David's Lab (Blu-Ray Teaser): David explains what the black goo is.Pinned Topic28,961 Views48 RepliesAdd A Reply
Finally we get the answer to the question everyone's been asking since 2012, an explanation as to what the black goo really is.
According to David, the black goo is made up of advanced nanoparticles and is essentially a form of radical A.I.
Wait a minute... so the xenomorph is also a robot???? if that's true, there they go all the biological, lovecraftian elements of the saga down the drain.
@joylitt It's a biomechanical construct, just like Giger designed it to be. A fusion of humans and machines linked together.
As I see it, Biomechanical is one thing and A.I. is another
Well glad to see this is deleted. By the way, it looks like he preparing one of those adhesive mixes. Why is everything so lo tech? I wonder if he even has a freezer to preserve his embryos... or maybe he has a built in freezer?
looks like this might be the focus of Awakening!! AI nano-goo and the biomechanical Xeno. XD
@joylitt the goo itself is a FORM of AI, while some of what it CREATES is biomechanical.
Now, the biomechanical ship in Alien makes sense, as well as the biomechanical Space Jockey.
This should have never been deleted. Glad they at least released it.
Still we should have seen already biomechanical Neomorph and Xenomorph. There must be something else apart from Fox avoiding further payments to Giger estate.
"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"
This part was probably written by Jack Paglen, because it sounds a lot like what he wrote for "Transcendence". And what about the Engineer that sacrificed himself in Prometheus by drinking black goo, kick starting life on Earth? Does it mean that the nano artificial intelligence was involved in creating us too?
The description of the black goo is much more detailed in the movie and novel than this.
In this context 'nano' just means a single particle at the molecular nano scale (1 to 100 nonometers) that behaves as a whole unit.
I suppose 'A.I.' could be used to describe hive intelligence of the pathogen, since as far as we know it was created by the Engineers, so in effect it is 'artificial'. That combined with 'evolutionary computing' means algorithms based on biological evolution are used to rewrite the host DNA.
Looks like we have a confirmation of a female Engineer in one of David's drawings shown in this video.
joylitt the black goo ingested by the sacrificial engineer seems different from the pathogen created on LV223. I wonder now if it is connected somehow with the engineers blood, the severed head found on LV223 was bleeding some black goo, not sure if they intended to suggest something by that or it was used because it looked more spectacular.
"He survived, he’s now in Disneyland in Orlando, and no way am I going back there. How did he end up in Disneyland? I saw him in Disneyland, Jesus Christ!"
There are many forms of the pathogen according to David (and what we saw in Prometheus). The production designer on Prometheus said the Engineer head on LV223 was infected with the same type of pathogen that infected Fifield. It looks more like the version we saw in the Covenant bombing sequence though, just slower.
or A.I. goes to the fact that as in a program the if loops and Machine Learning algrorithms give machines an independency of choice, the chains of the particles of the black goo provide such algorithms of choice according to the genome of the host, so in a way it is A.I. if the genome belongs to a human the if loop might be in our case 'particle C of the chain 4' cunningly put there to create another chain if an unknown genome is met in order for the goo to learn by itself like an engineer would have made a choice and adapt like our silicon machines nowadays do. I still have this belief though that the engineers did not possess telecomunications like ours, since David mentioned that they did not come up with binary logic. Is this the reason why he bombed them without resistence since there was no communication between the docking station and the ship?
In the official video at 0:19 we see David's notes have a female engineer and something written about using her for Mengele's like experiments. I bet there were alive engineers and David used Xenos as an army to force them to comply with his experiments.
Saying "machine learning algorithms' is going to make some people think there are little nano-robots swimming around in the goo, like some bad syfy channel movie.
David says it is a virus and pathogen in the movie, so it is organic. It rewrites DNA, adapts and counter adapts to cells attempting to counter it, and operates with a hive intelligence, so that is the Artifical Intelligence David refers to.
What makes you think there was no communication between the docking station and the ship? The flashback was so brief we did not get any details like that one way or the other.
"and something written about using her for Mengele's like experiments"
??? I don't see anything like that in the text.
It states 'skelletically complex this SPECIMEN once SHIPPED DOWN (by whom or what? for which reason? how did the black goo not affected her?) ....' and I believe that this female engineer was the one in David's lab.
Yes I said that the goo virus adapts learns and creates like our modern A.I. machine learning algorithms. We use sillicon they use DNA, I agree with you. Our sillicon circuits technology allows us to write programs to drive cars, recognize faces, make decisions etc their DNA based technology does other things but the algorithmic philosophy is the same thing. We agree on that!
I still think there is a lot of confusion regarding the Black Goo/Sacrificial Goo, and while this video helps to add something to it, we have to wonder does this apply only to the Goo within the Urns... or are FOX/RS trying to send us down the route that there is just ONE GOO.... so i can see many conflicting clues if this is the case.
First i will establish what has been said about the Goo as far as within the Urns from Prometheus and Alien Covenant and also taking into account comments by RS and even clues from the Movies.
The Goo within the Urns is therefor
*A Organic Pathogenic/Mutagen
*It is Viral and acts like a Virus.
*It Genetically Alters Genomes/DNA
*I was artificially created or had been modified so that it is programmable.
*The Goo has a number of effects depending on interaction, and state that the Goo is in, and kind/amount of interaction
Prometheus alone guides us and shows us that the Black Goo within the Urns that was in the Ampoule Room they Crew had came across, indeed reacts with the Genetic Make up of a Infected Host, where its Genome/DNA are Re-written and it appears Genomes/DNA are imprinted onto it (Infected Host) that are connected to the DNA of the Deacon/Xenomorph as far as appearing to share some Common Genetic Traits.
Alien Covenant kind of muddies the water a bit, as far as some of the effects and what it is trying to suggest. The biggest problem being the EFFECT of the Bombardment on those Corpses as it appears the Bombardment showed us the Black Goo Urns Exploded and rained down its contents that appeared to be comprised of Nano-Particles that seeked out and attacked Genetic Material, where it appeared these Particles attacked the Victims Genetic Makeup and simply killed the Molecular Structure of these Beings, Turning the Genetic Material into like some kind of Crystallized State (Hardened Genetic Material).
From Prometheus we would have expected the Victims, to show the following symptoms.
*Have their Genetic Code altered where there DNA/Genome becomes over-written with DNA/Genome that is present within the Deacon and Xenomorph Life Forms.
*See their Genetic Code DNA/Molecules become broken apart, where the building blocks simply break apart and eventually there would be nothing left but these individual particles/Molecules
*Become infected with a Viral Infections slowly altering their Genetic Make up, while the Virus reproduces itself (can be passed on to others) or Genetically Re-writes all Cells within the Organism which include Reproductive Cells.
The Mention of this Substance in Alien Covenant being a Radical AI, can be misleading and depends really if those behind this IDEA have actually any knowledge or implications of what they mean by this.
The way any AI can apply to this is as follows.
The Black Goo acts like a Viral/Pathogenic Mutagen, yet it is some kind of Biotechnology where its function seems to be to re-write Genetic Material of a Infected Host and Altering the DNA/Genomes of Affected Hosts.
The Term Radical AI could then imply that this Pathogenic/Mutagenic Substance is like a AI due to its Function in that the Substance can itself Change its effects on Genetic Manipulation depending on its needs. So it acts just how a Malicious Virus Code and Manipulate and Change a Legitimate Programs CODE... but we are not talking 0's and 1's but actually effects Genetic Molecules/Particles. And implies the Substance itself has some kind of intelligence to how it performs this.
This however does not mean its Biotechnology but it could be, it could also be some kind of Parasite by Nature.
The Other way to refer to it as Radical AI, is that this very substance is artificially created (and so its not a naturally occurring Substance) or that it has been Genetically Engineered to act with some degree of Intelligence and thus Engineered Genetically Altering Biotechnology
I think we need at some point a better Official Explanation as it does offer some conflicting results unless we are referring only to the 2nd Stage of the Sacrificial Goo.
Because Prometheus seemed to hint at, and Spaights Alien Engineers (Nano-Scarabs) pretty much confirms that. The Sacrificial Goo/Nano-Scarabs are some kind of Parasitic Organism or maybe even Bio-Engineered Mutagen.
That infects a Hosts Genetic Makeup where the Hosts DNA/Genome are broken down and stored/programed into the Mutagen Biotechnology/Parasitic Pathogen. The Hosts complete Biological Building Blocks of Molecules are thus broken down and and Genetic Code applied to the Mutagen.
This Mutagen now contains the Hosts DNA/Genome and when this new Substance comes into contact with a New Host, it again attacks and modifies the Hosts DNA/Genome but instead of consuming/breaking apart the Molecules, it Re-writes the Genetic CODE and replaces Key Genomes with the Genomes of the Host that was infected by the Original BLANK Pathogenic Mutagen.
This ^^^^ is how i always felt the Goo worked, it is a Tool for simply being used to Take Genomes/DNA of One Organism and Implant these onto a New Organism... Creating a Hybrid DNA
We can see how this could be used by David as the basis to be able to Merge and Mix Genetic Traits of many kinds of Life Forms in order to create a New Organism by combining different DNA/Genomes of Various Life Forms.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
@Kethol - That Engineer Female will kick David's ass!!! HAHA!!
The fact that I read somewhere that they did not invent binary logic although they were so advanced, which made for us TV,radio,cell phones,computers, David etc available, if you look in the library scene everything seem primitive as if there is no digital records at all. If for example they could communicate like us why didn't they send other ships back to LV-426 to continue on the mission? Why didn't their ship since they possessed A.I. stop David from driving to their homeworld with the cargo and why at least wasn't there any remote control procedure by the time David arrived? We didn't see any satellites either. I bet the only way they recorded maps and history was via coming and going to their homeworld and provide to a central bank those playback images we saw in Prometheus...anyway just speculating.
The fact that they are millions of years ahead of us doesn't mean that technologically we will follow their path, they chose biology we chose non organic technology which to them might seem incomprehensible like for us their goo, although David unlocked the mysteries.
I think the whole thing is ambiguous due to the lack of clues, to correct this FOX/RS have attempted to give explanations and show various clues, all of which seem to change over and over and would kind of not add up to previous comments/clues.
Its like they dont really have any A-Z about what this does, and its a case of change and add things as they go along.
They should have stuck to the ideas of Spaights NANO-Scarabs, which Prometheus Evolved into a kind of Parasitic Virus, but again its very ambiguous because the Black Goo could contain Nano-Organisms that act like a Pathogenic Parasite.
The Basis was simple..... regardless of Goo or Scarabs.
It was from its original in-vision (Spaights) which Prometheus seemed to match.... A Genetic Manipulation Tool.
You want to create a Werewolf? Simple take the Blank Form of the Scarabs/Goo and apply it to a Wolf, and the Wolves Genetic Material is broken apart. As if the Wolf was a Giant Lego Structure built from Billions of Lego Bricks.
What we end up with is a Pile of individual Lego Bricks that contain the Genetic Code for a Wolf, but they are not programed to be able to Re-build the Lego Wolf from the Billions of Blocks.
Instead these Blocks can now be Stored (Urns) or allowed to so simply fly on the Wind (Blocks are Particles) or even enter the Water System (Water Fall) and when these Blocks that are from the Wolf, come into contact with new Organic Material.
These Blocks act like a Virus and attack the Hosts Genetic Material where these Blocks will Merge with the Hosts Building Blocks and Re-write the Hosts Building Block Code with the (in this case) Wolves Building Blocks.
So if the Organism thise Mutagen 2nd stage (via breaking down the Wolf) if this comes into contact with a Human then we get the Humans DNA/Genome Invade and a number of its Cells Changed into a Hybrid that now contains WOLF/HUMAN DNA and thus we end up with a Werewolf.
This New Organism could maybe likely be further exploited, so that the Werewolf DNA is broken down and then if this resulting Mutagen infects a say Bird. Then we get another Hybrid.
This time 50% Bird DNA 25% Human and 25% Wolf.
This is kind of what Spaights Scarabs did, its what the Goo seemed to do in a number of scenes in Prometheus. This Analogy would explain how David could manipulate various Organisms experimenting with mixing and cross breeding DNA from Organism to Organism.
Because you cant simply Mate a Wolf and Human, and then the Offspring if there was one, Procreate with say a Frog etc....
You would have to modify the Genomes etc, this is where Science is trying to do this, and theory is you can Modify a Birds DNA/Genomes by turning off/on various Code to somehow revert back to the Evolutionary Path and bring out Dinosaur DNA in say a Chicken.
But Science has a long way to go, and we dont have a way to replace Genomes of a Bird with Genomes of a Mammal etc.
HOWEVER.... The Engineers Did, and this is Exactly what the Sacrificial Goo/Scarabs did... they are a Genetically Altering Tool these Engineers used.
However i wonder if FOX/RS paid attention to how this Substance was from Origin (Jon Spaights) and so now its a bit of a confusing mess.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
You attempt to raise some good points.... i think however these Engineers as far as the Technology is incredibly advanced and maybe in a way we cant comprehend... this is SCI-FI and so their Technology could be something that would be difficult to compare to our Technology.
The ships have some kind of Power Source that could be very very Alien to anything like we have on Earth... I would assume they have some kind of Playback/Communications Technology simply due to the Hologram Record Devices.
Also the Space Jockey Signal, and how David Managed to transmit the Dr Shaw Hologram.
Your point is good suggesting they can not surely be remotely controlled, because then why did other Ships not intercept David....
I think they have some kind of Remote Control Technology, maybe just related to Auto-Pilot? We see the Engineers Ships have access to a Giant Star-Map/Sat Nav and these list other Galaxies and so the scope of their Technology likely means they can Travel to other Galaxies.
So we have to wonder would they not be able to communicate with them? This does lead to the Dilemma about why No Engineers came back after a Certain Period... Why did none come back to LV-223.... but this raises many Questions we have yet to get the answers for, include do those on Paradise know of LV-223, or did they choose to abandon that project.
The Docking ship is interesting and Hanger, we can suggest they lack communications but i would argue against that, there either had to be some device/way that the Hanger Automatically opens when it detects a incoming Ship, or David was able to operate the Hanger. Or even the Ship sent out a Signal of its Arrival in which the Hanger was then activated.
The Docking Ship did not come from the Hanger, it appeared it was already airborne before the Hanger opened, and it moved to like a Intercept Course with the Juggernaught.
A good Question would be is the Docking Ship Remotely Activated and Controlled, does it posses a AI Program. Or its it Manually operated either from inside, or from some place on the Surface?
Wayne Haagg and another Production member had discussed about this Scene, and suggested the Docking Ship was like some kind of Border Control and it had a Dust Up with Davids Juggernaught leading to them both crashing.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
when the ship entered the atmosphere with the goo we hear a strange noise like a sonar and the only information it carries is for the dock to be lifted and the engineers to come and greet the lost heroes (only this!! not who is driving, nothing about the cargo etc), maybe they used remote control with sounds (far too limited to a small radius) and hadn't thought of digital transmissions that could travel light years to give the information. They seem to lack fail safe procedures and David knew this. Through their evolution the "engineers" (Shaw's speculation) might not have advanced in remote communication due to the conditions of their planet, if you remember their planet's charged atmosphere made communications with covenant almost impossible, that's why they hadn't thought of satellites, information transmission with wave (phase which is translated to 0 and 1 and then to pictures,text etc). Remember David's words 'the storms last for days months and they cover all the planet', that single line maybe holds the reason why they didn't invent digital transmission technology.
Why Ridley could not have logically and economically helped explain more of this just stinks. Instead we got half a film of nothing but Easter eggs accomplishing nothing new or unique. The engineers, Shaw and his experiments were SUPPOSED to be central to the film along with some CRITTERS to scare the audience and briefly show off David's new children. The goo just proves to be more ' mcguffin ' than anything a good storyteller should strive for. The goo bombing looked cool but how did it all of a sudden turn into Artificiality Intelligent swarms of virus microbe bugs when the goo drop in Prometheus surely wouldn't have behaved that way if flipped by his finger or splashed into the air on a crew members boot wading in the puddles of the urn head room. These question wether the man steering the ship cares about taking the required time and effort to tell a coherent story ON SCREEN
@BigDave - ".. or are FOX/RS trying to send us down the route that there is just ONE GOO.... "
They have clearly been trying to say the opposite. David said in Covenant "The pathogen took so many forms and proved extremely mutable", and also said it could either kill outright, or use the hosts as incubators to spawn a hybrid. Prometheus showed us at least four varieties of the pathogen.
Actually David experimented and used the code "D(David)964 Zulu Brother' to transmit his experiments back to Earth, his transmission back to wy is shown to us in this video. He still remains faithful to his boss and he might have been programmed and controlled via movie heroes, in the movie Zulu 1(964) Michael Cane resembles David. Could it be that the Lawrence of Arabia role ended and a Gonville Bromhead role programming is starting?
Those signals from the engineers' ships are man made, or David made.
Here is another strange coincidence with the same number having in mind his role as an angel of death for the engineers!
964. Verse 3. And the second angel poured out his vial into the sea; and it became blood as of one dead; and every living soul in the sea died. (John's apocalypse)
@George-TheGreek - "It states 'skelletically complex this SPECIMEN once SHIPPED DOWN (by whom or what? for which reason? how did the black goo not affected her?) "
It actually says "Skeletally complex this specimen, once stripped down, proves to be composed of an intricate network of interlocking calcifous bone like components." There is nothing written about using her for 'Mengele's like experiments', as you said. The drawings also shows an intact specimen, so she has not been infected with the pathogen that killed the Engineers in the plaza.
"and I believe that this female engineer was the one in David's lab."
If you mean the one in the statue of David pose, that is a male. David had more than one uninfected Engineer to experiment on. There is an uninfected Engineer head in a bowl on one of the tables that looks intact, other than the fact that parts of it have been sliced away. The novel indicates he had an ample supply.
"they did not invent binary logic"
Where are you getting that from?
"why didn't they send other ships back to LV-426 to continue on the mission?"
I would assume because LV-223 had been quarantined, but how do you know they didn't? The Engineer city on planet 4 does not seem to have any advanced technology, so I don't think this is the world the Engineers from LV-223 hailed from, nor is this the place the Juggernaut and than docking ship were made.
"Why didn't their ship since they possessed A.I. stop David from driving to their homeworld with the cargo"
Where was it said their ship possessed AI?
"and why at least wasn't there any remote control procedure by the time David arrived?"
How do you know there was not? That docking ship may have been remote controlled or completely automated.
"that's why they hadn't thought of satellites, information transmission with wave (phase which is translated to 0 and 1 and then to pictures,text etc). Remember David's words 'the storms last for days months and they cover all the planet', that single line maybe holds the reason why they didn't invent digital transmission technology."
Dane Hallett & Matt Hatton, the artists who created all of the drawings in David's lab, indicated that the script described that the planet did have satellites that made a quarantine net over the planet, which protected anything coming in or out of the planet. They said yhat is why the Covenant transmissions were not getting through, and also why Shaw's SOS message (if that is what it was) did not get through clearly.
They also said when you see the pathogen get released and it seems to stop form a layer over and invisible shield before getting through and descending - that was the planetary shield. There was apparently a whole subplot where the Covenant had to fix one of the satellites to take down the shield so they could get through, which is what was causing the electrical storm.
None of that made the final cut though.
But wait a minute, if there uninfected Engineers how did David capture? How did they not physically overpower him as seen in Prometheus? Or was the theme of the "mad scientist" more important than cohesion of the story?
Yet another another question. In the Meet Walter viral, there is a disclaimer that if you can't pay your synth you forfeit the rights to your dna. Now does this imply that Synth are partially organic also ? ....
"But wait a minute, if there uninfected Engineers how did David capture?"
We don't know. There is a whole movie there that we did not get to see.
"I think the whole thing is ambiguous due to the lack of clues, to correct this FOX/RS have attempted to give explanation
and show various clues, all of which seem to change over and over and would kind of not add up to previous comments/clues."
Exactly. You couldn't have said it better. Very few clues in Prometheus, so then you have to come up with a lot of exposition that now sounds like a lot of hocus pocus.
The problem is Covenant was released before Awakenings, which has led to a lot of confusion and missing context. I guess they rushed release of the third chapter to show the Xeno?
Indeed your reply to my One Goo comment is exactly what i was getting at, it appears maybe there is ONE Source Goo/Substance that can be manipulated and programed to perform various outcomes. Where was Spaights Draft and Prometheus seemed to back up, was potentially there is this Creation Tool (Sacrificial Goo) that can be used to obtain Genetic Code from a Organism and Store this Code to be passed onto other Organisms.... The Urns containing this Substance that had already acquired a Genetic Code from something that has Xeno related DNA.. which is why i was always drawn to the Mural being something they exposed to the Sacrificial Goo to obtain the resulting Black Goo.
It was ambiguous and appeared we have TWO Goos because of TWO Effects, when i was drawn to ONE Substance that breaks down and Stored Genetic Code of a Host... this resulted in a modified Goo that can then infect other Hosts passing on Traits from the Host Sacrificed via the Sacrificial Goo.
The way they are going now can still fit with this, as we do-not know what effect the components of the Urns have or how they can be altered. Maybe the Goo can be altered and programed via some Stage/Technology and then Loaded into the Urns.. Or maybe the Urns can be Re-coded by the Ships.
It still has not been clearly shown to us and so its not really possible to make a Water-tight theory or explanation. One Analogy i had was to explain maybe like a Nuke the Urns have components where the Substance within the Glass ampoules is like the Radioactive Elements of a Nuke (Plutonium/Uranium) thus exposed contact to these has a serve effect on a Organism, even causing Mutations to Molecules. But in no way do these Chemicals actually explode or cause as serve Burns as a Activated and Dropped Nuke.
So the Urns could act the same and when they are Primed and Dropped they in effect act like Bombs and Explode where the effects are different compared to just coming into contact with Stored Radioactive Material of a Nuke or in the case of the Urns the Black Goo and its effects in Prometheus.
And AC as far as Davids Experiments and the after effects on Life on Paradise (not inc the Engineers caught within the Blast Radius)
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017