121 Stephen Hawking Quotes (About Science, Life, The Universe…)

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The brilliant British physicist Stephen Hawking was without a doubt one of the most inspirational people of the last century. He is not only an absolute icon but also an example of incredible perseverance and willpower in the face of disability.

Hawking’s goal was beyond ambitious, but to him, it was relatively simple. He wanted to understand the deepest workings of the universe. For that goal, he dedicated his life to uncovering the “theory of everything.” Apart from his genius research, he also wrote numerous science books including “A Brief History of Time” which sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.

Aside from being regarded as one of the greatest scientists in modern history, Stephen Hawking also had an incredible way with words. His determination and tenacity, together with his intellect and humor, inspired millions of people across the world and will continue to spark curiosity and motivation for generations to come.

May these top Stephen Hawking quotes and sayings show you that anything is attainable as long as you put your mind and soul into it.

Stephen Hawking Quotes About Science & Knowledge

1. “I used to think information was destroyed in black hole. This was my biggest blunder, or at least my biggest blunder in science.”

2. “Science is beautiful when it makes simple explanations of phenomena or connections between different observations. Examples include the double helix in biology and the fundamental equations of physics.”

3. “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #science

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

5. “For years, my early work with Roger Penrose seemed to be a disaster for science. It showed that the universe must have begun with a singularity, if Einstein’s general theory of relativity is correct. That appeared to indicate that science could not predict how the universe would begin.”

6. “Philosophers have not kept up with modern developments in science. Particularly physics.”

7. “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.”

8. “In the past, there was active discrimination against women in science. That has now gone, and although there are residual effects, these are not enough to account for the small numbers of women, particularly in mathematics and physics.”

9. “The media need superheroes in science just as in every sphere of life, but there is really a continuous range of abilities with no clear dividing line.”

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

11. “In Britain, like most of the developed world, stem-cell research is regarded as a great opportunity. America will be left behind if it doesn’t change policy.”

12. “There is a real danger that computers will develop intelligence and take over. We urgently need to develop direct connections to the brain so that computers can add to human intelligence rather than be in opposition.”

13. “I want to know why the universe exists, why there is something greater than nothing.”

14. “It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value.”

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

Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #science #knowledge

16. “Time travel used to be thought of as just science fiction, but Einstein’s general theory of relativity allows for the possibility that we could warp space-time so much that you could go off in a rocket and return before you set out.”

17. “The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.”

18. “We must develop as quickly as possible technologies that make possible a direct connection between brain and computer, so that artificial brains contribute to human intelligence rather than opposing it.”

19. “The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?”

20. “Science predicts that many different kinds of universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing. It is a matter of chance which we are in.”

21. “The universe is governed by science. But science tells us that we can’t solve the equations, directly in the abstract.”

The universe is governed by science. But science tells us that we can’t solve the equations, directly in the abstract - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #science #knowledge

22. “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.”

23. “I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws.”

24. “I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.”

25. “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” 

Stephen Hawking Quotes About Life

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

2. “There are grounds for cautious optimism that we may now be near the end of the search for the ultimate laws of nature.”

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

Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #life

4. “To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.”

5. “I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”

6. “Obviously, because of my disability, I need assistance. But I have always tried to overcome the limitations of my condition and lead as full a life as possible. I have traveled the world, from the Antarctic to zero gravity.”

7. “Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty.”

8. “Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of.”

9. “I think those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain should have the right to choose to end their own life, and those that help them should be free from prosecution.”

10. “My work and my family are very important to me.”

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

Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #life

12. “There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet.”

13. “It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward. In the case of information loss and black holes, it was 29 years.”

14. “I have wondered about time all my life.”

Stephen Hawking Quotes About The Universe

1. “If we do discover a complete theory, it should be in time understandable in broad principle by everyone. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people be able to take part in the discussion of why we and the universe exist.”

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

The universe is not indifferent to our existence – it depends on it - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #universe

3. “While physics and mathematics may tell us how the universe began, they are not much use in predicting human behavior because there are far too many equations to solve. I’m no better than anyone else at understanding what makes people tick, particularly women.”

4. “Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?”

5. “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”

6. “Observations indicate that the universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate. It will expand forever, getting emptier and darker.”

7. “In less than a hundred years, we have found a new way to think of ourselves. From sitting at the center of the universe, we now find ourselves orbiting an average-sized sun, which is just one of millions of stars in our own Milky Way galaxy.”

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

My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #universe

9. “If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, it would have recollapsed before it reached its present size. On the other hand, if it had been greater by a part in a million, the universe would have expanded too rapidly for stars and planets to form.”

10. “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.”

11. “I believe everyone should have a broad picture of how the universe operates and our place in it. It is a basic human desire. And it also puts our worries in perspective.”

12. “When we understand string theory, we will know how the universe began. It won’t have much effect on how we live, but it is important to understand where we come from and what we can expect to find as we explore.”

Stephen Hawking, More Quotes And Sayings

1. “I think we have a good chance of surviving long enough to colonize the solar system.”

2. “Only black holes of very low mass would emit a significant amount of radiation.”

3. “God not only plays dice, but also sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.”

4. “We are all different. There is no such thing as a standard or run-of-the-mill human being, but we share the same human spirit.”

We are all different. There is no such thing as a standard or run-of-the-mill human being, but we share the same human spirit - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #human

5. “I would like nuclear fusion to become a practical power source. It would provide an inexhaustible supply of energy, without pollution or global warming.”

6. “One can’t predict the weather more than a few days in advance.”

7. “The radiation left over from the Big Bang is the same as that in your microwave oven but very much less powerful. It would heat your pizza only to minus 271.3*C – not much good for defrosting the pizza, let alone cooking it.”

8. “Among physicists, I’m respected I hope.”

9. “It is generally recognised that women are better than men at languages, personal relations and multi-tasking, but less good at map-reading and spatial awareness. It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose that women might be less good at mathematics and physics.”

10. “Even if it turns out that time travel is impossible, it is important that we understand why it is impossible.”

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

12. “Not only does God play dice, but… he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.”

13. “I don’t have much positive to say about motor neuron disease, but it taught me not to pity myself because others were worse off, and to get on with what I still could do. I’m happier now than before I developed the condition.”

14. “What was God doing before the divine creation?”

15. “I believe in universal health care. And I am not afraid to say so.”

16. “Someone told me that each equation I included in the book would halve the sales.”

17. “Some scientists think it may be possible to capture a wormhole and enlarge it many trillions of times to make it big enough for a human or even a spaceship to enter.”

18. “I enjoy all forms of music – pop, classical and opera.”

19. “I was born on January 8, 1942, exactly three hundred years after the death of Galileo. I estimate, however, that about two hundred thousand other babies were also born that day. I don’t know whether any of them was later interested in astronomy.”

20. “Women. They are a complete mystery.”

Women. They are a complete mystery - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #mystery

21. “One cannot really argue with a mathematical theorem.”

22. “No one undertakes research in physics with the intention of winning a prize. It is the joy of discovering something no one knew before.”

23. “There is no unique picture of reality.”

24. “Some forms of motor neuron disease are genetically linked, but I have no indication that my kind is. No other member of my family has had it. But I would be in favour of abortion if there was a high risk.”

25. “Stem cell research is the key to developing cures for degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and motor neuron disease from which I and many others suffer. The fact that the cells may come from embryos is not an objection, because the embryos are going to die anyway.”

26. “Time travel was once considered scientific heresy, and I used to avoid talking about it for fear of being labelled a crank.”

27. “Exploration by real people inspires us.”

28. “I have so much that I want to do. I hate wasting time.”

I have so much that I want to do. I hate wasting time - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #time

29. “I was never top of the class at school, but my classmates must have seen potential in me, because my nickname was ‘Einstein.’

30. “Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth are growing exponentially, along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill.”

31. “Maybe I don’t have the most common kind of motor neuron disease, which usually kills in two or three years.”

32. “We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.”

33. “No one can resist the idea of a crippled genius.”

34. “I think the brain is essentially a computer and consciousness is like a computer program. It will cease to run when the computer is turned off. Theoretically, it could be re-created on a neural network, but that would be very difficult, as it would require all one’s memories.”

35. “My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically.”

36. “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.”

37. “In my school, the brightest boys did math and physics, the less bright did physics and chemistry, and the least bright did biology. I wanted to do math and physics, but my father made me do chemistry because he thought there would be no jobs for mathematicians.”

38. “There’s no way to remove the observer – us – from our perceptions of the world.”

39. “The Simpsons’ appearances were great fun. But I don’t take them too seriously. I think ‘The Simpsons’ have treated my disability responsibly.”

40. “With genetic engineering, we will be able to increase the complexity of our DNA and improve the human race. But it will be a slow process because one will have to wait about 18 years to see the effect of changes to the genetic code.”

41. “Although September 11 was horrible, it didn’t threaten the survival of the human race, like nuclear weapons do.

42. “Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.”

43. “I believe things cannot make themselves impossible.”

I believe things cannot make themselves impossible - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #inspirational

44. “I can’t disguise myself with a wig and dark glasses – the wheelchair gives me away.”

45. “I think it quite likely that we are the only civilization within several hundred light years; otherwise we would have heard radio waves.”

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

47. “My discovery that black holes emit radiation raised serious problems of consistency with the rest of physics. I have now resolved these problems, but the answer turned out to be not what I expected.”

48. “There could be shadow galaxies, shadow stars, and even shadow people.”

49. “What I’d really like to control is not machines, but people.”

50. “A zero-gravity flight is a first step toward space travel.”

51. “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

52. “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

53. “Many badly needed goals, like fusion and cancer cure, would be achieved much sooner if we invested more.”

54. “We live in a bewildering world.”

We live in a bewildering world - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #world

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

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

57. “Although almost every theoretical physicist agrees with my prediction that a black hole should glow like a hot body, it would be very difficult to verify experimentally because the temperature of a macroscopic black hole is so low.”

58. “Nothing cannot exist forever.”

59. “Imaginary time is a new dimension, at right angles to ordinary, real time.”

60. “Time can behave like another direction in space under extreme conditions.”

61. “I think the human race doesn’t have a future if it doesn’t go into space.”

62. “There is no physical law precluding particles from being organized in ways that perform even more advanced computations than the arrangements of particles in human brains.”

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

In my opinion, there is no aspect of reality beyond the reach of the human mind - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #mind

64. “A few years ago, the city council of Monza, Italy, barred pet owners from keeping goldfish in curved bowls… saying that it is cruel to keep a fish in a bowl with curved sides because, gazing out, the fish would have a distorted view of reality. But how do we know we have the true, undistorted picture of reality?”

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

66. “If I had to choose a superhero to be, I would pick Superman. He’s everything that I’m not.”

67. “We should seek the greatest value of our action.”

We should seek the greatest value of our action - Stephen Hawking. #quotes #inspirational

68. “I don’t want to write an autobiography because I would become public property with no privacy left.”

69. “I don’t think the human race will survive the next thousand years unless we spread into space.”

70. “Sometimes I wonder if I’m as famous for my wheelchair and disabilities as I am for my discoveries.”

If you’d like to know more about Stephen Hawking’s works, we would suggest you read one of his best-selling books, A Brief History of Time and learn why he’s considered one of the great minds of our time.