UCMP co-sponsors symposium on Mollusca evolution (cont.)

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Following a trend seen in the last two World Congresses, the dominance of cladograms, molecular datasets, and combined analyses was striking. The routine utilization of modern comparative methods and molecular datasets are now providing critical reassessments of earlier, less rigorous attempts to divine molluscan relationships. What was unexpected was the number of papers that deconstructed some of the long-established and seemingly sacrosanct familiar groupings—the very suggestion of which would have been viewed as systematic heresy just a few short years ago. Some of these groups   have been recognized since Aristotle, and their demise as non-evolutionary lineages was unanticipated by most of the symposium participants. The theme of deconstruction reverberated throughout the symposium and generated lively discussion rather than outright rejection. However, there was another more common theme that focused on the cautionary note: “more data is needed.”
For more information on the Symposium, visit here.

September, 2004

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