Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Vampires exist!

Yes, people, they do! Or at least they might exist and their existence does not constitute any contradiction to modern science.

Well, there are plenty blood-sucking animals found in nature, and even humans need to drink the blood from their own spices sometimes just to survive. So, why cannot vampires (the creatures from the myths and legends, as we tend to think of them) exist too?

Most scientists use simple math to prove that the existence of vampires is not possible. Their line of argumentation is the following:
Assume that a vampire needs to feed only once a month (we ignore the mortality rate, since it is irrelevant here). When this process occurs, another vampire is created. If the countdown starts in 1600 AD or some other time around that (on the 1st of January 1600 the world’s population was 536 870 911), then by February 1600 there would be two vampires (one who turned a human into vampire to start with and another one who was a human but became a vampire after the encounter with a vampire). In March 1600 there would be four vampires in existence, and in April 1600 – eight vampires. Therefore, some scientists say, each month the number of vampires doubles and after n months there are 2^n vampires which gives us a geometric progression with ratio 2.

As some of you might know, the geometric progression is increases at a very quick pace and if you sit with a pencil and paper and calculate it for our vampires example, you will arrive to the conclusion that after 30 months there would be no humans left – everyone would be turned into a vampire and the humanity would be wiped out by June 1602. Even if human birth rate is included into our calculations, it remains a very small fraction deaths caused by the vampires and would have prolonged the extinction of human race by just one month. Therefore, some scientists conclude, vampires cannot exist, since their existence contradicts the existence of human beings. This logical proof is of a type known as reductio ad absurdum, that is, reduction to the absurd.

However, if one starts digging dipper, everything is not that straightforward. Some fiction authors,
Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight series”, Charlaine Harris’s “Sookie Stockhouse (Southern Vampire) series”, “True Blood” (TV series) and Elizabeth Kostova’s “The Historian” show the world where vampires peacefully co-exist with humans.

In Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight series” vampires can tolerate the sunlight, interact with humans (even fall in love with them) and drink animals’ blood to survive. Of course, they have to live in secrecy and pretend to be human beings. In “True Blood” TV series, however, a world is shown where vampires and humans live side-by-side and are aware of each other. Vampires can buy synthetic blood of different blood types that is sold in bottles and can be bought in every grocery store, bar or gas station. They cannot walk during daytime, so they usually come out at night. Humans also find use of vampires’ essence – vampires’ blood (called “V”) is a powerful hallucinogenic drug that is sought by humans and traded on the black market (sometimes humans capture vampires with the help of silver chains or harnesses and then kill them by draining their blood). Some humans even seek sex with vampires (vampires are stronger and faster than humans and can provide superb erotic experience). There is a possibility to turn a human being into a vampire, but it takes time and effort.
In Elizabeth Kostova’s novel “The Historian”, vampires are rare although real and do not reveal themselves to humans too often (except for the librarians whom for whom they seem to have a strange passion). Their food ratios are limited and they spend lots of time brooding in their well-hidden tombs.

Let us assume that at the time of the events described in the first book of the series, “Dead Until Dark” (2001), the world’s vampire hypothetical population was around five million (the population of the state of Louisiana in 2001 we arbitrarily use in our calculations). The initial conditions of the Harris-Meyer-Kostova model are the following: five million vampires, 6 159 million people, there are organized groups of vampire “drainers”.

Our calculations yield that the human population will be growing until 2046 when it reaches its peak of 9.6 billion people, whereupon it will be declining until 2065 until it reaches its bottom at 6.12 billion people. This process will repeat itself continuously. The vampire population will be declining until 2023 when it reaches its minimum of 289 thousand vampires, whereupon it will be growing until 2055 until it reaches its peak at 397 million vampires. This process will also repeat itself continuously and we will end up with a cyclical system of human-vampire co-existence

There are more interesting implications to our study: consider for example the organized groups of vampire hunters (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) or superhero hunters (“Blade”). The results seem even more interesting and all clues lead to the one simple fact – vampires might co-habitate with humans and modern science cannot refute their existence! Please see our poster for more information and turn to us with your questions and comments!

Happy Halloween and be careful not to bump into a vampire on your way to the costume party tonight! :)

WS and EL