Up Next page THE SCALE OF KARDASHEV AND OUR (JOINT) FUTURE PART II - TECHNOLOGY OR BIOLOGY? (A to-think-about-article) Kees Deckers July 2011 The Scale of Kardashev is, as we have seen in the first article, a very useful tool to determine on the basis of the use of energy what is the  level of a civilisation. At the beginning the Scale knew three levels of civilisation. A Type I-Civilisation, which is capable to control all energy  resources of its home planet. A Type II-Civilisation, which is capable to control all energy resources of its sun or solar system. And a Type III-  Civilisation, which has control over all energy resources of its galaxy.  Kardashev scale The Kardashev scale is a method of measuring an advanced civilization's level of technological advancement. The scale is only theoretical and in terms of an actual  civilization highly speculative; however, it puts energy consumption of an entire civilization in a cosmic perspective. It was first proposed in 1964 by the Soviet  Russian astronomer Nikolai Kardashev. The scale has three designated categories called Type I, II, and III. These are based on the amount of usable energy a  civilization has at its disposal, and the degree of space colonization. In general terms, a Type I civilization has achieved mastery of the resources of its home planet,  Type II of its solar system, and Type III of its galaxy. ... Internet reference (09-05-11): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale  At a later time higher levels have been added both by narrowed scientists and by science fiction writers. But, as described in the previous  article, we on Earth are still at the level of a Type 0-Civilisation. So speculating on all these still very far distant levels of civilisation is  interesting, but very premature for us as humanity.  It is currently even the big question whether humans will be able to achieve the first level, the Type I-Civilisation. The chances are much  greater that they eradicate themselves before that time already, due to their preference for aggressive nationalism, racism, gender  discrimination and other petty parochialism ideas.  In the rest of this article, I go from the assumption that we in any case want to take the step to a Type I-Civilisation.  What is necessary to reach a Type I-Civilisation?  In the previous article we have looked at money and energy (see: The Scale of Kardashev and our (joint) future - Part I - Money or Energy?).  In this article we look at the way humans try to master the energy resources of their native planet Earth. The question here is in how far  technology is a necessity to achieve the Type I-, Type II- and the Type III-Civilisation. Is humanity capable to reach these levels of civilisation  also with a minimum of technology? So as naturally as possible?  The evolution of the Scale  Although the Scale of Kardashev itself is thought of and drawn up by the on physics focused narrowed sciences, it is based on ideas from  sociology and anthropology. It can be regarded as a continuation of the theory of Leslie White. According to the English Wikipedia, Leslie  White attempted to create "a theory explaining the entire history of humanity." "As measure of society advancement he proposed the  measure energy consumption of a given society (thus his theory is known as the energy theory of cultural evolution)." "The most important  factor in his theory is technology: Social systems are determined by technological systems". Connections with sociology and anthropology  Kardashev's theory can be viewed as the expansion of some social theories, especially from social evolutionism. It is close to the theory of Leslie White, author of The  Evolution of Culture: The Development of Civilization to the Fall of Rome (1959). White attempted to create a theory explaining the entire history of humanity. The  most important factor in his theory is technology: Social systems are determined by technological systems, wrote White in his book, echoing the earlier theory of Lewis  Henry Morgan. As measure of society advancement he proposed the measure energy consumption of a given society (thus his theory is known as the energy theory of  cultural evolution). He differentiates between five stages of human development. In the first stage, people use energy of their own muscles. In the second stage, they  use energy of domesticated animals. In the third stage, they use the energy of plants (which White refers to as agricultural revolution). In the fourth stage, they learn to  use the energy of natural resources - such as coal, oil and gas. Finally, in the fifth stage, they harness nuclear energy. White introduced a formula P=E×T, where P  measures the advancement of the culture, E is a measure of energy consumed, and T is the measure of efficiency of technical factors utilizing the energy.  Internet reference (09-05-11): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale  From this "energy theory of cultural evolution" the Scale of Kardashev arose. And in both the "the amount of usable energy a civilization has  at its disposal" is linked to the "level of technological advancement".  It is in fact assumed that energy usage and advancement in technology are interdependent and in continual interaction.  The more energy sources and the more energy human is able to use, the higher the level of technology can develop. And the better the  technology, the better human can reach certain energy sources, like coal, oil and gas; the better she can use certain energy, like wind and  solar energy; the more safe and the more economic human can handle all forms of energy and the more different energy sources she can  learn to use. And with more and especially also other sources of energy, she not only can use her technology more, but also she can renew it  and make it more efficient and safe.  How large the effects of interaction between energy usage and "the level of technological progress" are, may for instance be demonstrated by  the Industrial Revolution and by the formula, which Bill Gates propagated a short while ago at TED (Internet reference (14-06-11):   http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html) to reduce the CO2 emissions of humanity, a waste product of many forms of energy usage, to 0. A  rather meaningless formula, as I explained in the article "Bill Gates and CO2 = P x S x E x C ".  In addition "the level of technological progress" is also mentioned, because the English Wikipedia adds the remark "and the degree of space  colonization". And space colonisation, at least for humans, is dependent on a certain level of technology. And this again is dependent on  certain forms of energy and the amounts of these, which are available.   In fact, the Scale is really only about the level of control of energy usage by a civilisation. On the basis of control of energy usage the level of  a civilisation is determined. But this does not have to be necessarily completely related to technology. Or does it? In the English Wikipedia it  is presumed that the successive levels of civilisation develop evolutionary from each other, but not so much naturally as culturally, as shown  by the theory of Leslie White, which is not called "the energy theory of cultural evolution" without reason.  Let’s look at the other side of the coin. To biology (= the study of living organisms, including the structure, workings, origin and evolution,  classification, distribution and interrelationships, or the doctrine of the living beings, life forms and phenomena of life). Or better to nature (=  the reality untouched by human, originally interpreted, the opposite of culture).  The mystifying use of the term "nature"  The term "nature" is, often unconsciously, used very misleading by all kinds of people. What does that term really mean? Most people, at the  use of the word "nature", have straight away trees, birds, fish, sea, flowers and blue sky in their minds. Less people realise that also the  Earth’s crust, the Moon, the Sun, viruses, bacteria, molecules, atoms, gravity and electro-magnetic force, in fact everything in our universe is  nature. As the above mentioned definition says, everything "untouched by human". So, a physicist, in Dutch “natuurkundige” (scientist of  nature), is not someone who deals with birds and bees, but with:  Physics (Dutch: natuurkunde) originally is the branch of science that explores and describes general properties of matter, radiation and energy, like force, equilibrium  and movement, phases and phase transitions, radiation, heat, light, sound, magnetism and electricity, as far as no chemical changes occur. Meaning the molecular  composition of substances does not change. Internet reference (09-06-11) (my own translation from Dutch): http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natuurkunde  While for most people the term "nature" is essentially reminiscent of "living nature", or biology, many physicists are almost exclusively  concerned with "non-living nature." So, oil is also nature. Coal is nature. And radiation is nature. And even within humans themselves we find  "non-living nature," or in this case it might be better to call it "dead nature", because it emerged from "living nature". Like hairs, nails and  bones. From the belief in evolution it follows, that "living nature" arises from "non-living nature." And "living nature" is only a subset of the  total nature.  Due to the difference in thinking about the term "nature", humans with a narrowed idea of nature, who only consider "living nature" as "the  nature", stand opposite in particular narrowed scientists, with, in fact, an endless view of "nature", in which both "living nature" and "non-  living nature" all form the totality of nature. I will call the first from here nature-fanciers and I will call the last from here technology-fanciers.  For clarity, the view is roughly that everything that is not made or caused by humans, is "nature". Everything that is made by humans, is  almost always a copy of nature, and falls under the terms "tool", "technology" and "culture".  Many science fiction stories depict the world of technology-fanciers often as follows:    A view of a highly technologised world Internet reference (06-07-11): http://progresscityusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/horizons-35.jpg And the world of the nature-fanciers as follows:  A view of Pandora, the planet on which Avatar takes place, a world not affected by human beings Internet reference (06-07-11): http://drnorth.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/avatar_concept_art-3.jpg Due to this division in thinking there has been since a long time a deep schism between people who absolutely believe in everything to do  with science and technology and people who are absolutely convinced that everything that comes from science and technology is bad and  dangerous. What it is really about, in this schism between nature-fanciers and technology-fanciers, is the difference between nature, human beings have  not tinkered with, and nature, human beings have tinkered with, up to completely self-invented and put together. Nature-fanciers clearly  don’t want to create anything themselves, while technology-fanciers do want to (re-)create something, preferably everything. Hence the  definition of "nature": "the reality untouched by human, originally interpreted, the opposite of culture". But just simply thinking further about  this, leads to the question of where the boundary actually lies between what is not touched by humans and what is touched by humans. A  bird also builds a nest or uses a small pebble to break open an egg. A chimpansee too visualises that with a branch he can reach further than  with only his arm. Or visualises that he can catch ants from within an ant-hill with a twig. And to make this twig more handy, he pulls off all  unnecessary smaller twigs and leafs. At what point becomes something technology and at which point is it still nature? That is a distinction  that human beings themselves have invented. Is the construction of a honeycomb no technique? Is the construction of a termite mound no  technique? What does a human being do more with his technique than a bird or an ant? Human beings too do this to ensure their own  survival better. If a turtle uses a shield to protect itself and a mussel its shell, is it then unnatural that a human being manufactures clothing  for himself and builds a hut? Or is the only reason for this distinction between nature and culture, because human beings feel themselves  special compared to everything else in nature?   So however technological, and constructed by human himself, something is, it remains in the broad meaning of the word, still that: Nature.