Is there a direction that we are heading in? The history of life's evolution would suggest from the first progenitor, a single celled organism, a multi-celled organism, specialized multi-celled organism, multi-cell with nervous system (eventually mammals)...
From animals now, we have consciousness & cognition. Are we actually, at this point, FRACTAL examples of those specialized celled organisms -gaining a nervous system (ie communications, and group thoughts and direction).
So yes, I do think there's a NATURAL direction WE SHOULD be heading. We are mad children born without parents, and we're about to dust ourselves off and start our great work (the lucid ones). Now, if one does not rise (strays and brutes), and continues to wallow -they would in effect be left behind. That's up to them.
On #2, the best purpose of all. Truthfully there is no reason for YOU to be here (another unsavory truth to the religious). But you are here, and you're asking the big questions. Big questions one may think have big answers, but this one does not. Finding 'A' purpose with that beautiful big-brain is the best purpose of all. You can choose to do something besides just live.
I would like to believe in spirits and ghost -but as of now I can not... BUT, I do have a definition for a 'soul' that matters while we're alive and even a bit after we're dead. This "enrichment of the soul" is all that matters since you can't take anything with you. It was important to Socrates and it's important to me now that there's reasoning behind it.
therefor 'good' matters. 'positive direction' matters.
Then let me ask you: Is the enrichment of the soul, or the natural direction, subject to #2, that it is merely one such purpose that you have chosen; or is #2 subject to the natural direction and enrichment of the soul, such that we should all work towards this positive direction you describe out of our own will?
There was indeed a trend (not direction) at the very beginning of life molecules, to more complex structures. But that trend as long passed, today evolution happens in every single direction, it's all about niche occupation/optimisation. Even Homo sapiens sapiens is physically lesser than Homo sapiens neanderthalis, body mass and brain mass.
yes, evolution is mostly "refinement towards specialization" and we are not any "more evolved" than a dog. cognition & consciousness however are new -like wings at one point.
Our cognition is not better, just different. And consciousness, as another poster has hinted at under the guise of free will, be well be an illusion. Studies have demonstrated that even when we think we're deciding to turn left or right for example, our muscles moved before we are aware of making that decision. It is our subconscious ruling the game. I used to be a "cogito ergo sum" person, many years ago, when I was a teenager, I no longer agree with that proverb.
John, interestingly said.
And this: "Quantum Physics has fished out some interesting results such as the observer affects reality simply by observing."
Does Quantum Physics (or anything else) fish out the reverse, that the act of observing reality affects the observer?
When enough people observe politics, politics changes. Does observing politics change the observer?
There is no anthropoligical, archeological, paleontological, biological evidence for any of your statements:
1-there is no evidence that humans beyond 1000 years all procreated
2-there is no evidence that purpose was pondered about before a couple of thousand years ago. The modern Homo sapiens sapiens has been genetically similar since 50,ooo yrs
3-questions stops making since at the first WHY, only religious education has "big why's". Science is never about "big why's", it's about small how's. Witnessing and observing is a fine way to grow through life, if we ALL lived like that, there would be no shame about the actions of humanity.
Whew -I had to make sure I had my facts straight. I DO -and here they are.
Origin of Life: 3,500,000,000
Origin of Primates: 60,000,000
Group containing humans and apes begins to appear: 23,000,000
Earliest hominids (bipeds) appear in Africa: 7-6,000,000
First Australopithecus: 4,200,000
Earliest possible use of sharp stone for cutting: 3,400,000
Earliest documented manufacture of stone tools: 2,600,000
Claimed "early Homo" fossils appear: 2-2,500,000
First Homo of modern body proportions in Africa: 1,600,000 - 1,900,000
Hominids first leave Africa (Dmanisi): 1,800,000
First stone tools made of deliberate shape: 1,760,000
Homo erectus appears in Asia: 1,700,000 - 1,600,000
First Homo fossils in Europe: 1,400,000 - 1,200,000
Earliest evidence of domesticated fire in hearths: 790,000
Homo antecessor appears in Europe: 780,000
First Old World-wide hominid, Homo heidelbergensis: 600,000
First evidence of Neanderthal lineage in Europe: >530,000
Earliest blade tools in Africa: 500,000
Earliest wooden spears, hafted tools: 400,000
First evidence of constructed shelters: 400,000 - 350,000
Earliest prepared-core tools: 300,000 - 200,000
Origin of anatomically recognizable Homo sapiens in Africa: ~200,000
First possible bead work: ~100,000
Earliest engravings, heat-treatment of silcrete: ~75,000
Exodus of cognitively symbolic Homo sapiens from Africa: 70,000 - 60,000
First modern humans in Australia: 60,000
First modern humans in Europe, flower of art and symbols: 40,000 - 30,000
Extinction of Neanderthals, Homo erectus: ~30,000
Homo floresienses extinct: 14,000
Plant cultivation and animal domestication begins: 11,000
"only religious education has big why's" - I disagree, the philosophers, 400BC, asked the big why's. Theology replaced rationality about 300-400AD.
zero +/- 500, yep. I'm not only looking at Christianity here.
I love zombies! Just kidding.
I don't reproduce myself John.
Educating others would be a purpose of sorts.