Friday, March 04, 2011

Quote of the Week: Strike Briskly Before Using

I seem to have neglected to post today -- even to have a "Quote of the Week." So here's a meatier bit than usual, from a book I just finished yesterday, about the amazing properties of homeopathic cures:

"How does a water molecule know to forget every other molecule it's seen before? How does it know to treat my bruise with its memory of arnica, rather than a memory of Isaac Asimov's feces? I wrote this in the newspaper once, and a homeopath complained to the Press Complaints Commission. It's not about the dilution, he said, it's the succussion. You have to bang the flask of water briskly ten times on a leather and horsehair surface, and that's what makes the water remember a molecule. Because I did not mention this, he explained, I had deliberately made homeopaths sound stupid."
 - Ben Goldacre, Bad Science, pp. 37-38

1 comment:

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

You're such a bad person for making homeopaths sound stupid. After reading their response, I'm convinced of the intelligence of said homeopath and side with them whoever they are. :P

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