5x12 pentomino tiling

How Homoeopathy Works


Father Christmas brought me Ben Goldacre's most excellent Bad Science which I'm now part way through reading. While searching for video of him on YouTube I came across this video of Dr. Charlene Werner explaining how homoeopathy works.

Having read Ben on both quackery in general and homoeopathy specifically it's a joy to listen to her leap from Einstein's mass-energy equivalence1 through Hawkin's2 string theory, to defining disease as energy (without any explanation as to the equivalence) and finally to one specific example of someone she's cured.

I was going to transcribe a bit but someone has usefully already done it so here. They quote these snippets to give you a flavour of it thus:

Stephen Hawkings gave us the string theory ... these other energetic particles work by vibration ... our bodies are so wonderfully designed that we have light receivers (points to eyes) and we have ears (points to ears) ... string, vibratory, they pick up vibration ... our bodies are made of cells ... you can break down the cells into tiny pieces of energy called electrons, protons, neutrons, right? So the whole body has an infinitesimal amount of mass, but what is the remainder? Energy ... So I am energy, you are energy. Now if you go to study physics, energy can not be created ... but we don't know how to destroy it either. That is not humanly possible. So what we do is to take energy and transform it from one state to another ... Guess what the definition of disease is? It's not mass. We have transformed our energy state into something different. That's what the definition of disease is. ... So, every single one of us vibrates with a certain vibration and so we either vibrate with a plant, animal, or mineral.

It's truely boggling. The audience sits through it without collapsing in fits of giggles too!

  1. Which she misquotes as E=mc at one point but which the real joy is watching her confuse light with the speed of light and then use it to "prove" (I think, frankly it's hard to tell what she's trying to do) that light is energy as the mass is irrelevant.
  2. Who she believes comes from god and is called Hawkins.

Tags: badscience, books Written 26/12/08

Previous comments about this article:

On 27/12/08 at 9:59am Paul wrote:

I've since discovered a full transcript here and that Ben covered it in his blog in March so this is not new. The original video was apparently taken down when those who posted it realise it was bringing homoeopathy into disrepute (no, surely not) but by then it was out there in the wild.

Comment on this article

« »
I am currently reading:

A History of Women in 101 Objects by Annabelle Hirsch Game On by Janet Evanovich

Word of the Day: