Dr Georgiou on Homeopathy

January 14, 2008 at 1:02 pm (Bad Science, Bloggers, Homeopathic Remedies, Homeopathy, Media) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Dr George J Georgiou, Ph.D, N.D., DSc (AM), Natural Medicine Practitioner is, apparently, a media star in Cyprus. 

Dr Georgiou has a column in the Cyprus Mail and a recent offering caught the eye of a poster on the Bad Science Forum. A correspondent to the Cyprus Mail has asked Dr Georgiou how homeopathy works. Now, the correct answer to that question is “you don’t need to worry about how it works – because it doesn’t”. After giving the short answer of “don’t know”, however, George gives it some thought and decides that to answer that question you must first attack pharmacology and conventional medicine. He claims that if you asked medics if they could describe the mechanisms of action of all the drugs they prescribe that they would be unable to do so. TimW answers this by pointing out that:

Maybe as individuals they wouldn’t know all of them, I don’t know, but I think it’s safe to say that they know the mechanisms of some of them, unlike homeopaths. And collectively they know the mechanisms of all of them, unlike homeopathy.

MJ Simpson also responded and is paraphrased in the block quote below (I’ve asterisked MJ Simpson’s text).

It is well-known amongst energy therapists…
*There is no such recognised profession.
…that the human body emits vibratory information…
*No it doesn’t. Human bodies only vibrate if you sit on a washing machine.
…that precisely specifies the activities taking place within.
*No it doesn’t (see above).

Living tissues contain thousands of different kinds of molecules, each of which is surrounded by water (Watterson 1988).
*This is fairly obviously not true. Even with my A-level biology I know that most of the water in the human body is inside a cell, with mitochondria and other stuff floating in it. Only a small number of free-floating non-water molecules will be ‘surrounded by water’.

In homeopathy, molecular signatures are transferred from a biologically active molecule to the water in which it is dissolved.
*A molecule cannot transfer its molecular signature to anything. As far as I can tell, that phrase means the distinctive arrangement of atoms in a type of molecule so obviously it cannot be transferred. That’s as meaningless as saying that a car can transfer the size of its engine to the other traffic around it.

Succussion is a method of vibrating or sending a shock wave through a solution.
*It’s normally called ‘shaking’ and is what everyone, from chemists to barmen, does when they mix substances together in solution.

Dissolved molecules are made to vibrate intensely and coherently, and they therefore emit their electromagnetic signatures (emission spectrum).
*Shaking stuff does not make molecules vibrate or emit anything, it just mixes them up.

The rest of the article is mostly about vibrations the memory of water. Dr Georgiou cites a study from 1985 that allegedly provides a plausible mechanism for the “memory of water” and ignores more recent work in that area. In fact, similarly to the original question regarding the mechanism of action for homeopathy this can be answered thus: there is no need to find a plausible mechanism of action for the memory of water, because this memory lasts only for a number of femtoseconds. If that’s how long the memory of water lasts, perhaps we should be referring to the “amnesia of water”. If the so-called ‘memory of water’ lasts ~50 femtoseconds, what memory does the water in a homeopathic remedy have after, say, one second? None.

Memory of Water Links
The blog Hawk/Handsaw has a recent piece relating to the memory of water here. You can find Shpalman’s thoughts on the memory of water, via google, here. [UPDATE: See comment #4 for direct link to new Memory of Water category on Shpalman's page] The Bad Science blog has some interesting comments on the memory of water, particularly here and here. The latest issue of Homeopathy includes some letters on the memory of water. AP Gaylard has also posted on the memory of water (this link via google again). Or, you can always the read about the memory of water via the category on AP Gaylard’s blog.

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12 Comments

  1. HJ said,

    Hopefully this can reach Dr Geoerge’s adoring public..

  2. mugsandmoney said,

    Hi JDC; looks like you are our specialist on George J Georgiou. I’ve been googling him a bit – he seems to be very prolific. There are a couple of other people with similar names, but the best hits come from a search like “George J Georgiou Ph.D” since he is very fond of flaunting his alleged qualification.
    He has written – at length and repeatedly – about topics such as
    - homeopathic vaccination
    - the dangers of microwave ovens
    - heavy metal toxicity and detoxification
    - soft drinks
    - flushing parasites
    and so on.

    His technique is typical of the snake-oil salesman – first grab your attention with a spectacular remark, then a couple of paragraphs in which he builds up a nice big bogey to be scared of. After that, impress you with his experience and qualifications, then cut in to the sales pitch for homeopathy or his particular unique combination of herbs.

    Good work -
    M&M

  3. Dudley said,

    Fantastic! Such a swift move to near the top of Google’s web rankings as well – this might really do some good.

  4. dannychrastina said,

    I’ve added a memory of water tag to my blog. The most relevant post is this, but there’s also this.

  5. jdc325 said,

    Thanks for the comments, everyone.

  6. andreas theo said,

    please tell were in limassole i can buy

    Homeopathic medicine without bieing ript off i need bryonia extra strong
    every were i go i get stung please help

  7. jdc said,

    Sorry Andreas, I’m afraid I can’t help you – all homeopathic ‘medicine’ is a rip-off.

  8. George Georgiou said,

    It is really surprising how much ignorance there is amongst allopathic medics regarding how the body functions and what can cause the myriad of illnesses and degenerative diseases.

    The main reason why they cannot identify the causes of most degenerative diseases, let alone cure them, is because they only examine the structural (X-rays, MRI, CAT scans) and the chemical functioning (blood, urine and other biochemical tests). This is only the tip of the iceberg – the remaining causative factors that they do not even examine, the 90% is below the waterline, much like the iceberg.

    These other causative factors include toxins taken from the science of toxicology and environmental medicine, then there is nutritional medicine where we know that a lot of the food we consume these days is making us chronically ill. Then there is the science of psychoneuroimmunology which looks at the relationship of the psychoemotional state and disease. There is also the aspect of Energy Medicine that is a growing field – even allopathic medicine use it for diagnosing in MRI scans, but it is far more widespread and can be used to help in diagnosing the pathogenesis of disease.

    Maybe it is time we began to look beyond the tip of the iceberg – this way we will be able to help many more suffering people with chronic, degenerative diseases which allopathic medicine is simply providing palliative care for, or worse, suppressing symptoms with many expensive drugs that have many unwanted side effects.

  9. Dr* T said,

    I sometimes like to explain why certain things are incorrect. However on this occasion, I think it’s OK to say – MORE REFERENCES NEEDED.

    “There is also the aspect of Energy Medicine that is a growing field – even allopathic medicine use it for diagnosing in MRI scans, but it is far more widespread and can be used to help in diagnosing the pathogenesis of disease”

    This is nonsense.

  10. jdc325 said,

    Hi Dr Georgiou!

    For a start – I think it’s both misleading and insulting to remark on the ignorance of orthodox medics regarding the functioning of the body and causes of disease. Orthodox (or, to put it another way – genuine) medics are taught about bacteria, viruses and carcinogens. Homeopaths are taught from a (roughly) 200-years-old book about a “vital force”. This vital force cannot be seen or measured. How does anyone know it’s there? They don’t – they believe it is there. Homeopathy is a religion rather than a science.

    Energy medicine – what energy are you referring to? Please clarify.

    I notice from your link that the “Da Vinci clinic” has all the hallmarks of a true woo – you provide reiki, reflexology, homeopathy, acupuncture…

    I do hope you realise that sham acupuncture works as well as the traditional magic-needles-in-your-meridians version of acupunture – because: there are no such things as meridians; needle insertion leads to neurotransmitter release; the effect of acupuncture is physiological (depending upon release of neurotransmitters in response to stimulation of the peripheral nervous system) rather than magic (the freeing up of magic, unseen and unmeasureable energy channels called meridians). For anyone interested, there is a testimonial to Dr Georgiou’s skills here: George J Georgiou
    Practitioner’s name: Dr. George J Georgiou
    The Problem: Chronic haemorrhoids which needed surgical intervention
    Patient: Dr. George J Georgiou
    Appoint yourself as practitioner and patient – that’s one way to ensure a good review of your technique I suppose. As long as you know your arse from your elbow. Or penis.

    Reiki is another form of energy medicine, but instead of non-existent meridians, we have non-existent chakras. I find it amusing that reiki and acupuncture are based on different (non-existent) energy systems and yet both can be practised in the same clinics. You don’t have to choose between chakras and meridians at the Da Vinci clinic – because in this imaginery world they can both be true.

    Reflexology – again relies on an unseen, unmeasurable (if nobody can see this field or measure its effects then how does anyone know what it is or whether it exists? I might as well make claims for a flying teapot or a pink unicorn) energy field. Reflexology is essentially based on the same bull as reiki and acupuncture – but reflexologists add the novel twist that areas on the feet “correspond” to other parts of the body.

    Dr* T – thanks for your comment. Let us hope that Dr G comes back – and brings his references with him.

  11. jdc325 said,

    Follow-up post here: naturopathic sexology.

  12. sioux said,

    I’m not going to take sides, I just say the level of your orthodox ignorance is beyond belief. You are all a bunch of servants.

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