Imagine a world where humanity has not only gained the ability to travel and to populate space but has progressed even further than that. Humanity can now control and navigate multiple universes. Welcome to one of the most advanced civilizations ever thought of. A type 5 civilization. What is a type 5 civilization? What would it mean for humanity? And how would we get to this point?
Okay – before we get to our epic type 5 civilization, we first need to start at 0. This, unfortunately, is where Earth is right now.
A type 0 civilization is one that is reliant on things like fossil fuels and still struggling with issues like climate change. We’ve sent people to the Moon and rovers to Mars, but we’re far from interstellar travel. And although we have lots of technological advancements, we’re still vulnerable to things like natural disasters and pandemics. So, although Earth is highly advanced in many ways, we still have a long way to go before we reach a type 1, or 2, or 5 civilization.
So, how do we get there?
Before we get to that, what are these civilizations anyway? And who came up with them? It’s known as the Kardashev Scale. Developed by Nikolai Kardashev in 1964, the scale categorizes a civilization according to its technological capabilities and energy consumption. Originally, the scale only involved type 1, 2, and 3 civilizations but it’s since been expanded to include type 4 and 5.
Now, while civilizations 4 and 5 are mostly speculative and theoretical, civilizations 1 through 3 could happen someday. So, how could humans become a type 5 civilization? Not so fast. First, we need to get to type 1. There’s no way a civilization can jump from 0 all the way to 5. So let’s get started.
TYPE 1 CIVILIZATION
A type 1 civilization would be a massive improvement from where we’re at now on Earth. We could harness all the energy available to us on the planet. Imagine being able to harness the power of the oceans and the Sun. Things like hurricanes and earthquakes would become minor inconveniences, and all our energy would be renewable.
To get to this point, the main thing we’d need to focus on would be energy transition. Shifting from non-renewable to renewable energy sources would be the key priority. And it would need to be done at a global scale. Think entire deserts filled with solar panels, wind turbines covering the clouds, and ocean thermal energy conversion plants.
Other scientific advancements would also be essential. Things like quantum computing and advanced AI would be key parts of helping us transition into this new civilization. But it’s not just about the technology. We’d also need some sort of global governance to help unify the world to tackle these massive challenges.
Experts think this might happen in the next century or two. But we don’t have time to wait that long. Let’s fast forward and move on to the next type of civilization. We’ve got 4 more to go.
TYPE 2 CIVILIZATION
This would be a massive leap on all fronts of energy and technological advancement. Being a type 2 would mean that we’d be able to build extreme megastructures like this Dyson sphere. This would allow us to harness the power of the Sun. And with that, our energy capability would be virtually limitless, we could innovate our way to incredible technological heights.
Instead of being tethered to Earth, we’d now have the power to travel to new planets and start populating them. Mars, Venus, and other planets in our Solar System would become our new homes. And overall, the Solar System would become a utopia. With humans having this much power, we’d move beyond things like scarcity, war, and inequality. A unified galactic government would span across our star system.
But tit would take some hard work. A type 2 civilization would require all of humanity’s effort and span multiple generations.
TYPE 3 CIVILIZATION
Think harnessing the power of our Earth and Sun is epic? How about an entire galaxy? That’s what you can expect when transitioning to a type 3 civilization.
Things like black holes, billions of stars, and other celestial bodies would all be at humanity’s disposal to harness and use. This could allow for wormhole travel. We could instantly travel to distant points in the galaxy. And if that wasn’t enough, we’d also have the ability to terraform different planets however we please. Like, I kind of want to ski on Venus.
TYPE 4 CIVILIZATION
Now is where things get really crazy. A type 4 civilization is beginning to reach a point beyond our current understanding of the Universe and physics. So naturally, there would be some weird aspects to this upgraded version of humanity.
Being able to terraform planets and control celestial bodies was so last civilization. Now, we reshape, destroy, or create entire worlds. We would have unlimited power, having mastered the resources of the entire Universe. Things like artificial intelligence would become so advanced at this point that they’d become a part of the structure of the Universe. With that, we’d be able to control virtually every aspect of everything.
We could manipulate time and create different timelines. Create new life forms and different kinds of matter. On top of all that, in a type 4 civilization, we’d be able to transcend biological limitations and achieve a form of immortality. Pretty crazy, right? Well, we’re not even done yet.
TYPE 5 CIVILIZATION
Similar to a type 4 civilization, a type 5 civilization would be dealing with problems and obstacles that we can’t even comprehend. But what we do know is that this civilization would be able to do virtually anything. The people, or whatever they would evolve to at this point, would essentially become gods. They could instantly create entire universes with specific conditions that they could use to experiment with new life.
They could effectively create their own simulations. Ones that are even more complex than the world we live in today. And the key difference would be that a type 5 civilization would have access to and control of multiple universes. Instead of being limited to just one puny universe, we would now become a multiversal civilization. This means everything we could do in one universe – our control of energy and our access to resources, would now be multiplied across the entire multiverse.
What happens after that is almost incomprehensible. A type 6 or 7 civilization may mean that humanity merges with the fabric of reality itself. We might go beyond our physical reality. Who knows what happens after that? It’s be pretty crazy.
But you know what might be even crazier? If we’re living in a simulation right now.
- “The Kardashev Scale: Classifying Alien Civilizations“. 2021. Space.Com.
- “The Kardashev Scale: How Far Can Humanity Advance As A Civilization?“. McFadden, Christopher. 2019. Interestingengineering.Com.
- “The Kardashev Scale – Can We Advance Beyond A Type 3 Civilization?“. 2023. Futurism.