Originally Posted by Steve Jordan
Balderdash, man! The human brain is capable of leaps of insight and intuition that extend beyond the raw data fed into them. That's what makes us more than meat calculators. If Man wasn't capable of divining something beyond the facts around him, we'd still be cowering in cold, dark caves... check that. We wouldn't have survived at all.
Every individual is capable of original ideas. At this point, the only thing that limits "originality" is the purely statistical liklihood that one of the other almost-seven billion people on the planet may have thought of it first.
Steve, you're both right. The human brain does make leaps but it has to have something to leap from. Two people may have exactly the same inputs today with only one making such a leap but that one has had other inputs all his life which play in the leap.
As a writer you might look at a general situation in society and create a book. As an engineer, I may develop a method to solve a societal problem that I saw in the same situation. Two different leaps based apparently on exactly the same input but that input is colored and flavored by all our previous individual inputs & training.