Death of Stephen Hawking: His 20 Most Memorable Quotes!

by Staff writer

Wheelchair-bound and largely unable to speak, yet it didn’t stop him.

Renowned scientist, Stephen Hawking is the true definition of inspiration.

Here are some of the professor’s precious words of wisdom, most of them delivered through his famous voice synthesizer:

1. On the reason why the universe exists:

“If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God.”

2. On God:

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

3. On humanity:

“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.”

4. On commercial success:

“I want my books sold on airport bookstalls.”

5. On life:

“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

6. On fame:

“The downside of my celebrity is that I cannot go anywhere in the world without being recognized. It is not enough for me to wear dark sunglasses and a wig. The wheelchair gives me away.”

7. On living with a disability:

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

8. On an imperfect world:

“One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…..Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.”

9. On staying cheerful:

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

10. On euthanasia:

“The victim should have the right to end his life, if he wants. But I think it would be a great mistake. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”

11. On artificial intelligence:

“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate…Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

12. On the possibility of contact between humans and aliens:

“I think it would be a disaster. The extraterrestrials would probably be far in advance of us. The history of advanced races meeting more primitive people on this planet is not very happy, and they were the same species. I think we should keep our heads low.”

13. On space colonies:

“I don’t think the human race will survive the next 1,000 years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I’m an optimist. We will reach out to the stars.”

14. On the end of the universe:

“It will take about a thousand million million million million years for the Earth to run into the sun, so there’s no immediate cause for worry!”

15. On being diagnosed with motor neurone disease:

“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus!”

16. On death:

“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”

17. On knowledge and intelligence:

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”

18. On belief:

“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.”

19. On anger:

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

20. On personality:

“Quiet people have the loudest minds!”
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