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No. 82: Jul-Aug 1992

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Efficacy Of Homeopathy

Over the last several years we have been following the feud between the homeopathists and mainstream medicine, particularly the saga of J. Benveniste. Despite what the media writers say, homeopathy continues to produce positive results, as confirmed in the following item from the British Medical Journal:

"Many doctors do not believe that homoeopathy [sic] is an efficacious treatment as it is highly implausible that infinitesimally diluted substances retain their biological effects. It is also often said that homoeopathy has not been evaluated with modern methods -- that is, controlled trials. The first argument may be true, the second is not. [J.] Kleijnen et searched the literature and found 96 reports containing 107 controlled trials of homoeopathy. Most trials turned out to be of very low quality, but there were many exceptions. The results show the same trend regardless of the quality of the trial or the variety of homoeopathy used. Overall. of the 105 trials with interpretable results, 81 showed positive results of homoeopathic treatment. A complicating factor in such reviews, especially of controversial subjects such as homoeopathy, is publication bias. If the results of Kleijnen et do not reflect the true state of affairs, publication bias must be considered a great problem in evaluations of homoeopathy. In any event, there is a legitimate case for further evaluation of homoeopathy, but only by means of trials with sound methodology."

(Anonymous; "Clinical Trials of Homoeopathy," British Medical Journal, February 9, 1991. Cr. M. Truzzi.)

Comment. Of course publication bias applies to most of the subjects presented in Science Frontiers since we intentionally concentrate on mainstream journals. Even so, anomalies are ubiquitous!

From Science Frontiers #82, JUL-AUG 1992. 1992-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987