Until the twentieth century, the pursuit of science, especially physics, was about establishing certainty. Fundamental laws and rules. The underlying structure of the universe.
Then it all changed. You could blame Heisenberg, but he just made it a rule, that uncertainty is built into the guts of the universe. I will not attempt to explain any further, only to mystify you more by saying the saving feature of uncertainty is that, down there at the very subatomic level, it is truly random, which is why there is order! Any bias, and we become unstuck.
Physics is about exploring and mapping the consequences of uncertainty.
There, bet that makes you feel better.
I love that bit of John (ch14) where Jesus is telling them not to worry, he’s off to sort their rooms out. ‘You know where I’m off to,’ he quips. Thomas scratches his head, and says ‘Pardon? I missed the postcode, so the satnav will be no use.’
Jesus then goes poetic about way, truth and life, brings his dad into it, and says ‘you know him.’
Philip, I then picture, grabbing Jesus by the lapels and saying ‘Show us the Father, and we’ll be happy.’ Just give us a bit of concrete certainty. Is that too much to ask?
The scribes and pharisees tended to ask the same question, but they were determined to challenge any answer given, because they didn’t want to know or see. Philip is simply confused, but cares and trusts.
Philip is told/discovers he already does know the Father, but he hasn’t recognised the value of the knowledge he has through being with Jesus. He didn’t realise the certainty he was in through his random mustard seeds of faith. He didn’t realise that he was already in a relationship with God that would be electrified by the Holy Spirit in the days to come.
Physicists likewise had to learn that there’s was not to dictate to the universe how it worked, but to recognise that at it’s heart is mystery which manifests order, and there’s is to be part of it and observe with awe.