natural selection

Celebrating Darwin’s bicentenary in 2009 Rachel Cohen developed a version of the Chinese Whispers drawing game that allows for evolution by ‘natural selection’.

Each participant is invited to copy the drawing they judge to be the best from a set of 5. They also choose the one they consider to be the worst drawing and their drawing replaces it.

So each participant selects from a slightly changed set.


see www.chinesewhispers.org.uk for more about this research.


In the examples below the original sets of drawings are made by children from objects at Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. The copies were made by children and adults at the British Association science festival in Guildford and at Phoenix Brighton.


The population is seen at 10th 20th and 30th generations

10th generation copies

30th generation copies

20th generation copies

Iranian sprinkler bottle

original 5 drawings

darwinian big draw
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