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They’re talking about how difficult it is to scientifically test homeopathic products.
Lord Turnberg: One way to find out is to refer this whole question to mice so that they can examine it properly. I ask my noble friend if I can persuade him to refer homeopathic remedies to mice.
I look up, startled. Has he entirely misunderstood the mouse/scientist relationship? Oh, right, he said NICE. I knew that.

Comments

amuchmoreexotic
Oct. 26th, 2006 02:55 pm (UTC)
Why is it any more difficult to test homeopathic products than any other medicine? Given that they're mostly indistinguishable from water, it should be easier to do a controlled trial.

Can you just shout this point out at an opportune moment? Or disguise yourself as one of the less enthusiastic Lords/Ladies and get in on the debate?

The system really doesn't work, does it?
webofevil
Oct. 26th, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC)
As the noble Lord, Lord Turnberg, (who is president of the Royal College of Physicians) was saying just before I misheard him: "It is unclear to me whether 'homeopathic proof' is simply proof that is so dilute that none of the original is left, or something else."
amuchmoreexotic
Oct. 26th, 2006 03:50 pm (UTC)
Don't they refer to "proving" a remedy when they mean (their idea of) testing it out? They give it to healthy people and then see what happens, rather than testing it on people with the disease, I think.

If they can't do their background reading, wouldn't it be better if every Lord and Lady was assigned a Googler Pursuivant?
webofevil
Oct. 26th, 2006 03:57 pm (UTC)
(a) As any pedant worth their apostrophes will tell you, that's the original (now admittedly archaic) meaning of "prove" - hence the phrase "the exception that proves the rule" actually making sense when it was coined, etc.

(b) Isn't "proof" being used here as in "40% proof" - or, as it's homeopathy, "0.00000000000000000000000000000004% proof"?
amuchmoreexotic
Oct. 26th, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
I know that prove can mean "test", but it is an odd term to use nowadays. Of course homeopathy is passed down as revealed truth, so you can't expect them to change anything.

You're probably right about the meaning of proof, but homeopaths have their own system of expressing dilutions: 100X, 30C etc.

I've just looked it up, and "the exception proves the rule" is actually a legal phrase meaning 'if you state an exception to an unwritten rule, you're confirming that the rule applies at other times'. According to this, anyway:

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/exception-that-proves-the-rule.html

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