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Why I Can’t Take Homeopathy Seriously
Jeremy Corbyn, the man who will take the Labour Party to the next British election, believes in homeopathy. Here's why that matters.
Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of the British Labour party, in a stunning first-round victory that dwarfed even the mandate for Tony Blair in 1994.
Dear Jeremy Corbyn MP,
First, congratulations on your election to lead the Labour party. Your political views resonate with me and many of my peers. Until recently I was even considering joining the Labour party so I could vote in support of your leadership.
I was crestfallen to learn that you voted in 2010 in support of the provision of homeopathy on the NHS at taxpayer’s expense. To support this view you tweeted:
“I believe that homeo-meds works for some ppl and that it compliments (sic) 'convential' (sic) meds. they both come from organic matter...”
I'll try and deal with the litany of problems with this single tweet with some lighthearted good humour, but rest assured, this issue is one you should take very seriously. Countless people have died after choosing homeopathy instead of genuine medicine. Homeopathy has been shown by hundreds of studies to be no more effective than placebo pills.
Homeopathy is based on a series of ludicrous ideas that have been so thoroughly debunked that for this modern, educated generation, belief in homeopathy has become a litmus test to easily identify anyone who is irrational, uneducated, or hasn’t learned how to use the Internet to conduct elementary research before sharing their opinion (let alone voting on that opinion in parliament as you have). All three of these factors: rationality, education, and the ability and inclination to distinguish fact from fiction are vital qualities for a future leader.
As much as I’m concerned by your belief in homeopathy, I’m even more perplexed by your justification for your belief. You state about homeopathy and “convential” (sic) medicine: "They both come from organic matter." This sentence represents several profound misunderstandings. "Organic" simply means something that is derived from living matter and produced without artificial chemicals. Firstly, conventional medicine is not necessarily organic. Secondly, due to the fact that homeopathic preparations don't actually contain any active ingredient whatsoever; they are only organic in the same somewhat abstract sense that a glass of water is organic. Thirdly, whether or not a medicine is organic has precisely zero bearing on whether or not it is effective.
Effectiveness of medicines is tested by randomised, controlled trials, which have repeatedly shown homeopathy to be ineffective. Your statement is both incorrect and irrelevant to your case. You might as well have backed up your belief in homeopathy with the claim that the sky is the colour green. Cow dung is organic matter; that doesn’t mean it would make good medicine.
I am not the first person to raise these concerns. They were raised five years ago at the time of your vote on homeopathy in parliament. They were raised again by Ian Dunt at Politics.co.uk (who coincidentally also chose to use the phrase "litmus test" to describe belief in homeopathy as an indicator of bigger problems). Over the last week your tweet has received hundreds of replies from your former supporters, calling for you to clarify your views, yet to my knowledge you have remained silent on this issue.
I’d genuinely love to see your otherwise progressive voice be heard within the Labour party, but I can’t bring myself to support someone who ignores evidence, ignores criticism, and justifies their views with such obvious disregard for science and rationality.
I'd be grateful if you'd make a statement clarifying your views, which I'd be happy to print below this letter. I implore you to take this opportunity to disassociate yourself from the laughing stock that is homeopathy paid for by our taxes and supported by our Health Minister and to take a stand against the current Health Minister’s disregard for evidence-based policy, rather than joining him.
A disappointed former supporter.
Formerly writing with the pseudonym "neurobonkers", Simon has a history of debunking dodgy scientific research and tearing apart questionable science journalism in an irreverent style. Simon has written and blogged for publishers including: The Psychologist, Nature, Scientific American and The Guardian. His work has been praised in the New York Times and The Guardian and described in Pearson's Textbook of Psychology as "excoriating reviews of bad science/studies”.
Image Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Humans are particularly prone to shiver when a group does or thinks the same thing at the same time.
A few years ago, I proposed that the feeling of cold in one's spine, while for example watching a film or listening to music, corresponds to an event when our vital need for cognition is satisfied.
Certain colors are globally linked to certain feelings, the study reveals.
- Color psychology is often used in marketing to alter your perception of products and services.
- Various studies and experiments across multiple years have given us more insight into the link between personality and color.
- The results of a new study spanning 6 continents (30 nations) shows universal correlations between colors and emotions around the globe.
The root of color psychology<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9e40cf62fa8922fcca6c57e2fcb215b6"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OM4fXB23pCQ?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>There is a very likely chance you've even been "fooled" by color marketing in the past, or you've chosen one product over another subconsciously due to colors that were designed to influence your emotions.<br></p><p>Companies that want to be known for being dependable often use blue in their logos, for example (Dell, HP, IBM). Companies that want to be perceived as fun and exciting go for a splash of orange (Fanta, Nickelodeon, even Amazon). Green is associated with natural, peaceful emotions and is often used by companies like Whole Foods and Tropicana. </p><p><strong>Your favorite color says a lot about your personality. </strong></p><p>Various studies and experiments across multiple years (<a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/49595886_Personality_Traits_and_Colour_Preferences" target="_blank">2010</a>, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jopy.12087" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2014</a>, <a href="http://oaji.net/articles/2015/1170-1448038739.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2015</a>, and more recently in <a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology-2795824#modern-research-on-color-psychology" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2019</a>) have given us more insight into the link between your personality and your favorite color.</p><p>Red, for example, is considered a bold color and is associated with feelings such as excitement, passion, anger, danger, energy, and love. The personality traits of this color might be someone who is bold, a little impulsive, and who loves adventure. </p><p>Orange, on the other hand, is considered representative of creativity, happiness, and freedom. The personality traits of this color can be fun, playful, cheerful, nurturing, and productive. Read more about color psychology and personalities <a href="https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/color-personality-psychology?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2" target="_self">here</a>.</p>
Study reveals which colors best suit which emotions around the globe<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDYzMTk5OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODc4OTg5OH0.bY-pu-MFNivdJLDJuBp9TBKrhwuy7hngUa1aIWxQMVw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C93%2C0%2C94&height=700" id="33fff" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1a5d7bb00dac94bd6201616789fb4882" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="concept of color psychology how colors make us feel color emotions" />
Certain colors are globally ties to certain emotions, the study reveals.
Image by agsandrew on Shutterstock<p>In this particular survey, participants were asked to fill out an online questionnaire which involved assigning 20 emotions to 12 different color terms. They were also asked to specify the intensity with which they associated the color term with the emotion.</p><p><strong>Certain colors are globally linked to certain emotions, the study reveals.</strong></p><p>The results of this study showed a few definite correlations between colors and emotions throughout the globe. Red, for example, is the only color that is strongly associated with both negative (anger) and positive (love) feelings. Brown, on the other end of the spectrum, is the color that triggers the fewest emotions globally.<br></p><p>The color white is closely associated with sadness in China, while purple is what is closely associated with sadness in Greece. This can be traced back to the roots of each culture, with white being worn at funerals in China and dark purple being the Greek Orthodox Church's color of mourning. </p><p>Yellow is more associated with joy, specifically in countries that see less sunshine. Meanwhile, its association with joy is weaker in areas that have greater exposure to sunshine. </p><p><a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200910150247.htm" target="_blank">According to Dr. Oberfeld-Twistel</a>, it is difficult to say exactly what the causes for global similarities and differences are. "There is a range of possible influencing factors: language, culture, religion, climate, the history of human development, the human perceptual system."</p>