I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.
-Richard Feynman (1918-1988), in a letter to Armando Garcia J,
December 11, 1985
This quote is seen on the commemorative envelope released along with the Richard Feynman stamp on May 20. (The stamps are currently available at post offices across the US. Be sure to get your copy). Dick Feynman, undoubtedly the most brilliant physicist in the second half of the 20th century, makes it quiet clear as to how much we understand the universe.
A similar sentiment is expressed in the following quote:
As the radius of the sphere of our knowledge grows,
so does its contact with the unknown.
However, many people confuse these humble statements to mean that we know nothing about the workings of the universe. THAT is certainly not true. With the discoveries made on each passing day, we have been learning a lot and have been gradually strengthening our basics. Though an individual may not learn much in a life-time, there is amazing power in collective and cooperative ventures. Scientific studies provide a wonderful model for documenting and sharing our knowledge/work so that we all can forge ahead in whatever our domain.
No matter where you stand, remember that there are still miles to go.
At the same time trust the miles that have been covered.