Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Evolution: It's All Fun And Games In Our Final Group Performance

KT's picture

For our final performance, we wanted to interactively demonstrate evolution in a nutshell (or coffee bean, as the case may be) and incorporate its principles into the evolution of literature and memes.  

We put the names of books, movies, songs and popular quotes onto a variety of utensils: forks, spoons and knives. We then gave each person a cup, one of the utensils and 30-seconds to compete with each other to get the most coffee beans into their cup. 

We added randomness in the form of unanticipated events, both good and bad, like breaking someone’s utensil or putting a person with a star on their knife back into the group after elimination. (Nothing personal here if your utensil was broken). The randomness that we didn’t expect was the limited time available to fully explore our demonstration. :-)

We wanted to see which utensils, and therefore which memes etc., would survive. Would it be all spoons, as we predicted due to the nature of the selecting factor, or would the knives and forks form an alliance to help each other and sabotage the spoons? If a fork or knife did survive, how did it do so… good technique, help from others, random luck? And further, after participating in this game, we wanted to ask how similar people think it is to the evolutionary process that it was intended to represent.     


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
4 + 1 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.