Homeopathy: The Test

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Homeopathy: The TestHomeopathy was pioneered over 200 years ago. Practitioners and patients are convinced it has the power to heal. Today, some of the most famous and influential people in the world, including pop stars, politicians, footballers and even Prince Charles, all use homeopathic remedies. Yet according to traditional science, they are wasting their money.

Skeptic James Randi is so convinced that homeopathy will not work, that he has offered $1m to anyone who can provide convincing evidence of its effects. For the first time in the programme's history, Horizon conducts its own scientific experiment, to try and win his money. If they succeed, they will not only be $1m richer - they will also force scientists to rethink some of their fundamental beliefs.

The basic principle of homeopathy is that like cures like: that an ailment can be cured by small quantities of substances which produce the same symptoms. For example, it is believed that onions, which produce streaming, itchy eyes, can be used to relieve the symptoms of hay fever.

However, many of the ingredients of homeopathic cures are poisonous if taken in large enough quantities. So homeopaths dilute the substances they are using in water or alcohol. This is where scientists become skeptical - because homeopathic solutions are diluted so many times they are unlikely to contain any of the original ingredients at all. Yet many of the people who take homeopathic medicines are convinced that they work. Has science missed something, or could there be a more conventional explanation?

Watch the full documentary now

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Ratings: 7.36/10 from 36 users.
  • Charles B.

    Ok! No one give away the ending to this documentary please! It was very interesting and worth watching, but only if you DON'T know the result of the "test" results! :-)

  • Joe_nyc

    hahaha
    I concur. Too many "spoilers". Will watch it later tonight.

  • Sam

    Yeah, that's right. Was just gonna say something about the outcome, but it WOULD spoil it for everyone else who reads the comments first!

    Nice doc, it think. ;)

  • carlos1234

    ok the results are........:)

  • Circle

    Very interesting.

  • Tyler

    Okay, just read the comments, and now I have to watch this.

  • Tyler

    Nice. I was impressed.

  • Joe_nyc

    Couldn't wait. With my 'miller time' just finished watching it.
    WATCH IT!
    Most important doc ever here at TDF :)

  • imfromnature

    Wow, I can't believe he was dead the whole time!

    jk

  • Achems Razor

    Real good doc.

    I won't be a spoiler!!

  • Charles B.

    imfromnature: You think you're funny don't you? Well, this time you're right! :-)

  • http://www.aranisland.info john

    Excellent doc. Dramatic to the finish and one of the best horizon docs I've seen to date.
    Thank you tdf

  • Zombi

    totally not worth sitting through. homeopathy doesn't work. sorry but it was a total waste of time for that result.

  • SoloPocono

    Ya know-there's ALWAYS one person with a low enough view of him/her self & others, that they feel the need to do something JUST for the "attention" they know they'll get-whether it's good OR bad.
    So, here ya go zombie-here's your "attention". Hopefully no one else will indulge you on this thread-or any others.

  • Hendrik-Jan

    Didn´t the scientists just discover that we had only counted 10% of the universe that they actually as fact thought existed prior to a new way of counting the cosmos ?

  • Zombi

    yes solopocono. I am telling people not to sit through an hour of information they prove useless in the end because i have some deep stemmed emotional problems. you really hit the nail on the head Dr. ego.

  • Charles B.

    Girls, girls! No cat fights allowed on such an interesting documentary. Save it for the religious and/or the political ones! :-)

  • afly_on_the_wall

    aaww i was about to stat taking bets over in my living room...good thing i don't gamble ...a?

  • Zombi

    lol @Charles B.

  • Sam

    @ Hendrik-Jan: It's more like ONE percent ;). But that doesn't mean some crackpot stuff from 300 years ago suddenly turns right again...
    Maybe science can't tell what the whole world works like, but that doesn't mean it can't tell what's certainly wrong!

  • Milton Babb

    The mental attitudes of the people around the product affects the efficacy and out come of any experiment.
    720gunby(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Milton Babb

    Above was the opinion of Albert Einstien and many of his fellow scientist.

  • Achems Razor

    There are a lot of mitigating factors involved in order for this test to be done properly.

    For one thing water is not just water, was it tap water they used, distilled water, ionized water?

    How about the observer effect, the mere act of observation can effect the outcome of an experiment at the Quantum level.
    "The Amazing Randi" is no dummy, he probably knew that!

    And the lasering of the human cells and H2O will also change the outcome.

    I demand a re-trial!

  • Joe_nyc

    I was thinking about the same thing but didn't have the courage to say it.

    Observer could have influenced the result at atomic level.

  • silkop

    Having read about homeopathy tests and with respect for BBC/Horizon, I guess I know what outcome to expect even before watching this. Now let's see...

  • Jon M. Jacobs

    It was interesting but the outcome was expected. I think that the fact that results in separate labs come up with similar results does suggest something beyond the highly fixed results in the end. That is the real dilemma for traditional scientific protocol. It seems rather cowardly, like separation of Quantum Physics v. Classical Physics. I would suggest that it should be a debate of QUALITY/QUALITATIVE v. QUANTUM/QUANTITATIVE.

  • silkop

    Achems Razor, you are welcome to do re-trials at your own expense. But first, please make a statement about how many re-trials would satisfy you, otherwise you are on clearly on a way to bankruptcy.

  • Achems Razor

    @ silkop:

    I agree! was being facetious. Forgot to put (LOL) on the end!!!

  • Milton Babb

    Let your mind run free, no drugs, at least once a day.

  • Yeehaw to Classical Physics!

    @Milton Babb,

    I agree with you...and hey sweet why not Einstein and great minds the world over! Dr. Emoto's research into water crystallization and other research into mental assertion do definitely ask us to search for the limitations not of the atom but of ourselves

  • anonymous

    My friend, her small child (too small for placebo effect) & her dog (no possibility of placebo effect in my opinion) had positive results with homeopathy. I had none. Neither had my mother nor my cat. Yes, a veterinarian tried homeopathy when standard methods failed, but so did homeopathy. So I'm not convinced, but not totally sceptical either. I got rid of my problems eventually with low fat, 60-80% raw, vegan diet. Standard medicine failed me, too. Now I think prevention is the best cure. Really healthy diet can prevent a lot. Some doctors agree that up to 80% of all cancers are a result of unhealthy diet!
    Someone here wrote about "Dr. Emoto’s research into water crystallization". I've read somewhere dr. Emoto hand-picked the results he liked and ingnored the results he didn't like, and he didn't come up the same results most of the time.

  • anonymous

    Is there someting in the last part I misunderstood? Did this analysys show that some of the samples of "pure" "non-homeopathic" water made cells react? This means that either this method of analysis is wrong or it wasn't pure water after all. None of the cells exposed to pure water should react, shouldn't they? Unless it's not "pure" in homeopathic point of view. It could be filtered tap, but it could somehow "remember" what it contained before filtration. Tap water contains minimal traces of medications, hormones etc. It might mean that water memory might be true, but not necessairly by homeopathic method of preparing the samples.

  • Charles B.

    Anonymous: OOOOOO! I hadn't thought of that! That's a good question. The documentary doesn't make that very clear, does it?

  • Achems Razor

    I go along with @ anonymous:

    As I said in my above post, they did not mention what water they used.
    If they used distilled water it would attract anything it can especially co2. that is what makes distilled water a little acidic.

    Have delved into "Dr. Emoto's" research before.

    I myself have a water distiller and drink only distilled water, for two years now.
    But when distilled leave it in glass containers out in the sun for a number of hours to line up the molecules per "Dr. Emoto"

    If water does have memory, yes, than all the trace elements, such as Fluoride, antibiotics, birth control, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, hormones etc: that are in tap water, or remembered in filtered water will have effect

  • Luka

    Actualy if the experiment was to prove that it did not work **none of the samples should have activated any of the cells because there was no histamine in them**, unless they were using blood cells from someone who is allergic to distilled water or whichever water they used. So they gave out on a well earned 1 000 000 dollars when they actually proved it works the only thing they f***** up on is when they made the assumption that water memory is transfered only through contact between molecules and not some other way.

  • Hmm

    This method of introducing a little of the substance,that is causing the problem is what we do when we vaccinate ourselves from different viruses and diseases.
    We introduce a small amount so the body goes into fighting mode and builds up a resistance to the foreign substance.
    Hay fever is treated the same way along with food allergies.
    You introduce the substance little by little until the body builds up a resistance to the problem.
    When you go into the cold water for the first time,its really cold but if you keep doing it all the time your body adapts to the cold and builds up a level of resistance to that coldness.
    It is the same with pain,or fitness your body adapts to the next level.
    So i am assuming that by introducing a substance that causes a reaction to the body can also be cured by smaller amounts of the same substance or another substance in smaller amounts that causes the same reaction.
    This is how they treat hay fever and food allergies.

  • Hmm

    Your brain can learn,so can your body.

  • Joe_nyc

    So.....more I think about it more it's strange. Can homeopathy reverse my baldness?

  • http://non omar

    HOMEOPATHY IS REAL, NOT THE WAY THEY PUT IT ON THE VIDEO.

    IT IS REAL BECAUSE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE USE IT AND IT GIVES RESULTS, do you need science to prove it?.

    SCIENCE? science can't even explain gravity, can't explain why live exist, can't explain how to give live to something.

    science, Can't explain the soul of every human have
    so if you believe on homeopathy..

    live healthy and enjoy it without

    the costs of modern medicine and powerful insurance companies (CORPORATIONS THAT MAKE MILLION OF MONEY FROM YOU)

  • Realism

    This is very misleading. Homeopathy is the medical practice of assisting our bodies ability to perform homeostasis. In other words, its ability to maintain survival and health.
    In other words, if you are having acid reflux, introduce an acidic substance and your body reacts to it, and typically compensates sufficiently. This is the opposite of allopathic medicine. For instance taking ant-acid instead, or a better example anti-depression medication. All it does is disable your body's ability to perform homeostasis (you stop producing pleasure hormones without the drug). If you introduce something to yourself that performs something your body should be doing you are disabling your bodies ability to do it alone. A better example is a vaccine, introduce a small amount of the virus, your body builds a defense. You wouldn't introduce a replacement immune system, that would be stupid.

  • Realism

    We've all benefited from homeopathy, duh, vaccinations...lol.
    A small portion of a weakened virus, so our body defends itself naturally. Wow, they really offered a million, what retards

  • young

    @Realism

    Nice observation regarding the acid reflex. I have been telling people for years now that all you need to do to get rid of heartburn is drink a teaspoon of vinegar, and it works, tried tested and true. But this doesn't support your theory, because people have the misconception that heartburn is caused by to much acid but to the contrary it is caused by not enough. When you eat and your stomach does not produce sufficient digestive acids the food does not digest so the gases from the food rise and this is what gives you heartburn, not the acid itself.

    Check out "The Enemies of Reason". It will explain how the theory of homopathic medicine is flawed because there is not enough molecules in the universe to support the ratio needed.

  • young

    or rather, there is not enough molecules on earth to support the ratio.

  • WHATUP

    They diluted the substances to up to 18c. According to homeopathy experts the perfect dilution is 1c so how could the experiment have turned out favorable if proper protocol wasnt followed...hmm

  • WHATUP

    To REALISM...
    Great point! I think theyre just trying to create hype and controversy as usual. I am no scientist either, but isnt matter never destroyed only transformed? if this is the case then there must be some trace of the solute still have even a remote presence in the solvent after dilution? hmm

  • Five

    I knew the end results of this documentary without watching it, because James Randi was in it. I have been a fan of his for a long time. He is indeed, The Amazing Randi.

  • Jim

    I don't have much of an opinion either way regarding homeopathy, but I find it interesting that they brought a slight-of-hand magician along to "oversee" the experiment. To me, this brings about huge suspicion. It's as if Randi was there just in case they got positive results (which they did at first). It which case, Randi, being a professional magician, could have easily been there as damage-control, tampering with the results or the code unbeknownst to the researchers.

    We have to understand that everything has a price, even science. There are several examples of the institution of science bending results, ignoring evidence, and smearing natural remedies under the influence of big business. In this case, big pharma specifically. We also need to keep in mind that Randi is making this about HIS money, HIS million dollars. You better believe he does all he can to ensure no one gets that kind of money off of him. Even if it means using his slight-of-hand or paying off any one of the researchers involved with a fraction of that amount if need be. Unless you believe foul play and dishonesty tend NOT to surface when there's large sums of money (or corporate profit)involved, lol.

    The point is, we all need to be REAL skeptics. This includes being skeptical of James Randi, the academic institution of science in general along with the claims of homeopathy.

  • Kristo

    I think if it had to come out,as positive,pharma compenies would lose billions and would cause all kind of economicc chaos!So no this test aint solid since they did not mention alot of things for ex. the water type and so on!And then to add a magition?cmon that was stupid!

  • Kristo

    Actually when that french dude proved it i was like okay this is real,but mabey not!The final proof was when that lady did it and it came out positive,all alone in her lab with minimal interferance,cmon what more do you need!Something is def there!Then came this so called real test witch was done the same way just with more interferance from pple and machines and what not!All that control leads to less control if you know what i mean!cuz so much more can go wrong!hell i dont know but this movie doest prove a thing!You think french dude and woman were out to trick pple?i think not!But that last test was too much.......ummm theatricks?sry my spelling sucks!

  • listener

    I moved to homeopathy some 15 years back when I was suffering from allergic asthma type illness and allopathy was not working. The allopathic medicine only tried to do quick fix like relieving cough, cold etc. But the cold and breathing trouble always returned when I got affected by allergens like dust. This was recurring every year during the windy/rainy seasons. I started taking homeopathy medicines and had complete cure of the allergy problems. I no longer have the allergy problems, no breathing troubles.

    I dont mind if homeopathy is not scientific as long as I am getting cured. If I can be cured at very low cost, why should I care about allopathy ?

    If homeopathy is ever recognized as some genuine medicine, allopathy,pharma, insurance all have to loose much.
    The size of this industry which runs into hundreds of billions should be taken into consideration along with their criticism.

    At last, homeopathy may not cure all the diseases like allopathy, but certainly hold promise for lot of diseases. People are free to choose. If this form of medicine survived for multiple centuries certainly it is not without merit.
    You cannot cheat all the people all the time especially with their health. You cannot falsely convince anybody that they have recovered.

  • Jim

    No one has stated what I would have thought to be obvious. Every molecule of water on the planet has, probably millions of times, come into "remote" (as remote as relationships get within a 10C homeo dilution) contact, and experienced agitation, with thousands and thousands of other substances.

    How long is water's memory? Just the last thing? A week, year, millenium, million years? How many "things" can water remember? That it was near sulfur 2200 years ago, cadmium 1200 years ago, carbon dioxide 123 years ago, snake venom last year, histamine last week? Does it remember all of these things equally?

    Now listen to what you're saying to yourself... these are absurd questions. CORRECT!

  • OldLimpy

    You bunch of whiners are the reason people are still sucked into this nonsense. You refuse to accept reality even when Homeopathy is demonstrated to be totally useless and don't you think Randi would have been relieved of his million by now if their was even an ounce of truth to this lemon.

    Look, allopathic medicine is the best we have been able to come up with as enquiring human beings to treat our many ailments. Homeopathy was an old idea that was abandoned by the medical profession in droves as science began to provide much better and more sensible answers - in leaps and bounds.

    Nevertheless, why would anyone really think that a bottle of water is going to rid your kid of a nasty rash or would you do the sensible and responsible thing and go to the doctor - no contest, so why pretend there might just be something in it - there isn't, it's a money making scam and it's dangerous to think Homeopathy can help in any way other then psychologically.

    @Jim is absolutely correct. To put an urban spin on his astute observation, understand that the water we drink everyday washes down the hillsides filtering through rotting animal carcases, animal faeces and illegally dumped waste materials before reaching a reservoir from where it's then cleaned and pumped to your tap - what a brew so, bottoms up everyone!

  • Cooper

    @OldLimpy

    The 'Jim' you refer to does bring up a valid question. I'd be interested in hearing a response to that from someone who knows more about homeopathy than we do.

    The thing is, homeopathy has not demonstrated to be totally useless. Only when the magician showed up did this happen. The contrary was demonstrated before the magic man with a million dollars to lose got involved. Randi will never be relieved of his million dollars because he'd never let that happen. How rich do you think he really is?

    Your comment is full of assumptions that are proving to be untrue as we learn more and more about how corporations and the medical establishment works. Firstly, allopathic medicine is not necessarily the best we've been able to come up with. More likely, it's just the most profitable. History has shown that we more often embrace the profitable solutions over the practical ones. Notice we don't have any cures for disease, just costly treatments that usually end up being a lifetime commitment. Medical progress is largely a joke. We've been "fighting" Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, etc. for decades with nothing to show for it other than slightly extended life expectancy so the patient can be squeezed for even more money for a longer period of time. On the other hand, we have consumer goods and electronics available to us that would make the Jetsons envious, illustrating that true progress only rears it's head when it's *profitable*.

  • OldLimpy

    @Cooper

    I wonder if you actually watched the documentary. Jim's observation is a sensible extrapolation of the evidence demonstrated by the scientists in a double blind experiment. The only response you could possibly get from an honest homeopathist would be an unscientific and self serving personal opinion. It is a demonstrable fact that the current understanding and efficacy of Homeopathic medicine is revealed to have a faulty premise when subjected to even basic level scientific enquiry. If you still require evidence for the healing powers of Homeopathy then ask a scientist, not a homeopathist if you care about the truth and wish your reality to be informed with the best available information.

    Profit necessarily drives progress. The reality is that 'everyone' is in it for the money but none more so then the Homeopaths, Naturopaths, Chiropractors, hypnotists, healers, psychics, diviners and all the rest of the flim flam artists. These people all make a dishonest profit after setting themselves up at minimal expense and with little to no training so, in what way would you say they progressed? Well, they haven't and they can't other than to put a new spin on a silly idea. You can not compare their mumblings with legitimate hard earned enterprise. Flim-flam is what it is and you empower these misguided and potentially harmful nondescripts with your foggy rationalizing and conspiratorial thinking.

  • OldLimpy

    @Cooper

    If you watched the documentary then you obviously missed the point and are purposely taking a contrary position, considering you admit to know little about Homeopathy. It is an undeniable fact that the closer one looks at the pseudosciences, the more obvious the flim flam becomes. The premise of Homeopathy, 'like cures like', is based entirely on sympathetic magic and wishful thinking and does not even remotely resemble science. You can confirm this for yourself, not hard to do. I make no assumptions and offer no straw man arguments unlike your entire argument of straw man and special pleading. Right, it's the scientists fault and james Randi's and corporate America's and Monsanto's and even Jesus Christ's fault but here's the clincher - your personal experience is real convincing. If you remove all your rhetoric you actually contribute nothing of any value to the discussion whatsoever, so you are not playing along at all, are you.

    Why on earth would you say Randi's involvement could possibly make scientific investigation illegitimate in any way. James Randi has made a career out of employing scientific methodology, not magic as you erroneously assume, to debunk and expose charlatans who, it seems, are unable to demonstrate their assertions in or near anything that resembles a controlled laboratory condition, but you ignore this fact. Don't you think a million dollars would have them banging the laboratory door down, well, it does and Randi exposes them every time - it takes a magician to catch a magician, you should look up his work.

    I put my money on empirically researched science regardless of how it's funded because that is the absolute best we can do as a society and is money absolutely well spent, whether you like the idea or not. But giving money to Homeopaths or Naturopaths or Nutritionists or Chiropractors etc, who skip the research and development part to bank their grubby profit is totally bereft of any common sense. Do you honestly think the people who call themselves a Homeopath or Naturopath are beavering away on the latest tincture or herbal remedy that's going to cure cancer or even prevent belching for that matter, of course not, but even if they did, why would you believe them, it's just water and foliage - flim flam.

    Your last sentence is simply dismissive and senseless. My kind of arguments...dated paradigm...extinction...all sounds somewhat deluded.

  • Reasons Voice

    Good documentary. Homeopathy is an interest of mine. I am a skeptic at best. I have seen people who will attest to it's successes but have also personally seen it's utter failure. A woman I know had 6 children she raised every one of them homeopathicly. The first 5 are happy health teens and up now the sixth Died. Yes her child died not of some horrible birth defect not of a genetic disease or sids. Her last child died of the Friggin flu. I no longer have contact with her or her family as in my opinion she is negligible for the death of her own child and was never charged with anything. So people who do believe that's just great and I hope it works for you and your little round tic tacs make your sniffles all better. But for gods sake let people who know what the heck they are doing care for your children medically. Do not repeat her mistakes.

  • young

    This reminds me of "The Secret". Wah Wah Wah Wah. Think in your mind that your cancer is cured. What? You died? You didn't think hard enough then. We use our reptillion brains WAY to much.

  • icarus_kid

    @ Reasons Voice,

    Interesting. So according to what you're saying, homeopathy had roughly an 85% success rate. That's better than what I would have guessed. Sounds like there was something else wrong with the poor kid who died though. It's highly unlikely the last one died as a result of homeopathy per se. A lot of people don't see a doctor when they have the flu and turn out just fine.

  • Ali

    Now who paid BBC to produce this documentary? Maybe if they weren't the ones bribed or coerced, who was? Who is ultimately responsible for these results being the conclusion? At the end of everything, I do not believe the "results". Who is paying the "skeptic"? He must have some very high contacts to have so much confidence that the results wouldn't hold up. He's not even a scientist, he's a magician of illusion and furthermore has ultimately iluded the results in my opinion. Anything is possible.

  • Five

    I don't understand why it is so important to know what James Randi did for a job in his younger years. If that is so vital to the results then I want to know what everyone in this documentary did for jobs during their lifetimes.
    To "Listener", in answer to your statement: "You cannot falsely convince anybody that they have recovered." I reply "Placebo effect".

  • Reasons Voice

    @Icarus I work in the medical facility that conducted the Autopsy/pathology on the poor kid. Cause of death Pleural effusion due to flu symptoms. Yea lots of people survive the flu. People with strong immune systems unlick 6 month olds. And yeas her older children were fine but is that a risk you want to take? 85% success rate is the same you get playing russian roulette.

  • listener

    @Five, Placebo effect is not causing millions of people to continue homeopathic medicine as the main medicine. The approach that homeopathy takes towards cure, 'stimulation of host immune system' is a better one compared to allopathy's 'pesticide spraying' approach.
    The problem with modern allopathic medicine is it has become the 'new church' with its arrogance and dogma. People are no longer able to afford cheap medicine.

  • Reasons Voice

    @ listener: In a way you are correct however all blame for failure cannot fall onto medical practitioners. The reason we now have "super bugs" such as MRSA is due to the fact that many patients do not complete their perscribed antibiotic regemen. They discontinue taking meds when they fell better leaving only the most resistant bactirium or virus to propigate. As to medical cost; this is a touchey issue to most. The answer lies in another part of your statement. The solution to medical cost lies within torte reform. The cost of medical malpractice insurance underlies cost on bot individual and facility levels. We as consumers complain about the "medical god complex" while simultaneously suing their pants off each and every time they commit human error. We can't have it both ways.

  • OldLimpy

    @listener

    What makes you or anyone else think Homeopathic remedies stimulate the immune system in any way at all, they don't, nor can they behave anything like a vaccine. If they did, even slightly, it would be immediately and easily verifiable by clinical test procedures and Randi would have lost his million long ago. No, you are repeating an urban myth based on an ignorant misunderstanding of the medical jargon and confusing it with hopeful alternative remedies which all amounts to wishful and magical thinking. If you had done your homework, starting with this video, this should be obvious to you.

  • wingmanX

    Old Limpy -

    You have much to learn about economics. It's true role and influence in the corporate world couldn't be anymore obvious than it is today. Yet....

  • JK

    Hey, i read MOST of the posts here but not all. so sorry if i repeat anything. There's a couple of points that spring to mind here regarding questions from others :

    1. Re the fact that some samples (homoeopathic and control) showed a positive response. This is a very astute question! However it is in fact what you would expect. There are a billion-and-one things that basophils may react to and so even if we introduced nothing to the samples we would expect a few of the samples to react "all by themselves". That's just how the world is. Therefore what we have to look at in the results is not whether any sample reacted, but the ratio of reacting homoeopathic to control samples. When this was done the results are what would be expected by chance.

    2. What type of water? What about the laser?
    It is perhaps possible that these factors could influence the result. That said remember that both homoeopathic and control samples were exposed to the same water (assumed) and the same laser technology. Unless homoeopathic remedies only work with a certain kind of water, or water loses its memory on exposure to polarised light, then these points are irrelevant so long as both controls and experimental samples followed the same path.

    3. This is all a randi/big pharma cover up!!!
    Randi first. Yes two people did produce interesting results without him there, and yes both discussed experiments failed in his presence. However its not enough to say that and then propound that he must have "fixed" the results. You would have to say how this was done, otherwise all you have is an ad hominem fallacy.
    For example i can say of the French scientists work that it was not done under proper blinding protocol, and this is known to make results less reliable especially under the subjective counting methods he was using. Also i have read elsewhere that his lab technician generally didn't record results that she thought were "uninteresting", which is to say "negative".

    Additionally it should be noted that homoeopathy has failed to be demonstrated in the VAST majority of quality trails. does randi also have sleeper agents in every lab in the developed world?

    And now big pharma! Lets be clear, there are PLENTY of reasons to be sceptical of big pharma. In fact anyone involved in clinical guideline formation will know how much time and effort is spent (wasted?) combing through their research output to weed out the various ways that they have cheated.

    That said the argument "I dont trust big pharma, and therefore homoeopathy (which opposes big pharma) works" is a classic non sequitur argument. The conclusion simply does not follow from the premise. Also it might interest you to know that many of the companies which produce, sell and profit form homoeopathy (and herbal) medicines are actually subsidiaries of big pharma.

    anyways hope that clears a few things up
    XD

  • Tris

    well presented and enjoyable doc

    i might become a homeopath - u don't need any qualifications and the money is great - just smile and watch the cash flow in

  • 7321

    Aha the experiment failed

  • Tru4Ya

    they said science didn't have the answer and they proved it. circular logic.

  • tk

    Go to the kitchen, drink some water from the tap and you are already getting your fill of homeopathy.
    Such an awfull hoax taking money from people and giving them a dose of placebo.

  • Dekay

    I have actually discovered that I can arrive at my destination before leaving my house, by driving slower! It's really very simple. You just need to reset your watch, and beLIEve that you are there. And of course you must shake your critical thinking skills the proper number of times, and dilute your reality accordingly. I hope this is usefull to you all.

  • maclean

    I don't understand why the water will remember substances the homeopaths add but doesn't remember all the other things it has come in contact with, like minerals from a stream, chemicals from the water treatment plant, the fish that's swam in it, you get what I'm saying. Water doesn't come from a vacuum, why doesn't it remember everything it's touched?

  • Brigil

    How come that mr. magician (who has 1 mill to loose if the experiment succeeds) is present everytime the experiments fail? I find this highly suspicious. Also, what makes him qualified to be part of the research at all?
    I find that this aspect questions the test-studies. there is obviously a lot of interest and money invested in proving homeopathy wrong in the laboratory whilst the experiments are being done - real science should be inpartial.
    Also, who on earth made the assumption that a few living cells can represent a whole living being?
    all of the research has been made without even taking into consideration that homeopathy works on whole living beings. Claiming that the results made from a few cells is equivalent to what the results would be in a human is bizzar. it is as ridiculous as claiming a car to be "a scientific impossibility" when only testing if the clutch, isolated from the rest of the car, can or cannot drive from Manchester to Birmingham.

  • tomregit

    You must be observing an experiment in quantum mechanics at the quantum level to have the observation affect the outcome of the experiment. In our ordinary, non quantum world, the act of viewing an experiment will not affect its outcome. If this were true, no experiments could ever be performed.

  • tomregit

    Nonsense Joe. In non quantum experiments the act of observation cannot affect the outcome. How could any simple experiments or observations be performed if what you say is true?

  • tomregit

    Can you please offer any source which shows Einstein ever wrote or said what you claim? I cannot. Please enlighten me.

  • tomregit

    You say "There is a whole world of energies that influence an "exotic" system of interaction that science is slowly coming around to getting a grips with" (sic). Just what energies are these? Please expound further. The Backster effect has been looked at many times by using real science and found wanting.

  • http://twitter.com/Tiff4nY_L Tiffany Loh

    If you would think like a big pharma, then it will all make sense to you. Making homeopathic scientific evident means there will be a tendency of people making big shift to choose homeopathic medicine rather than a conventional med. Which in turn going to cause a big decrease in their profit. People are arguing that simply relying on homeopathic med will 'kill' u, then how about conventional med?? How many misdiagnose, overdose, and failure of a certain drugs to heal?? They are the same, none is 100% perfect yet. Media is controlled by big pharma and they will do anything to make a big fuss when homeopaths screw up, while trying to cover up their mistakes...

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75DXXMSKDC354MUDQXFMDNNXSI samern

    ...

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_75DXXMSKDC354MUDQXFMDNNXSI samern

    Homeopathy: The Test

  • sotos sotos

    Notice how the narrator leads the audience to place their hope on homeopathy and their sympathy on the French omeopath Doctor.
    The narrator talks in a way so we think that homeopathy is going to be proven. So we FEEL our hope in homeopathy and then we see it getting CRUSHED. This is a neurolinguistic programming technique. It leads emotions. People, dont forget. BBC world IS a corporation. Its main purpose is to gain money. Not to inform people.
    Experiment yourself to find the truth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anne-Christie/1138723854 Anne Christie

    The BBC was founded with the purpose to educate, inform and entertain. The narrator did lead the audience, along with the background music, but that was, in my opinion, for dramatic effect. The BBC would have gained a lot more money ie the 1 million dollars, if It had proven homeopathy as a viable option. I think the show was quite good at providing both points of view, and in a way, the matter still seems unsettled as the testing with animals suggested positive results.

  • Craigzz

    is homeopathy real ? well theres plenty of ways to find out. If it is claimed it can heal the sick, then it would be equally true that the carrier liquid in the case of homeopathy, water, would also be able to make things ill and die.
    So quite simply test homeopathy out with poisons such as nicotine, arsenic, cyanide and others with known lethalities and results at given dosages. Start with a lethal concentration, dilute, then see if for instance, a plant withers or dies when fed such a liquid, if it does then i might start to believe there is something in this.

    Geez, why does science have to make everything so utterly complicated, scientists, have to start working together and reaching agreement on there findings, its becoming completely ridiculous. This does this, no it does'nt, yes it does, no it does'nt, well it does in these people, but not these people, no, it does'nt in any people, yes it does, no it does'nt, 50 million dollars later...............INCONCLUSIVE.

  • Thinkthoughtthink

    How come Randi is there? Seriously?

    Randi did not take part in the experiment. He did not touch the test tubes. He was there to observe that the experiment was taking place in a controlled environment. Horizon was trying to win his money remember. What did you expect him to do? Say "you do the experiment and send me the YouTube video."
    Also, this Big Pharma excuse does not hold water. These are multinational companies. Homeopathy is also business, people make big money off it. If homeopathy were proven true Big Pharma would just cash in on it.
    As far as asking who decided that a few cells represent a whole being, do you know anything at all about physiology? The chemical they diluted was histamine. The cells they used were cells that react to histamine. Had they used all kinds of cells everyone would be complaining that they did not guarantee that all tubes had cells in them that react to histamine. Had they used living beings you would all be saying that different people react differently to different substances, or that every one's vibrations are not susceptible to homeopathy, or other such nonsense. Tubes with cells that react to histamine is the most controlled situation. Also, they were repeating the experiments that homeopathy proponents claimed proved homeopathy. They were testing the relevant cells for the chemical used. That's like saying there is no proof that my car can't fly from Manchester to Birmingham because I removed the leather seats and radio.

  • LiquidCourage

    The last part of this documentary doesn't make much sense. They first claim there are double blind studies showing that homeopathy has a positive effect on patients (beyond placebo), then they say water doesn't have a memory and from both these things they conclude that homeopathy doesn't work. Which is nonsense. If double blind studies would show that homeopathy had an effect on patients than that would mean that homeopathy works. And if water doesn't have a memory than that would mean homeopathy would still work but we had no clue how.

    But that's not the case.

    To my knowledge the majority of double blind studies show that homeopathy has no effect on patients (beyond placebo). And THAT is the prove. Not this water memory thingy. So, even if the water memory test would have been successful Randy would still not have to pay the money because that would only show that water had a memory but not that homeopathy works (which it doesn't, as shown by double blind studies).

  • PLsmscientist

    Another interesting documentary however I think there is a basic problem with science. I'm not a skeptic of homeopathy, nor I'm I a fan. I think that if science proves there is no substance left in the water, maybe scientist ought to investigate water properties. In fact I'm sure there is still a x factor in particles which do have influence on their sorroundings. So it might not be the substance to provoke the cure but the change initially provoked by the substance in the water. If any other nano change is not traceable yet in the diluted water maybe some other kind of approach (electrical / magnetic) could prove a change (induction). Like some scientists (very few) stated, it's worthwhile to investigate why sometimes things happens extremely rarely instead of considering them simply an error. Afterall dna mutation are rare but should we consider this an error?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CHK6PJUGXXMVXT6HO6YCIEPOHA Sarah

    I've bought a lot of random over the counter homeopathic medicine and I disagree with the premise from my experience that homeopathic medicine contains what makes you sick. Homeopathic medicine contains nutritional stuff that if you had been getting from your regular diet, your body would have used it to repair itself already. Like for example a homeopathic medicine for cholesterol might have garlic that helps lower cholesterol. Cold medicine will have echinacea etc. You can go to vitamin shoppe's or iherb or vitacost’s website and look at the ingredients of the homeopathic medicine they sell. It’s actually modern medicine that gives you a bit of what makes you sick as in immunization or flu shots. Actually both have their uses. One relys on herbs and food stuff and one relys on manufactured chemicals from a lab. But best to try to get what your body needs from your diet. Both dayquil by Vicks (modern medicine) and Cold relief by natrabio (homeopathic) give you relief from cold symptoms when it's in your system (when I've had a cold and taken this stuff) but the cold still runs its course.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MIZXGQRRVQPJRYRJSFPOP7MYWY S.

    What I know about Homeopathy is, it works ...... I stopped taking Traditional (allopathy) medicines 3 years ago ...... All should know that Homeopathy faces various conspiracy specially from Big Pharma ...... If the truth of Homeopathy is known to all, how will the Big pharma make Billions, even Trillions !!!

    Don't put your faith on any allopathy doctors fully, ........... test Homeopathy yourself, and you'll get to know the actual truth .........

    thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erika-Joslin/100000022569126 Erika Joslin

    Like any other medication in the world, this could just have the placebo effect. The patient takes the medication, and by beliving it will work, they heal. I did this with acne. Just started meditating on beautiful skin and imagined water cleansing the dirt and bacteria from the inside and outside of my skin. Now my face is as smooth and clear as a baby's bottom.

    I'm all for herbal medicine and homeopathic remidies, but I do believe that a huge part of healing is also in the mind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sharon-Hutchinson/1024877771 Sharon Hutchinson

    I too believe the placebo effect accounts for a lot of cures. I remember reading an article a few years ago that the placebo effect even extends to some prescription drugs. We are now just learning how powerful and awesome our brains are.

    I've done visualization to help heal the hole in my mouth left by a tooth extraction. Pictured all the cells coming together, bringing healing and nutrients to the area. At my check up one week later, the dentist could not believe that the tooth had been taken out only the recent week before. He was truly amazed. Using the technique certainly can't hurt!

  • hem_sphere

    I have been on Homeopathy since i was four years old because i developed a massive allergy to Allopathy.

    Even when i came down with Jaundice a few years ago, i was only on Ayurveda and Homeopathy.

    I am yet to see this documentary but am sure the global Pharmaceutical companies would go eons to ensure no other forms of medicine survive.

    Please wake up folks. The drug companies are milking you dry by getting to buy their cheap medicines for minor ailments.The effects will be only felt when you come down with something serious an you cant afford it.

  • Charlotte

    We enjoyed this documentary. I think that the observed positive and negative effects of homeopathy are complicated by multiple factors (not least of which is the human belief system), and while science and our current scientific method and understanding can not explain why it seems to work well for many individuals, including animals, we should all remain free to choose whatever method of healing works for us - without disparagement from others. Even if positive experiences with homeopathy can be explained by the placebo effect, this does not discount its validity. The placebo effect (or thought of another way, the power of the mind) should be recognised as a legitimate contributor to the outcome of a healing modality and not used to discount the positive effects of any type of medicine or therapy. Let's harness and celebrate that effect, and the power of our minds! In fact, let's learn to exploit it further. As long as we heal, right? Some allopathic medications barely work better than placebo (which generally accounts for around 30% of response to a treatment) in certain instances, as can be argued do homeopathic medicines. The difference is that allopathic medicines can have serious effects (including death or serious disability) outside those intended, but as far as I'm aware no one has ever died as a direct result of using homeopathy. We are all individuals (no clinical trial or scientific experiment will ever account for that), and I think it is important we are all free to choose whatever works for us, physically, emotionally and spiritually, regardless of the burden of scientific 'proof'.

  • Perry Joe Rogantin

    but...it's water

  • Salvador

    Quantum Physics!!! explain thats smartasses!!!! once u figure that one out then maybe your half assed theories can make any sort of scence, some people just have no power over their lifes and love science to tell them what is true or false even though science and the "answer" it provides always been proven wrong or outdated so for all of you who make critical and negative comments about something that you dont even know that is true or not.

    To belive that anything is 100% true is to become blind to the truth!!!

    Learn, THINK!!!! and comment.

  • jerrymack

    This is very confusing. Two noted scientists get positive results, then the experts come in and get no positive results. What's going on here? There seems to be a mysterious element involved.

  • Kip Keino

    Homeopathy is hocus pocus, and as such has hoodwinked millions of people, ....not much differently than crop circles, the Loch Ness monster, religions, and myriad other schemes. I believe in science and nature. What's your belief system?

  • Kip Keino

    what's going on is the skeptics, led by Randi, are doing a better job at objective science. Sorry if you don't like it.

  • Boris_Badenoff

    Ever notice on the drug ads on TV , they tell how wonderful the new miracle drug is then at the end they add in the 20 + usually very negative side effects the same miracle drug might have... many times including things like stroke, heart failure, bleeding of the gums, Suicidal Tendencies, ect...ect...

    No thanks....
    .

  • Ian Bell

    Dont trust ANY documentaries from Horizon....they have a well known bias of carefully constructing misinformation that enhances industry propaganda.

  • Rand

    Randi is a m*ron. And his test is ridiculous. Homeopathy can't be proven by science because it works according to a completely different paradigm/philosophy that is outside the limits of "modern" science (which I personally think is a young and undeveloped way of looking at the universe, and neurotically fixated on materialism/the body).