"Non-reproducible single occurrences are of no significance to science". The example of the homeopathic diarrhoea trials
"Non-reproducible single occurrences are of no significance to science", this quote by Karl Popper often seems to get forgotten in medicine, particularly in alternative medicine. It indicates that findings have to be reproducible to be meaningful - if not, we cannot be sure that the outcome in question was caused by the treatment we applied. This is thus a question of cause and effect. The statistician Sir Austin Bradford Hill proposed in 1965 a set of 9 criteria to provide evidence of a relationship between a presumed cause and an observed effect while demonstrating the connection between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. One of his criteria is consistency or reproducibility: Consistent findings observed by different persons in different places with different samples strengthens the likelihood of an effect. By mentioning 'different persons', Hill seems to also establish the concept of INDEPENDENT replication. Let me try to explain this with an example from the world of SCAM. A