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there are some questions that google can't answer...

... and I'm afraid that Facebook isn't the place to go looking either.

I was happily reading Pharyngula while eating lunch (& trying to avoid dropping crumbs into my keyboard), and decided that as a good pharyngulite I should perhaps pharyngulate a poll for once. (I was not at all surprised to find that 'pharyngulate' is now a word in at least one on-line dictionary.)Anyway, having done so I lingered to read the comments thread associated with the poll-associated article, and discovered...

... someone asking on Facebook for advice on how to cure their type-2 diabetes. (Or rather, what 'natural' treatments they could use instead of their current drug regime.) And being answered by a homeopath - at least, to do them credit, the homeopath doesn't advise any homeopathic treatments. Howerver, on his website he does claim to have reversed his own type-2 diabetes with homeopathy, diet, and exercise. Since we know that diet and exercise can have this effect, I do wonder how he could be sure that homeopathy had any impact at all...

(There were some v-e-r-y i-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g posts on that Facebook page!)

All that aside, what I can't get my head around is why one would ask for, or take seriously, advice given by someone on a Facebook page. Is it a case of someone who's already made up their made but is looking for validation for that decision? Is it down to the po-mo view that all points of view, all knowledge, all 'ways of knowing' about an issue are equally valid? Or is it something else that can be sheeted home to a distrust of science and a misunderstanding of how science works? 

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4 Comments

And being answered by a homeopath - at least, to do them credit, the homeopath doesn't advise any homeopathic treatments.

What would that even entail- extremely dilute sugar water?

There's an anti-vertigo "remedy" being advertised on radio in the States, which claims to employ "Advanced Homeopathic Principles". There's a sucker born every minute, and two to take advantage of him.

You have a good point there - sugar water (& sugar pills) would not be good options for a diabetic!

there are some questions that google can't answer...

But what are these questions? I googled it to no avail.
Also there seems to be no Wikipedia page devoted to "Subjects not covered by Wikipedia".

It's treating Facebook as faces, ie friends to whom you might say "I've got this real problem with..." and the friend reply "Hey, so-and-so had that too and what she did was.." Websites and their contents can seem like intimate friends if you spend a lot of time with them, especially interactive ones like Facebook.

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  • Robyn: It's treating Facebook as faces, ie friends to whom you read more
  • herr doktor bimler: there are some questions that google can't answer... But what read more
  • Alison Campbell: You have a good point there - sugar water (& read more
  • B^4: And being answered by a homeopath - at least, to read more