arising unexpectedly - calling for prompt action: URGENT - arising as a natural or logical consequence
to become manifest - to rise from or as if from an enveloping fluid: come out into view - to rise from an obscure or inferior condition - to come into being from evolution
a force that impels or constrains (impel - to drive forward ... by ... the exertion of strong moral pressure: FORCE
calling for immediate attention: PRESSING
a ... combination of circumstances ... that calls for immediate action
(The meaning of emergence has come a long way since Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1985)
Here is an excellent presentation of the phenomena of emergence from youtube.
image: global brain
What is emergent is a global consciousness that is arising out of the interaction of two discrete human understandings, the relligious or spiritual and the purely scientific. Of course its not just taking two schools of thought - science and religion - and mixin' 'em up and seein' what ya got. Its something new, never before seen on Earth. Just like religion has been its own complete approach to explaining the world and how to live and science has been its own process of discovery complete in itself, separate from any consideration of religious teachings, the emergent global consciousness is a whole and complete phenomena.
Global consciousness couldn't have been predicted from just looking at human knowledge. Its only now that its emerging that we can look back and see its origin. Its like taking science and the scientific method to the furthest extreme and seeing that the new understanding is steadily pointing to the source of the universe, which is more conscioiusness itself as opposed to the "big bang". And as far as what "consciousness" actually may be ... it appears to me its actually what we have always thought of as the spiritual, the unknown, unseen origin of the universe ... the source ...
Steven Johnson's good work on emergence and connectivity.
this image is from free lancing science
Further research reveals more in depth detail in the form of:
What are complex adaptive systems?
complex adaptive systems - Webs of Delight
... and my personal favorite -
Beyond the Supercomputer by Howard Bloom
... another youtube video -