Stephen Hawking’s 30 Most Memorable And Insightful Quotes

Stephen Hawking

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Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned and award-winning physicist, passed away at the age of 76 on Tuesday. In 1963 when he was 21-years-old, Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and doctors gave him two years to live. Hawking defied the doctors and the odds to live an important life where the cosmologist contributed so much to the world of science. We look back at some of Stephen Hawking’s most memorable and insightful quotes as well as profound and sometimes controversial observations about life.

“Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.”

“When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.”

“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.”

“People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.”

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”

“I am just a child who has never grown up. I still keep asking these ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. Occasionally, I find an answer.”

“There is no unique picture of reality.”

“In my opinion, there is no aspect of reality beyond the reach of the human mind.”

“The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.”

“I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”

“I have found far greater enthusiasm for science in America than here in Britain. There is more enthusiasm for everything in America.”

“Science can lift people out of poverty and cure disease. That, in turn, will reduce civil unrest.”

“Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.”

“Although I cannot move and I have to speak through a computer, in my mind I am free.”

“My disabilities have not been a significant handicap in my field, which is theoretical physics. Indeed, they have helped me in a way by shielding me from lecturing and administrative work that I would otherwise have been involved in. I have managed, however, only because of the large amount of help I have received from my wife, children, colleagues and students. I find that people in general are very ready to help, but you should encourage them to feel that their efforts to aid you are worthwhile by doing as well as you possibly can.”

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”

“I believe there are no questions that science can’t answer about a physical universe.”

“Many people find the universe confusing – it’s not.”

“There is nothing bigger or older than the universe.”

“The universe is not indifferent to our existence – it depends on it.”

“I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth.”

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special.”

“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”

“Science is not only a disciple of reason but, also, one of romance and passion.”

“Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.”

“Science is increasingly answering questions that used to be the province of religion.”

“God is the name people give to the reason we are here.”

“God may exist, but science can explain the universe without the need for a creator.”

“My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”