In one of the last chapters of my astronomy book, it talked about a new alternative to religion I call extraterrestialism. Extraterrestrialists believe that in other solar systems, there are these “aliens” (their replacement for deities), and that by sending radio messages with a 21-cm wavelength, we can communicate with these aliens. And if we listen intently with huge radio receivers, we can receive messages from them (although no one has claimed to have done so yet). Millions of dollars of government money have been spent on building transmitters and receivers for their practices, mostly diverted from scientific ventures. Also, this belief system is taught in astronomy classes, and is followed by a majority of scientists, as well as by some members of the general public.
I’ll make two points about this:
1. This absolutely is heretical. The specific heresy is antipodes ism, the belief that there are other races of men, not descended from Adam and Eve. See the charred remains of Giordano Bruno for more details.
2. This really shows how innate the human desire for religion is. So much so that when forbidden by social elites to practice an actual religion, people will make up bizarre pseudoreligions like this, to give them something to venerate.