Friday, February 27, 2009

Mad science: Epidemic spread dynamics + basic multiplication + "it's called fiction" = no vampires

At the University of Central Florida, Costas Efthimiou, groundbreaking researcher in Taking Things Way Too Seriously Studies, has ruled out the possibility that vampires exist using the power of math!

A researcher has come up with some simple math that sucks the life out of the vampire myth, proving that these highly popular creatures can't exist.

. . .

Efthimiou's debunking logic: On Jan 1, 1600, the human population was 536,870,911. If the first vampire came into existence that day and bit one person a month, there would have been two vampires by Feb. 1, 1600. A month later there would have been four, and so on. In just two-and-a-half years the original human population would all have become vampires with nobody left to feed on.


As silly as all that is, it can't match the rage of commenter Weyland S, who is disgusted, and I mean caps-lock DISGUSTED, by Efthimiou's mathematical shenanigans. Prepare to be schooled by the Internet's last righteous man!

For the record, I do not believe in vampires.

Like the Amazing Randi, this person is dressing up his own prejudices, assumptions, and personal philosophy in the language of science in an attempt to hide the fact that his arguments are based on these things under a veneer of scientific-seeming speech. This is exactly what pseudoscientists do.

He makes his argument rest entirely upon unjustified assumptions. Vampires bite one person every month? Vampires have no self restraint at all and will continue to turn people even when their ecological balance is in peril? Vampires always turn a person into a vampire every time they bite? Victims never get away? Vampires never die? All assumptions. Most not part of traditional vampire lore. To rest a conclusion based on making numbers and such up out of whole cloth IS NOT SCIENCE.

This person claims he wants to improve the scientific education of the lay public, and reduce pseudoscientific nonsense. But he is a pseudoscientist. This is not reasoning, this is gross chicanery. If this person wants to improve understanding of real science elsewhere, he'd better get his own house in order first.

The editors of livescience.com should be ashamed for letting such blatantly unscientific nonsense pass itself off as rational discourse on their site.


Indeed.

1 comment:

Sasquatchan said...

Didn't the journal author get the memo ? I mean, I'm not an fully vampire connoisseur and don't know all the ins/outs, but I read Chris Moore, and his book "You Suck," makes it very clear the difference between eating/feeding and converting..