So, the 10:23 campaign to inform the public about homeopathy rumbles on.
There were three points of action in this week’s update email (which you can subscribe to here if you’re not already getting it).
1. They’ve got a flyer (PDF link) which you can print off and distribute, containing all the fundamental information about what homeopathy actually is. I may try leaving the occasional copy in the printer at work and see if it gets noticed.
2. They recommend writing an email to the pharmacist Boots (if you’re in the UK), and provide a suggested form letter, asking for details about how much active ingredient exists in a given homeopathic remedy sold there. I’m planning to stop by my local branch sometime this week and see if they have anything on their shelves that I can question them about specifically. From the responses other people seem to be getting to this kind of question, it’s clear that some people selling these remedies don’t understand how homeopathy works (and are under the impression that there’s something other than water in a 30C solution), and some neither know nor care as long as there’s money in it.
3. There’s also a petition to the UK PM, which you can sign if you’re a British citizen or resident, asking that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) be tasked with evaluating whether the NHS should fund homeopathic treatments, or whether there might be some other, better use for several million pounds somewhere in the field of medicine. Sign here. Boom. Done. Mine is signature number 324. As I type this, there’s still time for you to be number 325.
On a partially related note, what’s the deal with George Vithoulkas? The grubbier parts of the internets are abuzz with gossip about Randi unfairly backing out of testing this guy’s mad homeopathic skillz for the $1 million challenge, but I haven’t really heard anything about this from the skeptics’ side, and couldn’t find much except this brief commentary from Randi in October 2008. Is it old news being stirred up for no good reason? His name is nowhere to be found in the log of applicants for the challenge, that I can see. What’s going on here? I feel on fairly safe ground deciding that this guy’s a kook, but I don’t want to rush to judgment on the propriety of his or Randi’s behaviour when I can’t figure out who did what.
The big facilitated communication post I’ve been promised for ages is coming soon, hopefully tomorrow. Honest.