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An article by Phillip Ball (
) which concerns the old controversy about the Benveniste experiment, was published on "Nature on Line" (
) on August 8th, 2007:
"Here lies one whose name was writ in water..."
You can read the response posted by Prof.G.Vithoulkas to the above article.
Please respond to this article.
Response by Prof Vithoulkas
In connection with the article "Here lies one whose name was writ in water..." written by Philip Ball, August 2007; I would like to point out the following:
As one who has devoted his life to the teaching and practicing of homeopathy, I read with great interest that comment on homeopathy and the memory of water.
In 1989, I had the honor of participating in an international assembly of some of the leading conventional scientists, organized by Temple University of Philadelphia and taking place in Bermuda. Dr. Benveniste, one of the participants, presented his research on homeopathy. At that time I strongly objected to his findings, on the grounds that they contradicted the basic principles of homeopathy. According to these principles, a highly diluted and "potentized" substance will have on the organism effects opposite to material undiluted doses. Therefore, highly diluted antibodies would be expected, in the Benveniste model, to stop and not to cause basophile degranulation. In homeopathy we prescribe poisonous substances like Arsenicum, Hydrocyanic acid etc. in high dilutions to patients who have symptoms resembling those produced by intoxication and such symptoms are cured. Were the Benveniste model true, highly diluted homeopathic doses of any poison would be lethal to patients in the same way as the material undiluted ones, but this is not the case. The symptoms of a bee sting will actually be reduced by a high potency of Apis Melifica, but could never produce the allergic condition of degranulation of basophils as Benveniste then claimed.
During the years, I repeatedly warned the homeopathic community against the misleading results of Benveniste's experiments and their negative consequences on the credibility of homeopathy itself. Dedicating time, work, and human resources to the "memory of water" is like perpetuating the original mistake made by Benveniste.
His idea of "memory of water" was nothing else but a firecracker that has been burnt out long ago. The water after the homeopathic process of dilutions and succussion attains some biological properties so far unknown in their nature.
But to tear down a therapeutic system by examining and evaluating its theory instead of its therapeutic results is quite inappropriate. Until a few years ago, we did not know how aspirin works, yet it was the most frequently prescribed drug in conventional medicine.
The fact is that at this moment we do not have conclusive evidence of what is the nature of the homeopathic remedy. Homeopathy therefore must be accepted or rejected on its therapeutic effects alone.
To conclude, I would suggest to definitively dismiss the idea of the memory of water as a totally unscientific expression, to describe processes which are still completely unknown.