Homeopathy and the science of high dilutions: when to believe the unbelievable


  • Paolo Bellavite University of Verona
  • Lucietta Betti University of Bologna


In 1988, a Nature Editorial titled “When to believe the unbelievable†noted that the famous high-dilution experiments of the Benveniste group had no physical basis and suggested that “prudent people should, for the time being, suspend judgment.†In point of fact, judgment was not suspended and in the ensuing weeks the authors were resoundingly condemned and ridiculed for the purported lack of replication of their findings. Twenty-four years later, the concept that a solution diluted beyond the Avogadro-Loschmidt constant may show some biological and pharmacological activity is still “unbelievable†from an ordinary common sense perspective, but things are dramatically changing. Several groups of researchers from countries all over the world have been investigating this difficult question, which has weighty implications not just for pharmacology (homeopathy) but also for biology, physics and the environmental sciences. The XXVI meeting of GIRI (International research group on ultra-low dose and high-dilution effects), scheduled to take place in Florence on 20-22 September 2012, will present a growing body of evidence in favor of the “existence†of high-dilution/dynamization effects. Continuing the excellent work of the preceding editions, the meeting features a rich and outstanding program organized into four main tracks: physico-chemical features of high dilutions; studies done in planta and in the field; clinical and veterinary evidence; and laboratory models. ... For two centuries, homeopathy and science have been regarded as two opposing and conflicting fields. Now things are changing, as scientific evidence begins to support many homeopathic tenets, and the homeopathic world increasingly stimulates science to investigate previously under-evaluated and little understood subtle phenomena. For over 26 years from the foundation, the international GIRI group has been stimulating fruitful dialogue in the interest of furthering true scienceâ€â€Âi.e., that which is free from ideological barriers and pre-judgments. Quite often, scientific “dogmas†have been disrupted by new evidence, or previously dismissed phenomena have gained importance in the light of a new conceptual framework. The unusual properties of high dilutions/dynamizations, which merit further investigation, are potentially relevant not just to homeopathic pharmaceutical science, but also to agriculture (“agrohomeopathyâ€ÂÂ), environmental sciences and, in general, to the future of mankind.

Author Biographies

Paolo Bellavite, University of Verona

Drof. of General Pathology University of Verona (I)

Lucietta Betti, University of Bologna

Department of Agroenvironmental Sciences and Technologies, University of Bologna, Italy


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