March 15th, 2018 | Updated on February 15th, 2022
World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking died died early Wednesday, March 14, at his home in Cambridge, England. He was 76.
The British scientist was famed largely for his book “A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes,” published in 1988.
At the age of 22, Prof Hawking was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease. The illness left him in a wheelchair and largely unable to speak except through a voice synthesiser.
His own story was the basis of an award-winning 2014 feature film, “The Theory of Everything.” (Eddie Redmayne played Dr. Hawking and won an Academy Award.)
Stephen Hawking was one of the most beloved scientists in this generation — not only for his intellect, but for his wit and humor.The world renowned physicist has left the world with memorable words on a host of subjects, most of them were delivered through his famous voice synthesiser. Here are some of his pearls of wisdom:
1. My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically
2. Without imperfection, you or I would not exist
3. I want my books sold on airport bookstalls
4. 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.
5. People who boast about their IQ are losers
6. 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
7. Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny
8. 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
9. 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
10. 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
11. 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
12. 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!
13. My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus
14. 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
15. My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all
16. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.
17. 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 realisation 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
18. 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. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up
19. 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
20. 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
21. 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
Source: theguardian.com, bbc.com