Comments to Dawkins' Documentary by Stefano Carlino, M.D. (30.3.2010)
Richard Dawkins has tried to ridicule homeopathy. You can see the video.
Dr. Stefano Carlino has given him the following response.
COMMENTS TO DAWKINS' DOCUMENTARY
By Stefano Carlino, M.D.
Scientific Collaborator and Representative of IACH to ECH (subcommittee of Education)
I have watched this documentary very closely and I was stunned, not so much for its content (actually there is anything new), but for the destructive attitude of its author toward Homeopathy. This kind of slanderers have always followed this science since its dawning, yet millions and millions of people worldwide, now since two hundred years, continue to benefit from its effects and the number of conversions to this type of therapeutic system is continuously growing. Beyond these considerations, one thing is sure: organizing and producing such types of documentaries, certainly requires time and not inconsiderable financial efforts. So I wonder: what can be the interest of a person or a group of persons investing money for trying to destroy a discipline. Perhaps because they are animated by a strong sense of justice and do not tolerate that poor patients get lost in the illusion; perhaps because they are burned by the passion for truth and spend any energy, for making it clear to the world; or perhaps ... this discipline they are trying to destroy, is a threat to their interests. I leave the reader drawing his own conclusions. Nobody would invest in a documentary to discredit the scientific claim that the core of the earth consists of iron. In fact, no one has ever been at the centre of the earth to check it, but everyone accepts it and no one would ever think to discredit it: the fact that the core is constituted by iron or any other substance does not harm the interests of anyone. In this case it is different: Homeopathy is a threat to a huge sector of the industry, which daily speculates on human health, generating billions and billions of dollars, despite the continuous and exponential increase of chronic diseases in the world. Each new patient who converts to Homeopathy, is a patient who will not purchase drugs, or at least not as before. Each of them represents an economic loss for this sector. If we consider that today, only in Europe, more than thirty million people are cured by homeopathy, it is increasingly evident that this therapeutic system constitutes a nuisance for someone.
I also want to highlight that, as normally happens, detractors do not say the whole truth, but omits some important things, things that do not come in handy to prove their thesis. For example, the author of the documentary has clearly omitted that, during the preparation of the homeopathic remedy, there is not only the dilution. If the process consisted only in diluting the substance, the author would be absolutely right and nobody could contest it. Actually, during the preparation, there is a process of succussion that extracts, from medicinal substances, something still unknown, but exerting its potent therapeutic effects. Then, omitting an important fact is not giving information but misinformation. The one who loves the truth, the one who is willing to open new frontiers to science, has not this kind of attitude. Rather, he wonder: if millions and millions of people continue to follow this therapeutic system, if even infants or animals (for which the placebo effect cannot be called into question) continue to benefit from this "oceanic" dilution, it must contain something therapeutically active, even if it still cannot be proven with existing physical instruments. History abounds in this type of conflict, though all, without distinction, have been won by truth. This is because the truth needs no paladins who defend it. It is only a matter of time, but the truth emerges spontaneously, despite the effort that his detractors do, to hide it to their eyes and to the eyes of others. Let us remember of Galileo Galilei, who had to deny a concept which was so evident in his experiments, namely that the earth revolves around the sun and not the contrary. He risked being murdered, like many other "heretics" of his time. Like now, detractors of this truth saw threatened their influence, their power over the people. But you will say, that one was a dark time for science; today is different. And what about Albert Einstein, who less than a century ago completely shook the foundations of the vision of the universe, the concepts of gravity, space and time, concepts which were strongly rooted in the scientific world, since the time of Euclid and Newton. Yet, as always happens in these cases, he was not believed by the scientific community of his time.
I am therefore aware that it is unlikely that the skeptic can believe, but my words are not addressed to him, but to whom has no interest in denying the existence of something, without even having tried it, to one who has the humbleness to believe that what science has discovered so far is only a few grains of sand in a whole desert, yet to be discovered.