If you want to know why homeopathy doesn’t work – cannot work, ever, except as a placebo – let me try to explain the concept of homeopathy to you:

Homeopathy, you see, is based on dilution. You take an ingredient believed to be a remedy for an ailment, and then you add water until there are 99 parts water and 1 part remedy. You end up with what homeopaths call a 1C dilution – 99% water, 1% original remedy.

You then take this 1C dilution and repeat the process – you add 99 parts water. That’s a 2C dilution. It means the original active ingredient is now 99.99% water, 0.01% remedy.

You take this 2C solution and repeat the process again, and again, and again. The average homeopathic remedy has a dilution of 30C, meaning that the original active remedy has been diluted with 99% water thirty times.

Homeopaths believe that the more you dilute a substance, the more powerful it becomes. Which seems pretty weird, as a 30C dilution doesn’t contain a single molecule of the original active remedy.

To get a grasp on the mind-boggling numbers involved, read this post on the Times Online blog. A quote:

“To put homeopathy in a medicinal context, if you wanted to consume a normal 500mg paracetamol dose you would need ten million billion homeopathic pills. Where each pill is the same mass as the Milky Way galaxy. There is actually not enough matter in the entire known Universe to make the homeopathic equivalent of a single paracetamol pill.” [Emphasis added]

Homeopaths who understand their craft’s insane underlying assumption, claim that water somehow ‘remembers’ the healing properties of the original remedy.

That sounds like a nice, New Age-ey load of crap. Literally, because all that water has somehow ‘forgotten’ the properties of all the humongous loads of shit (feces, urine, chemicals, you name it) that has floated in it at one time or another, and only ‘remembers’ that infinitely tiny amount of remedy it may have come in to contact with.

If that sounds stupid to you, you’re right. It is stupid. Homeopathy is fucking ridiculous.

Think of it next time you are tempted to buy some homeopathic ‘remedy’. You’re paying good money for water. Just water. Or, more accurately, sugar that has been soaked in water, and then stamped into pills.

Homeopaths are either total imbeciles, or the worst kind of thieves – thieves that prey on the weak and helpless.

(Via @NewHumanist)