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WNIJ Perspectives
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: Alive Or Dead...Or Both?

Edward Howell

Some things are neither fish nor fowl. Take zombies. They are the living dead.

It gets better. Take quantum physics. A subatomic mini-speck is both a particle and a wave. The more you know about its speed, the less you know about where it is. The more you know about its location, the less you know about how fast it’s going. In one version of this observation, a famous physicist said his cat could be both dead and alive at once. A zombie cat: this stuff is scary.


Philosophers talk about zombies and sub-atomic matter as existing in category gaps. Frankenstein’s creature was in a category gap: both monster and human, a living being made out of dead parts. Dracula was both bat and human. Dr. Jekyll was Mr. Hyde.

Not long ago, I got a genetic report from Twenty-Three and Me. It said I was part Neanderthal. People have been avoiding me ever since.

This is Tom McBride, and that’s my Perspective.

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