Sunday, September 03, 2006

Bad Science

A professor of theoretical physics has written a paper which alleges to disprove the supernatural. Quite aside from the complete waste of time that this is, he actually does rather a bad job. The chill which is apparently felt in the presence of the otherworldly is down to air currents. In effect his scientific argument is that gaps in windows or doors can cause a system of heat cycles and eddies; in other words, it's all down to drafts. Convincing argument, isn't it?

He also argues that a ghost could not walk through walls. The argument goes like this- to pass through walls a ghost would necessarily have to be "material-less", but to actually propell itself forward, or to walk on a floor, etc, it would have to possess some material form. Well, not necessarily- if we're talking about an immaterial object, it's perhaps not actually walking on the floor rather than floating on it. If it possesses no material form then it won't need to exert a force to move itself- perhaps it can move by simple virtual of wanting to go in a certain direction?

He then turns his attention to vampirism "proving" that it cannot exist because of this-

"it would take just two and a half years for vampires to wipe out the entire human race from the day the first one appeared, based on the myth that vampires turn their victims into other vampires by sucking their blood.

Using the principle of reductio ad absurdum, they conclude that vampires can't exist as their existence contradicts the existence of humans."

Might sound quite good but it completely ignores vampire lore- a vampire could feed without necessarily killing the victim and turning them into a vampire too. Or, as some legends have it, the vampire has to share some of his own blood in order to create a new vampire. So much for the rigorous scientific analysis by a professor of physics. I'd expect much more convincing arguments from a professor, particularly one who had chosen to write a paper on the topic.

2 comments:

Gormless Norman said...

I bet if the professor had more time, he would have written an article proving that God doesn't exist. But he was probably busy, so he just chose to tackle the Vampire issue first.

3Ply Stagliano said...

Did the professor get a grant for writing this? If so, any idea how much? I mean, it's not like there was any research involved.