As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research help from a renowned scientific journal, I am pleased to present the following scientific analysis of the alleged phenomenon of Santa Claus.
1. No known species of reindeer can fly; however, there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified. Most of these are insects and germs, but this does not completely rule out the possibility of flying reindeer.
2. There are just over two billion children (defined as persons under the age of 18) in the world. Since Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Jews don't celebrate Christmas, Santa's work load is reduced by 85%, which means that he has 378,000,000 children to take care of. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91,800,000 homes. For the sake of argument, we will assume that each and every one of those households has at least one good child in it.
3. If Santa makes a list and checks it twice - a list that names each and every one of those 378,000,000 children - and spends only one second on each child, he will spend 24
4. Arguably, Santa has 31 hours of "Christmas" to work with (6:00 pm on Christmas Eve until 6:00 am on December 26, and taking into account time zones and the rotation of the earth, and assuming additionally that he travels east to west). This works out to 882.6 homes visited per second. For each Christian household, Santa has just over .001 seconds to
5. If we assume that Santa has worked out a route in advance which will make the most efficient use of his time, and if we further assume that each of the 91,800,000 homes at which Santa must stop is an average of 50 feet from the next house on his route (an assumption that we know is false, but we will indulge it for the time being), then Santa will travel a total distance of 869,318 miles (the equivalent of going all the way around the planet 35 times). His average speed will be 28,042 mph (7.79 miles per second) - about 37 times the speed of sound.
6. The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child receives presents weighing a total of one pound, Santa's sleigh is carrying 189,000 tons of cargo (not counting the weight of Santa himself, who is invariably described as overweight). This is more than twice the weight of the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth.
7. One conventional reindeer can pull, at most, 300 pounds; Santa would therefore need 1,260,000 reindeer to pull his sleigh. Assuming that Santa harnessed them two by two, the reindeer would stretch 835 miles in front of the sleigh, and would add some 94,500 tons to the weight of the entire rig. If Santa were parked on a rooftop in Dallas with his rig pointed west, Rudolph would be somewhere in New Mexico. If Santa, seated in his sleigh, shouted, "Rudolph, let's go!" the sound of his voice would take just over an hour to reach the red-nosed reindeer (he would have to yell very, very loudly).
8. The real problem is that 189,000 tons traveling at 28,042 mph creates tremendous air resistance. It would heat up the reindeer in much the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere; in other words, one million reindeer would burst into flames (Rudolph and the two lead reindeer first) and would create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporized in approximately four seconds. Santa himself, if he could survive the air friction, would be subjected to forces several thousand times greater than gravity.
9. Without more evidence than what we have, we must conclude that Santa Claus does not exist or, if he does, that he is not capable of the Christmas activities that are attributed to him.
Frankly, we always suspected that it was your parents putting those toys under the tree.