Posted: Jun 21, 2010 4:54 am
I have a question about homeopathy. Of all the properties a given substance has, why is it that the only physical or chemical property retained in the homeopathic preparation the one that makes it useful as a curative?

I mean, think of all the properties substances have that can be detected via various means: color, flavor, odor, boiling point, freezing point, various nutritional properties, combustibility, etc., etc. Certainly, most of the properties a given substance may possess are not the one/ones that make it useful as a curative. (Aspirin, for example, isn't an analgesic because it's white or bitter. Most of aspirin's physical and chemical properties are completely irrelevant with regard to its analgesic effect.) How is it, then, that homeopathic preparations retain precisely the physical or chemical property that makes them useful for treating disease, while in every other way becoming indistinguishable from water?

Why isn't homeopathic gasoline combustable?
Why doesn't a homeopathic preparation of cow's milk retain the nutritional value of milk?
Why isn't a homeopahtic preparation of yellow arsenic still yellow?
Why doesn't a homeopathic preparation of vinegar taste or smell like vinegar?

The claim of homeopaths is that certain properties of the substance are retained in the water, right? Well, exactly what properties are those? Anything we can see, taste, smell, or measure with any device known to man? No? Why not?

Is the value of a substance as a curative agent not tied to its chemical and physical properties? How is it, then, that substances that are made into homeopathic preparations become chemically and physically indistinguishable from water in every single way, yet still retain the ability to cure illness? Doesn't it seem just a little bit odd that for hundreds or thousands of completely unrelated substances, the property related to treating disease is precisely the quality (and the ONLY quality) that happens to be retained when diluted in water, and that for each of the hundreds or thousands of substances in question, that special property that makes the substance curative is not otherwise detectable via any means? That seems like quite a coincidence to me.

If water retained some but not all the physical or chemical properties of diluted substances, doesn't it seem likely that different substances would behave differently? For example, doesn't it seem that certain substances would totally lose whatever property it is that makes them useful for treating disease, but they'd retain their color, while for other substances it might be smell, and others their flammability? It just seems really strange and not a little suspicious to me that all substances should lose all their properties, and become completely indistinguishable from pure water except for whatever property they have that makes them curative.

Can someone knowledgeable in homeopathy explain the chemical or physical mechanism of that to me?