Different people want different things from their medicines.
There are numerous ways to be treated medically for some ailment. Tablets and tinctures, drugs and drips, surgery and suppositories. Each has its own place and its own value, depending on the situation.
But for some people, the thing that matters most to them – the one, vitally important factor on which they base their decisions about what medicines to take – is whether or not you can safely ignore the recommended dosage limits and neck a gallon of the stuff.
Meet Mike Adams.
Although the painful degree of his misunderstanding is evident even from the headline, it takes him nearly a paragraph to get to the first significant misrepresentation in his latest article.
The 10:23 campaign recently organised its second mass “overdose” of homeopathic remedies, in which crowds of skeptics simultaneously consumed much more than the recommended amount of homeopathic sugar pills, which contain no active medical ingredients but claim to be an effective treatment for a variety of conditions.
It’s an unashamed publicity stunt, and an effective one. But despite Mike Adams’s confusion, nobody’s claiming that because you can overdose on homeopathy and not die, therefore it doesn’t “work”.
We already know it doesn’t work, because people have studied it and acquired a great deal of evidence, and the 10:23 site explains this point very clearly, for the benefit of anyone who’s noticed the pill-poppers’ gimmick and is curious as to what their point is.
But the confusion of Mike Adams runs deep. He seems to count it as the worst hypocrisy that these skeptics “wouldn’t dare” to take the same blasé approach to chugging back litres of their own “allopathic”, “scientific”, “evidenced”, “reality-based” medicines.
And when he tries to unravel the skeptics’ motivations, I haven’t seen such bizarrely tangled logic since… well, since I last noticed Mike Adams.
First, let’s get to the understanding of why the idea that you could “overdose” on homeopathic remedies is ridiculous to begin with…
These skeptics, you see, approach homeopathy as if it were a drug (because that’s all they really know). And in their world, all drugs are dangerous if you overdose on them.
We know the idea of overdosing on homeopathy is ridiculous.
If we thought you could dangerously overdose on homeopathy by consuming a lot of it at once then we wouldn’t have had a big party where hundreds of us deliberately overdosed on homeopathy.
The reason we do this with homeopathy and not actual medicine is that actual medicine fucking does something. It has demonstrable physical effects on the body, which often aren’t desirable if you’re perfectly healthy.
His obsession with remedies so ineffective that they can never possibly do anybody any harm is quite inexplicable. Especially since his particular curative fetish drowns hundreds of people all over the world every year.
But homeopathy is safe to take even in large doses, because it has no pharmacological effects on the human body. At all. It’s just water on a sugar pill. We know you can’t overdose on it. The strap-line for the entire campaign is “THERE’S NOTHING IN IT”.
(Adams also contradicts his previous demented tirade, when he attributed to skeptics the notion that “you can take unlimited pharmaceuticals… with absolutely no health effects whatsoever!” Well, which is it – do we think that all drugs are totally harmless or that all drugs will kill you?”)
It gets possibly even weirder later on where he explains “Why I’m challenging skeptics to drink a gallon of chemotherapy”, and gleefully calls for the deaths of thousands. I have literally no idea what Mike Adams thinks “a gallon of chemotherapy” is.
And right now, I have no interest in trying to find out. I’ve got a couple of ounces of toothache, and I’m going to go and treat it with a few yards of chiropractic. I’ll be back in a volt and a half. Seeya.
Update: Steven Novella’s taken his turn at this as well. And my toothache is hours better, thankyou.