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I was reading Andy Lewis’s Quackometer blog while eating lunch & came across a reference to a homepathic preparation of Tyrannosaurus rex. Hoho, I thought, you are joking; please pull the other one. And then (being of curious persuasion & also it was still lunchtime) I decided to check it out.

But no, it turns out that this ‘product’ is actually on offer – for all sorts of mind-related issues if this site is to be believed. If you’d rather shop around you can also find it here (although I apparently don’t have permission to access the specific information about the remedy), or here, or read about ‘case studies’ here.

Now, over on the syndicated version of this post, at Sciblogs, a supporter of homeopathy invited me to keep an open mind about the issue. Unfortunately the use of such an item does require the asking of critical questions; it does not mean simply taking claims at face value. And what we have here is a bunch of claims that you can buy ‘remedies’ that at one time have had a passing acquaintance of a bit of Tyrannosaurus rex. And that those ‘remedies’ actually do some good. (None of the sites I visited provided any clinical evidence of this.)

Let’s leave aside the issue of why someone, somewhere, might take it into their head that a preparation of long-dead dinosaur might be a useful addition to the homeopathic pharmacopeia, and assuming that the original solution (prior to dilution well past Avogadro’s number) did actually involve fossil remains, I do have a couple of questions.

Do those offering this concoction really really think that it once included actual T.rex? Because the chemical composition of a T.rex fossil is going to be significantly different from that of the once-living animal. (While one recent find seems to have included some organic material, this is not going to be readily available to all comers.)

And – where did they get their original sample from? (A question one could also ask of those claiming to sell homeopathic plutonium. No, really.) Because there aren’t exactly a lot of T.rex fossils lying around for the taking: around 30 specimens in total. (Although I suppose they could have purchased teeth over the internet. But would teeth do something different from the rest of the animal???)

I rather feel that it’s not me that needs to be opening the mind’s doors…