For generations, scientists have scoffed at the idea of God as a silly superstition, and yet if you ask these same scientists whether they believe in life on other planets, many would say something like “of course, when you consider the sheer numbers of habitable planets in the universe, the odds of alien life is extremely high”.

But you can’t calculate odds just from knowing the denominator; you also need to know the numerator, and so far we have only one example of life emerging from nothing (biogenesis): Earth. And until we find a second example of biogenesis, we don’t know if it’s a once in a solar system event, or a once in a galaxy event, or even a once in a universe event.

Scientists will say life began early in Earth’s existence, so this suggests it’s a common event. But the mere fact that Earth has intelligent life means it must have started early enough for our complex minds to have evolved, so the fact that life started early on Earth is just another way of saying complex life exists on Earth. Still tells us nothing about the probability of complex or even simple life existing anywhere else.

Since we have no way of knowing whether the denominator is small enough to make alien life probable, and it’s only one of two possibilities, there’s a 50% chance of alien life.

Thus agnosticism is the only intelligent answer to the question of life on other planets.

What about God? We have no way of knowing whether whatever events caused the universe did so intentionally, so perhaps there’s also a 50% chance of God existing.

So even though belief in life on other planets is considered way more rational than belief in God, both are equally probable. And yet, people who believe in alien life are almost certainly more intelligent on average. Probably because alien belief is generally arrived at through reasoning while theism is arrived at through faith.