The problem with these folks is that they think consciousness is something special. Pure anthropocentrism. We have it so it must be important.
Cogito ergo superbus. I think therefore I am arrogant.
Consciousness is an optimization for an otherwise blind consequence of the entropy. All resources must be consumed for the universe to get to its eventual state of cold, gray nothingness (and then a dark energy big bang so it starts over again).
All over the universe, oxidation is a way to consume the energy of a system with a particular chemistry. On Earth, we do that with iron in our blood. Organic metabolism is the local innovation to make sure that our neck of the universe does its part for entropy. Consciousness evolved to supercharge the effort.
I'm sorry to offend all the 'in god's image' people but we are merely bags of chemicals that coagulate into lumps for the purpose of creating more bags of chemicals to more thoroughly reduce all that we touch into cold, gray nothingness.
Our consciousness has no more importance than our ability to shit on everything beautiful. Both are pointless consequences of our mission to consume all resources. One increases consumption. The other wrecks what it touches. I'll leave it to you to decide which is which.
Me? I've always been impressed by fusion. Everywhere you put enough matter, it organizes itself into an energetic system that makes human efforts to at wasting energy seem trivial.