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Taking a bite out of science

Here's an article about a certain Costas Efthimiou, who claims to have debunked the vampire myth:

"Legend has it that vampires feed on human blood and once bitten a person turns into a vampire and starts feasting on the blood of others.

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."

This is problematic. For one thing, it is assumed that all humans bitten by vampires automatically become vampires. But, well, correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that (1) some percentage of humans bitten by vampires die and (2) that it usually takes repeated feedings for a human to be turned. Further, the argument from population discounts the activity of vampire slayers, who are doing their bit to limit the vampire population, as well as the effects on the population of death by, say, accidental exposure to the sun. If I were the suspicious sort I'd suggest that our Mr. Efthimiou is protesting a little too loudly. Has anyone seen him look in a mirror lately?

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It's my love of pure science that drew me to this blog, you know.


But of course. Probably one of my early posts on the theory of relativity.


I recently re-read "I am legend" by Richard Mathieson (Matheson?) while on holiday. It is a good novella. He expounds quite a few different theories in that book to account for this phenomenon. He had to come up with two populations of vampires -- evolution of the species.
I don't read horror and am not interested in it, but that's a good book.


Actually, one only becomes a vampire if after being bitten, drained of blood and near death, you then are forced to drink the vampires blood in return.

You learn a lot watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer:-)


It was the people in the baby monitor that attracted me to your site! :-D


Good point. More essential information on vampires from the excellent NewBiscuit here...


Good point, Kimmy! All the more reason to doubt his findings.

Thanks for the disturbing news, Clare. I hope they're checking all incoming shipments of caskets.

And Tom: Yes, I miss the Baby Monitor People. It's been a long time since I've tried to pick up reception.... It occurs to me that I've been taking them for granted, too, assuming that they'd still be there whenever I try to get them. They might actually get rid of their baby monitor.... I'll have to try soon.


Kimmy is exactly right - in order to "turn" a human, a vampire must drain nearly all the blood from said human and then have the human drink the blood (and a significant amount of it) from the it's own body. I think Mr. Efthimiou needs to get his facts straight. They did put all the seasons of Buffy and Angel onto DVD! Pehaps he could check them out of his local library - it's free you know.

Sorry I missed your birthday. I was visiting the grandparents for Kiera's big day. Hope it was very happy.


Thanks Michelle! It's always nice to see another who is familiar with the Buffyverse:-)


Among the many men I want is Giles. Also Anthony Wiggle.

Thanks, Michelle! By the way, I'm happy to report that Mel has new friends, in particular Archischa, but there's a posse of little girls who are now making her happy to go to school. Life is good!

But we miss you guys. I told Rebecca about the napping scene you wrote, one of them using the other's stomach for a pillow, and she practically wanted to get in the car and drive up there.

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Reading Herodotus: A Guided Tour through the Wild Boars, Dancing Suitors, and Crazy Tyrants of The History. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

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