Shell Flat Earth PhD Out of The University of Sfax, Tunisia
A Flat Earth Thesis has allegedly been underway since 2011 from the University of Sfax, however it appears to be fabricated, a "shell paper" created to generate a litany of public ignominy rooted in perpetuating Scientism as oppositional to Flat Earth Thinking across Academia, Science, and Religion.
The student is named as Amira Kharroubi, she has a paper thin LinkedIn Page, which basically only cites one area of study: geology, and that she'd been a studying at The University of Sfax since 2011, and 13 posts on Facebook since 2009 (for some reason you have to be logged in to view). I sent her a message asking if she were the student whom authored the paper but have not heard a reply.
The advisor's name is, Jamel Touir, he is the former Director of the Constitution Assembly of Tunisia, (the group that helped re-write the Constitution in Tunisia back in 2011), he claimed his student's Constitutional right to explore the idea, and defended her by saying it was only a "rough draft". Despite the Professor's point that the paper has not yet gone under review, he co-authored this 6 page "preliminary results" version which purports to have been published back in August of 2016 (Volume 4, Issue 8) in The Journal of Science and Technoledge, but which was only uploaded 3 weeks ago, on yumpoo.com, at the start of this whole shit storm. As of today, April 30th, 2017, it as 7773 views. (Click image to keep reading.)
The "preliminary results" paper itself is riddled with poor grammar, bad spelling, and seemingly intentional obfuscation and terseness. Here is a video of me reading the paper, and providing my thoughts afterward.
Funny how this "rough draft" was "leaked" to the Tunisian Astronomical Society, and then in tow came the furor of the Secretary General for the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Tunisia, Faouzia Charfi, whom said, "Where is our country going? Amimra Kharroubi, a student at ENIS, has been working since 2011 to prepare a thesis under the direction of Professor Jamel Touir to challenge Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Einstein, arguing that they are 'chimeras'". Another article which quotes more briefly from the above quote in its penultimate paragraph.
The main idea here is to set a standard for the implacability of these "Scientific Greats" and the ludicrousness of debunking any of their claims. See Tesla's opinion of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, for one.
Other items note are an op-ed by a former NASA employee, which states the PhD Thesis was leaked to a former President of the Tunisian Astronomical Society. When contacted the Secretary General of the Tunisian Astronomical Society promptly sent Spiritual North a Press Release, which "they had already prepared on the matter" translated from Arabic. They also stated upon a second prompting that their former President is Dr. Hafedh Ateb, Professor of applied mathematics, and provided a link to his bio.
On April 2nd, according to this article on BusinessNews.com, Hafedh Ateb, "challenged Professor Jamel Touir to broadcast a copy of the Thesis." Touir responded, "The title of the thesis already indicates the content. Of course, a good part of the thesis presents arguments 'that have nothing scientific' that the earth is flat, without gravitation, fixed in space, and that the heliocentric model is erroneous." This seems a coy answer which is far more conciliatory than resistive. It appears the Professor is happy to admit a good part of this thesis we can't read doesn't have science which shows the earth is flat, fixed, or that heliocentrism is false.
On April 21st, an article came out in the HuffingtonPost's Italian website, indicating Professor Touir said the student was, "contacted by American researchers whom sent the NASA publications".
Despite the fact that this rough draft was purportedly published back in August of 2016, beginning three weeks ago, it gets put online on yumpoo.com and then a shit-ton of bad press was rolled out about this paper. What follows is a timeline of the events. Here is a link to research articles Professor Touir has been cited in and a link to op-ed author Nidhal Guessoum's Wikipedia page, indicating his Post-Doc Research work at the Goddard Space Center.
TIMELINE FOR FLAT EARTH PHD HOAX
April 3, 2017
French Website JeuneAfrique where story originally Broke:
April 3rd 2017,
In this article, "Zied Krichane assures that if this thesis is supported, then it would represent greater scandal of the history of knowledge in Tunisia."
April 4, 2017
Derisive WordCrunch Article:
April 4th, 2017
Article on BusinessNews.Tn, saying the Astronomical Society of Tunisia "intervened with a statement" on April 3, denouncing the Thesis as religious claims, and encouraging stronger Scientific education particularly related to where we are in our world, in secondary education.
April 4, 2017
According to BusinessNews.com on April 4th, on April 2nd, Former Tunisian Astronomical Society President Hafedh Ateb, "challenged Professor Jamel Touir to broadcast a copy of the Thesis." Touir responded, "The title of the thesis already indicates the content. Of course, a good part of the thesis presents arguments 'that have nothing scientific' that the earth is flat, without gravitation, fixed in space, and that the heliocentric model is erroneous."
April 5th, 2017
A typical blog that was rolled out on the matter, this one is extensively well categorized, and titled, "Amira Kharroubi is the laughing stock of academic academic world by arguing that the earth is flat." (translated from French, they used academic twice not me). Also the article opens with
April 7th, 2017
This French blog covers the story linking to a radio interview with Jamel Touir, and noting that he "almost had to apologize" because they came at him "like a pack of dogs".
April 10th, 2017
This Op-Ed by Former NASA Post Doc indicates Thesis was Leaked to Former President of Tunisian Astronomical Association
April 11, 2017
Ansa.it & Ansamed.info Faux "Press Releases":
April 11th, 2017
MacroBR444's Post on Chess.com linking Op-Ed to faux Press Releases from www.ansa.it & www.ansamed.info: https://www.chess.com/hu/forum/view/off-topic/earth-is-flat-prove-me-wrong?page=36
April 19th, 2017
Greece Website Reprints Op-Ed by Former NASA researcher under pseudonym, "Thema Newsroom" (Note the bottom of the article has the word SOURCE which links back to Op-ed): http://en.protothema.gr/phd-thesis-the-earth-is-flat/
April 20th, 2017
Article published in Italian News Rag by Orsola Riva, which mentions Neil Armstrong and Moon Landing Deniers:
April 21st, 2017
Huffington Post Italy Covers the story, which mentions Professor Jamel Touir, whom purportedly oversaw the Flat Earth PhD Thesis, saying, "The student had been encouraged by some American researchers who sent the NASA publications.":