Originally Posted By: BEB
Originally Posted By: Roland Dumas
...The blog doesn't separate what might be useful from the cult or fad, but seems to waste another tanker of energy doing the full ad hominem routine on practitioners. Baby going out with bathwater.
But I think that is the point Smith is making: the foundation of biodynamics is false and needs to be thrown out.

Smith is behaving as irrationally as his target. More heat than light in his diatribes.

The premise of biodynamics isn't science. It's just a premise, a viewpoint. Like "organic", it starts from a basic principle which causes people to try things that they might not have considered. So biodynamic predicts that you can grow enough food for a family on 1/10 acre by following its methods. Someone shows that you can do it, and do it again in the same plot for several years. Well, that's a success that a scientist might want to look at for explanation. Might be the magical proximity of the right plants planted at the right phase of the moon, or it might be a Hawthorne effect. EIther way, it's opened up thinking to new ideas.

Mayans planted corn, beans, and potatoes and whatever in the same mound. Something our current practices wouldn't think of, but looking at it, it stirs the thought process about why that practice might have evolved and what benefit it might have for us now.

THe only craziness is when people turn things into cults and/or start going for the personal affronts. THat's when thinking stops and wars start. If the biodynamic world has become a cult with certifications and tenets that have to be worshipped, then it's a dead idea. If opponents require everything to be scientific from the get-go and attack people because of their religious beliefs, then it's just a pissing war.

Science is not a holy discipline. A rigorous scientific study doesn't always start with a blank sheet of paper. It can look at a practice that appears effective, and start with tests to determine what makes it appear effective. Because a practice didn't begin as a scientific enterprise doesn't make it wrong or ineffective.

I followed some of the methods and principles - those that made sense - in doing my backyard garden. Does it yield more or better than when I was using chemicals to fertilize and others to ward off bugs? Not sure. More and better tomatoes and basil, for sure. Less spent on chemicals. Fewer bugs. Some 'beneficial' companion plants that have turned into pernicious weeds. My bigger net is that I don't have chemicals around that sink into the soil and run off to the bay. I don't have things around that have unknown toxic effects. I feel better about the food that hits my table. Peace of mind has a lot of value. Science or not.