I've looked at Star Trek with new eyes lately. I've always thought of it as an interesting science fiction, and I continue to see it that way, but I don't think that everyone else does. Some people apparently think that Star Trek-like multiple intelligent species acting together etc. is probable or even inevitable, at least as far as the existence of other species goes. Is it likely that other intelligent species in other worlds have developed in a similar fashion to our own? Are there hundreds, or an infinite number of intelligent species in the universe?
As a Mormon, we have a fairly clear idea that there may be children of God on other planets, but they would be like us, in the same way that we are like God, and would probably be for all intents and purposes as human as we are.
The writings of many of those that believe in the extraplanetary intelligent species indicates a kind of blind belief that I can't help but find amusing. At least for those that are Atheists. You mean you can't believe in God because you have no scientific evidence of his existence, but you're sure that there are 'others' out there... even though there is no scientific evidence of their existence.
I can hear it right now "well just because we haven't found any intelligent aliens yet doesn't mean they don't exist! The probability of something having evolved in other places is very high."
Honestly I can't prove that God exists in any outright scientific way. I would argue that there are many things that point to his existence, to such an extent that I find it hard to really understand how people can seriously contend that he doesn't exist. To put it in scientific terms, I think there is a very high probability... or in terms I'm more comfortable with, I have faith to act on my belief.
We as humans are unique. We have a poor view of the millions of years of history on this planet, and a worse view of other planets, but up until now there is no other creature known that is similar to us. When we talk about evolution in terms of other creatures, we look at roles filled in a time and place, such as types of predators. It is a cyclical thing where species appear, fill their role, and disappear in history. For us ourselves we talk about cultural, scientific, or technological evolution in terms of a one way street, where evolution is a synonym for advancement. Our evolution in our short history has been linear, ever increasing, building one idea on the last. We are unique.
I guess the deeper question for me is how similar is the guy that believes in God to the guy that believes in extra-terrestrial intelligent life. The one leans on very questionable science (in my opinion) to get a probability, with no assurance of what this foreign life is or does. The other finds a deeper meaning in life, knows where he came from, why he is here, where he is going, has keys for happiness, love, health, and good social relationships, and is a benefit to his society as a result of his beliefs. The one questions, and the other grows and becomes more. For me, there is no question.