[ 28/April/21 ]
As every other answer at time of writing this notes, there does not seem to be a “point” to life.
The essences of understanding evolution is seeing that systems capable of replication with degrees of variation in contexts with degrees of isolation and variation, tend, over deep time and in a tiny set of contexts, to develop new levels of complexity (which are necessarily based on new levels of cooperation).
That can be a deeply recursive process.
The evidence seems to be overwhelming (to those who look deeply, and apply the suite of probability analysis tools to all levels of all sets of evidence (including levels of test design, implementation and analysis)) that our form of life is a result of this process operating over some 4 billion years on this planet.
It would take reading and analyzing and abstracting a library that would fill a normal western sized house to get a reasonable handle on the levels of systems, structure, complexity and strategy involved in a reasonable understanding of the full details of the modern synthesis of evolution by natural selection. It is not simple. There is no way to simplify it that leads to clarity. And it does all start from the simple principle in the second paragraph above.
Life is complex.
We do in fact seem to have reasonable degrees of creativity and freedom (despite what many like Sam Harris claim, much as I align with much that Sam says on many subjects, on the issue of freedom we are many dimensions apart – his unquestioned belief in classical causality has blinded him to possibilities present in constrained fundamental uncertainty – and just using Sam as an example – could have picked on thousands).
Any system that did not contain sufficient survival oriented systems is not here. That is how it works.
So we would expect us all to “care” at multiple levels, about surviving (to some degree, in most contexts). The ones that didn’t had a very low probability of surviving. And variation/diversity is an essential aspect of evolution. So it is complex.
The idea of life having a point, can be a useful low resolution model with high survival value in some contexts – but it does not generalize well across all contexts, and it does not survive at higher levels of complexity. Reality seems to be far more complex than any computational entity can compute in any real time, so we all have to use simplified models (our perceptions are likewise necessarily simplified models – so we all exist in our own personal “virtual realities” in a very real sense – the greater the complexity of those the greater the probability of sustained utility over a wide variety of contexts, and that comes with multiple levels of “costs”; hence the tendency of evolution to favor simplicity of models over accuracy in many contexts).