Ever since the dawn of civilization, people have not been content to see events as unconnected and inexplicable. They have craved an understanding of the underlying order in the world. Today we still yearn to know why we are here and where we came from. Humanity's deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest. And our goal is nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in.
If there really is a complete unified theory that governs everything, it presumably also determines your actions. But it does so in a way that is impossible to calculate for an organism that is as complicated as a human being. The reason we say that humans have free will is because we can't predict what they will do.
We find ourselves in a bewildering world. We want to make sense of what we see around us and to ask: What is the nature of the universe? What is our place in it and where did it and we come from? Why is it the way it is?
What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.
God not only plays dice, He also sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen.
If we do discover a complete theory, it should be in time understandable in broad principle by everyone. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people be able to take part in the discussion of why we and the universe exist.
Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.
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.
When one's expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.
It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward. In the case of information loss and black holes, it was 29 years.
It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value.
I think computer viruses should count as life. 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.
My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.
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?
There are grounds for cautious optimism that we may now be near the end ofthe search for the ultimate laws of nature.
When asked, 'What did God do before he created the universe' St. Augustine didnt reply, 'he was preparing Hell for people who asked such questions.' Instead, he said that time was a property of the universe that God created, and that time did not exist before the beginning of the universe.
I put a lot of effort into writing A Briefer History at a time when I was critically ill with pneumonia because I think that it's important for scientists to explain their work, particularly in cosmology. This now answers many questions once asked of religion.
Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty.
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?
The old paradox Can God make a stone so heavy that he cant lift it
To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.
Not only does God play dice, but... he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.
If we find the answer the unified theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason -- for we would know the mind of God.
One cannot really argue with a mathematical theorem.
Someone told me that each equation I included in the book would halve the sales.
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.
The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.
It often happens that I have an idea, but then I try to fill in the intermediate steps and find they don't work, so I have to give it up.
All the evidence shows that God was actually quite a gambler, and the universe is a great casino, where dice are thrown, and roulette wheels spin on every occasion
More Stephen Hawking Quotations (Based on Topics)
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More Stephen Hawking Quotations (By Book Titles)
- A Brief History of Time
Paul Dirac - Niels Bohr - Murray Gell-Mann - J. Robert Oppenheimer - Ilya Prigogine - Hermann von Helmholtz - Freeman Dyson - Enrico Fermi - Brian Greene - Andrei Sakharov