October 31, 2006

DRACULA MATH: evidence of the nonexistence of vampires

[That's the headline of the following editorial from today's "San Diego Union-Tribune" newspaper.]
We are relieved to report that straightforward application of high school algebra has driven a stake through the heart of the Dracula myth.

As portrayed in countless Hollywood remakes, humans turn into vampires when one bites you in the neck and sucks your blood. In a recent academic paper, Costas Efthimiou, a theoretical physicist at the University of Central Florida, assumes the first vampire appeared in 1600 AD, about when the myth emerged in Europe.

When this first vampire bit someone, he would have created one new vampire, thus doubling the world's undead population. They would have infected two more humans, and so on. Even if vampires fed only once a month, this doubling effect (a geometric progression of ratio 2) would have wiped out the entire human population, estimated at 540 million at the time, in just 30 months. Then the vampires would have starved.

This means any vampires (or zombies, for that matter) wandering your neighborhood tonight are relatively benign, and may be deserving of candy.


3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about accounting for some type of genetic mutation? You know, something that Darwin would suggest.

2:13 PM  
Blogger IR said...

But...Vampires do not turn all of their vicims! To become a Vampire, one must also drink the blood of "sireing" vampire.

this is the sort of thinking that lets these evil minions of satanic darkness thrive among us.

Do yoiu really think the doctor ordered ALL those blood tests?

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Panda Rosa said...

If one vampire did bite another, would the victim turn human again? That's one way out. I always heard it took more than one bite to transform someone.
Anyway, it's probably safe to say there are no vampires in Italy, all the garlic! Whew!

9:55 AM  

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