Vampires a Mathematical Impossibility, Scientist Says

October 27, 2006

This article is great. It proves once again how you can come up with logical answers based on non-sensical initial conditions. His taken for granted assumption, that this one definition constitutes the totality of the myth, is unfounded, so everything else that follows has internal consistency, but no external valitity. Of course I’m not saying vampires exist, but that his evaluation of the situation adds nothing except some wonderful Halloween discussion. Which in the end is what mathematics is all about, no?

Some interesting counter balances include the fact that all vampires pretty much die at the end of the movie, or in the morning (in movies). Of the stories I’ve read, most vampire stories that predate the 19th C don’t have everyone turning into vampires after they are bitten. And in many stories, the vampire can’t cross water… so islands would be relatively safe 🙂 Happy halloween!

Vampires a Mathematical Impossibility, Scientist Says

A researcher has come up with some simple math that sucks the life out of the vampire myth, proving that these highly popular creatures can’t exist.
University of Central Florida physics professor Costas Efthimiou’s work debunks pseudoscientific ideas, such as vampires and zombies, in an attempt to enhance public literacy. Not only does the public believe in such topics, but the percentages are at dangerously high level, Efthimiou told LiveScience.
Legend has it that vampires feed on human blood and once bitten a person turns into a vampire and starts feasting on the blood of others.
Efthimiou’s debunking logic: On Jan 1, 1600, the human population was 536,870,911. If the first vampire came into existence that day and bit one person a month, there would have been two vampires by Feb. 1, 1600.  A month later there would have been four, and so on. In just two-and-a-half years the original human population would all have become vampires with nobody left to feed on.
If mortality rates were taken into consideration, the population would disappear much faster. Even an unrealistically high reproduction rate couldn’t counteract this effect.
“In the long run, humans cannot survive under these conditions, even if our population were doubling each month,” Efthimiou said. “And doubling is clearly way beyond the human capacity of reproduction.”
So whatever you think you see prowling around on Oct. 31, it most certainly won’t turn you into a vampire.

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