Homeopathy: The Stupid Strikes Back

Fear the stupid, fear it:

Stupid has no limits. It especially burns when you know something. And indeed, the following video is like showing a cross to a vampire, except this one is with science and educated people:

Just in case you don’t know, homeopathy basically says that if you imbibe something that caused harm in small amount, it will cure you of whatever you had. I know, it is like saying if you rub feces on you, you will get cleaner. Just doens’t make sense. Orac does a good job deconstructing these things (and hat tip to him for providing this entertaining and painful show). Of course, he focuses in the medicine, but he can also tell something is horribly wrong in her “physics” lecture. He covers the physics part pretty well, but I will go in more details in the physics side of things.. Even if I become Patrick Star stupid after this, I will at least have provided entertainment, so here I go. *gulp*

Note: I am not an expert in physics, but I did make as much as I could with what I knew, and a little research. Any errors, feel free to correct me.

And heh, she says at the beggining that she will “explain” things, heh, “explain,” followed by asking if anyone had chemistry classes. Probably none of them had it, and if they did, they must have failed horribly, or it is the suckiest school ever because as you watch the rest of the tape, you will start wondering what part of all of these were part of physics and chemistry classes. 

Notice how she begins by throwing in a famous name? Makes everything seem a little bit oh so credible, doesn’t it. Immediately after mentioning his name, though, she begins to screw with physics and what he actually said. Okay, not so much, it is more of me nitpicking. C squared is speed of light squared, not speed of light. If it were speed of light, then you wouldn’t need that square, would you? But now the mental stuff begins. She claims that if you put all the mass in the universe so that there is no space in between the matter, that it would be the size of a bowling ball. Well, if she means by all the spaces an atom has because of electrons, you only need to look at neutron stars. Neutron stars are so massive that electrons are absorbed by the proton, turning into neutron. It happens to 1.5 solar mass core of  even more massive giant stars. So you see, if the whole universe is squeezed like that, it would certainly be much larger than a city sized neutron star, and then, it would squeeze into a black hole, which is mathematically infinitely small. Of course, mathematics does not reflect reality, but it is super small definitely. If you take account of the event horizon, that is a different story.

But no, the fact that she was wrong on that fact was not why it bothered me. Uh uh. If you keep playing the video, she is implying as if having small volume means that the amount of mass is small. That is incredibly stupid. Look, we are mostly empty space, all right? Because an atom’s size depends on the very small, very far apart electrons. I still weigh 70 kilos regardless! I would weigh 70 kilos even if I shrunk enough so that I become a neutron star. I would weigh 70 kilos even if I became a black hole, albeit a super small black hole. If you squeeze a cotton ball, there is  still the same amount of cotton. Volume doesn’t matter, only the amount of stuff matter. You still have to take account of the stuff.

And then she makes an even a larger leap of logic. She then claims that since mass occupies a small volume, the term mass(m) of e=mc^2 becomes infinitely small, and what is left is e=c^2! Ow, ow, I got brain fever. What a horrible abuse of math and physics. Firstly, as I said before, mass does not change! Secondly, if you make the limit of mass to zero, then it might as well become zero value. And if you multiply 0 value by c^2, guess what? E=0! Also, how does the unit m^2/s^2 makes sense? That is speed squared, not energy. Energy has the units kg*m^2/s^2. What e=mc^2 do say, though, is that if, say, you turn a paperclip into pure energy, it will probably explode with the power of a nuclear bomb. Tiny little mass=BIG BOOM! And even if there were a gazillion times more energy in the universe (well, there is dark energy, but that is a different story) than energy stored as matter, it doesn’t change the fact that those matter exist.

Then she mentions the fact that vision is important because energy=C^2. I don’t get it. More importantly, of course having “vision system” is important! We would die without the ability to sense our way around. We evolved that way. Life adapts to nature, and natural selection did the best it could by selecting genes for eyes. I don’t know who “Hanneman” is, but I strongly suspect I know why scientists didn’t fall in his camp (clue: he was wrong). 

Afterwards comes another abuse of physics, this time throwing unceremoniously the name Stephen Hawkings. Can someone go to her and tell her to research things at least a little bit, or consult with a physicist, a little, at least, or something. Stephen Hawkings did not invent string theory, funnily enough (check year 1970). He is known for his work on black holes and Hawkings radiation, so I don’t know how someone came up with that connection. Anyways, string theory doesn’t say that there are whole other particles out there that are like strings. It states that those particles are made out of those strings, which vibrate at certain frequency (or was it wavelenght?). Different frequencies corresponds to different particles. And no, those strings are subatomic, so it doesn’t affect the macroscopic except the fact that normal matter is made of them. When she mentions that strings vibrating is energy, e=c^2… More research, ma’am, more research. The internet is awefully convenient for that, you know.

Then she goes on to the connection of physics and biology. Again, she makes the statements which I addressed before, cells are still made of mass, even if it is mostly empty space! And the fact that atoms are mostly empty doesn’t matter at this large scale either. She then talks of breaking the cells into energy, like protons, electrons, neutrons… Wait a minute… That is what atoms are made out of, and atoms are matter! *facepalm* With that logic, she says we are made of energy. Physics class indeed, physics class. With that comes the most incredible piece of stupid in the video yet, just when I thought it couldn’t get stupider. She declares we are energy and that diseases are caused by changes in energy state, like turning chemical energy into heat or something, except something else. Well, there goes germ theory of disease. People, I present to you a most puzzling and curious specimen, a germ theory denialist in the 21st century. Of course, she isn’t denying the germ theory only, since not all diseasees are due to germs, she is ignoring the basics of all biology, pretty much.

Okay, here comes the apex (or nadir, the bottom, if you will) of illogic of the whole piece, which doesn’t make sense even if all her other premises were true: We are energy, disease is caused by energy change, so to cure disease, you have to change it into a prevous state… by using the same stored energy that caused the bad thing to happen. All of it with the analogy of throwing a bomb to a neighbor’s house because a dog pooped in your home. Yup, even if her bad science were true, it doesn’t make sense. It is like saying that you can quench thirst by drinking salt water because salt water causes thirst. And all of that comes along with bad analogy. She is holding no punches back.

The rest is just the whole vibration/energy bull, along with an anecdotal story. If you know anything about standards of evidence, anecdotes are bad evidence. Primarily because human judgment and memories are unreliable. Which is why in a court of law, if you only have eyewitness, but no material evidence, you are screwed.

Oh, and one last comment on energy. You can’t just use energy as if it were something. It exists, that is for sure. Matter turns to energy, energy turns to matter. But mostly, energy is in a form like motion, stored due to position, or as light itself, all being work due to force. So saying we are all made out of energy is… Well, in a way we are because matter is basically condensed energy, but other than that, energy is an abstract concept relating motion with a number, and in case of light, wavelenght with a number, the numbers being energy. And using that number, we can calculate all sorts of things about that motion, and that number is conserved throughout the whole thing. Indeed, this is something that physicist Richard Feynman explains very well.

Now that this mega piece of deconstruction is done, I will end with one last note. “Dr.” Werner, I have never heard so much nonsense concentrated in such a short amount of time. I believe she deserves the accolade of, as the young people say these days (yikes, I am 19 and I already feel old ;) ), “ignunt” of the month.

3 Responses to Homeopathy: The Stupid Strikes Back

  1. […] Hawkings invented string theory”. Luckily no-one ever needs to see it again since IBY had a go at deconstructing […]

  2. Lurch says:

    I tried. Really, I tried. But when she started babbling about cells and whathaveyou I just couldn’t take it any more.

    Where in the HELL did she dream this crap up? She plainly has had no formal education in the sciences. If I’m any judge of things, her education is from a quick skim of the wikipedia.

    I am SO glad my father hasn’t seen this.. as a physicist, he’d likely have a stroke.

    As I write this, I’m making a concerted effort to recall the last time I heard such crap.

  3. ibyea says:

    Thankgoodness you are not me then. I felt compelled to watch the whole thing and destroy it for the crap it is. Not that it wasn’t torture at all, oh no. Especially when I had to repeat the really stupid bits three or four times in order to get the quote and understand what she was implying.

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