Jimmy Hughes came up with that sock theory years ago. I once mentioned it to him. He didn't laugh because he's a serious guy.
I'm with Koestler. The quotation I copied above was from the end of a review of about 3,000 years of astrophysics, on pages 544/5. His view was that dogma is a roadblock to reality and understanding, or if you think you know everything you'll never discover anything. He quotes the classic example Plato's description of the universe (planets going around in perfect circles) that was taken as dogma, and it took 2,000 years for any progress to be made (by Kepler proving otherwise) because no one could see, or was allowed to see, its fallacies.
I believe in aliens because the probability of life not existing in the rest of the universe is likely infinitely small. I do not worry that they will come here are take me to another galaxy.
I do agree that trying to rationalise everything, as Koestler describes, can result in losing sight of reality. I think that is something that the great American Richard Feynman was very much aware of. When you see the pictures from the James Webb telescope, I ask why anyone would want to reduce the beauty of the universe to a set of mathematical formulae and not appreciate that it is such a hopeless task. I hope the scientists can see the beauty of creation in those images rather than just a fact-check of their last 50 years of scribblings.
I believe in a chaotic universe, and a lot of discovery by accident rather than design, whether the laws of planetary motion or the discovery of penicillin.