This semester, in order to graduate, I'm in a ridiculous class about the "adaptation and evolution of biobehavioral systems." Funny thing is, its a psychology class, though the professor has yet to mention the word "psychology" other than when describing the course title. But I digress...
The little squirrely, French-accented professor loves asking the class questions and having students raise their hand, indicating what proportion of the class agrees/disagrees with what he just asked.
On the first day, he asked questions like "Is life abundant in the universe?" and "Is there intelligent life outside our galaxy (or even in our galaxy)?"
To my utter shock, the majority (save myself and two other girls) raised their hands confidently in support of life outside planet Earth. When I didn't raise my hand (and decided to wear my bright yellow, eye-catching cardigan. Curses.), he promptly asked me why I didn't think that. I would like to think I appropriately articulated what I was thinking and said I think life, especially intelligent life, is unique.
I was flabbergasted about how many people truly and confidently believed there was life outside of Earth. Then, I read this:
Initially I thought it was radiculus that people would a) want to believe in aliens and b) have enough faith in the idea to do so. Then after reading this, I realized we all, regardless of belief, have a deep longing for something greater than ourselves and greater than our world.
"The public wants to believe in aliens (or extraterrestrial intelligence, ETI), some say, because they believe that 'ETI comes from 'utopian societies which are free from war, death, disease or any other... mid-20th century problems' and could 'help mankind overcome its problems.'" (Howard A. Smith, "Alone in the Universe", American Scientist, Volume 99)
As outlandish as it seems, the desperate desire for intelligent life in the universe is actually a distorted longing for the most intelligent, loving, wise and just Being that ever lived.
(Side note: I'm still exploring if it even matters theologically that there is one form of intelligent life in the universe, but I feel like the Bible wouldn't leave out that pretty major detail (if intelligent life did exist elsewhere). That's definitely not the point of my discourse here, however.)