Professor Emeritus of Egyptology and Assyriology


I was born and grew up in the region of Flanders in Belgium. I studied ancient Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern languages and civilizations at—in chronological order—the Catholic University of Leuven (now KU Leuven, presently the  most innovative university in Europe), the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the Eberhard-Karls-University in Tübingen. In between Jerusalem and Tübingen, I served for eight months in the Belgian military, some in (West) Germany, and rounded off that year by working and living at a Benedictine abbey in Bruges. From 1985 to 1990, I completed my doctoral studies at Yale, where I also taught as a Senior Lector in Coptic and Syriac (1989–1991). I have authored, or co-authored as editor, eleven books, and have written more than two hundred articles and reviews on topics relating to ancient and medieval manuscripts, languages, and history, with primary focus on ancient Egyptian civilization. Efforts are made to make everything available to all on www. Stay tuned. My recent book "Prolegomena to the Complete Physical and Mathematical Theory of Rational Human Intelligence in Boolean, Lagrangian, and Maxwellian Mode" is presented as a complete blueprint of Boole's cathedral. It will take a few decades to build the cathedral in its entirety, as cathedrals are wont to, and probably a little if not a lot more to match everything to the precise activity of neurons in the human brain. Make no mistake: I have it all figured out (really?), and by that I mean the final laws of rational human intelligence. And I would like to add: So much of AI is just a total fraud. At this point, I am looking for an Engineering department that might provide me with a playroom with hard drives and electrical conduits, and such, so that we can build the entire operating system (OS) of the human brain in an electro-mechanical platform. Reconstructing the true biochemical platform of the OS of our brain does not seem feasible at this time. Still, the physics and mathematics of the brain's OS can already be formulated in full (really? yes, really). Nothing is more fascinatng to the current state of science than the fact that we all carry around in our heads every single day one (1) specimen of the brain weighing maybe two three pounds and we have absolutely no idea how exactly it does what we want it to do for us. How very strange! Is there anything more fascinating and mysterious about the human condition? I invite anyone to touch their skull for a minute and realize what the throbbing and pulsing brain does for us. It sucks up as much as a quarter of the body's energy, I think I read somewhere.

I have been at Brown since 1991.

Brown Affiliations