Your idea of a consciousness API makes most sense to me. I hadn’t heard that idea before. My own life experiences and observations to date make me think all living creatures seem to borrow a little consciousness from some kind of pool, with the more conscious creatures borrowing more. From an API point of view, we might think of this as the more conscious beings employing more of the API. Whether the API is black box or “open source” is a great question. Some scientists are open to the possibility that there are no fundamental properties, all can be “Hacked”, and only apply to the universe as we perceive it. Personally I believe our most influential scientists may have done just that. The implications of quantum physics, that we affect the universe just by observing it seem to lead in that direction. There might be more truth than we realise in the old saying; “If we want it bad enough, we can make it happen”. From the API point of view, perhaps this can be thought of as reality being how exactly we employ the API as a collective. New discoveries could just be new ways of employing the API, that more and more people adopt, or there may be some discoveries which were actually rewrites of some part of the API.
Fascinating thoughts, thanks for posting!