Consciousness is a material property and the essential component of life. So long as the universe exists life will exist in some form.
I am not aware of any good evidence that any existence of any kind simply ‘popped up’. The last significant idea I know of about life ‘popping up’ was that of spontaneous generation . That has been dismissed. Experience informs us that something does not come into existence from nothing and everything is interconnected.
Existence exposes itself in dualities. Matter has come to be understood as discrete units of quanta. However, time and space is seen as continuous. (I do not understand quantum theory and there may be hypotheses that consider time and space in terms of quanta but I leave them aside as other ideas.)
Another duality would be this consequence. Existence sees itself though assigning consciousness to the living, which views the non-living.
So we, as individuals, are a coalescence of matter whose consciousnesses have combined in a collaboration (I wish I could use the word conscience without the moral connotation). It is a kind of synergy but I use the word to mean cooperation that produces a common end to the benefit of the participants. I totally reject the fairly commonly expressed notion that synergy produces a ‘total that is more than the sum of the parts’. So maybe all our cells have individual consciousnesses. Material evidence of a common ‘drive’ is the identity of the DNA. Our organs could have their own consciousness sharing benefits with its participant cells in particular. Our subconscious could in fact be self-conscious but we are generally not conscious of that. I am drawing a picture of a hierarchy of consciousnesses but on the way down it would not end at the cellular level.