So we have voodoo, satanism, black magic zombies, we have radiation poisoning, unknown elements and space-pollution causing zombies. Sometimes we have no idea at all.
Perhaps the grossest desecration is the Frankenstein’s Monster type zombie. A mad scientist trying to outlive disease uses bits and pieces of various bodies and brings them to unlife. The original Frankenstein’s Monster had huge amounts of religious overtone – that we should not play God, that creating life is left to Him alone (the Christian God, of course) [There’s a blog here with some more detail on Frankenstein and religion].
We’ve seen over and over again potential progessive techniques and sciences used for weapons and company warfare. Perhaps the scientific zombie is the scariest of them all, whether bio-weapon, a method for immortality, or simple scientific curiosity. This method is able to be reproduced elsewhere, occasionally it converts on a mass scale, and it was our own deliberate creation that essentially dooms us all.
And you don’t need zombies to tell us this. There’s an awesome book called The End Specialist (love to Tarran from Edwardstown Bookstore for sending it to me!) about a cure for old age, and the social ramifications of people living potentially forever.
Nothing is sacred to science in these stories. There’s the endless ethical fight over stem cell research that we see now, but that’s nothing compared to the zombie scientists. Of course, being mad scientists, there are no ethics for them. Killing innocent creatures, using unwilling victims and tormenting them while alive is just a part of their tag.
Edit: And for some real life mad scientists (no zombies though), I just found this article on real life scientists who experimented on themselves for the sake of science!
Recommended reading (and viewing and playing)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The End Specialist by Drew Magary
Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry
Rise of the Cybermen and Age of Steel – Dr Who, Tenth Doctor, 2006 (just go watch all of Dr Who, it’s brilliant!)
Re-animator (and Bride of Re-animator and Beyond Re-Animator) – trailers on YouTube were either bad quality or had embedding disabled *sulk*
Borderlands DLC 1: The Zombie Island of Dr Ned