The truth about vampires

I realize I’m about a week late blogging this item (should have been around Halloween), but I just can’t resist: Count Dracula not in the numbers, physicist says. A scientist is playing Scully to scientifically disprove the existence of monsters—vampires, zombies, ghosts, and so on.

Articles like this make me amused and irritated at the same time. I always get a kick of out it when a goofy, kooky topic like this shows up in the "serious" mainstream news, but it annoys me when they purport to have The Answer to things and get their science and logic wrong.

Case in point: his proof against the existence of vampires is flawed:

[Costas] Efthimiou takes out the calculator to prove that if a vampire sucked one person’s blood each month — turning each victim into an equally hungry vampire — after a couple of years there would be no people left, just vampires. He started his calculations with just one vampire and 537 million humans on January 1, 1600 and shows that the human population would be down to zero by July 1602.

Now I’m not saying that vampires do exist, but that’s weak. Yes, you’ve shown us that repeatedly doubling a number increases it exponentially very quickly, but this "proof" is hardly proof. First of all, why the assumption that vampires always make more vampires? If the vampire doesn’t kill you outright, then you become a vampire. I think it’s up to the "source" vampire. No exponential increase.

Second, couldn’t some of these vampires be feeding on animals instead of humans? (Digression: wouldn’t vampire cows be funny?)

Third, I’m sure vampires are reasonably intelligent enough to have figured out that if they keep making vampires, there’s no more food left. I imagine they plan accordingly.

Fourth, where did this "one person per month" figure come from? That seems rather arbitrary.

So his reasoning is flawed. I think he would be better off arguing against the more implausible vampire myths, such as the physical impossibility of their not casting reflections in mirrors.

Or, you know, doing real science.

6 thoughts on “The truth about vampires”

  1. Actually one body can sustain us for years. Almost decades when I think about it. However, human blood is so delicious that some vampires cannot wait that long. Those are the vampires of legend and you know how a few can ruin many. To a human tongue, humans wouldn’t be able to tell the difference but for a vampire’s, it is much sweeter. Yeah, we also can eat other animals but the size depends on how long we can sustain ourselves. Also, we have our youth much longer than humans. I am over 170 years old and I still look like a 14 years old. It is also our choice whether to kill a human or turn them into our kind. It is a personal preference. If the human ends up alive, there are consequences but not necessarily turning into a vampire would be one of them. And the mirror thing, well, there is something with them that we cannot cast our reflections but I am not quite sure on the specifics.

  2. 1st I must digress in that vampire must not aspire to the logic of us mere mortals.
    2nd why must they kill to succeed, I recently read where they can convert (which by the 1600’s standard is flawed) today (and then) if they choose their victims and convert (some cow lik-ish) they could be carefully sustaining their existence…

    I ask you “is it not plausible an existence?”

  3. we actually dont really have to feed we drink blood for energy we can get energy from a number of things i just reasently learned psychic vampirism which if absorbing the energy from things (i still feed though but only from doners i dont kill unless im in a "frenzy")

  4. I am a 19 year odl girl and Ithink vamps have the chous to feed on blood and energy from the air I would love to meet a vamper some day so Icould ask him or her about this topic but for now Ijust dont know

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