candy bar lab

Janice M. Glime jmglime at MTU.EDU
Tue Sep 16 21:41:44 EST 1997

>   I think candy bars would be a great way to introduce cladistics and
> outgroups
> and all sorts of concepts with a group of variously related objects with
> which students are familiar.  And, I think we can look at evolution among
> candy bars.  Why not include descriptions of the 5 cent candybar that was
> twice the size of the present 25 cent ones, as well as the knowledge that
> not all candy bars were born the same day.  It would be interesting to
> look at "evolutionary" trends, then have some ambitious person get a
> history of these bars, probably from the companies that make them.  I'll
> bet the companies have a history written somewhere and may be very happy
> to comply.  It should be a very interesting exercise to see if our
> concepts of candy bar relationships fit the real ones (at least which
> came first and how new ones came about) and fit what the
> computer program determines.  Many of the basic concepts are there, even
> reduction!  One could choose some interesting outgroups, like brownies, or
> Reeses cups.
>   After doing this with things students are familiar with, they will
> appreciate both the advantages and the dangers in cladistics with plants
> and should be able to understand these less familiar plant groupings more
> easily.
> Janice
> jmglime

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