Today’s Exponent contains a response to my column about being an atheist at Purdue. I think it’s attempting to refute what I said, but…uh, yeah:

Claims already have extraordinary proof

Jennifer McCreight (Guest commentary, “Non-theists, you are not alone on this campus,” Wednesday), You quoted Carl Sagan in the last line of your article about the Society of Non-Theists, stating that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” You’re a science major, Jennifer. Take a look at the universe you live in. I’d say there’s some pretty extraordinary evidence all around you.

Josiah Maas
Sophomore in the College of Science

I really wish I could write in a reply without seeming like a total jackass, but I probably can’t. I’ll let some other non-theist defend me. But since this is my blog and I have the right to be as snarky as I want, here we go:

I find it amusing that you’ve failed to provide a single piece of this “proof”

Josiah Maas (Letter to the Editor, “Claims already have extraordinary proof,” Monday), You say that the universe I live in is extraordinary evidence. You’re a science major, Josiah. You should have learned that science is based on repeatedly testing hypotheses and gathering data, not letting emotional reactions or arguments from ignorance overwhelm rationality. In fact, what we’ve seen when investigating the universe is an overwhelming amount of data showing that natural processes shape everything from the formation of stars to the diversity of life on earth. The supernatural has zero evidence (though if you claim to have so much, would you please let me in on this little secret?). Maybe if you start paying more attention in your science classes, you’ll understand this concept. It’s okay, you have a couple more years until graduation.

Jennifer McCreight
Senior in the College of Science