The ability of some explanations to solve problems beyond those that they were created to solve.
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Jump to Universality
The tendency of gradually improving systems to undergo a sudden large increase in functionality, becoming universal in some domain. The first Universal System we know of was DNA. All organisms on earth are encoded with the same alphabet of DNA bases, just using different combinations.
There are only two known sources of knowledge creation: Biological Evolution and the thoughts of People. They have some key differences. In the case of human knowledge, the variation is by Conjecture, and the selection is by Criticism and experiment. In the biosphere, the variation consists of mutations (random changes) in genes, and natural selection favors the variants that most improve the ability of their organisms to reproduce, thus causing those variant genes to spread through the population.