Why Do People Keep Believing in Homeotherapy?

Ben Goldacre in The Guardian:

There are some aspects of quackery that are harmless – childish even – and there are some that are very serious indeed. On Tuesday, to my great delight, the author Jeanette Winterson launched a scientific defence of homeopathy in these pages. She used words such as “nano” meaninglessly, she suggested that there is a role for homeopathy in the treatment of HIV in Africa, and she said that an article in the Lancet today will call on doctors to tell their patients that homeopathic “medicines” offer no benefit.

The article does not say that, and I should know, because I wrote it. It is not an act of fusty authority, and I claim none: I look about 12, and I’m only a few years out of medical school. This is all good fun, but my adamant stance, that I absolutely lack any authority, is key: because this is not about one man’s opinion, and there is nothing even slightly technical or complicated about the evidence on homeopathy, or indeed anything, when it is clearly explained.

And there is the rub. Because Winterson tries to tell us – like every other homeopathy fan – that for some mystical reason, which is never made entirely clear, the healing powers of homeopathic pills are special, and so their benefits cannot be tested like every other pill.