The argument that everything in nature can be reduced to physics was killed by the philosophical Zombie, as Prudence Louise explains:
At Medium, Prudence Louise, a writer on philosophy and religion, explains that, in 1994, philosopher David Chalmers killed the Zombie in cold blood, igniting “a zombie apocalypse.” Sounds like an unusual role for a philosopher.
And the Zombie? : “The philosophical notion of a “zombie” basically refers to conceivable creatures which are physically indistinguishable from us but lack consciousness entirely (Chalmers 1996)” — Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy Louise asks us to picture that:News, “Why physicalism is failing as the accepted approach to science” at Mind Matters News
Of the three alternatives [to physicalism] Louise lists, panpsychism seems to the one many scientists are gravitating to. Instead of “nothing is conscious,” they now think everything is conscious. Just recently, prominent biochemist James Shapiro titled a paper “All living cells are cognitive.” And prominent neuroscientist Antonio Damasio offered that viruses have some type of intelligence. Other well-known science achievers argue that electrons have a rudimentary mind.
In response to criticism from physicists Sabine Hossenfelder and Sean Carroll, philosopher Philip Goff points out that panpsychism is not in conflict with physics. It offers a simpler view of physics than dualism, with fewer gaps than materialism.
Essentially, panpsychism offers a way for scientists to address human consciousness, as currently understood, without explaining it away as an illusion. It would allow us to say that if Zombie-Jane existed, she would be missing something critical that Jane has (and so does everything else, to some extent). Whether that makes panpsychism a better explanation of reality than idealism or dualism is a separate question. Like all points of view, they have their own issues but the Zombie isn’t one of them.
Takehome: Physicalism which depends on a mechanistic view of the universe, was challenged by observer-dependent quantum mechanics. Then the Zombie started walking…
You may also wish to read: Theoretical physicist slams panpsychism Electrons cannot be conscious Sabine Hossenfelder’s view because they cannot change their behavior. Hossenfelder’s impatience is understandable but she underestimates the seriousness of the problem serious thinkers about consciousness confront. There is a reason that some scientists believe that the universe is conscious: It would be more logically coherent to say that you think the universe is conscious than to say that your own consciousness is an illusion. With the first idea, you may be wrong. With the second idea, you are not anything.