T-Rex thinks he’s eliminated zombies with logic. The basic idea: Zombies depend on human brains to survive, but they also must bite humans (turning them into zombies) to create more zombies. If zombies were really good at catching humans and eating their brains, there would be no more humans and the zombie population would die off. Conversely, if the zombies had trouble getting to the human brains, they could convert humans into zombies (by biting them without eating their brains), but they would starve due to brain deprivation.
Anders Sandberg disagrees, and he’s done the simulations to back up his argument. Assuming heritability of brain eating ability in zombies (you can take certain liberties with fictional creatures), Anders shows that zombie populations will evolve towards intermediate brain eating and zombie creating. Here’s what Anders expects to happen over time (humans are the green line, zombies are shown in red):
The top graph shows that a zombie population that starts out with maximum brain eating efficiency will decrease in efficiency until humans become very rare. At that point, the fitness of efficient brain eating will increase and those individuals will increase in frequency. But humans become pretty rare. In fact, it looks like they’re teetering near extinction. These are relative numbers, however, so it’s hard to tell how the absolute human population size changes over time.
There is also a post on vampires and the coalescent promised. I’m psyched.
(Via Well Rounded Nerds.)