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Maybe "Alternating" Rather than "Alternate"? PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

This comment has been circulating about among the woo-woos:

I don't know who suggested using the Benveniste experiment as something which would invalidate or disprove homeopathy, but whoever promoted that concept failed to appreciate or understand what homeopathy is about or what it can do. If it was Mr. Randi himself, I am afraid that he has done a disservice to humanity by sowing confusion in the minds of people whose sufferings could have been alleviated had they not been discouraged from considering homeopathy as a viable and valid alternative when the modality they are presently relying upon is not? [sic] producing the desired results.
Yours sincerely,

George Vithoulkas
Dean, International Academy Classical Homeopathy
Alternative Nobel Prize 1996

Seeing that last attribute of the author, JREF President Phil Plait has suggested that perhaps he's eligible for an "Alternative Pulitzer" for his blog posts on "Doctor Who." Seriously, Mr. Vithoulkas should know that it was the UK homeopaths who suggested the use of the Benveniste protocol for the BBC Horizon/Royal Society test to which I pledged the JREF million-dollar prize (see this YouTube video). I accepted that already-established protocol, which was then endorsed by the UK homeopaths; the results of the test were that - as always - homeopathy failed. Of course this, to any believer in homeopathy such as Vithoulkas, only means one thing: the wrong protocol was used...

I should mention that this was the protocol that Benveniste - a renowned and authoritative expert on homeopathy, and a staunch supporter of the "art" - originated for the tests that Nature Magazine ran back in 1988, and in which I, Walter Stewart of the National Institutes of Health, and Sir John Maddox, editor of Nature, participated. That test, too, failed.

Interestingly, a frothy criticism published by the renowned US homeopath Dana Ullman, "Science Friction: Homeopathy vs. The Debunkers, The Homeopathy Controversy in Nature Magazine," who reported re John, Walter, and me:

One was a journalist and two were known ghostbusters.

Au contraire. We were: First, a scientist and editor-in-chief of the - arguably - most prestigious science periodical in the world, second, a scientist with a leading federal medical science agency in the USA who has never knowingly busted a ghost, and third - yes - a confessed magician. I think our brain trust assays at 67% legitimate science and 33% adequate fraudbuster... Not bad credentials, at all!

Also, Mr. Ullman, that should have been "Walter Stewart," not "Wallace." It's a case of getting the facts right, you see - just like in real science.

See nature.com and homeopathic.com for these references.

And, Mr. Vithoulkas, I have never attempted, either on the Horizon program or in any other venue, to "invalidate or disprove homeopathy." I investigate, I do not debunk. I did not claim that failure on the Horizon program invalidated or disproved homeopathy; if that's your view, Mr. Vithoulkas, you do not understand how science works, and you should study up on it.

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written by BillyJoe, December 12, 2008
Also, Mr. Ullman, that should have been "Walter Stewart," not "Wallace."

It is amazing how often Dana Ullman mistakes or mispells names - including those of people he supports.
Dana Ullman is a first class fool, never listening to reason and never correcting, in fact repeating, errors found in his ramblings.
However, he has the alternative crowd, hook, line and sinker, and that really is all he cares about. He writes books and they buy them. He hasn't actually practised homeopathy in more than three decades.

BJ
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written by cwniles, December 12, 2008
Looking at the list of 'Right Livelihood Award' winners I was a little shocked that Mr. Vithoulkas was indeed presented with this award for "for his outstanding contribution to the revival of homeopathic knowledge and the training of homeopaths to the highest standards.”

I found this gem of a softball pitched to Mr. Vithoulkas at the Right Livelihood awards site....

Q. Why isn’t homeopathy widely spread since it is so effective?

A. There are several reasons. First, the lack of a proper education, which should be long enough and with high standards. Second, the resistance from vested interests (pharmaceutical industries and medical authorities). Third, the lack of proper information in the general public and among medical students.

First, you have to love that the question presupposes homeopathy to be "so effective" and then, that Mr. Vithoulkas blames the lack of acceptance on education....priceless.

Also, a brief footnote, Mr. Vithoulkas appears to be the last person associated with homeopathy to win this award and that was back in 1996. One can only hope that common sense has taken over with whoever awards these things.
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written by Alan3354, December 12, 2008
We need to combine the homeopathic advocates and the psychics. This will increase efficiency, and the 50% of people who are below average can do some "one stop shopping."
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written by mjh937, December 12, 2008
You would not even need the homeopathic advocates, just some water that one had touched.

Of course this is one of the few things that make psychics look good. Given a yes or no question the psychic will be right fifty percent of the time, a homeopathy "cure" will only be effective to the same extent as a placebo, which will be much less than fifty percent.
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interesting parralel
written by Trish, December 12, 2008
mjh937 says,"You would not even need the homeopathic advocates, just some water that one had touched."

I think this perfectly illustrates the common threat between homeopathy and religious mysticism - holy water & relics are supposed to gain their power by who has touched the item/water...
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Alternative Nobel Prize?
written by Trish, December 12, 2008
Please to inform - what is the Alternative Nobel Prize? It sounds like an award given by a bearded Leonard Nimoy to someone like Donald Rumsfeld for stirring up the opposite of peace on earth...
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written by Cuddy Joe, December 12, 2008
I won an Alternate Oscar (Documentaries) for my home movies of when I took the kids to Niagara Falls last year.
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written by BillyJoe, December 12, 2008
You would not even need the homeopathic advocates, just some water that one had touched.

No, you would need to immerse them in the water and shake vigorously - preferably for 10 to 15 minutes or so!
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written by Trish, December 12, 2008
Billy Joe, should we immerse them in water head first?
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written by Alan3354, December 12, 2008
The word 'modality' always makes me suspicious.
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written by cwniles, December 12, 2008
Trish, see my post above regarding the "Right Livelihood Award" as it is the award in question.
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written by Doggo, December 13, 2008
The Right Livelihood Award is sometimes referred to as the "Alternative Nobel Prize". It awards "softer" issues than the real Nobel Prize, such as helping vulnerable groups in society. In 1996 the brains of the awarding committee was softening as well.
The prize for homeopathy promptly awarded the Right Livelihood Award the Swedish Skeptics Society prize for that year’s most flagrant "misleader of the public" (my translation).
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Placebo
written by prosfilaes, December 13, 2008
Placebos having 10% success rate(source?) versus psychics having a 50% success ratio is giving numbers for a situation neither homeopaths or psychics would put themselves in. As long as you take homeopathic cold pills long enough, you are 100% likely to have your cold go away. Likewise, even if forced to answer a question yes or no, psychics are going to answer in the way that most likely makes the questioner happy with the answer.
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THE FACTS ABOUT AN INGENIOUS HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT THAT WAS NOT COMPLETED DUE TO THE "TRICKS" OF MR. JAMES RANDI (part 2)
written by CLAUDIA.FERGUSON, December 13, 2008
RETRACTION STATEMENT

11.11.2008

INTRODUCTION: This is a retraction statement against the erroneous piece of information published on JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) website http://www.randi.org , concerning the supposedly "withdrawal of Homeopaths" from a experiment (agreed upon between JREF and the Greek homeopathic team of medical doctors) that was devised in order to prove that there is a biological effect on human organism from the ultra high dilutions of homeopathic remedies, beyond the Avogadro number.



BRIEF HISTORY OF THE EVENTS:

- The group of homeopaths led by Prof. George Vithoulkas contracted an agreement with JREF on 2003, with the objective of matching a ``challenge'' posed by JREF, in order to carry out a scientific experiment that proves that the human organism responds to homeopathic ultra dilutions, and claim the 1 million USD challenge prize offered by JREF.

- On 2003, a team of ``skeptics'' was set up, to represent the JREF side in the scientific experiment that would follow. The group of skeptics and the group of homeopaths led by Prof. George Vithoulkas have been conducting preparatory work continuously since then.

- A protocol was drawn up with the title: “Do homeopathic remedies have a recognizable biological effect on the human organism?”

- The venue for the experiment was to be a Greek hospital. Eventually, after several contacts with several hospitals, the municipality hospital "ELPIS" in Athens, Greece had agreed to host the experiment. The pharmacist that would provide the homeopathic remedies for the experiment -Mr. Korres Pharmacy-, was also found and the agreement was finalized on 12.10.2005. At that time Ms. Althea Katz, representative of Mr. Alec Gindis (he was one of the representatives of Mr. Randi) visited the Greek municipality hospital in Athens and discussed all the details about the experiment exhaustively.

http://www.vithoulkas.com/content/view/1973/lang,en/

IT IS CONTINUED IN THE FOLLOWING POST

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THE FACTS ABOUT AN INGENIOUS HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT THAT WAS NOT COMPLETED DUE TO THE "TRICKS" OF MR. JAMES RANDI (part 3)
written by CLAUDIA.FERGUSON, December 13, 2008
- In 26.10.2005, Mr. Alec Gindis informed Prof. Vithoulkas by e-mail that the finances for the experiment were not yet raised and therefore the experiment could not start in spite of the fact that everything else was ready.

- In 17.8.2006, we received a signed agreement from Mr. Randi in which he stated that he was satisfied with the suggested protocol and he waived the claim of a preliminary test.

- As we waited for the finances to be raised, in order to start with the experiment, in 2.2.2006, we were informed that Mr. Randi had a health problem. When Mr. Gindis asked him to assign a representative in order to deal with all the procedures for the starting of the experiment, Mr. Randi refused to do so. As a result of his refusal the experiment was delayed so much until a new Mayor was elected in Athens who replaced the authorities of the ELPIS hospital, something that we had anticipated and repeatedly stressed to the “sceptics” long ago. The new Mayor Dr. Kaklamanis, a conventional medical doctor was indifferent if not hostile to the project. We had repeatedly warned the “sceptics” that if the experiment did not start the latest in the beginning of 2006, the new Mayor will change the key persons in the hospital -the president of the hospital and also the chairman of the scientific committee- and the new people most probably would not respect the decision of the previous scientific committee.

At this crucial time in the beginning of 2006 that the experiment had to start, Mr. Randi declared that he was sick and that his rehabilitation was ...going to last from the beginning of February till July! But this was the crucial period that the experiment should have started in order not to be affected by the new authorities of the hospital.

It is characteristic of the urgency from the exchange of e-mails and more especially the e-mail Mr. Gindis wrote to Mr. Randi: “I want to underline, though, that your participation is critical… As you can imagine, the homeopaths are very concerned about your health. In their eyes you “failed” them by getting sick right when they just about put it all together”.

In 7.4.2006 Mr. Gindis wrote to Mr. Randi in order to signal to him that the homeopathic team was ready to start: “All in all, I am impressed that he (Prof. Vithoulkas) managed to put together such a team, find a sponsoring hospital and find a way to recruit patients with advertising efforts and costs carried by the hospital and participating homeopaths”. But instead Randi suspended all activities of the experiment attributing it to his supposedly state of health!

Mr. Randi knew very well that this period was crucial for us to start the experiment and we had made this urgency explicit by sending several e-mails urging them that it was necessary to go ahead immediately. But Mr. Randi needed ...six months "to recover" denying to assign a collaborator. As expected, in Autumn of 2006 a new Mayor Dr. Kaklamanis M.D. was elected in Athens.

For us, all this extended period of recovery was obviously an excuse for not starting the experiment.

After the election of the new Mayor, a new chairman for the scientific committee and a new president of the hospital were installed.

Immediately we started pressing them to respect the decision of the previous scientific committee or to decide -in a new meeting- in favour of the experiment.

The interesting thing was that on 16.5.2008, Mr. Randi -thinking most probably that we could never succeed in getting a second permission- suddenly became very gallant and wrote: “In any case, it may not be necessary for me to actually be present in person for these tests. I am prepared to assign security and protocol duties to Alec Gindis and to Mr. Gabor, so they can act in my behalf”. But in the mean time and as early as March 2008 was already putting up in his website a text claiming that the "Greek homeopaths have withdrawn from the experiment ...as expected"!!

The important question is: why Mr. Randi delayed the starting of the experiment by the moment everything was in place in 2006, claiming that he...would be recovering for six months and that nobody else could replace him, while the next time, when he thought that we could never succeed in obtaining a second permission from the ELPIS hospital, he became so gallant as to assign a collaborator?!!

He was so sure that we will not succeed in getting a second permission from the hospital that in 16.5.2008 Mr. Randi sent us a... notarized statement saying:

“I intend to go through with the proposed test of the claims of homeopathy, as previously discussed in exchanges between George Vithoulkas and myself. This stance has not changed, and it will not change”. !!! See his new statement later on (17.10.200smilies/cool.gif when he knew already that we had the permission!!

http://www.vithoulkas.com/content/view/1973/lang,en/

IT IS CONTINUED IN THE FOLLOWING MAIL
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THE FACTS ABOUT AN INGENIOUS HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT THAT WAS NOT COMPLETED DUE TO THE "TRICKS" OF MR. JAMES RANDI (part 4)
written by CLAUDIA.FERGUSON, December 13, 2008
- In the end of July of 2008, after a lot of efforts, we obtained for a second time the permission to conduct the proposed homeopathic experiment at the ELPIS hospital.

- On 2nd and 3rd September of 2008, there was a final meeting in the International Academy of Classical homeopathy in Alonissos to discuss last details of the experiment. In the meeting were present the representative of Randi, Mr. Hrasko Gabor, Ms Althea Katz (representative of Mr. Alec Gindis), Dr. Menachem Oberbaum, principal investigator of the experiment and Prof. George Vithoulkas. They discussed for two days all the details about the experiment and the discussion was taped officially and also some of it videoed by a professional camera man from Israel.

- A FEW DAYS LATER (during September 200smilies/cool.gif WE RECEIVED INFORMATION FROM USA THAT IN RANDI’S WEBSITE WAS APPEARING (since March 200smilies/cool.gif A TEXT (under a title ANOTHER WITHDRAWAL) SAYING IN EFFECT THAT THE GREEK HOMEOPATHS HAVE WITHDRAWN FROM THE EXPERIMENT!!

In the document was stated that a major test of homeopathy in Greece has met the expected fate, being abandoned by the homeopathy community!!!!

This information infuriated the group of homeopaths led by Prof. George Vithoulkas and a lot of damage was caused to him as was accused for been associated with such unreliable people.

But the most outrageous event happened on 17.10.2008, when we actually received an "ultimatum" from Mr. Randi by which he was changing all the previous agreements refusing to go ahead with the experiment as planned.

Here is what he wrote:

“…Forget all previous correspondence exchanged on the subject. …What appears here is the current status. …First, we require that George Vithoulkas submit a regular, properly-filled-out application and submit it –just as we require everyone to do. After that has been received, we’ll go ahead– as with any regular applicant- with the arrangements, including the requirement for the preliminary stage”.

http://www.vithoulkas.com/content/view/1973/lang,en/

IT IS CONTINUED IN THE FOLLOWING MAIL
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THE FACTS ABOUT AN INGENIOUS HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT THAT WAS NOT COMPLETED DUE TO THE "TRICKS" OF MR. JAMES RANDI (part 5)
written by CLAUDIA.FERGUSON, December 13, 2008
Here you can see his whole statement with some remarks from us in red:

To All Concerned:



The brouhaha that began as a comprehensive homeopathy test In Greece, has been consuming far too much of my time and attention, and of my colleagues, as well. Forget all previous correspondence exchanged on the subject. What appears HERE is the current status. Mr. Randi asked from us to forget all previous correspondence after we discovered the false, slanderous and deceptive posting at his website JREF with the title: “Another Withdrawal”.



We’re starting anew. Bear in mind that WE are offering the million-dollar prize, and WE will control the parameters, in line with the rules of the challenge – which are available to everyone. There will be no more exceptions, which I had – unwisely – granted to certain persons in order to be more accommodating; they have always chosen to be difficult, capricious, and arrogant as a result of this courtesy. No more.



First, we require that George Vithoulkas submit a regular, properly-filled-out application, and submit it – just as we require EVERYONE to do. After that has been received, we’ll go ahead – as with any regular applicant – with the arrangements, including the requirement for the preliminary stage. Mr. Randi changed the terms of agreement when he saw that everything was ready for starting the experiment. While his representatives were discussing with Prof. George Vithoulkas in Alonissos (September 200smilies/cool.gif, he was publicizing to his website that the Greek homeopaths had withdrawn!!! Since I’m not personally handling the challenge applications, I’m not aware of how many places George Vithoulkas has tried for a venue, but I know that his own country turned him down, as well as some others. Second, we’ll require that Mr. Vithoulkas obtain a venue and all the necessary facilities for conducting a double-blind, correct, acceptable protocol, before we will go ahead – following the receipt of the application.

Mr. Randi pretends that he ignores the fact that we had already the permission and the facilities for a second time though we had informed the “skeptics”.



The protocol used by the Royal Society/BBC tests in the UK – based on Jacques Benveniste’s design, and carefully supervised by the homeopathic community there – would be acceptable for this set of tests.

Mr. Randi wants to change even the terms of protocol that took years to be contracted!!



Don’t contact me personally on this matter. I’ll not entertain any arguments or pleas. It will be handled by Alison Smith, working with others on our staff.

Actually Mr. Randi is dismissing his previous collaborators, Mr. Alec Gindis and Mr. Hrasko Gabor!!!



These 300 words constitute my entire commentary on the matter.



James Randi.



It was clear now for a second time that when everything was in place in order to start the experiment, Mr. Randi didn’t wish to go ahead and found ridiculous excuses for withdrawing.



Consequently, as a least compensation, for the moral damage caused to Greek homeopaths and to the homeopathic community in general, we demand:

1. The apologies from Mr. Randi personally posted at his website.



2. The retraction of the text “Another Withdrawal” from all sites.

3. This document to be posted in the same place in the website of JREF where the "withdrawal statement" was posted.

4. A legal, notarized statement retracting the last statement of 17.10.2008 that has cancelled all Mr. Randi’s previous commitments.

If Mr. Randi fulfils all these conditions we will continue as planned. If these conditions are not fulfilled within a month, we will consider that Mr. Randi has withdrawn from the experiment. In any case, we will go ahead and complete the experiment without Mr. Randi, only with the help of sceptics Mr. Alec Gindis and Mr Hrasko Gabor who really care in seen this experiment finally completed.

http://www.vithoulkas.com/content/view/1973/lang,en/
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written by BillyJoe, December 13, 2008
I have emailed James Randi about the above post from Claudia Furguson in case he doesn't see it himself.
I would be interested to read his reply.
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written by cwniles, December 15, 2008
For us, all this extended period of recovery was obviously an excuse for not starting the experiment.

Perhaps one of your "doctors" should have assisted Mr. Randi in his recovery smilies/cheesy.gif Seriously though, that strikes me as a speculative and rather crude statement for someone who is supposedly associated with "healing".

My opinion on how the homeopathic community should handle this matter is to do just as they threatened and "In any case, we will go ahead and complete the experiment" as really, you guys are interested in the betterment of society and not some measly million dollar prize right? I would think that a properly documented, successful set of trials would bring about far more funding than a million dollars...
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Homeopathy WORKS Darn IT!
written by mjr, December 15, 2008
The other day I mixed some scotch in water and shook it up and I got waaaay waaaaaay waaaay more smashed on it than if I had just drunk it straight. I'm worried that someday someone will pour a shotglass of scotch into a city's water supply and at that level of "succussion" it'll completely waste everyone.
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"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you". Matthew
written by CLAUDIA.FERGUSON, December 15, 2008
If Mr. James Randi had asked the help of homeopathy he would have recovered in 20 days and not in 6 months. And if he had asked, it would have been provided!
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Surprise, surprise
written by danieljref, December 15, 2008
Now that somebody finally wishes to take the million dollar test, people say they should go ahead and do it without the prize for the "betterment of society", but if they claimed they were doing it for the betterment of society instead of the prize (and refused to apply for the test) they would instantly claim that they were afraid to do the test and earn an "easy" million dollar prize.

Now that's skepticism.
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written by BillyJoe, December 15, 2008
cwniles,

My opinion on how the homeopathic community should handle this matter is to do just as they threatened and "In any case, we will go ahead and complete the experiment" as really, you guys are interested in the betterment of society and not some measly million dollar prize right? I would think that a properly documented, successful set of trials would bring about far more funding than a million dollars...

This is entirely beside the point.
Are you not interested in Randi's response to the accusations contained in Claudia Furgusons posts???
Randi replied to my email but he did not indicate that he would be answering the charges.


mjr,

The other day I mixed some scotch in water and shook it up and I got waaaay waaaaaay waaaay more smashed on it than if I had just drunk it straight.

Your opinion about homeopathy is worthless if you don't even know how it is supposed to work. Diluting and succussing alcohol would not enhance your intoxication, it would cure it.


Claudia Furguson,

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you". Matthew

I don't believe that passage form the bible was intended to support homeopathy.


danieljref,

Now that somebody finally wishes to take the million dollar test, people say they should go ahead and do it without the prize for the "betterment of society", but if they claimed they were doing it for the betterment of society instead of the prize (and refused to apply for the test) they would instantly claim that they were afraid to do the test and earn an "easy" million dollar prize.

Good post and thanks for your scepticism, Daniel. smilies/smiley.gif


Now...

Can we please have a response from Randi.
Everthing else is just B***S****ing around.

BillyJoe
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Claudia spoketh thusly:
written by lennyhipp, December 15, 2008
"If Mr. James Randi had asked the help of homeopathy he would have recovered in 20 days and not in 6 months. "

Ahhhahahahahhaha! Just like Sylvia Browne, giving out ill-informed medical advice. You know better than the doctors I suppose.

Len
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written by cwniles, December 15, 2008
Jeeze Billy Joe, I would respond to your question but since it would just be "B***S****ing around." I guess I won't.
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written by Cuddy Joe, December 15, 2008
Billy Joe - You were a hall monitor in high school, weren't you?
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written by BillyJoe, December 15, 2008
cwniles,
I didn't say you couldn't b***s*** around, I was just characterising what you are doing as b***s****ing around.


CuddyJoe,
Hall monitor?


James Randi,
*sound of crickets chirping* smilies/grin.gif
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At least they say they're going ahead with the tests.
written by JimD, December 16, 2008
They said
... In any case, we will go ahead and complete the experiment without Mr. Randi, only with the help of sceptics Mr. Alec Gindis and Mr Hrasko Gabor who really care in seen this experiment finally completed.


Does anyone know the backgrounds of the two people mentioned?
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written by Cuddy Joe, December 16, 2008
Gindis is an American-Israeli businessman who defends evolution against creationists and funded a replication of the Gans experiment which purported to have confirmed the 'Torah Code' (think 'bible codes'). The replication experiment failed to find evidence of any 'Torah Code'.
Gindis has a Facebook entry where Hrasko Gabor is listed as a friend.

Hrasko Gabor is a Hungarian skeptic. Unfortunately, I found nothing (in a cursory Googlation) that wasn't written in Hungarian. He too has a Facebook page in which skeptics Dr. Stephen Novella and Seth Shostak are listed as friends.
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written by cwniles, December 16, 2008
Yeah Billy Joe, I probably took that BS'ing comment a little personal.....but I did feel it to be sort of demeaning.

At any rate, I can understand that you would like Mr. Randi to contribute and that's where the frustration stems from.

As far as Gindis and Gabor, perhaps someone from JREF can chime in on this as it is asserted that they were representatives of Mr. Randi.
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written by BillyJoe, December 16, 2008
Cuddy Joe,

Yeah Billy Joe, I probably took that BS'ing comment a little personal.....but I did feel it to be sort of demeaning.
Well, Randi's supporters are trying to defend the indefensible here. Claudia Furguson made accusations about Randi's role in a planned test of homeopathy. I alerted Randi to this fact, but his reply did not indicate to me that he was interested in replying. The accusations therefore stand undefended. But all some of you can do in reply to Claudia's rather long and detailed posts is to attack homeopathy in a rather unintelligent and crude fashion and suggest they just go ahead and run their own tests. Not a word about Randi not answering the accusations or indicating that he will do so when he has time to check the facts of the case.

At any rate, I can understand that you would like Mr. Randi to contribute and that's where the frustration stems from.
I am more disappointed than frustrated. If he does not want to bother with this, that is he prerogative, but we are still left with just Claudia's version and a suspicion that she may be correct about how Randi handled or mishandled this thing.

BJ
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misunderstanding the concept of an experiemtn
written by Trish, December 16, 2008
"The group of homeopaths led by Prof. George Vithoulkas contracted an agreement with JREF on 2003, with the objective of matching a ``challenge'' posed by JREF, in order to carry out a scientific experiment that proves that the human organism responds to homeopathic ultra dilutions, and claim the 1 million USD challenge prize offered by JREF."

The above quote shows that there was a lack of what attorneys call a "meeting of the minds." When scientists do an experiement, the goal is to *test* the hypothesis, not to *prove* a claim that the person already believes to be true. No matter how technologically advanced the equipment used, if the goal is to prove a pet belief, what is being done is not science. At best, this person would be confusing an experiment with a demonstration.

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written by BillyJoe, December 16, 2008
Trish,

I think you may be reading too much into "scientific experiment". They are trying to win the million dollars by proving that homeopathy works in a particular situation. A proper test must be set up to ensure that the result is unlikely to be obtained by chance.

BJ
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written by cwniles, December 17, 2008
Billy Joe said in direct reply to MY quote.

But all some of you can do in reply to Claudia's rather long and detailed posts is to attack homeopathy in a rather unintelligent and crude fashion and suggest they just go ahead and run their own tests. Not a word about Randi not answering the accusations or indicating that he will do so when he has time to check the facts of the case.

First, it's a bit arrogant to assume we should be privy to these dealings. This is after all a public forum. I don't know what Mr. Randi has to say about these matters but I doubt very highly that this is the proper forum for business contract disputes which is essentially what this is.

Second, I made one joke (which you make jokes all the time) and I made it clear that it was a joke. I am sorry if you find my humor crude and unintelligent.

Third, about suggesting they run their own tests.....yeah, sounds like a great idea, whats wrong with it?

anyways, I guess I am done "BS'ing" around...
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written by Trish, December 17, 2008
Billy Joe, my understanding of the JREF Challenge was that the experiments to be tested had to have a clear yes/no answer. If the Challengees believe that they are doing this activity to *show* that X works, rather than facing the potential to get an answer they might not like, it seems they've confused the JREF Challenge with a demonstration, like in HS science classes, when the teacher does something like sucking a hard-boiled egg into a bottle
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written by BillyJoe, December 17, 2008
cwniles,

First, it's a bit arrogant to assume we should be privy to these dealings. This is after all a public forum. I don't know what Mr. Randi has to say about these matters but I doubt very highly that this is the proper forum for business contract disputes which is essentially what this is.

Defending the indefensible again.
Even if what you say is correct, there is absolutely nothing that prevents James Randi from replying is some form, even if it's just to say why he cannot repond directly to the accusations for such and such a reason.
But nothing.

Second, I made one joke (which you make jokes all the time) and I made it clear that it was a joke. I am sorry if you find my humor crude and unintelligent.

Which joke?

Third, about suggesting they run their own tests.....yeah, sounds like a great idea, whats wrong with it?

Nothing. It's just irrelevant as a response to Claudia Furguson's accusations against James Randi, that's all.

BJ
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written by cwniles, December 18, 2008
BJ
Defending the indefensible again.
Even if what you say is correct, there is absolutely nothing that prevents James Randi from replying is some form, even if it's just to say why he cannot repond directly to the accusations for such and such a reason.
But nothing.

I agree, but once again, who is to say he has not responded in some fashion? I am not trying to defend his silence on the matter, I am just trying to say that we may not be aware of all the correspondance taking place. Regarding posting just to say he could not reply directly, I agree, it would be nice, but a week or even two passing before seeing that post would not surprise me....people are busy. And beyond that, I don't spend all that much time here but even I know that comment board interaction with the JREF staff is slim to none. I am not defending that, just stating a fact.


What joke?
Perhaps one of your "doctors" should have assisted Mr. Randi in his recovery smilies/cheesy.gif

It's just irrelevant as a response to Claudia Furguson's accusations against James Randi, that's all.

Why would I respond to her accusations? Thats for the JREF to do. Why is that even relevant to my question?

At any rate, I think a lot of this is just poor communication, I really do agree with you that the lack of any sort of info from JREF on this is frustrating. I suppose I am just willing to wait a bit longer before making any sort of judgement about those accusations.
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disregard my above post
written by cwniles, December 18, 2008
aw rats.....stupid html markup...sorry for double posting but that last one is all messed up.

BJ
Defending the indefensible again.
Even if what you say is correct, there is absolutely nothing that prevents James Randi from replying is some form, even if it's just to say why he cannot repond directly to the accusations for such and such a reason.
But nothing.


I agree, but once again, who is to say he has not responded in some fashion? I am not trying to defend his silence on the matter, I am just trying to say that we may not be aware of all the correspondance taking place. Regarding posting just to say he could not reply directly, I agree, it would be nice, but a week or even two passing before seeing that post would not surprise me....people are busy. And beyond that, I don't spend all that much time here but even I know that comment board interaction with the JREF staff is slim to none. I am not defending that, just stating a fact.


What joke?
Perhaps one of your "doctors" should have assisted Mr. Randi in his recovery

It's just irrelevant as a response to Claudia Furguson's accusations against James Randi, that's all.

Why would I respond to her accusations? Thats for the JREF to do. Why is that even relevant to my question?

At any rate, I think a lot of this is just poor communication, I really do agree with you that the lack of any sort of info from JREF on this is frustrating. I suppose I am just willing to wait a bit longer before making any sort of judgement about those accusations.
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I'm amused by some's surprise at this...
written by Tristan Noel, December 18, 2008
Those who claim that they are outside of the scientific community's overwatch lose credibility. Scientists are capable of saying "I was wrong", and they then will play on this. So, these homeopathic whatsits will play into the hand of science for a moment, taking the tests, and the moment the results come in, they will throw in the towels for a brief moment, then say "We reviewed the method of the test, and found it to be in error. Looks like you're wrong, and we're not debunked yet."

It is that flexibility that science is founded upon that they use against science, in a tricky, but poorly planned psychological game.
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written by BillyJoe, December 18, 2008
cwniles,

Regarding posting just to say he could not reply directly, I agree, it would be nice, but a week or even two passing before seeing that post would not surprise me....people are busy.

You must have missed ny posts above where i indicated that I sent James Randi an email alerting him to Claudia Furguson's accusations. I also indicated that he ackowledged my email but that he did not indicate that he would be answering the accusations.
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written by cwniles, December 31, 2008
BJ,
I was away for a bit during the holidays but just wanted to mention that the front page of todays JREF has an update to this situation. Patience is indeed a virtue.
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Patience is a Virtue!
written by BillyJoe, January 05, 2009
cwniles,

I've juast arrived back form my holidays.
I will check it out.
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