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Zombification: Is it real?

  1. Aug 5, 2006 #1
    I didn't know it is real but I saw a documentary on discovery that tells you that it is scientifcally possible. As a matter of fact, other life forms already do it! Check this out for instance, this isn't actually enough evidence but the show on discovery created a believer out of me. Any comments?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2006 #2
    I've always found the Vodon religion pretty interesting, like many forms of witchcraft or shamanism it relies heavilly on what Terry Pratchett liked to call headology, or psychological trickery to make people believe things that are patently false, such as that they are under the sway of someone, that eating something will be harmfull to them or that by using a potion they will gain magical powers, or in some cases that they are labouring under a Gaes or taboo, this is a quest that they must fulfil or simply a restriction they must labour under.

    None of this to me at least is magical, but if you can convince someone of something with suggestion, it is possible to make them behave and do all sorts of things. I do think however that Haitian zombification like you inferred is a partly medicinal and partly psychological condition, and has no supernatural side. I see on you link it mentions the 'Serpent and the Rainbow' a film about a scientist trying to get to the bottom of the mystery, whilst obviously there is a great deal of artistic license in this film it is an interesting voyage into the religion and the culture.

    I have heard of wild stories of people being so convinced of something it has resulted in harm or severe psychological damage, in one case a man who was told by a Voodoo priest he would die if he ate chicken was then fed chicken by a friend as a joke and when told of the fact, dropped dead from the fear it induced; whether such tales are true or in the realms of fiction or urban myth, there is a powerful psychology behind spiritual belief of any kind, so I would not dismiss out of hand this psychological aspect of any religous mythology; speaking in tongues, visions, stigmata, hearing voices from God are all mental abberations that can be induced in the very pious, they're not supernatural really I think, but they do show how some deeply religous people can be easily influenced or experience unusual psychological effects.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2006
  4. Aug 6, 2006 #3


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    I've heard people argue that haitian zombies are real (drug-induced, as the article implies) and I've seen Serpent and The Rainbow, but I'm somewhat skpetical since it hasn't yet been reproduced (that I know of).

    I learned about it in anthropology, too, but this quote from the wikipedia site is particularly interesting:

    "What is more, if science ever gets to the bottom of Voodoo in Haiti and Africa, it will be found that some important medical secrets, still unknown to medical science, give it its power, rather than gestures of ceremony."

    -Zora Neale Hurston
  5. Aug 7, 2006 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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  6. Aug 7, 2006 #5
    Yeah I heard about this one too, now I don't think there is anything to disregard in this story, it is no "super phenomenon". Just done scientificaly be a few medicines. Btw, in today's advance world, don't you think they will recognize if your brain is working, and thus you are not dead?
  7. Aug 7, 2006 #6
    Even in the best of medical facilities mistakes happen, and this is Haiti we're talking about, one of the poorest nations on Earth.
  8. Aug 7, 2006 #7


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    I don't think Haiti's up to date, honestly...
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