Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Study transuranic chemistry through homœopathy

Homœopathic ununpentium and the like
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The thirty C dilution in homœopathy involves an aqueous "solution" with a statistically insignificant probability of containing a single molecule or atom of the substance involved.
It's difficult to produce even a single atom of some transuranic elements, and while we're at it, francium, astatine and to some extent technetium suffer from similar problems.
These two phenomena can be combined usefully. Create a single atom of a transuranic element in water and it will already be, to some extent, a homœopathic preparation. Proceed to dilute this further until you have a thirty C dilution, then either study it or use it. For instance, determining pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and toxicology would be straightforward - just take them as if they're conventional homœopathic remedies. You could then extrapolate from that to determine other aspects of their chemistry. For instance, a transuranic element which reproduces the symptoms of lead poisoning might break down sulphydryl groups in proteins.
I'll leave it up to you to determine whether this rather sceptical alternative therapist is joking.
nineteenthly, Feb 14 2009


       Ha ha.
spidermother, Feb 14 2009

WcW, Feb 14 2009

       The old 'all networked by light' conundrum .
wjt, Feb 15 2009

       Homœopathy is complete nonsense. It's been surmised that if Christopher Columbus poured a *pint* of water into the ocean in 1492, and if by now it had been completely mixed, you couldn't draw a single *pint* of water out of the ocean without having at least one atom from Columbus' initial pouring in your glass.   

       Homœopathy is even worse; worse even than the Catholic's belief in magic water. (Sorry - I'm an Catholic apostate.)   

       Homœopaths believe that, somehow, atoms remember where they used to have been. (I'm being kind.) Well, every atom in your body has been, at some point, in a corpse, feces, whatever. Many times.   

       [nineteenthly], I often can't tell when you're being serious. So if you are: "sorry" - but this just blows... (-)
Wily Peyote, Feb 15 2009

       No, i'm not being serious, i was just interested in people's reactions given my background. I'll tell you what i think in a while.
nineteenthly, Feb 15 2009

       OK, here i am again back from my furniture combustion and real croissant consumption. I often can't tell whether i'm being serious either. I steered clear of homœopathy and a number of other complementary therapies precisely because i couldn't practice them with integrity. I would have to convince myself of things i found completely unconvincing to become a homœopath, so i didn't. I did, however, become a herbalist, though a bit of a peculiar one, and some of us are close to being homœopaths. I think of herbalism more as nutrition, among other things. Having said that, i also think this.   

       The thirty c dilution is not the only homœopathic preparation. It's a good straw man but there are other dilutions which actually do contain some of the substances concerned, notably six X, i.e. a million to one. Most of the time, a million to one dilution from the mother tincture of a herb is irrelevant - take a gramme of chamomile and dunk it in a cubic metre of boiling water and it won't be terribly effective, i suspect. However, that doesn't apply to everything.   

       Notice i'm talking about the million to one dilution here, not the decillion to one, which to me just seems silly. I'm pretty sure you won't get any significant action from homœopathic chamomile, there are a lot of other substances used in homœopathy, some of which are Schedule Three herbs, and some of which are actinides. Monkshood, for example, is an awesomely toxic herb, whose maximum safe dose is well below one gramme a week. Needless to say, i hope, i don't use it. A six X dilution of that is enough to have an action. There's also such a thing as homœopathic plutonium. I can believe that would have a noticeable action since it presumably increases the radioactivity of water and in a six X dilution would probably be enough to be poisonous.   

       Having said all that, yes, this idea is a joke but not this anno. However, thirty C homœopathy is almost certainly bollocks.
nineteenthly, Feb 15 2009

       All homeopathy is bollocks.   

       I was present at a debate between proponents of traditional medicine and the homeopaths. One Teacher of the ho~ said at one point "The laws of homeopathic action has already been determined by <famous name> so there is no need for further experimentation".
neelandan, Feb 16 2009

       They may be referring to Samuel Hahnemann or Rudolf Steiner. In the latter case at least, it's been noted that people view him as a father figure and have dysfunctional relationships with their own fathers, something they frequently acknowledge. I agree that the actual therapy is garbage, but the remedies themselves, the six X ones that is, do sometimes have an action if they are made with particularly toxic remedies. I know people who seem to have been poisoned by them.
nineteenthly, Feb 16 2009

       Homeopathy has two parts:   

       1. 'Like cures like'. Malaria causes fever, quinine sometimes causes fever, quinine cures malaria, therefore disease is cured by substances that cause the same symptom as the disease.   

       2. The one about substances leaving an impression, so even after massive dilution the solvent retains the essence of the substance. The Bach flower remedies share this concept, but not the first.   

       The truth or otherwise of these needn't be linked. Personally, I think the first is dubious at best and the second utter nonsense, if only because, as [Wily] implies, if it worked all water would contain all manner of imprints.
spidermother, Feb 21 2009

       I want to say that i believe the opposite, but that would just be my perversity. I think of Bach (and incidentally there are others) as homœopathy.   

       Er...Well, there are the common homœopathic analogies of simila similibus curantur with vaccination, of course, so there are specific examples of it happening. In other cases, the correlation might be spurious. For instance, something very close to certain CAM therapists' hearts is systemic Candidiasis, a condition i refuse to treat. If you tried to treat that with a fungal-based antibiotic, you could make it worse. I wonder what they think about that.
nineteenthly, Feb 21 2009

       My excluding Bach from homeopathy is an argument by etymology; Bach's remedies are not supposed to work by producing the same (homoeos) suffering (pathos) as the desease.
spidermother, Feb 21 2009

       Inside CAM, they are frequently described as homoeopathic. They are also considered to follow the law of similars, for instance hornbeam for strength and impatiens for impatience. I wouldn't distinguish between them and homoeopathy at all.
nineteenthly, Feb 21 2009


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