Caption: Skeptic Check: Zombies Aren't Real, Credit: Seth Shostak
Image by: Seth Shostak 
Skeptic Check: Zombies Aren't Real 

Skeptic Check: Zombies Aren't Real

From: Big Picture Science
Series: Big Picture Science
Length: 54:00

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Writer Guy Harrison on why Zombies might be a ghosts from our Pleistocene past, and how mathematical modeling of these mythical creatures could help us avoid disaster from earthquake or disease.

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Zombies are making a killing in popular culture. But where did the idea behind these mythical, cerebrum-supping nasties come from? Discover why they may be a hard-wired inheritance from our Pleistocene past.

Also, how a whimsical mathematical model of a Zombie apocalypse can help us withstand earthquakes and disease outbreaks, and how the rabies virus contributed to zombie mythology.

Plus, new ideas for how doctors should respond when humans are in a limbo state between life and death: no pulse, but their brains continue to hum.

Meet the songwriter who has zombies on the brain …. and we chase spaced-out animated corpses in the annual Run-For-Your-Lives foot race.

Guests:

   Guy P. Harrison – Science writer and author of 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True

   Jonathan Coulton – Singer and songwriter

   Robert Smith? – Mathematician and epidemiologist at the University of Ottawa, in Canada

   Dick Teresi– Science writer and author of The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice-Water Test, Beating Heart Cadavers—How Medicine Is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death

   Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy – - Respectively Senior Editor at Wired Magazine and veterinarian, and the co-authors of Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus

Piece Description

Zombies are making a killing in popular culture. But where did the idea behind these mythical, cerebrum-supping nasties come from? Discover why they may be a hard-wired inheritance from our Pleistocene past.

Also, how a whimsical mathematical model of a Zombie apocalypse can help us withstand earthquakes and disease outbreaks, and how the rabies virus contributed to zombie mythology.

Plus, new ideas for how doctors should respond when humans are in a limbo state between life and death: no pulse, but their brains continue to hum.

Meet the songwriter who has zombies on the brain …. and we chase spaced-out animated corpses in the annual Run-For-Your-Lives foot race.

Guests:

   Guy P. Harrison – Science writer and author of 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True

   Jonathan Coulton – Singer and songwriter

   Robert Smith? – Mathematician and epidemiologist at the University of Ottawa, in Canada

   Dick Teresi– Science writer and author of The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice-Water Test, Beating Heart Cadavers—How Medicine Is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death

   Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy – - Respectively Senior Editor at Wired Magazine and veterinarian, and the co-authors of Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus

Broadcast History

first released November 12, 2012

Additional Files

Additional Credits

Seth Shostak – Host and producer
Molly Bentley – Co-host and executive producer
Gary Niederhoff – Producer
Barbara Vance – Production assistant

Related Website

http://radio.seti.org