The association with “mainstream science” is often weaponized as a way of overawing us and persuading us to stop expecting answers to hard questions.
Favored by the animal-rights movement, the idea is misanthropic, and I would say, implicitly racist.
The potential deleterious consequences to humankind from “nature rights” are beyond measuring — except to trial lawyers.
Thomas Hills argues that we will accord human-style rights to robots because we will come to empathize with them.
He thinks we are just a collection of carbon molecules and certainly of no intrinsic value simply and merely because we are human.