Thursday 24 June 2010

The ultimate quack remedy — David Tredinnick & Simon Singh — Today Programme, BBC Radio 4

Question: Does homeopathy work?

Answer: No.

This matter is settled. We don't need more research — the research has been done. It clearly shows that homeopathy is no more effective than placebo. Taxpayers' money that has heretofore funded homeopathy on the National Health Service should therefore be redirected to medical interventions that have been shown to have demonstrable effect. This was essentially the finding of the recent Parliamentary Science & Technology Select Committee Evidence Check on homeopathy.

Some people, however, refuse to take "no" for an answer. On this morning's Today Programme, Conservative MP David Tredinnick called for still more research on this failed magic:
(Streaming audio, 4'41")

Simon Singh was also on the programme, and he summarily demolished David Tredinnick's best evidence. Neverthless the MP went on to call for yet more research, because homeopathy is "popular" with doctors and patients. Fortunately (given the time constraints of the Today Programme) Simon Singh was quick enough to give a highly amusing example of homeopathy's lack of plausibility, along with the financial motives behind the manufacture of its remedies.

David Tredinnick wants more research because he knows that the aggregate of research done so far fails to show that homeopathy is effective. He will continue to call for more research until it stops giving him answers he doesn't like.

That's not going to happen. Homeopathy has been fully tested — it doesn't work. There's nothing in it.