“The zombies are coming!” said Jacob Goldstein in The Wall Street Journal. “Quick, call the mathematicians!” Specifically, you’ll want to call Robert Smith? (the question mark is not a typo) and his colleagues at the University of Ottowa, who crunched the numbers on how humans could survive a zombie attack, as part of a book on modeling infectious disease. “Be warned: The tone is light, but the mathematics are heavy.”
And the results aren’t pretty, said Tim Cavanaugh in Reason. The pessimistic scientists concluded that unless the zombie outbreak were "dealt with quickly and aggressively,” it would “lead to the collapse of civilization.” But able-bodied people would never let themselves be bitten and "turned" by a slow-moving ghoul. "A zombie outbreak would result in a lopsided victory for the living, for purely tactical reasons." (watch how the living fight back in the upcoming film Zombieland)
You joke, said Chris Davies in SlashGear, but Smith? is serious—kind of--as his point is that a zombie “plague” would be similar to a lethal outbreak of an unknown disease, like swine flu, and that neither quarantining nor curing the zombies would save us. A depressing thought -- but at least the study allowed “staid, sensible scientists the opportunity to talk about zombie hoards, and for that it must be praised.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- This energy source could solve all of our problems — so why is no one talking about it?
- The new bride who had a horrifying allergic reaction to her husband's sperm
Subscribe to the Week