling homeopathy to his audience with such descriptions. He also points out that whereas “[m]ost homeopathic practitioners are practicing holistic medicine” (because they ask patients about various facets of their lives regardless of whether those are relevant or not to the condition that afflicts them),  but “consumers who buy their own homeopathic remedies aren’t necessarily doing so.” That’s right. Don’t just buy your homeopathic remedies over the counter; you need to talk to a homeopath who can assess your background story and them prescribe those remedies.

Diagnosis: The survival of nonsense as amazingly stupid as homeopathy to this day is at least a powerful warning about how the natural selection of ideas isn’t necessarily a matter of the truth or actual evidence for them. We sort of knew that already, I guess.

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