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

Human 2.0? – Hunger for Evolution

With this blog, I would like to offer you a gateway to futurology, to your personal future and show you trends in the technology sector. Anyway, what does that actually mean - future?

What is it about humanity and the insatiable desire for progress and the fanatical drive towards the limits of evolution?

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Well, we're not primates anymore, that much is certain, at least if we ignore some certain people who define themselves by "Instagram Model fame & bought Likes", or in the context of old dogmas like "skin color is important racists", "child raping catholic priests", or just as "I believe in a flat earth believer" and many more.

These are certainly topics worth talking about in more detail, but in this article we will kindly ignore such spiritual simplicity and political and ecological problems on Earth for the time being and focus on the issues:

How far developed are we, anyway? Is there any way to measure that?

Karda-what? – Measurements of Evolution

In this paper I am not aiming at the transhumanist movement (which will certainly be a topic in later papers), but I will introduce you to the work of Nikolai Kardashev, a Soviet astronomer who proposed a method for measuring the total progress of a civilization (in this case mankind).

Nikolai Kardashov came up with the so-called Kardashov Scale, which are hypothetical measures based on the energy requirements of an entire civilization from a cosmic perspective.

Cosmic energy consumption? - As long as I don't have to pay the bill...!

Okay, joke aside. To use your computer to read this ingenious blog, you need energy, right? To get your coffee machine running in the morning, light, infrastructure, for almost everything in our daily modern life we need energy. So what happens if we simply add up all the "used" energy (in the sense of all the energy needed, we kindly ignore the "energy can neither be created nor destroyed" concept)?

If we add up all the energy required by all the people on this planet, we would get a gigantic electricity bill, but this would measure the total energy consumption of the entire civilization.

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The Kardashov scale measures the technological progress of a civilization by the energy it can use. Therefore, we first need to know how much energy people have been "consuming" at all, as this is a minimum. Be that as it may, the real question is how much energy can we even produce if we wanted to? The more energy we could produce or use, the higher our Kardashov scale would be. Kardashov justifies this with the increased amount of energy needed to maintain a certain level of evolution. The more civilization develops, the higher the need for energy.

Sounds reasonable to me.

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.

So you can simply take the amount of energy on the "global electricity bill" and compare it with the scales to find out where we as humanity are on this scale. To provide you with some numbers, look at the next 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 supplemented by additional, even more advanced types, which I will not discuss in detail here. Nevertheless, it should be said that these new types range from the creation of artificial life to the ability to manipulate space-time structure.

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

Trophy for Humanity? – The Status of human Evolution.

It's nice that we now know which scales and possibilities people have considered. Where is humanity on this scale? Where are we?

We are small. Tiny unimportant particles of a gigantic universe. To describe us humans, a special type was created.

Type 0 Civilization.

This means that humanity is not even a Type I. Based on data from 2017, we rank at a simple 0.7279 on these scales and it is estimated that it will take approximately 200 years for us to become a fully fledged Type I.

No trophy for humanity.

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Photo by Wendelin Jacober

Well, think of us as a species or a civilization. Just for a moment.

Do we really look like type I? No!

We still pollute our environment, burn fossil fuels, somehow manage to use renewable energies and are far from being on a humanistic, neither political nor humanistic level to even dare to think about a centralized global energy supply, while at the same time thinking of all people as human beings, as people belonging to a common species.

As long as we treat our planet like garbage, wage wars, let people starve while others die because they are fat and do not unite us as a human species, we will never reach Type I or more. I truly admire the ventures that are trying to colonize the universe, but until we solve energy and hunger problems, start treating our environment fairly and stop massacring each other in wars, racial conflicts, humanity simply deserves to die out one day.

In my opinion, if humanity wants to rise from type zero to type one or higher, we must act immediately and solve our little human ego problems first. Compared to universal expansion, one misery is seeing people fighting over trivialities and killing each other. Imagine a world without religion, war, conflict, hunger or racism. That, to use a Star Trek word here, would be evolution into a kind of Vulcan.

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

Do you like such topics or would you like to read about other contents? 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. James Oneill

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

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