Personal science - a form of tunnel vision
The human mind is designed to make quick decisions. In the larger scheme of things, quick decisions are rarely optimal. Science steps back from quick decisions, enumerates possibilities and seeks optimal solutions. The human mind doesn't naturally retreat from initial decisions. In fact I've known scientists who become infatuated with initial hypotheses. Situations and personality types exacerbate the problem. An apparent insight combined with enthusiasim, rigid thinking, limited scientific knowledge and nonscientific or isolated social settings can encourqage obsessions.
"Personal science" arises from personal insights which are contrary to science and which stimulate a need to "set scientists right". Dennis Lee is classic. He "knows" that energy generators can be more than 100% efficient and that installing "superefficent" generators can free us from energy dependence. This is an appealing notion, but is contrary to high school physics. Since scientists reject his insight, Lee developes rhetoric to appeal to the general public.
Characteristics of "personal science":
1- It generally arises from personal insight (epiphany) or accepted doctrine.
Intelligent design (ID) is a newsworthy example of personal science:
2- It doesn't fit generalized science.
3- The "believer" selects confirming evidence and ignores or devalues disconfirming evidence.
4- The "believer" desires to convince scientists.
5- The "believer" promotes by rhetoric, not by the scientific method.
6- The "believer" is scientifically ignorant or has a blind spot in his scientific knowledge.
7- The "believer" is unwilling or reluctant to study the relevant science.
8- The "believer" is unwilling or reluctant to discuss the idea with quality scientists.
9- The "believer" is a poor (non) listener with regard to contrary ideas.
10- The "believer" works independently of science and often associates with disciples
11- The "believer" may be supremely rational in most other respects.
"As Christians we know naturalism is false" (William Dembski)
Based on this conviction the Discovery Institute promotes intelligent design. ID, like creation science, has it's own superstructure, supported by donations and politically powerful individuals, but is disconnected from the scientific community.
John Baez's crackpot index