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Thread: Homeopathy, Avogadro's number and Planck's constant.

  1. #1 Homeopathy, Avogadro's number and Planck's constant. 
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    Please help me to understand the debunking of homeopathy.

    Some very clever people tell me it doesn't work, and I'm certain they know what they are talking about, but I don't understand some parts of it.

    I am told that after dilution no molecule of the original substance remains. I am also told that this is due to Avogadro's number.
    Can someone explain to simply what that actually means.


    Also, I sometimes see Planck's constant cited. Is that correct? I thought it was something totally different to Avogardo's number. Does Planck's constant actually have any relevance to the subject?


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  3. #2  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Homeopathic magic water is prepared by repeatedly diluting a solution by a factor of 100.

    This is described using a "C" (for one hundred) scale. So 1C is diluted 100 times. 2C is diluted 100 times and then 100 times again (so 1/10,000th of the original substance is present).

    Avogadro's number comes in because it is (very roughly) 1024 which means that if 1 mole (1) of the original substance is diluted to 12C there is a roughly 50% chance there will be 1 molecule left. ("Do you feel lucky, punk")

    They believe that the more dilute it is, the more powerful it is. So a typical 30C preparation has been diluted by a factor of 1060.

    Dilute it to 30C and the probability of there being even one molecule is vanishingly small. You are way more likely to win the lottery. The Wikipedia page says:
    on average, this would require giving two billion doses per second to six billion people for 4 billion years to deliver a single molecule of the original material to any patient.
    Homeopathic dilutions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I can't imagine where Planck's constant comes into it though.

    (1) One mole is the amount of a substance containing Avogadro's number of molecules.


    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  4. #3  
    steveaustin
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    There are a lot of discussions about the scientific proof of Homeopathy and in particular about the remedies that are highly diluted
    Nothing is permanant.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveaustin View Post
    There are a lot of discussions about the scientific proof of Homeopathy and in particular about the remedies that are highly diluted
    Gosh. That's helpful. "Lot's of people are talking about this."

    I assume you mean discussions showing there is no scientific proof and that they don't work?
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
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    It's good to figure it out. After reading a lot about homeopathy, it has become one of my most hated scams.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Homeopathy cannot work in theory, because there is no known mechanism by which it can work. However, that would mean nothing if it could be shown to work.

    Strangely, there have been a very large number of scientific tests of homeopathy. The gold standard is a double blind, placebo controlled, randomised clinical trial. There been so many of these that some researchers were able to combine the results of 110 such studies. In fact, these guys went through the literature and discarded each and every test that did not follow the most stringent and rigorous scientific standards. They were left with 110 tests of the highest scientific calibre. When they combined the results, they received a very, very clear result. Homeopathic treatments are equal to placebo. That it : taking a homeopathic remedy is no better and no worse than taking a sugar pill. The only benefit comes from suggestion.

    This trial was published in The Lancet, which is one of the world's most reputable medical journal. It is peer reviewed and sets very high standards. No bullshit allowed.

    So the answer is simple. We know homeopathy is crap because it has been tested very, very thoroughly to the very highest standards, and it failed.
    pyoko and Cogito Ergo Sum like this.
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