Option 1: Life is an intelligent force. It is aware of itself and surroundings. It has purpose and methods and it can reveal them upon investigation. Therefore we, as products of that intelligent force, express it and perceive it intelligently. Thus we are capable of being in charge and in concert with that purpose and method. We can literally rule our destiny.
Option 2: Life is not an intelligent force. It is one phenomenon of many others that emerge from the vastness of possibilities of existence in the universe (or the multiverse). While it may be predictable in some ways, to us involved in it and created by it, it is not necessarily ‘rational’ and predictable in the grand scheme of things. To seek to understand life is to run after a mirage. Life does not follow a logic. Life just ‘is’.
Option 3: Life is neither intelligent nor unintelligent. It may seem weird, but the duality of intelligence versus the lack of it assumes a binary setting (either zero or one), when it is actually a continuum: infinite possibilities between two extremes. What we call life is but one form of energy the universe is awash with. Just because our minds – which are only one product of that one energy form called life – perceive the world in terms of duality (sweet and sour, up and down, ‘is’ and ‘isnt’, etc.), it doesn’t mean that the world itself is constructed of that duality, and neither is life.
Option 4: Life cannot be understood by itself alone, because it is a part of a system. To decipher its intelligence, or the lack of it, we need to look at the whole system, and not just one part of it. One cannot comprehend what a car is, and what it does, if one looks exclusively at the engine, or the drive-train, or the body/frame, etc.. The car – what it is, what it does and how it does it – is only the sum of the whole, and is not reducible to any single part of it. One needs to understand and investigate what is life part of, and then look at that wholeness. At that level, the question of whether life is an intelligent force or not may be relevant or irrelevant, but there will surely be a more comprehensive understanding.
Option 5: Whether life is intelligent or not is really beyond the comprehension of the human mind. It is therefore a pointless endeavor for humanity. The mind, as a product of life, is not equipped with the capacity(ies) to extract itself from the picture, look at it from afar, and then reach a verdict about it. Whether there is actually an answer to life’s intelligence question or not, it is not the human mind that is meant to answer it, reach it or receive it. We overestimate the human mind when we think it can outgrow its own inherent constraints–the constraints of life.