I don't want this to come across as douchey, so I'll do my best to be kind.
Don't worry about it too much. You can't come across any worse than the fundamentalists I mentioned going to high school with. They called me a Devil Worshipper for suggesting that the Bible wasn't 100% literal.
But, that being said, there have been a lot of "revisions" to Christianity as time passes & technology/knowledge increased to a point where what the bible says, literally, CANNOT be true.
I like to think of it this way: First if we assume that everything in the Bible is 100% the word of God(ignoring the probability that humans have made edits to it since He gave us the original), then I like to think that humanity when we were given His word was like a child asking about where babies come from - intelligent, but without enough experience or frame of reference to make sense of everything he wished to tell us. And just like a parent might, He told us what we generally needed to know, some parts as allegory, others as a simplification of what was actually going on. And just like the child, we're learning and applying our increased knowledge in a way that allows us to fathom more of what he told us.
Generally though, I'm a believer that the Bible has in fact seen edits where humans felt the need. As such, I try to avoid focusing on its specifics and take from it only the most general message, which I like to hope has been left more or less intact.
Those who do take the story of creation literally are denying science for no other reason than what they were taught that what the bible says is, literally, true.
Those, to me, are simply the ones who have not grown enough to see the world we have been given, so they must rely on the simplified and allegorical form. One day they'll grow and learn to accept the amazing wonder of this universe in which we live. Until then, we can only wait for them and gently try to help them along so that they'll one day see the glory right before them.
So, if ET beams down tomorrow & says, "What's up?", I know I can count on the church to say the same thing you said: it's only our souls that were created in his image (even if that isn't what it actually says).
Some will. The Vatican has already suggested that intelligent life out in the universe is not in contradiction with the faith.
Others will say that the aliens are demons sent by Satan to fool us and steal our souls. It'll run the whole gamut. Personally, I think that just because I believe that we could necessarily trust that they have our best interests at heart. I mean, I believe other humans have souls and I really don't trust most of them either.
Funny enough, that's the same argument progressive Christians used when slavery was an acceptable practice.
I'm not entirely certain what you mean by that.