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Would a Zombie apacolypse be that deadly?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/24/2015 Category: People
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 305 times Debate No: 83001
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (1)




The idea of an undead flesh-eating human being has fascinated many dystopian writers for decades. However, would such a brain-eating end-of-the-world scenario even be that bad? No, not really. A Zombie Apocalypse would fail for several reasons:

1. They Have Too Many Natural Predators

Do you know why Humans are on top of the food chain? Not because we are hard-to-kill. We're on top simply because we are so absurdly good at killing things ourselves. We are simply too smart for any wild animal to hunt. All that animals have is basic instinct. Humans have Logic and Reasoning. Now consider the poor zombie. It lacks every single advantage that has kept humanity from being eaten to extinction. It wanders around in the open, it can't use weapons, it can't think or use strategy. It doesn't even have the sense of self preservation to run and hide when it's in danger. And, it's made entirely out of food. It's easy prey for any animal that wants it. Now, its not just the big-things that will eat the zombies. Cause not every city is full of bears. You gotta think smaller. Insects are a major problem for living humans, and in some cases, being able to swat away flies and having an immune system is the only thing keeping us from having our eyes and tongues eaten out by maggots. Zombies in any part of the world with a fly problem are going to be swarming with maggots in short order.

2. Biting in a TERRIBLE way to spread infection.

Remember that time that a dog got rabies? Then the very next day, every dog in the world had rabies? Neither do I. Nearly all of the zombie movies agree on one thing: They reproduce like a disease, one that spreads via a bite from the infected (like they have a virus carried by zombie saliva or whatever). But this also means their spread should be subject to the same rules of a normal epidemic, and biting is a terrible way to get an epidemic going. The flu has killed tens of millions because it floats right through the air, the black plague was spread by fleas, etc. Not a single one of them requires the infected to get within biting distance to spread their infection. Sure, sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS work that way, but that's only because the infected can pass for the uninfected. Nobody is going to be having sex with a zombie (the again, humanity has been proven wrong before). But lets just say there IS an outbreak. Some 40 or so people get bit. Its not like its a mystery on what or who is spreading the disease. Its the dude over there trying to bite the little old lady. Blow his head off.

3. Zombies are not well-designed

Zombies lack coordination. They tend to just shamble around until they see something edible. In which they then SLOOOOOOOWWWLLLY shamble towards said edible object. Zombies are also not known for being very smart. Mountains, major rivers and canyons would thus quickly be home to piles of broken zombie rags stinking up the scenic views. Even if zombies had the foresight to not walk over cliffs or into raging rapids during the day, nightfall would result in most eventually walking into rivers, over cliffs and off of bridges, diminishing their numbers. But even in nice, flat, paved cities, where it would seem like people would be extra-screwed, the landscape still works in favor of the living. History has shown that in most awful situations, people don't always act like the panicky idiots in a horror movie. In cities, people would likely congregate in the upper levels of high-rise buildings, where the invasion can be held at bay with simple security doors. Also, the streets themselves would keep the undead corralled in straight, easy-to-aim-down lines where they could be picked off by snipers, or just bored office-workers waiting out the quarantine by dropping office supplies onto the undead from the top floors.


Well, to debate ¨If a zombie apocalypse would be that deadly?¨ we first have to classify what a zombie actually is. Most commonly a zombie is considered a reanimated corpse by the means of a parasite or virus. Now that we have a definition of a zombie we have to find its purpose or reason to eating human flesh? There are many theories but the most likely reason is that it would need some source of energy possibly being fueled by DNA or RNA. Now that I have answered those question I would like to correct a few mistakes that my opponent has made.

They Have Too Many Natural Predators, it's made entirely out of food. As mentioned above, a zombie is a reanimated corpse and corpses decompose. Once an organism dies only scavengers and decomposers really strive to consume it(1). Since a Zombie is unique to all dead organisms in the way that it can still move it could be possible that many scavengers would just look for an organism that really is dead. With worms and maggots living within a zombie's body, it is possible that it does not matter since the only way to kill a zombie is by destroying the brainstem or its cerebellum(2). Depending on the zombie type, if it contains radiation, it is possible that it could eradicate any possible ¨Predators¨

Biting in a TERRIBLE way to spread infection. In my opponent's argument he states the black plague was spread by fleas, etc. Not a single one of them requires the infected to get within biting distance to spread their infection. ¨Flea bites. Plague bacteria are most often transmitted by the bite of an infected flea.(3)¨ so an illness spread by biting killed off upto 60% of the world's population. Secondly, we are unsure how the virus is spread, there are many movies, television shows, and books that agree the zombie virus could be airborne and only affects people after they die. It is possible that a zombie will only attack a person for food, not to spread the virus. For example, with ebola there was panics on how it was spread, if it had mutated to become airborne, without absolute knowledge of how the virus spreads would cause panics and uproars.

Zombies are not well-designed. It is true that a zombie would not have all the functions of a human due to the brain damage it has received. Altho it is believed that the cerebellum and brainstem are the active parts of a zombie's brain(2). The cerebellum coordinates voluntary movements such as posture, balance, coordination, and speech(4) meaning that a zombie could have a good sense of balance and coordination so that they won't be walking into rivers, over cliffs and off or bridges. With a good sense of balance and coordination a zombie could walk quite a bit faster than my opponent believes. Since all zombies are different in little ways it proves how well designed they actually are.

History has shown that in most awful situations, people don't always act like the panicky idiots. People who are malnourished, sleep deprived and possibly dehydrated do not act in normal ways. For many paranoia will have kicked in, reducing cognitive brain functions. People will be more likely to do things they never thought was possible. In many shows, there are people who turned to cannibalism to have enough food to survive. For many people to survive the will have to fight off other people, even having to kill them, for some of the precious limited resources. In cities, people would likely congregate in the upper levels of high-rise buildings, where the invasion can be held at bay with simple security doors. That may seem like a good plan at the beginning but, once food gets scarce there will be fights leaving very few if any of the survivors. Secondly, if breached there is no escape route, they are on the top of a high-rise with 3 options, a bullet, a fall or being eaten, as their way to die.

Zombie's don't feel pain and have no sense of self-preservation, that can be a major advantage they have to humans, as humans we prioritize our survival to the survival of the species. As a survivor you would have to fight more than just zombies. You need to fight off other survivors to get resources that our need for survival like food, clean water, medical supplies, weapons and ammo. Seeing that many people are stressed, malnourished, and sleep deprived fights for food will be gruesome, both sides attacking each other til one side is completely wiped out or runs away.

My opponent says that zombies would be an easy target for a sniper, but he fails to realize that a, a sniper rifle may not be available to all survivors and even those fortunate to come across one might not know how to use it. b, ammo is not unlimited and would be really hard to come across. c, accuracy is a big part of using a sniper with 1 small miscalculation they could miss the head or even worse miss entirely and when ammo is a precious resource mistakes like that could be the difference between life and death.





Debate Round No. 1


To clarify, when I refer to zombies in this debate, I am referring to the Dawn of the Dead version of zombies: slow, rotting, corpses who walk around slowly while moaning and biting people for food (which inadvertently spreads the disease). I understand that a zombie virus or fungus or whatever kind of disease it may be can mutate. But the mutation itself has tons of variables about what may or may not mutate. And at that point, we both have too many variables for either of us to make a point. So I will also be going on the assumption that the disease will not mutate.

Now with that out of the way, I would like to correct some of your incorrect points:

You claim that a zombie with worms and maggots in its body would not matter because they would not eat the brain stem or cerebellum. While they may or may not, one point still stands. They would surely eat other vital parts of the zombie. Such as the eyes, or the muscles. With no eyes, the zombie cannot see where to walk and where humans are. With no muscles, the zombie cannot move, and at that point, it may as well be dead.

I count fleas on my list of points because fleas are small. Fleas are very hard to see and have stealth on their side. Zombies have neither. They are normal human bodies that are very open about their way of spreading infection. Like I said "Its not a mystery on who is spreading the disease, its the guy over there trying to bite some dude in the head, blow his brains out."

Even if a zombie was capable of walking faster then we think, it still is only speed-walking at best.

People would be paranoid? Well, yes. I agree that people would be paranoid and semi-irrational. However, there would also be other people who would be calm and collective about this. There are people out there who have been preparing themselves for such an event for years.

Congregating on upper-levels of buildings for extended periods of time WOULD be bad....if you did not come prepared. If a group of people were all collaborating together on riding it out in a shelter for X amount of days with X amount of supplies, then it would work just fine for that amount of days. However, planning on staying in one spot indefinitely is quite dumb.

Now, with all my corrections out of the way. I would like to bring up some more points on why the zombie apocalypse would not be that bad. You see, zombies are doomed to die anyway for two reasons:

1. Zombies cannot take the heat

It's generally accepted by zombie experts that they're going to continue to rot, even as they shamble around the streets. What the movies, books, and shows fail to convey, however, is the gruesome yet strangely fascinating effect the hot sun has on a rotting corpse.

The first concern is putrefaction. Thanks to the plethora of bacteria we use in our colon for digesting plant matter, called gut flora, our bodies are ripe for decay the second our heart stops. Since heat speeds the growth of bacteria (which are plenty happy to start feasting on you once your immune system is no longer a concern) the zombie's got a looming expiration date the very second it turns.

Dead bodies bloat because of the gases created by the bacteria, meaning that in warmer areas, Zombies are going to start getting fat in the first few days. After a few weeks of this, the nasty, bloated zombie army is going to start doing something that is simultaneously the most awesome and disturbing thing a zombie can do: they will start exploding. The warm, moist conditions in the tropical and subtropical parts of the world (or even just summer in the temperate parts) speeds this condition, meaning a July zombie outbreak pretty much anywhere would be over in a few weeks just by virtue of the rampaging monsters bursting like rancid meat balloons.

At the other end of the heat spectrum is dry heat. If you're in Phoenix or the Sahara when the apocalypse hits, the zombies might begin to mummify in the blazing sun and heat. While the normal symptoms of dehydration are not a concern for a zombie, there is the problem of desiccation. With no reasonable means of replenishing the water in their cells, zombies walking around in the Texas heat all day are going to suffer cell damage due to direct sun exposure to their skin, and thanks to the drying effect wind has, the Southwestern dead will stumble around more and more ineffectively until, at some point, they simply drop and wait for the scavengers to come pick them up for the annual Slim Jim harvest.

So they'd better hope the outbreak happens during the winter, right? Well...

2. They cant take the cold either

Zombies are dead meat. No arguing that; it's their one defining characteristic. But everybody focuses on that "dead" part like it's such a huge deal. They often forget about the "meat." Do you know what else is dead meat? Steak, Chicken, and possibly even that red mush inside of school food.

Look at it.

When flesh is alive, it's got all sorts of defense systems to keep it that way. When it's dead, you have to throw it away in about a week even if you seal it up in plastic and keep it at a carefully modulated temperature. Now, your first inclination may be to think of cold as dead meat's friend, after all, the surest way to defeat that week-long deadline is to freeze steak, keeping it fresh for months. But don't forget: Unregulated cold has awful effects to formerly living things. If you live far enough north, the zombie apocalypse will probably work itself out the first time it tries to go outside. The first zombie-killer is the simple fact that the human body is mostly water, and water freezes. Once the temperature drops to freezing (or near it with a high wind chill), zombies will become significantly more rigid.

After enough exposure, a dead body is going to be frozen solid and not chasing down any screaming victims, no matter how delicious and too dumb to live they might be. It's also safe to assume that zombies wandering around in a wintry wonderland are not going to be wrapped air-tight in plastic like we do with food, so freezer burn becomes an issue. The freezing of the flesh at night, combined with partial thaw during warmer days, then refreezing again sets up the perfect conditions for the onset of freezer burn, which results in the cells dehydrating as water evaporates, even when frozen solid. Freezer burned meat isn't just dead, it's destroyed.


With Thanks giving and staying at family didn't have full time to write this arguments**

In your 2nd argument, you just start talking about how the weather would affect a dead body. So your argument only supports very hot and very cold places. You do not discuss the extent to how hot or how cold it would have to be to stop a zombie. Without knowing the specifics of the zombies, it is impossible to tell how the bacteria would react. In the case where it is a radio-active zombie, it is possible for the excessive amounts of radiation to kill all bacteria and parasites, including those flies and maggots mentioned in your first argument.

You claim that a zombie is "Dead meat". I would like to point out that the correct term would be "zombie flesh" because it is not dead nor is it meat. Some body parts continue to live after death(1), making it possible that if a zombie turned fast enough many tissues including skin and organs would survive. Making it so a zombie may still be able to fight of the bacteria in its gut, preventing bloating. Going back to my first argument, People underestimate zombies. When your opponent doesn't know your capabilities its a big advantage that can easily take down an unexacting survivor.

If you're in Phoenix or the Sahara, You are talking to a small amount of people who would be fruition enough to be these locations. Its a simple fact that not everyone will be in an optimal position, providing that your argument about heat and cold turns out to be true. Relying on the weather to stop a zombie apocalypse is asinine. The weather is one of the strangest things mother nature has to offer. Even with the technology we have now we cannot 100% accurately predict the weather 5 minutes in the future. And the truth is, that the weather could stab you in the back.

Lets think about this, survivor hoping for the weather to drop below freezing better be well off. Since at this time electricity is all but running out, it is unlikely for one to have a heater. One may not even have a winter coat warming them up slightly. With it being cold they people can die of frostbite and hypothermia. In some cases, people have died from hypothermia in as little as 20-30 minutes(2). So weather may help kill zombies, but it would also help to kill the survivors.

So with people freezing and burning as fast, if not faster than zombies, how can that save the human race?

Good luck to my opponent!


Debate Round No. 2


LDG forfeited this round.


iTziPocalyspe forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by CodeFunny 9 months ago
The most hilarious thing about this debate is that an apocalypse is the end of the world. Which means a Zombie Apocalypse by definition ends the world.
Posted by EAT_IT_SUKA 9 months ago
You must feel really good after ripping off a Cracked article without citing it, LTG. All of your arguments were from there. Congratulations on the win, and yes, I'm reporting you.

Posted by iTziPocalyspe 10 months ago
the server was glitches and I couldn't go to any of my debates
Posted by Themeaman909 10 months ago
That would be a good option. I wish i could do that for a lot of my debates so far.
Posted by iTziPocalyspe 10 months ago
ah, I wish there was like an option for a person to give the other person extra time or something
Posted by LDG 10 months ago
Apologies. Was away on a vaccation.
Posted by iTziPocalyspe 10 months ago
That sucks... This was really fun Why did you forfeit?
Posted by LDG 11 months ago
But lets not forget.........we have guns. Also, are you just gonna comment all day or make a formal argument against me?
Posted by iTziPocalyspe 11 months ago
But, people who are malnourished, sleep deprived and possibly dehydrated do not act in normal ways. For many paranoia will have kicked in, reducing cognitive brain functions.
Posted by LDG 11 months ago
And even if Zombies could run, it does not change the fact that they have no sense of self-preservation, have to get within biting distance to spread disease, and would be a breeding ground for flies.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Themeaman909 10 months ago
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: I see this as quite an irrational debate, as in that we can't know for sure about what a "zombie" actually is. We would have no idea, so they would have to agree on what the term meant in the first round. Con was a bit more convincing to me, but they used no sources, so pro gets the sources one.