Evolution seems to be commonly associated with genetic change which leads to the improved reproductive success of a species. This concept has itself evolved with the work of Richard Dawkins and others to possibly include ideas, cultural traits, or even business practices. In this question, I'm making the assumption that either genes, memes, and ideas evolve and produce reproductive success, or they do not.
A key tenet of Darwinian evolution is the random change of genetic material minimally in response to an environment. These changes in genetic make-up can either support reproductive success or reduce reproductive success, but only in interaction with the environment. For example, thick white fur may not be as useful for making babies in the desert.
But ideas are not always random responses to environmental affects. Ideas, cultural traits, or business practices are developed in an attempt to improve reproductive success. They are purposeful.
Is it correct then to claim evolution now, with humans, has a purpose — and therefore a direction?
Edit: In the original phrasing of the question I jumped too quickly from genetic evolution to 'memes' and tie in the word 'purpose'. One idea that generated the question was that the 'purpose' of evolution, for both genetic material and 'ideas-memes' is reproductive success. The goal of evolution is 'more babies.' These can be living babies or ideas.
But as I thought a little futher the 'idea' that memes can evolve and succeed - loosely a la dawkins - also seemed to support the genetic idea. So even though memes do not 'evolve' under the same pressures as genes, they do reproduce in a kind of success pattern of continuing the spread or use of the original idea. I think the question this is leading to: are 'memes' now a 'factor' influencing the genetic evolution of humans like 'hot, cold, wet, dry' were millions of years ago? If so, is evolution still 'random' or directionless - apparently directionless? Then to continue the question, returning to genes, is selecting traits for 'success' another 'influencer' off evolution?