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Homeopathy Challenge - Win € 50.000

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Begonnen von Belbo, 11. Mai 2018, 13:38:55

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Challenge and Protocol

Identification of highly potentized homeopathic preparations
GWUP, the German Skeptic Society, invites all interested parties to falsify and invalidate one of the main points of criticism against homeopathy. To do so, we propose to perform a test according to the protocol below. The first successful party will win a price of

€ 50,000 (in words: fifty thousand euros)


One of the main points against homeopathy is that homeopathic remedies are diluted to the extreme. Though considered highly effective by their proponents, homeopathic preparations of so-called "high potency" do not contain any particles of the original drug ("mother tincture"). Thus it is impossible that the final preparation can produce any therapeutic effect determined by the nature of the mother tincture. But exactly this claim is one of the pillars of homeopathy. Homeopathic repertories and Materia medica are based on this assumption. Selection of the proper drug for the individual patient is the most crucial step in a homeopathic treatment to achieve healing, and it requires a very detailed initial consultation. The practitioner will not only ask for the complaints and symptoms, but the totality of the patient's personality and mental condition is required. The findings are compared to "remedy pictures", a collection of symptoms the respective drugs allegedly are capable to cause in healthy persons, in order to determine the proper remedy to cure the patient. But if the preparations do not contain any particles of the original drugs and thus essentially are identical and cannot be distinguished from one another, then this doctrine is wrong.

This position may be falsified by proving that it is possible to find a method to repeatedly differentiate and identify homeopathic preparations in high potency.

By current scientific understanding, it is impossible to define such a procedure. But if it could be done, major portions of today's sound scientific knowledge would be proven wrong and obsolete. Completely new insights would be needed to be found and tested. A vast demand for research would follow to investigate on how this distinction between chemically and physically identical substances occurs. The scientific community would be intrigued by and eagerly pursue this new opportunity of completely new and as yet unthinkable new discoveries.

This challenge and protocol will be forwarded to all homeopathy organizations known to us in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and English-speaking countries. But just anybody is invited to forward this challenge to any person or organization who might be interested to participate.


Most of the critique on homeopathy is about the deployment of highly diluted preparations as alleged remedies, which by calculation do not contain any substantial particles of the starting material - with absolutely no atom/molecule left at latest from potencies C12 / D24 onward. There is no valid model of how the original drug may cause any special effect of the final product, which is not in conflict with what is known about the laws of nature. In addition, there is no reliable and sound evidence for any effectiveness of homeopathic remedies beyond that of placebo.

While highly potentized homeopathic remedies above C12 / D24 do not contain any atoms / molecules of the original drug, they just consist of the solvents and/or carrier material which were used in production. They are identical, except for random fluctuations of random impurities of the materials used..

If any specific effectiveness originating in the mother tincture would still prevail in the final product, then it should be possible to predict - at least in a general way - which remedy would cause which effect. And somehow it should be possible to use this property to identify the drugs in completed preparations. With this test we want to find out, if any method exists to achieve such an identification, and we ask for a comprehensive description of this respective method. We explicitly concede that such a procedure might not be known or scientifically recognized yet.

To be considered successful and to earn the above-mentioned prize-money, the applicant has to complete three steps:

Identify three homeopathic preparations in high potency as detailed in the following protocol.
Deliver a description of the procedure used, in sufficient detail to enable a third party to successfully identify the remedies by following the method.
Perform a verification of the procedure by repeating the test, proving in an appropriate manner that the description is complete and the procedure is suitable for solving the task.
In case of successful completion of the test, a scientific paper will be published to disclose the procedure to the scientific community, as a starting point for further research.

Timeframe and Application

The timeframe during which this challenge is open for applicantion starts with its announcement during the annual meeting (Skepkon) of the German Skeptic Society (GWUP) held May 10 to 12, 2018, in Cologne/Germany, and it will end on April 30, 2020. Later applications will be ignored.

The invitation to accept this challenge is addressed to all people and groups interested in homeopathy and that are convinced of the efficacy of highly potentized homeopathic preparations. We assume that researchers and scientist working in the field of homeopathy might be the candidates of choice, but we are open to receive applications from any individual or group. For reasons of limited financial and administrative resources, we reserve the right to limit the number of participants working on the challenge at the same time to a maximum of five. If there are more applications, they will be considered in the order of receipt of the applications.

To apply for participation in the challenge, simply send an informal email to one of the addresses cited below.


1. Review of test protocol

Together with a representative of GWUP, the applicants review and agree on this protocol prior to the start of the test. Minor changes may be applied if justified, provided they are mutually agreed to in advance and do not affect the validity of the test, especially the blinding and randomization of the samples. In any case we want to avoid that the results get compromised or their credibility impeached by modifications of the protocol while the test is already under way. After mutual confirmation, the test protocol is binding for the whole duration of the test and its evaluation.

2. Selection of drugs

The applicant proposes which three drugs should be used in the trial. This gives them the opportunity to select substances that they think they could distinguish particularly well as homeopathic remedies. The potency may be selected freely as well, whereby the following conditions must be observed:

- all drugs must be available as sugar globules of the same grade ("Globuli" in German);
- the same potency, namely D- or C-potency above D24 / C12, is used for all three drugs;
- all drugs can be procured from the same producer.

3. Procurement of samples

The samples will be purchased by GWUP and shipped from the vendor directly to the notary who will perform the randomization. GWUP will purchase sufficient numbers of packages to complete the series of 12 samples according to the randomization list. The procurement will ensure that the samples derive from different batches of production as follows.

3.1. Common remedies

Common remedies, i.e. remedies sold in high numbers, will be procured from randomly selected pharmacies from the biggest cities in Germany (Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart...). Each pharmacy supplies a bottle for each of the three selected remedies and ships it directly to the notary in charge of randomization. If the applicants need a sample of known content for calibration, then this will be procured from yet another pharmacy in another German city.

3.2. Special remedies

If due to low sales it is possible that the above procedure is not sufficient to have all samples from different batches, a randomly selected pharmacy will be appointed to produce all the samples from raw materials purchased from the producer. GWUP will procure the mother tinctures, the raw sugar pills, and bottles and packages, to be shipped directly to the respective pharmacy who then will do the potentization, label the bottles and send them to the notary. If there are extra samples of known content required for calibration, then an extra set of samples will be produced. One set of samples will be kept in a sealed package for future reference.

The applicant and GWUP mutually agree on which procedure is used before the start of procurement. If more than 10 grams of globules per sample are required for the procedure used for inentification, the applicant has to indicate this in advance, and GWUP will take this into account.

4. Randomization / blinding

The randomization and blinding is done by a sworn-in public notary in Würzburg, Germany, who is selected by a random procedure. Würzburg is chosen because the first part of the task is to be evaluated at the University of Würzburg, for all participants based in Europe. For overseas applicants, the location will be mutually agreed on.

The notary receives a coding list showing how the three drugs A, B and C are to be distributed among the twelve samples. This list is compiled by the GWUP representative by throwing dice. The notary also determines which drug is assigned to which letter by throwing dice. Note that the drugs may not be present in the set in equal numbers.

The notary completely removes the original label from the bottle and replaces it with the number without opening the bottle. The randomization protocol is deposited in a sealed envelope with the notary public without a copy being made beforehand. The notary disposes of surplus packs. If special remedies are processed, one set of marked samples is sealed and forwarded to GWUP for later reference in a sealed package.

The coded bottles are sent from the notary to the applicant without individual packaging and documentation. The applicant confirms receipt of the samples.

5. Identification

The applicant identifies which of the 12 bottles contains which drug, using any method and procedure of his choice. There is no limit as to the method used for identification, and this well may be a procedure not currently recognized by modern science. However, GWUP at the start requires a short and rough outline of how the applicant wants to proceed, and GWUP reserves the right to reject applications whose sincerity for scientific work seems questionable.

The applicant is also required to specify a period of time within which they will be able to produce their results. This period may not exceed six months. If it expires without the applicant being able to show their results, the outcome will be considered negative. However, the candidate may apply for an extension in good time before the deadline, if they can provide a reasonable explanation and is not caused by the respective identification process as such.

The applicant is explicitly advised to observe ethics standards, and to procure the consent of an appropriate ethics committee if their method involves testing on humans or animals.

6. Result Pt. 1

If reasonable, the applicant may present their findings as part of the PSI-Tests held annually by GWUP at the University of Würzburg. The applicant's result will be compared to the coding protocol from the notary. The number of bottles in which the notary's record corresponds to the applicant's details is determined. The result includes a description of the method used, if possible with meaningful intermediate data such as measurement protocols or symptom lists of drug provings.

The first part of the test is considered a success if the content of no more than one bottle is identified incorrectly and a description of the procedure is produced.

7. Result Pt. 2 and 3: Replication and Verification

Replication of the test is to ensure that a successful first result was not caused by chance alone. In addition, the procedure explained by the applicant is to be verified in a way depending on its nature. The objective is to verify that the identification was indeed performed by using this very method, and that the description is complete and suitable for a third party to achieve the same outcome.

For replication, steps 2 to 5 will be repeated. Applicants may select to use the same drugs as before. In this case they will then procured from another manufacturer or prepared by a different pharmacy with raw material from a different supplier. Alternatively, the candidate may indicate three new drugs which then can be obtained from the original vendor.

For a successful replication the same precision as before is required, that is, that only one out of 12 bottles may be identified incorrectly.

The evaluation and presentation of these results may take place at any location, press or other media may be invited to the event as agreed to by the applicant and GWUP.


In order to increase the interest in this experiment, similar to the Würzburg PSI tests a prize is awarded to the party who is the first to achieve a successful replication. In detail:

• If the first part is successfully completed, i. e., if at least eleven of the twelve bottles are identified properly (point 6) and a description of how this was done is produced, GWUP will cover the costs of return travel to and the stay in Würzburg for 2 persons, up to a maximum amount of € 500, as well as the costs for samples and notary.
• If the replication and verification is successful as well, i. e., the content of at least eleven bottles is correctly identified, and a comprehensive description of the procedure is available, then the awarded prize money of € 50,000 will be paid by GWUP to the applicant.
Reimbursement in case of failure, security deposit

If the applicant is unable to produce an accurate result, or if the specified deadline expires without result, they will reimburse GWUP for the full costs incurred for the procurement of the samples and the notary. The applicant shall also bear their own travel expenses.

As security for this, GWUP requires each applicant to deposit the sum of € 500 in a manner to be agreed upon. The process of procurement of samples will not start prior to the deposit being placed.

The above amount is about half of the cost expected for samples and notary, and the deposit will not be touched by GWUP as the test goes on. In the event of failure, the deposit will be paid out to GWUP and accounted for in the charge for procurement. In case of success, the deposit is returned to the applicant.

Applications from outside Europe

This protocol was compiled with applications from Europe in mind. However, applicants from overseas are invited to accept the challenge as well, but it is open to discussion on how to proceed, and if a local Skeptic Society can be involved. However, procurement of samples, randomization and blinding will be done in Germany in any case.

Special agreements


Individual settings

a) The three remedies to be identified are:
1. ....................................................................
2. ....................................................................
3. ....................................................................
Potency: ...........................................................

b) Procurement
Individual production in a pharmacy: Y / N
Extra samples for calibration required: Y / N
One vial (10 g) per sample is sufficient: Y / N

c) Samples should be identified by ................................................................................

d) Time frame until submission of the first partial result: ......................................................

e) The security deposit is provided as

Agreed: Place / Date: ...

.......................................................... .....................................................
Applicant GWUP
(Version 04.02.2018 - Norbert Aust)


do you have a link for the website? about this?  :2thumbs:


Wollte ich nur mal gesagt haben!