Until the mid 19th Century, most of us believed that we had a soul. It was what separated us from the animals. This belief could be modified to accommodate slavery, Malthusian economics and to allow dogs into Heaven, but the principle was pretty stable.
A hundred years later, thanks largely to Darwin, and innovations such as quantum mechanics and Auschwitz, such a view seemed childlike, romantic, or in the case of the Clergy, downright dogged. The 'soul' became just another invention of the under-informed, over-excited primitive imagination, like faeries, Valhalla and insidious whispering serpents. We have Science now.
Yet ask a scientist to explain consciousness, the thing it feels like to be, the is-ness of us - the approved proxy for the soul - and it quickly becomes apparent that the problem has been shelved, rather than solved.