The distortion of science for ideological purposes has a long history, and the results are generally ugly.
Velikovsky was right after all
Velikovsky dated the Hebrew Exodus at 1450 BC plus or minus a few years. Now we learn from the latest research that the Exodus occurred at 1500 BC and to be shown on the Discover Channel and scheduled to air on August 20 at 7:00 p.m. Central time. The Director is Simcha Jacobovici. Executive Producer is James Cameron, Director of Titanic. A summary of the previous dates is available here
where dates range from 1440 BC to 1290 BC.
In 1950 Immanuel Velikovsky wrote a book which caused an enormous unedifying reaction from science - Worlds in Collision. It described how some 3500 years ago the earth experienced a global catastrophe when it and Venus as well as Mars had near collisions. Venus was interpreted as a recent planet ejected from Jupiter (or Saturn depending on whose interpretation of mythology one accepts) and universally feared by our ancestors. (It might of interest to note that after this "event" most of our ancestors became Venus or planet worshippers and it was only when the Hebrews invented the abstraction of God that paganism was replaced with modern religious practices).
What prompted the writing of Worlds in Collision was Sigmund Freud's publication "Moses and Monotheism" in which Freud suggested that Moses wasn't Jewish. Velikovsky, also a pyschoanalyst, found that strange and set about on research to disprove Freud's thesis by looking at the ancient Jewish and Egyptian texts. Strange indeed when both were Jewish and one insisted that Moses was not Jewish, already.
Velikovsky found some unusual issues especially the fact that at Moses' time in history, and the well documented escape of the Jews from Egyptian bondage, as told in the old testament and rabbinical sources, as the Exodus had no parallel documentation in assumed contemporary Egyptian records. That is, the assumed Egyptian documents did not recognize the Hebrews or Jews, nor did those records mention any plagues or other events in the Hebrew documents.
What Velikovsky did find was an obscure papyrus dated some 800 years earlier that seemed to describe similar natural events recorded by the Hebrews. From this Velikovsky decided that either Egyptian history was artificially expanded or Jewish history was artificially compressed. Given two unambiguous chronological events, Exodus and the arrival of the Macedonian Alexander into Egypt at 330 BC, Velikovsky started to compare the ancient histories. The results of that work was published in various books not detailed here but essentially Egyptian history was expanded. A sticking point with this interpretation is that Velikovsky was recognized as a chronological fundamentalist in that he could not accept any change to Hebrew chronology because there is some solid evidence that this chronology is also problematical, if Professor Gunnar Heinsohn's work is an indication.
Never the less, it now seems that the Hebrew Exodus occurred at about the 15th Century BC.
Velikovsky made other predictions about the physical state of Venus and Jupiter and has been proven correct on those too, so one suspects that we are in for another paradigm change in history.
I am off bush for three weeks so dispatches will cease until I return. I have also had to reluctantly stop writing for Henry Thornton as my present duties as editor of AIG News, as well as the responsibilities associated with full time work in mineral exploration demands too much of my time and attention. It is, after all, a well demonstrated fact that males of the species have difficulty multi-tasking!