a homeopathic dinosaur?

By Alison Campbell 06/01/2012

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…

0 Responses to “a homeopathic dinosaur?”

  • But what disease is a T Rex homeopathic solution supposed to treat? Using the Law of Similars shouldn’t the solution treat the same condition as that caused by a T Rex?
    So perhaps T Rex homeopathic solutions are used to treat decapitation? That could be a really useful remedy to have in your first aid kit. “Oh dear, your limbs have been ripped from your body in a dreadful accident. DOn’t worry my homeopathic T Rex solution will stick you all back together pronto”

    Over the years I have seen some incredibly weird homeopathic concoctions – derived from shipwrecks, sunbeams and rain (yes that’s right, by diluting rain with water!)

    Magical thinking – the lazy alternative to actually using your brain!

  • Just picked this up from another website

    Side effects of using homeopathic solutions- may cause a lowering of IQ

    Had to laugh

  • If you took every homeopathic solution in existence and combined them all, give them a shake and dilute them further then wouldn’t that form a cure all so that all conventional medicine would become redundant?

    Or would the quantum vibrations inherent in the aura of the water molecules cancel each other out? Maybe their combined frequencies would open a black hole and swallow the Earth?
    Perhaps the overlying string entanglement would disrupt the transient crystalline memory of the oscillating water molecules.

    Gee, if I had no morals I could write woo web sites for a living.

  • That’s where the whole ‘proving’ thing is so odd. AFAIK (doubtless I’ve got it wrong) the undiluted remedy is taken by a ‘prover’, & the assumption is that whatever sensations the prover experiences can be ‘cured’ by the highly diluted & succussed ‘remedy:

    Incidentally, while looking up ‘provings’ I found this: AIDS Nosode: Prepared from the blood of a man diagnosed as having Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, who subsequently died of Syndrome related diseases.
    Conducted by Misha Norland at the School of Homeopathy in 1994 and 1995. (http://www.homeopathyschool.com/provings.html) All I can say is, just as well that this stuff is only water – but I find it appalling that this particular homeopathic institution seems to thing that water can cure AIDS/HIV!

  • Drat – didn’t preview prior to post & should also have included this bit: One has to wonder why T.rex remains (basically bits of silicaceous dust, if they actually used any of the actual fossil) would induce symptoms akin to those it’s used to ‘cure’…

  • Alison,

    Had a look at the homeopathy website you linked to – sheer stupidity. They state that homeopathy is recognized by the World Health Organisation. The last thing I read from the WHO about homeopathy was a severe criticism of suggestions that it could be used to treat HIV.

    I had a sense of deja vu while reading all of the provings that they were making up and I suddenly realized that it was reminding me of when I used to play make believe as a child.