Much has been written about a zombie’s need to physically feel the world around it in order to move (see: Zombie Survival Guide Error #2). A recent conversation with hearing expert, Dr. Mark Johansson, further reveals that without working nerve endings, a zombie would be functionally deaf as well.
Johansson explans that in many respects we actually feel sound, just like we feel the ground under our feet, or an object in our hand.
“Tiny hairs in the ear pick up sound waves and translate them into electrical impulses that the brain can understand. Without functioning nerves, a zombie would no more be able to hear than it would be able to stand, walk, grab or bite.”
It seems clear that concluding a zombie can’t feel simply because it doesn’t react defensively to its environment is a wildly incorrect assumption. Miscalculations like that can lead to flawed survival strategies, and missed opportunities to discover new ways of defeating the undead horde.
Of course, if you don’t like the notion that zombies have feeling, you could always make the argument that they are deaf, blind and completely paralyzed. Heck, I’d prefer them like that anyway!