Ben Stein's documentary Expelled, about the censuring of scientists who speculate about intelligent design, was on cable this weekend. I had it on while I was doing some work on my laptop. Toward the end of the film, Stein interviewed the famous atheist Richard Dawkins, and asked him how life began. Dawkins conceded that no one knew, but said it was possible that some advanced civilization elsewhere in the universe had initially seeded life here on Earth1. Stein was too satisfied with this admission of the possibility of some form of intelligent design by Dawkins to ask the more interesting follow up questions. For example, if some alien civilization seeded life here, who seeded life there -- or is it turtles all the way down2?
1This idea was dramatized, in Epcot Center fashion, in one of the favorite movies of occasional commenter Y./The Rivers.
2You could raise the same objection about theistic or deistic explanations, as Bertrand Russell did in his quote on that Wikipedia page, but the point -- and the paradox -- is that atheists still end up faced with incredible stories to explain enduring mysteries. How fun can Flying Spaghetti Monster mockery be when your alternative explanation is space aliens?