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Self-styled "world's most famous Egyptologist" Zahi Hawass had agreed to participate with me on 22 April 2015 in what was billed and advertised as "the first open debate between the representatives of two completely different versions of history." Each of us was to give a one-hour presentation, followed by a debate in which the audience would join in with questions. In the event the debate never happened. Zahi refused to accept a coin-toss to decide the speaking order and insisted that I speak first. I agreed to this, despite the fact that the first speaker is at a slight disadvantage in any debate since he does not have the opportunity to hear the other speaker's presentation before giving his own.
Before most of the audience had arrived, I was checking the focus on the slides in my PowerPoint presentation prior to giving my talk and I put up on the screen an image which shows the Orion/Pyramids correlation and the Sphinx/Leo correlation at Giza in the epoch of 10,500 BC. Rightly and properly since the Orion correlation is Robert Bauval's discovery I included a portrait of Robert Bauval in the slide. As soon as Zahi saw Robert's image he became furiously angry, shouted at me, made insulting and demeaning comments about Robert, and told me that if I dared to mention a single word about Robert in my talk he would walk out and refuse to debate me. I explained that the alternative view of history that I was on stage to represent could not exclude the Orion correlation and therefore could not exclude Robert Bauval. At that, again shouting, Zahi marched out of the debating room. Frantic negotiations then took place off stage between the conference organisers and Zahi. Finally Zahi agreed to return and give his talk and answer questions from the audience, but he refused absolutely to hear or see my talk, or to engage in any debate with me. I therefore gave my talk to the audience without Zahi present (he sat in a room outside the conference hall while I spoke). When I had finished I answered questions from the audience. Then Zahi entered, gave his talk, answered questions from the audience and left.
One of the few members of the audience who had arrived early did manage to record part of the scene of Zahi storming out of the conference room -- see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ziu2ygE_Wc.
Likewise during Zahi's Q&A he was asked a question about the 11,600-year-old megalithic site of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey and whether it had any impact on his assessment of the disputed age of the megalithic Great Sphinx of Giza (which I and my colleagues have long argued might be of similar antiquity). Unfortunately it appeared that Zahi was completely ignorant of the existence or implications of Gobekli Tepe, arguably the most important archaeological site in the world, so he was unable to answer the question which he passed on to the moderator who also happened to be an Egyptologist. I did at that point have a brief opportunity to stand up and give my own point of view on Gobekli Tepe and on its implications for the age of the Sphinx -- see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4NnCAZcxHg
I had high hopes for this debate -- that it might bring about some sort of civil dialogue between alternative and mainstream views of history but I was sadly disappointed. Here is a link to a post I made on Facebook 24 hours before the "debate" which will help to put what happened on 22 April into context.
Ancient teeth from Italy suggest that the arrival of modern humans in Western Europe coincided with the demise of Neanderthals there, researchers said.
Modern humans have developed a reputation for being somewhat destructive and keen to separate themselves from the rest of the animal kingdom.
The most complete genetic information assembled on woolly mammoths is providing insight into their demise, revealing they suffered two population crashes before a final, severely inbred group succumbed on an Arctic Ocean island.
Keeping a secret is a bigger burden than you might imagine.
The simple act of thinking can accelerate the growth of many brain tumors.
Volunteers in Sweden were tricked into thinking their bodies had vanished, and the "superpower" seemed to ease social fears
A honeycomb is a very stable structure. If it has a larger hole, however, stability is largely lost. What might a honeycomb look like, which survives external forces in spite of a hole? Such stable types of known constructions might be useful in architecture or when developing new construction materials. So far, the mathematical expenditure required has been very high and did not lead to the success desired in mechanics. Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have now found a new principle that considerably facilitates the mathematical approach and produces promising results with simple means.
WHAT'S on your mind? For £79, anyone can buy a headset that reads the electrical activity of their brain. It's called an electroencephalogram, or EEG, and you can use it to control devices with the power of your mind. But there's a drawback: they don't work when the wearer is moving and they look silly, so no one wants to wear them.
The Italian doctor who has claimed that he could transplant a man’s head onto a donor’s body has said that he could do much of the procedure in less than an hour.
Scientists in China have genetically modified human embryos in a world first that has re-ignited the debate over the ethics and safety of genetic therapies that have the potential to prevent inherited diseases.
Alt: Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos
A team of researchers with members from Belgium, China, Peru and the U.S. has found evidence of bacterial DNA in the genome of the cultivated sweet potato. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes their findings as an example of a naturally occurring transgenic food crop.
It may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that bacteria have an immune system -- in their case to fight off invasive viruses called phages. And like any immune system -- from single-celled to human -- the first challenge of the bacterial immune system is to detect the difference between 'foreign' and 'self.'
Bees may become addicted to nicotine-like pesticides in the same way humans get hooked on cigarettes, according to a new study, which was released as a landmark field trial provided further evidence that such neonicotinoids harm bee populations.
Related: Poor diet may contribute to the decline in British bees
A study that asked a few dozen pairs of twins to brave a swarm of hungry mosquitoes has revealed another clue to the cluster of reasons the insects are more attracted to some people than others: Genes matter.
A trio of researchers with the University of California has found that marmosets learn to wait for others to stop making noise before they vocalize, at a very young age. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Cecilia Chow, Jude Mitchell and Cory Miller describe a study they undertook with young marmoset twins and their parents and what they learned by doing so.
Related: Kermit the Frog Look-Alike Discovered in Costa Rica
Wolves are inherently more tolerant than dogs are, according to new research that helps explain why wolves are so good at cooperating with each other.
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