Was the Flat Earth PhD a Hoax? Mired circumstances suggest possible PhD Hoax and controlled oppositional narrative.
A shitty misspelled six page "draft" of a PhD engenders the condemnation of the Tunisian Astronomical Society, The University of Sfax, the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education, and an Op-Ed by an Astrophycisist who worked for NASA. Is such activity warranted? Doesn't this seem a bit over-reactionary? Is it possible the reaction is the desired imprint of this story? Let's find out.
Reports have come in that a doctoral candidate from the University of Sfax, Tunisia, under Professor Jamel Touir, former deputy at the National Constituent Assembly, presented a Flat Earth thesis entitled, The Flat Earth Model, Arguments and Impacts on Climate and Paleo-Climate Studies, which claims, "all the data and the physical religious arguments have made it possible to demonstrate the central position, the fixation and the flattening of the surface of the earth, and the revolution of the sun and moon around it." After sustaining serious blow-back, possibly incited by a former president of the Tunisian Astronomical Society whom an early copy of the paper was leaked to, Professor Jamel Touir stands by his student defending both of their constitutional rights to 'freedom of thought' and 'academic freedom'. Professor Touir also notes that for this constitutional exercise he is now 'the object of a malicious campaign, damaging his reputation and his scientific skills."
The question herein is did Professor Jame Touir oversee a Flat Earth PhD Thesis since 2011, and if so, why can't anyone read it or know who wrote it? (Click image for more).
Purportedly, whilst the world was "spinning along" quietly, a young female researcher at The University of Sfax, in Sakkiet Ezzit, Tunisia, working under the wing of Jamal Touir, a lecturer at The Faculty of Sciences Sfax, and former deputy at the National Constituent Assembly, endeavored to say otherwise.
Her paper has inspired the furor of Academia... Or has it? As the story unravels, the evidence that this PhD student even exists is slim to none, and mostly based on heresay. But let's continue with the story, it's a good one, and all in it but its author apparently really happened.
"To challenge Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, arguing that they are 'chimeras'... How has such work been accepted in the Doctoral School since 2011?" Said Faouzia Charfi who is the Secretary of State to The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, but cited here as a mere Physicist and Professor at the University of Tunis. Charfi recently gave a Ted Talk back in 2014, 'For a Scientific Revolution in Tunesia.'
The story seems to have broke on April 3rd, 2017 by an article published by Frida Dahmani on the French website Jeune Afrique. WorldCrunch wrote a mockery of it on April 4th, 2017. This scathing op-ed appears on April 10th, 2017, published by Nidhal Guessoum, a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the American University of Sharjah. On April 19th, 2017, the same article appears under generic Author name "Thema Newsroom" on this website in Greece.
On April 21st, 2017, Huffington Post's Italian Branch covers it (didn't even know they had an Italian Branch, turns out they do), saying the Professor Touir said, "the student had been encouraged by some American researchers who have sent the NASA publications."
I do a little more digging, turns out the author of that op-ed, (the same one that turned up with another pseudonym in Greece), according to his Wikipedia page, spent time working for NASA. "After his Ph.D., he spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center under the supervision of Reuven Ramaty... He has also had made many visits to and maintained collaborations with several institutions, particularly in France." Alright, so Nidhal Gouessoum is cool with NASA, "maintains relationships" and collaborates with institutions in France. Okay gotchya. In addition to that, back in 2001 he gave lectures against the idea that the moon landing was faked, showing previous experience with hoax debate.
Okay, so what's in this alleged Thesis?
Well in summation, the PhD claims, "With regard to the known physical laws we have rejected the laws of Newton, Kepler, and Einstein, seen weaknesses of their foundations, and proposed instead a new vision of the kinematics of objects conforming to the verses of the Koran. The speed of light and sound are thus recalculated and their speeds are shown to correspond to the order of 1.43109 Km/s (88 mi/s) or 3,201 mph. The big bang theory and universal expansion were also rejected." The PhD candidate concludes that, "all the data and the physical religious arguments have made it possible to demonstrate the central position, the fixation and the flattening of the surface of the earth, and the revolution of the sun and moon around it."
According to Professor Touir (and roughly translated from French), "The student I enclosed wanted to review the theory of the gravitation of the earth around the sun, proposing the inverse hypothesis. It's just a rough draft." Touir holds the highest rank in Academia, that of Professor.
But if it was just a rough draft, then how has the paper gotten into wide circulation and received such admonishment? Well according to former NASA employee Nidhal Guessoum, a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the American University of Sharjah,, "a copy of the thesis was 'leaked' to the former president of the Tunisian Astronomical Association." I have reached out to the TAA, and they got back to me last night with a press release that did not answer my clear question, but confirmed they are "dealing with the matter".
Just one day prior, on April 20th, Orsola Riva covers it in the Italian News rag Corriere Della Ser. The piece as a whole reads more than any other like a scripted Narrative, making a synonym of Islam and Flat Earth, citing constitutional arguments in the light of "Science denial" and creating a referent for future issues by insinuating that the very idea of questioning the Masonic Greats like Copernicus, Kepler and Newwton is blasphemous, in this case, to The Ministry of Education of Tunisia, but the point is, or wherever for that matter.
Note this is a fabricated narrative with real players. Ms. Rivas really writes for an Italian rag. Nidhal Gouessoum, who composed the vitriolic op-ed, really does live in France and worked for NASA. Professor Jamal Touir, seems to be doing real research, and really did say, "the student may have been encouraged by some American researchers whom sent the NASA publications." Faouzia Charfi, quoted in the article written by Frida Dahmani on Jeune Afrique, is Secretary of State to the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Tunisia, and her wikipedia entry cites the article written by Dahmani, and her quote equating Islam and Flat Earth, "in reference to the university thesis that the Earth is flat, it is indignant. How can we accept that the University is not the space of knowledge, scientific rigor, but that of negation of science, the one where science is refused because it does not conform to Islam."
Chokri Mamoghli, appointed Secretary of State for Foreign Trade back in 2008, who now works as an Academic Specialist in Management at The University of Sfax, says, "It's unacceptable, it's inadmissible... The ignominy is reflected on the entire research community, on the Tunisian University, on the credibility of our diplomas, on the recruitment opportunities of our young people in foreign laboratories and even on the country."
So we know all these characters and what they do and where they do it. The only character that remains hidden is the female author of this P.h.D. Thesis. And who is the author of this Thesis? Perhaps Ms. Rivas, tunes us into the source, in the closing paragraph of her article published just a few days prior.
In the article on April 20th, 2017 Ms. Riva alludes somewhat poignantly to why this may be a false narrative, why there is no name of the student, why former NASA employee writes an op-ed in which he discloses that the Thesis was "leaked" (his quotes not mine) to a former President of the Tunisian Astronomical Association, why Flat earth was equated with Islam (reads Other, Enemy, Terrorist), and why the whole thing went down in fuck-no-where Tunisia.
Ms. Rivas writes, "Even today in America (and to us) there are those who doubt that Neil Armstrong has done a really small step for man and one giant leap for mankind landing on the moon. While the truth is that Copernicus and Galileo that has not yet touched the ground in much of the United States. According to a survey carried out three years ago by the National Science Foundation, one in four Americans - we are talking about almost 80 million people - just he does not know that the earth orbits the sun."
The point here is that NASA Truthers are dumb Americans that don't know the earth goes round the sun.
The narrative being sprayed to the Italian public is don't deny the great Scientists, neigh how could Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, and Einstein be questioned? Only by stupid Americans, who don't know the earth orbits the sun, and still doubt that Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.
Similar to how the op-ed piece by Gouessoum appeared identically but under a pseudonym on a website in Greece, and with a link back to its source, an additional double set of blogposts appeared such as this one which was published on April 11th, on an Italian website, called www6.ansa.it, which has a hideous picture of a globe and a measly paragraph carrying the story with no references, which purported to function as a press update, indicating on Aprill 11 in Tunis, the Ministry of Higher Education has officially announced that, "the National School of Engineers of Sfax rejected a thesis based on religious assertions supporting a flat Earth theory." Trouble is, this doesn't look like a press release, it's some anonymous little info-blurb. It has no author and this same article published at www.ansamed.info, on the same date.
Interestingly, ANSA is an anagram for NASA.
On April 13th, on Chess.com, the username MacroBR444 posted a screenshot and the first few paragraphs of the op-ed by Gouessoum, and then below that posted again with a link to the ansamed.info cite as well, and then a third post just two days ago on April 22nd, saying how evolution was bunk. This creates a thirdparty interest bridge between the op-ed blog, the super random and shittily done authorless press release on ansa6.it and ansamed.info, and the idea that Flat Earth thinking is embodied in this narrative.
So, although initially my heart went out to Professor Jamel Touir, who amidst heavy academic volatility, "defends himself by recalling that the Constitution guarantees freedom of thought and academic freedom. Touir claims he is 'the object of a malicious campaign, damaging his reputation and his scientific skills." Now it appears as this PhD Flat Earth Narrative is designed to create a mold for what that type of thinking looks like and how it gets treated in the public domain. E.G. Flat Earth = Muslim = Bad, or Flat Earth = Anti-Evolution = Stupid Flat Earth = No PhD. Notice how Flat Earth wasn't equated with Christianity, which it is frequently today.
The point here is that the constitutional ideational and academic freedom Professor Touir speaks of is exactly what is being cyber-digital-press-info-tainment-warred upon your mind....
A few questions:
Other measurements mentioned in her Thesis are the distance to the stars as 7,000 Km (4,349 Mi), the diameter of the stars as 292 Km (181 Mi) and the Speed of Light as 143,109 Km/s, 88,923 Mi/s, or 320,125,715 MPH.
Here's a list of Articles Jamel Touir's work has been cited in. Unfortunately, his "student" remains unnamed, although they did mention she'd finished top of her class...
Flat Earthers have topped the Acting*, Rapping, and Athletic worlds, perhaps soon we can add the Academic, at no thanks to Tunisia.
* = Speculation that Lenoardo Di'Caprio is a Flat Earther stems from his audience with Pope Francis.