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March 8, 2005

Sometimes, when reading a theory - you just gotta shout 'yes' several times.

Mike Happel ( writes:

The single biggest idea supporting the theory of Forerunners being complex machines, is the nature of the Halos' ultimate weapons. When one really considers what the weapon would fire, that is, an extremely long-range and high-energy blast of
electro-magnetic radiation (i.e. pure energy), and one
also considers what large amounts of energy, and more
specifically, radiation, does to biological systems,
it seems somewhat silly to assume that a weapon as
highly advanced as the Halo charge can discriminate
between intelligent and possibly intelligent creatures
and those that pose no possibility of being infected
by the Flood. While the Halos' weapons are in fact
advanced, as they can fire across interstellar
distances and still retain enough energy to destroy
life in whatever form, the weapon is more akin to a
high-energy bomb, than a precision weapon. And bombs
do not discriminate between targets. Nor does
radiation, which I assume is what would necessarilly
be killing off the "potential hosts." From a
biological standpoint, radiation kills EVERYTHING. To
date, only bacteria have been known to survive high
doses of radiation.

The point I'm trying to make is that if the Halos were
fired once only 100,000 years ago, and were fired
across the entire galaxy as suggested in Halo 2's
final video and throughout several points in the game,
then the galaxy would not have had enough time for
higher biological forms to evolve. Not in a span of
one hundred thousand years.

However, if one considers what the detonation of a
nuke does on a greater scale than the base destruction
by fire and energy in a certain area, that is, the
electro-magnetic pulse created in that time, which
fries unshielded machinery and renders it useless, or
if the theory on Forerunner being intelligent machines
is correct, rendering the vessels which support
Forerunner "life" useless and lifeless (a body, any
body biological or mechanical, is but a shell without
the mind or program which operates it). Thus, I'm
suggesting that if it fact the Forerunner were
highly-evolved MACHINES, the Halos could have fired
something akin to an electro-magnetic pulse on a
galactic scale, destroying or making useless all
unshielded machinery (i.e. Forerunner bodies).

It might be argued that this is ridiculous, as
intelligent machines should work towards protecting
themselves in all conditions and against all damages.
But think of the way humans utilize both computers,
and more recently, biological life. We try to create
software and hardware that work together to emulate
biological life, while we also are attempting to use
biological life as machines and for industrial
purposes, replacing machines with engineered animals
that are essentially biological machines. And consider
the probes that we send into space or to other
planets. Inately, those probes and the hardware and
software within them are perfectly suited for the
environment that they originated in. Only when they
are sent somewhere else do they require protection.
Humans are exactly the same. We have minimal
biological defenses to allow us to thrive within
certain conditions until we can change our environment
to better suit the way we live. Is it so ridiculous to
assume that intelligent machines would behave in
exactly the same way, finding a specific set of
environmental parameters that they could thrive
within, and then changing, in the case of the
Forerunner, any and all environments to properly suit
their specific niche, leaving them vulnerable (but not
necessarilly aware of it) to certain dangers. Such as
an electro-magnetic pulse. Life on earth is synonymous
to this. We like to think that we're really safe here,
but how fragile is our ecosystem in reality?

It also seems likely that a highly-evolved artificial
life-form (especially if intelligent) would behave
exactly as a highly-evolved biological life-form would
in the same situations. If the only difference is in
the stuff inside, the machines which keep us alive and
what they are made of, then it is quite feasible that
life made of machines could think and act exactly like
life as humans know it.

The counter-argument here is the second piece in the
Halo puzzle, the Flood. Why would machines be afraid
of infection? Why should machines even fear biological
life at all, especially something like the Flood which
acts as a virus on biological systems?

Consider what we do know of the Flood:
-Guilty spark says that they do, in fact, have a very
high understanding of mechanical systems...Does this
stem from being able to infect the machine-like
-Think of the pelicans in Halo 2 which are controlled
by the Flood. Large blobs of Flood flesh that can
interface with an electronic system. A biological
entity that can infect a computer!
-They're highly adaptive, and their hosts must have a
sufficient nervous system (who says it can't be
electronic?) and material deposits to facilitate
growth of Flood bodies on the host.

So, what if the Flood is in fact the ultimate weapon
or life-form because it can utilize and infect both
intelligent biologicals and highly-evolved machine

Some more thoughts:
Notice how biological life and mechanical systems
resemble each other. For each ability that one
possesses, an alternative which serves the same
function can be found on the other. And if given
possibility to evolve (what says machines cannot?
Humans do not know what makes US evolve) it seems
likely that either side would move towards the perfect
system, which could be either mechanical, biological,
or both. If complex enough, the Flood could utilize
either. Someone might argue, that the Flood only use
machines as tools to further their feast on the
galaxy, but let's think then, about why they use
intelligent beings in the first place. As TOOLS. The
Flood is more of the perfect weapon, being able to
interface with anything it chooses given, enough
complexity in the host.

Which would make humans a perfectly acceptable loss, if they are only incubators for the virus that can affect machines . . .

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