SBF: Why not make the opposite assumption: that things have awareness unless it's proved that they don't?Because it leads to unrigorous, unscientific thinking. From there, all kinds of crazy propositions can be posited with with no requirement of proof or evidence. Are you familiar with Russell's teapot?
"It is an analogy, formulated by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), to illustrate that the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making unfalsifiable claims, rather than shifting the burden of disproof to others."
"He wrote that if he were to assert, without offering proof, that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, he could not expect anyone to believe him solely because his assertion could not be proven wrong."
Or, as Carl Sagan explained, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."