Consciousness & Evolution

Daughter: {…}Daddy, do you think consciousness is lethal?

Father: Mmm. Empirically it seems on its way to being so. Human consciousness linked with purpose might turn out to be rather like the tail of the argus pheasant, an extreme elaboration of a particular trait that sends a species into an evolutionary cul-de-sac. But that’s happened before. What is frightening is the possibility that the presence of a creature like us anywhere in the system may eventually be lethal to the entire system.

— Mary Catherine Bateson (Angels Fear)