Consciousness evolves in many non-human creatures not from pond-skippers to a fully conscious humanoid. Nor did humans spring from protista to vertebrates to mammals to Homo sapiens in one easy leap. Time and generations of living cells evolved until humans sit beside a fire with a friendly dog and cat and birds singing in the trees and snakes coming in for a sip of milk or for warmth. Each evolved according to its own patterns, not by magically being called into existence. This process depends on changes over time in each part of the tree of life.
There is no pre-planned purpose to human consciousness. What is, is.
"... he adamantly refutes this and claims they don't evolve, they adapt."
Yes, literalist Xianity requires its followers to be adept with language.
I used to question "survival of the most fit", preferring "survival of the most adaptable." When my understanding evolved to see "most fit" as "most fit in its niche", I stopped my quibbling.
Sometime my "Reply" button works; sometimes it doesn't. My response to this comment is below.