16 Inspirational Stephen Hawking Quotes About Life, the Universe and More

Physicist Stephen Hawking died on Tuesday, at 76 years old, his family confirmed. The black-hole theorist was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, when he was 21 years old. He was one of the world’s longest survivors of ALS. To remember Hawking, we are sharing some of his most inspirational quotes:

1. “It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination. It’s a crazy world out there. Be curious.” 

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

3. “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.” 

Stephen Hawking British scientist Stephen Hawking is photographed at the launch of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI), at the University of Cambridge, in Cambridge, U.K., on October 19, 2016. He died at the age of 76. Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images

4. “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.” 

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

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

7. “Quiet people have the loudest minds.” 

8. “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.” 

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

stephen hawking Stephen Hawking is photographed at The Cambridge Union, in Cambridge, U.K., on November 21, 2017. The black-hole theorist was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, when he was 21 years old. He was one of the world’s longest survivors of ALS. Chris Williamson/Getty Images

10. “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.” 

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

12. “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.”

13. “I believe the simplest explanation is, there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization that there probably is no heaven and no afterlife either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the universe and for that, I am extremely grateful.” 

GettyImages-520677250 Stephen Hawking appears at a press conference to announce Breakthrough Starshot, a new space exploration initiative, at One World Observatory, in New York, on April 12, 2016. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

14. “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. We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.”

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

16. “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win, because it works.”

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