Does the Universe Have a Purpose?

This is indeed a "big question" and John Templeton Foundation has ask asked leading scientist and scholars to comment on it. Read their responses here, out of 12 responders; 7 said yes, 3 said no, and 2 are not sure. Here is one excerpt:

"My belief is not the result of a blinding flash of a road-to-Damascus revelation. Nor is it the imprint of a nurturing home environment. Kindergartners in their simplicity ask many profound questions, but the purpose of the universe is rarely among them. Maturing teenagers in their angst may ask, "What's the meaning of it all?" The question is existential, but the answer is subtle. Understanding emerges not in thunder, earthquake and fire, but in the still small voice of the universe itself.

Quite possibly, the purpose of the universe is to provide a congenial home for self-conscious creatures who can ask profound questions and who can probe the nature of the universe itself."
~Owen Gingerich