Science Channel’s Emmy-nominated Through the Wormhole has broken ratings records during it’s fifth season, and now Morgan Freeman takes on the possibility of zombies and what they could potentially mean for humanity.
Is a Zombie Apocalypse Possible?
It is a nightmare that has stalked us for centuries: hordes of human beings transformed into mindless, cannibalistic monsters. Could this civilization-ending nightmare become reality? Scientists have discovered pathogens that turn insects into the walking dead. New strains of viruses are attacking humans every day. Mathematicians have calculated the likelihood of surviving a zombie virus outbreak: they’re not hopeful. Now neuroscientists are discovering how easy it is for us to lose conscious control of our bodies. Are we at risk of becoming puppets? And if we are already in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, would we know it?
Airs Wednesday, June 25th, 10pm ET/PT on Science Channel.
Second attempt to post this.
“It is a nightmare that has stalked us for centuries: hordes of human beings transformed into mindless, cannibalistic monsters.”
Try 46 years.
The “Zombie Apocalypse” was invented by George Romero in 1968, in “Night of the Living Dead”.
Possibly influenced by the 1954 novel “I Am Legend”, though that was vampires.
Before then, zombies in popular culture were raised, individually, by Haitian voodooists.
Summer Brooks says
Seriously, if all you’re going to do is complain about facts that you yourself have wrong, why bother? Lighten up, have some fun instead!
The word “zombie” originates from South America, and it’s first known usage (ie, written) is 1819 (nearly 200 years, but also meaning the term was part of the language earlier than that), while myths about the “walking dead” and ways to keep them buried exist in Europe dating back to the 8th century.
The Haitian roots of the word and the legends originate in Central and Western Africa, of course, possibly back as early as the 1600s (Africans brought as slaves to the Caribbean and South America also brought their histories, myths and religions, thus bringing those ideas into new cultures).
The phenomenon wasn’t coopted by popular culture until Romero, and there it’s been ever since.
You don’t think that Science Channel has armies of geeks who would have looked that up before making an episode about them that’s focused more on the science and history?
And yes, that blurb about the episode came directly from the press release sent out by Discovery Networks, and it’s on the Science Channel website as the description for that episode: http://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows/through-the-wormhole/season-5-episodes9.htm
I “got my facts wrong”?.
Okay, the show isn’t about the original voodoo zombies, but the “zombie apocalypse”, an infectious horde of cannibalistic monsters,
That is down to George Romero, 1968. Not “centuries ago”
Wikipedia has an article, of course:
“Intimately tied to the conception of the modern zombie is the “zombie apocalypse”; the breakdown of society as a result of an initial zombie outbreak which spreads. This archetype has emerged as a prolific subgenre of apocalyptic fiction and has been portrayed in many zombie-related media after Night of the Living Dead.
Summer Brooks says
Yes, you have your facts wrong! 🙂
They never used the words “zombie apocalypse” referring to historical facts and events, only the possibilities of modern ones. “Hordes” does not automatically imply the crap you saw in the the World War Z movie. To a small city in the Middle Ages or an African village in the 1800s, 10 such shuffling mindless disease-ridden people would be a horde.
The show was about possible vectors that could lead to a zombie outbreak, and what it would take for that outbreak to get to the status needed to be categorized as a zombie apocalypse by modern standards, and exploring the scientific non-magical ways of creating zombie like behavior is where you’d start, something you’d gather from history.
There’s rabies, as stated in the trailer, and for more modern options, we’ve seen more than one incident in recent years about bath salts, and the Russians have a device that can incapacitate people and leave them in highly suggestible states with little more than basic motor control functions for a scary long period of time.
Speculating how a disease like rabies could evolve and cause a mass infection (a zombie outbreak) is what the show was about. No voodoo involved, past or present.
The term “zombie apocalypse” was never used to refer to anything from ancient times, which is what you railed about. The term “apocalypse” refers to current day possibilities breaking out, simply because of how many more people could be affected in a short period of time. They never used it to describe anything from the long ago past.
Read that paragraph again, and see how they shift terminology talking about ancient times and present & future possibilities.