Purpose in evolution?

In discussing evolution, proponents use language as if there were a purpose and as if there were a sentient being controlling it. For example, they say, "If you were a turtle and you wanted to pass along such and such a trait to your offspring...", or, "If you were a certain gene, what would your strategy be to propagate to the next generation?"

They admit that using language this way is merely a way of conveniently describing things, and not anything more than that; that it's just a convention of speech.

But I find it odd how this kind of language is so convenient, so fitting, so useful. It's almost as if there really is a teleonomical or teleological aspect to evolution, as if there really is an intelligent designer guiding it somehow, that there really is an agency involved somehow.