Catching up on last year's skipped reading, I just came across a quote about "emergence" that told me I need to re-activate my blog:
Illustrating the concept of emergence, S. Rasmussen is quoted:
"[Hydrogen is] a colorless, odorless gas, which, given enough time, turns into people."
(Science Vol 327, p. 1632; http://www.sciencemag.org/, Sept. 25,2009 - report about the conference: Emergence in Chemical Systems 2.0, Univ. of Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska, 22 to 26 June 2009; see www.math.uaa.alaska.edu/~afkjm/chemicalemergence/index.php)
Very good. Something similar could be said about carbon... by itself, it exists commonly as coal -- but factor in a lot of time, pressure, and heat, and the result is quite a bit different.