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Dr. Bill Junkin Presents Lecture at St. Andrews Religion and Science Roundtable

Laurinburg, NC, February 21, 2009 --( Many people look to science to explain the causal effects at work in our universe. But even science can not explain everything about our universe such as what are termed “dark matter” and “dark energy” – two expressions that describe matter and energy in the universe that are understood little beyond their name.

More importantly, science can not explain the action of thinking.

“At least one tenth of one percent of thinking can’t be explained by physics,” said Dr. Bill Junkin during Tuesday night’s Religion and Science Roundtable hosted by St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg. “There’s a little bit of thinking that can’t be explained by things having caused them.”

Junkin presented “Probability, Prayer, and Physics” to more than 70 people. Religion and Science Roundtables are hosted twice annually by St. Andrews.

“Thinking can produce changes in the world,” said Junkin. “Since physics can’t exclude these changes that lie outside of the area of physical theories, physics can’t exclude prayer.”

Junkin explored why God created such a universe where a mere thought can change the outcome in a causal universe.

“This means God can act without ‘getting caught’,” said Junkin. “God wants us to make up our own minds and act of our own free will. It is an amazing, causal universe where non-causal thinking and choosing can exist.”

Born to missionary parents in a Japanese concentration camp just a few weeks after Pearl Harbor, Junkin spent about half of his formative years in the Orient. Now at Eckerd College, he spent time at the University of Richmond, Tunghai University of Taiwan and Erskine College teaching physics and serving as an administrator for technology usage.

In 2004, Junkin received the Daniel W. Martin Award from the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith. He has also had 10 of 12 proposals to the National Science Foundation funded. Junkin received his B.A. summa cum laude in Physics and Mathematics from King College and his Ph.D. in Theoretical Nuclear Physics from M.I.T.

“Thinking is a very important part of our world,” said Junkin. “Actual changes to our world are made by thinking. For instance, individuals can decide whether to help or hurt a neighbor. This can not be explained by physics.”

The Religion and Science Roundtables at St. Andrews are associated with the annual John Calvin McNair Lecture on Science and Theology. The McNair Lecture was established by his 1857 will that asked that “the object of which lecture(s) shall be to show the mutual bearings of Science and Theology upon each other.”

Dr. Nancy R. Howell, professor of theology and professor of religion at the Saint Paul School of Theology, will be the guest presenter at the next Religion and Science Roundtable hosted by St. Andrews. She will appear on March 17 at 6 p.m. in the Carol Grotnes Main Room on campus. The presentation and dinner are free and open to the public, but space is limited. To make your reservation, call Tim Van Hooser at 277-5258.


About St. Andrews Presbyterian College
An innovative and bold academic venture to an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship have marked the distinctive character of St. Andrews. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews Online. St. Andrews was formed by the merger on Aug. 29, 1958, of Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to

About the Learning House Inc.
In early 2008 St. Andrews Presbyterian College initiated a partnership with The Learning House, Inc. to assist in the development and launch of its online campus. The Learning House Inc. is a comprehensive online education solutions partner that helps colleges and universities offer and manage their online education programs. The Learning House provides a total online campus solution to each of its clients, including online course development and publishing, learning management system customization and hosting, online program marketing, 24/7 technology support, faculty and staff training, online education infrastructure and consulting. The Learning House Inc. provides online learning services to more than 60 accredited institutions of higher education. For more information about The Learning House, please visit:
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