It's a total noob question, I know.
I'm a layperson trying to come to grips with basic scientific terminology. I always face a conceptual hurdle in trying to understand micro-talk. The way I'm using the expression 'micro-talk', I take it to refer to any kind of discourse that relies extensively on concepts that refer to unobservables like DNA, adenosine triphosphate, other molecules/compounds, chemical elements, atoms, etc. i.e. the kind of quasi-tangible entities that we can never perceive directly owing to our particular evolutionary history that prioritized engagement with mesoscopic objects.
Whenever I read anything in an introductory textbook, the talk of such entities is always presented as a given to me. It's not explained on how on earth we know about them (or even if such explanation is given, it's usually quite shallow and circular i.e. it makes references to the entities in question). I can recite, or rather parrot facts about them just fine. If you ask me why a second magnesium ion is important for ATP, I retort that that's because of its functional role in regulating kinase activity. I might be able to successfully make certain inferences between sentences that involve such concepts. So I might even successfully pass a scientist's Turing test, but that's all there is to it. I don't really have an understanding of what I'm talking about. I feel like I'm a robot or a medieval scribe.
How can I get over this conceptual chasm? Learning about a historical development of a particular discipline might help, but I need to find a way to systematize my study and I can't have a recourse to university right now (even if I did, I'll face the same conceptual hurdle). I have library loans and will to study, but I haven't internalized a good number of micro-talk related concepts and they feel so foreign to me.
This is quite maundering, but I couldn't put it any more succinctly. If there's anyone who experienced a similar frustrating feeling to the one I've described, I'd be very grateful if they could offer me some tips. Thanks a lot.