Sorry Brendan but that's just how it is. Get used to it.
The point is, Brendan, that we are special — just not in the way you think we are. The universe was not designed with us in mind (actually it wasn't designed at all, as far as we can tell — but that's probably another blogpost or two ... or a thousand). Nevertheless we are here, and that is one awesome fact.
And what have you got against Carl Sagan?
There you go again: purpose. Imputing teleology is for those who can't cope with the way things actually are. As for conquering, that's a bit presumptuous isn't it? Maybe that's the human historic purpose you're talking about — humanity's cosmic crusade: to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no crusader has gone before, and subjugate the alien masses.
You've got it upside-down and backwards. As for "their drab, down-to-earth belief that there isn’t much point to life" — I'll let you into a little secret: life is what you make it. The point of life is life itself.
Copernicus’s challenge to the idea that the Earth was the centre of the universe was frequently cited by Sagan and his fans as a challenge to the idea that human beings are the centre of the universe – but it was no such thing. Rather, Copernicus wanted to increase human authority over the unknowns of the universe, not teach mankind a lesson about our “insignificance in the great loneliness of space”. In contrast, today’s cod-Copernicans in the Cox lobby are drawn to the cosmos because its weirdness and bigness feeds their drab, down-to-earth belief that there isn’t much point to life.