I sent the professor some papers on the subject, since I have already had this argument with a professor and two TAs and none of them were actually willing to listen without proof.
UPDATE: Awesome! My professor emailed me back, going "well of course it's an oversimplification, yes. Here's some other interesting research on the subject!" I feel better now.
For those who don't know because your teachers lied to you: Every part of your tongue can taste all five tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami/savory). Each area has a different sensitivity to different tastes, but that doesn't mean it doesn't detect and respond to others. Oh, and you can find papers with people still arguing about the relative sensitivities of different areas, probably not helped by the sheer differences in taste sensitivity between individuals (supertasters are a thing, they physically have many times more actual taste buds than normal). Also, you have taste buds in other parts of your mouth, such as your soft palate (the squishy back part of the roof of your mouth), which seem to be more sensitive to bitter compounds. (EDIT: The soft palate ones specifically. There are others in the back of the throat, etc. which I don't know their relative sensitivities.)
So now you know more than many biology students! Because I'm pretty sure that
And while we're at it:
I'm going to stop before I go off on a rant forever.
I just... seriously? In a graduate level class? Seriously?
EDIT: Okay, at least my professor actually knows this.
And as to my incoherent rage-sputtering: These are just some things I've run into in the last few weeks. But yeah, serious pet peeves.
And I never even got around to the sheer idiocy I keep running across trying to gather information for my research proposal. IF YOU REFER TO TREATED WASTEWATER AS "SEWAGE" YOU DESERVE TO HAVE YOUR PANTS STUFFED WITH LIVE WEASELS. HUNGRY ONES.
... I have very strong opinions about some things. I'm not sure what it says about me that most of them would have me trying to shove research papers down your throat or beat you about the head with a textbook.
*deep breath* Okay, back to the research proposal now. No more screaming for today.