Homeopathy is a good example, and it came up recently on the list.
Homeopathic remedies are made by taking a substance, often the toxic
factor or antigen thought to give rise to the malady, and diluting it, a
lot. When homeopathic remedies say "30X" on the label, they mean the
material was subjected to 30 sequential (serial) 1/10 dilutions. So the
substance in that case is diluted by a factor of ten to the 30th power!
That is pretty dilute!
Committed homeopaths believe that something like a ghost, or essence of
the substance is transmitted through the dilution, and produces efficacy
in the remedy. Finding people who feel they have benefitted from such
remedies is not difficult, since even placebos are known to produce 10 -
20% positive responses in many trials.
Does this mean there is something "spiritual" going on here? It
probably just means that people are gullible. I doubt that Greg's pigs
are that gullible!
> That seems like a paradigmatic-laden statement to me.
> Perhaps you can qualify your scientific and/or anecdotal
> point of view.
I don't understand what you are getting at here. Could you explain
> What is so difficult or controversial about old-fashioned review of
> the vast majority of agricultural science articles like:
> summer pruning of fruit trees, alternate bearing in pecans,
> biological control in greenhouse vegetables, cool-season
> forages, tissue culture of citrus, cattle weight gain on native
> grasses, nitrogen contribution from winter cover crops, disease
> suppressive composts, seasonal changes in floral composition on
> the banks of Platte River in Nebraska, etc.
I agree. This is exactly what is needed. But if you're a toxicologist,
papers with names like "Trimmed logit method for estimating the ED50 in
quantal bioassay" sound just as familiar. It doesn't mean that they are
in a different "paradigm community" they just know more about
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