ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 

Notices


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags alternative medicine , dana ullman , homeopathy

Reply
Old 22nd May 2007, 01:56 PM   #41
fls
Penultimate Amazing
 
fls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 10,232
Originally Posted by Hydrogen Cyanide View Post
Done... oh, and I took the liberty of checking out some of his other claims, particularly the one on Oscillococcinum. He claims that studies showing it as good for influenza were replicated. I checked, but could not really find them. Edit to add: I did call him dishonest... in fact he is a liar who is posting all over trying to get business over to himself!
From Dana Ullman's article in FASEB journal.....

He refers to three influenza studies with links to two of the abstracts.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...baa97deb3ea544

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract

Linda
__________________
God:a capricious creative or controlling force said to be the subject of a religion.
Evidence is anything that tends to make a proposition more or less true.-Loss Leader
SCAM will now be referred to as DIM (Demonstrably Ineffective Medicine)
Look how nicely I'm not reminding you you're dumb.-Happy Bunny
When I give an example, do not assume I am excluding every other possible example. Thank you.
fls is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd May 2007, 02:06 PM   #42
Chris Haynes
Perfectly Poisonous Person
 
Chris Haynes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wacky Washington Way Out West
Posts: 4,232
Originally Posted by fls View Post
From Dana Ullman's article in FASEB journal.....

He refers to three influenza studies with links to two of the abstracts.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...baa97deb3ea544

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Abstract

Linda
Okay, but I would have preferred he listed them. Also, I don't think the results are as definitive as he says.
__________________
I used to be intelligent... but then I had kids

"HCN, I hate you!"
( so sayeth Deetee at http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=1077344 )...
What I get for linking to http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/
Chris Haynes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd May 2007, 04:00 PM   #43
Drudgewire
Critical Doofus
 
Drudgewire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 9,421
Hooray for homeopathy!

Drudgewire is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd May 2007, 05:27 PM   #44
fls
Penultimate Amazing
 
fls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 10,232
Originally Posted by Hydrogen Cyanide View Post
Okay, but I would have preferred he listed them. Also, I don't think the results are as definitive as he says.
No. The results are barely statistically significant, and there are aspects which are suspicious - they measure a lot of stuff which makes it easier to select (post hoc) those combinations which happen to show the most difference. If correction for multiple comparisons was made to the signficance level, none of the results would be significant. Then when you take into consideration that this is the best they have to show for all of homeopathy, it's underwhelming to say the least.

Linda
__________________
God:a capricious creative or controlling force said to be the subject of a religion.
Evidence is anything that tends to make a proposition more or less true.-Loss Leader
SCAM will now be referred to as DIM (Demonstrably Ineffective Medicine)
Look how nicely I'm not reminding you you're dumb.-Happy Bunny
When I give an example, do not assume I am excluding every other possible example. Thank you.
fls is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd May 2007, 02:07 AM   #45
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 37,548
I think we need to go back to the basis of Randi's challenge. Can anyone, reliably and repeatedly, by any method at all, tell the difference between a homoeopathically-prepared sugar pill and an ordinary sugar pill? Dana Ullman can't do it, in fact nobody can. If there was any real effect that could be measured, that ought to be a pushover.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd May 2007, 02:09 AM   #46
Mojo
Mostly harmless
 
Mojo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 25,503
Originally Posted by Drudgewire View Post
A sad story, but that isn't homoeopathy:
Quote:
After researching alternative treatments, they found a doctor specializing in holistic medicine who recommended a healthier diet along with supplements to boost Noah's immune system.
Not that homoeopathy would have done any better.
__________________
"You got to use your brain." - McKinley Morganfield

"The poor mystic homeopaths feel like petted house-cats thrown at high flood on the breaking ice." - Leon Trotsky
Mojo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th May 2007, 10:15 PM   #47
Chris Haynes
Perfectly Poisonous Person
 
Chris Haynes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wacky Washington Way Out West
Posts: 4,232
It is now known publicly that I find Dana Ullman (he with the Masters in Public Health) to be particularly annoying... and really lacking in answers:
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/20...comment-442613

(yes, some kind soul who does medical research emailed me some of the full papers Brave Sir Dana was using as "proof"... and then I took off)

Note: Try not to get sick anywhere near the University Hospital in Vienna, or in Graz. Well, Graz is kind of a boring town anyway for tourists... and so was Vienna (even with its monument to the Great Plague)... Salzburg were more satisfying to us on our trip to Austria.
__________________
I used to be intelligent... but then I had kids

"HCN, I hate you!"
( so sayeth Deetee at http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=1077344 )...
What I get for linking to http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/
Chris Haynes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th June 2007, 02:38 PM   #48
Dana Ullman
Thinker
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 201
For people who are skeptical of homeopathy, it is usually because you are unfamiliar with its body of evidence, including its basic science, its clinical trials, its epidemiology, and its history. In addition to this body of evidence, it may be helpful to understand the physics of water.

The below article was published in the MEDICAL SCIENCE MONITOR by an Italian MD and senior research scientist at the University of Siena:
medscimonit.com/pub/vol_13/no_1/9827.pdf

Because I'm a relative newbie, I may not be able to post a link. If you cannot see it, you can go to this medical journal's website at medscionit.com and look under its January 2007 issue. This is a very impressive article. I am curious if any of you are really brave enough to comment on it.


Your bubble is about the pop. Enjoy it.
Dana Ullman is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th June 2007, 02:44 PM   #49
Miss Whiplash
Nettlesome Harpy
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,580
Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
For people who are skeptical of homeopathy, it is usually because you are unfamiliar with its body of evidence, including its basic science, its clinical trials, its epidemiology, and its history. In addition to this body of evidence, it may be helpful to understand the physics of water.

The below article was published in the MEDICAL SCIENCE MONITOR by an Italian MD and senior research scientist at the University of Siena:
medscimonit.com/pub/vol_13/no_1/9827.pdf

Because I'm a relative newbie, I may not be able to post a link. If you cannot see it, you can go to this medical journal's website at medscionit.com and look under its January 2007 issue. This is a very impressive article. I am curious if any of you are really brave enough to comment on it.


Your bubble is about the pop. Enjoy it.
I'm waiting but nothing's happening. I'll post the link here for you though.
__________________
MondoSkepto "The Gin Palace of Rationality"

"Bring me the head of the preacher man!" Siouxsie Sioux

(Concerning my avatar) "...I was worried that someone that ugly would be dumb enough to put herself up for public ridicule." - The Atheist
Miss Whiplash is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th June 2007, 03:05 PM   #50
Madalch
The Jester
 
Madalch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,488
Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Your bubble is about the pop. Enjoy it.
No, my pop is about the bubbles. Nobody likes to drink flat pop.

And the article you gave the link to is crap. The author presents some interesting hand-waving arguments about how water may be able to change its structure (apparently, if carbon can be graphite or diamond, then water obviously can form different phases, right?), but nothing that approaches anything other than the usual homeopathic fantasies and fictions about aqueous memory. Water does not form different phases under ordinary conditions.

I am a chemist with a PhD. I know something about molecular structures and phases. The author of this article does not.
__________________
As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of resolving approaches zero. -Vaarsuvius
It's a rum state of affairs when you feel like punching a jar of mayonnaise in the face. -Charlie Brooker
Madalch is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th June 2007, 03:22 PM   #51
fls
Penultimate Amazing
 
fls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 10,232
Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
For people who are skeptical of homeopathy, it is usually because you are unfamiliar with its body of evidence, including its basic science, its clinical trials, its epidemiology, and its history. In addition to this body of evidence, it may be helpful to understand the physics of water.
You are mistaken if you think ignorance drives the skepticism of myself and many others here. Knowledge and familiarity with the information you list above is what drives my skepticism.

Quote:
The below article was published in the MEDICAL SCIENCE MONITOR by an Italian MD and senior research scientist at the University of Siena:
medscimonit.com/pub/vol_13/no_1/9827.pdf

Because I'm a relative newbie, I may not be able to post a link. If you cannot see it, you can go to this medical journal's website at medscionit.com and look under its January 2007 issue. This is a very impressive article. I am curious if any of you are really brave enough to comment on it.


Your bubble is about the pop. Enjoy it.
Yawn. I didn't see a single novel fallacy. How disappointing.

Linda
__________________
God:a capricious creative or controlling force said to be the subject of a religion.
Evidence is anything that tends to make a proposition more or less true.-Loss Leader
SCAM will now be referred to as DIM (Demonstrably Ineffective Medicine)
Look how nicely I'm not reminding you you're dumb.-Happy Bunny
When I give an example, do not assume I am excluding every other possible example. Thank you.
fls is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th June 2007, 03:44 PM   #52
jon
Muse
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 899
I didn't get past the bit where the author 'defines' science - drawing a good part of his information from answers.com and most of it from a short article in the 'journal of theoretics'. Who referried the paper - and why didn't they tell the author to engage with the philosophy of science literature on what 'science' is, or look at how practising scientists use the word, or at least find some sensible way of addressing the question of 'what is science' - and why was he allowed to reference answers.com...

Does it get any better?
__________________
Holford Watch: the truth about Patrick Holford, media nutritionist.
jon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th June 2007, 04:03 PM   #53
fuelair
Cythraul Enfys
 
fuelair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 36,351
Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
For people who are skeptical of homeopathy, it is usually because you are unfamiliar with its body of evidence, including its basic science, its clinical trials, its epidemiology, and its history. In addition to this body of evidence, it may be helpful to understand the physics of water.

The below article was published in the MEDICAL SCIENCE MONITOR by an Italian MD and senior research scientist at the University of Siena:
medscimonit.com/pub/vol_13/no_1/9827.pdf

Because I'm a relative newbie, I may not be able to post a link. If you cannot see it, you can go to this medical journal's website at medscionit.com and look under its January 2007 issue. This is a very impressive article. I am curious if any of you are really brave enough to comment on it.


Your bubble is about the pop. Enjoy it.
JG, what is your background in science and statistics? I ask, because you seem to believe in two sources (by your statements) where the authors demonstrated that either they are not functionally competant in either OR that they are perfectly willing to lie about the actual analyses of both. If, and I do not mean this offensively (I do not use the word ignorant as a perjorative unless the ignorance is by choice), you are functionally ignorant of both fields (based on what you have written and pointed to as your justification) I suggest that you should consider showing articles to people who are trained in analysing and interpreting the data in them before sending us to them - making you look bad.

Last edited by fuelair; 5th June 2007 at 04:04 PM. Reason: -) & .
fuelair is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th June 2007, 08:30 PM   #54
Chris Haynes
Perfectly Poisonous Person
 
Chris Haynes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wacky Washington Way Out West
Posts: 4,232
Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
...The below article was published in the MEDICAL SCIENCE MONITOR by an Italian MD and senior research scientist at the University of Siena:
medscimonit.com/pub/vol_13/no_1/9827.pdf

....
Your bubble is about the pop. Enjoy it.
Hello there... so Brave Sir Dana! You made it over here! Welcome, and I hope you stick around.

Sorry I have not gotten back to you, I've been busy with my actual life (and I should have logged off an hour ago). But I'm sure Orac will soon be answering all your questions.

This is in reference to:
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/20...comment-456470

Quote:
Wow...this SILENCE is so loud. It is time to LEARN from homeopathy and be a real scientist.
Read this impressive article published in the MEDICAL SCIENCE MONITOR by an Italian MD and senior research scientist at the University of Siena:
http://www.medscimonit.com/pub/vol_13/no_1/9827.pdf
Your bubble is about the pop. Enjoy it.
Posted by: Dana Ullman, MPH | June 5, 2007 05:25 PM
I just noticed it, I haven't bothered to even check that blog reference, since I've only looked at Orac's first page. I see others have responded. (goes backs and reads what occured over the past week)... Hmmm... No, you did not answer any of my questions. You did say in this comment
Quote:
As for Oscillococcinum, it is the 200C potency of the heart and liver of a duck (because ducks are known to be resevoirs of flu viruses...and 3 large clinical trials have confirmed its efficacy).
But I specifically asked for PERCENTAGES... You do know how to convert 200C to a percentage, right?
__________________
I used to be intelligent... but then I had kids

"HCN, I hate you!"
( so sayeth Deetee at http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=1077344 )...
What I get for linking to http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/
Chris Haynes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th June 2007, 08:47 PM   #55
Dana Ullman
Thinker
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 201
I do not answer really stupid questions like that. I'm more interest in controlled clinical trials. Are you? Are you or are you not interested in scientific experiments? It is like asking what percentage of matter vs. space is there inside an atomic bomb (that question is NOT the point of it).

And I'm still waiting for your critique of the CHEST study on COPD (the #4 reason that people in the US die).

I'm not as interested in theories as I am in controlled studies.

I'm also interested in the physics of water...and that article referenced above from MEDICAL SCIENCE MONITOR is very intriguing and is worthy of anyone who is serious about science and medicine. His references to the 1,000+ studies on HORMESIS is also important...but I doubt you are really interested in studies or science, but I hope you can prove me wrong. Really. Let's get serious. Avoid the name-calling...and the paternalistic "Sir Dana" stuff. You're embarrassing other people who would like to agree with you.
Dana Ullman is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th June 2007, 10:22 PM   #56
EHLO
Critical Thinker
 
EHLO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 283
James, I'm new to the homeopathy debate so had a read through the "Modern understanding of homeopathy" at www.homeopathic.com.

Under a section entitled "The Importance of Individualization" it states;

Quote:
The way homeopaths learn what a homeopathic medicine will cure is through the use of experiments called "drug provings".In these homeopathic drug trials, researchers administer continuual doses of a substance to a healthy individual* until areaction to the substance is achieved.** The subject is asked to keep detailed record books of symptoms; additional symptoms are discovered through an interview process. The subject is encouraged to stop ingesting the substance once any particularly discomforting symptom manifests.

This statement implies that homeopathic treatments can reliably manifest predictable symptoms in test subjects, which would imply a definitive methodology for distinguishing a homeopathic remedy from a placebo that would satisfy the most ardent sceptic.

If such a test is not definitive, then it undermines the whole "drug proving" methodology and homeopathy itself. (By definitive I mean not having to resort to meta-analysis, and slightly above chance outcomes.)

If homeopaths base their medicines on "proving" then inducing symptoms homoeopathically must be nearly 100% reliable. Why is this not the case?
__________________
Give a skeptic an inch and they'll measure it
EHLO is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 03:43 AM   #57
Cuddles
Decoy
Moderator
 
Cuddles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,415
Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
I'm also interested in the physics of water...and that article referenced above from MEDICAL SCIENCE MONITOR is very intriguing and is worthy of anyone who is serious about science and medicine.
No it isn't. It contains absolutely nothing of either science or medicine The entire article is wrong from start to finish. If you are really so interested in studies perhaps you would like to provide some instead of some vague philosophical nonsense from someone who clearly has no understanding of physics, chemistry of biology.
__________________
If I let myself get hung up on only doing things that had any actual chance of success, I'd never do anything!
Cuddles is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 04:01 AM   #58
jon
Muse
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 899
Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
No it isn't. It contains absolutely nothing of either science or medicine The entire article is wrong from start to finish. If you are really so interested in studies perhaps you would like to provide some instead of some vague philosophical nonsense from someone who clearly has no understanding of physics, chemistry of biology.
You forgot to mention philosophy - they got that wrong, too
__________________
Holford Watch: the truth about Patrick Holford, media nutritionist.
jon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 05:14 AM   #59
flimflam_machine
Thinker
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 245
What kind of journal is that article from? It's remarkably unscientific: the second half of the text basically says "Here are lots of things that you don't know everything about... quantum physics, dark matter the basis of the mind etc.. You also don't know how homeopathy works, therefore it's probably works because of one of these things."

It's also misleading in that it suggests that conventional medicine is nothing but placebo.

Quote:
...a hidden injection of morphine was found to correspond toan open injection of saline solution in full view of the patient (i.e. a placebo!) [46]. It would appear at least bizarre, to an unbiased and sufficiently open mind, that holders of “true science” and supporters of the Avogadro’s number evidence have not yet found an explanation for the singular situation in which the hidden administration of analgesic (i.e. true molecules, true matter) can have no effect at all!
In fact, the Nature paper quoted (#46) says that application of placebo has the same effect as a specific amount of morphine (8mg). Use more morphine (12mg) and you get greater analgesia than placebo alone, so fusty old conventional medicine does appear to work.

The only interesting part of the article was the reference to hormetic response to drugs since it would be the beginnings of a mechanism for homeopathy. Does anyone have any thoughts/evidence on the validity of the hormetic response and an explanation for why it appears.
flimflam_machine is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 05:32 AM   #60
fls
Penultimate Amazing
 
fls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 10,232
Originally Posted by Hydrogen Cyanide View Post
Oh my.

I just read this. I thought that the degree of hubris he was exhibiting indicated at least some understanding of the necessary science. But instead he chooses to beat you over the head with uncontrolled studies on arsenic (hint: you actually have to read the study to see that it was uncontrolled since the authors chose to advertise otherwise (another hint: a control group actually has to be comparable to the treatment group to be considered a control group))? The write-up, particularly in the second study on ANA titres, is almost laughably awful.

Is it really necessary to even bother with this?

Linda
__________________
God:a capricious creative or controlling force said to be the subject of a religion.
Evidence is anything that tends to make a proposition more or less true.-Loss Leader
SCAM will now be referred to as DIM (Demonstrably Ineffective Medicine)
Look how nicely I'm not reminding you you're dumb.-Happy Bunny
When I give an example, do not assume I am excluding every other possible example. Thank you.
fls is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 07:24 AM   #61
fls
Penultimate Amazing
 
fls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 10,232
Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
His references to the 1,000+ studies on HORMESIS is also important.
If it had ever been demonstrated that homeopathy has anything to do with hormesis, that would possibly be relevant.

To quote Joan Cusack from Working Girl - "Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear. Doesn't make me Madonna."

Linda
__________________
God:a capricious creative or controlling force said to be the subject of a religion.
Evidence is anything that tends to make a proposition more or less true.-Loss Leader
SCAM will now be referred to as DIM (Demonstrably Ineffective Medicine)
Look how nicely I'm not reminding you you're dumb.-Happy Bunny
When I give an example, do not assume I am excluding every other possible example. Thank you.
fls is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 07:30 AM   #62
flimflam_machine
Thinker
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 245
fls,

I thought the bit about hormesis was the only reasonable bit of the paper, although in no way does it constitute evidence. If the effect of drugs is reversed at very low (but non-zero) concentrations then it would fit in with what homeopathy claims to do. If hormesis is simply a U-shaped distribution of response to drugs according to concentration then it's no help at all.

And 1,000+ studies? As far as I can see the paper referenced about 5.
flimflam_machine is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 08:22 AM   #63
Badly Shaved Monkey
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Badly Shaved Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,096
Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
I appreciate good skeptical thinking, and yet, am I the only one who thinks that no one responded to the numerous basic science and clinical studies that Dana Ullman referenced?
Yes.

Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Am I the only one who think that Ullman also gave a good, solid critique of that questionably done "meta-analysis" that sought to compare 110 homeopathic and allopathic studies?
Yes.

Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Am I the only one who is surprised that even the skeptics who did this study found that the homeopathic studies had a larger number of higher percentage of higher quality studies than the allopathic studies (by THEIR own definition of high quality studies).
Yes. To find that the homoepthic community produces a high percentage of good quality studies simply requires avoiding most of homeopathy's published evidence.

Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
Humility is a healthy scientific attitude.
And something that the homeopathic community entirely lacks, resting its case so completely on personal anecdotal experience.
__________________
"i'm frankly surprised homeopathy does as well as placebo" Anonymous homeopath.
"Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment; you must also be right." (Robert Park)
Is the pen is mightier than the sword? Its effectiveness as a weapon is certainly enhanced if it is sharpened properly and poked in the eye of your opponent.
Badly Shaved Monkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 08:31 AM   #64
Badly Shaved Monkey
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Badly Shaved Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,096
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
A more important question, in view of the claims that it only works if properly individualised, is: why do homoeopaths not object to OTC "homoeopathic" remedies sold to treat a particular condition?
Or any of the other fatal internal inconsistencies that we have pointed out to homeopaths at various times and from which they have run as fast as their little chicken legs can carry them.

But since we seem to have a live homeopath on the line at the moment, perhaps he can answer Mojo's question.

He can then tell us whether remedies are neutralised by airport X-ray scanners.

He can then tell us about 'grafting remedies' and whether he thinks that works.

Does he agree that during a homeopathic proving the people involve risk serious and long-term harm being caused?

For a laugh he can tell us whether either of these machines works;

http://www.bio-resonance.com/elybra.htm

http://www.remedydevices.com/voice.htm

I have a number of follow-up questions about both machines, but let's start with the easy one first.

Hey, ho.
__________________
"i'm frankly surprised homeopathy does as well as placebo" Anonymous homeopath.
"Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment; you must also be right." (Robert Park)
Is the pen is mightier than the sword? Its effectiveness as a weapon is certainly enhanced if it is sharpened properly and poked in the eye of your opponent.
Badly Shaved Monkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 08:39 AM   #65
fls
Penultimate Amazing
 
fls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 10,232
Originally Posted by flimflam_machine View Post
fls,

I thought the bit about hormesis was the only reasonable bit of the paper, although in no way does it constitute evidence. If the effect of drugs is reversed at very low (but non-zero) concentrations then it would fit in with what homeopathy claims to do. If hormesis is simply a U-shaped distribution of response to drugs according to concentration then it's no help at all.

And 1,000+ studies? As far as I can see the paper referenced about 5.
They have simply hijacked the study of hormesis because there is a (very) superficial similarity (if you turn off the lights, squint your eyes, and tilt your head just so). And hormesis doesn't really find that the effects are reversed at low concentrations, but that the effect may be different in a way that may be characterized as positive or negative. However, that is still quite different from what homeopathy claims to do. In a way, the recognition of non-montonic (does not change in the same direction throughout) dose-response curves contradicts the principles of homeopathy. It tells you that you cannot predict the response at low doses based on the response at high doses - it has to be determined empirically.

Linda
__________________
God:a capricious creative or controlling force said to be the subject of a religion.
Evidence is anything that tends to make a proposition more or less true.-Loss Leader
SCAM will now be referred to as DIM (Demonstrably Ineffective Medicine)
Look how nicely I'm not reminding you you're dumb.-Happy Bunny
When I give an example, do not assume I am excluding every other possible example. Thank you.
fls is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 08:40 AM   #66
Chris Haynes
Perfectly Poisonous Person
 
Chris Haynes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wacky Washington Way Out West
Posts: 4,232
Originally Posted by fls View Post
Oh my.

I just read this. ...snip for brevity...The write-up, particularly in the second study on ANA titres, is almost laughably awful.

Is it really necessary to even bother with this?

Linda
Only for entertainment, which is why when a bathroom remodel and getting up at the crack of dawn to get kid to marching band engagements, a couple of child dental appointments and life in general got in the way, I only checked Orac's main page.

Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
I do not answer really stupid questions like that. I'm more interest in controlled clinical trials. Are you? Are you or are you not interested in scientific experiments? It is like asking what percentage of matter vs. space is there inside an atomic bomb (that question is NOT the point of it).....
I take that as an admission that you do not understand what a percentage is. The "%" is shorthand for "out of 100", cent coming from the Latin word for hundred. Just as you do not understand that "nano" is a word used for a discrete value of 10-9. Actually, the percentage of fissionable material is very pertinent to nuclear weapons --- just add another subject that you are clueless about.

Just to let you know that 200C translates to a percentage of (I may get the math wrong, corrections are welcome) to 10-399% (it is written out in full at http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/homeopathy2.htm). I believe that means that there may be one molecule of duck stuff in the amount of water that would exist on several dozen Earths.

Edit to add: I now need to go sand about 70 square feet of wood paneling to prep it for painting.
__________________
I used to be intelligent... but then I had kids

"HCN, I hate you!"
( so sayeth Deetee at http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=1077344 )...
What I get for linking to http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/

Last edited by Chris Haynes; 6th June 2007 at 08:48 AM.
Chris Haynes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 08:46 AM   #67
Badly Shaved Monkey
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Badly Shaved Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,096
Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
For people who are skeptical of homeopathy, it is usually because you are unfamiliar with its body of evidence, including its basic science, its clinical trials, its epidemiology, and its history. In addition to this body of evidence, it may be helpful to understand the physics of water.

The below article was published in the MEDICAL SCIENCE MONITOR by an Italian MD and senior research scientist at the University of Siena:
medscimonit.com/pub/vol_13/no_1/9827.pdf

Because I'm a relative newbie, I may not be able to post a link. If you cannot see it, you can go to this medical journal's website at medscionit.com and look under its January 2007 issue. This is a very impressive article. I am curious if any of you are really brave enough to comment on it.


Your bubble is about the pop. Enjoy it.
Impressive in what sense? I'm always impressed by the ease with which homeopaths are convinced by the flimsiest and vaguest of arguments so long as it is spiced with a few long scientificke words.

I wonder that is why homeopaths are so easily deluded into buying those expensive "remedy" making devices. If your critical faculties prevent you from distinguishing a wacky sales pitch from fact then you are going to find anything with a few clever-sounding words impressive.
__________________
"i'm frankly surprised homeopathy does as well as placebo" Anonymous homeopath.
"Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment; you must also be right." (Robert Park)
Is the pen is mightier than the sword? Its effectiveness as a weapon is certainly enhanced if it is sharpened properly and poked in the eye of your opponent.
Badly Shaved Monkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 08:48 AM   #68
Badly Shaved Monkey
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Badly Shaved Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,096
Originally Posted by fls View Post
They have simply hijacked the study of hormesis because there is a (very) superficial similarity (if you turn off the lights, squint your eyes, and tilt your head just so). And hormesis doesn't really find that the effects are reversed at low concentrations, but that the effect may be different in a way that may be characterized as positive or negative. However, that is still quite different from what homeopathy claims to do. In a way, the recognition of non-montonic (does not change in the same direction throughout) dose-response curves contradicts the principles of homeopathy. It tells you that you cannot predict the response at low doses based on the response at high doses - it has to be determined empirically.

Linda
And the crucial thing is that hormesis still presupposes that the active agent is still actually pesent at those low doses.
__________________
"i'm frankly surprised homeopathy does as well as placebo" Anonymous homeopath.
"Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment; you must also be right." (Robert Park)
Is the pen is mightier than the sword? Its effectiveness as a weapon is certainly enhanced if it is sharpened properly and poked in the eye of your opponent.
Badly Shaved Monkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 08:49 AM   #69
Lothian
Penultimate Amazing
 
Lothian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,366
Originally Posted by Hydrogen Cyanide View Post
But I specifically asked for PERCENTAGES... You do know how to convert 200C to a percentage, right?
Is it
0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 %

I have made the number big to show how strong the solution is.
__________________
.
.
.
.
.
.
Lothian is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 08:53 AM   #70
Badly Shaved Monkey
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Badly Shaved Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,096
Originally Posted by Hydrogen Cyanide View Post
Just to let you know that 200C translates to a percentage of (I may get the math wrong, corrections are welcome) to 10-399% (it is written out in full at http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/homeopathy2.htm). I believe that means that there may be one molecule of duck stuff in the amount of water that would exist on several dozen Earths.
And the rest.

The point though, is that the whole terminology of "dilution" is (deliberately) misleading. Homeopaths pregressively replace (putatively) active ingredient with solvent. The rest of us call the process "rinsing". It's not very spooky and I find that when I rinse a coffee cup it is just cleaner than it was before rather than coming to contain super-potent essence of coffee.
__________________
"i'm frankly surprised homeopathy does as well as placebo" Anonymous homeopath.
"Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment; you must also be right." (Robert Park)
Is the pen is mightier than the sword? Its effectiveness as a weapon is certainly enhanced if it is sharpened properly and poked in the eye of your opponent.
Badly Shaved Monkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 08:56 AM   #71
Mojo
Mostly harmless
 
Mojo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 25,503
Originally Posted by Badly Shaved Monkey View Post
The rest of us call the process "rinsing". It's not very spooky and I find that when I rinse a coffee cup it is just cleaner than it was before rather than coming to contain super-potent essence of coffee.

I always make sure I tap all the crockery against a leather-bound book whenever I do the washing up.
__________________
"You got to use your brain." - McKinley Morganfield

"The poor mystic homeopaths feel like petted house-cats thrown at high flood on the breaking ice." - Leon Trotsky
Mojo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 09:02 AM   #72
fls
Penultimate Amazing
 
fls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 10,232
Originally Posted by Badly Shaved Monkey View Post
And the crucial thing is that hormesis still presupposes that the active agent is still actually pesent at those low doses.
While I think focussing on the dilution factor provides us with an easy way to demonstrate the silliness to those who are naive wrt homeopathy, I think it should also be pointed out that the principles of homeopathy still have no scientific basis even if active ingredients are present.

Linda
__________________
God:a capricious creative or controlling force said to be the subject of a religion.
Evidence is anything that tends to make a proposition more or less true.-Loss Leader
SCAM will now be referred to as DIM (Demonstrably Ineffective Medicine)
Look how nicely I'm not reminding you you're dumb.-Happy Bunny
When I give an example, do not assume I am excluding every other possible example. Thank you.
fls is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 09:07 AM   #73
Badly Shaved Monkey
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Badly Shaved Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5,096
Originally Posted by fls View Post
While I think focussing on the dilution factor provides us with an easy way to demonstrate the silliness to those who are naive wrt homeopathy, I think it should also be pointed out that the principles of homeopathy still have no scientific basis even if active ingredients are present.

Linda

That's the thing with homeopathy: it's wrong in so many different ways that it's hard to to decide where to start first.
__________________
"i'm frankly surprised homeopathy does as well as placebo" Anonymous homeopath.
"Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment; you must also be right." (Robert Park)
Is the pen is mightier than the sword? Its effectiveness as a weapon is certainly enhanced if it is sharpened properly and poked in the eye of your opponent.
Badly Shaved Monkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 09:32 AM   #74
fls
Penultimate Amazing
 
fls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 10,232
Originally Posted by Badly Shaved Monkey View Post
That's the thing with homeopathy: it's wrong in so many different ways that it's hard to to decide where to start first.
I know. When the woos don't toss us a bone every once in a while, we start chewing on ourselves.

Linda
__________________
God:a capricious creative or controlling force said to be the subject of a religion.
Evidence is anything that tends to make a proposition more or less true.-Loss Leader
SCAM will now be referred to as DIM (Demonstrably Ineffective Medicine)
Look how nicely I'm not reminding you you're dumb.-Happy Bunny
When I give an example, do not assume I am excluding every other possible example. Thank you.
fls is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 09:33 AM   #75
fls
Penultimate Amazing
 
fls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 10,232
Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
Is it
0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 %

I have made the number big to show how strong the solution is.
The optical illusion that creates is kinda cool.

Linda
__________________
God:a capricious creative or controlling force said to be the subject of a religion.
Evidence is anything that tends to make a proposition more or less true.-Loss Leader
SCAM will now be referred to as DIM (Demonstrably Ineffective Medicine)
Look how nicely I'm not reminding you you're dumb.-Happy Bunny
When I give an example, do not assume I am excluding every other possible example. Thank you.
fls is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 03:53 PM   #76
fuelair
Cythraul Enfys
 
fuelair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 36,351
Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
I do not answer really stupid questions like that. I'm more interest in controlled clinical trials. Are you? Are you or are you not interested in scientific experiments? It is like asking what percentage of matter vs. space is there inside an atomic bomb (that question is NOT the point of it).

And I'm still waiting for your critique of the CHEST study on COPD (the #4 reason that people in the US die).

I'm not as interested in theories as I am in controlled studies.

I'm also interested in the physics of water...and that article referenced above from MEDICAL SCIENCE MONITOR is very intriguing and is worthy of anyone who is serious about science and medicine. His references to the 1,000+ studies on HORMESIS is also important...but I doubt you are really interested in studies or science, but I hope you can prove me wrong. Really. Let's get serious. Avoid the name-calling...and the paternalistic "Sir Dana" stuff. You're embarrassing other people who would like to agree with you.
Honest, he's not embarassing me at all! Though I think someone here should be embarassed passing this off as true science (the key phrase is double-blind - if it "can't be tested that way" then it is not science. You are free to call it something else, I like pseudo-science for it myself).
fuelair is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 03:58 PM   #77
fuelair
Cythraul Enfys
 
fuelair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 36,351
Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
I do not answer really stupid questions like that. I'm more interest in controlled clinical trials. Are you? Are you or are you not interested in scientific experiments? It is like asking what percentage of matter vs. space is there inside an atomic bomb (that question is NOT the point of it).

And I'm still waiting for your critique of the CHEST study on COPD (the #4 reason that people in the US die).

I'm not as interested in theories as I am in controlled studies.

I'm also interested in the physics of water...and that article referenced above from MEDICAL SCIENCE MONITOR is very intriguing and is worthy of anyone who is serious about science and medicine. His references to the 1,000+ studies on HORMESIS is also important...but I doubt you are really interested in studies or science, but I hope you can prove me wrong. Really. Let's get serious. Avoid the name-calling...and the paternalistic "Sir Dana" stuff. You're embarrassing other people who would like to agree with you.
Also, I believe you mean the chemistry of water - the physics of water is the physics of almost all liquids - thus hydraulics.
fuelair is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 08:57 PM   #78
Dana Ullman
Thinker
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 201
Understanding water and homeopathy

Understanding water is not a simple subject. I recommend reading the work of Rustum Roy, PhD, professor of material sciences at Penn State University and head of a material sciences lab that the ISI considers to be the best in the world. Besides having almost 700 papers published, he has had 13 papers published in NATURE.

Because I'm still a newbie to this list, I cannot provide a full URL for a recent article. Just add the www to it:

rustumroy.com/Roy_Structure%20of%20Water.pdf

Dr. Roy will have another even more important article published shortly, though I wonder how many of you are serious enough to follow the science.

As for double-blind research, the arsenic study mentioned previously was a randomized double-blind trial for the GROUP A. This is undeniable. GROUP B choose not to be given a chance for a placebo, and if you wish, you can ignore this group. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that both the people in GROUP A who were given a homeopathic dose of arsenic and the people in GROUP B who were also given this medicine experienced a significant increase in certain detoxifying liver enzymes, while people in GROUP A who were given a placebo didn't.

The COPD study was another great trial, as was the severe sepsis trial, both of which were conducted at the University of Vienna Hospital.

The amazing feature of skeptics of homeopathy is that you assume that homeopaths have some magical power that other people don't seem to have and just by "magic" those people get better. An easier (and more probable) explanation is that nanopharmacology works.

I'm glad that some of you appreciate HORMESIS. If so, why do you think that medicine is ignoring it, despite the 1,000+ studies? Is homeo-phobia real?
Dana Ullman is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 09:06 PM   #79
Chris Haynes
Perfectly Poisonous Person
 
Chris Haynes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wacky Washington Way Out West
Posts: 4,232
Originally Posted by fls View Post
Oh my.

I just read this. I thought that the degree of hubris he was exhibiting indicated at least some understanding of the necessary science. But instead he chooses to beat you over the head with uncontrolled studies on arsenic (hint: you actually have to read the study to see that it was uncontrolled since the authors chose to advertise otherwise (another hint: a control group actually has to be comparable to the treatment group to be considered a control group))? The write-up, particularly in the second study on ANA titres, is almost laughably awful.

Is it really necessary to even bother with this?

Linda
Another reason is that Dana Ullman (despite his lack of math skills and understanding of basic science) has set himself up as a big homeopathy expert. He has written several books... and does practice medicine without a license. From http://skepdic.com/refuge/bunk11.html
Quote:
According to Ollivier, Dana Ullman, an advisory board member of alternative-medicine institutes at Harvard's and Columbia's schools of medicine, is a leading spokesman for homeopathy.


Do a Google search on homeopathy, and his name pops up. Though I am quite fond of this google find: http://www.dcscience.net/quack.html where it says
Quote:
But they completely ruin their case by including quite barmy homilies about homeopathy (and here), water structure and traditional chinese medicine. There is also an amazing piece of sheer pseudo-scientific nonsense, "Homeopathic Medicine is Nanopharmacology" by Dana Ullman (though elsewhere on the site, nanotechnology gets a bad press).
He is the American equivalent (or fancies himself as such) of the UK's Peter Fisher: http://www.theness.com/neurologicabl...sp?Display=110 ...
... or Lionel Milgrom (who is really not terribly observent): http://www.badscience.net/?p=341

(note if you have an hour to spare, the video of Dr. Goldacre debating Dr. Fisher at http://www.badscience.net/?p=339 is quite entertaining!)

Anytime his lack of answering direct questions (like the percentage of duck bits in some flu nostrum), lack of understanding basic science and general evasiveness can be brought to light is not only entertaining, but shows the exactly how the reality of homeopathy is so incredibly shallow.
__________________
I used to be intelligent... but then I had kids

"HCN, I hate you!"
( so sayeth Deetee at http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=1077344 )...
What I get for linking to http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/
Chris Haynes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th June 2007, 09:11 PM   #80
Chris Haynes
Perfectly Poisonous Person
 
Chris Haynes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wacky Washington Way Out West
Posts: 4,232
Originally Posted by JamesGully View Post
...The COPD study was another great trial, as was the severe sepsis trial, both of which were conducted at the University of Vienna Hospital.
...
In the sepsis trial after 180 days 75% of the "homeopathic" patients survived, versus 50% of the "placebo" patients. Since the total number in the study was 35 people... it was not that big of a deal.

Do you know any math at all? We have figured out that you don't do percentages, so I guess basic statistics is just beyond any comprehension.

The conclusion I got from both papers is that if you are traveling try not to get sick in either Graz or Vienna while in Austria (stay in Salzburg, it may be touristy, but it is a nice touristy!... though the camping grounds were a bit too close to the train tracks).
__________________
I used to be intelligent... but then I had kids

"HCN, I hate you!"
( so sayeth Deetee at http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=1077344 )...
What I get for linking to http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/
Chris Haynes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:25 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.