Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Christian Blogger Fakes Atheism to Publish Hoax List

An anonymous blogger claiming to have two PhDs attempted a smear tactic against atheist bloggers today. The blog The Good The Bad and The Ugly presented three "top 5 lists" for best atheist blogs, mediocre blogs, and crappy blogs.

Christian blogger Groundfighter76 first brought it to my attention via the comments section of a recent post at Goosing the Antithesis. Check out the comments section of that post to see my initial reaction to the list, and my eventually labeling it a pile of bullshit.

From the beginning the list seemed funny. A guy claimed to have two PhDs, one from Oxford, and one from Cambridge. He said he was an atheist who had to be anonymous because of his recent applying to a University job of some sort. Although that isn't too out of the ordinary, it is worth noting that countless atheist doctorate holders have made their views quite public; people like PZ Myers of Pharyngula for example.

The three lists he posted are a literal roll call of atheistic social clicks on the Internet. I mean, there are hundreds of atheist blogs and bloggers out there that put out a lot of work, and I am only associates or friends with a small minority of them. But the three lists this anonymous guy posted were filled almost exclusively with bloggers that I know and interact with. Dawson Bethrick, the folks at Goosing the Antithesis, John Loftus, The Raving Atheist, Ed Babinski, etc. This was too much of a coincidence for me.

This list was so insular, that I was actually listed twice! Kill The Afterlife (of which I am the sole member) was listed in the mediocre section, while Goosing the Antithesis (of which I am a team member) was listed in the bad section. How do I manage to get listed twice out of all the hundreds of atheist blogs out there? And why the hell is Dawson Bethrick in the mediocre section? His blog is anything but.

Then it got worse. The Sam Harris link isn't even a blog but an article from 2005. The Secular Outpost is just an outlet for the Internet Infidels website.

But then what happens? I notice that the 5th blog listed on the "best" list, Discomfiting Christianity, which I've never seen before (literally the only atheist blog I haven't heard of before seeing this list), gives extreme amounts of props to John Loftus, whose blog Debunking Christianity is listed last in the "worst" list. Then after reading the first few posts from Discomfiting Christianity, I realize that the blog is likely a hoax. Groundfighter76 then confirms with me in the comments of Goosing the Antithesis that Discomfiting Christianity is indeed a hoax blog meant to parody and insult John Loftus. Call me crazy, but the whole thing reeks of Paul Manata and/or friends.

So an anonymous atheist with two PhDs who seems to only read a small circle of atheist blogs puts a parody site in the best top 5 list, and some respectable blogs in the mediocre and worst of lists. Plus he throws in a site that isn't really an atheist blog but an essay from Sam Harris. He actually lists two blogs that I write for (I can only wish my name was that popular in the field of atheism). And the guy provides no reasoning or explanations as to why each choice got on the list that it did. For a guy who claims two doctorates and appoints himself as the judge of the intellectual merit of these blogs, he sure doesn't like to support his assertions!

At this point, I realized that this is very likely another hoax. I have officially called the bullshit flag. But unlike the Discomfiting Christianity blog, which is a somewhat obvious parody, this Good Bad Ugly blog is quite disingenuous. It took some research to figure out that it was a lie, and at first glance it very much comes off as a legitimate blog. I can imagine that it would fool a lot of atheists as well as theists. There is no disclaimer that I can see either. Even the Objective Ministries site has a disclaimer or parody notification buried deep within it.

Whoever created the Good Bad and The Ugly blog thought they were clever, but their little scheme only worked for about 5 minutes. I have nothing against Christians doing parodies. But I do have something against Christians lying and trying to deceive others deliberately. But of course Christians don't feel too bad about this, what with their Biblical revisionism and interpretation, master/slave moral ideology, and tendency to blindly follow the commands of their self-appointed mystics.

Christians clearly suck at doing atheist parodies. But atheists rock at doing Christian parodies. That's because atheists are smarter. Parodies like the aforementioned Objective Ministries and the infamous Landover Baptist site are brilliant in their conception and execution. If Discomfiting Christianity and The Good The Bad and The Ugly are the best hoaxes that Christians can do, then I feel pretty damn good about how this ideology war is going right now. All indicators show that atheists are the ones gaining ground, and that Christians are losing ground. By their works, we shall know them, the losers that they are.

36 comments:

Hellbound Alleee said...

yeah, this comes across as really desperate. But it was fun for 5 minutes. It all becomes clear when you read this blog.

Wow that guy sure knows how to make parodies! You know, Christians have always been knows for their biting and dry sense of humour.

Zachary Moore said...

Maybe it has something to do with the comedic genius that has brought us the "Infidel Guy" parodies.

Robert O'Brien said...

That's because atheists are smarter.

That's a canard.

Aaron Kinney said...

No Robert,

It is a quip, a jab, a snide remark.

Yet it also contains fact. While I did not truly and literally mean that atheist-created Christian parody sites are better executed because of atheists superior intelligence, it is a fact that atheists tend to be more intelligent than their theistic counterparts.

Thank you for playing the "categorize that statement" game. We have some lovely consolation prizes for you, including an opportunity for your blog to be listed in The Good The Bad and The Ugly top 5 list :P

Robert O'Brien said...

...it is a fact that atheists tend to be more intelligent than their theistic counterparts.

As I pointed out when Peezee uncritically pimped the same Nature survey, it suffers from a high rate of nonresponse.

http://huperborea.blogspot.com/2006/06/peezee-science-and-god.html

Moreover, the leading lights (brights?) of atheism can't hold a candle to the leading lights of theism.

http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2006/06/dyson_on_religion.php#comment-111377

Hellbound Alleee said...

Robert, it's a duck? Hm. I guess I'm not smart enough to understand...

It's only common sense that it doesn't mean you're dumb, just because you believe in invisible friends. It means you're a coward, or crazy. Those "leading lights of theism," for instance. Reach for the stars, boys! Keep on trying to run from reality...and those awesome prison/religion statistics!

Aaron Kinney said...

Robert O'Brien,

As I pointed out when Peezee uncritically pimped the same Nature survey, it suffers from a high rate of nonresponse.

Ummmm, there is quite a bit more in the link I provided than the mere nature survey. There is also a study from Scientific American. And Skeptic. And a good 20+ studies from various researchers over the last 100 years.

http://huperborea.blogspot.com/2006/06/peezee-science-and-god.html

Yea, nice link. So assuming that there was a 40% nonresponse rate, are you trying to imply that those who didnt respond are the missing theists that arent being represented in the studies results? Or could we just discount those who didnt respond and say that the sample size is lower?

Modern science essentially emerged from Christian Scholasticism. It was the Christian belief in an ordered, rational, purposeful universe that allowed modern science to flourish in Europe.

Yea, right up until the point where science started finding things that contradicted the Bible. And it was Magellan I believe who said that the Earth was round and that he knew this because he had seen its shadow and that he had more "faith" in a shadow than in the Church. Actually, the schism started a long time prior to that little spat.

Science contradicts the Bible starting with Genesis one. Science has found that, despite the Genesis claims, plants did not exist before the stars did to drive their photosynthetic process, not to mention the Earth. And it just gets worse from there.

And you know Robert, according to various studies all across the Western World, religion is losing popularity among the general population at an alarming rate. In America alone, atheism has doubled in the last decade, and to be "nonreligious" is soon becoming as common in America as being a "Protestant" or a "Baptist".

Moreover, the leading lights (brights?) of atheism can't hold a candle to the leading lights of theism. http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2006/06/dyson_on_religion.php#comment-111377

Bullshit! Look at that, I didnt censor myself.

Pascals wager was actually later shown to favor NOT picking any deity belief. Pascal came to the wrong conclusion about his wager because he was blinded by his emotional belief. So much for being a great mathematician. And most of the names you spouted off in the comments section in the link you posted are ancient, who didnt have access to the observational tools and amount of knowledge about the universe that we have today. These people all employed God of the gaps arguments to give answers to the things they didnt know.

Here is a thread with findings that mathematicians tend to be more atheistic than the general population.

And its funny that you should mention Galileo when he was in hot water for choosing his scientific observations over religious dogma and the Church's authority. While he wasnt an atheist, he sure let his secular beliefs trump his religious beliefs when they came into conflict.

I wonder if Newton would still believe in God if he had available to him the collective body of scientific data that we possess today? For example, if Newton had access to the knowledge we have about how planets, life, and everything except for stars themselves are formed from the ejectae of dead stars, would he still believe the Genesis One account that claims plants existed before the stars did to drive their photosynthetic process?

If Newton had access to the knowledge we have today about the law of conservation of matter/energy, would Newton agree that matter and energy could never have been created and can never be destroyed (making a creator superfluous), or would Netwon reject the science in favor of his Bible-based beliefs?

Dont forget that Einstein and Hawking are atheistic/agnostic. Some people call Einstein a deist, but he was no friend of Christianity or a personal God, nor of the alleged eternal nature of the soul. While Einstein and HAwking are not strictly mathematicians, they are definitely scientists who excel in math related field of physics.

Aaron Kinney said...

Robert O'Brien,

Lest you run out of studies to discredit, I found another one that proves that leading scientists still reject God. While this link I provided bases much of its data on the 1998 NATURE study that you rejected, it explains that the same study was conducted in 1914 and 1933 with results that were just as unflattering to faith as the results were in 1998.

Too bad we dont have a nonresponse ratio for the studies from 1914 and 1933.

But too bad even more that even in 1914 and 1933 the majority of leading scientists rejected the God concept flat out. Do you really think that in 1914 there were theistic nonrespondents who felt scared to admit their faith due to ostracism from their peers or the general population?? LOL!

Robert O'Brien said...

Robert, it's a duck? Hm. I guess I'm not smart enough to understand...

It's only common sense that it doesn't mean you're dumb, just because you believe in invisible friends. It means you're a coward, or crazy. Those "leading lights of theism," for instance. Reach for the stars, boys! Keep on trying to run from reality...and those awesome prison/religion statistics!


Alleee:

Is this what passes for critical thinking in Quebec? Perhaps you should lay off the poutine.

Robert O'Brien said...

So assuming that there was a 40% nonresponse rate, are you trying to imply that those who didnt respond are the missing theists that arent being represented in the studies results? Or could we just discount those who didnt respond and say that the sample size is lower?

No. Sampling does not work that way.

Science contradicts the Bible starting with Genesis one. Science has found that, despite the Genesis claims, plants did not exist before the stars did to drive their photosynthetic process, not to mention the Earth. And it just gets worse from there.

You are preaching to the choir re: Genesis.

And you know Robert, according to various studies all across the Western World, religion is losing popularity among the general population at an alarming rate. In America alone, atheism has doubled in the last decade, and to be "nonreligious" is soon becoming as common in America as being a "Protestant" or a "Baptist".

You assume a non-religious identification = atheism. In any event, who cares? I don’t look to the masses in forming my worldview.

Bullshit! Look at that, I didnt censor myself.

Pascals wager was actually later shown to favor NOT picking any deity belief. Pascal came to the wrong conclusion about his wager because he was blinded by his emotional belief. So much for being a great mathematician. And most of the names you spouted off in the comments section in the link you posted are ancient, who didnt have access to the observational tools and amount of knowledge about the universe that we have today. These people all employed God of the gaps arguments to give answers to the things they didnt know.


Pascal’s wager is legitimate, under certain circumstances.

Here is a thread with findings that mathematicians tend to be more atheistic than the general population.

What “findings?” I certainly did not see any.

And its funny that you should mention Galileo when he was in hot water for choosing his scientific observations over religious dogma and the Church's authority. While he wasnt an atheist, he sure let his secular beliefs trump his religious beliefs when they came into conflict.

None of which has anything to do with his theism.

I wonder if Newton would still believe in God if he had available to him the collective body of scientific data that we possess today? For example, if Newton had access to the knowledge we have about how planets, life, and everything except for stars themselves are formed from the ejectae of dead stars, would he still believe the Genesis One account that claims plants existed before the stars did to drive their photosynthetic process?

I think so.

If Newton had access to the knowledge we have today about the law of conservation of matter/energy, would Newton agree that matter and energy could never have been created and can never be destroyed (making a creator superfluous), or would Netwon reject the science in favor of his Bible-based beliefs?

The Law of Conservation of Mass/Energy does not make a Creator “superfluous.”

Dont forget that Einstein and Hawking are atheistic/agnostic. Some people call Einstein a deist, but he was no friend of Christianity or a personal God, nor of the alleged eternal nature of the soul. While Einstein and HAwking are not strictly mathematicians, they are definitely scientists who excel in math related field of physics.

Neither Einstein nor Hawking can be rightly classified as atheists.

Delta said...

By their works, we shall know them, the losers that they are

Well put!

Sobex said...

Robert, when you say that the Law of Conservation of Mass/Energy does not make a Creator superfluous, the burden of proof is on YOU, because very clearly, that's exactly what it does. Please explain your position. I'd actually like to hear a good counterargument.

Creationist Timmy said...

Parodies like the aforementioned Objective Ministries and the infamous Landover Baptist site are brilliant in their conception and execution.

What, Landover Baptist is a parody? I've been tithing to them for years.

Sockatume said...

Dual PhD from Oxford and Cambridge? The rowing teams must hate him.

Anonymous said...

Look it's Robert O Brien, the man with an award for saying stupid things named after him over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars. Your not changing peoples minds with these arguments.


Arguing cluelessly again.

He said:
'Pascal’s wager is legitimate, under certain circumstances. '


Please, what circumstances? This has been debunked over and over.

Aaron Kinney said...

Robert,

No. Sampling does not work that way.

Yes of course I know that sampling doesnt work that way. Obviously my implied meaning went right over your head. It was a quip or a sarcastic remark in response to your complaint about the nonresponse rate and the implied meaning that I got from it.

You are preaching to the choir re: Genesis.

And youre a Christian... why????

Pascal’s wager is legitimate, under certain circumstances.

Yes, under circumstances that have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE REALITY WE LIVE IN. And you were mum on the God of the Gaps statement I wrote. I take it you agree with that then?

What “findings?” I certainly did not see any.

Whoops. How about if I rephrase that to where the thread author has a "sense" that atheism is higher in mathematician circles than in the geeral population based on his observations?

None of which has anything to do with his theism.

But it has a lot to do with his view of the things written in the Christian Bible, a book that you seem to be fond of (except for Genesis apparently).

Remind me again why you are a Christian? Are you like a super liberal Christian who doesnt take anything literally in the Bible if it conflicts with anything scientific? When your religious beliefs collide with your science beliefs, which do you discard?

The Law of Conservation of Mass/Energy does not make a Creator “superfluous"

Unsupported contradiction, eh? What is this a Monty Python sketch? Ill do you one better. Ill contradict you and support my assertion.

Yes it does, by making the "where did the universe come from?" question moot, and making the answer to that question "god did it" nonsensical, and finally making the entity "god" superfluous because he has no need to fill in the equation about the origins of the universe.

Anyway, you have yet to make a creator "justified" in the first place. Not much need for me to make superfluous what you cant show to be necessary.

Neither Einstein nor Hawking can be rightly classified as atheists.

Neither of them are theists. Neither of them beleive in the Afterlife (And my blog is titled Kill The Afterlife in case you forgot). Neither of them ever expressed belief in a personal God. They can scarcely be labelled as deists even, and that is a stretch. They are agnostics at best. And as far as Im concerned they are much more sympathetic to my worldview of materialism and scientific observation than your worldview of hocus pocus holy books and cosmic big brothers in the sky.

If they dont believe in YOUR god (or anything even remotely resembling your god), then as far as youre concerned, they dont believe in "God" period.

Time to grow up Robert. Put the Mother Goose and Grimm fairy tale book in the trash. Join the community that is based on reality. You know, the one without imaginary friends and monsters under the bed and talking snakes and superevil demons in lakes of fire that want to trick you and cosmic ghosts who REALLY CARE whether or not you believe in them and walking on water and rising from the dead after 3 days and being guilty for crimes that your ancestors committed and all the other ridiculous things that come along with your retarded, retarded, oh-so retarded Christianity.

Did I mention that Christianity is retarded? Yea, I think I got that down. Come on Robert, you have a full grown adult body. Now its time to have a full grown adult brain. Ditch the superstition. Ditch the mysticism.

Aaron Kinney said...

Creationist Timmy,

That reminds me, I was recently on the phone with Landover Baptist Pastor Deacon, who wanted me to remind you that your credit card information that they have on file has a credit card expiration date that is about to expire. So they will need updated information to continue your regular tithings.

And if you could give them an American Express card number next time, Deacon said he would appreciate it.

Oh one more thing. Pastor Deacon wanted me to let you know that he heard that you recently got a raise, and he will increase your tithe amount accordingly.

Ill let him know that I passed on the message :)

Robert O'Brien said...

Re: Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy, I refer you to the following comment by Dr. Sten Odenwald:

Was energy conserved in the big bang?

Probably not!

General relativity is the premier theory that we have for accurately describing gravity and spacetime. From this theory we get big bang cosmology. General relativity also discriminates between the things we measure in 'local' reference frames such as those defined in special relativity, and what we should expect to see happen in larger more 'general' frames of reference.

Conservation of energy is a measure of the total energy of a system and how it 'doesn't' change over time, but the problem is that operationally it only makes sense to define it in a spacetime that is flat...or as the theorists say, asymptotically flat. This means that, today, we can calculate the energy of a system, but if we make the same calculation when the gravitational field is very strong, or changing its curvature rapidly, we cannot mathematically define total energy any longer because the spacetime is not at all flat, nor, can you find an 'asymptotic' approximation to it within which you can define the total energy.

This means that, at the big bang, conservation of energy MAY have been badly violated, and that the gravitational field and its fluctuations introduced more energy into the system than what we might extrapolate from today's geometry for spacetime working backwards to the big bang.

Until we have a fully quantum mechanical theory of gravity, we can only estimate and guess how badly energy conservation was violated back then. It was clearly enough to create our physical world almost literally out of nothing!


Link

Aaron Kinney said...

Stephen Hawking once said "matter cannot be created. It has nowhere to come from. It cannot be destroyed. It has nowhere to go."

Besides, you are missing the point. Assuming that the Big Bang is true, and assuming that spacetime may have been totally warped at the time, then its POSSIBLE (according to some people) that conservation was violated.

But this doesnt address my charge. I said that the conservation law makes God superfluous. So if we dont ASSUME that the conservation law was violated, then indeed, it does make God superfluous.

Weve always seen the conservation law being observed. Weve never seen it violated. Weve never observed or tested it and found it to be violated. At best, we have SOME physicists say that IF the big bang happened in a CERTAIN way, then its POSSIBLE that conservation was violated. That isnt even a theory. Its a hypothesis.

But my original charge is still true. Assuming that the conservation law is true (assuming it wasnt violated), then God is superfluous.

Aaron Kinney said...

And Robert,

Why didnt you answer any of my questions?

Why are you a Christian? And why dont you accept the Genesis accont of creation where plants and planets existed before stars and even our own sun?

FSJL said...

Oxford doesn't award a degree called a 'Ph.D.' it awards a 'D.Phil'. Anyone who speaks of a Ph.D from Oxford is a fake.

Robert O'Brien said...

Look it's Robert O Brien, the man with an award for saying stupid things named after him over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars. Your[sic] not changing peoples[sic] minds with these arguments.

If you are going to cite someone in an attempt to insult me, you could do better than a college drop-out/failed comedian/usurer.


Arguing cluelessly[sic] again.

He said:
'Pascal’s wager is legitimate, under certain circumstances. '


Please, what circumstances? This has been debunked over and over.


Read the decision-theoretic version of Pascal’s argument. (Or, perhaps more appropriately, have it read to you.)

John W. Loftus said...

Thank you Aaron! The odds are that both sites are done by someone who is fixiated on me. The odds are that's it's Paul Manata. But think of this, as you mentioned, with all of the atheist sites out there, why is it he thinks my site deserves that much attention? I'm personally dumbfounded about this. We do what we do, but the very fact that DC's "ranking" is the lowest is evidence that this guy thinks it's the most dangerous to his faith. Whether it is or not is anyone's call, of course. So I view things like this as a backhanded compliment. Whether it's deserved is another story.

Robert O'Brien said...

And Robert,

Why didnt you answer any of my questions?

Why are you a Christian? And why dont you accept the Genesis accont of creation where plants and planets existed before stars and even our own sun?


Did I identify myself as a Christian?

Robert O'Brien said...

Come on Robert, you have a full grown adult body. Now its time to have a full grown adult brain. Ditch the superstition. Ditch the mysticism.

Aaron, if my atheistic ex-girlfriend was unable to convert me to atheism with her perfect breasts and other means of persuasion at her disposal, what makes you think you can? :-)

In any event, I disagree with your characterization of theism.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Aaron:
But I do have something against Christians lying and trying to deceive others deliberately.
Yeah, someone pulled a similar stunt over in my blog, masquerading as PZ Meyers, no less.
Just amazing what these folks do, in the 'name of' their principles, ain't it?

Aaron Kinney said...

Oh I dont know why I think youre a Christian Robert,

Maybe I just took a wild guess that you were a Christian.

Or maybe it was the fact that you list the Bible as your #1 favorite book in your profile.

Or maybe it was the fact that your blog is full of Christian links and resources.

Or maybe it was the fact that you argue in numerous posts at your blog in favor of anti-sodomy laws and intelligent design, two of many hallmark Christian behaviors.

You argue against atheists all the time in your blog.

You also claim in your blog that the only way a white American can become a Muslim is if he is mentally imbalanced. While I agree with you on that one, I dont think that its for the same reasons if you catch my drift.

You brag about how well you know ancient Greek and the New Testament.

You even insult Mormons like a Christian would.

You also quote Roman philosophers' arguments for God and say "Amen" after the quote.

So what the fuck else can you be except for Christian? If you dont call yourself a Christian by name, then I will identify you as one by de facto.

You ask me if you identified yourself as a Christian, and Robert, I tell you yes you have. And I add that I am a little suprised that you are acting like you arent aware of your loud bright Christian flag waving? Or are you just being disingenuous?

Aaron Kinney said...

Robert,

Aaron, if my atheistic ex-girlfriend was unable to convert me to atheism with her perfect breasts and other means of persuasion at her disposal, what makes you think you can? :-)

Well said. But I actually dont think that I can make you beceom an atheist. I only think you can do that. I can however, show you the path to mental freedom.

In any event, I disagree with your characterization of theism.

So why dont you think that "theism" is a form of "superstition"? Or maybe you think that it is a form of superstition, but you believe that some kinds of superstition are valid?

The Discomfiter said...

I'm with you.

Look at the people I'm deconverting!

http://discomfitingchristianity.blogspot.com/2006/08/discomfiting-christainity-part-7-im.html

Robert O'Brien said...

So what the fuck else can you be except for Christian?

An ex-Mormon Platonic theist

Robert O'Brien said...

So why dont you think that "theism" is a form of "superstition"?

Because I think belief in God is entirely reasonable.

Aaron Kinney said...

An ex-Mormon Platonic theist

Maybe its just me, but I dont see any mention of Platonic Theism in the link you provided to Debunking Christianity...?

Should I wikipedia it? Im not familiar with Platonic Theism.

And you do realize that you come off very much as a Christian in your blog, right? I mean, the evidences I cited earlier werent that much of a stretch to lead me to the (false) conclusion that you were Christian.

Robert O'Brien said...

Maybe its just me, but I dont see any mention of Platonic Theism in the link you provided to Debunking Christianity...?

I thought I was linking to my comment where I previously identified myself as a Platonic theist on DC just to let you know I wasn't making it up on the spot. Anyway, philosophical theism is another term for my beliefs.

And you do realize that you come off very much as a Christian in your blog, right? I mean, the evidences I cited earlier werent that much of a stretch to lead me to the (false) conclusion that you were Christian.

Yeah, I don't fault you for coming to that conclusion.

Aaron Kinney said...

Well thats cool, I got a new kind of theism to read up on. Interesting to say the least.

Sorry for mislabelling you Robert. And thanks for the links on your belief system. :)

Robert O'Brien said...

No need to apologize Aaron. It's not like you called me a "fundie."

Vic de Jesus said...

Magellan quote is a fabrication

Someone cited a Magellan quote which through its persistence and ubiquitousness has acquired the patina of veracity. It is actually a fabrication of Robert Green Ingersoll.

“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 http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/individuality.html
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 was first pointed out, as far as I know, by Dr. Tom Gorski in his website “Knowing What Ain’t So” at http://www.churchoffreethought.org/cgi-bin/contray/contray.cgi?DATA=&ID=000011010&GROUP=048. 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 http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Ferdinand_Magellan

At http://www.animalliberationfront.com/Philosophy/Religion/Atheist%20Quotes.htm 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 http://www.iidb.org/vbb/archive/index.php/t-63650.html 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
ginesdemafra@gmail.com