25-Feb-87 1304 MST Sb APnj 02/25 Teaching Creationism By NORM HEIKENS Carbondale Southern

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25-Feb-87 13:04 MST Sb: APnj 02/25 Teaching Creationism By NORM HEIKENS Carbondale Southern Illinoisan CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) -- Tim Hastings believes teaching creationism in public schools is so important that he has resorted to publishing a new series of textbooks. Hastings has developed 12 books with titles ranging from "Dinosaurs & the People Who Knew Them," which contends that a worldwide flood best explains the extinction of the beasts, to "The Bible: In The Fiery Furnace," which purports the Bible to be archaelogically accurate. Materials for the books are reprints taken from a tabloid newspaper Hastings started nine years ago called "Issues and Answers," which contains stories about controversial subjects. Other topics include the impact of the Bible on American historical figures, and how evolutionary thinking allegedly has ties with the occult. High school students are encouraged to use the books, all published under the umbrella organization called Student Action for Christ Inc.-The Caleb Campaign, as reference material for papers, speeches and in-class discussions. "We have to go out and plow the ground ourselves, but we find people very receptive to this message," Hastings said from his Herrin office. "We hope the Bible again will be accepted as the standard for truth in education." About 500 of each book from the Caleb series, named after an Old Testament character, are sold each year, and circulation of "Issues and Answers" is 16,000 a month. His strategy is to place the newspaper in the hands of school teachers, who he hopes will use the books in classes. Teachers and parents also are introduced to the aterial through conferences the group holds. "Issues and Answers" is passed out by church youth groups in most large Southern Illinois towns, as well as such metropolitan centers as Denver, Chicago and Los Angeles. Some school administrators have asked students not to distribute the material. In Waynesboro, Pa., students are suing their school for not allowing distribution of the material. While students in some Illinois communities have been asked not to pass out the newspapers, Hastings said there have been no legal challenges. Hastings, who also teaches a high school journalism class, is driven by a belief that creation curricula are an answer to alleviating many of the world's ills, including teen pregnancy. "If we look at ourselves as the result of evolution from ancestors in which amoebas reproduced at random ... the inference that can be made is that, `why can't we have as many sexual partners as we like?' " he said. When questioned whether adding the Bible to curricula would dampen scientific advancement, he points to famous scientists, including Galileo and telegraph inventor Samuel Morse, whom he said were creationists. Copyright 1987 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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