I am a Buddhist here on A2K and Buddhists should not believe (because there is no evidence for it) that the Universe requires humans for that purpose.
Yes. Evolution certainly didn't introduce anything new with ourselves or similar / lesser conscious agents that preceded us, or thrive elsewhere. Every good materialist knows that the universe is a panpsychic mind that continually yields empirical and intellectual evidence for itself (of our outputted anthropic variety no less!) even in the absence of conscious organisms producing their finite perceptions and reflective thoughts about it. Why, when crusty old Uncle Herbert died for a few minutes on the operating table before being revived, he confirmed what awaits us when we deteriorate back into the normal, background state of what brainless matter is like:
"What the #### are these ######## afterlife believers talking about?! I didn't experience any ####ing thing whatsoever. Blank, nada, zero. I didn't even have cognition of there being nothingness. Completely missing manifestations and understandings of any kind, whether visual, auditory, tactile, descriptive, etc."
"But sir, isn't that just because your memory system didn't record anything during that stretch? You might just have missing time when trying to recall that interval...."
"What the #### is the difference? Absence is absence. The whack-a-doodles could claim two pink elephants were dancing or a whole omnidirectional macro- and micro- panorama of the cosmos could have been exhibited: 'Golly gosh, Herb, unfortunately you can't remember the marvelous experience of death slash dissolving back into the rest of overall being as it usually is." Even when all means of sensory and conclusion-generating evidence is gone from the opposite condition, I get treated to hearing about this speculative #### which was transpiring in nothingness once back here in alive and conscious land."
Well, perhaps Uncle Herbert isn't the best representative after all for fawning over all the glorious proof the universe has for itself when minus the most developed stages and emergent innovations of polycellular biotic entities. But by damn, there's always some classic faith or internally conflicting metaphysical ideology to to set us straight about it.