With religion and Scifi getting blended together more and more by folks like our beloved Ron Moore, it's time for a little refresher course on what happens when writers think they're writing about aliens, but are actually writing about deities.

Here are a few obvious giveaways

1. The aliens appear in the form of your dead relatives or give you memories of your dead relatives. (e.g. Carl Sagan's Contact).

This is an obvious near death experience and indicates that the writer is actually talking about gods. As an atheist Sagan couldn't write about religion, so instead he tried to write Science Fiction only to end up writing about religion anyway.

Aliens who do the "This is your life thing" often have other religious features, such as being wholly mysterious but benevolent toward mankind, and have a message for us to follow in order for humanity to progress further.

2. The aliens have come to test humanity, and if we fail the test Kaboom! (e.g. The Day the Earth stood Still)

Again this is a case of confusing gods and aliens, with aliens serving as deities and testing us to see if we live up to their standards.

3. The aliens claim to have appeared on Earth in ancient times as the Greek gods or other powerful deities, including angels or the devil. (e.g. Childhood's End).

This type of alien also usually expects us to obey and or worship them, and wants us to return to a more primitive way of life. Do I really need to say more?

4. Extremely benevolent aliens here to guide us to be better people.

Again a fairly obvious case that the writer has confused aliens and gods. Real aliens are lifeforms with more complex motives. Benevolent aliens as gods are wholly benevolent and their goal is to make us better people.

These are four of the more obvious examples of when writers think they are writing about aliens, but are actually writing about gods. If the aliens are functioning as deities, it's usually a good tipoff that Mr. Science Fiction Writer Man has stumbled into the area of theology, not Science Fiction.