Nine Smart, Funny And Insightful Quotes From Stephen Hawking

Famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking passed away on March 13, 2018, at the age of 76. Hawking left a long scientific legacy behind him, but more than that, he also left a legacy of scientific outreach to the general public. Through his books, lectures and movies - as well as the occasional cameo on TV - Hawking inspired people for decades to learn more about the universe.

He was also, as a writer and speaker, an intelligent and witty person. Here are a few of his best quotes from the decades of his public life.

On Goals:

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

- from the book Stephen Hawking's Universe by John Boslough


On Science:

"Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory."

- from A Brief History of Time


On Falling Into A Black Hole:

"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 to 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."

- from the 2008 lecture "Into A Black Hole"


On Investing:

"When I gave a lecture in Japan, I was asked not to mention the possible re-collapse of the universe, because it might affect the stock market. However, I can reassure anyone who is nervous about their investments that it is a bit early to sell: even if the universe does come to an end, it won't be for at least twenty billion years."

- from the 1996 lecture "The Beginning Of Time"


On His Physical Disabilities:

"I also want to show that people need not be limited by physical handicaps as long as they are not disabled in spirit."

- on the occasion of his 2007 zero-gravity flight


On IQ:

"People who boast about their IQ are losers."

- from a 2004 interview in the New York Times


On Life:

"However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope."

- from a 2006 press conference

On A Theory Of Everything:


"If we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. 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."

- closing paragraph of A Brief History of Time


On Book Sales:

"In the proof stage, I nearly cut that last sentence of the book. Had I done so, the sales might have been halved."

- writing about the "Mind of God" line quoted above in The Wall Street Journal



"Wrong again, Albert."

- Hawking's response to Albert Einstein's claim he was bluffing in a game of poker in the Star Trek: The Next Generation

Source:, written by: Alex Knapp


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