Discussion Board

Topic: Questions about the Precursor and Prehistoric human civilization

From: Louis
Location: Berlin
Date: 07/04/2014

Dear Mr. Bear,

First of all I want to thank you for creating such an interesting universe for the Forerunner Empire.

After reading The Forerunner Saga I was confused about something. According to the book, Humanity's earliest known spacefaring ages were over 1,100,000 BCE, when they settled on numerous worlds along the galactic margin. But since it is around 10,000,000 BCE, that the Precursors announced their decision to the Forerunners: the Mantle responsibility for all things would fall on the shoulders of human, and the forerunners furiously retaliated against their creators and drove them to near-extinction. So can we calculate that Humanity were stranded on earth for nearly nine millions years? Personally, I think it costs so long time for Humanity to enter the spacefaring ages.

And my second question is, since the known history of the universe we are living in is around 14 billions years, how could the Precursors stored a hundred billion years' worth of knowledge in the domain Maybe the Precursors came from another universe, I wonder?

Thank you again for your beautiful creation in the halo universe.


Re: Questions about the Precursor and Prehistoric human civilization

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/10/2014

All good questions, Louis! But I've actually offloaded a lot of the dates and numbers as I work on new novels, and so I may be as befuddled as you are. As for how long the universe has existed... remember, the current numbers are just that. Current. Less than a century ago we thought the universe had to be younger than tens of millions of years old!

Re: Questions about the Precursor and Prehistoric human civilization

From: Brian Beatty
Location: Rep. of Ireland
Date: 08/20/2014

Good questions Louis. I agree with Mr. Bear, I think the age of the universe being 14 billion years old is based on much or far our instruments can observe the physical universe (I'm no physicist so correct me if I'm wrong. The universe could be far older we just can't tell at present. As for the Halo universe it could easily be over 100 billion years old or not (Forthencho mentions how most of their knowledge came from before there were stars in the universe) implying the Precursors predate the universe(like deities in mythology).

As for the 10 million years figure, it's stated ancient humanity went numerous dark ages with records and history being lost and populations scattered all across the galaxy. The earliest known spacefaring ages were over 1.1 million years ago. It is most likely humanity was created by the Precursors and evolved to a spacefaring(likely Tier 1 state) over 10 million years ago as it's hinted humanity and the Forerunners share a genetic origin). Since the Precursors chose them to bear the Mantle 10 million years ago reinforces this. I couldn't them choosing a race that didn't exist yet or wasn't spacefaring and therefore in no position to rule and protect the galaxy or universe (I think the Mantle according the Precursors extends to the universe not just the galaxy). The Forerunners' definiton of it probably isn't correct considering the way they used it and didn't even their true history in regards to it and I wouldn't trust anything the Gravemind/Primordial says about because... well it doesn't need explanation with the Gravemind.

But between 10 million bce and 150,000 bce, humanity has gone through numerous dark ages back and forth on the technological and socialogical scale. We don't how long humanity was on Earth, it may not even be their original homeworld as the fossil records are utterly screwed up and there are ruins on many planets across the galaxy built by humans that are possibly far older the the fossil records on Earth. It was hotly debated among ancient humans and Forerunners and 1.1 million to 10 million years is alot of history to track down. Yprin Yprikushma may not be correct (she strikes me as a Halsey-type person-kind of full of herself and overconfident in her abilities and intelligence at times) and I'm convinced the Librarian and the Lifeworkers based their own studies and research into this subject on Yprin's or using it as reference.

The same happened to the Forerunners as they to had several dark ages and lost alot of history and previous technonlogy. The Forerunner capital only had about 20,000 years worth of recorded history in it.

Hope this helps. Sorry it's a bit long but we'll probably get alot more info on this all in later Halo media. It's too much material not to fill.

Re: Questions about the Precursor and Prehistoric human civilization

From: Paul
Location: UK
Date: 11/06/2014

Your series of novels were very enjoyable and some of the most engrossing I've ever read. The novels were much more Sci-fi than any of the installments so far and moved the story beyond the shadows and hints of the wider history of the Halo universe that readers were teased with within all other Halo media.

Having read the entirety of the Halo novel series I too am interested in the answer to the question as to why pre-historic human civilisations seemed to rise and fall without even the Lifeshaper having significant knowledge of these events before the Human/Forerunner war. Was this forerunner malevolence at work? Are the humans of today even descended at all from humanity of the precursor times? Are modern humans a completely separate evolution; much was made of the precursor ability to influence the evolution of sapient life though little direct evidence was given beyond the unaccountable rapid evolution of the devolved humans on Erde-Tyrene.

Re: Questions about the Precursor and Prehistoric human civilization

From: Greg Bear
Date: 11/11/2014

Excellent questions, Paul! I'm not sure the answers have quite been determined. There are many more HALO threads to be woven together. Thanks!

Re: Questions about the Precursor and Prehistoric human civilization

From: Greg Bear
Date: 11/15/2014

Thanks, Brian! Sorry to delay posting. Been exploring the far limits of modern medicine!

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