“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
     attributed by Robert Green Ingersoll


2 responses to “world

  • Vicente Calibo de Jesus

    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.

  • iapetus

    hmm.. interesting, I shall add credit to Robert Green Ingersoll in my post, though I don’t see the contrary evidence being provided here as very strong,
    your link to Tom Gorski’s piece does not function properly when clicked on, at least not for me, so instead I shall add this link, found via Google, to the comments section to anybody who wishes to look further: , which I’m guessing is similar to the page you mentioned, it only briefly mentions the quote though, & not in a very investigative manner at all

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