The Kardashev Scale – At the Dawn of intergalactic human Evolution?

Human 2.0? – Hunger for Evolution

With this blog, I want to provide you with a gate into futurology, to your personal future and show trends in the technological sector. However, what does that actually mean – future?

What is it with humanity and the insatiable demand for progress and the fanatic urge towards the threshold of evolution?

Vogl Future Blog Picture
Photo by Engin Akyurt

Well, we are not primates anymore that is for sure, at least if we ignore certain people who define themselves in terms of “Instagram model fame & bought likes” or in the older dogmas of “skin colour matters racists”, ”child raping catholic priests” or just “being flat-earth believers” among many others us.

These are surely topics worth talking more specifically about, but in this post, we will kindly ignore simple mindedness and political or ecological problems on Earth and firstly focus on the questions:

How evolved are we anyway? Can it be measured and how?

Karda-what? – Measurements of Evolution

In this post, I do not aim for the transhumanism movement (which will surely be a topic for later posts), hence I would like to show you the work of Nikolai Kardashev, a Soviet astronomer who proposed a method for measuring the overall progress of a civilization (in this case of humanity).

Nicolai Kardashev thought and created the so-called Kardashev Scales, which are hypothetical and measure the energy consumption of a whole civilization from a cosmic viewpoint.

Cosmic energy consumption? – As long as I don´t need to pay those bills …!

Ok joke aside, to use your computer for reading this awesome blog, you need energy right? For getting your coffee machine running in the morning, lights, infrastructure, for almost everything in our daily modern lives we need energy. So what if we just add up all the energy used up (in a sense of total amount of energy consumed, we kindly ignore the “but energy cannot be created nor destroyed” conceptions)?

If we put all energy used by all people on this planet together, we get a huge electric bill, but it will state the overall energy consumption of our whole civilization.

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Photo by Matheus Bertelli

The Kardashev Scale measures the technological progress of a civilization in regard of the amount of energy utilizable. Therefore, first we know how much energy humans already consume, which states a minimum. However, the true question is, how much energy can we harvest, if we wanted to? The more energy we could generate or harvest the higher our Kardashev Scale. Kardashev reasons that the more advanced a civilization is, the more energy it requires to sustain this level of evolution.

Sounds valid right.

Kardashev Scales

  • Type I civilization (also called a planetary civilization): can use and store all of the energy available on its planet.
  • Type II civilization (also called a stellar civilization): can use and control energy at the scale of its solar system.
  • Type III civilization (also called a galactic civilization): can control energy at the scale of its entire host galaxy.

Therefore, to validate where on this Scale humanity ranks now, we just take the amount of energy on our “global energy bill” and compare it with the Scales. To fill you in with some numbers, look at the next bullet points.

  • Type I: The civilization is able to harness all energy falling on a planet from its referring parent planet
  • Type II: A civilization capable of harvesting the complete energy of a star, using a Dyson Sphere or similar gigantic structures.
  • Type III: Energy is consumed via a civilizations own galaxy (like the whole Milky Way).

This original proposal is extended by several even more advanced types, which I will not present here in detail. Nevertheless, these new types range from artificial life creation to being capable of manipulating the structure of space and time itself.

Look at this video, for a briefer summary of the Scales, including the extensions:

Trophy for Humanity? – The Status of human Evolution.

So nice, that we now know what scales or possibilities people thought of. Where is humanity on this range? How far are we?

We are small. Tiny unimportant pieces of a huge universe. A special type was created to describe us human beings.

Type 0 Civilization.

This means humanity is not even a type I. Based on data from 2017, we score a mere 0.7279 on these Scales and are estimated to need another 200 years to fully become type I.

No trophy for humanity.

Vogl Future Blog Picture
Photo by Wendelin Jacober

Well think about us as a species or civilization. Just for a mere moment.

Do we really look like type I? No!

We still pollute our environment, burn fossil energies, barely manage to use renewable energy sources and are surely not on a humanistic nor political level even thinking about a centralized global energy supply for all whilst thinking of all humans as humans as one species together.

As long as we treat our planet like garbage, lead wars, let people starve to death while others die from being fat and do not unite as one human species, we will never reach type I or above. I truly admire the ventures trying to colonize the universe, but until we solve energy issues, hunger, start treating our environment fair and stop massacring each other in wars or racial conflicts, humanity deserves to go extinct someday.

In my opinion, if humanity wants to rise from type zero to one or higher, we need to act immediately and solve our tiny human ego problems first. In comparison with universal expansions, it is a pity to watch humans argue and kill each other over such trivialities. Imagine a world without religion, war, conflicts, hunger, or racism. This would be to talk Star Trek, the evolution into sort of Vulcans.

For those who are want to know the details, here is a longer documentation about the topic:

Do you like the topics or do you want to read about other subjects? Let me know in the comments.

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Kardashev, Nikolai (1964). „Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations“ (PDF). Soviet Astronomy. 8: 217-221.

Lemarchand, Guillermo A. „Detectability of Extraterrestrial Technological Activities“. Coseti.

Kaku, Michio (2010). „The Physics of Interstellar Travel: To one day, reach the stars“. Retrieved 2010-08-29.

Sagan, Carl (October 2000) [1973]. Jerome Agel (ed.). Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective. Freeman J. Dyson, David Morrison. Cambridge Press

„Energy data for 2017“. yearbook. World Energy Statistical Yearbook. Retrieved 9 April 2019.

Kaku, Michio (2005). Parallel Worlds: The Science of Alternative Universes and Our Future in the Cosmos. New York: Doubleday. p. 317

Zubrin, Robert (1999). Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization.

Barrow, John (1998). Impossibility: Limits of Science and the Science of Limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 133

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Holy Crap!
    I am quoted as a source!
    Thanks (

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