the origin of entirely new properties at certain critical stages or levels in the course of evolution, as multicellular organisms, sexual reproduction, or nervous systems.
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British Dictionary definitions for emergent evolution
philosophy the doctrine that, in the course of evolution, some entirely new properties, such as life and consciousness, appear at certain critical points, usually because of an unpredictable rearrangement of the already existing entities
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012