Aliens vs. Religion

"Just because I'm a scientist, it doesn't mean I can't be religious," Scully says, rolling her eyes. "I thought you of all people would understand that."

Mulder nods. He had wondered before how some scientists claimed to be religious and yet were unable to open themselves to the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms. It wasn't much more of a leap of faith than believing in a higher power or a God. In fact, surely aliens made more sense than a powerful being, an all-powerful Creator. It was idiotic to think that humans were the only intelligent life in the universe.

Whether one believed in aliens or religion, both required faith. So why were so many scientists resistant to the possibility of aliens? Why were they so hesitant to admit any thoughts – even small thoughts – that something else might be out there?

"You've got that look again," Scully interrupts.

"What look?"

"Go on," she gives him permission. "Talk."

"It's just that... well. I'm trying to understand. How can you rule out aliens and still be spiritual? Still be religious? What makes aliens so unlikely and impossible to admit to even considering, yet saying you believe in some higher power is socially acceptable? What's the difference? Why is belief in aliens so ridiculous an idea to everyone?"

He folds his hands over his face, closes his eyes, and exhales loudly.

"I don't know, Mulder. But I know it means something to you, these... aliens. Isn't that enough?"

"I'm not spiritual, Scully. I've always considered myself a man of science. Of investigating."

She nods.

"One day, I'll find proof. And then you'll believe too. You'll have to believe. We can make everyone else believe, too."

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves," Scully tells him, a nervous smile on her face. Her eyes seem duller than usual, narrowed.

He's already way ahead of her, though, and barely thinks past what she says. He rifles through the nearest cabinet, seeking a new case amongst the old, abandoned files. Maybe in one of these files, he will find some of the answers to the questions he has been asking.

"Grab your coat, Scully," he tells her, already on his way to the coat rack, file in hand. He holds it between his lips as he shrugs his own coat on. "The truth is out there, and we won't find it sitting around in here."

Scully sighs, and then follows him. He smiles and heads for the elevator.