Like most sane thinking people, I believe that there is life out there in the Universe. If the happy fluke of life can happen on this planet, (with just the right temperature from it’s local star and just the right sized friendly gas giant nearby to protect it from bastard asteroids) then these particulars must have occurred (or will occur) somewhere out there in the really, really big Universe as well.
We have had lots of fun over the years imagining the possibilities of visitors from a distant world. What will they look like? What will they act like? What kind of emotions and reasoning will they have? Will they want to suck our brains out through a straw, or just shove a worm down our throats? And of course, can they be killed with fire?
There is now some serious discussion going on as to how governments should react to a sudden extraterrestrial fleet looming over our airspace. How will the UN act? What will the religious leaders of our planet make of these superior beings, not mentioned in the Bible or the Koran? Man was made in God’s image, so is that thing with the 9 legs 2 faces and unpronounceable name superior to God? Well, probably.
In this Guardian article http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jan/10/earth-close-encounter-aliens-extraterrestrials?intcmp=239 some of these questions are raised, there seems to be a census amongst some scientists that the Earth shouldn’t be caught with its wordly pants down. If Johnny Alien comes knocking on the door one sunny day, we don’t want to have nothing prepared for it but a cup of hurriedly made tea.