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.(Hat tip to Bill Crider.)
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. ...
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.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Fangs for the Memories
Just in time for Halloween, science puts the kibosh on another spooky legend. This story comes from LiveScience.com: