I Am Smarter Than This Guy
I don’t usually do this, but I read something recently that got me really riled up. So here's a post that's not about comics.
Not long ago I discovered this article where a man purporting to be a scientist makes certain -- how shall we say? -- dubious claims. A professor at the University of Central Florida, Physics Professor Costas Efthimiou claims that he has mathematically disproved the existence of vampires.
As a supporter of the Awesome Power of Science, I have to say that Prof. Efthimiou is full of crap
But before I use simple logic and a cursory knowledge of fantasy and folklore to debunk him, I should make one thing clear: I don't believe in vampires. Furthermore, I am not one of those people who believes that vampires are "cool" or "sexy."
Indeed, if I did meet a slavering, blood-crazed nosferatu I'd stab it in the heart. On the other hand, if I met an attractive, angsting creature of the night who bemoaned his cruel existence as an immortal I'd stab him in the heart. I'm not a fan of vampires.
Anyway, Prof. Efthimiou's "proof" is based completely on the idea that if a vampire bites someone then that person will turn into a vampire. Prof. Efthimiou then extrapolates, claming that the human race would be completely overrun by vampires within a few short months.
But Prof. Efthimiou's claims betray a woeful ignorance of both basic vampire folklore and their appearance in fiction over the years. It has rarely if ever been a part of vampire stories that a simple bite will turn someone into a vampire. Indeed, everything from the original Dracula to the modern radness of Batman and the Mad Monk shows that simply drinking a person's blood doesn't turn them into a vampire. You have to drain them completely -- and even that doesn't always work.
Besides, even if a simple bite was all it took to turn someone into a vampire the human race still wouldn't be overrun. The vampires wouldn't allow it. They'd destroy their victims before they let them rise as additional vampires. It's common sense. Vampires have been portrayed as many things, but generally stupid isn't one of them.
In some cases, competition is a good thing. But when it comes to a source of food, it's usually not. And vampires -- who need something very specific to survive -- aren't going to go out every night and create their own competition. It would be in their vested interest to remain one of -- if not the only -- consumer of their prey in a given area.
And so with that I -- a person who hated math in high school and never went beyond trigonometry -- have debunked the claims of someone who works with numbers for a living. Game, set, and match.