“Originality does not mean thinking something new that was never thought before; it means putting old ideas together in new ways.”
Originality can be defined on the basis of how an observer see it. One can say that this universe is so vast that we can find a similarity to every original thing in the universe. Or in other words, the basic idea is always existing, its just a matter of inclining it to our use. So, although every new thing is evolved from some old thing, but they are more than transformations.
Originality is creativity; going away from commonplace or trite things and delving into something new. Take for example, the invention of telephone which was a totally new idea. Although you would contravene it by the fact that it is a way transferring information or to be in contact, just the same purpose letters served before that. But according to me telephone is not just a transformation of letters but according to me fax, etc are the correct products of letter. In telephone, the sound was transferred from one place to another which in itself was a very new idea.
Further, we can also take the example of Airplanes, which is a very bold and a new idea of Wright brothers. Every one had thought of traveling through land, through water but no one had thought about traveling through air which is considered to be ephemeral or a nonentity. Traveling through a medium was never a problem, but what had been thought was to travel without the need of any medium.Again you can say that birds are the source of this idea, but the idea that man could fly is as bold (and original) as the idea of a time machine.
But its not always that originality always consists of new ideas only. As one can see from the example of automobiles which are just a transformation from a bullock cart. The only creativity in its invention was to thought of something which can drive a vehicle. Similarly one can go as far as to take the example of movies, in which again the only thought was to make a play shown at two places simultaneously without the need of the artists to be present at both the places.
So one can come to the conclusion that although we try to emulate things already present in nature but they can either be new or just a new version. It depends on the degree of disparity between the old and the new things. A highly distinguished idea cannot be just called a new version for its dependent on the old. And similarly a minute change cannot be identified as something new.