Sunday, October 5, 2008

Quote of the Week

The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church.
Ferdinand Magellan


Margo said...

I have seen this quote before and I love it! SO eloquent and expressive, and exactly how I feel.
I trust myself and the evidence more than the Rabbis or Priests.

RHJ said...

Eh? Hvilken kirke har noensinne påstått at jorden var flat?

Vic de Jesus said...

Magellan quote is a fabrication

“The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church.” Ferdinand Magellan

The quote is a fabrication of Robert Green Ingersoll. It is found in his essay “Individuality.” This may be accessed at
It’s in the fourth paragraph of his essay:

“It is a blessed thing that in every age some one has had individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his own convictions, -- some one who had the grandeur to say his say. I believe it was Magellan who said, "The church says the earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence even in a shadow than in the church." On the prow of his ship were disobedience, defiance, scorn, and success.”

This fact—that it is not an authentic Magellan quote but is Ingersoll’s--was first pointed out, as far as I know, by Dr. Tom Gorski in his website “Knowing What Ain’t So” at Dr. Gorski is one of four founders of the The North Texas Church of Freethought.

To the credit of Wikiquote it clearly points out the quote is disputed and attributes it to Ingersoll
At it immediately corrected the attribution: "The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church."
..........Robert Green Ingersoll (not Ferdinand Magellan)
At they already were able to determine that it was Ingersoll who in fact said the words he attributes to Magellan. “Regarding a flat earth, please note that Ingersoll used a quote attributed to Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), the Portuguese and Spanish explorer: ‘The Church says that the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the Church.’ Ingersoll uses this quote to make a point: ‘The trouble with most people is, they bow to what is called authority.’ Ingersoll's thrust in this article is that ‘It is the duty of each and every one to maintain his individuality’ and ‘There can be nothing more utterly subversive of all that is really valuable than the suppression of honest thought--No man, worthy of the form he bears, will at the command of church or state solemnly repeat a creed his reason scorns.’ I agree with Ingersoll. If you do not, that is certainly your privilege.” The author assumes Ingersoll got it from an authentic source. But I have read the primary sources on Magellan—eyewitness accounts by Antonio Pigafetta, Gines de Mafra, Francisco Albo, The Genoese Pilot, Martinho de Aiamonte, Sebastian Elcano—nowhere is there such a statement from Magellan. Ingersoll most definitely cites no authority.
Vicente Calibo de Jesus

List of URLs w/ Magellan quote:
1. aclevercookie
2. alternet
3. altreligion
4. andy
5. angelfire
6. antichrist
7. aps
8. atheist empire
10. Athens
11. au.answers
12. audiogon
13. azbilliards
14. baland
15. bebo2nd
16. bigdumbchimp
17. blog.360
18. bniphilippines
19. bobbuechler
20. boldts
21. btinternet
22. burningcross
23. cafemontenegro
24. calgaryhumanist
25. capecod
26. charleen
27. chas1222
28. chisbeach
29. chocolates
30. christchat
31. christianforums
32. churchoffreethought
33. chuckroberts
34. cindy
35. city
36. claustrophobic
37. condohouse
38. covert
39. ddoty
40. debris
41. deviantart
42. digg
43. dsdv
44. dune2k
45. dvorak
46. eclipse
47. edstrange
48. eircom
49. enygmasol
50. erbzine
51. ethicalatheist
52. evolve Selling T-shirt with Magellan quote
53. excommunicate
54. famous
55. fash10n
56. files
57. Firethefox
58. focus
59. forum.myspace
60. forums
61. fractal
62. freemindjoe
63. freethought
64. freewebs
65. frixos
66. fuseaction
67. Gainesville
68. Gamewinners
69. gdargaud
70. generation
71. geocities
72. gestationism
73. getquotes
74. giga
75. gin4
76. goatstar
77. godless
78. godlike
79. god-m
80. gods4suckers
81. goose
82. great
83. Haversian
84. Helsinki
85. hjaltihjalmarsson
86. home
87. homepage
88. icebluenothing
89. iidb
90. int-x
91. interlinked
92. irealm
93. ironwolf
94. Jewishatheist
95. jmpoz http://www.
96. jnm7
97. joshleeds
98. Jsp
99. Kill
100. Kuro5hin
101. listology
102. listverse
103. lonelyhouse
104. lotsafyre
105. majikthise
106. mancrush
107. mega
108. meme
109. messages
110. metafilter
111. mindprod
112. museum
113. musicalnuke
114. mybroadband
115. nada
116. nanday
117. narniafans
118. newordermormon
119. nmsu
120. northernsun Site where quote is emblazoned in a T-shirt
121. nosha
122. notobs
123. nuwen
124. nyctophilia
125. nyu
126. optusnet
127. palmyria
128. pcper
129. people
130. personal
131. pharyngula
132. physics
133. positive
134. prayed
135. profile
136. quoteful
137. quoteland
138. quotesandpoem
139. quotiki
140. RabidApe
141. Radio
142. ragarambler
143. reznor
144. robrusso
145. rottentomatoes
146. roundearth
147. runtowin
148. savemenot
149. scalzi
150. sedesdraconis
151. seds
152. selfdefenseforum
153. self-injury
154. serendip
155. shmanda
156. silversix
157. silver
158. sinequanon
159. skeptically
160. skepticfiles
161. skepticfriends
162. slickdeals
163. smack
164. snopes
165. soggyfrog
166. sqablogs
167. stephenhicks
168. stillbarking
169. stumbleupon
170. stupac
171. tangential
172. techreport
173. teleport
174. tentmaker
175. thedeathknight
176. thegreenbelt
177. theledger
178. theotherpages
179. thescotsman
180. thescrabbled
181. think
182. thismetalsky
183. thoughtstoblog
184. time
185. units
186. user
187. users
188. uucava
189. venganza
190. Vietfun
191. Wasptor
192. weasner
193. whatquote
194. when
195. Wikipedia
196. Wilsons
197. wisc
198. Wist
199. worldofquotes
200. wowmb
201. xgenerationx0
202. zamanku
203. zackinaapron

Vicente Calibo de Jesus

Leisha Camden said...

Someone around here has too much free time, and for once I actually don't think it's me ...

Vic, thanks for commenting so ... extensively. It was interesting (although I have to confess I didn't read the footnotes ;-). But in all honesty, whether or not the quote is genuine, I don't really care. Whoever said it, it's true. But thanks.