Monday, May 11, 2009

Vampire Math

Unless you're one of those preteen girls or emotionally stunted adults obsessed with the Twilight books, chances are good you don't believe in vampires. But just in case you needed mathematical proof that vampires don't exist, physicists Costas Efthimio and Sohang Gandhi have run the numbers in their paper "Cinema Fiction vs. Physics Reality". It seems completely obvious, but creatures that rely on human cannibalism for survival would quickly wipe out all of their food supply. One vampire bites a person, then that person bites a person, and so on and so on. Pretty soon, you have a world full of vampires and/or dead humans. Consequently, the fact that humans are still here necessarily means that vampires aren't. But as this excellent post on the sci-fi blog io9 points out, there are other mathematicians who take issue with this analysis. In their minds, these numbers don't account for vampire death rates or human resistance to vampire attack. The mind boggles. I just hope that if vampires do exist, they don't take a cue from those pedophile punks in Twilight and go after our teenage daughters. Especially if they're all into abstinence-only education like the ones in the books.

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