Attack of the Killer Zombies!!

by DavalosMcCormack on August 28, 2009

Every so often you come across an opening to a story that just stops you dead in your tracks. In this case the phrase “dead in your tracks” is particularly apt. Here is the opening paragraph from the BBC Science News page. “If Zombies actually existed, an attack by them would lead to the collapse of civilization unless dealt with quickly and aggressively. That is the conclusion of a mathematical exercise carried out by researchers in Canada.”

It’s brilliant isn’t it. It gets your attention and makes you want to read it. In fact you can’t help it. You have to read it. There’s only one tiny problem with it. It’s the word “if”.

If zombies were real they would most certainly be a problem (for more on this see Shaun of the Dead, the best romantic comedy zombie movie ever made, although it is really a rather small genre!) but as we know they are not real  so that makes what follow rather nonsensical. And yet some Canadians were inspired to do a scientific study to see what would happen if they really did exist, even if we know they don’t.

Which leads me to wonder, are the winters up north so cold and bleak and the TV so bad that the scientists have nothing better to do than speculate on what would happen if something that wasn’t real was real?

It’s like that conversation Jerry and George had in the TV sitcom “Seinfeld”. If they were real, who would win a fight, Mighty Mouse or Superman?

Now, the researchers insist there really is a serious side to their work – well, they would wouldn’t they! They say that a zombie “plague” is similar to a lethal, rapidly spreading infection and that the model they use to show how to contain zombies could help us model the spread of unfamiliar diseases through human populations.

Nice try chaps, but no one is buying that. I think they were just looking for some way to expense renting “Dawn of the Dead” and other zombie movies and this was the best excuse they could come up with.

I really should have chosen a career in scientific research. It’s a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be!

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