A number of people at work have their computers set to run the SETI@home program. The software, if you're not familiar with it, is hugely popular and quite clever. When the computer is not busy with other tasks, it gets raw data from SETI@home (basically electronic static from space) crunches the data to see if it can find messages from space aliens, then passes the data back to the SETI@Home project. So SETI@home basically gets a supercomputer for free.
But my point is that I wonder if searching for space aliens isn't a secular age's alternative to God. I think people need and desire God, but for secularists, looking for mysterious, super-smart and very nice space aliens comes about as close as they can get to God without having to invoke the supernatural.