In the "Great Causes" discourse (DN 15), two factors of dependent origination are dependent on each other: name and form is dependent on consciousness, and consciousness is dependent on name and form. Because they are mutually dependent, the mind does require certain brain states for consciousness, and the brain requires consciousness for certain behaviors. Because consciousness is not totally independent from form, it seems it would be influenced to some degree by evolution. That is why in my quote above I used:
Buckwheat wrote:as far as consciousness is a "product" of the brain
"as far as" being a qualifier (it might not be totally dependent on the brain). I should have used "dependent on" instead of "product of".
Anywho, my main point here is that consciousness is not totally independent of the body, and therefore not totally independent of evolution. Most animals that are claimed to have consciousness are relatively modern mammals, with a particular brain structure (neocortex) that seems to play a large role in consciousness.
It seems presumptuous to assume that consciousness is completely outside the realm of the physical and thus evolution, just as it seems presumptuous to assume that consciousness is completely a byproduct of brain evolution. We really don't know enough about consciousness to make assertions in this realm, unless you happen to be a noble one.
I am always skeptical when a person posits a force outside the realm of form / physical existence. I am almost certain there are forces within the physical realm that we don't have an inkling of understanding, but they are still very physical (meaning they interact with matter/energy) If they don't interact with matter/energy in some way or another, then how would they affect our lives at all? Remember, consciousness is dependent on name and form, just as name and form are dependent on consciousness. The universe is mysterious enough without positing outside forces.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.