Mar 20 2012

Two more polls!

Two stupid polls out of the UK: here’s the first.

Should homeopathy be banned on the NHS?.

It’s very annoying — I voted, but it won’t show me the results. If you find the same absence of feedback, I guess you’ll just have to bash homeopathy blindly. (Reports coming back are that it’s currently about 50:50.)

Here’s another one, even dumber, promoted by some quack homeopath who thinks she’s being cleverly contrarian.

Should pharmaceutical drug treatments be publicly funded by the NHS UK?

No 80.22%

Yes 19.78%

Right. Let’s not support the use of the drugs that actually work.


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  1. 1

    The first poll shows 50.1% Yes and 49.9% No

  2. 2

    Big Pharma makes money off of them, so clearly they can’t actually help. Best to go with the little guys, Big Homeopathy.

  3. 3
    Glen Davidson

    Scientists are prejudiced against making shit up. How can we subsidize anything that is so biased against ID and homeopathy?

    It’s just not fair.

    Glen Davidson

  4. 4

    Grauniad post is still slightly over 50% for the right answer

  5. 5

    And the second post is much more heavily weighted in favor of pills with actual active ingredients. Looks the blogger there has a special beef with PZ as well.

  6. 6
    Aratina Cage

    I got 9285 Yes to 9129 No (50.4% to 49.6%) on the Guardian Poll after voting Yes.

  7. 7

    First one, 50/50

    Second, 55/45. Could be better, but it’s just starting.

    For a moment, I read “Should pharmaceutical drug be publicly funded…”
    instead of
    “Should pharmaceutical drug treatments be publicly funded…”

    Either I’m tired and cross-eyed, or the question is so dumb that my brain automatically tried to correct it to anything else more meaningful.
    Maybe both.

  8. 8

    A couple of clicks away from the second poll I found this.

  9. 9
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Heh, lol.

    Homoeopaths claim that even very low concentrations of their tinctures have been shown to differ from pure water. But Professor Ernst said even if that were true it would not explain their claimed positive effects. “The water in my kitchen sink differs from pure water after I have done the washing up, but this does not mean it is good for my health.”


  10. 10


    Grauniad is at 52.1% Yes.

  11. 11

    The second poll has completely flipped to 80% yes.

  12. 12

    “Billions of pounds pumped in every year but the state and level of health of a UK citizen is not improving. Instead 10,000 people in Britain die each year.”

    I’m sorry…I didn’t realize immortality was supposed to flourish in the UK?

  13. 13

    Do you have cookies disabled, PZ? It won’t show you the results unless you have cookies enabled.

  14. 14
    Simon Hayward

    I was a little perplexed by the claim of 10,000 deaths per year – in a population in the ballpark of 62 million does that give a mean lifespan of around 6200 years. If so I’d say those drugs are doing a pretty good job.

  15. 15

    When are people going to realise that water is only an effective treatment if the problem you have is dehydration.

  16. 16

    @lexie — add that water in sufficient quantities is useful for the alleviation of odor.

    the first pole is currently: Yes @ 52.5%, No @ 47.5%.

    the second one is 85% Yes, 15% No. the good quacktor is soundly defeated. hahahaha.

    the 10k deaths per year is as wacky as the homeopathy. not sure what Malik meant technically by “Britain”, but according to the Office of National Statistics there were 493,242 deaths registered in England and Wales in 2010.

  17. 17
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    First poll 54:46
    Second poll 87.8:12.2

  18. 18

    Expect that second poll to be revised, fudged or removed altogether before the final numbers are published. It’s Nancy Malik’s private blog so she has control over the outcome, and I have little doubt someone like her would exercise it given a negative outcome.

  19. 19

    [11032 (54.3%) - Yes] vs [9267 (45.7%) - No]
    on the first one.

  20. 20
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    When are people going to realise that water is only an effective treatment if the problem you have is dehydration.

    Or witches.

  21. 21

    Every time I have posted something against homeopathy I get some stupid message from Nancy Malik – I think she has some sort of bot searching out blogs which have an antihomepathuc message. Unusually rather insipid messages anyway.
    Second poll is now 85% for yes, hopefully this will continue to get higher

  22. 22

    Glen @3
    I come here for a few reasons and one of them is to read what you write…always great, usually funny as hell!

    Any you’re never sarcastic either.

  23. 23

    - That should be “And” you’re never sarcastic either -

  24. 24

    FYI, I’ve found Guardian polls only work in Internet Explorer. Lazy programming, but there you are; the the old egalitarian, left-wing firebrand is disappointing in so many ways these days…

  25. 25

    FYI, I’ve found Guardian polls only work in Internet Explorer. Lazy programming, but there you are; the the old egalitarian, left-wing firebrand is disappointing in so many ways these days…

    Works perfectly OK in Google Chrome/ium…which I am led to believe is now the most used browser on the intertubes.

    Grauniad poll is up to 55.9% for the correct answer.

  26. 26
    'Tis Himself

    petermagellan #24

    I’ve never had a problem with Guardian polls using either Firefox (on my home computer) or Chrome (on my work computer).

  27. 27

    Nancy Malik is a BHMS (‘Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery’) who calls herself a medical doctor (illegal in the UK) and who endlessly trolls blogs with negative opinions on homeopathy. She has produced a number of witless analyses of pathetic ‘clinical trials’ of homeopathy, failing to grasp that the whole job has been done far more competently in several meta-analyses and Cochrane reviews.

    Now a question. Until I encountered DrNancyMalik through these polls (she has commented extensively on the one on the Guardian site), I had not realized there was a qualification in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery. What the heck is homeopathic surgery?! How do you dilute scalpels? Presumably homeopathic practitioners have a form of keyhole surgery that involves incisions so tiny you can’t get anything through them.

  28. 28

    What the heck is homeopathic surgery?

    You take a surgery course, but keep diluting the knowledge, until the students know nothing. Then they’re qualified.

  29. 29
    Dick the Damned

    Homeopathic surgery – i guess that’s gotta be another name for Psychic surgery.

    (From Wikipedia – psychic surgery is a pseudoscientific procedure typically involving the alleged creation of an incision using only the bare hands, the removal of pathological matter, and the spontaneous healing of the incision. Psychic surgery has been condemned in many countries as a form of medical fraud.)

    Yeah, fraud. Why can’t these crooks be prosecuted? (Rhetorical question. I despair.)

  30. 30

    Results not displayed in Firefox but they are in Internet Explorer. Currently 56.2% Yes, 43.8% No.

  31. 31

    Still only 56% voting correctly on the homeopathy poll folks. Pile in!

  32. 32

    @12 & 14 Her 10k deaths number is for deaths “caused by drug side effects” – although she doesn’t always make that clear, and never says how many cases would have been terminal if left untreated either, or how many treatments were successful, so already it is meaningless, even if she didn’t just pull it out of her arse.

    Speaking of which, the other thing she doesn’t say is where that statistic comes from – she doesn’t like sources:

    “it’s not about links, it’s about choice”
    - ‘Dr’ Nancy Malik, dismissing a detractor who had the gall to direct her to peer-reviewed scientific studies.

  33. 33

    Orac on homeopathic surgery (from 2007):

  34. 34

    Oh man, I had a ding dong with Nancy Malik on Derren Brown’s blog: http://derrenbrown.co.uk/blog/2009/08/dara-obriain-homeopathy/

    I asked her to provide actual evidence to support her assertations about homeopathy and she posted a load of links which she claimed supported it. I went through ‘em and even as a non-scientist was able to rip them to pieces.

    For some reason, she didn’t bother addressing the myriad concerns with the papers I’d raised. Weird, eh?

  35. 35
    Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc

    Guardian poll is heading in the right direction, 2nd poll seems to have ben thoroughly Pharyngulated.
    I see that CiF comment comedy is in full swing too.

  36. 36

    I particularly liked the comment by Persianwar from the Gaurdian poll

    “Homeopathy should be given 1p of public funding. Homeopaths will thus have the ‘memory’ of funding which should presumably make homeopathy all the more powerful.”

  37. 37

    Also on Paul Wilson’s site “Dr” Nancy Malik demonstrates a pigheaded reluctance, or incapacity, to actually discuss the articles she’s linking.

  38. 38

    Voted. Current stats:

    Do you think homeopathy should be banned on the NHS?
       56.5% Yes
       43.5% No

    Should pharmaceutical drug treatments be publicly funded by the NHS UK?
       10.14% No (354 votes)
       89.86% Yes (3,138 votes)

  39. 39

    The comments on the Guardian have been quite fun. One guy from my discussion board posted that if the homeopathists got miniscule funding then that would make it more effective – tongue in cheek I hasten to add.

    My modest proposal was that the taxpayer would save an enormous amount of money if fringe medicine was funded to those who opted for it, but having done so that was all they would ever get.

    Savings not only from treatment, but from pensions, care of the elderly etc.

    I did add that while stupidy was a bad thing, it really didn’t deserve a death sentence, though.

    It’s now 55.7% for the good guys, which is a little disappointing,

    David B

  40. 40

    First poll currently:

    Do you think homeopathy should be banned on the NHS?
    54.9% Yes
    45.1% No

    Only an hour left to vote!!

  41. 41

    Wow, I’m astounded at the sheer mass of stupidity on the Guardian thread – it appears that many of the posters are first-timer hit and runners which make me suspect that it has been linked somewhere in a pro-homeopathy site. Ah well, you can’t win ‘em all.

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