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Stephen Hawking Quotes on Life, Religion, and the Universe

These Stephen Hawking quotes are truly inspirational.

Stephen Hawking was one of the greatest minds of our time. Despite being told at 21 that he had only nine more months to live, Stephen Hawking defied all odds and lived until 76.

During his lifetime, Hawking became an internationally acclaimed physicist, cosmologist, author, and occasional TV show guest star whose intelligent wit, humor, and outlook on life remain an inspiration. For someone who was dealt bad cards at a young age, Stephen Hawking certainly played his hand well.

Below is our collection of Stephen Hawking quotes on the nature of life, science and religion, and the universe around us. 

For more insights from famous scientists, be sure to also check out our list of Charles Darwin quotes or these Carl Sagan quotes about the cosmos, love, and earth.

Stephen Hawking quotes on life

1. “We each exist for but a short time, and in that time explore but a small part of the whole universe.” — Stephen Hawking

2. “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.” — Stephen Hawking

3. “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.” — Stephen Hawking

4. “Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” — Stephen Hawking

5. “Just because I do a lot of thinking doesn’t mean I don’t like parties and getting into trouble.” — Stephen Hawking

6. “I like physics, but I love cartoons.” — Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking quotes on science and religion

7. “Science is increasingly answering questions that used to be the province of religion.” — Stephen Hawking

8. “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.” — Stephen Hawking

9. “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.” — Stephen Hawking

10. “What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn’t prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary.” — Stephen Hawking

11. “If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?” — Stephen Hawking

12. “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.” — Stephen Hawking

13. “What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn’t prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary.” — Stephen Hawking

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14. “The idea of 10 dimensions might sound exciting, but they would cause real problems if you forget where you parked your car.” — Stephen Hawking

15. “I regard the afterlife to be a fairy story for people that are afraid of the dark.” — Stephen Hawking

16. “Most of the threats we face come from the progress we’ve made in science and technology. We are not going to stop making progress, or reverse it, so we must recognize the dangers and control them. I’m an optimist, and I believe we can.” — Stephen Hawking

17. “God may exist, but science can explain the universe without the need for a creator.” — Stephen Hawking

18. “Science can lift people out of poverty and cure disease. That, in turn, will reduce civil unrest.” — Stephen Hawking

19. “Science is not only a disciple of reason but also one of romance and passion.” — Stephen Hawking

20. “Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.” — Stephen Hawking

21. “I wouldn’t compare [scientific discoveries] to sex, but it lasts longer.” — Stephen Hawking

You might also like these positive galaxy quotes for those who wonder.

Stephen Hawking quotes that will motivate you

22. “One is always a long way from solving a problem until one actually has the answer.” — Stephen Hawking

23. “Black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. 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.” — Stephen Hawking

24. “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

25. “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” — Stephen Hawking

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

27. “When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.” — Stephen Hawking

28. “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. Perhaps one day I will go into space.” — Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking quotes on people

29. “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.” — Stephen Hawking

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30. “Quiet people have the loudest minds.” — Stephen Hawking

31. “The thing about smart people is that they seem like crazy people to dumb people.” — Stephen Hawking

32. “People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” — Stephen Hawking

33. “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.” — Stephen Hawking

34. “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.” — Stephen Hawking

35. “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.” — Stephen Hawking

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

37. “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.” — Stephen Hawking

38. “The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression. It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, to get more food, territory or a partner with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy us all.” — Stephen Hawking

39. “The human capacity for guilt is such that people can always find ways to blame themselves” — Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking quotes on the universe

40. “The universe is not indifferent to our existence — it depends on it.” — Stephen Hawking

41. “It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.” — Stephen Hawking

42. “Only in the few universes that are like ours would intelligent beings develop and ask the question: ‘Why is the universe the way we see it?’ The answer is then simple: If it had been any different, we would not be here!” — Stephen Hawking

43. “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.” — Stephen Hawking

44. “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? 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?” — Stephen Hawking

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Stephen Hawking quotes on intelligence

45. “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” — Stephen Hawking

46. “Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge.” — Stephen Hawking

47. “It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value.” — Stephen Hawking

48. “Although I cannot move and I have to speak through a computer, in my mind I am free.” — Stephen Hawking

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

50. “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.” — Stephen Hawking

51. “You cannot understand the glories of the universe without believing there is some Supreme Power behind it.” – Stephen Hawking

52. “However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. Where there’s life, there’s hope.” – Stephen Hawking

53. “Be brave, be curious, be determined, overcome the odds. It can be done.” – Stephen Hawking

54. “Simplicity is a matter of taste.” – Stephen Hawking

More Stephen Hawking quotes and sayings

55. “We create history by our observation, rather than history creating us.” – Stephen Hawking

56. “When you are faced with the possibility of an early death, it makes you realize that there are lots of things you want to do before your life is over.” – Stephen Hawking

57. “Maybe it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive.” – Stephen Hawking

58. “Humanity’s deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest.” – Stephen Hawking

59. “If you know how something works, you can control it.” – Stephen Hawking

60. “One could define God as the embodiment of the laws of nature.” – Stephen Hawking

Which of these Stephen Hawking quotes inspired you to look up at the stars?

Hopefully, these Stephen Hawking quotes inspire you to not only look up at the stars, but to reach for them, too. Stephen Hawking proved that no matter what curve balls life may throw at you, you can still accomplish your dreams if you are determined to really go for them. 

Stephen Hawking rocked the world of physics when he discovered that, contrary to Einstein’s theory, black holes are not really black voids, but that a way out does exist. So, if there is a way out of a black void in the depths of space, there must also be a solution to any challenge we face. 

More than just a scientist, Stephen Hawking was an observer. He observed the human race and our universe. Though he may be gone, luckily, we still have these Stephen Hawking quotes to remind us what he learned about life, science, and the universe. 

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Stephen Hawking quotes and sayings? Do you have any other inspirational quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Sckylar Gibby-Brown
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