World-renowned mathematician, astronomer, and inspiration to countless generations of current and future scientists, Stephen Hawking, has died at the age of 76. The family released a statement early Wednesday morning sharing the incredibly sad news.
BREAKING: Professor Stephen Hawking has died, a spokesperson for his family says. Professor Hawking died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of this morning. (via @bgittleson) pic.twitter.com/182BT5pqaE
— Joshua Hoyos (@JoshuaHoyos) March 14, 2018
His children also released a statement of their own, according to Business Insider:
“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.
He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’
We will miss him forever.”
And of course other celebrity scientists shared their thoughts.
2) He had ALS, and when diagnosed he was given two years to live. He lived another 55.
He was the definition of mind over matter.
— Phil Plait (@BadAstronomer) March 14, 2018
Not only was he one of the most incredible minds humanity has ever had, but he had a sense of humor to match it.
— Al Jean (@AlJean) March 14, 2018
And I posted one of my favorite settings of a Stephen Hawking quote, too:
It’s neat to think that by random chance, the collection of stardust that makes you “you” just happened to exist at the same time as the collection of stardust that made up Stephen Hawking. pic.twitter.com/k9kEqB2r3a
— Dan Broadbent (@aSciEnthusiast) March 14, 2018
Hawking undoubtedly has forever left his mark on the science community. Possibly his biggest discovery within the scientific community was the idea that the universe will eventually end with black holes. But what’s more is his ability to reach out to the general public and get them engaged in science. He made appearances on Star Trek, The Simpsons, and did even more in the realm of pop culture to further interest in science and scientific literacy.
Part of Stephen Hawking’s genius was the foresight to understand that he would have to use media to publicize himself, and science, so that he could maximize his impact on the world during his brief stint with us.
Hawking also had a great sense of humor:
I once asked Stephen Hawking in an interview what puzzles him the most in all the universe. “Women,” he answered. He will be missed. R.I.P.
— Larry King (@kingsthings) March 14, 2018
Dr. Hawking even wrote children’s books about science, despite being diagnosed with ALS in the 1960s.
But of his many memorable quotes, we’ve amassed what we think are the ten best inspirational or thought provoking quotes by Dr. Stephen Hawking.
1. “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.”
2. “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.”
3. “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.”
4. “People who boast about their IQ are losers.”
5. “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.”
6. “Quiet people have the loudest minds.”
7. “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.”
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.”
9. “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.”
10. “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. ”
I know I said “ten” in the title, but there are too many to pick from to do only ten. So here are some more:
11. “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.”
12. “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.”
13. “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”
14. “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. Its a crazy world out there. Be curious.”
15. “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”