Saturday, 29 October 2011

When Zombies Attack!

And now let us look at a completely different (but also supernatural) topic – zombies. Do you think zombies exist?

Well, we do not mean those voodoo-like zombies (we will come back to voodoo later), but the good old fellows depicted in films starting from Romero’s timeless classic “Night of the Living Dead” from 1968 or most recent Boyle’s “28 days later” (or its sequel “28 weeks later”), a British parody “Shawn of the Dead”, and of course “Resident Evil” starring Mila Jovovich.

What science has to say about the existence or inexistence of zombies is the following: if scenarios shown in most of zombie films were real, pretty soon the world would have been taken by zombies. A mathematician from the University of Ottawa named Robert Smith? (yes, with a question mark – he says it have made lots of bureaucrats very upset) does his research on zombies and even published a book on that topic. He claims that zombies (if they existed) would have eventually taken over the world unless quick and aggressive attacks are made (aim for the head!). The progression of zombie infection is fast and unless isolated, quarantined and (even better) killed, very soon everyone will become a zombie (and then dies, as far as there is nothing left to eat). What a gloomy perspective of an end for the human civilization!

Another interesting academic paper dealing with zombies (and also ghosts and vampires) was written by a theoretical physicist from the University of Central Florida, professor Costas Efthimiou (in cooperation with Sohang Gandhi from Cornell University). What they claim is that zombiefication might be just “a skilful act of poisoning” when the person is loosing the thinking process of the brain, a process “that makes his human”.

So, what the conclusion would be? Unlike vampires, who are smart and have their thinking process working very well (too well indeed), zombies (if they existed) would have revealed themselves very quickly. Have you seen a zombie recently? And I do not mean your colleague who always seem to be asleep (even he types something on his computer) or these guy at the local pub who sits over his beer and watches football on the TV screen. Well, if you did not that might mean they do not exist (at least yet).

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