Why in the world did nature suddenly produce and select consciousness? Its usually a bad idea to begin with a heavily begged question. It might make a more compelling argument if you were to demonstrate the reality and significance of this assertion before explaining it away.
Interesting. What part do you believe that I question-begged? Do you believe that consciousness is unreal? Do you believe that evolution is false, or that some other mechanism produced consciousness? What part did I assert?
I don't think it makes a lot of sense to suggest that consciousness was an evolutionary adaptation - brain size maybe, consciousness no. Aside from the problem that there is no unambiguous definition of consciousness, I think it's a bit like asking "why was the humanoid body form selected for?" Well it wasn't - it is just the result of a sequence of adaptations of parts, not of the whole. But if one associates consciousness with brain size, one can certainly ask the (more relevant) question why was a large brain selected for. I don't think there is a clear answer to this question, but there are clues that it may have been a pre-adaptation. From what I have read, it is in principle genetically simple to bake a larger brain by mutating a single DNA promoter. If this happened, it isn't clear that it would have produced immediate fitness benefits, and therefore it may not have been an evolutionarily driven adaptation initially. There is some evidence that brain size started swelling long before we begin to record the cultural effects of it, in terms of cultural artifacts.
The part about consciousness being sudden. Before I'd hazard a guess at an answer to the question I'd ask "Was it sudden?" first. And, "What has it's velocity of production to do with the modularity of it (consciousness)?" second.
Daddy Cool; way to raise the bar. Kudos.