(#) a term I coined.
(1) sentience at a level or capacity beyond the human.
(2) traditional conceptions of deities are sufficient but not necessary for supersentience.
Functionalism - the thesis that mental states are:
(1) identified by what they do rather than what they are made of.
(2) determined by the role they play or the system of which they are a part.
(#) not to be confused with computationalism or symbolic computationalism which have been subsumed by connectionism (neural networks and multi-layer peceptrons, for example) which is nevertheless a kind of functionalism.
Structuralism - the thesis that the nature of objects are:
(1) to be identified with relations - understood as eliminativism about objects or the thesis that objects reduce to relations.
(2) entities whose essence (character or nature if you prefer) is determined by and identified with the relationships within which they stand.
(#) not to be confused with social structuralism. This is ontological structuralism.
Superorganism - the thesis that certain colonies of specific animal species:
(1) are an organism.
(2) operate with an emergent consciousness, hive-mind, or collective decision-making capacity greater than the sum of the individual, limited, conscious or decision-making animals that constitute the colony.
Structuralism may provide a more uniform, fundamental, explanation for functionalism.
Network architecture and the concept of "wrapping" help to shed some light on emergent orders of conscious capacity in nature and the world.
Arguably, any sufficient network wrapping (comprising or having a constituent) consciousness network or system would itself be conscious. Call this transitivity.
Each of the defined concepts above are accepted within the specific scientific communities within which they initially were derived - the pieces haven't been put together - the interconnections haven't been drawn.
Increasing evidence exists to show that birds and other language-capable animals are far more intelligent than previously thought and are capable of understanding or at least being responsive to the languages of other animals within an ecological biome.
Supersentience already exists on Earth.
The noosphere or gaia hypothesis may be viable, legitimate, hypotheses or theories capable of empirical verification.