For those unaware of the 10.23 Campaign, created by the Merseyside Skeptics Society in the UK, this year’s mass demonstration of the futility of homeopathic remedies was a resounding success, with not one of the hundreds participating even feeling the slightest bit ill or sleepy.
The demonstration consisted of people across 23 cities over the globe gulping down large quantities of homeopathic sleeping pills – ‘Belladonna’, at 10.23 am on Feb 5th and 6th, depending on what part of the world you were in. Miraculously, they all survived.
The campaign is so named in honour of Avogadro’s constant, ~6 x 1023, which is used to describe concentrations of substances in a compound. The reality is that concentration of the active ingredients in homeopathic solutions is virtually nil, and the 10.23 campaign sets out to demonstrate that very point. In fact, the motto of the campaign is ‘Homeopathy – there’s nothing in it‘.
While in many instances homeopathy causes no harm, this is not always the case. Read this short piece by Simon Singh, who encapsulates the issues.
We currently have another real, live example of ‘what’s the harm?’ – the young american student who injured his spine wrestling. Specialists have recommended surgery to stabilise his spine and give the nerves a chance to heal. But, guess what? His mother is a homeopath, and thinks he’ll be fine with a few of her remedies. As it happens, the US courts have stepped in and made the kid a temporary ward of Delaware County to ensure that he gets the treatment he needs, although mum is fighting it. It will be an interesting case to follow. Orac provides a great summary of the case here.