“NASA Twins Study Confirms Astronaut’s DNA Actually Changed in Space.” That’s the headline that makes you choke, then narrow your eyes, and forget what you were searching for.

Come on. This isn’t The Twilight Zone. A man left earth and came back as somebody else? If you saw this on the cover of a grocery-line tabloid, you’d roll your eyes, you’d push your cart.

But wait—this isn’t the Enquirer or Weekly World News shouting at youThis is Newsweek. You’ve grown up with some measure of trust that Newsweek is actual news. Leaning in, you scroll past the headline and read that seven percent of Astronaut Scott Kelly’s genetic code “did not return to normal after he landed, researchers found.”

Researchers. Found. So, this isn’t speculation?

So begins the epic story of how my struggle to discern Real News from Fake News led to a re-interpretation of my childhood struggles in church.

So begins an exploration of the difference between doubt, certainty, and faith.

So begins my new essay published at Good Letters.

This essay includes

  • my thoughts on the film Annihilation;
  • a story about my early encounters with rock music;
  • a favorite passage from the writing of David Dark;
  • a favorite lyric from Joe Henry;
  • some thoughts on “church ladies” and perfume;
  • “Where the Streets Have No Name”;
  • and more.

Read the whole thing at Good Letters.