Lee Smolin in his book, "The Trouble with Physics" first brought my attention to the concept of emergence. This is a very powerful approach to physics and potentially other sciences. Smolin describes emergence as something new is able to manifest itself from something that was previously not present. For example the mind emerges from the brain.
Note by comparison, synergy is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and emergence is when the whole is different from the sum of its parts.
It has been contended that since something cannot come out of nothing, emergence therefore requires that all emerging properties must come from a medium that is complex else it is magic. And we definitely cannot have that in physics, can we? This is a paradox. How can something new emerge when it already exist?To read more, click here.