Zombies: scientific argument

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HD Cerberus
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Re: Zombies: scientific argument

Postby HD Cerberus » 08 Aug 2011, 03:52

Indeed it does. As does getting your origins a little mixed up. :) The word does stem from joining two words, yes. Not, as you say the Latin, but in fact the Greek.

'Necromancy' as a word is fairly modern, and doesn't translate directly into latin. The first step is to trace it back to sometime around the 18th century, where it had evolved from the 18th century English 'necyomancy'. This is the word that was derived from the latin, 'necyomantia'. However, the origins of the word go even further back then that, as the Latin stems from the Greek. It's almost impossible to write the Greek here, as we use the Roman alphabet, which the Greek precedes, but the generally widely accepted 'English' of the word would be 'Nekyia'. In the original Greek, it is a combination of words the first of which would mean 'Shell of the deceased' or 'The remains'. Basicly, the body, or the corpse. The second is a little bit harder, but basicly means 'Prophecy'.

Necromancy to raise undead armies is a very modern construct. Back in the day, roughly around the medieval ages that is, necromancy was used to tell the future, because it was though that the dead knew all the prophecies and what would happen and what not. So you'd summon one, ask him what was what, how things were in the underworld, how he was getting on and all that. A bit like (some) modern fantasy where wizards sometimes summon demons to tell them things they don't know, or in Terry Pratchets Discworld, the right of AshkEnte.

In the dark ages, it was believed there were three forms of magic. Light, Dark, and Necromancy. Funny how we always assume that Necromancy is evil nowdays.

Fun fact: Merlin the Magician (As in, King Arthurs Merlin) was a necromancer, according to references made in both the films 'Excalibur' and 'The sword in the stone'. I always wondered who decided he was, but then I assume it must be in the original legends somewhere.
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The Ghost
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Re: Zombies: scientific argument

Postby The Ghost » 09 Aug 2011, 01:43

But according to some other sources he was the quintessential arch-mage who is a master of all schools, including necromancy. (In D&D for example.)
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HD Cerberus
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Re: Zombies: scientific argument

Postby HD Cerberus » 09 Aug 2011, 04:44

That's true, I have seen that aswell.
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ummm24
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Re: Zombies: scientific argument

Postby ummm24 » 09 Aug 2011, 13:17

Wow! That is VERY useful information! Thanks! :D
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Re: Zombies: scientific argument

Postby KikoSan » 10 Aug 2011, 23:38

Hi all. First time posting here.
Anyway, the trigger for a "real-life" zombie apocalypse that makes the most sense to me would not be a natural virus but rather something going wrong with nanobot technology.
They are currently experimenting with these microscopic "robots" with hope that they could be used in the medical world to do things like target and kill cancer cells or be used as biomedical instrumentation in surgery. So how is to far off to think that they could experiment on it as a boost to our immune system to fight off all disease? What if the military likes the idea of giving soldiers a single injection containing nanobots instead of multiple vaccines. What if they decide they want this nanobot injection to protect their soldiers from disease, but decide not to stop there and want the nanobots to also increase stamina or speed up healing of wounds. In effect with nanobot technology develop a super soldier who can keep fighting after being injured in a way that a normal soldier would be incapacitated.
So let's now travel into this "real-life" where zombies can exist. What if the nanobots take over the host in order to protect it and in order to protect and defend it they must spread to other hosts. So now you have these walking dead, with injuries that would incapacitate or kill most normal people and they're attacking others to make them join their ranks as there is strength in numbers. The speed and ability at which which these nanobots are able to heal their host would have limits so these "zombies" would not be indestructible and if you are able to destroy the brain then you destroy the physical control mechanism of the body rendering it useless.
Of course there are holes in my "real-life" scenario, but then again we're talking about zombies.
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HD Cerberus
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Re: Zombies: scientific argument

Postby HD Cerberus » 11 Aug 2011, 00:15

I see where you are coming from, but I think that if that were to happen, staying in a human host is unlikely. If the nanobots have the intelligence to take over, or 'Zombify' their hosts, why would they make the very silly mistake of just staying in people? Why need people at all? They presumably don't need them to reproduce, they have the power to just kill them, and robots are far less fragile then humans, so what is stopping them from just reproducing in their millions and consuming people for resources?
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Re: Zombies: scientific argument

Postby Kevak » 11 Aug 2011, 04:36

Well they would probably do that, and they would probably do the same with animals.
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Re: Zombies: scientific argument

Postby Happy Demon » 11 Aug 2011, 05:43

Strange, I was thinking of suggesting nano-machines, but I didn't since it seemed a little off-topic, and simple.

A human body used for replicating nanites, and biting other people to spread the nanites, since the concentration of nanites would be in the brain so they could control the body, and thus is easy to go from bite-to-wound.
Nanites aren't all-powerful, so going through several layers of skin would be hard to do, so a bite that sends them into the blood flow would work pretty well.
They could go airborne, but then you would just have to touch a TV screen, and the static electricity would make any nanite malfunction in the area, also, electronics sends out magnetic waves which destroy nano-machines easily.
So machines taking over the body would be possible.
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HD Cerberus
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Re: Zombies: scientific argument

Postby HD Cerberus » 11 Aug 2011, 06:29

Again though, protecting electronics against electric charges is not that hard, especially non-weaponised ones. It's why the laptop, phone or computer your sitting at right now doesn't fry when you go near it.
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Keter
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Re: Zombies: scientific argument

Postby Keter » 11 Aug 2011, 07:40

I don't know how nano machines work, but is it possible to make them proliferate in organic tissues? And if it is, would they be able to proliferate fast enough AND spread through the world?
Although it wouldn't be a problem if they were being used as terrorist weapons or something. But I think that if humans menage to create something like this, they would have enough knowledge about mechanisms that control the brain, so it would also be possible to create genetically modified viruses to execute this function. I guess use of viruses would be far more efficient, BUT there's a great con on it: any small mistake would lead to a complete lost of control.

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