The Flat Earth Society

Flat Earth Discussion Boards => Flat Earth Community => Topic started by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 11, 2019, 06:43:00 PM

Title: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 11, 2019, 06:43:00 PM
So, I tried to use the search function to find anyone talking about the former secretary of the Zetetic Society, Henry Ossipoff Wolfson. Apparently, he wrote a expose on Rowbotham positing that he was a snake oil salesman, in short. He claimed that Rowbotham went by the name of Dr. Samuel Birley, and that Rowbotham was merely using the Flat Earth theory as a cover to hoodwink people.  Is there any truth to this story being true, and is there any truth to the claims of Mr. Wolfson (if said story is true)?
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Pete Svarrior on January 11, 2019, 07:28:28 PM
An interesting question/claim/whatnot. I'll address it in parts - starting with things which are false to the best of my knowledge, and moving on to parts which are true or likely true.

I should start by saying that the name Henry Ossipoff Wolfson is a complete unknown to the documented history of the Flat Earth Movement. There is no record of any person by that name having been in the Zetetic Society. This claim of an exposé appears to originate from a New Yorker article (https://www.newyorker.com/science/elements/looking-for-life-on-a-flat-earth), and is made with no reference to a source. Some of the wording in the supposed exposé is very similar to Christine Garwood's phrasing from Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea (which I recommend - it's rather unfavourable towards FET, but the research into the movement's history is of a high standard). I have a sneaking suspicion that Mr Wolfson's words (or even existence) may have been at least partly fabricated.

As for his travelling salesman routine, there's a nugget of truth to that. It was widely alleged during his life that he was a quack going by "Dr. Birley, PhD" (of Birley's Phosphorus (https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JsXOOT5m9As/T3Nde145-iI/AAAAAAAAAwQ/mOkk-87tKiM/s1600/003+2.jpg) fame), and that he sold and various products claiming to improve one's health. Did they have the curative properties he was promising? Almost certainly not. It's hard to say with certainty whether our Rowbotham and "Dr. Birley, PhD" were the same person, but given that Samuel Rowbotham filed multiple patents, including one for a "life-preserving cylindrical railway carriage", I'd say it's at least believable.

That said, Rowbotham was many things. He was also a travelling socialist lecturer advocating for a regime change, for example. I wouldn't rush to conclusions about his Flat Earth belief being disingenuous. He was far from a perfect man, and I'm willing to believe that he did swindle people towards the end of his life, but it would be unfair to say that his entire life was a lie.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 11, 2019, 07:44:48 PM
No intentions on condemning his flat earth claims as false. I have just been doing quite a lot of research into all aspects of your community and stumbling upon this kind of caught me by surprise. And yes, the New Yorker article is where I first saw the name of Wolfson.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 11, 2019, 07:47:06 PM
You can't trust anything you read on the matter. Insults and character assassination is the best evidence they have. Rowbotham's wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Rowbotham) says that he dropped out of school at the age of 9.  ::)

The American Association for the Advancement of Science lists him as Dr. Samuel Rowbotham in his 1885 obituary, as does the obit in Eng. Mechanic and World of Science. The Bookseller obituary confirms he was a practicing doctor of medicine as a "legitimate profession with immense success (https://books.google.com/books?id=f-IiAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA12&dq=%22exercised+his+legitimate+profession%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiI0drD6JPfAhVHPK0KHf1mBy0Q6AEIKTAA#v=onepage&q=%22exercised%20his%20legitimate%20profession%22&f=false)."

Rowbotham's work is cited in medical texts.

https://books.google.com/books?id=atPGizuKTYoC&dq=Rowbotham%20phosphorus&pg=PA650#v=onepage&q=Rowbotham%20phosphorus&f=false

(https://i.imgur.com/Z0DtD5l.png)

This is cited alongside other evidence-based benefits of phosphorous by other researchers.

Could someone tell us how Rowbotham went his entire career pretending to be a medical doctor and treated people with medicine, medicine that allegedly doesn't work at all no less, and how he got away with it, especially with all of the scrutiny he was under by the entire world?
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Pete Svarrior on January 11, 2019, 07:51:28 PM
Hence my suggestion that there might have been two individuals whose histories got tangled together. I'm not fully convinced that this was the case, but it does explain some discrepancies.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 11, 2019, 07:55:16 PM
I found this eBook, as well.

https://www.cantab.net/users/michael.behrend/ebooks/PlaneTruth/pages/index.html
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 11, 2019, 07:59:28 PM
https://lra.le.ac.uk/bitstream/2381/31042/1/U601161.pdf

Also this paper which was published in 2001 at the University at Leicester references Wolfson.

"H Ossipoff Wolfson: ‘Our Paradox Column’ Knowledge 5 (4 April 1884),
233; R A Proctor: ‘Note’ Knowledge 5(1 6 May 1884), 355."
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 11, 2019, 08:02:05 PM
I can find no referenced source that says he actually dropped out of school at the age of 9. Seems a bit ludicrous.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 11, 2019, 08:30:06 PM
I don't see how the "snakeoil salesman" assertion holds up when there were a bunch of other physicians using phosphorous too:

On p.469 of the previously mentioned medical text that Rowbotam appears in, there are also a good number of other doctors reporting the curative properties of phosphorous:

https://books.google.com/books?id=atPGizuKTYoC&dq=Rowbotham%20phosphorus&pg=PA649#v=onepage&q=Rowbotham%20phosphorus&f=false

(https://i.imgur.com/38xMcXb.png)

The above physician is not Rowbotham. But we see that phosphorous was asserted by traditional academia to cure or treat hopeless cases of disease. Hopeless typically means that medicine can't help you. There are numerous phosphorous references in that text, for that and other ailments.

We must ask: Why are physicians lying on Rowbotham's behalf? With some of the references being from before Rowbotham was even born?
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 11, 2019, 08:44:19 PM
So, I would agree that phosphorous is an essential mineral in the body given its role in bone formation with calcium and other regulatory functions, but I haven't found any real research showing that phosphorous itself is used as a cure for any diseases. Its that point that the accusations of a snake oil salesman would come into play.  Due to the fact that if a person is low on phosphorous due to some disease which prevents phosphorous from being taken into the body during consumption of food, taking phosphorous as a supplement would obviously provide an improved outlook on health - but one would need to continue taking said phosphorous - it would not be a cure.

Albeit, I did not take the time to look into what Rowbotham was claiming phosphorous could do.

My assumptions, considering that he did this in later years, was not to mislead anyone, but he, himself, was taking it and felt better. Therefore, he decided to sell it to others. Not a good or bad thing to do. Gotta pay the bills.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 11, 2019, 09:31:12 PM
From a medical article: "Phosphorous in the Treatment of Nerualgia (https://books.google.com/books?id=IhlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA241#v=onepage&q&f=false)" in Transactions of the American Neurological Association, Volume 1:

(https://i.imgur.com/1YunrMh.png)

A list of cases appear here. (https://books.google.com/books?id=IhlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA237#v=onepage&q&f=false)

Rowbotham's advertisement of his product as a nerve tonic and restorative appears to be true. Can someone look at these sources and tell us that phosphorous does nothing for no one?
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Bastian Baasch on January 11, 2019, 10:31:20 PM
From a medical article: "Phosphorous in the Treatment of Nerualgia (https://books.google.com/books?id=IhlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA241#v=onepage&q&f=false)" in Transactions of the American Neurological Association, Volume 1:

(https://i.imgur.com/1YunrMh.png)

A list of cases appear here. (https://books.google.com/books?id=IhlFAQAAMAAJpg=PA237#v=onepage&q&f=false)

Rowbotham's advertisement of his product as a nerve tonic and restorative appears to be true. Can someone look at these sources and tell us that phosphorous does nothing for no one?

Uh Tom, that ANA volume was published in 1875, do you have any current sources that attest to phosphorus' value as a "nerve tonic," I'm not saying it doesn't have nutritional value, it certainly does, it's just that all my searches of phosphorus' use in medicine have only related to its use in diet as a supplement. Also, everytime I click on your link to lists of cases, it tells me Error 404, is that just my computer, or are others facing similir problems.

Also, just wanted to point something out

(https://books.google.com/books/content?id=atPGizuKTYoC&pg=PA649&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U2JApuYHDEpvbR09AruySSqlMsT3w&ci=142%2C260%2C736%2C215&edge=0)

(https://books.google.com/books/content?id=atPGizuKTYoC&pg=PA650&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U0LJgidGyBwjPHim4c6pxqGNWPCLQ&ci=161%2C371%2C778%2C55&edge=0)

See a general theme here? The unnamed doctor doesn't say the dosage and Rowbotham "forgot" his formula even though he cured a patient with it. Considering what they've done with it, you'd think they'd try to give as much info and documentation as to the specifics of their phosphorous cures so other doctors could try using and adapting it, but unsurprisingly, they basically just say phosphorous cured the patient. Sounds sketchy, with some hints (not proof) of quackery.

Also, if you read the sentence right after the description of Rowbotham's phosphorous doings, the author himself thinks it's a medicine to do away with.

(https://books.google.com/books/content?id=atPGizuKTYoC&pg=PA650&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U0LJgidGyBwjPHim4c6pxqGNWPCLQ&ci=169%2C425%2C746%2C79&edge=0)

You said yourself this is a medical text, the author himself is probably a doctor, and here he's presented with all these cases of phosphorous cures, yet he's dismissing it. That can't be without reason.

Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: stack on January 12, 2019, 12:25:15 AM
Interesting read. Maybe to Pete's point. Murky still.

https://books.google.com/books?id=PRIoAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA253&lpg=PA253&dq=Ossipoff+Wolfson&source=bl&ots=8vNVPsQNAn&sig=PiVSwbQCJ0Azv3vQeeFkdMOlHbk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwin-83t7ObfAhWFAXwKHdFpCRQQ6AEwCXoECAAQAQ#v=onepage&q=Ossipoff%20Wolfson&f=false

(https://i.imgur.com/SJRXHs6.jpg)
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2019, 01:24:14 AM
Richard Proctor is a famous astronomer. Why is he whining about any of that when he could just prove FET wrong? The fact that he is at the stage of questioning the credibility of the author shows that Rowbotham proved his position.

Quote
Uh Tom, that ANA volume was published in 1875, do you have any current sources

Truth doesn't have an expiration date. Phosphorous isn't used anymore. Today doctors are told in medical school to give pain killers and pharmaceutical drugs at $10 a pill.

Phosphorous used to be used as medicine, however. It is impossible to read those sources and say that phosphorous was never used or that it has never done anything for anybody. Its use in medicine as treatment is undeniable.

If you are unable contradict those sources that Phosphorous was used as medicine by doctors of the era then you are unable to call Rowbotham a snakeoil salesman.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: stack on January 12, 2019, 01:39:28 AM
Richard Proctor is a famous astronomer. Why is he whining about any of that when he could just prove FET wrong?

I have no idea what Proctor was on about, nor the context. I just searched on Wolfson's name and this came up. Thought it was interesting, to Pete's point: Were Parallax, Rowbotham, Birley all the same guy?

The fact that he is concerned about credibility shows that Rowbotham proved his position.

I don't think this has anything to do with anything, proof or otherwise.

Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: stack on January 12, 2019, 09:42:12 AM
Who is this Wolfson character? I've read the books, but don't recall his name. I found this from "Knowledge", 1883. Seemingly claims to be the Secretary of the Zetetic Society of Britain:

(https://i.imgur.com/21wJyR8.png)

https://books.google.com/books?id=BhIoAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA362&lpg=PA362&dq=ossipoff+wolfson+society&source=bl&ots=shPIdnz9GO&sig=T2vG4mDQJOrSSVT1dgynbgufVtE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjXmcfGrOffAhViMH0KHZLQDa4Q6AEwB3oECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=ossipoff%20wolfson%20society&f=false

Tom, this should be your signature, "It has taken nearly three centuries to reconcile certain phenomena with the theory of rotundity, and scores of them still remain unreconcilable." Brilliant, scathing, I wish I could write like that.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 12, 2019, 05:07:11 PM
https://eic.rsc.org/feature/the-medicinal-history-of-phosphorus/2020257.article

Try reading this. Sorry. Its quackery. Clearly cited sources and everything. If you Google phosphorus medicine, literally the only thing you get is homeopathic remedy websites. In the history lesson in the link, the "medical literature" at the time cited it as a cure-all for anything from sexual impotency to tuberculosis. Does that provide enough evidence?

If you want to have a discussion on homeopathic remedies and how real it is, we can end this discussion now.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2019, 05:22:38 PM
You need to provide evidence that phosphorous doesn't work, not belief. Are all the physcians who have used it in practice with success lying then?

https://books.google.com/books?id=IhlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA237#v=onepage&q&f=false

Are all of these case studies lies?

An article where someone believes it doesn't work, or a quote someone who admits that their own experience with phosphorous was limited, but who believes that it probably would not work is not evidence. Have they conducted trials with it? Have they shown it to be ineffective? If not, then such a statement is not evidence. Maybe they just think that drugs and pain killers are better.

You are calling the doctors who have reported success with phosphorous liars. And that their claims and case studies of resolving some medical conditions rapidly with phosphorous as false. Prove it.

Where are the evidence-based studies showing phosphorous to be useless for anyone? An evidence-less quote or opinion by a drug pusher means very little in the face of evidence that it does work.

Also, if you read the sentence right after the description of Rowbotham's phosphorous doings, the author himself thinks it's a medicine to do away with.

(https://books.google.com/books/content?id=atPGizuKTYoC&pg=PA650&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U0LJgidGyBwjPHim4c6pxqGNWPCLQ&ci=169%2C425%2C746%2C79&edge=0)

You said yourself this is a medical text, the author himself is probably a doctor, and here he's presented with all these cases of phosphorous cures, yet he's dismissing it. That can't be without reason.

If you scroll up in his text the author is describing in the previous section how very poisonous phosphorous is (https://books.google.com/books?id=atPGizuKTYoC&dq=Rowbotham%20phosphorus&pg=PA648#v=onepage&q=Rowbotham%20phosphorus&f=false) if used incorrectly.

(https://i.imgur.com/zeKAAfo.png)

He's not calling those doctors who claim success with it liars. But you are.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 12, 2019, 07:19:59 PM
You keep citing studies that are not even relevant in the modern medical community. Are you going to start citing bloodletting with leeches next? Theres tons of medical research from that time period showing its effectiveness, too.

https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/phosphorus

There are no medical uses for phosphorus to treat an externally acquired disease. It's only used as a supplement to increase low phosphorus levels.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 12, 2019, 07:21:01 PM
Tom, provide me evidence from a recent medical journal, say in the last 50 years, that shows the efficacy in treating any disease with phosphorus.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2019, 07:23:12 PM
Phosphorous isn't used anymore. Drugs and painkillers are. Why would there be research in recent medical journals?

There is evidence in medical texts and journals from a time when it was used, that phosphorous was efficacious as medical treatment. And you have done nothing to debunk the claims of those doctors except to call them all liars and their studies lies.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 12, 2019, 07:33:00 PM
I literally never called them liars. I provided links to evidence saying that phosphorus does not treat anything. I also stated that the only links I could find when I literally googled "phosphorus medicine" were links to hack homeopathy websites.

I am beginning to see a pattern here in your worldview. "Everything new is a conspiracy." Medical literature at the time can be shown to be false many times over. Not intentionally false. But still, even drugs that exist today are based on research from earlier years. I can find no reference to phosphorus being used as a component in any drug from any time period except from before the late 1800s. Your telling me big pharma was active that long ago to discredit people? Your going on a long stretch there. Let me continue my research into this. You can dodge the argument all you want state that I am calling doctors liars and that big pharma is keeping the good doctors and their phosphorus down, but it's still dodging.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2019, 07:58:03 PM
I literally never called them liars.

Then what are you calling them? The doctors are claiming that the symptoms of the issue resolved very rapidly upon taking phosphorous, and there was a list of people (https://books.google.com/books?id=IhlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA237#v=onepage&q&f=false) who were cured, or at least benefited, from phosphorous, with descriptions.

Either the doctors are lying or phosphorous treatment is helpful. One or the other.

Quote
I am beginning to see a pattern here in your worldview. "Everything new is a conspiracy."

No. You are rejecting evidence-based medical studies in favor of an opinion on the internet. You apparently have no idea what evidence is and is not. In order to contradict those studies you need to provide a study of equal or greater thoroughness and sophistication to contradict it.

If you cannot provide such evidence, then you have none.

Why not just be honest and admit that you have no evidence at all except for someone's evidence-less opinion?
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: stack on January 12, 2019, 08:10:23 PM
Apparently quality control might have gone down after Rowbotham’s death. Phosphorus may have been a cure all supplement, but, ironically, according to the British Medical Journal, Vol 2 from 1908, Birley’s elixir didn’t contain any though advertised under the banner of “The Wonders of Phosphorus:

"Analysis showed the presence of:
Sugar (partly as " invert sugar ") ... 74 parts
Tartaric acid ... ... ... ... 1.15
Phosphoric acid ... ... ... 0.07 part
Alcohol ... ... ... trace
Water to ... ... ... ... 100 fluid parts
No free phosphorus could be detected, but the odour
when the bottle was first opened suggested the presence of
a trace. From the presence of a trace of alcohol it appears
probable that an alcoholic solution of phosphorus had been
added, and the phosphoric acid had been formed by its
oxidation. If the phosphorus found were in the free state
each fluid drachm would contain about E grain. The
liquid was of a light straw colour, probably produced by
addition of a trace of colouring matter.
Estimated cost of ingredients for 3 fluid ounces,4d.”

https://books.google.com/books?id=aR4-AQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA231&lpg=RA1-PA231&dq=British+Medical+Journal+dated+Oct.+24th+1908&source=bl&ots=QvpsCcXtmC&sig=R8SfWaW-lWFPnMEablu3UWcHOMM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwii_6fE_-jfAhWrHzQIHbmSChAQ6AEwAHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=birley&f=false
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2019, 08:11:47 PM
It says right there in the list you quoted that it contains phosphorous. That author also admits that it smelled like phosphorous.

The product is described as "Compounds of Free Phosphorous". From your link:

(https://i.imgur.com/7U3JVBN.png)

True Free Phosphorous is unstable:

https://www.britannica.com/science/phosphorus-chemical-element

Quote
Phosphorus is a very widely distributed element—12th most abundant in Earth’s crust, to which it contributes about 0.10 weight percent. Its cosmic abundance is about one atom per 100 atoms of silicon, the standard. Its high chemical reactivity assures that it does not occur in the free state (except in a few meteorites).
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 12, 2019, 08:31:27 PM
No. Incorrect. The sources I have provided for evidence are not opinion pieces from some random person on the internet. They are from accredited colleges here in the US and the UK. They have clearly cited sources in their bibliography. One is literally an information source on the "micronutrient", phosphorus.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2019, 08:35:34 PM
This is the link that you provided: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/phosphorus

Where does it say that the authors treated people with the medical conditions that phosphorous has claimed to benefit, with failing results?

It does not say that at all. You have provided no evidence to contradict the evidence in the medical studies and texts shown.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 12, 2019, 08:36:13 PM
According to the National Institute of Health, there is no medicinal uses for phosphorus.

https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+1169

Go ahead. Say it. Big Pharma and government collusion.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 12, 2019, 08:38:05 PM
Mayo Clinic does not list phosphorus as a treatment for any disease.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/phosphate-supplement-oral-route-parenteral-route/description/drg-20070193
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2019, 08:38:58 PM
According to the National Institute of Health, there is no medicinal uses for phosphorus.

https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+1169

Go ahead. Say it. Big Pharma and government collusion.

Doing a search on that page for "no medicinal uses," or "no medicinal," brings up zero results. It appears that you are just making things up.

Mayo Clinic does not list phosphorus as a treatment for any disease.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/phosphate-supplement-oral-route-parenteral-route/description/drg-20070193

It doesn't say that at all. Again, you are blatantly making things up.

Linking to random pages and telling us what you don't read doesn't help your case. You need to directly contradict the evidence given.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 12, 2019, 08:45:47 PM
If it cured things, dont you think big pharma would be buying up all the phosphorus and selling it back to us at super high prices? The only place you can get phosphorus for human consumption is as a dietary supplement, or prescribed by a doctor if you have low levels of it, and that's usually given intravenously.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: stack on January 12, 2019, 08:49:08 PM
It says right there in the list you quoted that it contains phosphorous. That author also admits that it smelled like phosphorous.

The product is described as "Compounds of Free Phosphorous". From your link:

(https://i.imgur.com/7U3JVBN.png)

True Free Phosphorous is unstable:

https://www.britannica.com/science/phosphorus-chemical-element

Quote
Phosphorus is a very widely distributed element—12th most abundant in Earth’s crust, to which it contributes about 0.10 weight percent. Its cosmic abundance is about one atom per 100 atoms of silicon, the standard. Its high chemical reactivity assures that it does not occur in the free state (except in a few meteorites).

I'm not sure I follow. Like you mentioned, the product is described as "Compounds of Free Phosphorous". And no free phosphorous was found. It does have a small amount of Phosphoric acid, but so do many sodas, like Coca Cola. Is it the Phosphoric acid that you are saying is the medicinal compound?
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2019, 08:54:33 PM
If it cured things, dont you think big pharma would be buying up all the phosphorus and selling it back to us at super high prices? The only place you can get phosphorus for human consumption is as a dietary supplement, or prescribed by a doctor if you have low levels of it, and that's usually given intravenously.

It is quite possible that it was decided at some high level by medical boards not to give it to people because of the poisonous effects when misused, in favor of some drug that is maybe somewhat less poisonous when misused. If people are popping them like painkillers it might be easy to misuse phosphorous.

Just because it's not used anymore doesn't mean that it never did anything for anyone. Our medicine used to be entirely herbal based. Yet doctors no longer prescribe herbs. This does not mean that the entire medical systems of some countries who still do use herbal medicine as their primary form of medicine is false. One can't argue that herbal medicine has never done anything for anyone, and neither can that be argued about phosphorous.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 12, 2019, 08:59:13 PM
Ok, now that last statement I can agree upon. Phew, took us a while to get there. That is more along the lines of what I was thinking, but i definitely was not focused on that while trying to provide counter arguments. Good discussion.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: RonJ on January 12, 2019, 09:02:40 PM
Maybe more herbs for food and medicine will be used in the future. Do you believe it, or is it just a hoax?

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/2299.html

Who will be the next Rowbotham in Space???  Will he be a quack, will it be a hoax?  Why do all the studies if there's no one in space anyway???
See page 40 regarding phosphorus.
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/human-adaptation-to-spaceflight-the-role-of-nutrition.pdf

Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: George Jetson on January 12, 2019, 09:55:54 PM
Why do all the studies if there's no one in space anyway???

In order to dupe people like yourself. 

Back to the topic, I think it's safe to say that Tom conclusively rebutted the false statements about Rowbotham.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 12, 2019, 09:58:37 PM
Well, I am assuming you meant the original claims of Wolfson that Rowbotham was hoodwinking people. You cannot deny that he was actually selling phosphorus as Samuel Birley.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: RonJ on January 12, 2019, 10:14:40 PM
Wow, I guess I was really duped then.  Me and a bunch more.  See the references at the end of the article.  There are over 800.  Reference #25 (to get back to the topic) was about the Calcium and phosphorus change of the Apollo 17 crew. 

I guess that all the doctors and scientists had to be provided with fake samples for them to study. Perhaps all the doctors and scientists were just in on the hoax and just wrote up a bunch of lies and called it 'research'. 

Is the Rowbotham story real, or is it just a big hoax?  Is Rowbotham the same person as Birley?  If you are proud of what you are doing why have different names? 
Who is a bigger hoaxster, Rowbotham or NASA?    You have to admit these are all interesting questions.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 12, 2019, 11:01:13 PM
I'm not sure I follow. Like you mentioned, the product is described as "Compounds of Free Phosphorous". And no free phosphorous was found. It does have a small amount of Phosphoric acid, but so do many sodas, like Coca Cola. Is it the Phosphoric acid that you are saying is the medicinal compound?

I believe that the acid phosphate colas were originally advertised as medicinal drinks.

(https://bashny.net/uploads/images/00/00/45/2014/04/20/1454513d7c.jpg)

(https://d3h6k4kfl8m9p0.cloudfront.net/uploads/2014/04/coca-cola_ideal_brain_tonic_1890s.jpg)

Looks a lot like what Rowbotham was advertising (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JsXOOT5m9As/T3Nde145-iI/AAAAAAAAAwQ/mOkk-87tKiM/s1600/003+2.jpg).
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: stack on January 12, 2019, 11:12:28 PM
For sure. I saw some 2 year old thread here where Thork was talking about how Birley's elixir was actually the same recipe as Dr.Pepper and pre-dated it.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: stack on January 12, 2019, 11:36:23 PM
A little more history on this Wolfson character. This from Schadewald's book:

"Once again, the flat-earthers were trying to get organized.  In the December 1883 issue of Cosmos, Hampden reported that a Zetetic Society was then being formed.  Prospective subscribers were instructed to write to “the President, The Zetetic Society, Welney House, Haverstock Hill, London, or the Editor, Cosmos, Balham, Surrey.” The former was Rowbotham’s home address, the latter Hampden’s.  This time, a Zetetic Society was successfully formed, with Rowbotham as President and H. Ossipoff Wolfson, a recent emigrant from Russia, as founding Secretary.  As for Cosmos, it folded immediately.
Little resulted from the Zetetic Society, partly because the earlier zetetic momentum had been largely lost and partly because of a serious defection.  H. Ossipoff Wolfson had never doubted the earth’s sphericity until he met “Parallax” in September 1883.  Overwhelmed by his forceful personality, Wolfson became Rowbotham’s enthusiastic convert and intimate acquaintance, so trusted that Rowbotham selected him as Secretary of the new Zetetic Society.  After working with “Parallax” for six months, however, Wolfson was severely disillusioned.  He had looked into the Hampden–Wallace wager and found the zetetic explanation wanting; furthermore, he was severely troubled by Rowbotham’s claims for his patent medicine.  He went to Proctor and offered to expose Rowbotham in the pages of Knowledge.  Proctor ran the first installment in the March 28, 1884 issue.
Unfortunately, Wolfson wrote like a Russian novelist.  After two wordy and convoluted installments, he was still backing up to get started.  At that point Proctor received a letter from Howard Rumney, Rowbotham’s solicitor, threatening legal action.  Proctor was convinced that the threat was a bluff, but the series never resumed. “

https://www.cantab.net/users/michael.behrend/ebooks/PlaneTruth/pages/Chapter_03.html

So Wolfson was, in fact, the Secretary of the Zetetic Society for a time. The expose Wolfson started in ‘Knowledge’ after he became disillusioned with Rowbotham and his philosophies, was called “The Flat Earth and Her Moulder”. As mentioned above, two parts were published before legal action was taken by Rowbotham. (Seems like everybody was suing everybody back then)

Both parts can be found here:

https://books.google.com/books?id=PRIoAAAAYAAJ&pg=PR4&lpg=PR4&dq=the+flat+earth+and+her+moulder&source=bl&ots=8vNVQrLNAf&sig=mxnw_1qG6QkXZ5jwXO-ZZR1cAZ8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwitiNa8qenfAhVHlVQKHd6BBc4Q6AEwBHoECAUQAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

Part I: Page 213
Part II: Page 233

TFES.org does have a reference to Wolfson here under the Literature page: https://wiki.tfes.org/Flat_Earth_Literature
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 13, 2019, 12:12:18 AM
Seeing as Ossipoff Wolfson was not a doctor and had no experience with phosphorous, or any standing to contradict the medical claims in literature, in my opinion it sounds like he was deserving of being sued for calling Rowbotham a snake-oil salesman.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: RonJ on January 13, 2019, 12:14:31 AM
https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/coca-colas-scandalous-past

I could believe that Rowbotham had a successful drug business. 

Maybe he was adding a 'nip' of something else to his brew and his customers were just a bit addicted after a while.
The drug business was probably 'legal' back then as well.  A hit of cocaine plus caffeine probably would take your headache away, or at least make it so you just didn't care if your head hurt or not.
Maybe he put in a wiff of phosphorous once in a while as well.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: stack on January 13, 2019, 01:16:27 AM
Seeing as Ossipoff Wolfson was not a doctor and had no experience with phosphorous, or any standing to contradict the medical claims in literature, in my opinion it sounds like he was deserving of being sued for calling Rowbotham a snake-oil salesman.

I just find it interesting that Rowbotham's trusted secretary of the Zetetic Society turned on him just 6 months after meeting him. I suppose we'll never know why.

I think the jury is still out on Rowbotham's doctor claim. There's no record of him getting formal training as an MD, though such training could be hands on and one could call themselves an MD. It wasn't until the UK formed the General Medical Council in the 1850's where formal registrations as MD's were required. This from the GMC site:

"1841 Census estimates suggest a third of all doctors in England were unqualified. And back then professional titles were usually local. This meant a doctor from Glasgow may not be able to practise elsewhere. In short, there was no single way of saying who was a doctor in the UK (including Ireland at that time) and who was not. That's where we came in."

https://www.gmc-uk.org/about/who-we-are/our-history

As for other high academic honors, the UK didn't start offering "PhD's" until 1917, long after Rowbotham's death.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 13, 2019, 02:11:29 AM
In the sources I cited, they refer to the phosphorus being mixed with opium.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: RonJ on January 13, 2019, 03:22:29 AM
https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/Opium-in-Victorian-Britain/

I guess years ago you could go to your doctor and immediately get something for 'what ails ya'.  If a particularly troubled individual came in you could just take your phosphorus 'tonic' and splash in a little Laudanum.  That way it wouldn't matter if any disease was cured or not.  Your patient wouldn't be 'feeling any pain' and would have a strong inclination to keep coming back for more. 
Any 'doctor' likes that kind of repeat business. 
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Bastian Baasch on January 13, 2019, 05:56:15 PM
You need to provide evidence that phosphorous doesn't work, not belief. Are all the physcians who have used it in practice with success lying then?

https://books.google.com/books?id=IhlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA237#v=onepage&q&f=false

Are all of these case studies lies?

An article where someone believes it doesn't work, or a quote someone who admits that their own experience with phosphorous was limited, but who believes that it probably would not work is not evidence. Have they conducted trials with it? Have they shown it to be ineffective? If not, then such a statement is not evidence. Maybe they just think that drugs and pain killers are better.

You are calling the doctors who have reported success with phosphorous liars. And that their claims and case studies of resolving some medical conditions rapidly with phosphorous as false. Prove it.

Where are the evidence-based studies showing phosphorous to be useless for anyone? An evidence-less quote or opinion by a drug pusher means very little in the face of evidence that it does work.
Where are the evidence-based studies showing phosphorus to be effective? All you've done is given us a list of 35 patients who were treated by phosphorus in the year 1875. That is a tiny sample size to base the efficacy of phosphorus on. We don't even know whether they got the same treatment.
Also, if you read the sentence right after the description of Rowbotham's phosphorous doings, the author himself thinks it's a medicine to do away with.

(https://books.google.com/books/content?id=atPGizuKTYoC&pg=PA650&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U0LJgidGyBwjPHim4c6pxqGNWPCLQ&ci=169%2C425%2C746%2C79&edge=0)

You said yourself this is a medical text, the author himself is probably a doctor, and here he's presented with all these cases of phosphorous cures, yet he's dismissing it. That can't be without reason.

If you scroll up in his text the author is describing in the previous section how very poisonous phosphorous is (https://books.google.com/books?id=atPGizuKTYoC&dq=Rowbotham%20phosphorus&pg=PA648#v=onepage&q=Rowbotham%20phosphorus&f=false) if used incorrectly.

(https://i.imgur.com/zeKAAfo.png)

He's not calling those doctors who claim success with it liars. But you are.

You do realize the phosphorus poisoning he's talking about is with elemental phosphorus, not the phosphoric acid used by others. If you read WRI's article, it actually talks about that. I never called them liars, I'm merely being skeptical about the evidence, especially considering not only were the results published in 1875, that was also the year the organization was founded, and you've provided no evidence following it up, nothing current from the medical community.
I literally never called them liars.

Then what are you calling them? The doctors are claiming that the symptoms of the issue resolved very rapidly upon taking phosphorous, and there was a list of people (https://books.google.com/books?id=IhlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA237#v=onepage&q&f=false) who were cured, or at least benefited, from phosphorous, with descriptions.

Either the doctors are lying or phosphorous treatment is helpful. One or the other.

It's not that simple Tom, surely you've heard of the placebo effect. And there are a lot of lurking variables, like lifestyle, what exact treatment and dosage was used (as I pointed out earlier, there seems to be some variation in treatments, like one doctor mixed the acid with tea, and another dispensed pills, and with WRI's and RonJ's posts, was opium used?), etc.
Quote
I am beginning to see a pattern here in your worldview. "Everything new is a conspiracy."

No. You are rejecting evidence-based medical studies in favor of an opinion on the internet. You apparently have no idea what evidence is and is not. In order to contradict those studies you need to provide a study of equal or greater thoroughness and sophistication to contradict it.

If you cannot provide such evidence, then you have none.

Why not just be honest and admit that you have no evidence at all except for someone's evidence-less opinion?

Evidence-based medical studies? Maybe if you looked at your own evidence you'd find it's just a list of cases where phosphorus was used. Don't know how you get a medical study out of that. Was there a randomization of the experimental units (i.e. the patients). Was there a control group? Was a placebo used? Was the same treatment even used for all the patients in your list? Phosphorus treatment is a rather vague and general term. What levels of dosage were tested with the treatments? And most importantly, has your "evidence-based medical study" ever been replicated? Don't just throw around words without knowing what they mean.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 13, 2019, 11:52:23 PM
Where are the evidence-based studies showing phosphorus to be effective? All you've done is given us a list of 35 patients who were treated by phosphorus in the year 1875. That is a tiny sample size to base the efficacy of phosphorus on. We don't even know whether they got the same treatment.

You have given us zero case studies on phosphorous. The fact that the issues were resolved for those people in a very short amount of time upon taking phosphorous is evidence enough. Where is your evidence that it is faked, the doctors were slipping in opium or whatever, and that these doctors, and Rowbotham, are shams?

Quote
Evidence-based medical studies? Maybe if you looked at your own evidence you'd find it's just a list of cases where phosphorus was used. Don't know how you get a medical study out of that. Was there a randomization of the experimental units (i.e. the patients). Was there a control group? Was a placebo used? Was the same treatment even used for all the patients in your list? Phosphorus treatment is a rather vague and general term. What levels of dosage were tested with the treatments? And most importantly, has your "evidence-based medical study" ever been replicated? Don't just throw around words without knowing what they mean.

Dosage is discussed in the texts.

If you can't contradict the claims of the doctors with evidence of equal or greater power, then you have no evidence. Your speculation is not evidence. I would suggest learning what evidence is. It is not speculation. It's nice that you are skeptical. But you have no evidence to base your accusations on. No evidence. None. Once you can show evidence, you may suggest that all of these doctors are liars.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Bastian Baasch on January 14, 2019, 11:37:35 PM
Where are the evidence-based studies showing phosphorus to be effective? All you've done is given us a list of 35 patients who were treated by phosphorus in the year 1875. That is a tiny sample size to base the efficacy of phosphorus on. We don't even know whether they got the same treatment.

You have given us zero case studies on phosphorous. The fact that the issues were resolved for those people in a very short amount of time upon taking phosphorous is evidence enough. Where is your evidence that it is faked, the doctors were slipping in opium or whatever, and that these doctors, and Rowbotham, are shams?

Tom, your evidence isn't perfect, it doesn't even approach a controlled, rigorous study. There could have been a placebo effect at play. Some lurking variables like lifestyle, age, etc. could have also had an effect. Indeed, if you actually looked at the tables, only 16 patients reported a cure, 1 a partial cure, 9 relief, 1 improvement, 2 temporary improvement, 5 no improvement, and one case actually worsened with the phosphorus! Even better, take a look at this table, from your own source:
(https://books.google.com/books/content?id=IhlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA241&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U17iZpT0ikpXcsEsXUIZjjwJxBU8Q&ci=83%2C273%2C726%2C450&edge=0)
That's a lot of diseases reported from the patients, some patients having multiple nervous ailments, are you now going to claim phosphorus as some neuralgia panacea? How do you interpret the results now? Just because a majority of the patients reported an improvement or cure doesn't make it good evidence. There are too many loose ends in the evidence you've provided to make a conclusion without more data, which you haven't provided. I'm not calling the doctors liars, it's just disingenuous of you to present a list as a study , and call it evidence.

Quote
Evidence-based medical studies? Maybe if you looked at your own evidence you'd find it's just a list of cases where phosphorus was used. Don't know how you get a medical study out of that. Was there a randomization of the experimental units (i.e. the patients). Was there a control group? Was a placebo used? Was the same treatment even used for all the patients in your list? Phosphorus treatment is a rather vague and general term. What levels of dosage were tested with the treatments? And most importantly, has your "evidence-based medical study" ever been replicated? Don't just throw around words without knowing what they mean.

Dosage is discussed in the texts.

If you can't contradict the claims of the doctors with evidence of equal or greater power, then you have no evidence. Your speculation is not evidence. I would suggest learning what evidence is. It is not speculation. It's nice that you are skeptical. But you have no evidence to base your accusations on. No evidence. None. Once you can show evidence, you may suggest that all of these doctors are liars.

Speculation? You claimed your data was an evidence-based medical study. I said your data was merely a list of patients and I gave you the criteria of what a study is and isn't. Out of that barrage of questions, you were only able to address one, so here they are a little more clearer.

How were the experimental units organized in the experiment, by randomization, blocking, or matched pairs?

Was there a control group?

Was a placebo used?

Was the same treatment even used for all the patients given the variation of treatments from your own sources, from solutions of phosphoric acid to a mixture of phosphoric acid and tea, to pills.

Was your "evidence-based medical study" ever replicated?

Bonus Question: Was any form of blinding used?

If you can't answer those questions, then it's not a medical study. In fact, if you read the title of the page of of your "evidence-based medical study," it says
"Tabulated List of cases Treated with Free Phosphorus," nowhere do I see the word study.

I never claimed my questions based on the definition of a study, or what you call speculation was evidence, I'm merely questioning your evidence, and frankly, your evidence is rather weak to support your claims. You're claiming phosphorus has curative properties towards neuralgia. Now, a general rule of thumb in writing research is finding sources relative to your claims, for example, if you write an art paper about cubism, a lot of your sources might be art critics in the 20's. What you're saying is phosphorus can cure people of nerve ailments, medicine is a very dynamic field, yet your source is 124 years old, is not even a study, and does not have any studies corroborating its claims, not then, nor now, nor any time in between. Your source is not proportional to your claims.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 16, 2019, 12:27:17 AM
Ok, Tom, after reviewing the first several pieces of evidence you presented on the use of phosphorus, I am calling bullshit on its curative properties.

First, the authors of the articles make statements to efficacy in pain relief. Mainly nerve pain. Using phosphorus to relieve nerve pain is not a cure for a disease. It is equivalent to using tylenol to "cure" a headache. It doesnt cure it. It alleviates the pain. Go back and reread what the authors say in your so called evidence.

I will get to the rest of your evidence, now that I bothered to read them fully, after you called out the guy in the other post about data on Jupiter.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 16, 2019, 12:29:00 AM
It is quite convenient for Rowbotham as quoted in the first piece of evidence to have forgotten the preparation method for the phosphoric acid, isnt it? And it's quite convenient that you didnt include that in your image snippet. Dishonesty.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 16, 2019, 12:44:50 AM
After reading the last book you cited (the one with tables), I found that the author described phosphorus as purely a "therapeutic" treatment in the relief of neuralgia, or nerve pain. This is not a cure all for tuberculosis, cholera, and the like as is printed in other media of the time.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 16, 2019, 12:46:49 AM
As noted in Peter's post with the link to the image of the Birley Phosphorus, it claims it feeds the brain and strengthens the nerves. No, it's a pain reliever at best.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: junker on January 16, 2019, 12:58:16 AM
Can you not quadruple post? There is an edit button.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: junker on January 17, 2019, 04:55:52 PM
Alright, have a warning for abusing the report feature. As much as you think, me moderating threads is not off-topic.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 18, 2019, 02:57:39 PM
Where are the evidence-based studies showing phosphorus to be effective? All you've done is given us a list of 35 patients who were treated by phosphorus in the year 1875. That is a tiny sample size to base the efficacy of phosphorus on. We don't even know whether they got the same treatment.

You have given us zero case studies on phosphorous. The fact that the issues were resolved for those people in a very short amount of time upon taking phosphorous is evidence enough. Where is your evidence that it is faked, the doctors were slipping in opium or whatever, and that these doctors, and Rowbotham, are shams?

Tom, your evidence isn't perfect, it doesn't even approach a controlled, rigorous study. There could have been a placebo effect at play. Some lurking variables like lifestyle, age, etc. could have also had an effect. Indeed, if you actually looked at the tables, only 16 patients reported a cure, 1 a partial cure, 9 relief, 1 improvement, 2 temporary improvement, 5 no improvement, and one case actually worsened with the phosphorus! Even better, take a look at this table, from your own source:
(https://books.google.com/books/content?id=IhlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA241&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U17iZpT0ikpXcsEsXUIZjjwJxBU8Q&ci=83%2C273%2C726%2C450&edge=0)
That's a lot of diseases reported from the patients, some patients having multiple nervous ailments, are you now going to claim phosphorus as some neuralgia panacea? How do you interpret the results now? Just because a majority of the patients reported an improvement or cure doesn't make it good evidence. There are too many loose ends in the evidence you've provided to make a conclusion without more data, which you haven't provided. I'm not calling the doctors liars, it's just disingenuous of you to present a list as a study , and call it evidence.

Quote
Evidence-based medical studies? Maybe if you looked at your own evidence you'd find it's just a list of cases where phosphorus was used. Don't know how you get a medical study out of that. Was there a randomization of the experimental units (i.e. the patients). Was there a control group? Was a placebo used? Was the same treatment even used for all the patients in your list? Phosphorus treatment is a rather vague and general term. What levels of dosage were tested with the treatments? And most importantly, has your "evidence-based medical study" ever been replicated? Don't just throw around words without knowing what they mean.

Dosage is discussed in the texts.

If you can't contradict the claims of the doctors with evidence of equal or greater power, then you have no evidence. Your speculation is not evidence. I would suggest learning what evidence is. It is not speculation. It's nice that you are skeptical. But you have no evidence to base your accusations on. No evidence. None. Once you can show evidence, you may suggest that all of these doctors are liars.

Speculation? You claimed your data was an evidence-based medical study. I said your data was merely a list of patients and I gave you the criteria of what a study is and isn't. Out of that barrage of questions, you were only able to address one, so here they are a little more clearer.

How were the experimental units organized in the experiment, by randomization, blocking, or matched pairs?

Was there a control group?

Was a placebo used?

Was the same treatment even used for all the patients given the variation of treatments from your own sources, from solutions of phosphoric acid to a mixture of phosphoric acid and tea, to pills.

Was your "evidence-based medical study" ever replicated?

Bonus Question: Was any form of blinding used?

If you can't answer those questions, then it's not a medical study. In fact, if you read the title of the page of of your "evidence-based medical study," it says
"Tabulated List of cases Treated with Free Phosphorus," nowhere do I see the word study.

I never claimed my questions based on the definition of a study, or what you call speculation was evidence, I'm merely questioning your evidence, and frankly, your evidence is rather weak to support your claims. You're claiming phosphorus has curative properties towards neuralgia. Now, a general rule of thumb in writing research is finding sources relative to your claims, for example, if you write an art paper about cubism, a lot of your sources might be art critics in the 20's. What you're saying is phosphorus can cure people of nerve ailments, medicine is a very dynamic field, yet your source is 124 years old, is not even a study, and does not have any studies corroborating its claims, not then, nor now, nor any time in between. Your source is not proportional to your claims.

A controlled study is mainly needed when you don't know about the disease. Do you think the doctors involved didn't know anything about the diseases they were treating, and that it was perfectly normal for those diseases to cure rapidly on its own own after taking a new prescription, or that deliberating pain just goes away on its own with anything prescribed to the patient? That's ludicrous.

Evidence was provided, and you were not able to contradict it.

Ok, Tom, after reviewing the first several pieces of evidence you presented on the use of phosphorus, I am calling bullshit on its curative properties.

First, the authors of the articles make statements to efficacy in pain relief. Mainly nerve pain. Using phosphorus to relieve nerve pain is not a cure for a disease. It is equivalent to using tylenol to "cure" a headache. It doesnt cure it. It alleviates the pain. Go back and reread what the authors say in your so called evidence.

I read the material, you didn't. They do say that phosphorous cured.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 18, 2019, 03:13:07 PM
Cured nerve pain. That is what they said. I did read it. I read even beyond what you snipped out. They did not say it cured cholera. It cured the pain. It alleviated symptoms. There is a difference.

Oh and besides the "violent venereal erections" and bloody emissions as evidence that it could be used as a libido improve. Lol sounds like something that would be great to take. "Why are you bloody down there, honey? Oh ya know, I had violent erection after trying to cure my tuberculosis."
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 18, 2019, 03:18:00 PM
Cured nerve pain. That is what they said. I did read it. I read even beyond what you snipped out. They did not say it cured cholera. It cured the pain. It alleviated symptoms. There is a difference.

It clearly says that some people were cured, relieved, benefited, or agitated.

(https://books.google.com/books/content?id=IhlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA241&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U17iZpT0ikpXcsEsXUIZjjwJxBU8Q&ci=83%2C273%2C726%2C450&edge=0)
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Bad Puppy on January 18, 2019, 03:28:16 PM
Where are the evidence-based studies showing phosphorus to be effective? All you've done is given us a list of 35 patients who were treated by phosphorus in the year 1875. That is a tiny sample size to base the efficacy of phosphorus on. We don't even know whether they got the same treatment.

You have given us zero case studies on phosphorous. The fact that the issues were resolved for those people in a very short amount of time upon taking phosphorous is evidence enough. Where is your evidence that it is faked, the doctors were slipping in opium or whatever, and that these doctors, and Rowbotham, are shams?

Tom, your evidence isn't perfect, it doesn't even approach a controlled, rigorous study. There could have been a placebo effect at play. Some lurking variables like lifestyle, age, etc. could have also had an effect. Indeed, if you actually looked at the tables, only 16 patients reported a cure, 1 a partial cure, 9 relief, 1 improvement, 2 temporary improvement, 5 no improvement, and one case actually worsened with the phosphorus! Even better, take a look at this table, from your own source:
(https://books.google.com/books/content?id=IhlFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA241&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U17iZpT0ikpXcsEsXUIZjjwJxBU8Q&ci=83%2C273%2C726%2C450&edge=0)
That's a lot of diseases reported from the patients, some patients having multiple nervous ailments, are you now going to claim phosphorus as some neuralgia panacea? How do you interpret the results now? Just because a majority of the patients reported an improvement or cure doesn't make it good evidence. There are too many loose ends in the evidence you've provided to make a conclusion without more data, which you haven't provided. I'm not calling the doctors liars, it's just disingenuous of you to present a list as a study , and call it evidence.

Quote
Evidence-based medical studies? Maybe if you looked at your own evidence you'd find it's just a list of cases where phosphorus was used. Don't know how you get a medical study out of that. Was there a randomization of the experimental units (i.e. the patients). Was there a control group? Was a placebo used? Was the same treatment even used for all the patients in your list? Phosphorus treatment is a rather vague and general term. What levels of dosage were tested with the treatments? And most importantly, has your "evidence-based medical study" ever been replicated? Don't just throw around words without knowing what they mean.

Dosage is discussed in the texts.

If you can't contradict the claims of the doctors with evidence of equal or greater power, then you have no evidence. Your speculation is not evidence. I would suggest learning what evidence is. It is not speculation. It's nice that you are skeptical. But you have no evidence to base your accusations on. No evidence. None. Once you can show evidence, you may suggest that all of these doctors are liars.

Speculation? You claimed your data was an evidence-based medical study. I said your data was merely a list of patients and I gave you the criteria of what a study is and isn't. Out of that barrage of questions, you were only able to address one, so here they are a little more clearer.

How were the experimental units organized in the experiment, by randomization, blocking, or matched pairs?

Was there a control group?

Was a placebo used?

Was the same treatment even used for all the patients given the variation of treatments from your own sources, from solutions of phosphoric acid to a mixture of phosphoric acid and tea, to pills.

Was your "evidence-based medical study" ever replicated?

Bonus Question: Was any form of blinding used?

If you can't answer those questions, then it's not a medical study. In fact, if you read the title of the page of of your "evidence-based medical study," it says
"Tabulated List of cases Treated with Free Phosphorus," nowhere do I see the word study.

I never claimed my questions based on the definition of a study, or what you call speculation was evidence, I'm merely questioning your evidence, and frankly, your evidence is rather weak to support your claims. You're claiming phosphorus has curative properties towards neuralgia. Now, a general rule of thumb in writing research is finding sources relative to your claims, for example, if you write an art paper about cubism, a lot of your sources might be art critics in the 20's. What you're saying is phosphorus can cure people of nerve ailments, medicine is a very dynamic field, yet your source is 124 years old, is not even a study, and does not have any studies corroborating its claims, not then, nor now, nor any time in between. Your source is not proportional to your claims.

A controlled study is mainly needed when you don't know about the disease. Do you think the doctors involved didn't know anything about the disease they were treating, and that it was perfectly normal for those diseases to cure rapidly on its own own after taking a new prescription, or that deliberating pain just goes away on its own with anything prescribed to the patient? That's ludicrous.

Evidence was provided, and you were not able to contradict it.

If you google "controlled study" you'll quickly find that's not what it means. 

Here are a few definitions which came up...

- "A clinical trial in which a test agent is compared to a standard treatment with known effects. The control group may receive no treatment, active treatment, placebo or dose comparison concurrent control." https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/controlled+study (https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/controlled+study)

- "An experiment or clinical trial in which two groups are used for comparison purpose." https://www.greenfacts.org/glossary/abc/controlled-study.htm (https://www.greenfacts.org/glossary/abc/controlled-study.htm)

- "A clinical study that includes a comparison (control) group. The comparison group receives a placebo, another treatment, or no treatment at all." https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/controlled-clinical-trial (https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/controlled-clinical-trial)

From all the definitions I've seen, which essentially the same as above but in different words, not a single one said anything even remotely close to "A controlled study is mainly needed when you don't know about the disease."

Where did you pull your definition from?  Cite the source, too.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 18, 2019, 03:33:52 PM
Studies with some people being untreated is unnecessary and unethical. People with late stage cancer don't just spontaneously cure themselves, for example. It would be unethical to give one person medicine that may help them, and withhold it from another patient with the same affliction, "just to see what will happen". The doctor knows what will happen, and that doctor knew that those people with chronic pain would continue to be in pain. It is the physician's prerogative to give their patients the best treatment option available.

"Controlled studies" are very often conducted by referring to the historic medical data of untreated patients with the same disease to compare to.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: AllAroundTheWorld on January 18, 2019, 03:37:51 PM
I'll add this to the list of things Tom doesn't understand.

A controlled double-blind study is always preferable as it eliminates factors such as the placebo effect which can be quite powerful - if people are told that they're being given something which will make them feel better then they often do even if the medicine itself has no effect. That's pretty much how homeopathy works. A double blind study with a control eliminates that factor.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Bad Puppy on January 18, 2019, 03:42:00 PM
When a disease is known, controlled studies with some people receiving placebos is unnecessary and unethical. People with stage 4 cancer don't just spontaneously cure themselves, for example. It would be unethical to give one person medicine that may help them, and withhold it from another patient with the same affliction, "just to see what will happen". The doctor knows what will happen, and that doctor knew that those people would continue to be in pain.

I won't be drawn into a pointless debate about the ethics or necessity of controlled studies.

I am requesting that you clarify why your claimed definition of the term that you used "controlled study" is not consistent with the definitions I have seen on medical sites on the internet, and what your source is for your definition.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 18, 2019, 03:54:15 PM
I'll add this to the list of things Tom doesn't understand.

A controlled double-blind study is always preferable as it eliminates factors such as the placebo effect which can be quite powerful - if people are told that they're being given something which will make them feel better then they often do even if the medicine itself has no effect. That's pretty much how homeopathy works. A double blind study with a control eliminates that factor.

Placebos don't cure chronic diseases overnight. Please point out a placebo that cured a disease.

I am requesting that you clarify why your claimed definition of the term that you used "controlled study" is not consistent with the definitions I have seen on medical sites on the internet, and what your source is for your definition.

I believe that you are misinformed on the matter. A great number of the controlled studies just refer to previous literature and cases on the disease as their control group. It's not actually necessary to continuously repeat the action of not treating people and causing them to suffer.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: AllAroundTheWorld on January 18, 2019, 04:06:35 PM
Placebos don't cure chronic diseases overnight. Please point out a placebo that cured a disease.
Nor do medicines. You again show in this post you don't understand what a double blind medical trial is and why it's important.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Bastian Baasch on January 18, 2019, 04:15:04 PM
I'll add this to the list of things Tom doesn't understand.

A controlled double-blind study is always preferable as it eliminates factors such as the placebo effect which can be quite powerful - if people are told that they're being given something which will make them feel better then they often do even if the medicine itself has no effect. That's pretty much how homeopathy works. A double blind study with a control eliminates that factor.

Placebos don't cure chronic diseases overnight. Please point out a placebo that cured a disease.

This thread isn't a placebo debate, if you want to do that, make a new thread.
I am requesting that you clarify why your claimed definition of the term that you used "controlled study" is not consistent with the definitions I have seen on medical sites on the internet, and what your source is for your definition.

You are clearly misinformed on the matter. A great number of the controlled studies just refer to previous literature and cases on the disease as their control group.

Clearly you are misinformed on what controlled studies are. Maybe check out rif.org and their resources to help you overcome the inability to understand what Bad Puppy already said. (Thank you junker!). And what are your sources Tom, speculation about a "great number of controlled studies"and what they refer to if not a control group for that specific study is not evidence.

It's not actually necessary to continuously repeat the action of not treating people and causing them to suffer.
Sources? Unless you're a doctor and have a medical degree, your speculation of procedures undertaken during a study is not evidence, and neither is your opinion of the ethics of studies.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Bad Puppy on January 18, 2019, 04:15:24 PM
I'll add this to the list of things Tom doesn't understand.

A controlled double-blind study is always preferable as it eliminates factors such as the placebo effect which can be quite powerful - if people are told that they're being given something which will make them feel better then they often do even if the medicine itself has no effect. That's pretty much how homeopathy works. A double blind study with a control eliminates that factor.

Placebos don't cure chronic diseases overnight. Please point out a placebo that cured a disease.

I am requesting that you clarify why your claimed definition of the term that you used "controlled study" is not consistent with the definitions I have seen on medical sites on the internet, and what your source is for your definition.

You are clearly misinformed on the matter. A great number of the controlled studies just refer to previous literature and cases on the disease as their control group. It's not actually necessary to continuously repeat the action of not treating people and causing them to suffer.

Are you having trouble comprehending my question?  Let me make this simple..... Choose A, or B.  A single letter response would suffice.

Definition of clinical study:

A) A controlled study is mainly needed when you don't know about the disease.
B) A clinical study that includes a comparison (control) group. The comparison group receives a placebo, another treatment, or no treatment at all.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 18, 2019, 04:18:53 PM
Placebos don't cure chronic diseases overnight. Please point out a placebo that cured a disease.
Nor do medicines. You again show in this post you don't understand what a double blind medical trial is and why it's important.

If there is a body of research and knowledge on the matter, on what happens to people with a chronic illnesses when you give them nothing or something non-effective, then you already have that research, and conducing that full study is not actually necessary. There are many studies which refer to previous literature as their control.

In a previous example, phosphorous cured a hopeless case of disease. Did that doctor need to give someone a placebo and sentence them to death before reporting his successful result? No.

Quote from: Bad Puppy link=topic=11825.msg179935#mAsg179935AC
Are you having trouble comprehending my question?  Let me make this simple..... Choose A, or B.  A single letter response would suffice.

Definition of clinical study:

A) A controlled study is mainly needed when you don't know about the disease.
B) A clinical study that includes a comparison (control) group. The comparison group receives a placebo, another treatment, or no treatment at all.

None of that is needed. The doctors know what a hopeless case is, and the doctors know what a chronic disease is.

You are playing difficult because you have no evidence to contradict the links given, and really have no standing argument on the matter.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 18, 2019, 04:25:20 PM
Tom, neuralgia isnt a disease. So therefore phosphorus cannot cure something that isnt a disease. Go back and read the actual text that goes with the table, not the table. It explicitly states by the author that the pain was gone. It does not state that it was cured.

Neuralgia is nerve pain. That is all it is. Nothing less. Nothing more. Unless you have a definition from somewhere else that I am unaware of?
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Bad Puppy on January 18, 2019, 04:31:12 PM
Placebos don't cure chronic diseases overnight. Please point out a placebo that cured a disease.
Nor do medicines. You again show in this post you don't understand what a double blind medical trial is and why it's important.

If there is a body of research and knowledge on the matter, on what happens to people with a chronic illnesses when you give them nothing or something non-effective, then you already have that research, and conducing that full study is not actually necessary. There are many studies which refer to previous literature as their control.

In a previous example, phosphorous cured a hopeless case of disease. Did that doctor need to give someone a placebo and sentence them to death before reporting his successful result? No.

Quote from: Bad Puppy link=topic=11825.msg179935#mAsg179935AC
Are you having trouble comprehending my question?  Let me make this simple..... Choose A, or B.  A single letter response would suffice.

Definition of clinical study:

A) A controlled study is mainly needed when you don't know about the disease.
B) A clinical study that includes a comparison (control) group. The comparison group receives a placebo, another treatment, or no treatment at all.

None of that is needed. The doctors know what a hopeless case is, and the doctors know what a chronic disease is.

You are being difficult because you have no evidence to contradict the links given, and really have no standing argument on the matter.

If you don't understand what a clinical study actually is, it means you can't understand their relevance.  And if you can't understand that, then you're clearly not qualified to argue for the validity of his phosphorus treatments.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Tom Bishop on January 18, 2019, 04:36:38 PM
Tom, neuralgia isnt a disease. So therefore phosphorus cannot cure something that isnt a disease. Go back and read the actual text that goes with the table, not the table. It explicitly states by the author that the pain was gone. It does not state that it was cured.

It does say "cured." If they weren't cured, but it was helpful, they would be under the "relieved" section.

If you don't understand what a clinical study actually is, it means you can't understand their relevance.  And if you can't understand that, then you're clearly not qualified to argue for the validity of his phosphorus treatments.

This is the condition that was cured:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trigeminal-neuralgia/symptoms-causes/syc-20353344

Quote
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain. If you have trigeminal neuralgia, even mild stimulation of your face — such as from brushing your teeth or putting on makeup — may trigger a jolt of excruciating pain.

An argument that these people were just accidentally cured by their cup of orange juice that morning when they took the phospherous, or that the doctor only needed to give some other people with that condition some sugar pills to see that it's all the same, is a farce.

There is evidence for phosphorous, and it was not contradicted.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 18, 2019, 04:41:27 PM
Um. That's still nerve pain. Nerve pain is not a disease.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 18, 2019, 04:43:22 PM
At this point, we can argue it's a difference of semantics. Did it cure them of nerve pain? Ok, sure. Let's go with that. Did it cure a disease? No.

Did tylenol cure my headache? Yes. Did it cure my stress that caused the headache? No. Is a headache a disease? No. It is a symptom. Is it pain? Yes. Can pain be cured? In a sense of the word, sure.

Can pain be so debilitating that people cannot walk? Yes. But pain is still not a disease.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: George Jetson on January 18, 2019, 09:04:03 PM
At this point, we can argue it's a difference of semantics. Did it cure them of nerve pain? Ok, sure. Let's go with that. Did it cure a disease? No.

Did tylenol cure my headache? Yes. Did it cure my stress that caused the headache? No. Is a headache a disease? No. It is a symptom. Is it pain? Yes. Can pain be cured? In a sense of the word, sure.

Can pain be so debilitating that people cannot walk? Yes. But pain is still not a disease.
It has been established that, by the standards of the 19th century in which he practiced medicine, Samuel Birley Rowbotham was well within the mainstream of medical practice in prescribing phosphorus to cure chronic pain.  Perhaps a 21st century doctor who prescribed phosphorus would be considered a "quack" (not that modern allopathic medicine, which is to a large extent an arm of the pharmaceutical industry, is beyond question), but Rowbotham was not a 21st century doctor.  There are many remedies that were common in the 19th century that would be considered absurd today.  Maybe you should pick another fight because Tom has clearly bested you in this debate.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 18, 2019, 09:43:43 PM
Yes, like using leeches to drain bad blood. There's a reason for why certain medical practices aren't used anymore. 1) They weren't effective or effective enough. 2) They were dangerous. 3) They just didnt work at all.

Being mainstream does not mean it is correct. That's the argument FEers use against REers all the time.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: George Jetson on January 18, 2019, 09:49:42 PM
Yes, like using leeches to drain bad blood. There's a reason for why certain medical practices aren't used anymore. 1) They weren't effective or effective enough. 2) They were dangerous. 3) They just didnt work at all.

Being mainstream does not mean it is correct. That's the argument FEers use against REers all the time.
The notion that phosphorus had medicinal properties was considered correct by many accredited doctors of the 19th century therefore the idea that Rowbotham's claim to be a doctor must have been fraudulent because he prescribed phosphorus has been refuted.  That is the only evidence for Rowbotham being a fraud that has been given so far thus we can say that, since that evidence has been refuted, there is no evidence that Rowbotham was a fraud.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: AllAroundTheWorld on January 18, 2019, 11:11:51 PM
Even if we concede that Rowbotham was a competent doctor (at the time he was working, we wouldn’t necessarily use his methods now), I’m not sure how that adds any credibility to his scientific ideas. There’s no evidence as far as I know that he worked professionally as a scientist and his ideas are clearly motivated by a misguided attempt to use the Bible as a science book. His ideas have been shown wrong and he has been largely forgotten by history.
I’m not clear how his competency as a doctor is relevant.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: stack on January 18, 2019, 11:31:20 PM
At this point, we can argue it's a difference of semantics. Did it cure them of nerve pain? Ok, sure. Let's go with that. Did it cure a disease? No.

Did tylenol cure my headache? Yes. Did it cure my stress that caused the headache? No. Is a headache a disease? No. It is a symptom. Is it pain? Yes. Can pain be cured? In a sense of the word, sure.

Can pain be so debilitating that people cannot walk? Yes. But pain is still not a disease.
It has been established that, by the standards of the 19th century in which he practiced medicine, Samuel Birley Rowbotham was well within the mainstream of medical practice in prescribing phosphorus to cure chronic pain. 

Has it been established though?  That prescribing phosphorus to cure chronic pain was well within the mainstream of medical practice back then? So far presented here have been a half a dozen or so Dr's and a few 'studies'. I'm not sure that qualifies as making an argument that it was the norm or mainstream even back then.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: George Jetson on January 19, 2019, 02:16:59 AM
At this point, we can argue it's a difference of semantics. Did it cure them of nerve pain? Ok, sure. Let's go with that. Did it cure a disease? No.

Did tylenol cure my headache? Yes. Did it cure my stress that caused the headache? No. Is a headache a disease? No. It is a symptom. Is it pain? Yes. Can pain be cured? In a sense of the word, sure.

Can pain be so debilitating that people cannot walk? Yes. But pain is still not a disease.
It has been established that, by the standards of the 19th century in which he practiced medicine, Samuel Birley Rowbotham was well within the mainstream of medical practice in prescribing phosphorus to cure chronic pain. 

Has it been established though?  That prescribing phosphorus to cure chronic pain was well within the mainstream of medical practice back then? So far presented here have been a half a dozen or so Dr's and a few 'studies'. I'm not sure that qualifies as making an argument that it was the norm or mainstream even back then.
It was at least within the range of practices that would be considered acceptable by 19th century standards given the evidence we have seen (studies in professional journals and other doctors who attested to the efficacy of phosphorus as a treatment for chronic pain .)

Even if we concede that Rowbotham was a competent doctor (at the time he was working, we wouldn’t necessarily use his methods now), I’m not sure how that adds any credibility to his scientific ideas. There’s no evidence as far as I know that he worked professionally as a scientist and his ideas are clearly motivated by a misguided attempt to use the Bible as a science book. His ideas have been shown wrong and he has been largely forgotten by history.
I’m not clear how his competency as a doctor is relevant.
The notion that Rowbotham wasn't a real doctor is the line of attack used in this thread (and elsewhere) to erroneously attack his Zetetic method.  I agree that it is an ad hominem argument that has no bearing on the claims made in his studies on the shape of the Earth.
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: Bastian Baasch on January 19, 2019, 02:40:37 AM
At this point, we can argue it's a difference of semantics. Did it cure them of nerve pain? Ok, sure. Let's go with that. Did it cure a disease? No.

Did tylenol cure my headache? Yes. Did it cure my stress that caused the headache? No. Is a headache a disease? No. It is a symptom. Is it pain? Yes. Can pain be cured? In a sense of the word, sure.

Can pain be so debilitating that people cannot walk? Yes. But pain is still not a disease.
It has been established that, by the standards of the 19th century in which he practiced medicine, Samuel Birley Rowbotham was well within the mainstream of medical practice in prescribing phosphorus to cure chronic pain. 

Has it been established though?  That prescribing phosphorus to cure chronic pain was well within the mainstream of medical practice back then? So far presented here have been a half a dozen or so Dr's and a few 'studies'. I'm not sure that qualifies as making an argument that it was the norm or mainstream even back then.
It was at least within the range of practices that would be considered acceptable by 19th century standards given the evidence we have seen (studies in professional journals and other doctors who attested to the efficacy of phosphorus as a treatment for chronic pain .)

Evidence? Studies? All Tom has presented us is a list of patients treated with phosphorus. And as I, and several others (Bad Puppy and AATW) have pointed out, a tabulated list is in no way equal to a controlled study. I have yet to see anyone in this thread present a study (a real study by its definition, not whatever Tom Bishop thinks a study is given his stubborn insistence to call the tabulated list he found a "study"). So unless you have some studies testing the effectiveness of phosphorus, there is no evidence. How do other doctors' claims to phosphorus in a few medical texts prove it's mainstream? Is that how you support claims of something mainstream? You just take a thin slice out of the voluminous literature of the medical field and say "It is thus mainstream!"?
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: George Jetson on January 19, 2019, 03:06:57 AM
At this point, we can argue it's a difference of semantics. Did it cure them of nerve pain? Ok, sure. Let's go with that. Did it cure a disease? No.

Did tylenol cure my headache? Yes. Did it cure my stress that caused the headache? No. Is a headache a disease? No. It is a symptom. Is it pain? Yes. Can pain be cured? In a sense of the word, sure.

Can pain be so debilitating that people cannot walk? Yes. But pain is still not a disease.
It has been established that, by the standards of the 19th century in which he practiced medicine, Samuel Birley Rowbotham was well within the mainstream of medical practice in prescribing phosphorus to cure chronic pain. 

Has it been established though?  That prescribing phosphorus to cure chronic pain was well within the mainstream of medical practice back then? So far presented here have been a half a dozen or so Dr's and a few 'studies'. I'm not sure that qualifies as making an argument that it was the norm or mainstream even back then.
It was at least within the range of practices that would be considered acceptable by 19th century standards given the evidence we have seen (studies in professional journals and other doctors who attested to the efficacy of phosphorus as a treatment for chronic pain .)

Evidence? Studies? All Tom has presented us is a list of patients treated with phosphorus. And as I, and several others (Bad Puppy and AATW) have pointed out, a tabulated list is in no way equal to a controlled study. I have yet to see anyone in this thread present a study (a real study by its definition, not whatever Tom Bishop thinks a study is given his stubborn insistence to call the tabulated list he found a "study"). So unless you have some studies testing the effectiveness of phosphorus, there is no evidence. How do other doctors' claims to phosphorus in a few medical texts prove it's mainstream? Is that how you support claims of something mainstream? You just take a thin slice out of the voluminous literature of the medical field and say "It is thus mainstream!"?
This isn't a debate over the efficacy of phosphorus as a medicine.  That real doctors have been documented as having used phosphorus (and that there was reason to believe that it would work given the contemporaneous case studies Tom has provided) in that capacity is enough proof that Rowbotham's enthusiasm for phosphorus as a treatment for certain diseases does not prove ipso facto that he was not a real doctor (or a quack) as so many, eager to assassinate the character of a man whose ideas upset them, have asserted.  Case closed. 
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: WellRoundedIndividual on January 19, 2019, 04:53:19 AM
I agree with George. My original line of questioning was concerning the validity of stories concerning his background and involvement of others in his life. It evolved into this. (Hence, my oft said claim that everyone keeps shifting context).

I will point out that George is also shifting context. He is no longer using (if he ever did in this thread, although Tom has and is) the word cure in association with phosphorus. It is now a treatment. Shifting of context again. (Unless, he is agreeing with me that it is a treatment for pain, and not a cure for neuralgia (which is just nerve pain).
Title: Re: Samuel Birley aka Rowbotham
Post by: stack on January 19, 2019, 09:58:23 AM
In summary, the OP:

So, I tried to use the search function to find anyone talking about the former secretary of the Zetetic Society, Henry Ossipoff Wolfson. Apparently, he wrote a expose on Rowbotham positing that he was a snake oil salesman, in short. He claimed that Rowbotham went by the name of Dr. Samuel Birley, and that Rowbotham was merely using the Flat Earth theory as a cover to hoodwink people.  Is there any truth to this story being true, and is there any truth to the claims of Mr. Wolfson (if said story is true)?

I paraphrase what I posted before and gleaned from digging around before I too lost the thread of the thread. Here's what I think I know, feel free to correct.

- Henry Ossipoff Wolfson was appointed Secretary of the Zetetic Society at it's creation by Rowbotham himself, late in Rowbotham's life
- Wolfson, some six months later, contacted Proctor and the publication, Knowledge, to ask if he could write an expose, seemingly attempting to expose Robotham as I guess a fraud
- Subsequently, Wolfson wrote two essays/acts of what were to be perhaps more 'takedowns' of Rowbotham, in part, calling out his nom de plumes and capping on his elixirs and their efficacy for medical treatment of whatever
- Wolfson's essays I & II were published in 'Knowledge' in 1884 and are referenced here in the TFES repository of FE literature
- As a result of the published essays, representatives for Rowbotham threatened to sue 'Knowledge'
- Rowbotham dies, suits are not pursued and further writing on the matter by Wolfson are non-existent

That's about all I think I know.