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As a 66 yr old retired scientist, I've been pondering these issues over many years, especially on the Nordic Track with my eyes closed and my mind attempting to be empty, but failing miserably...Here's what I've come up with so far about 'purpose'. Not much really.
Perhaps one of the properties of matter, at least matter as it becomes more organized into cells, tissues, organs, creatures, is what we call 'consciousness'. At least in this microcosm of the universe, evolution appears to be in the direction of more organization (for awhile). What is the purpose in this? One evolutionary scientist suggests that this is so we can awake and admire ourselves, creation, the universe. Perhaps. I'm not sure, but one can certainly suggest there is a 'direction' in this 'evolution'. I should limit this observation to life on Earth, as I haven't been authorized to speak for any other 'life' forms yet, lol. What we do with this 'gift' when we stop killing each other, is to explore our surroundings. This 'need to know' is what appears to drive us. Maybe consciousness will get us into too much trouble and be discarded like some colossal evolutionary mistake (of which there are many), but I like to think not. We have this penchant for discovering how things work and the 'purpose' may be revealed in this odyssey. It would be nice to think that the purpose is to discover our 'purpose' and return to the source (whatever that means). Sounds like a copout, but that's all I've got. I'm still thinking....