17 Brilliant Stephen Hawking Quotes To Remember Him By

Alisha Fernandes , 14 Mar 2018
Stephen Hawking (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)
Stephen Hawking (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)

One of the world’s most brilliant and genuinely humorous minds left us today. British physicist, Stephen Hawking passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Cambridge, early Wednesday morning. Among his countless academic achievements, Hawking also authored bestseller, culturally-defining books like A Brief History Of Time. His extensive work in black holes and relativity also garnered a lot of respect not just in the fields of science and mathematics, but also as a pop culture icon. With movies like The Theory Of EverythingHawking and  A Brief History Of Time, even the layman who isn’t familiar with his work, knows who he is. What makes him even more inspirational is the fact that from the age of 22, he slowly endured a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that gradually paralysed him over decades. In remembrance of the 76-year-old scientist, here are some of the most insightful, thought-provoking and hilarious things he has said in his lifetime.

On women

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

On intelligence & aliens

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.

On where to look

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.

On disability

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.

On his ideal movie role

My ideal role would be a baddie in a James Bond film. I think the wheelchair and the computer voice would fit the part.

On what makes humans special

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.

On colonisation & alien takeovers

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.

On the perfect timing of the universe

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.

On creation and God

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

On curiosity

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

On fatalists

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.

On survival

Keeping an active mind has been vital to my survival, as has been maintaining a sense of humour.

On college

I was not a good student. I did not spend much time at college; I was too busy enjoying myself.

On creating life

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.

On mornings

I’m never any good in the morning. It is only after four in the afternoon that I get going.

On his voice

The voice I use is a very old hardware speech synthesizer made in 1986. I keep it because I have not heard a voice I like better and because I have identified with it.

On time travel

If I had a time machine, I’d visit Marilyn Monroe in her prime or drop in on Galileo as he turned his telescope to the heavens.

Rest In Peace, Stephen Hawking. You are one in a million and will always live on through your work.

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