The Oddment Emporium

A Cornucopia of Eclectic Delights

One of Charles Darwin’s last experiments - which seems more like a trick the evolutionist enjoyed playing on his dinner guests - has been re-born for the digital age. The pioneer of evolution owned a collection of photographs showing a French man having his face contorted via electrical shock treatment into a range of grimaces. So, sometime between dessert and a final drink in Darwin’s home in 1868, Darwin would confront his poor dinner guests with the images and ask them to describe the man’s expressions in their own words. Darwin then collated the responses from the 24 guests who, instead of walking out or punching him on the nose, answered his questions, and used these ‘crowd-sourced’ answers to find the definitive description for each face. Darwin’s main aim was to determine whether ‘universal core emotions’ exist, and whether they are modified through-out history and by language or culture. MORE.

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