The Corner

Vampires Bite

Jonah: I’m sick of vampires because of their pop-culture everpresence. They’ve become downright boring. Ubiquity really is a dilemma for them, too. I mean this in a scientific sense. Consider the problem of predator-prey population imbalances. Vampires are hard to kill. They reproduce (i.e., pass on their vampirism) easily and (in the movies) frequently. At what point do they outnumber people? Please excuse me as I go all Derbyshire on you (extracting this):

This argument becomes even more overwhelming if you model a vampire population as a branching process or birth-death process and assume that each vampire in the population has probability Pj of producing j offspring (with j=0,1,2,… ). The vampire population would either explode or die out, depending on the expected number of offspring per vampire. But if you take into account the fact that vampires live many, many generations (they’re virtually immortal) and may create thousands of offspring, the population explodes (if you assume that each vampire creates at least one vampire, on average, before it dies). With those numbers, vampires would not be living under the radar–they would be everywhere!

I gather population imbalance is a theme of Daybreakers, interestingly enough. So maybe the film will suck me in. (Sorry, but you started the bad-pun thing.) Still, couldn’t they have done it with werewolves or something?

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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