From Marcelo Gleiser at NPR:
To me, what’s fascinating is that consciousness is what makes the universe exist. Just think that before humans came to be, and discounting other potentially smart creatures out there, the universe was just doing its thing, expanding, stars being born and dying, entropy increasing overall. But as matter organized itself into living things in our planet, it eventually reached a level of complexity that allowed for self-awareness, the ability to know that thyself is a self.
This emergent picture of animal consciousness is the one that is meaningful to us, as it places humans back in the driver’s seat of existence. We will never know all things about the universe, but we have the amazing capacity to always learn more. If the cosmos had us as a plan, it surely hasn’t told anyone so far. But now that we are here, everything is different because we are able to figure things out on our own. This surely makes my day. More.
Gleiser seems to confuse existing with being perceived, but maybe that’s big in cosmology now.
See also: Cosmologist: Parallel universes are pushing physics too far?
What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness