A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time

by

Stephen Hawking

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on A Brief History of Time can help.

Lay People Character Analysis

Stephen Hawking often refers to the importance of helping the lay person understand great scientific theories, as all of humanity is absorbed with the same line of questioning: why and how are we here? He suggests that once all scientific laws are understood, they will sooner or later also be taught to and understood by everyone, and then we can have the real discussions about the meaning of life. Once that question is answered, he suggests, humanity will “know the mind of God.”

Lay People Quotes in A Brief History of Time

The A Brief History of Time quotes below are all either spoken by Lay People or refer to Lay People . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Search for a Unifying Theory of the Universe Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bantam edition of A Brief History of Time published in 1988.
Chapter 1 Quotes

The Greeks even had a third argument that the earth must be round, for why else does one first see the sails of a ship coming over the horizon, and only later see the hull?

Related Characters: Lay People , Aristotle
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Chapter 12 Quotes

[…] if we do discover a complete theory […] Then we shall all […] be able to [discuss] 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.

Related Characters: God , Lay People
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire A Brief History of Time LitChart as a printable PDF.
A brief history of time.pdf.medium

Lay People Character Timeline in A Brief History of Time

The timeline below shows where the character Lay People appears in A Brief History of Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11
The Search for a Unifying Theory of the Universe Theme Icon
Human Curiosity and Ingenuity Theme Icon
...many thousands do. If we were to find the unifying theory of physics, in time everyone could understand it. (full context)
Chapter 12
Human Curiosity and Ingenuity Theme Icon
The world is confusing and people everywhere seek to understand it, as well as humans' place in it all. To do so,... (full context)
The Search for a Unifying Theory of the Universe Theme Icon
Human Curiosity and Ingenuity Theme Icon
Science and Religion Theme Icon
...theory is found, over time it is likely to be distilled in a way that everyone can understand and engage with. Then everyone can discuss the big questions of why we... (full context)