As promised in Spontaneous Transformations, this post will explore my theories about why vampires know so little about the process.
Spontaneous Transformations are very rare, and it seems that one has not happened in a very long time. The most recent being some 2000 years ago to my best knowledge, and as far as anyone knows, none of them are still alive. This leaves no direct source of information about the events surrounding their transformations. And of course, “out of sight, out of mind” probably applies here too.
Most vampires are older than 100 years, and it wasn’t until that late 1800’s that things like viruses, DNA, and X-Rays were even discovered. So while science and knowledge seeking were probably a part of most vampire’s lives, the kind of medical (and possibly physics) proficiency that would really be required to even try to figure out how a vampire exists is fairly new to them. Given that vampires can live so long their culture will probably be slow to embrace these new sciences. Although, humanity’s relentless drive for technology may cause them to move faster to prevent humans from gaining the upper hand.
Even if some vampire scientists try to study vampirism they will be hindered by the fact that they can only study “live” specimens. Since vampires turn to ash when they die forensic anthropology can’t be used to gather information about original vampires, autopsies cannot be performed on the “recently deceased”, and tissue specimens cannot be preserved for research.
On top of all the scientific limitations, I think that a large part of of the issue is cultural (specifically European Vampire culture). Given that original transformations are so rare, the vast majority of vampires are created by Deliberate Transformation. Due to a combination of physical limitations and self imposed rules this process is really quite controlled. The end result is, many vampires are wealthy, and those who are not are generally provided for by the wealthy. Then consider that these wealthy vampires mostly grew up in monarchies and similar structures.
So few vampires have to labor in any way to provide for themselves, and they are ingrained with a social/political structure where giving favor to the proper underlings, being allied with suitable peers, and having the favor of the appropriate superiors is vastly important. This gives us a bunch of idle hands and busy minds, where the focus is not on science, but politics.