Inconsistency

The above BBC headline is completely correct: it is a myth that antibiotics can cure most coughs and colds, and that myth is rife.

But can you imagine the BBC publishing the following headline?

Myth of homeopathic efficacy still rife

No, me neither. The second headline is equally correct, but the BBC seems scared to say so. Instead, they remain neutral, saying stuff like:

  • Supporters believe homeopathy helps relieve a range of minor ailments from bruising to insomnia
  • But critics say it is no better than sugar pills and people only get better because they believe the treatment will work - the so-called placebo effect

There are scientifically valid ways of testing medical efficacy. Antibiotics fail these tests for most coughs and colds. Homeopathy fails these tests for all medical conditions. But the BBC, bizarrely and irresponsibly, seems only prepared to report quite categorically the former.

Oh, and in case you were wondering which other 'minor ailments' homeopathy's supporters claim that it can treat (not just 'relieve'), well, for a start, there is malaria and aids.


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