About the starting points.

When I began my studies in zombiology in the middle 70s, there were little or no scientific research on zombies.  Haitian folklore collected by Zora Hurston and Passage of Darkness by Wade Davis were the only straight zombie-knowledge given by the history of mankind. After continuing the studies in medicines of coup de poudre and TTX and haitian folklore – especially the flora and fauna (insectoids and spiders mostly) of the place for several years, we met a dead end of a kind… My team left me alone with the locals, and I was forced to continue the research all alone. I met with the local ‘priests’ and witchdoctors and made the first tremendous progressive cooperative steps with originals.

After Haiti, I gathered a new team of researchers. This time a little more courageous ones. We went to the ancient lands of death – the Egypt. North Africa has had the greatest known culture of death, and life after death in particular. We found some interesting facts, and there seemed to be a cult of living dead in the ancient Egypt, but… after following their history far enough strange things began to happen. We had to leave the Egypt and fast. We anyways had found some new clues across the Asia, and we had to find them out before continuing.

After few years of particularly well-travelling research, we met the first possibly interesting speciment, but she was then found out to merely suffer from an autistic behaviour of a kind. Nothing truly strange was found out about the living dead before the late nineties – our research group changed drastically during the years, and I only remained. When I finally could prove the zombie existence in my Doctoral Thesis, we had enough tools to begin the empirical research on the zombies. Thanks to the recent research by our beloved James Chidrich, it had become theoretically possible for us to measure the zombies the way we wanted to…

I wish professor Chidrich will continue more specifically on the subject.

Published in: on August 15, 2009 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Mental facilities of zombies

This is the abstract of a paper that has been tentatively approved by certain journal and is likely to be published in two or three years.

In several laboratory experiments we have seen that the humans commonly referred to as zombies are capable of solving problems requiring significant cognitive facilities. We compared the problem-solving, spatial reasoning and pattern mathcing abilities of zombies, rats, dogs, humans and chimpanzees, given equal incentives of food. Our experiments clearly show that zombies are clearly capable of solving the most difficult problems and that they are quite incapable of learning from their mistakes or successes. Zombies  are very slow problem solvers  when compared to the other groups. They possess fair manual dexterity, but it takes several hours or even days for zombies to use their potential. The role of teamwork was also investigates and it seems that zombies willingly sacrifice themselves to reach any goal but hardly recognise others of their group as active participants. Studies on inter-group co-operation were always failures when zombies were involved.

I naturally can’t share the entire paper before, or after, it has been published, but would like to make two conjectures public. Zombies actually are capable of thinking on the same level as humans, but their thoughts seem to move at distinctly slower pace; what one might relise in moment or few minutes might take hours or days for zombies. Further, they seem to be unable to learn anything beyond repeating a single action.

First conjecture: There is a significant difference in mammal and zombie brains when it comes to composition or function of myelin.

Second conjecture: From evolutionary point of view, the existence of zombies is explained by their immense resistance to damage and by the distaste other predators have regarding them. My conjecture is that some animal will exploit the virtual defenselessness of zombies and start feeding on them; the ecological niche is clearly empty as of now.

Published in: on August 13, 2009 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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An introduction by Richard Zonder

Dear readers,

Even though I personally find the whole idea repulsive, I have agreed to post on this diary a few times myself. I do this merely for the sake of the right kind of publicity and for the sake of our highly secret research. I will first tell you more about ‘zombies’.

First and foremost: Zombies do exist and may be scientifically classified as ‘undead’ for the sake of practicality. Undeath is a state that exists among the living and from the works of our partrner Professor Chidrich (The Symptoms of Life 1995, 81) we see that they couldn’t be classified living for they have none of the self-sustaining biological processes mentioned – every single vital function has ceased (heart, brain, lunges and even digestion has ceased to operate). But they can’t be literally be classified as inorganic either (as opposed to living), because they walk around quite freely, reproduce (even though they seem shy enough to not to do such things in captivity) and use their sensors to the point. They even seem to have their own means of communication – even though the research on the subject is far from complete! It is hereby obvious, that ‘undead’ is a mere definition and there should not be any room for philosophical debate.

It is rumoured that our means of study are of those of mad scientists: we do wander the graveyards in search of walking dead and perform some strange rites to create them. That is of course not the case. We have classified experts from specialist corporations to get us the specimens from around the world. The mere rumours pose us as a threat to the mankind, but our team is highly competent group of three experts and our methods are purely scientific. Safety is of our utmost importance, for we know that toying with zombie business could prove dangerous indeed in case of electrical, mechanical or humane failure.

That is all for now.

Sir Richard Zonder,
Ph. D. honoris causa
Head of the Zombiological Department of Eindhoven

of course
Published in: on August 10, 2009 at 7:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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On philosophical “zombies”

The concept of philosophical zombies was championed particularly by one David Chalmers, an intelligent gentleman by all accounts. Unfortunately, the concept itself is clearly venomous to the honorable field of Zombie studies. “No, not of the philosophical zombies, I’m talking about the real ones” is what I must start all my presentations and courses with. The interested reader can find more links regarding philosophical zombies in the sidebar, though they are of little importance and of even less use.

Whereas philosophical zombies are mere thoughtplay, as they are entities exactly like us in all respects, save for not being conscious, the proper zombies have certain key differences to us normal people. Namely, their biological functions have considerably slowed down and their mental faculties have taken severe damage, which can also be explained by the non-standard way their metabolism works. Unlike the philosophical pretenders, proper zombies are often aggressive; one needs to emply utmost care around them and use powerful restraints to keep them passive when researching their unique properties.

They do not resemble an idle thought experiment in the least. Why, then, have more papers been published on empty thought experiments then the real zombies? Who has all the respect and monetary support? These questions I pose to the scientific community.

Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 7:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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