Regarding Aliens... my thoughts follow Monty Python in their song whose lyrics end with something like "Pray that there is intelligent life somewhere up in space because there is bugger all down here on Earth".
Regarding Religion the Bible is probably the most revised book in history. As man learns about the universe around him, more specifically things that the people who wrote the bible clearly got wrong like the age of the universe they make stuff up to patch it.
Like the patches and updates for Windows operating systems.
I am sorry but cosmic time doesn't exist.
A year is the time period the Earth takes to orbit the sun.
A day is defined by the Earths rotation speed.
Before there was Earth and before there were people there were no time measures like years and days, and after the years and days were defined by what was supposedly created.
The suggestion that bible years are actually millions or billions of years doesn't make logical sense. When you are talking to earth worms that have no concept of time you don't talk to them in terms of years that are millions or billions of actual years long before it was born and suddenly now it is alive its years become limited by the time it takes for earth to travel around the sun.
It is like there is no mention of living things before humans and then dinosaur bones are found and all of a sudden there is an explaination for them too. Funny really because if the claims of religion were true and if religion would have scientific use they should have explained about the dinosaurs before evidence of them was found and studied.
Religion provides a moral code that on the surface looks pretty good as long as you actually obey it yourself and don't impose it on others.
Religion claims to offer answers yet in actual practise what it does is fight science tooth and nail. The problem for Religion of course is that Science is provable and actually practically useful.
Religion resisted democracy and many other things the west now holds dear and has been the opposite of assisting with progress for mankind.
The answers religion offers are largely meaningless too. Where do we come from? God made us in a poof of smoke. Well that is helpful to know. Science tells us about how stars and gravity for heavier elements that are necessary for the creation of life... the problem is their answer to why we are here is not popular.
We are here by accident. Trillions of little things all happened in the exact right order and the earth formed and we are the result of a lucky chain of events.
The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs and a large percentage of other life forms was lucky... for us. The collision of a large object with the Earth billions of years ago to form a large single moon that stops the Earths rotation from wandering all over the place making the planet unlivable for complex organisms was lucky too.
The point is that if we weren't lucky we simply wouldn't be here talking and thinking about it... something else would... perhaps evolved from lizards or the Octopus.
I have no problem with people believing in some higher power that will somehow make everything fair and look after you and family and friends when you and they die.
If you want to know why God seems so cruel sometimes... that is simple too. There are two obvious likely hoods. Either God has a specific plan for everyone. You can't help what you do because God controls your every move and every thought. This makes everything good and everything bad gods fault. Doesn't sound very convincing to me. Makes god sound like a real sadistic pr!ck, which is hardly going to make him very popular.
A more plausible option would be he did something to set in motion the creation of the earth as we know it... I doubt he went around personally and manually created things from atoms but it is plausible that he initiated the big bang and then followed the universes progress and interfered here and there to ensure life took hold in various places including Earth.
He might have seen that the dinosaurs had spent hundreds of millions of years just fighting each other (a warning to us perhaps?) and decided to knock a rather large rock from the Oort cloud to send them all to their grave to make room for that small furry clever little fellows.
In a mere two million years humans evolve way beyond any other species had in the previous 4 billion years and he allows us free will. We can do what we want and he will not interfere all the time. This means all the bad things are our fault. Don't blame your god, blame your fellow man and his parents for doing such a sh!t job of bringing them up.
Hope I haven't offended anyone... you are entitled to believe what you want... as am I.
I am not a 15 year old kid and didn't just decide overnight about what I believe so please no conversion attempts either... you might already have noticed how stubborn I can be.