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Magellan quote is a fabrication of Robert Green Ingersoll[edit]

As pointed out elsewhere, the Magellan quote was really authored by Robert Green Ingersoll. The words are found in the fourth paragraph of Ingersoll's essay entitled "Individuality" which was published in 1873. Here is the precise wording, "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."

The improbability of Magellan saying those words will be seen as obvious when one realizes the Catholic Church never insisted on the flatness of the earth. What the Church pronounced as dogma was the notion the earth was the center of the Universe. The sphericity of earth was long known for thousands of years even before Christ. In the 15th century Michael of Rhodes wrote a treatise on this.

There are surely over fifty sites on the Net where this quote is shown and attributed to Magellan. Correcting this error is a herculean task but not impossible. There are site owners who're aware of the mistaken attribution but haven't quite resolved the issue of what to do. One need not be a genius to know the moral obligation of correcting the error. I have called the attention of over a dozen site owners, and most have seen the necessity of attributing to Ingersoll squarely the authorship. Vicente Calibo de Jesus


  • the late eighteenth century scientists knew very precisely the shape and dimensions of the earth and its distance from the Sun and planets; and now Cavendish, without even leaving home, had given them its weight. So you might think that determining the age of the Earth would be relatively straightforward. After all, the necessary materials were literally at their feet. But no. Human beings would split the atom and invent television, nylon, and instant coffee before they could figure out the age of their own planet.
  • Every Winter, When the great sun has turned his face away, The earth goes down into a vale of grief, And fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables
  • It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
  • 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 This quote should be attributed to Robert Green Ingersoll who is the real author of the quote. There is no document where you can find Magellan uttered or wrote those words.
  • The earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future

Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.

    • Rachel Carson

Unverified, unreliable source[edit]

  • The Earth is cylindrical, three times as wide as it is deep, and only the upper part is inhabited. But this Earth is isolated in space, and the sky is a complete sphere in the center of which is located, unsupported, our cylinder, the Earth, situated at an equal distance from all the points of the sky.

-Rupert loup (talk) 14:23, 13 April 2018 (UTC)