Recently my brother had a DNA test done to see what our nationality/ethnicity breakdown is. As it turned out, the DNA evidence totally refuted all the family stories we heard growing up, stories we told to ourselves and to others over the years.
As he has been interested in genealogical research for years, my brother participates on websites devoted to it. When he announced the results of his DNA test, and what that means for the conflicting story the records tell, he encountered some anger, and some flat-out denial of the clear DNA evidence. Our relatives knew their family stories, and they were not about to change them, no matter what the scientific evidence showed. Better to mistrust science.
I get it. Our stories are how we know who we are, they also tell us why we are here, and what we’re supposed to do with ourselves while we are.
This same thing is happening on a wide scale. Marilynne Robinson, in a discussion with Marcelo Gleiser says, “contemporary science” is making discoveries “as profound as Galileo ever was, or Copernicus.” She marvels at “the idea that we can know things that absolutely revolutionize previous models of the universe we inhabit.” This is equally true if we are looking out at the vast universe, or in at the tiniest structures we have yet found.