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There’s a scale of comparison for all the alien species presumably found in the universe, so if you want to learn where our species stands, you should have a look at the Kardashev scale.

The Kardashev scale is a system used when trying to determine a civilization’s level of technological advancement. The scale of comparison was first proposed by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964. He understood the need of classifying the different alien species that may reside in the universe based on their capabilities. He then created the Kardashev scale that’s based on the amount of energy a civilization is able to harness and utilize. Although this is only in theory, it helps us understand how far the human species may rise based on the amount of energy it can obtain and consume.

Type One – A Planetary Society

This type of civilization has the entire energy of a planet at their disposal. They have knowledge of how to use its natural forces, such as volcanos, weather, and even earthquakes. They can collect and store energy emanating from their neighboring star. They are also powered by solar and fusion power.

Type Two – An Interplanetary Society

This type of civilization can harness the entire energy of a star. They have completed a Dyson sphere – a structure which encircles an entire sun together with the planets found in its vicinity. Fusion energy is now mastered, and they can colonize several planets. Because of the massive source of energy they possess, they are virtually immune to extinction.

Type Three – An Interstellar Society

Civilizations that have progressed this far have knowledge of the energy output of an entire galaxy. Type 3 species can freely move throughout the galaxy, capturing energy from nearby stars while colonizing hospitable planets. It’s difficult to imagine how such species would be, but the most plausible example could be cyborgs or cybernetic organisms. In those highly-advanced societies, humans are seen as a sub-species. Because of their unimaginable technological capabilities, cyborgs now have the ability to self-replicate and eventually spread across the galaxy to claim every star as their own.

The original scale ends at Type 3 because Kardashev considered a Type 4 civilization would be extremely advanced and he didn’t venture beyond that. However, a few theorists like Carl Sagan, Michio Kaku and Robert Zubrin have completed the scale from where Kardashev left off.


Type Four – An Intergalactic Society

These species control the energy generated by the entire universe. They can cross the accelerating expansion of space and reside inside supermassive black holes. Type 4 civilizations are what we would call gods or divine beings. Their full capabilities are pure speculative, but they should be able to shape the structure of space and time.

Type Five

Yes, a fifth type has been added recently, and these civilizations outscore them all. They are what we call a “master race,” a species so advanced that it can use the power output of several universes. Such societies could dash between multiverses with varied forms of matter, physics and space-time. They could be interpreted as the ultimate meaning of “god.”

So where is our species located on the Kardashev scale? Well, we are not on the big stage yet. Our kind is still a Type 0, along with other presumed candidates. While some consider the transition from type 0 to type 1 to occur in the next 100-200 years, we are still struggling to tame nature’s forces. It seems like civilizations found at the crossroads autodestruct and have to take it all over again in order to reach the first step on the Kardashev scale. Hopefully, we are going to make it this time around. (source)