No, Consciousness is not recently present, as if it's something that only humans have and that it just suddendly popped aware because the humans arrived recently. Humans never arrived. Humans are ''dream characters'' they have no actual location or reality in and of themselves.. they are empty dream images, they are known concepts, they are temporal experiences of that which never arrives (Imageless Consciousness)..think of consciousness as the empty space in which a temporal object is known to exist as a concept in contrast to the non-conceptual space it's appearing in. The object is the conceptual fullness within the non-conceptual emptiness. These two apparent opposites are identical mirror images of each other...any distinction is purely mental/imagined.
That space / consciousness is all there is. It hasn't recently just appeared, space cannot appear. In fact space is just another conceptual idea, it too does not exist except as concept, all concepts are known as and when they arise as an idea one with the knowing which is not-knowing consciousness in the same instantaneous NOW ...NOW only ever happens ONCE ONE WITHOUT A SECOND - NOW IS INFINITY FOR ETERNITY...paradoxically NOW never happened.
Consciousness is just another word for God or Emptiness or Nothingness or NOWHERE NOWHERE that just IS always here now ever present. The present can never not be present. Presence cannot experience it's own absence, nor can it experience it's own presence because it's all there IS infinitely for eternity...There is no knowledge of never not here, there is no such thing as never not here, there is only never not here... as this direct instantaneous immediate ever present HERE NOW NOWHERE...THIS Not-knowing known consciousness.
Nowhere arises as both inanimate and animate things...aka known conceptual images of the imageless consciousness. That which is KNOWN cannot know, do or be anything at all for it's a dream character, each character has about as much substance as any dream character, they are simply empty images of the imageless consciousness.
Nothing predates Consciousness because Consciousness is all there is which is the totality of all manifest reality one without a second. Everything and Nothing the same one is here right now...aka the not-knowing known.