Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

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Lyle Fass
 
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #51  Postby Lyle Fass » June 16th 2010, 11:06am

Rick Gregory wrote:
Guillaume Deschamps wrote:
Lyle Fass wrote:FYI. Dumb-ass name for a blog. Complete misuse of the word hoax. Another reason I can't engage over there.

hoax - something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage


That seems like a perfect use for this word if you think that a) there is no correlation between this theory and the production of good wine and b) people are making significant money from selling BioD products to wine growers.
w.


Not unless you are asserting that the people pushing BD don't believe in its advantages. By the quoted definition it's not possible for people who believe in something to perpetrate a hoax. It may be provably wrong, but hoax goes to the intentions of the proponents not the accuracy of their claims.


And to what advantage? Biodynamics costs a shit ton of money, impossible to get certified and is a pain in the ass to do.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #52  Postby Brigitte Armenier » June 16th 2010, 11:19am

Sorry to debunk the fantasy, but there is no mention of any "midnight cow horn's burial" in Steiner's Agriculture Course, nor in the Demeter standards, nor in the peer-reviewed papers.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #53  Postby John Morris » June 16th 2010, 11:54am

I'm highly skeptical of the mystical theory of Steiner but sympathetic to winemakers who pick and choose some of biodynamics' techniques.

It reminds me a bit of Freud and classical psychoanalysis: He was on to something, but you don't need to take the more baroque parts of the theory (the Death Wish, Oedipal complex or penis envy) too seriously. And, from the other angle, it's easy to attack the approach based on the wilder theoretical embellishments, but it doesn't mean there isn't something at the core that's useful and insightful.

So, back to wine, I say, spare me the rams horns but feel free to farm your vineyards organically.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #54  Postby David K o l i n » June 16th 2010, 12:12pm

Brigitte Armenier wrote:Sorry to debunk the fantasy, but there is no mention of any "midnight cow horn's burial" in Steiner's Agriculture Course, nor in the Demeter standards, nor in the peer-reviewed papers.


Help me with this, Brigitte (I'm a lawyer, not a farmer). The Demeter production standards talks about the buried manure in cow horn preparation (see appendix 10 of the attached), but doesn't mention midnight burial.

http://demeter.net/standards/st_production_e.pdf
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #55  Postby G. D y e r » June 16th 2010, 1:09pm

john holdredge wrote:
G. D y e r wrote:
john holdredge wrote:christopher colombus
galileo
copernicus


the world is filled with people who believed what we could not see.


This is a poor comparison, though. And especially ironic that two of the figures you note had a very good sense of gravitation as it related to heavenly bodies. The problem here is that BioD makes assertions with zero experimental evidence that are in complete disagreement with theories that have been scientifically vetted.

Take the theory of evolution. Steiner proposes instead the moon shines up some animals' butts and the sun shines in the face of others. Or something along those lines as I can't be bothered to decipher the precise form of this nonsense.

The three figures you mention were not contradicting well-founded science. In fact, they were largely contradicting religion. BioD is an attempt to move backwards to faith-based pseudo-science. It is the opposite of Columbus, Galileo and Copernicus.


In a literal sense you may be right- but the fact is that "science" doesnt begin to explain the mysteries of nature- and while I dont necessarily think burying a cow horn full of shit at mignight makes a better wine, I do know that you feel a very different energy when walking your vineyard at night. The whole idea of making wine (for me anyways) is trying to unravel the mysteries of nature. Not to decry science, but wine is about the spirit of a place. Science cant explain that energy- its something you simply feel- and for me, the notion of being better connected to the land is somethong BD (direct and indirectly) promotes. Just because you can't see it, or science can't explain it, doesn't mean it isnt there.


I'm in no way claiming science gives all the answers. Science is reductionist, in contrast to mythologies like BioD that strive to be holistic. Very few complex systems can be broken down to the point that they are tractable to science. But those that can be are understood quite well.

This is where the problems crop up. If BioD makes assertions that disagree with well-founded science, that is a major problem. There may well be elements of the holistic approach that get results, though. That does not excuse the propagation of pseudo-science that conflicts with real science.

With respect to wine, there simply isn't a way to build a great wine piece by piece. Wine is too complex. But there are certain parts of its craft that are greatly assisted by scientific insight, especially the chemistry of wine. A winemaker may still do certain things based on experience because it gets a desired result. The proof is in the pudding. But if he says he is adding tartaric acid to lower the acidity of his wine, then that is a problem.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #56  Postby John Osburn » June 16th 2010, 1:18pm

Cris Whetstone wrote:I also don't think we can hold up some wineries and say that since they make good wines so there is something to this BioD thing. That is a classic non sequitur.

Isn't that akin to saying that because Steiner had some loony ideas that many of the principles of biodynamics are therefore also loony?
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #57  Postby G. D y e r » June 16th 2010, 1:24pm

Rick Gregory wrote:I remember a story someone on eBob told years ago about planting some vegetables. His neighbor swore by planting by the moon.... which seemed irrational. So he planted when he wanted to and things like soil temp were in the range needed. She planted as she always had... and her vegetables were fine, his were ravaged by bugs and didn't do well. The plots were right next to one another. Is there a scientific explanation? Of course. Did she know it? Of course not. But she knew what worked and that was what mattered.

Other fields have this as well. High end audio long ago ventured down this path. The mainstream mags measured everything (google Julian Hirsch sometime.... ) and at one point they crowed that vendors had finally gotten harmonic distortion so low it was inaudible! yay!!! Except those components had a hard, bright edge when listend to - turns out a different kind of distortion was happening as a result of the techniques used to conquer the harmonic distortion everyone had been focused on. Even now we don't really have a good idea of why some combinations of components produce a very open, 3D soundstage and, within that, performers who seem to BE there while others don't. In wine terms... what produces complexity? Why do some wines have intense, bewitching noses while others are simply fruit?


Re: gardening, this is BioD in a nutshell. They do something that gets a result. There are any number of reasons why timing makes a difference. Where it goes too far is the creation of explanations for a phenomena. The whole sensitive crystallization garbage I highlighted earlier is a prime example. Do different wines have different crystal patterns? Sure. Can you make claims about their composition just based on morphology? No, you must do systematic, reproducible studies first.

Re: audio, this sounds analogous to the use of pesticides. One problem solved, but others are created. This is reductionist thinking in a nutshell. Some systems are too complicated to easily parse. But that does not mean that there aren't systems that we can understand completely.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #58  Postby Tim Burnett » June 16th 2010, 1:25pm

I’m skeptical of some of the various wine-making “movements,” and find some of their supporters really frustrating. But this sort of tact is what frustrates me, and that goes both ways.

I really don’t see a need to protect consumers here - if someone wants to make wine, or buy wine, or even pay more to make or by wine because it’s biodynamic, or organic, or natural, that’s really their prerogative.

I get pushing back when supporters of some style or critics of another go all blowhard in a blog or on a bulletin board, but dedicating a chunk of time to debunking a fairly harmless niche wine making philosophy seems an odd use of time.

As I like talking about wine a lot, I don’t like anything that’s I’m right, you’re wrong. Detracts from the conversation. Live and let drink.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #59  Postby Brigitte Armenier » June 16th 2010, 1:27pm

Yes David: there is indeed NO "midnight burial." Actually there is no midnight practice of any sort at all! Biodynamists are farmers, and farmers usually sleep at night… :)
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #60  Postby John Osburn » June 16th 2010, 1:33pm

G. D y e r wrote:Some systems are too complicated to easily parse. But that does not mean that there aren't systems that we can understand completely.

Yes. But I have not seen anyone come close to understanding winemaking completely. Or the natural world.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #61  Postby G. D y e r » June 16th 2010, 1:41pm

John Osburn wrote:
G. D y e r wrote:Some systems are too complicated to easily parse. But that does not mean that there aren't systems that we can understand completely.

Yes. But I have not seen anyone come close to understanding winemaking completely. Or the natural world.


I agree. I never claimed that the natural world or winemaking was a simple system. But certain aspects can indeed be understood quite thoroughly.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #62  Postby Brigitte Armenier » June 16th 2010, 1:43pm

Also: I know that this is nothing more than stating the obvious, yet it is sometimes worth reminding that Biodynamics is a farming practice, not a winemaking one.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #63  Postby davetong » June 16th 2010, 2:16pm

Brigitte Armenier wrote:Yes David: there is indeed NO "midnight burial." Actually there is no midnight practice of any sort at all! Biodynamists are farmers, and farmers usually sleep at night… :)

There's probably no nudity either. Doesn't mean that Biodynamics isn't a load of steaming Preparation 500 source material.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #64  Postby Brigitte Armenier » June 16th 2010, 2:25pm

Yes, once again I'm sorry to debunk the fantasy, but there is no nudity either.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #65  Postby Matt Mauldin » June 16th 2010, 2:57pm

I'm of the mindset that certain aspects of BD are suspect, but that it must be a good thing overall if its practices are beneficial for the land and its practitioners are consistently making good wine. On the other hand, I like the Smith Brothers' wines and think they are interesting people. One of them bitching about BD on a blog, I find more entertaining than offensive.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #66  Postby Bob Hunnicutt » June 16th 2010, 3:21pm



hoax - something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage



And that's the way I see it. In a crowded, competitive market ppl want a way to stand out. It's MARKETING.

I happy the farmers want to pay more attention to their land and practice sustainable farming. I am unhappy they think they can treat me like I'm stupid. Sorry, JMO.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #67  Postby Brigitte Armenier » June 16th 2010, 4:58pm

Lyle, I'd like to come back on your opinion that "Biodynamics costs a shit ton of money." I already posted the following comment last year on another blog, but the costs haven't changed since then:
Biodynamics means Biodynamic preparations. When supplied by the Josephine Porter Institute in Virginia, the total cost of the nine preparations represents not more than $ 60.00 (sixty) per acre and per year.
Then: some of these preparations are intended for spray. Using an ATV, the cost here comes to $ 250.00 per acre and per year. All other preparations go into the compost. Cost of compost and its spreading: $ 130.00 per acre and per year.
Now, strictly as an example, a winery farming Chardonnay in the humid conditions of Carneros has been able, after 3 years of Biodynamic farming, and in order to protect its vineyard from powdery mildew, to reduce its cost per acre from $ 1,600.00 (conventional) to $ 700.00 (Biodynamics). In other places, trials are successfully running for a season with no sulphur.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #68  Postby Jon Troutman » June 16th 2010, 6:04pm

Matt Mauldin wrote:I'm of the mindset that certain aspects of BD are suspect, but that it must be a good thing overall if its practices are beneficial for the land and its practitioners are consistently making good wine. On the other hand, I like the Smith Brothers' wines and think they are interesting people. One of them bitching about BD on a blog, I find more entertaining than offensive.


Well said, Matt! Again, not sure if I agree with Smith or not, but his blog is definitely entertaining... and promotes discourse. Biodynamics is completely misunderstood, so any forum that raises the interest and education of the area is a-okay in my book.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #69  Postby john holdredge » June 16th 2010, 6:31pm

Brigitte Armenier wrote:Sorry to debunk the fantasy, but there is no mention of any "midnight cow horn's burial" in Steiner's Agriculture Course, nor in the Demeter standards, nor in the peer-reviewed papers.


Not that it really matters, but my statement to that effect was meant to be figurative, not literal.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #70  Postby john holdredge » June 16th 2010, 6:33pm

Brigitte Armenier wrote:Also: I know that this is nothing more than stating the obvious, yet it is sometimes worth reminding that Biodynamics is a farming practice, not a winemaking one.



If you adhere, as I think most of us do, to the notion that wine is grown and not made- then farming practices are winemaking practices. But perhaps I am splitting a hair too thin.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #71  Postby Brigitte Armenier » June 16th 2010, 7:17pm

John, if you already knew that no midnight burial takes place, then I don’t really understand the point of mentioning the "very different energy when walking [a]vineyard at night"…
Similarly, the use of the Biodynamic preparations only takes place in the vineyard. There is no Biodynamic practice as such in the cellar. But it is true that as far as the question of plant phenolics is concerned, we know that they are biosynthesized mostly by the shikimic acid pathway. Actually, the mode of action of glyphosate is to block this metabolic pathway. While on the opposite, Biodynamics induces the systemic acquired resistance (SAR) in which defense compounds, mostly phenolics, are produced (Lotter, 2008). As a result: "the observation that Biodynamic viticulture enhances the expression of terroir in wine has been a comment made by a number of wine professionals" (Lotter).
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #72  Postby Bruce G » June 16th 2010, 9:36pm

Jon Troutman wrote:Well said, Matt! Again, not sure if I agree with Smith or not, but his blog is definitely entertaining... and promotes discourse.


Interesting. I took one look at the site, found the tone belligerently polemical, and thought "well, so much for reasoned discourse".

Personally I can't imagine too many BDers going out of their way to post on that site.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #73  Postby jcoley3 » June 16th 2010, 10:00pm

Bruce G wrote:Interesting. I took one look at the site, found the tone belligerently polemical, and thought "well, so much for reasoned discourse".


Why is only one side of this debate expected to be "reasonable"?

If I were to shrilly announce that the sun sets in the West, would my tone somehow invalidate my arguments?

If you were to claim the moon was made of green cheese, and the earth was flat, would I have to engage you "reasonably" for my argument to be valid? Why are we assuming BD is proven, and contrary claims must meet "reasonable" standards to even be considered by the Converts?

I hate to say it, but anyone who shirks engaging an argument a priori because it is too shrill strikes me as being someone who knows all too well how little foundation they have for their case.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #74  Postby Peter Cargasacchi » June 16th 2010, 10:09pm

I'm researching and reading and combing through secret libraries and data bases trying to find material explaining bd.

I have found some material in a surviving copy of the necronomicon. Bd references, to scrolls in Ashurbanipal's Library at Nineveh. We read amazing 4,000 year old clay tablets!

It turned out to be a pulled pork recipe and hieroglyph porn.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #75  Postby jcoley3 » June 16th 2010, 10:27pm

Peter,

Will you be my winemaking consultant at my new Napa venture? I'm calling it Cthulhu Family Cabernet. California needs a "real" cult wine! We are 200% BD, and using 200% new oak.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #76  Postby Bruce G » June 16th 2010, 11:30pm

jcoley3 wrote:Why is only one side of this debate expected to be "reasonable"?


Who said anything like this?

If I were to shrilly announce that the sun sets in the West, would my tone somehow invalidate my arguments?

If you were to claim the moon was made of green cheese, and the earth was flat, would I have to engage you "reasonably" for my argument to be valid? Why are we assuming BD is proven, and contrary claims must meet "reasonable" standards to even be considered by the Converts?


If the goal is debate, Jim, then name-calling and bellicosity are probably not the best way to go.
Or so it would seem to me.

I hate to say it, but anyone who shirks engaging an argument a priori because it is too shrill strikes me as being someone who knows all too well how little foundation they have for their case.


Could be that.
Then again, it just may be that such a person has better things to do than actively court an internet-based argument with someone they find unpleasant.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #77  Postby jcoley3 » June 16th 2010, 11:52pm

Bruce,

Lyle has, pretty explicitly.

Have you read the Steiner quotes in this thread? Stating unfounded claims in poetic terms does not equate "reasonability." Otherwise, we could use Lewis Carroll as a winemaking consultant.

Why are flights of fantasy acceptable, but the debunking "unreasonable"?

Why is no one willing to engage Mr. Smith on merits, but merely on tone?

If what he says is wrong, show me.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #78  Postby Bruce G » June 17th 2010, 6:12am

jcoley3 wrote:Why are flights of fantasy acceptable, but the debunking "unreasonable"?

Why is no one willing to engage Mr. Smith on merits, but merely on tone?


Because the problem is, first and foremost, the tone. If there is to be a debate then the bottom line pre-condition is some semblance of respectfulness towards the folks on the other side. That is the reasonableness to which I refer... it has nothing to do with content and everything to do with deportment.
You (or Smith) might think Steiner's ideas so absurd as to invite automatic derision and rock throwing. I can't help that. Just don't call it "debate" if that's what you do.

If what he says is wrong, show me.


I have reservations about several things he's said in his blog.
Things like the comment that "if you believe in science you cannot believe in Biodynamics, and the corollary is just as true, if you believe in Biodynamics you cannot believe in science".

But the statements in and of themselves are a bit vague, and would benefit from some clarification.
To get that clarification, though, would require starting a discussion with him. Right now I don't really see such a thing as worth the effort.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #79  Postby Robert.Fleming » June 17th 2010, 6:20am

Matt Mauldin wrote:I'm of the mindset that certain aspects of BD are suspect, but that it must be a good thing overall if its practices are beneficial for the land and its practitioners are consistently making good wine. On the other hand, I like the Smith Brothers' wines and think they are interesting people. One of them bitching about BD on a blog, I find more entertaining than offensive.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #80  Postby Bill Tex Landreth » June 17th 2010, 6:42am

Peter Cargasacchi wrote:I'm researching and reading and combing through secret libraries and data bases trying to find material explaining bd.

I have found some material in a surviving copy of the necronomicon. Bd references, to scrolls in Ashurbanipal's Library at Nineveh. We read amazing 4,000 year old clay tablets!

It turned out to be a pulled pork recipe and hieroglyph porn.


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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #81  Postby Brigitte Armenier » June 17th 2010, 1:03pm

Bruce, I don't find it surprising that ethics of respect and reason come from a place like Coco Farm. Thank you. It also betrays, be it in Japan or in China, this wonderful capacity that gives priority to the relation, the quality of relation, i.e. the tone or dynamics between elements, instead of focusing on the sole elements. The French Sinologist Francois Jullien has for instance produced a remarkable body of work on this topic.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #82  Postby Brigitte Armenier » June 17th 2010, 1:05pm

Jon, if you do have an interest in the understanding of Biodynamics and therefore of Goethean science, you might find it useful to read:
1. Arthur Zajonc's website: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/. A professor of physics at Amherst College, Arthur Zajonc has worked extensively with Goethean science;
2. Henri Bortoft's book: The Wholeness of Nature, Goethe's Way toward a Science of Conscious Participation in Nature. Henri Bortoft did post-graduate work with David Bohm and Basil Hiley, and lectures too on Goethean science.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #83  Postby Lyle Fass » June 17th 2010, 1:23pm

jcoley3 wrote:Bruce,

Lyle has, pretty explicitly.



I'm a bit lost. What have I done explicitly and is it NSFW?
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #84  Postby Peter Cargasacchi » June 17th 2010, 2:13pm

Brigitte Armenier wrote:Bruce, I don't find it surprising that ethics of respect and reason come from a place like Coco Farm. Thank you. It also betrays, be it in Japan or in China, this wonderful capacity that gives priority to the relation, the quality of relation, i.e. the tone or dynamics between elements, instead of focusing on the sole elements. The French Sinologist Francois Jullien has for instance produced a remarkable body of work on this topic.



Brigitte Armenier wrote:Jon, if you do have an interest in the understanding of Biodynamics and therefore of Goethean science, you might find it useful to read:
1. Arthur Zajonc's website: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/. A professor of physics at Amherst College, Arthur Zajonc has worked extensively with Goethean science;
2. Henri Bortoft's book: The Wholeness of Nature, Goethe's Way toward a Science of Conscious Participation in Nature. Henri Bortoft did post-graduate work with David Bohm and Basil Hiley, and lectures too on Goethean science.


Sorry. But that doesn't follow.

An issue to consider and one that "helps thicken where other proofs demonstrate thinly," (thanks Iago!) is that Pasteur, Mendel and Darwin stood on the shoulders of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's work and derived a totally different perspective of Goethean science than Steiner.

Goethe was a giant in his time, along with his works in the Humanities, check out his work in science on plants and morphology. BUT he and is contemporaries still believed in spontaneous generation and metaphysical explanations founded in superstition. As the one time curator, if I recall correctly of Goethe's archives,(?) Steiner took a different direction from Goethe and to the metaphysical.

Biodynamics is the opposite direction from Pasteur, Darwin and Mendel. Its not Goethean science, except in the sense of believing in metaphysical models that were created before the understanding of microbiology!

You are missing and not seeing the Geothean transition from metaphysical philosopy explanations to that of ontology becoming science and observable, replicable and verifiable scientific method based knowledge.

Into the darkness of superstition I shall not return.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #85  Postby Brigitte Armenier » June 17th 2010, 6:30pm

Peter, Too bad you did not explore Arthur Zajonc's website! :) You would have discovered for instance some of "the parallels and differences that exist between Goethe's approach and that of modern natural science."
http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/AJP ... Theory.pdf
But also here: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/Goe ... Theory.pdf
"originally read at a joint symposium sponsored by the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science and the Departments of Germanic Languages and History of Science at Harvard University, 3-4 December 1982."
Or here: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/Ori ... Clouds.pdf
Or else: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/Geo ... 0Orion.PDF
These Journal Articles also illustrate the link between Goethe and Steiner.

May I also recommend you Heinrich Meyer's paper: Goethe as a scientist in JSTOR: Monatshefte, Vol. 41, No. 8 (Dec., 1949), pp. 415-423: "If we look at Goethe as we look at Darwin we make a fundamental mistake."

In regards to the differences between Goethe and Mendel, I think you will get all necessary information in Craig Holdrege's not only book: Genetics & the Manipulation of Life at http://www.amazon.com/Genetics-Manipula ... 0940262770, but also website: http://www.natureinstitute.org/index.htm

After all this reading, I can but hope that you will have understood the differences between Pasteur's monomorphism and Goethe's morphological thinking.
Or in other words, the differences meant by standing either "on the shoulders of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's work," or on the shoulders of Sir Isaac Newton's work.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #86  Postby Peter Cargasacchi » June 17th 2010, 10:56pm

Brigitte Armenier wrote:Peter, Too bad you did not explore Arthur Zajonc's website! :) You would have discovered for instance some of "the parallels and differences that exist between Goethe's approach and that of modern natural science."
http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/AJP ... Theory.pdf
But also here: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/Goe ... Theory.pdf
"originally read at a joint symposium sponsored by the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science and the Departments of Germanic Languages and History of Science at Harvard University, 3-4 December 1982."
Or here: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/Ori ... Clouds.pdf
Or else: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/Geo ... 0Orion.PDF
These Journal Articles also illustrate the link between Goethe and Steiner.

May I also recommend you Heinrich Meyer's paper: Goethe as a scientist in JSTOR: Monatshefte, Vol. 41, No. 8 (Dec., 1949), pp. 415-423: "If we look at Goethe as we look at Darwin we make a fundamental mistake."

In regards to the differences between Goethe and Mendel, I think you will get all necessary information in Craig Holdrege's not only book: Genetics & the Manipulation of Life at http://www.amazon.com/Genetics-Manipula ... 0940262770, but also website: http://www.natureinstitute.org/index.htm

After all this reading, I can but hope that you will have understood the differences between Pasteur's monomorphism and Goethe's morphological thinking.
Or in other words, the differences meant by standing either "on the shoulders of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's work," or on the shoulders of Sir Isaac Newton's work.


I apologize for not reading all these links that are your response, but you didn't exactly articulate a response?

I have an appointment with a tractor in 6 hours and need some sleep. With all due respect, your response seems unresponsive and seem to lead to irrelevent concepts that obscure the lack of foundation to Steiner's work. The method of science relied on by Pasteur, Darwin and Mendel is distinct from the quackery of Steiner.

A bunch of citations and footnotes is not a response.

Can you please articulate in your own words what special farming knowledge Steiner had and the origins of that knowledge that would cause me to believe he knew something about farming?

Do you understand how one can look at the work of people like Pasteur, Darwin and Mendel and visibly and verifiably see how their theories were based on replicable work/information and validated because of the underlying method (science) that they share?

But you cannot do that with Steiner's work in Biodynamics. Biodynamics can no longer hide in metaphysics because our culture has moved from superstion based knowledge and belief systems as we have explored our environment and begun to understand the underlying chemical and physical properties of living things, matter and energy, etc..

Our knowldedge if far from complete, but at the same time embracing the potential of superstition and the occult is a far worse thing than the reality of recognizing that our knowledge is incomplete and fallible.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #87  Postby Nikolaj Krarup » June 18th 2010, 6:08am

I have never understood why there is so much hostility towards BD everytime there is a thread about it. Some people just can't stand the fact that it's getting more and more popular among the best and most serious winemakers in the world. The bottom line is that it's an effective method that really works. That's what counts. The article is hostile rude and mean, and definenetaly not worth taking seriously. The need to ridicule something just because you don't agree is childish and undignifying.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #88  Postby Doug Schulman » June 18th 2010, 6:16am

John Osburn wrote:
Cris Whetstone wrote:I also don't think we can hold up some wineries and say that since they make good wines so there is something to this BioD thing. That is a classic non sequitur.

Isn't that akin to saying that because Steiner had some loony ideas that many of the principles of biodynamics are therefore also loony?

Great point. Plus, I do think it's fair to say that because a number of producers are using these methods and making top notch wine, perhaps they know what they're doing and they have discovered that something they're now doing is helping.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #89  Postby David K o l i n » June 18th 2010, 6:57am

Nikolaj Krarup wrote:I have never understood why there is so much hostility towards BD everytime there is a thread about it. Some people just can't stand the fact that it's getting more and more popular among the best and most serious winemakers in the world. The bottom line is that it's an effective method that really works. That's what counts. The article is hostile rude and mean, and definenetaly not worth taking seriously. The need to ridicule something just because you don't agree is childish and undignifying.



As to the italicized portion, I think that for most people, the jury is still out on this. Some folks make crappy wine following BioD practices and some make stellar wine. Like others, I'm happy for people to follow their muse. I think very few folks would argue about the goals of BioD. But you have to continue to expect folks to pile on the bull about certain practices (including the tea making) until one can describe a basis for effectiveness that rings of something other than mysticism.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #90  Postby Peter Cargasacchi » June 18th 2010, 10:57am

Brigitte Armenier wrote:Peter, Too bad you did not explore Arthur Zajonc's website! :) You would have discovered for instance some of "the parallels and differences that exist between Goethe's approach and that of modern natural science."
http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/AJP ... Theory.pdf
But also here: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/Goe ... Theory.pdf
"originally read at a joint symposium sponsored by the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science and the Departments of Germanic Languages and History of Science at Harvard University, 3-4 December 1982."
Or here: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/Ori ... Clouds.pdf
Or else: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/Geo ... 0Orion.PDF
These Journal Articles also illustrate the link between Goethe and Steiner.

May I also recommend you Heinrich Meyer's paper: Goethe as a scientist in JSTOR: Monatshefte, Vol. 41, No. 8 (Dec., 1949), pp. 415-423: "If we look at Goethe as we look at Darwin we make a fundamental mistake."

In regards to the differences between Goethe and Mendel, I think you will get all necessary information in Craig Holdrege's not only book: Genetics & the Manipulation of Life at http://www.amazon.com/Genetics-Manipula ... 0940262770, but also website: http://www.natureinstitute.org/index.htm

After all this reading, I can but hope that you will have understood the differences between Pasteur's monomorphism and Goethe's morphological thinking.
Or in other words, the differences meant by standing either "on the shoulders of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's work," or on the shoulders of Sir Isaac Newton's work.


In reading the material, I couldn't help but be struck by the idea that Goethe woiuld be rolling in his grave to be associated with biodynamics. Attempting to use Goethe to validate something he would have debunked is a travesty.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #91  Postby Nikolaj Krarup » June 18th 2010, 11:19am

Peter Cargasacchi wrote:
Brigitte Armenier wrote:Peter, Too bad you did not explore Arthur Zajonc's website! :) You would have discovered for instance some of "the parallels and differences that exist between Goethe's approach and that of modern natural science."
http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/AJP ... Theory.pdf
But also here: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/Goe ... Theory.pdf
"originally read at a joint symposium sponsored by the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science and the Departments of Germanic Languages and History of Science at Harvard University, 3-4 December 1982."
Or here: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/Ori ... Clouds.pdf
Or else: http://www.arthurzajonc.org/uploads/Geo ... 0Orion.PDF
These Journal Articles also illustrate the link between Goethe and Steiner.

May I also recommend you Heinrich Meyer's paper: Goethe as a scientist in JSTOR: Monatshefte, Vol. 41, No. 8 (Dec., 1949), pp. 415-423: "If we look at Goethe as we look at Darwin we make a fundamental mistake."

In regards to the differences between Goethe and Mendel, I think you will get all necessary information in Craig Holdrege's not only book: Genetics & the Manipulation of Life at http://www.amazon.com/Genetics-Manipula ... 0940262770, but also website: http://www.natureinstitute.org/index.htm

After all this reading, I can but hope that you will have understood the differences between Pasteur's monomorphism and Goethe's morphological thinking.
Or in other words, the differences meant by standing either "on the shoulders of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's work," or on the shoulders of Sir Isaac Newton's work.


In reading the material, I couldn't help but be struck by the idea that Goethe woiuld be rolling in his grave to be associated with biodynamics. Attempting to use Goethe to validate something he would have debunked is a travesty.

You will only see what you want to see no matter what. You have some kind of personal grudge towards BD for some reason, and will try to find faults and ridicule it at all costs. How pathetic. Get a life! neener
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #92  Postby Brigitte Armenier » June 18th 2010, 11:30am

Peter, then please try reading a second time… :) Without forgetting Turinek's research paper which is peer-reviewed and will also answer many of your questions.
To my opinion :) , I think you need to become clear whether what you are looking for is opinions or knowledge. I already once wrote that Plato's teaching is that our opinions alienate us, while only our desire for knowledge and for truth can bring liberation. This desire doesn't lead to their possession, but rather to the capacity of their creation (Monique Dixsaut). It is therefore a path of freedom, but also of loneliness for "nobody else can achieve my journey but me."
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #93  Postby G. D y e r » June 18th 2010, 11:42am

Nikolaj Krarup wrote:I have never understood why there is so much hostility towards BD everytime there is a thread about it. Some people just can't stand the fact that it's getting more and more popular among the best and most serious winemakers in the world. The bottom line is that it's an effective method that really works. That's what counts. The article is hostile rude and mean, and definenetaly not worth taking seriously. The need to ridicule something just because you don't agree is childish and undignifying.


The problem with BioD as a fundementalist approach to agriculture is that it is an attack on the scientific method. This no different than normalizing faith-based education as an alternative to real science. There are indeed positive results from BioD viticulture. But there is no clear explanation of causation for specific effects due to specific actions.

For example, from a scientific perspective, integrated pest management is sometimes used to prevent pests from taking over the vineyard. This means creating an vineyard ecosystem that supports predators that eat certain pests. BioD does the same thing, but incorporates homeopathy and pseudoscience. It's still integrated pest management, though, and it's not hard to understand why it's effective. You kill pests without a scorched earth methodology that has various side effects.

BioD advocates can't stand the idea that certain aspects of their methodology can be adapted to viticulture without the added anti-science, it seems.

I'm still waiting for someone to offer a justification for how one makes conclusions from sensitive crystallization that Carg can't drive his tractor through.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #94  Postby J a y H a c k » June 18th 2010, 11:49am

Lyle Fass wrote: . . . And biodynamics is like any religion, the fundamentalist aspect is always too severe (Joly), but some people in the middle (Leflaive, Leroy, Wittman) make great wines. Who the f*ck knows why? But I am sure creating a living, breathing ecosystem in the soil cannot hurt.
Charles Massoud of Paumanok, who does not practice biodynamicism, provided a very good explanation to me a few years ago. He said that anyone who really cares about the vines and the grapes, and pays attention to them, and watches over them carefully, and exerts a strong effort to grow good graoes, will have better grapes than someone who neglects his vineyard. Thus, he suspected that biodynamic principles simply caused growers to give their vines the attention they needed to grow good grapes, no more nor less than any other passionate grower focused on other techniques.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #95  Postby G. D y e r » June 18th 2010, 11:54am

Brigitte Armenier wrote:Peter, then please try reading a second time… :) Without forgetting Turinek's research paper which is peer-reviewed and will also answer many of your questions.


Peer reviewed can mean many things. And keep in mind the journal you reference was known as American Journal of Alternative Agriculture. We're not talking about Science or Nature here. When it comes to publishing articles, it depends on the rigor of the review and the quality of the journal. Peer review alone does not signify much, and there is quite a lot of mediocre science that gets published without high rigor.

I am not questioning the conclusions of the article, only the statement that peer reviewed means much without suitable context.

Edit: I was able to download the paper and it looks to be worth a read. Just glancing at the abstract and conclusions, it doesn't seem to overreach. Still, what I question are the mystical elements of BioD, which this paper does not attempt to prove, I don't believe. That is what needs proof, not that BioD is similar to organic agriculture.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #96  Postby Brigitte Armenier » June 18th 2010, 1:18pm

G. Dyer, thank you for having downloaded Turinek's paper in the Cambridge University Press 2009.
Thank you also for admitting that "there are indeed positive results from BioD viticulture," knowing that "BioD viticulture" consists in the use of the Biodynamic preparations. And it is also true that, so far, "the underlying natural science mechanistic principle of BD preparations is still under investigation."
When applied to Science, the precise and exact reductionist object-thinking produces the remarkable objects of technology. But it is not because agriculture uses technology, that agriculture is technology. In any language, all verbs are derived from three major verbs: to do, to have, and to be (Rudolf Schmid). All three verbs are needed, but a major problem arises when one is abusively taken for another. You might have to consider the fact that agriculture, opposite to mechanics, enters the kingdom of life. Its approach thus requires not only to have and to do, but also to be. The latter lies at the heart of the Goethean science which, without rejecting in any way the Euclidean geometry, considers too the non-Euclidean geometry of life.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #97  Postby G. D y e r » June 18th 2010, 1:36pm

Brigitte Armenier wrote:G. Dyer, thank you for having downloaded Turinek's paper in the Cambridge University Press 2009.
Thank you also for admitting that "there are indeed positive results from BioD viticulture," knowing that "BioD viticulture" consists in the use of the Biodynamic preparations. And it is also true that, so far, "the underlying natural science mechanistic principle of BD preparations is still under investigation."


I am not even demanding precise mechanistic principle, however. I am requesting properly controlled experiments, not conjecture. This paper makes mention of sensitive crystallization, for example, but does not make any conclusive case for it other than to state there is research being done to standardize results. These are the problems that needs resolution.

I can push a box down an incline and see it either stop or continue depending on angle of the incline. One does not need to know about gravitation or friction to see this. But you can do the experiment and show the result. This can be done with BioD, and surely has been done on some level. The problem remains that this box on an incline example will be explained in mystical terms instead of verifiable scientific terms. This is the objection, these conflicts with known theories. You may cite various references, but these conflicts remain unresolved. When attempting to replace old theories, the burden of proof is on the new one.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #98  Postby john holdredge » June 18th 2010, 2:07pm

You high-brow intellectuals with all your big words, name dropping and fancy-schmancy reasoning have failed to consider the works of the individual who has made the greatest single contribution to understanding human interface with nature: Owsley Stanley.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #99  Postby Peter Cargasacchi » June 18th 2010, 2:17pm

john holdredge wrote:You high-brow intellectuals with all your big words, name dropping and fancy-schmancy reasoning have failed to consider the works of the individual who has made the greatest single contribution to understanding human interface with nature: Owsley Stanley.


Diet and health
Stanley believes that the natural human diet is a totally carnivorous one, thus making it a no-carbohydrate diet, and that all vegetables are toxic.[5] He claims to have eaten almost nothing but meat, eggs, butter and cheese since 1959 and that he believes his body has not aged as much as the bodies of those who eat a more "normal" diet. He is convinced that insulin, released by the pancreas when carbohydrates are ingested, is the cause of much damage to human tissue and that diabetes mellitus is caused by the ingestion of carbohydrates.
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Re: Biodynamics is a hoax blog.

Post #100  Postby Brigitte Armenier » June 18th 2010, 3:21pm

G. Dyer, "properly controlled experiments" is precisely what is explored and summarized in Turinek's paper.
As for the "mention of sensitive crystallization" at the end of the paper, the abstract already mentioned that "in addition, quality determination methods, based on holistic approaches, are increasingly being investigated and recognized" and that "further research is needed." May I simply draw your attention on the fact that this "quality assessment" does not belong to the Demeter standards which define Biodynamics?

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