Tag Archive | biology

Wishful Thinking: A Critical Analysis of Homeopathy Part II

Homeopathic 1 gram globules

Homeopathic 1 gram globules

This is a continuation of my post on homeopathy in which I talked about the history of homeopathy and how it is scientifically tested.  I ended the post wondering why there was so much public acceptance for such an ineffective product.  In this post, I will discuss the various cognitive biases that allow well-intentioned individuals to falsely believe that homeopathic interventions have positive effects.

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No Free Lunch: A Critical Analysis of Homeopathy Part I

Homeopathic medicine

Homeopathic remedy

Usually, when I write one of these posts, I write a short, snappy introduction using an interesting hypothetical situation.  I shall not do so for this post.  In this post, I will discuss homeopathy – an “alternative” medical intervention that is entrenched or gaining traction in a number of countries around the world such as India, Germany, the UK and the United States.  This is quite a serious topic and I wish to go over it in a reasonably serious way.  This post of for those who have heard about homeopathy during a television commercial (flu remedies, Zicam etc.) or knows of a family member who uses it but doesn’t quite know what it is.  I will go over the history, the underlying principle behind homeopathy, and a scientific examination of it.  I will also discuss some of the current explanations that homeopaths provide that attempt to explain or justify the efficacy of homeopathic medicine.  This is going to be a pretty detailed post – so hang in there!


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A Fowl Dilemma

Which Came First, The Chicken or The Egg?

Image by "The Wanderer's Eye" via Flickr

Today, I will tackle the conundrum of Which came first:  the chicken or the egg? This is an age-old dilemma, confounding early philosophers.  The core argument takes the form of a catch-22.  All chicken hatch from an egg.  Hence, to have a chicken, one must first have had an egg.  But chicken eggs need to be laid by a chicken.  Hence, to have an egg, one must first have a chicken to lay it.  Phrased this way, this question does not seem to have a good solution.  Nevertheless, evolutionary biology has been able to resolve the issue with a correct but perhaps unsatisfactory answer.


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