Kantian Naturalist brought up the subjects of autopoesis and organizational closure whereby biological systems maintain a distinctive form while being thermodynamically open. Not only do they achieve a low entropy state but they maintain it over time.
Autopoietic systems are “structurally coupled” with their medium, embedded in a dynamic of changes that can be recalled as sensory-motor coupling. This continuous dynamic is considered as a rudimentary form of knowledge or cognition and can be observed throughout life-forms.
This is not yet the inner conscious awareness possessed by higher animals but it is a step in that direction. Consciousness requires not just having a range of sense organs coupled to an ability to act in response. It involves having a nervous system which can combine the various sense experiences into a meaningful whole.
searches for hidden order in complex, many-body dynamical systems that are drawn from or inspired by biology.
England has said that the appearance and subsequent evolution of life “should be as unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill”. In other words the properties of matter and energy are such that given the right initial conditions life becomes inevitable.
Individual animals from the moment of conception have the potential to mature and become conscious. The arrival of consciousness in the evolution of life on earth is no different. It is present in potential from the beginning.
According to Schrodinger life feeds on negative entropy and we could say that stars and galaxies do the same. The physical universe is set up with an abundance of energy available to make earthly life possible. The way the evolution of the universe is portrayed it can be pictured as a progression of entropy gradients from a very high hot state through the formation of gases and liquids and on to solids. in the beginning the universe was without form, and void. From chaos to cosmos. This is equivalent to the ancient conception of the stages of matter from the quintessence, to air, to water and finally earth.
There is a popular saying that we view life as if we were looking at a tapestry from the back. This is the same idea of the allegory of the cave by Plato. Many processes we see as random only appear to be so because our vantage point only gives us a glimpse of the back of the tapestry and so we don’t see all the connections which reveal the bigger picture.