Science zombies are bullshit.
Yeah, I said it. And yeah, I know this isn’t exactly a timely subject to have a hot take on. As far as cultural obsessions go, zombies* have shambled their merry way right up to the precipice of pop-culture indifference, with only a step or two more to send them reeling over the edge.
Who knows; maybe this post will supply that final push they need.
Because, you know what? Science zombies are bullshit. What do I mean by science zombie? Watch any story with a virus or an evil corporation, a mutated bacterium or otherwise radioactive McGuffin that reanimates corpses into mindless, murderous, meandering, meanies. You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
See, the thing you need to know about science (scientific principles), is that it’s always happening. There are no days off. Our cells, for example—our brain, nerve and muscle cells, if you want to get specific—use adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to create action potential across cell membranes, giving them the energy to send signals, or produce tension to contract.
This is how we move. This is how we think.
We create this wonderful ATP in our cells’ mitochondria, utilizing the Krebs and OXPHOS Cycles in turn. Processes which require oxygen, water, fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
This is why we breath. This is why we drink.
To do any of this we’re going to need working respiratory and digestive systems, and one of those cardiovascular setups to carry everything where it needs to go; we’ll need organs to filter and regulate the blood, and probably a whole bunch of other wet gunk I don’t know about.
In other words, in order to do all the fun and interesting things we do as living humans, like shuffling about, moaning incoherently and eating the brains of our victims, we have to be alive. That’s what being alive is: functioning. If a zombie does zombie things, that’s functioning too! And if it can function, goddammit, it’s alive! If it’s alive, it’s not a zombie.
It’s just a fucking person.
And that’s all they are, just shambling, incoherent people, who for some inexplicable can’t be killed without destroying the brain.
This, Dear Reader, is why science zombies are bullshit.
I’m fine with magical zombies though. They are 100% legit.
*NOTE: When I say zombie, I’m only referring to actual, undead zombies. (I.e. you could cut one in half and it would keep on coming.) for the purposes of this discourse, zombie-like humans (à la 28 Days Later or Community’s S2 Halloween episode) are just aggressive sick people.