If you say you believe space aliens exist, I doubt your friends will be shocked. In a universe aglow with 2 trillion galaxies, you’d be supremely smug to think that Earth alone hosts clever creatures. One 2015 poll showed that 54 percent of Americans feel confident that intelligent aliens are out there.
Maybe that optimism comes from science fiction. After all, if there are no extraterrestrials, there isn’t much of a mission for the Starship Enterprise or job openings for Vulcans.