The Instigator
tylergraham95
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
EndarkenedRationalist
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points

Slow moving Zombies are more realistic than fast moving zombies

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
tylergraham95
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 789 times Debate No: 43646
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

tylergraham95

Pro

First round is acceptance only.
Zombies are defined for the sake of this debate as ghoulish bodies of humans who have been reanimated after death by a virus, magic, etc. that typically attempt to bite humans in order to spread their plague or eat the brains of the human.
Examples of slow moving zombies are "Max Brooks" Zombies. The zombies in Shaun of the Dead.
Examples of fast moving zombies include Zombies from 28 days later and The World War Z movie.
The purpose of this discussion is to debate whether or not "Slow moving" zombies are more realistic than "fast moving" zombies.
Realistic is defined as:
having or showing a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected.
or
representing familiar things in a way that is accurate or true to life.
I look forward to a challenger.

EndarkenedRationalist

Con

I accept the debate and my opponent's definitions. I look forward to an interesting and fun debate!
Debate Round No. 1
tylergraham95

Pro

I would like to begin by thanking my opponent for accepting my challenge.


Pros Case


Contentions

1. Fast Moving Zombies Violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics with regard to chemical energy and energy expenditure.
2. Fast Moving zombies are unrealistic, as rotting bodies are fragile and prone to falling apart under stress.
3. Slow movement in zombies would be more energy efficient, and lends itself to sedentary lifestyle, which is more common in human diseases.


Contention 1: Fast Moving Zombies Violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics with regard to chemical energy and energy expenditure.

I'll begin by addressing my contention regarding thermodynamics and relate it to this debate. The second law of thermodynamics states that in a closed system (such as the universe) energy is constant. This is more colloquially referred to as the law of conservation of energy. Now in the case of fast moving zombies, they are unrealistic with regard to this law in the fact that moving at such high speed would require a large amount of chemical energy. All known life in the animal kingdom consume some type of chemical energy to power locomotion and other bodily functions. A zombie however consumes no chemical energy and therefore does not have any way to power its locomotion. One might argue that zombies eat brains for chemical energy, but if this were true the zombie virus (or other infection) would never spread due to the lack of available hosts. If Zombies were truly capable of moving at high speeds (like in 28 days later, the WWZ movie, and also in the L4D Game) they would require a great deal of chemical energy. I ask, where does this energy come from? In theory a human body can decompose itself as a source of chemical energy, but this is illogical and will explain why in my next contention.(1)



Contention 2: Fast Moving zombies are unrealistic, as rotting bodies are fragile and prone to falling apart under stress.

My second contention regards the biological side of a zombie, which is the reanimated corpse of a human. A zombie (since it is still a rotting corpse) would likely have failing ligaments and skeletal structure, which would not allow for such high speeds on foot. This is supported by the phenomena of sprained and damaged bones/ligaments (especially in those of failing health [i.e. the walking dead]). Weakened and failing joints, ligaments, bones, etc. would totally fail if a zombie attempted to move at the speeds depicted in movies such as World War Z. This also supports my previous argument that self atrophy for the sake of chemical energy is illogical, due to the fact that self atrophy would only further accelerate the failing of zombie locomotive ability. Rotting corpse would quickly fall apart if they were constantly sprinting to catch prey. (2)



Contention 3: Slow movement in zombies would be more energy efficient, and lends itself to sedentary lifestyle, which is more common in human diseases.

My third contention regards both of my previous arguments. I would contend that, in usual infectious disease situations, sedentary lifestyle is more closely aligned with what is typical of human nature. When one is sick with the flu they do not run around at full speed, because they are sick, typically lack chemical energy, and therefore cannot move as fast as they normally could. This is true for zombies as well seeing as most zombie experts point to infectious disease as the source of the rising of the undead.


Take the fast moving zombies in World War Z for example. They are infected with a bite that rapidly turns them into ghoul capable of superhuman strength and superhuman speeds. Not one of them consumes any form of chemical energy to power these extreme processes. Clearly the infection is some kind of pathogen, but there is no energy source to power their impressive feats of speed and strength. This clearly violates the second law of thermodynamics. Furthermore after a few days or weeks of failing health (due to many factors such as the weather, lack of chemical energy to maintain the body, etc.) they can still exhibit such amazing feats.

The "Max Brooks" zombie (described in his book The Zombie Survival Guide) however moves slowly and therefore requires much less chemical energy. Sedentary lifestyle zombies would allow them to preserve the chemical energy that remains in their bodies and wait for food to come near. That is why the "Max Brooks Zombie" waits for some type of signal to attack such as noise. This virus could spread in a more realistic manner due to the zombies only occasionally needing to feed on a human due to the low energy efficient lifestyles that they lead. This would allow for a more successful outbreak and would therefore be beneficial to the zombie virus and therefore more realistic.



Summary

Fast moving zombies violate the second law of thermodynamics, Fast moving zombies are unrealistic with respect to a rotting human body, and slow moving zombies are more realistic with respect to typical human disease and energy efficiency.


I thank my partner for his time and eagerly await his response.


Sources
1. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
EndarkenedRationalist

Con

I will begin by refuting my opponent's case and then proceed to construct my own.

Response to Contention 1: The Second Law of Thermodynamics

What my opponent is referring to is entropy, and his definition is slightly off. (Additionally, the law of conservation of energy is the first law of thermodynamics, not the second). The Second Law states that if no energy enters or exits a system, the potential energy will always be less than the initial state (paraphrased) [1]. In this debate, I am arguing for the realistic idea of fast-moving zombies over slow ones, not that the fast zombie has to constantly be fast. A fast-moving zombie will eventually degrade into a slow-moving zombie, but in the initial state, fast-moving zombies seem far more realistic than slow-moving ones for reasons I'll discuss later. To refute my opponent's first point, I point out that zombies do consume human flesh, thus still allowing for the infection to spread. Now, it can be pointed out that a virus cannot metabolise (turn food into chemical energy). However, research has recently revealed that viruses can generate electrical energy from mechanical energy [2], thus establishing that viruses are capable of generating energy - something long thought impossible. Additionally, bacterial infections are already capable of generating chemical energy [3]. Since my opponent did not specify that the zombie infection had to be viral, I can use bacteria as a counterpoint to the law of entropy. Furthermore, my opponent is correct - the body can use itself if all else fails, and I shall explain this as well.

Response to Contention 2: Stress

Again, I have to argue only for the probability of faster zombies being more realistic than slower ones at any point in time. The longer the time period, the less realistic fast zombies appear to be. But in the initial and early stages of a zombie apocalypse, fast-moving zombies are more realistic than slow ones. At this point in time, the human body is still in as good a shape as it was as when it was alive. Since reanimation generally occurs fairly quickly, the body has not had much time to decompose. The zombie's muscles and joints and ligaments are not yet weakened or failing and thus would still allow the zombie to move at a faster speed. Self-atrophy here supports my claim that fast-moving zombies are more realistic in the early stages of an outbreak. And, as I have shown, there are other methods for zombies to gain chemical energy.

Response to Contention 3: Energy Efficiency

When have zombies ever done anything efficiently? The most efficient way (or, I should say, a more efficient way) for a zombie to kill people would be to pick up a machine gun and open fire (which has seldom happened). With reanimation, only a small portion of the brain is reactivated. Zombies do not possess the capacity for the rational thought that sick humans do and thus do not consider remaining sedentary. Additionally, the virus (assuming it is a viral infection) can contain vast amounts of energy [4]. A virus capable of reanimating the dead would be unlike any currently known, and its true proportions remain mysterious. Furthermore, most zombies remain sedentary until they detect a human presence anyway. A zombie with nothing to hunt gains nothing by running around. That zombies tend to wait for a human stimulus is not relevant to whether the zombie is fast or slow. I have inadvertently woven bits of my case into my rebuttals, but I'll restate it here.

Contention 1: In the early stages of an outbreak, faster zombies are more realistic than slower ones. As I have said, a zombie is a reanimated human body. At the time of reanimation (depending on the length of time between death and reanimation), the body remains in relatively good condition and thus is still capable of allowing the zombie to sprint or run. Now, the most common counterpoint to this is rigor mortis [5].However, as the chart demonstrates, rigor mortis builds and disperses over time. A fast zombie would still be fast before and after rigor mortis. Only during its peak would a zombie be slowed. At onset and resolution, a zombie would be as fast as the human was in life.


mouseover="Over(this);" onmouseout="Out(this);" src="../../../photos/albums/1/4/3253/108387-3253-zqyum-b.jpg" alt="" />

In the event that the picture does not show up (I'm new with posting pictures), my source 5 leads to that same chart.

As I have demonstrated, zombies do have methods of generating chemical energy (self-atrophy proves valid for at least a while if nothing else). In order to disprove the resolution, again, I only need to sucessfully defend faster zombies being more realistic during a portion of the zombie apocalypse. I believe I have successfully done so, and I'll hand the debate back to my opponent. I look forward to his responses in the next round!


[1] http://www2.estrellamountain.edu...
[2] http://newscenter.lbl.gov...
[3] http://www.npr.org...
[4] http://www.sciencedaily.com...
[5] http://zombieresearchsociety.com...
Debate Round No. 2
tylergraham95

Pro

I thank my opponent for his speedy response.

Pro's Case



Thermodynamics

"In this debate, I am arguing for the realistic idea of fast-moving zombies over slow ones, not that the fast zombie has to constantly be fast."

My opponent attempts to make this argument in order to make their argument more tenable, but this statement violates the definitions that he has already accepted. In this debate "Fast Moving Zombie" is a epithet for zombies whose behaviour is modeled in the movies in the definitions provided: 28 Days Later and World War Z. In both of these movies it can be seen that even into the latter stages of the outbreak Zombies still move at very high speeds and therefore my opponents argument regarding gradual degredation of speed is invalid. Zombies that move quickly but degrade then move slowly do not fit the given definition of fast moving zombies.

"To refute my opponent's first point, I point out that zombies do consume human flesh, thus still allowing for the infection to spread"

In both examples of fast moving zombies, they do not consume flesh, they merely pass on the infection, then move along. This is especially true in the World War Z movie zombies. These zombies specifically avoid the infected. Therefore my opponents attempt to create a source of chemical energy for fast moving zombies is ineffective. My point remains. There are no sources of chemical energy large enough to sustain the energy output exhibited in fast moving zombies.

"However, research has recently revealed that viruses can generate electrical energy from mechanical energy, thus establishing that viruses are capable of generating energy - something long thought impossible."

Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, the energy in the world is constant. Furthermore, Electrical energy would be useless to a zombie that is attempting to achieve high speed locomotion. In fact, the virus my opponent exhibits only takes away the mechanical energy that is required to create movement and therefore locomotion. Virus do not spontaneously generate energy, in this case they simply convert energy. Energy is never generated. It is only converted into different forms. This is the point of metabolization. Organisms metabolize chemical energy found in their food in order to generate energy for the body. If a zombie has no form of energy intake (i.e. the consumption of large amounts of brains) then there is no realistic way for zombies to achieve high speed locomotion.

" Additionally, bacterial infections are already capable of generating chemical energy."

Again I state, energy is NOT generated. Energy is converted. Yes bacterial organisms are capable of metabolizing energy to provide energy to themselves, but this still requires some source of energy (food).




Decomposition/Stress


"Again, I have to argue only for the probability of faster zombies being more realistic than slower ones at any point in time."

This is not true, and has been addressed previously in my rebuttals on Thermodynamics. With this point invalidated, my opponent cedes my argument to be superior.

"Since reanimation generally occurs fairly quickly, the body has not had much time to decompose."

In the case of the World War Z Zombie this is true, initially. But Many scenes in the movie depict zombies that are clearly rotting in an accelerated state. This is likely due to the fact that since they do not consume chemical energy, the zombies must atrophy their own bodies in order to move and function. This combined with the forces that accompany rapid movement would very quickly cause the body to fall apart. Zombies are the undead, walking corpses. Without refridgeration, bodies decompose very quickly (1)

"if it is exposed to the elements, it will decay very quickly. The most important factor in decomposition time is how much exposure the body has had to bacteria. Bacteria need oxygen to survive and are generally found in heavy concentrations in water. Therefore, exposure to air or water will speed up the process of decomposition dramatically. Animals and insects will feed on the tissue if a body is exposed, also quickening the process"(1)

Zombies are indeed VERY exposed to the elements, and alongside self-atrophy the zombie will decompose very quickly. As soon as the ligaments, tendons, and muscles fail, the zombie will be incapacitated. This could take as short as several days. If fast moving zombies only last for a few days, then there is no way the outbreak could effectively spread.




Sedentary Lifestyle and Human Disease


"When have zombies ever done anything efficiently? The most efficient way (or, I should say, a more efficient way) for a zombie to kill people would be to pick up a machine gun and open fire (which has seldom happened)."

This is simply a purposeful misinterpretation of my use and the concept of "energy efficiency." Obviously zombies lack the brain function to operate advanced weaponry, but even if they could use weapons, guns wouldn't spread the virus. My point is that Zombies that are sedentary until activated by stimulus are more realistic as they could preserve their bodies for longer periods of time, and would consume less energy while hunting for prey. Furthermore, Slow moving zombies would operate for longer, as less force would be put on their rotting ligaments.

" Zombies do not possess the capacity for the rational thought that sick humans do and thus do not consider remaining sedentary."

You may make the concious decision to remain sedentary while violently ill, but eve if one tried to run around while sick, they could not because their body cannot produce the proper amount of energy while sick.

"Additionally, the virus (assuming it is a viral infection) can contain vast amounts of energy"

But not enough energy to power a sprinting human body. Furthermore, when the virus spreads, how do the pathogens acquire power to bring to the new host?


Rebuttals

"In the early stages of an outbreak, faster zombies are more realistic than slower ones. As I have said, a zombie is a reanimated human body. At the time of reanimation (depending on the length of time between death and reanimation), the body remains in relatively good condition and thus is still capable of allowing the zombie to sprint or run. Now, the most common counterpoint to this is rigor mortis.However, as the chart demonstrates, rigor mortis builds and disperses over time. A fast zombie would still be fast before and after rigor mortis. Only during its peak would a zombie be slowed. At onset and resolution, a zombie would be as fast as the human was in life."

Not all cases of zombification exhibit reanimation of the body in good condition, (see Shaun of the Dead, and "The Max Brooks Zombie") and therefore it cannot be assumed that the body will indeed be capable of sprinting. Sprinting also does indeed violate the law of conservation of energy, and would surely cause the process of decomposition to accelerate rapidly, therefore preventing the outbreak from spreading quickly. This shows an outbreak of fast moving zombies to be unrealistic.



Summary

Much of my opponents argument rests on a violation of the given and accepted definitions. I have sufficiently countered his points, proving that fast moving zombies do indeed violate the laws of thermodynamics in that they generate power where there is none, and that the rot that would surely occur would prevent them from running (the forces would make your body fall apart), and that slow moving zombies bypass these problems by conserving energy, and avoiding strenuous forces. Slow moving zombies would be more efficient hunters, with much better longevity, and therefore would be better for spreading the zombie infection. Therefore, Slow moving zombies are more likely and more realistic.

VOTE PRO!



Sources
1. http://curiosity.discovery.com...
EndarkenedRationalist

Con

I thank my opponent for his likewise speedy response.

My opponent asserts that I am violating his definitions. I disagree. My opponent said:

"Zombies are defined for the sake of this debate as ghoulish bodies of humans who have been reanimated after death by a virus, magic, etc. that typically attempt to bite humans in order to spread their plague or eat the brains of the human."

My oppoent also defines realistic:

"Realistic is defined as: having or showing a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected.
or representing familiar things in a way that is accurate or true to life."

Nowhere does this imply the zombie has to be in a constant state. Thus I have not violated any definitions. In fact, my opponent's second definition of realistic actually testifies to my claim that zombies begin fast and gradually slow - like a human tires after expending energy. In fact, using the film 28 Days Later is actually beneficial to my case, as the infected in that movie are speedy but die out nearly entirely after 4 weeks. This supports the logical and gradual degredation of the zombie body that begins fast, thus establishing the realistic sense of faster zombies, and gradually wears out. Thus these zombies match the criteria for fast-moving zombies.

"In both examples of fast moving zombies, they do not consume flesh, they merely pass on the infection, then move along. This is especially true in the World War Z movie zombies. These zombies specifically avoid the infected."

The zombies in World War Z avoided the infected humans not because of a repulsion to their flesh but because the virus knew they would make poor hosts. We know from practically every zombie horror movie/book/etc that zombies consume flesh and/or organs. My point in using the viral study was to demonstrate that viruses can turn one form on energy into another, which was previously thought impossible. Viruses constantly mutate, and a virus capable of reanimating the dead would be brand new. It is entirely possible that said virus could transform (I admit, generate was a bad word. I meant converted by it, in the same sense that a generator converts hydropower to electricity.) the energy from consuming flesh into chemical energy. The same applies for, bacteria, which my opponent concedes are capable of metabolising energy.

"Again I state, energy is NOT generated. Energy is converted. Yes bacterial organisms are capable of metabolizing energy to provide energy to themselves, but this still requires some source of energy (food)."

The flesh/brains is their food.

Additionally, I will respond to another of my opponent's points here - the brain versus reproduction point. My opponent said:
,
"One might argue that zombies eat brains for chemical energy, but if this were true the zombie virus (or other infection) would never spread due to the lack of available hosts."

I substituted flesh for brains, but either way, let's examine this point. If zombies eat brains and can gain energy from them (as I argue they theoretically can, particularly if the infection is bacterial and thus provides more evidence for faster zombies), how do they - for lack of a better word - repopulate? Simply, it becomes a numbers game. For simplicity's sake, let's say we have 10 zombies and 100 humans. Some of these humans are prepared to fight. others are holed up somewhere, others are caught and eaten entirely, and others escape with a bite or scratch (and we all know what this means). Just because the zombies eat brains/flesh does not mean they consume one or the other (or both) successfully in 100% of encounters between zombies and humans. Partially eaten victims are common, not to mention that, in films like 28 Days Later, a single drop of blood in the eye is sufficient to turn an adult male human into a zombie. Thus it is still entirely possible for zombies to transform the energy from flesh/brains and still repopulate.

"In the case of the World War Z Zombie this is true, initially. But Many scenes in the movie depict zombies that are clearly rotting in an accelerated state. This is likely due to the fact that since they do not consume chemical energy, the zombies must atrophy their own bodies in order to move and function. This combined with the forces that accompany rapid movement would very quickly cause the body to fall apart. Zombies are the undead, walking corpses. Without refridgeration, bodies decompose very quickly (1)"

I could just as easily argue that faster zombies are then more realistic in colder parts of the world. Like time, I can argue place to disprove the resolution. However, let's delve a little deeper. Many scenes in the movie show zombies in bad shape. I argue that at least some of this is due to the state the body was in while being attacked by zombies, while being consumed by zombies, and/or before reanimation. A body won't exactly look healthy with teeth and claw marks all over it.

At first glance, my opponent's remarks regarding decomposition appear valid. After all, zombies are certainly exposed to the elements. However, in almost every zombie case, it is documented that the decomposition process stops/slows somehow. In Max Brooks' The Zombie Survival Guide, this is attributed to the virus Solanum [1]. Additionally, weather conditions are not the same everywhere. While some zombies may decompose faster, others will not. Zombies will also make new zombies by infecting other humans.

Even if nothing slows the decomposition, the zombie remains quick for a portion of its short un-life. The resolution concerns slow zombies being more realistic than fast ones. If fast ones are more realistic earlier in a zombie apocalypse and slow ones are more realistic later, then both were equally realistic, and this suffices to disprove the resolution. I can either prove fast zombies to be more realistic (as I have shown they are in the earlier stages of a zombie apocalypse) or prove that both are equally realistic.

"If fast moving zombies only last for a few days, then there is no way the outbreak could effectively spread."

I have to disagree with this. Get one zombie into a crowded place, say an airport or a shopping mall, and the infection will spread like wildfire. In World War Z, seconds pass between bite and infection in most cases. A single, fast-moving zombie could be enough to infect dozens of people [2]. Additionally, this is a concession on my opponent's part regarding the realism of fast-moving zombies.

"This is simply a purposeful misinterpretation of my use and the concept of "energy efficiency." Obviously zombies lack the brain function to operate advanced weaponry, but even if they could use weapons, guns wouldn't spread the virus. My point is that Zombies that are sedentary until activated by stimulus are more realistic as they could preserve their bodies for longer periods of time, and would consume less energy while hunting for prey. Furthermore, Slow moving zombies would operate for longer, as less force would be put on their rotting ligaments."

I believe my opponent misunderstood my point. In humans it is a conscious decision to preserve energy efficiently by being sedentary. Zombies do not make this decision. They are sedentary because they have nothing to react to. Both fast and slow zombies are sedentary until alerted by something. Additionally (I use that word a lot, don't I?), there are viral and bacterial infections that induce their hosts with large amounts of energy. (After all, the origin of doing something feverishly began somewhere).


Alternatively, perhaps the virus/bacteria/magic/etc is capable of photosynthesis. Who knows? If it's a virus, it is unknown and unlike anything we presently know, and many zombies do take on a greenish tinge. The pathogen could also be capable of burning less important cells and other parts of the body to use chemical energy, much like how the human body burns fat first.

"Not all cases of zombification exhibit reanimation of the body in good condition, (see Shaun of the Dead, and "The Max Brooks Zombie") and therefore it cannot be assumed that the body will indeed be capable of sprinting."

I admitted that not all bodies would be in good condition for reanimation; thus, not all zombies would be able to run. But most bodies would be in a condition good enough to move faster than a shuffle, and that makes faster zombies more realistic than slow ones. What would be unrealistic is if the muscles automatically deteriorated enough to force the zombies to hobble along directly after reanimation, thus making slower zombies unrealistic, especially during early stages of an outbreak.

I have shown that I have not violated any definition as written. I have simply steered the conversation to include a time period where my premise holds more water and yet is entirely within the parameters of the debate. I have established clear times wherein fast zombies function according to the laws of thermodynamics (which we'll assume the undead operate by), and that is the bare minimum I have to do to disprove the resolution. I have also successfully refuted my opponent's other assertions (sedentary again not having much relevance as both types of zombies are sedentary when undisturbed.) I have pointed out how the virus/bacteria/etc delays the process of decomposition and allows zombies to remain for longer periods of time. I have provided several avenues as to how zombies can continuously obtain energy, including the virus itself and its undetermined capabilities.

My opponent claimed that slower zombies were more efficient hunters. Actually a faster zombie is a more efficient hunter because it has a higher chance of catching something.

(I also note that, as magic was one of the options, I could sit here and spam magic over and over again.)

I look forward to the final round! Vote CON!

[1] Brooks, Max. The Zombie Survival Guide. Three Rivers Press, 2003. Print.
[2] http://www.livescience.com...
Debate Round No. 3
tylergraham95

Pro

I thank my opponent for the prompt response

Pros Case

Definitions

In round 1 I outlined what sources we would draw upon in order to objectively determine what would qualify as "Fast moving" or "Slow moving" zombie. These were the defnitions of "Fast moving" and "Slow moving" that my opponent accepted. If his case does not properly defend these examples of zombies, then he has failed to create a valid argument


"using the film 28 Days Later is actually beneficial to my case, as the infected in that movie are speedy but die out nearly entirely after 4 weeks."

4 weeks is a wholly unrealistic period of decomposition. "A corpse can become a moving mass of maggots within 24 hours."(1) In 4 weeks a corpse would be totally destroyed, but even 1 or 2 week old zombies are seen sprinting in 28 Days Later.


Energy and Consumption

"The zombies in World War Z avoided the infected humans not because of a repulsion to their flesh but because the virus knew they would make poor hosts."

Scenes show people being bitten by zombies and then instantly left alone (Zombies can discern a fatal virus and avoid them, bting them instantly infcts them with fatal virus, zombies leave them alone)

Furthermore zombies are seen with speed faster than humans in World War Z and committing feats that would require bones Stronger than that of humans. See the following clip.

https://www.youtube.com...

This is all in relation to both my arguments on Energy, and also the strength of the body and decomposition.

Furthermore, all traits of zombies who are freshly infected like my opponent suggests (Extreme aggression, inability to feel pain, hunger control) are indicitive of brain damage in the same areas of the brain that control coordination, and therefore zombies still could not run, or sprint.

Furthermore, there is little chance a virus, bacteria, or other infection could possibly operate the human body with the efficieny that it does, especially since all zombie viruses must first kill the host, then reanimate. This lends its self to rapid decomposition and inability to gain energy.


"My point in using the viral study was to demonstrate that viruses can turn one form on energy into another."


But there still must be a source of energy. The only energy humans are capable of converting is chemical via digestion. Therefore, zombies must eat for energy. Fast moving zombies must eat a whole lot, thus slowing the infection and lowering their ranks and decreasing their longevity, making them worse at creating a zombie apocalpyse and therefore less realistic.


"The flesh/brains is their food."

This lowers the number of available hosts. Also, How do zombies decide who to eat and who to infect? Their brains clearly are not functioning at an intelligent level.


"I could just as easily argue that faster zombies are then more realistic in colder parts of the world."

How cold? Because chill could easily freeze an already frigid corpse, thus restricting movement. Also, population density is lower in cold environments, thus restricting outbreak.


"However, in almost every zombie case, it is documented that the decomposition process stops/slows somehow. In Max Brooks' The Zombie Survival Guide, this is attributed to the virus Solanum. Additionally, weather conditions are not the same everywhere. While some zombies may decompose faster, others will not. Zombies will also make new zombies by infecting other humans. "

Your fatal flaw here is that Max Brooks writes about Slow Moving Zombies. Your point therefore stengthens only my argument. The books The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z (Remember the books, not the movies) both are written by Max Brooks and refer to zombies as shambling slow moving undead.


"I have to disagree with this. Get one zombie into a crowded place, say an airport or a shopping mall, and the infection will spread like wildfire. In World War Z, seconds pass between bite and infection in most cases. A single, fast-moving zombie could be enough to infect dozens of people. Additionally, this is a concession on my opponent's part regarding the realism of fast-moving zombies."


First of all, this is in no way a concession to the realism of fast moving zombies.

Even if Zombies did successfully infect a large number of people in one area it could never spread across the world if the only lasted for 5 or 6 days. If zombies decomposed past mobility in less than a week then the outbreak could be easily managed and contained.


"I believe my opponent misunderstood my point. In humans it is a conscious decision to preserve energy efficiently by being sedentary. Zombies do not make this decision. They are sedentary because they have nothing to react to. Both fast and slow zombies are sedentary until alerted by something. Additionally (I use that word a lot, don't I?), there are viral and bacterial infections that induce their hosts with large amounts of energy. (After all, the origin of doing something feverishly began somewhere)."


The underlined portion is a random stab with little relevance.

As far as the bolded portion, I ask, can you cite a source that suggest that there is a virus or bacterial infection that is capable of killing you and that gives you more energy. You might have a hard time finding one because there is none. No infection improves the human body, bacterial or viral, especially to the degree that the zombie virus does. The zombies in the WWZ movie are seen smashing in car windows with their heads, A normal human would have the bones smashed in the process. Totally unrealistic.


"Alternatively, perhaps the virus/bacteria/magic/etc is capable of photosynthesis. Who knows? If it's a virus, it is unknown and unlike anything we presently know, and many zombies do take on a greenish tinge. The pathogen could also be capable of burning less important cells and other parts of the body to use chemical energy, much like how the human body burns fat first. "


If you contend magic (Voodoo, necromancy) to be realistic then I can assume that I've won.

Who knows indeed. But we can make predictions based on real infectious disease, furthermore, humans don't have plant cells (chlorophyll) that can photosynthesize. Furthermore, do you see any plants running, or even moving independantly very much? I don't think so. Photosynthesis does not provide nearly enough energy to locomote a human body. As far as self atrophy goes, there are two scenarios: A) There is enough fat to power locomotion through self-atrophy, but the Zombie still cannot run because it is fat as shi*t or B) There is very little fat and so the zombie must slowly shamble in order to preserve energy.


"My opponent claimed that slower zombies were more efficient hunters. Actually a faster zombie is a more efficient hunter because it has a higher chance of catching something."

Horde hunting and outlast are how slow zombies catch their prey and Max Brooks (zombie expert) seems inclined to believe that it is a very efficient method of cathcing prey.

"(I also note that, as magic was one of the options, I could sit here and spam magic over and over again.)"

You can try to argue that magic is realistic. Go for it.


Here's another video illustrating quite well some of my points

https://www.youtube.com...



VOTE PRO!!!


Sources
1.http://answers.yahoo.com...;
EndarkenedRationalist

Con

I want to thank my opponent for his speedy responses and for a fantastic debate! I think my opponent has raised a lot of excellent points, and I will continue to do my best to refute them. As this is the final round, I will not make any new arguments, though I will clarify a few older ones.

I posted my opponent's definitions from Round 1, and my opponent has failed to prove that I have violated them. Now he did provide examples of fast and slow zombies:

"Examples of slow moving zombies are "Max Brooks" Zombies. The zombies in Shaun of the Dead.
Examples of fast moving zombies include Zombies from 28 days later and The World War Z movie."

However, my opponent never asserted that these examples were exclusive and that they were the only ones I was allowed to argue. I have discussed zombies in general and used my opponent's examples as evidence, but I never limited my case to them, nor was I ever told to. Since this was never established as a limitation, my argument remains valid.

"4 weeks is a wholly unrealistic period of decomposition. "A corpse can become a moving mass of maggots within 24 hours."(1) In 4 weeks a corpse would be totally destroyed, but even 1 or 2 week old zombies are seen sprinting in 28 Days Later."

I discussed in the previous round how, in zombies, the process of decomposition is halted/slowed. This makes it entirely possible for these zombies to still be around several weeks later. The decomposition period of a zombie cannot be compared with that of a typical corpse.

"Furthermore zombies are seen with speed faster than humans in World War Z and committing feats that would require bones Stronger than that of humans. See the following clip."

The strength of zombies is irrelevant to this debate, and I do not have to defend the premise that zombies are faster than humans. Honestly, I had a lot of problems with World War Z (how the heck did that many zombies get over Israel's wall with no one noticing?). But neither of those points fall under my burden to defend. I am discussing fast zombies, yes, but we never clarified how fast that has to include. So I am arguing for zombies moving faster than those seen in Brooks' or Romero's worlds.

"Furthermore, all traits of zombies who are freshly infected like my opponent suggests (Extreme aggression, inability to feel pain, hunger control) are indicitive of brain damage in the same areas of the brain that control coordination, and therefore zombies still could not run, or sprint."

This is not strictly accurate. It is true that both coordination and emotions are controlled by the cerebrum. However, movement is controlled by the motor cortex [1] while anger is part of the limbic system and aggression is controlled by the Amygdala [2]. Thus it remains entirely possible for zombies to be consumed by aggression and still run. Such occurs in 28 Days Later with the Rage Virus, which continually forces the brain to pump adrenaline. This accounts for the speed witnessed by these zombies and also for their decay a while later. It is worth noting that the Rage Virus is a genetically engineered virus, thus adding a whole different level of possibility to the realism of fast zombies as controlled to slow ones, as a genetically engineered virus has different capabilities than a standard one.

"But there still must be a source of energy. The only energy humans are capable of converting is chemical via digestion. Therefore, zombies must eat for energy. Fast moving zombies must eat a whole lot, thus slowing the infection and lowering their ranks and decreasing their longevity, making them worse at creating a zombie apocalypse and therefore less realistic."

We have seen that zombies do eat. It is also not necessary for a zombie to consume an entire human in order to gather flesh in its system. Thus a fast zombie can both increase the ranks of the zombie horde and get food at the same time. I have conceded that their longevity is lowered, but neither their longevity nor their effectiveness have any bearing on whether one is more realistic than the other. We are not debating the damages they could do nor which type of apocalypse would be worse. Your standard is thus irrelevant to the resolution.

"This lowers the number of available hosts. Also, How do zombies decide who to eat and who to infect? Their brains clearly are not functioning at an intelligent level."

I have already addressed the first sentence - a zombie does not have to consume an entire human. Additionally, the interest of the virus is not just to repopulate. In 28 Days Later, consuming the non-infected is equally important to the virus as spreading [3]. And I doubt zombies make a decision about whether to eat or consume someone. Generally it's just about how much time elapses before the body reanimates into a zombie.

We know that colder areas slow the rate of decomposition for zombies. At temperatures higher than needed to freeze them but still relatively cold, faster zombies would have an even slower rate of decomposition than the virus grants them.

"Your fatal flaw here is that Max Brooks writes about Slow Moving Zombies. Your point therefore strengthens only my argument. The books The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z (Remember the books, not the movies) both are written by Max Brooks and refer to zombies as shambling slow moving undead."

There is no reason that what applies to Brooks' slow-moving zombies cannot apply to the faster ones, especially when both in this resolution would originate from the same/a similar virus. Again, this debate is not about Romero versus 28 Days Later but about zombies in general.

"Even if Zombies did successfully infect a large number of people in one area it could never spread across the world if the only lasted for 5 or 6 days. If zombies decomposed past mobility in less than a week then the outbreak could be easily managed and contained."

I have established many times that the rate of decomposition is not as fast as you imply in zombies. But even if it was, every time one zombie infects one person, that's another five or six days bought. And one zombie would infect many people in those days. So when one zombie decomposes entirely after that time period (which would not happen, but for the sake of argument), there would still be many fresher zombies infecting fresh humans.

"The underlined portion is a random stab with little relevance."

Admittedly. It was a joke.

"As far as the bolded portion, I ask, can you cite a source that suggest that there is a virus or bacterial infection that is capable of killing you and that gives you more energy. You might have a hard time finding one because there is none. No infection improves the human body, bacterial or viral, especially to the degree that the zombie virus does. The zombies in the WWZ movie are seen smashing in car windows with their heads, A normal human would have the bones smashed in the process. Totally unrealistic."

Both a genetically modified virus and a virus not yet documented by science can possibly do this. There are plenty of illnesses today that grant people bursts of energy. These wear out as other functions take over. But in a zombie, these other functions would not occur. Zombies do not get exhausted. There would only be the energy of the virus with nothing to dilute it but action. Fast action. The zombie being fast, in other words. And again, the strength of the zombies is irrelevant to the debate.

It wouldn't be exactly photosynthesis but something similar to it. Measuring a zombie apocalypse by the viruses we have today is an absurd standard. (One might argue that I'm arguing a hypothetical here, but the entire scenario is hypothetical, so it fits). A genetically modified virus like the Rage Virus also fits the bill.

"Horde hunting and outlast are how slow zombies catch their prey and Max Brooks (zombie expert) seems inclined to believe that it is a very efficient method of cathcing prey."

Max Brooks is not the sole 'expert' on zombies. I could easily have argued with Jonathan Maberry or any other popular writer. Horde hunting is efficient, but both fast and slow zombies can use it.

"You can try to argue that magic is realistic. Go for it."

Imperio!
Now admit I won the debate!

Did that convince you? No? Darn.

In all seriousness though, you provided magic as a possibility in Round 1, and are you really going to criticise the realism of magic in a debate about reanimated corpses that actively hunt the living?

Make your own points; don't link me to a video that defends them for you.

Since the rate of decay is slowed/stopped in zombies, fast zombies are able to stick around for longer than a typical corpse would. Fast zombies can gather energy by consuming humans/animals, and the infection, particularly if it is bacterial, has to means to metabolise it. Even without that, fast zombies remain more realistic as long as they can self-atrophy, and if they were equally or more realistic at any point in a zombie apocalypse, then I have disproven the resolution. Zombies are reanimated corpses in the same condition as the human was when alive, and if the human was able to run, logically, then so can the zombie, thus adding to the realism of fast zombies. It would be more unrealistic if that same corpse could suddenly only shamble.

I would like to again thank my opponent for this wonderful debate!

Vote CON!

MAGIC! MAGIC! MAGIC!

[1] http://neuroscience.uth.tmc.edu...
[2] http://webspace.ship.edu...
[3] http://zombie.wikia.com...
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
tylergraham95EndarkenedRationalistTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I think Con moves the goal-posts of the debate, saying: "I have to argue only for the probability of faster zombies being more realistic than slower ones at any point in time." I think this interpretation skews the ground fairly clearly, and so I'm having a hard time evaluating Con's points. I don't think reinterpreting the topic in this way is fair. Ultimately, I grant arguments and conduct to Pro as a result. Also, Pro had much better formatting and readability, and so he wins S/G. I vote Pro.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
tylergraham95EndarkenedRationalistTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made a more convincing case for fast moving zombies. Pro lost conduct points for acting as if con was limited to only the specific examples of fast zombies cited when that was never clearly stated.