The power of Woo! to excite the credulous is, of course, unbounded. There is no other possible explanation for the existence of the Democratic Party after all. Everything will be better if we just take stuff from those who created it – sure, that’ll work out well. However, to be a little less cynical – do note that the correct question to ask about politics is “am I being cynical enough?” – we should examine this idea of homeoprophylaxis.
In addition 250 homeopaths, some of whom also practice Cease, are promoting “homeoprophylaxis” that advertises itself as an “immunological education program”. More than 2,000 American children have been put on the program which claims to build natural immunity against infectious diseases, though there is no scientific evidence that it works.
There’s nothing at all wrong with an “immunological education program”. In fact such is highly desirable, for most of us it’s known as “childhood”. That’s simply how us human beings work. There’s some vast number of bugs, bacteria and the rest out there that would like to eat us. Many of them try over the years. Sometimes they succeed, more often these days they don’t. Each attempt to eat us leading to us being more resistant – well usually at least – to an attempt by a similar bug to try chowing down again.
That constant litany of fevers, coughs, turns and diseases which accompanies the growing up process is exactly that, the world training our immune systems. Absolutely nothing wrong at all with such a process.
However, we do need to still make a distinction here. A vaccine is indeed exactly that. We expose a weakened – or dead – version of whatever to our immune system, it then becoming trained to recognise and deal with that particular bug. That’s just what vaccination is, an immunological education program. Homeoprophylaxis claims to be doing the same thing. Great, what’s the problem then?
Well, the problem is the distinction. By definition a vaccine is an immunological education program that works, homeoprophylaxis is one that doesn’t. Just as with the difference between conventional and unconventional medicine. If it works then it’s conventional medicine because that’s what conventional medicine is, the collection of things that we’ve found that work. Training your immune system to resist whatever by exposure to it is vaccination. Well, it’s vaccination when it works, you can call it whatever the hell you like when it doesn’t.