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April 5th, 2013 (9:16 AM).
Do I believe there is extraterrestrial life? Most Likely. The reasons for this are simple, the same conditions that have developed on Earth could easily also develop on another far off planet. There are millions of planets so why is it so hard to believe another one would have come to be through a similar series of events as Earth? Further more, life itself is incredibly diverse and it is hard to say what is truly necessary for life to survive. The basic human essentials aren't even really needed by the tiniest life forms on Earth, and many of these life forms can survive in incredibly harsh conditions (such as the bacteria we accidentally left on Mars, that survived). So I'd say life could probably appear in incredibly harsh environments and that we don't find life like that here just because those environments don;t exist on our own planet... for all we know extraterrestrial life may not even be carbon based.
Do I believe in extraterrestrial intelligence? This is a slightly more difficult question to answer. Honestly, I think it is quite possible that organisms complex enough to be considered intelligent have evolved on another planet (or moon, or asteroid and so on...) but I would say it is far more likely any alien life we discover will be microbial. Then again, who says intelligent life can't be microbial (read the Swarm. It's a fictional story but its concept of an "alien" intelligence is incredible and has had an impact on my own views due to the accurate scientific content).
The implications? Well several things could happen, wide spread panic, religious complications or alternatively the exact opposite could be true. The most obvious implications are that holes would be poked in the foundations of most mainstream religions. For me personally I see this of little relevance. Religions, just like any other organisation, can adapt and change.
For me personally it would have no effect whatsoever as far as religious beliefs go, I'm neither religious nor an atheist. The only thing that would happen for me was I'd become very, very curious.
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