Stephen Hawking Quotes: 21 Reflections on Life

Stephen Hawking Quotes: 21 Reflections on Life
Raquel Aldana

Written and verified by the psychologist Raquel Aldana.

Last update: 14 December, 2021

He was a man who made us fantasize about the possibility of travelling through time in a black hole. He was a man who changed our vision of the universe. And he was a man that we all admired, but who not many of us knew. And he has now left this world.

He was a man of science, a wise man of our era, a person whose character radiated strength and charisma. He stood out for his brilliant mind at a young age, but later he was diagnosed with a life-shattering illness, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

stephen hawking quotes

Despite all the bad prognoses, Stephen Hawking survived and made himself an exception to the rule. When they diagnosed him at 21, still studying at Oxford, they said he wouldn’t live for more than two years.

But lucky for us, and against all odds, his body and brilliant mind went on shining a light for 50 more years. That’s just one more fact that makes Stephen Hawking such an inspiring person. He left a legacy in the world that goes way beyond the knowledge he left behind in subjects like theoretical physics and astrophysics.

Stephen Hawking quotes: remarkable thoughts

There so many questions we ask when we think about Stephen Hawking. And one of the most interesting and fascinating ones might be: “What would it be like to think like he did?” Answering that question is obviously impossible. But what we can do is dig deeper into his moral principles and thoughts about life, the world, and the universe.

That’s why we’ve compiled some of the most famous Stephen Hawking quotes, because we think that if we give center stage to the thoughts he shared with the world, it will help us to always remember him. There’s no doubt in our mind that this is the best tribute we can offer to this man, this thinker — this star who left our world.

  • “The message of this lecture is that black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once though…things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up – there’s a way out.”
  • “It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.”
  • “However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. Where there’s life, there’s hope.”
  • “We live in a universe governed by rational laws that we can discover and understand. Remember to 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.”
  • “I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”
Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking quotes on life

  • “I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the street.”
  • “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
  • “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.
  • “If we are to survive as a species we must ultimately spread to the stars. Today, we commit to this next great leap into the cosmos because we’re human, and our nature is to fly.”
  • “We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Next time you meet a climate change denier, tell them to take a trip to Venus. I will pay the fare.”
  • “So Einstein was wrong when he said, ‘God does not play dice.’ Consideration of black holes suggests not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can’t be seen.”
  • “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.”
  • “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
  • “God may exist, but science can explain the universe without the need for a creator.”

Stephen Hawking quotes on humans

  • “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.”
  • “Quiet people have the loudest minds.”
  • “People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.”
  • “People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.
  • “Although there was a cloud hanging over my future, I found, to my surprise, that I was enjoying life in the present more than before.”
  • “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.”

Lastly, we want to leave you with one more thing Stephen Hawking once said: “Nothing cannot exist forever.” 

Maybe in the most important sense, it’s hard to understand how something could last forever. But one thing is clear. His legacy, the life and intelligence he left us with, will stay in the world for much, much longer.

Note for the reader. We recommend all of our readers watch the movie The Theory of Everything, which tells the story of Stephen’s life from a different point of view. It’s also interesting to read more about his theories through books like The Universe in a Nutshell,  George’s Secret Key to the UniverseA Brief History of Time, or any of his other educational works. The best part is that he always writes in a way that people who don’t know a lot about astrophysics can understand.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.