Evolution And Innovation
Four billion years ago, carbon atoms mulled around the primordial soup.
First, they had to form simpler structures like molecules, polymers, proteins, cells, primitive organisms and so forth. Each step along the way opened up possibilities for new combinations, expanding the realm of what was possible, until finally a carbon atom could reside in a sunflower.
Both evolution and innovation tend to happen within the bounds of the adjacent possible, in other words the realm of possibilities available at any given moment.
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