Reminds me of Kaufmann’s mention that the adjacent possible is “historical”, in other words the culmination point, the result or outcome, of past events. In that sense, the past is both a constraint on the future (via the adjacent possible) and the source of what is possible in the adjacent possible.

The substratum of possibilities (with its own historical trajectory that shapes it) that things evolve out of can perhaps be better described as a constraint rather than a cause.

How the elephant got his trunk: what evolution can teach us about complexity