It’s very easy to be the second-largest anything in the world, when the first largest group is defined as everything that’s actually relevant, and you’re defined as everything else.
A very large forum/bulletin-boards website here in Israel, Tapuz (Hebrew only), recently opened a new forum about Classical Homoeopathy.
That by itself is fine. I mean, they do discuss pure nonsense in the forum, even dangerous nonsense given that they recommend to people not to take proper medical care for their problems, but a forum about homoeopathy can be expected to discuss homoeopathy.
What amused me was the launch publication they did in their other forums. They posted links to this new forum, with a text that can be roughly translated as:
Want to be exposed to the wonders of homoeopathy, the second largest healing method in the world?
And, well, technically it’s pretty correct. There’s the first largest healing method, being science-based medicine, that covers all sub-healing-methods that can be proven to work and heal people. And then there are the other healing methods, in this case grouped under the term Homoeopathy, the ones that give people a healing chance which is equivalent to the random chance of spontaneous recovery, or to the healing from a placebo effect.
Since all you have are the two options, it’s pretty obvious that the second is, by definition, the second largest of its kind in the world.
Being technically correct doesn’t make that statement semantically correct, though.---
- Yes, I’m aware that Homoeopathy is just one kind of woo pretending to be medicine, and not the whole basket of them. In this case, however, the forum seems to happily deal with the others as well, and they clearly refer to it as anything besides actual medicine[back]