These are not the “Rocks have minds!” people. They are getting a hearing about the serious problems materialism faces with understanding consciousness:
No good theories of consciousness match up with current science beliefs. The panpsychists, who ask us to consider that perhaps consciousness pervades the universe, force the issue, as put by Philip Goff: “If a general theory of reality has no place for consciousness, then that theory cannot be true.”Denyse O’Leary, “Meet the serious panpsychists” at Mind Matters News
For a long while, Darwinians have been able to get away with claiming that human consciousness evolved to increase our chances of survival. The trouble is, that’s unlikely. The relationship between intelligence and survival is unclear. Or that it is some kind of a “spandrel,” an accidental byproduct of useful qualities. But that’s merely a statement of faith in Darwinism as the total explainer.
It’s evening and the chickens are coming home.
An armchair view of the developing panpsychism controversies:
No, consciousness cannot be just a byproduct. Philosopher Bernardo Kastrup responds to biologist Jerry Coyne’s claim that consciousness could be a mere by-product of a useful evolved trait.
Did consciousness evolve?: A Darwinist responds. Jerry Coyne argues that consciousness is a mere byproduct of useful traits that are naturally selected. But wait… The critical problem that consciousness poses for Darwinian evolution is that there is no survival advantage for subjective first-person existence over objective third-person existence.
Bernardo Kastrup: Consciousness cannot have evolved. How many joules of consciousness would make you a human instead of a chimpanzee? How many more joules of consciousness would make you a genius? Computer scientist and philosopher Bernardo Kastrup argues that evolution deals with things that can be measured quantitatively but consciousness cannot be quantified.
Why would philosophers deny that consciousness is real? Because, says computer scientist Bernardo Kastrup, the materialism they are committed to makes no sense and that’s the best they can do.
Scientific American explores panpsychism… respectfully. This is a major change. At one time, a science mag would merely ridicule the idea of a conscious universe. Note: Make no mistake, panpsychism—as Goff elucidates it—is a purely naturalist view (“nothing supernatural or spiritual”). But, unlike the village atheist, he goes on to ask, but then what IS nature? Matter is all there is? But what IS matter? It turns out, no one really knows.
Panpsychism: You are conscious but so is your coffee mug. Or maybe not? A primer on varieties of panpsychism.
Why some scientists believe the universe is conscious