Talk:Ross-Ziegler Blip

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I was reading Halo Evolutions and found this in a foot note:

"A tiny aberration in the fossil and carbon records of Earth, noted by two Earth geologists in 2332-and matched on several other worlds, demonstrating a gap in certain species so tiny and uniform, that it had been attributed not to a biological catastrophe, but rather had been investigated and then abandoned as odd evidence of warping or stretching of spacetime itself. The Ross-Ziegler Blip is now being opened and reinvestigated in connection to the events of 2552."

The rest of the page is describing the Halos and how the used a previously unknown technology to destroy specified biological forms at both a molecular and a galactic scale. Seems to be pinpointing a lot closer to how the Halos actually worked to me. I would make a page for it but I don't know how to make all that stuff look pretty. Another interesting thing to note is Ross-Ziegler is the last name of someone from the credits in Halo Wars. Just search this wiki for Ziegler and you should find it. Anyway, if anyone else has the book its at the very end of it, just after "The Return." So, if you are so inclined, you can take the info I just dropped and your own knowlege and make a page. I'm sure it's pretty relevent to the actual working of the Halos, making it pretty relevent to this site. --Hotdamnitsaaron 23:00, December 31, 2009 (UTC)

Done in less than 12 hours. Nice work.--71.0.26.244 17:19, January 1, 2010 (UTC)

Inconsistency[edit]

In Halo: Evolutions, it is explained how the Array terminates sentient life. The method involves harmonizing the central nervous system, causing the victim to drop dead on the spot. Logic tells you that the corpse should leave bones after some time. If all the sentient fauna on Earth droped dead at the same time, and all of them left bones behind, where are they in the fossil record?--Plasmic Physics 22:36, March 12, 2010 (UTC)

It's possible that the Forerunner machines that returned to reseed life cleaned them up. --Jugus (Talk | Contribs) 12:00, March 14, 2010 (UTC)

Possible, yes, probable or practical, not likely. This is likely another one of Bungie's many oversights, until it can be proved, without doubt, as otherwise.--Plasmic Physics 12:04, March 14, 2010 (UTC)

It’s not an inconsistency. The Halo Array HAS to destroy bio-mass along with life, otherwise the Flood would simply re-animate all the corpses. So logically, there should be a gap in the fossil record, therefore it’s not an inconsistency.Tuckerscreator 04:48, April 22, 2010 (UTC)

Nowhere is it stated that bio-mass is destroyed, that is speculation. An inconcistency cannot simply be dismissed with unfounded speculation. Read section 1.2 in Halopedia:What Halopedia is not. So it still stands.--Plasmic Physics 06:01, April 22, 2010 (UTC)

It's not unfounded. Cortana says herself in the first game that the Halos are supposed to "starve the Flood to death." Therefore, the Flood survive the rings' firing. Thus, one has to destroy the bio-mass. Otherwise, the Gravemind would remain intact, the Flood would simply re-animate the corpses, and go on as usual with nobody to fight them. Even if destruction of bio-mass has never been "explicitly" stated, it's pretty reasonable to assume based on application of the given information. Otherwise, as the Prophet of Truth says himself, where are all the dead Forerunners?(Bones, he says, specifically.)Tuckerscreator 01:47, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

Even so, there is a base problem with your arguement: a member of the flood is itself bio-mass.--Plasmic Physics 02:24, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

But the Infection Form is still a seperate being from the host itself. Thus, after the firing, it could be assumed to say that trillions of Flood Infections Forms went crawling around after the Halos were fired, left to starve to death.Tuckerscreator 03:25, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

It is a seperate being, yes, but the infection form is also bio-mass.--Plasmic Physics 03:27, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

But it still doesn't remove the fact that the Halos don't kill them. That's been confirmed. Thus the bodies can't be left around or the Halos would have accomplished nothing.Tuckerscreator 03:50, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

Which raises the question: why would the array destroy all nonflood bio-mass and leave flood bio-mass intact?--Plasmic Physics 03:55, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

That's the question on everyone's minds but, we have to accept to accept Halo, otherwise there is no Halo. My guess: they're not of this universe, but that's just pure speculation. However, is it safe to ask if we can remove the "Inconsistency" bit from the article now?Tuckerscreator 04:01, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

My point is, the inconsistency highlights an unexplained direct implication of available information, it is not simply a personal opinion. As such, it requires sourced information in order to explain it, sourced information is vital. Even explained inconsistencies are worthy keeping as it is still useful. User:Subtank promotes inconsistencies to be noted in their respective articles, this is a consequence of the debate over the scientific inaccuracies article. I believe this should be kept, inquire with Subtank.--Plasmic Physics 04:19, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

I'm not really sure that it's really such a major matter as to still be noted, since it's been known since Halo 1 that the Halos are meant to starve the Flood, thus meaning they destroy bio-mass, but I'll ask Subtank. Still, I'm pretty sure Conrtana's quote shows that Ross-Ziegler Blip is indeed mechanically and scientifically sound with of how the Array should work.Tuckerscreator 04:30, April 26, 2010 (UTC)
Contacted Subtank. The wait is painful but“she’ll comin’ round the mountain when she comes!”(Sorry, couldn’t resist), but your last edit? Cortana’s quote DOES prove that Array works by destroying bio-mass, that’s been established since Halo 1, and since she’s been inside the Halo herself, that sounds pretty reputable. Besides, the “neuron targeting” mentioned in the Halo Encyclopedia is typically dismissed as techno-babble because nobody can explain a “harmonic resonance frequency”, it does not work under the reason of the Flood surviving, and anyway, games are higher canon than Encyclopedia, which is itself full of errors.Tuckerscreator 04:48, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

Actually, in referrence to your second latter point, it make perfect sense to me. The central nervous system and brain is like a finely tuned electrical circuit with logic gates, microcontrollers. In such a circuit, pulse frequency, current and potential differences are key to the system functioning correctly. Theoretically, using a controlled EMP to harmonize the circuit, would destroy vital components, shutting it down perpanently. Also, bungie sourced the information for the encyclopedia directly.--Plasmic Physics 05:08, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

Okay, Specops and I are wrong, it can be explained. But still, the Array DOES destroy bio-mass. Therefore, this inconsistency noting is unnecessary, because it is only a misunderstanding. I'll wait for Subtank to respond, but still. Think about it.Tuckerscreator 05:17, April 26, 2010 (UTC)
I spoke with Subtank and she said, while you are correct on the inconsistency noting policy, you ARE wrong on the inconsistency itself. Based on this discussion she pointed out to me, as well as various other sources such as Cortana's quote in the first Halo game, it appears the Flood ARE starved to death while all bio-mass around them is destroyed. Therefore, the Ross-Ziegler Blip is an accurate description of the effects of the Array, and not an inconsistency.Tuckerscreator 23:20, April 28, 2010 (UTC)

I never said that the Flood are not starved death. The discussion's explanation creates new problems, the flood is sentient and is comprised of bio-mass.--Plasmic Physics 05:07, April 29, 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but that's simply a fact of the matter about how the Array works. Perhaps the Flood are not bio-mass, perhaps they are something else. But otherwise, it's been confirmed that they survive the firing while everyone else doesn't and thus this article is not innaccurate. So I'd like to know if we are agreed now to have it fixed?Tuckerscreator 01:25, April 30, 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps this, perhaps that. That is my point, there is no solution to this problem that itself does not create new problems. Someone must find a complete irrefutable and veriable solution. This solution is full of holes, it's too weak to counter the inconsistency. Removing it does not improve Halopedia, that is why I said earlier that it should be kept, albeit modified to include that speculative theory. --Plasmic Physics 07:51, April 30, 2010 (UTC)

I doubt we'd be able to get a completely irrefutable and verifiable solution, since how the Halos work has never been explained. The Halo Array, along with the Forerunners themselves, have always been one of the more mysterious aspects of the franchise and given the difficulty in predicting the future, especially with such a hyper-advanced race, and the general quickness of video games, I expect they're going to remain that way(Just look up Forerunner Crystal to see what I mean!) Greg Bear's upcoming "Forerunner Trilogy" could help solving this issue and many others sooner or later, but right now, the only things we HAVE confirmed about the Array is that they work by wiping the galaxy clean of life, starving the Flood to death. Ask any of the other guys here, they'll say the same thing, that it's all we know.Tuckerscreator 05:03, May 1, 2010 (UTC)

I never said that the Array doesn't work by wiping the galaxy clean of life, starving the Flood to death. I'll quote myself for the second time, "It should be kept, albeit modified to include that speculative theory".--Plasmic Physics 05:33, May 1, 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but it's been confirmed through every other source. That's the point I've been trying to make.Tuckerscreator 05:42, May 1, 2010 (UTC)

What's been confirmed?--Plasmic Physics 07:05, May 1, 2010 (UTC)

(Sighs.)That the Array works by destroying all bio-mass and starving the Flood. It's been confirmed in Halo 1, in Halo:The Flood, and simply through common knowledge about how the Flood attacks. If bio-mass were not destroyed, then all the Forerunners did was surrender and leave the Flood to rule the galaxy.Tuckerscreator 16:06, May 1, 2010 (UTC)

I'll quote myself for the third time, "It should be kept, albeit modified to include that speculative theory". FYI, "confirm" doesn't mean what you think it means.--Plasmic Physics 04:16, May 2, 2010 (UTC)

It's pretty much confirmed if there's is no evidence against it. What other explanation there for information saying the Halos "starve the Flood to death?"Tuckerscreator 05:21, May 2, 2010 (UTC)

The fact that the bio-mass of flood persisted after the 100,000 year old event, when supposedly all bio-mass was destroyed is good evidence, as I've said before.--Plasmic Physics 06:21, May 2, 2010 (UTC)

That’s because the only Flood left were the ones held in suspended animation within the Halos themselves. All the rest around the galaxy had already starved away by this point.Tuckerscreator 22:30, May 2, 2010 (UTC)

What evidence is there?--Plasmic Physics 22:59, May 2, 2010 (UTC)

Because Halo:The Flood specifically said the Flood contained there were being held in suspended animation which is why they survived. So far, surviving Flood have been seen nowhere in the hundreds of Foreunner relics found by the Covenant except when they have been held in suspended animation and then released(Halo Wars doesn’t count, as we never see when the Flood was released on there.) Therefore, the rest must have starved just like Cortana said they would.Tuckerscreator 00:00, May 3, 2010 (UTC)

What about native flora, it consists of of bio-mass, according to Origins, samples were only collected from fauna not flora. If bio-mass did get destroyed, why are there plants on Earth or any other planet?

Guilty Spark says in Halo 1 that the Halos leave the galaxy devoid of “at least any life with sufficient bio-mass to sustain the Flood” and earlier mentions that “which means that any organism of sufficient mass and cognitive capability is a potential vector.” Thus, he tells us that the Halo works selectively and looks only for potential hosts to kill, while un-infectables, such as Hunters, are ignored. The Flood has never been seen infecting plants, so it can be reasonably assumed that they can’t, since plants do not have a mind nor a form suitable for infection. Thus they would survive the firing while everything targeted is killed.Tuckerscreator 01:16, May 3, 2010 (UTC)

What evidence is there that Halo works selectively and looks only for potential hosts to kill, that's an absurd implication. Now you're just pulling facts out of thin air.--Plasmic Physics 04:02, May 3, 2010 (UTC)

Guilty Spark said that in his quote, that the Halo works by destroying all life capable of sustaining the Flood. Here is the full quote:
"More or less. Technically, this installation's pulse has a maximum effective radius of twenty-five thousand light years. But, once the others follow suit, this galaxy will be quite devoid of life, or at least any life with sufficient biomass to sustain the Flood. But you already knew that... I mean, how couldn't you?"
— 343 Guilty Spark--Tuckerscreator 04:39, May 3, 2010 (UTC)

That's not evidence, he never mentions that the Halo works selectively and looks only for potential hosts to kill.--Plasmic Physics 11:12, May 3, 2010 (UTC)

He's says right there that the Halos kill all life capable of sustaining the Flood. He even affirmed Cortana's statement given just seconds earlier.
"Halo doesn't kill Flood, it kills their food! Humans, Covenant, whatever, we're all equally edible. The only way to kill the Flood is starve them to death. And that's what this ring is designed to do."
— Cortana

Incorrect, he does not say that the Halos kill only life capable of sustaining life, so the evidence is still false.--Plasmic Physics 21:12, May 3, 2010 (UTC)

He said "at at least any life with sufficient biomass to sustain the Flood", which means that he's correcting himself when he said slightly earlier that galaxy will be devoid of life. Therefore, those that can not be infected are unaffected by the Halos. The Librarian's mention of "Indexing" species for the Ark adds crediblity to this, as we know the Index to be the activation key to the Halos, which would mean it could possibly a record telling the Halo which species to destroy, which explains why it can not fire without it. But this is a slight tangent. Cortana said above that the Halos don't kill the Flood, just their food, therfore, it HAS to destroy bio-mass for this to work, therefore the Ross-Ziegler Blip is not a mistake, but an accurate description of how the Halos work.Tuckerscreator 01:44, May 4, 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect, "at least any" is not the same as "only". That it means that if it doesn't kill the rest, what is certain, is that it kills any life with sufficient biomass to sustain the flood. "kill" is not the same as "destroy". To kill means to bring an end to life, to destroy means to disintegrate.

I'm tired of this pointless arguement, I will not argue with your theories anymore. Accept my compromise or suggest a different compromise.--Plasmic Physics 02:49, May 4, 2010 (UTC)

Plasma, I already pointed out above that the Array would HAVE to destroy the bodies of all those it killed, or otherwise leaving trillions of dead bodies about would be tantamount to declaring complete surrender to the Flood. Since it’s been confirmed above that that Array kills the Flood’s food, but not the Flood themselves, therefore the bodies MUST be destroyed, so that the Flood STARVE, as also proven above.
Based off that evidence, I can not accept the compromise. Quite simply put it’s because there has no evidence brought to the contrary and the explanation I described above has already been the general consensus among the community here, as it is what is first inferred from those sentences and there are no contradictions to it. It would be like separating the page Thel 'Vadam, into three pages, “The Arbiter (Halo 2 and 3)”, “Thel’ Vadamee”(from The Cole Protocol), and “Thel (The Package)”, even though the first thing that pops into anyone’s head after seeing the many parallels between the three is that they are the same person. Was it set-in-stone confirmed? Not for a long time. But little hints were enough to confirm that instance, therefore, a big hint such as the characters themselves stating how the Array works should be enough.
However, since this debate has been going on for quite a bit and we ARE both pretty exhausted , I’ll talk to an admin and see if they can take a more outside view to this and say their consensus and then it will be done. But the evidence IS RIGHT THERE. There’s no reason why one shouldn’t take that leap of faith. And by leap of faith, I mean seeing the ledge is close enough, and so, choosing to hop.Tuckerscreator 03:14, May 4, 2010 (UTC)
Wow, huge discussion. Have to say I'm with Tuckerscreator here. From what Spark said, there is sufficient evidence to believe the Array actually destroys biomass. And while some things in Legends could be chalked up to artistic license, Origins clearly shows the Halo pulse disintegrating Flood biomass. While this is in contradiction with what Cortana said ("Halo doesn't kill Flood, it kills their food") it is legitimate evidence. --Jugus (Talk | Contribs) 05:50, May 4, 2010 (UTC)
As per Jugus and Tuckerscreator. Nice discussion. :) - 5əb'7aŋk(Σάπτανκ) 15:05, May 4, 2010 (UTC)

So which has higher authority, Halo Encyclopedia or Halo Legends? Obviously they provide conflicting evidence, both are officially sourced by Bungie, but only the encyclopedia directly adresses the matter of how the Array functions. In my opinion, visual and conversational media can be interpreted in many ways by different individuals, and so is ambiguous and can't be considered irefutable evidence.--Plasmic Physics 07:35, May 4, 2010 (UTC)

Halo Encyclopedia would be superior than Legends.- 5əb'7aŋk(Σάπτανκ) 15:05, May 4, 2010 (UTC)

In that case, how can you agree with the evidence from Halo Legends, and say that the Encyclopedia is superior. Only one can be correct, since they convey opposite facts.--Plasmic Physics 22:55, May 4, 2010 (UTC)

Does anyone remember, that the Librarian indexed all of the humans on Earth, and brought them to the Ark. This could explain why there is a complete absence of fossils. As for the other sentient lifeforms, either the Librarian also indexed them, or Bungie made an oversight, again. Angelsl 08:30, May 4, 2010 (UTC)

Indexing involves collecting DNA samples, not entire populations.--Plasmic Physics 08:52, May 4, 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the back-up, Jugus. The "Origins" bit about the Flood being shown destroyed there does sound like another contradiction to me rather than retcon, but since this page's question is about the blip in the fossil record, rather than the survivability of the Flood, I'll say, it's irrelevent and I won't argue about it, since the Blip deals with a somewhat different matter. Is it safe to ask if the page can be changed?Tuckerscreator 19:54, May 4, 2010 (UTC)
According to the Librarian page: "The Librarian sought to document and index all sentient beings of the Milky Way galaxy, and protect them from being absorbed into the Flood by sending them to the shelter of the Ark." Presumably she did this for humanity, before self-destructing the Keyship(s). Angelsl 09:15, May 5, 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and also, a quote from Didact from Terminal One in Halo 3. "We're receiving shipments of indexed beings more frequently than communications." Angelsl 09:20, May 5, 2010 (UTC)
I know that this is a little late to contribute to, but I will do so anyway. In my opinion, it isn't that much of an inconsistency and/or contradiction.
For starters, lets remember what the Halo Array's pulse actually does; destruction of a sentient life form's nervous system via the issuing forth of a harmonic frequency. Another factor to consider is that the Flood at this time are at the height of their existence in the Milky Way galaxy, at an incredible level within the Intergalactic Stage, perhaps bordering on the Intergalactic.
With this scale and magnitude of resources, technology, intelligence, and numbers, there is one unavoidable, intrinsic weakness: the Flood's interconnectedness and embodied intelligence.
Whenever the Flood reach and exceed the Coordinated Stage, they become one embodied, interconnected and synchronized meta-organism centered on the physical masses and structures that compose the main "body" of the Gravemind. This linked nature is made possible by the Flood's as-yet unexplained cosmic-reaching "telepathy" connecting each Flood form to another and the Gravemind.
The next factor to consider is one crucial aspect of the Flood Super cell, which composes all Flood biomass. It is consistently referred to as "thinking muscle", resembling neurons and/or glial cells in structure. What this means in the context of the Halo Array's effects is that Flood biomass has a powerful and significant neurological processing aspect in play, and this would be further magnified by the fact that all Flood forms and biomass are connected to each other due to their "telepathy."
This would mean that nervous systems of each and every Flood host, Pure Form, Hive structure, etc. are connected and sychronized as one, which is further magnified by the Gravemind's influence and inhabitance of each node in the Flood meta-organism.
While this gives the Flood incredible intelligence, reflexes, and computing power, it also makes them incredibly vulnerable; what would happen to the Flood collective if it were suddenly struck by a massive and distributed shock, disruption, or even destruction of their nervous system? Complete and utter chaos as the nervous system of the Flood is destroyed by the Halo pulse, eliminating their ability to think, coordinate, compute, and perhaps even to function as their neurological systems suffer a sudden and violent meltdown from the harmonic frequency pulse.
This would leave the Flood incredibly weakened, paralyzed, and unable to function, let alone move. While some Flood forms may be able to function to a degree, the sheer amount of severed connections and ravaged nervous systems across the entire Flood collective would mean that they would largely be ineffectual in capability, which would further be exacerbated by the fact that there would be no hosts that could be infected, and no biomass that they would be in any condition to acquire and process. this would lead to the Flood being subject to immense physiological damage and the risk of starvation, which we know is something that they suffered.
So in all, the nature of the Flood as a single macro/meta-organism means that the life form's nervous and cognitive system exists as such, so when struck by the Halo pulse, the biological functions in question are scrambled, disrupted, and destroyed, stunning and weakening the entire Flood collective to the point of paralysis and rapid starvation.
Seen in that light, the Halo pulse doesn't outright kill the Flood as it does "conventional" sentient life, but leaves them in state where they starve to death because they would be paralyzed and unable to find food. So rather than contradicting each other, Origins and Cortana's quote actually coexist.
The Flood biomass is stunned and paralyzed by the Halo pulse, losing its hold on whatever structures it is attached to, and being swept along by the pulse's kinetic effects. While the Flood biomass is fragmented, it isn't entirely dead, but is unable to find new food and make neurological connections, and succumbs to starvation. That means that Cortana's quote still rings true; the Flood are disrupted and paralyzed by the pulse but not killed like its food, and are forced to starve to death because it cannot find food and rebuild itself.
That is the best way that I can see the problem being resolved based on existing information, specifically what the Halo 3 Bestarium says about the Flood's cell structure and what would entail from the neurological desruction wrought by the Halo pulse.--Exalted Obliteration 01:45, August 7, 2010 (UTC)

Interesting points, but I'm confused over what problem you're actually refering to - your solution doesn't seem to refer to the problem of the vanishing fossils. P.S. the pulse doesn't have that much inertia as it is an electromagnetic pulse, not a material pulse, so it doesn't have kinetic effects in the domain of this topic.--Plasmic Physics 02:09, August 7, 2010 (UTC)

This reminds me of the Permian mass extinction. A shortage of fossils from that period led to the discovery of the extinction. The deaths of many creatures led to birth rates plummeting. As very few skeletons even survive fossilisation (many are crushed by rock above), a lower birth rate would lead to even fewer potential fossils being found.-- Forerunner 02:15, August 7, 2010 (UTC)

Yes,this is a mass extinction, but there are some differences. This mass extinction supposedly took place a hundred thousand, not two hundred million years ago, this means that a bigger proportion of fossils should remain intact. This extinction was absolutely total and in the space of one day. We don't know how long it took before fauna was artificially returned. Now that I think about the Blip does not mention which phase it's talking about - the extinction period, or the post extinction period. The extinction period should see a massive flux of fossil evidence, whereas the post extinction period should see a null flux of fossil evidence.--Plasmic Physics 02:28, August 7, 2010 (UTC)

As I understand it, the Ross-Ziegler Blip is just a quantum anomaly, only detectable by 23rd Century scientific instruments, dated back to the Tarantian stage of the Pleistocene epoch. There appear to be no known mass extinctions that coincide with this, though one begins 50,000 years later. Given how rare it is for fossilisation to occur at all, this is unsurprising - the vast majority of corpses simply decay, are consumed by scavengers, etc. Even if we discovered every fossil that ever existed, this would constitute a small fraction of the number of species that have existed. For an individual creature to end up as a fossil is extraordinarily unlikely and rare, and the fact that we have so many is more an indication of population size, diversity and continuity. If they did their jobs right, the Forerunners could have wiped Earth clean, repopulated it within a few decades or centuries, and the fossil record would have been none the wiser. -- Specops306 Autocrat Qur'a 'Morhek 02:46, August 7, 2010 (UTC)

This is my current understanding of the firing of the Halo Array:

The Forerunners could not destroy the Flood, despite all their efforts, so constructed The Ark and the Halo rings as a last resort measure, also constructing multiple 'shelters', e.g.'shield worlds'. The corrupt AI Mendicant Bias gave Forerunner information to the Flood, so the defence systems suddenly would have become pointless to the Forerunners, as they could be followed to them by the Flood. Therefore the Forerunners 'indexed' all sentient life (meaning organisms with higher cognitive abilities that the Flood needs to survive on, for instance Humans and Elites) with DNA samples and/or actual organisms, and then fired the rings. They then could have all left the galaxy, for all we know... It's evident they wouldn't randomly let themselves all die instead of just packing their bags and leaving.

This brings us to a very large problem. Here, some of you state that except for plants (let's pretend there are just animals and plants in the universe, forgetting about the other kingdoms), all biomass was destroyed after the Rings fired. Yet the very quote on this article states that only 'certain' species were taken to the Ark, and we know that only 'sentient' species were taken to the Ark (this has been stated before, and is seen in Origins, where only Elites, Humans and other 'sentient' life are taken to the Ark). This already ruins the credibility of Halo: Evolutions, as the idea of only 'certain' species disappearing gets rid of the 'all biomass destroyed' and 'only humans removed from earth' theories taken away, as apparently only a few species are removed (more than just humans), but not all (so not all biomass). The only theory that seems remotely plausible to me, however, is that only humans were removed from the Ark, as this would work with the fossil record that actually exists (as a biologist I can state that the human fossil record at about 100,000 years ago is scarce), as removing all species and then adding them again would make such a revolutionary change to the fossil record that it would be obvious to any paleontologist. I don't think anyone can disagree that not all animals were indexed and removed, and only sentient life was (this has been stated several times), but the whole situation becomes more interesting because the Librarian states that: "We're receiving shipments of indexed beings more frequently than communications." Is that a canonical error, or is there just a huge amount of Human-level life in the Halo universe? Even worse, I'm pretty sure Cortana states in Halo 1 that all biomass actually IS DESTROYED, so the Flood starves. But as I said, that contradicts just about every other thing we've heard.

As for which version of the Halo 'death ray' is the most plausible, once again the only one that really works is the Encyclopedia's 'harmonic pulse', because it wouldn't affect anything but sentient life like humans, so all other organisms on earth remain untouched. The idea of a ray that disintegrates life, the 'all biomass destroying' idea that goes along with the 'all animal species being taken to the Ark', CANNOT WORK for the fact plants would be destroyed and would cease to exist.

Essentially to me there is a huge canon problem because different authors/scriptwriters simply don't bother to keep consistent with others. As I have stated before, if you believe EVERYTHING - encyclopedia, Legends, the games, and Halo: Evolutions, you will have a messed up jumble of problems that do not comply.

So this is the way I see it:

1) Forerunners index all SENTIENT life (humans, elites, jackals, etc.) and take types of specimens (DNA, organisms) to the Ark.

2) The Halo rings are fired, and a harmonic pulse wipes out all Sentient life left behind in the universe.

3) The Flood starve because they can't infect plants, bacteria, dogs, cats, frogs, etc. - ONLY sentient life. (In Legends when the Flood is seen falling off ships it had taken over, that can be because the biggest forms, for instance the Gravemind, that NEED sentient biomass to be sustained also die, leaving only the non-sentient spore forms alive - which are obviously still a threat, as they could start building a new gravemind all over again, but they starve as their SENTIENT food source is removed).

4) Humans and other species are reintroduced, explaining the blip seen in the fossil record (the author of the quote on this article should have said in Evolutions that only the human fossil record disappears for a bit, NOT 'certain' species, though these 'certain' species could include the other members of the Homo genus that could have been living then, e.g. Neanderthals).

For the record, Plasmic Physics has been the voice of reason, because he/she understands the contradiction in canon we already have. AlexB1001 14:12, 14 December 2010 (EST)

EDIT: Cortana's quote does in no way disagree with what I've been saying. She simply says that the Flood eats Humans and the Covenant - e.g. SENTIENT LIFE - once more. So can people find examples in the canon where it is stated that ALL BIOMASS, not SENTIENT LIFE, are destroyed, and these are the flood's food source? Halo doesn't kill Flood, it kills their food! Humans, Covenant, whatever, we're all equally edible. The only way to kill the Flood is starve them to death. And that's what this ring is designed to do. At which point is there any indication of all biomass being destroyed? She's agreeing with me and Plasmic Physics - the ring is designed to kill sentient life, like HUMANS, not ANIMALS. Sorry for the capital overuse. AlexB1001 14:25, 14 December 2010 (EST)

Sentience cannot be understood. If it were a combination of self-awareness and intelligence, cats and dogs could be considered sentient.-- Forerunner 17:08, 14 December 2010 (EST)
The argument itself was on hinging on biomass being destroyed, given that Cortana said that the Array does not kill the Flood. Rewatching Origins, Infections Forms are never noted to be destroyed, only the portions and forms of the Flood that require biomass to be built. Logically, it must. Kill the infected ones, destroy the biomass, and the Flood Infection Forms and spores are left to wander and starve. Kill the infected, but don't destroy biomass, and the surviving Flood just recollects the bodies and starts all over again. Guilty Spark even says biomass is the deciding factor.
Furthermore, it doesn't necessarily have to be JUST sentient life that is saved. The Ross-Ziegler Blip was found around the 23rd century, at which point there had been no contact with the Covenant or any other sentient life. They mention the gap was found in certain species, and have not had the chance to examine the Covenant's fossil record, therefore that must mean that various animals, of both Earth and alien origin, must be Flood subsceptible too. Tuckerscreator(stalk) 19:11, 14 December 2010 (EST)

Forerunner is correct about sentience; it is not an either/or situation. There are multiple sources that nullify the notion that the Flood can only infect fully sentient/sapient beings like Humans, Sangheili, etc.

Tuckerscreator is also correct.

The first source to demonstrate this was the Halo Graphic Novel story, "Last Flight of the Infinite Succor." In that story, the majority of the Flood forms that attacked the boarding Covenant troops were infected animals (artistic license aside), and when the Minister of Etiology describes what he knows about the Flood to Rtas Vadum, he describes the Flood taking control of living or dead animals.

The next source is Halo Wars and the Flood presence on the Shield World. Though not often mentioned, most of the Flood there were in fact infected native life forms. The Flood Swarms, for instance, were described as being "Infected buzzards crossed with evil bats" in the February 2009 issue of Gamepro that had a feature article on the game. If one reads between the lines, what is basically being said is that those flying Flood forms are in fact infected and re-purposed animals, in this case aerial predators.

Though not stated, similar origins can be shown for the Thrasher and Bomber forms; the former shows mutations and physical structures completely consistent with the conversion and re-purposing of an advanced organism, and the latter shows evidence of having been an aerial organism before being taken. The article's summary of the skirmish map “Release” is even further enlightening; it describes the Flood as having been in control of the planet's biosphere for thousands of years, and even asks what the Flood would do if it were desperate, specifically what it would do to trees. While the map is not part of the game's story, the subject involved is fully present.

The components of the Flood infestation on the Shield World are largely derived from the flora and fauna of that world, while the various stationary forms are structures of the Flood hive on that planet. Evidence of the Flood's effects on semi-sentient and fully non-sentient life can be seen in the Halo 3 multiplayer map “Isolation”, which has Flood biomass digesting and overtaking plant life in a research enclosure on the Ark. This is manifested in the presence of Flood growth pods on the map's lower levels, and the fungus-like growths coming up to the surface.

Finally, a major piece of information regarding this aspect of the Flood in the re-issue of “Halo: The Flood”, specifically in the last entry of the book's extra content.

“Terminal L

Report 12 Batch 416 Span 1445

Military activity beyond the sphere is becoming frantic. The relative calm here impedes my sense of urgency. I find myself reading their reports just to provoke my own emotional response. My report, however, isn't quite so dramatic.

As predicted, the oceanic life is taking longer to catalog than the terrestrial and mammalian populations. What is hampering this collection isn't pressure or friction or depth but rather simplifying categorization. It is rare that we find so many disparate flavors of intelligence in a single habitat, but to find mammalian [standard] intelligence along with Schyzophoa and Cephalopoda in oceans further enhances the theory that this planet has seen interference or experiment in its past. This kind of distributed intellectual symmetry tends to hint at artifice.

What's making things more difficult is the rather distasteful process of testing living samples against simulated attack."

This entry, from the Librarian herself, details a great deal more information, including her observations of Earth's Hominids, which is very relevatory in their relationship with the Forerunners, but that is not pertinent to this topic.

With these combined sources, it is very clear that Flood is capable of infecting and utilizing a wide range of organisms, not just technology-using and space-faring sentients. The Flood use plants, smaller animals, etc. as material for creating its spread of biomass and the basics of its hive structures, while higher-order animals, such as predators and herbivores, are directly infected and used as cruder versions of Combat Forms. Animals that would be used for such a purpose would be animals like Gorillas, Elephants, perhaps lions, and maybe wolves.

If the Librarian's entry is to be understood, even oceanic life is not immune, and animals in the groups she mentioned, especially Cephalopods, would be used. Due to their overall intelligence, Cetaceans such as dolphins and Orcas would also be taken. This shows that the Flood are far more versatile and powerful than one might have thought.

If the Flood could only utilize space-faring and civilization-producing species, they would be much weaker than they are, and could potentially be lured and/or isolated on non-sentient planets and succumb to starvation. --Exalted Obliteration 20:24, 14 December 2010 (EST)

I fully concede my point. Not only humans are therefore considered sentient. I had totally forgot about the Infinite Succor. This does not disagree with my point, though - all sentient life was taken, but many species were left behind, which was alright because the 'harmonic pulse' can only kill sentient life. But yes, the Flood can infect dead biomass, so in fact it must actually DESTROY sentient biomass. Therefore shouldn't it also destroy some Flood, since some of the more advanced Flood can only function by hijacking sentient biomass (the Gravemind is an assimilation of sentient forms)? I wish someone could compile ALL references to the purpose and effects of the Halo Array. Then any inconsistencies could be ironed out once and for all. AlexB1001 02:47, 15 December 2010 (EST)

I'm sure that probably SOME Flood is probably killed, such as the Pure Forms, but more out of the sudden robbing of their entire body versus the strike of the Array itself, essentially a death by side effect. What happens to the Gravemind is uncertain, since it managed to survive the destruction of High Charity, albiet "blown apart", but at least it would be greatly weakened, and eventually succumb to starvation like all the rest. Tuckerscreator(stalk) 12:34, 15 December 2010 (EST)

I believe that while the array can destroy Flood beings, it cannot destroy all flood organisms. Infection and spore forms lack intelligence and would survive the array. Therefore, Cortana was technically right in saying that the rings only kill the Flood's food. Remember that re-purposed lifeforms are still human/sangheili, etc., and would be affected by the pulse, anyway. The actual flood lifeforms such as the infection and spore forms are left unaffected (I don't know about pure forms, though).-- Forerunner 13:12, 15 December 2010 (EST)