We see Darwin's theory of evolution as central to our understanding of the animate world. At the same time as Descartes identified, we can doubt almost everything but we can't doubt the fact of experience. Yet there is a danger these two central beliefs are irreconcilable. From the point of view of evolution, everything biological has a function in sustaining the species, but researchers claim no function can be found for conscious experience. And if there is no survival benefit to experience why has it evolved?
Should we accept that the theory of evolution and the reality of consciousness are incompatible? Do we need to radically alter our understanding of one, or the other, or both? Or is the core issue that we have no credible theory of consciousness and without it we are not going to be able to make experience compatible with science at all?  

Oxford biologist Denis Noble, consciousness theorist Stuart Hameroff, and philosopher of cognition Antonella Tramacere, ask if evolution and consciousness are incompatible.

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