Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 07:52:21 -0600
Reply-To: Conchologists List <CONCH-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Sender: Conchologists List <CONCH-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Thomas Eichhorst <thomas@NERITE.COM>
Subject: Re: Was HAM just flim-flam?
I Goggled (Google Books) "ancestral mollusk fossil ham" and the first entry
that comes up is Lindberg, David R.; Ponder, Winston F.; & Haszprunar,
Gerhard. “The Mollusca: Relationships and Patterns from Their First
Half-Billion Years,” Assembling the Tree of Life, (Cracraft, Joel &
Donoghue, Michael J. – eds.), Oxford University Press, pp. 252-278. The
online entry doesn't have a date, not all of the articles are there (but
thankfully all of the Lindberg, et al. is present), and the entry is
purposely a bit blurred and will not print, but it has a ton of great
information, including the fact that there is a debate among scientists over
the hypothetical ancestral mollusk (HAM) theory. I am now on the hunt to
see if I can obtain a copy.
Tom Eichhorst in New Mexico, USA
From: Conchologists List [mailto:CONCH-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf Of
Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2009 6:45 PM
Subject: [CONCH-L] Was HAM just flim-flam?
I've been teaching lab sections this term. It's zoology for non-science
majors. My students, alas, seem to have no interest whatsoever in the
natural world. I'd have to pull a Bill Gates at his TED talk and release a
jar full of malaria-infected mosquitoes to get them to pay attention.
So I've been doing the lectures for myself and for the one A student I
have in all of my sections. (And I am so grateful to have her because from
what I hear from the other GA's, there aren't many around.) Obviously, I had
a grand old time doing arthropods. And I have a lovely PowerPoint on
echinoderms for next week.
And tomorrow I am doing mollusks. I was going over my PowerPoint one last
time. You know how it is, stuffing in a one last picture of a nudibranch.
Throwing in a few more details about cone snail harpoons. I'll be happy even
if the students don't care.
But I was glancing at the lab book that the students use. It's published
in-house and full of mistakes. Usually I can spot them. But I'm not so sure
about this one. It says that the hypothetical ancestral mollusk has fallen
out of favor, that it is not even close to what the ancestral mollusk would
have been. Is this true? Is HAM the Milli Vanilli of the fossil world?