If it works for Muslims…

“I was just standing up for my beliefs. Muslims can walk around in whatever religious gear they like, so why can’t I?”, said Chris Jarvis after he was ejected from a Jobcentre for refusing to remove his Jedi hood. Fair enough.

Published in: on March 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm  Leave a Comment  


I hold that jeweller worth little praise
Who well esteems what he sees with eye,
And much to blame his graceless ways
Who believes our Lord would speak a lie.
He promised faithfully your lives to raise
Though fate decreed your flesh should die;
His words as nonsense ye appraise
Who approve of naught not seen with eye;
And that presumption doth imply,
Which all good men doth ill beseem,
On tale as true ne’er to rely
Save private reason right it deem.

Pearl, stanza 26, trans. J. R. R. Tolkien (Del Rey: 1979)

Published in: on March 13, 2010 at 8:06 pm  Leave a Comment  


153. This second Evidence Check has been an interesting exercise, and quite different to Evidence Check 1: Early Literacy Interventions. By conducting this inquiry we have attracted a great deal more public interest and controversy and have found that views on homeopathy are more polarised.

154. We welcome the Government’s acknowledgement that there is no credible evidence of efficacy for homeopathy, which is an evidence-based view. However, the Government’s view has not translated into evidence-based policies.

155. The NHS funds homeopathy and has done so since 1948. We were disappointed that, in light of its view on evidence for homeopathy, the Government has no appetite to review its policies in favour of an evidence-based approach. The Government was reluctant to address the issues of informed patient choice or the appropriateness and ethics of prescribing placebos to patients.

156. The MHRA licenses homeopathic products under three different licensing schemes. These arrangements in part arose through a historical legacy inherited by the MHRA. We were concerned, however, that in introducing the National Rules Scheme in 2006, the MHRA chose not to take a rigorous, evidence-based approach to licensing of homeopathic products. The MHRA’s justification for introducing a scheme permitting products to make medical indications—that the product labelling was stringently tested to ensure patients would understand the purpose of the product—was not evidence-based.

157. By providing homeopathy on the NHS and allowing MHRA licensing of products which subsequently appear on pharmacy shelves, the Government runs the risk of endorsing homeopathy as an efficacious system of medicine. To maintain patient trust, choice and safety, the Government should not endorse the use of placebo treatments, including homeopathy. Homeopathy should not be funded on the NHS and the MHRA should stop licensing homeopathic products. [1]

It seems to me that this unnecessary controversy could be easily resolved in a manner satisfactory to all parties. Rather than ceasing all NHS funding for homeopathy, let us simply dilute it. According to the most sound homeopathic doctrines, £1 should be many orders of magnitude more effective than the £4 million currently spent annually. [2]

[1] House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy, Section 4: Conclusions, emphasis in original (available online)

[2] The Daily Mash, Parliament Emitting Angry Purple Aura, Say Homeopaths (available online)

Published in: on March 3, 2010 at 9:50 pm  Comments (6)