Hope you all had a lovely festive period, whatever religion (or lack of) you may follow.
I spent christmas day with my parents and remaining grandparents, and thought I'd regale you with the tale of part of our christmas dinner conversation.
Having been asked what I was doing in life at the moment, one of the things that was mentioned was the Newcastle Skeptics in the Pub talk that my good friend and Helper Dog Nancy and I are doing in February. This prompted Mum to state that she thought that homeopathy might work, after all plants had been used for many years in medicine. Now, I have written before about the case of the magic crystals, and do remember mum trying homeopathic remedies on me as a child (out of desperation due to my awful car sickness. Out of interest, I also remember them not working) when I was a bit older, so this stopped me short. I do have a suspicion that the majority of users of homeopathy have little knowledge of how it is made, and therefore no idea how unreasonable it is to expect it to work. And here was living proof that this was, indeed the case. Dad was aware of the like-cures-like principle, but they had no idea at all of the serial dilutions used in homeopathy.
Cue a demonstration (involving wine), and an explanation that beyond 12C there is virtually no likelihood of any molecules of the "active" ingredient appearing, and the general consensus was that they were amazed at this turn of events, and couldn't understand how on earth it could work and how anyone could possibly be taken in by such nonsense.
And so it seems to me that a general lack of good information about what homeopathy is, and what the principles of it are, may well be responsible for the majority of people who may believe it still works.
What do you think? I wonder if there is any way to measure this? If you have any ideas, do give me a shout.