Our brains have vastly more ability than is needed for survival, most notably the capacity for language and abstract thought.
Father Michael Chaberek helped me (a passionate but amateur Thomist!) understand an issue that perplexed me for years.
Try to read his essay through to the end without getting chills.
Philosopher Phillip Goff is, intriguingly, on the right track but he errs in his subsequent inference to cosmopsychism.
Emergence, as a perceptual surprise, can’t explain the mind because emergence presupposes the mind.