Wikipedia is No Place for Alien Civilizations

George Dvorsky reports over at Sentient Developments that the Wikipedia community has deleted a perfectly reasonable entry on astrosociobiology, "the speculative scientific study of extraterrestrial civilizations and their possible social characteristics and developmental tendencies." People like Carl Sagan and Freeman Dyson are counted among the ranks of astrosociobiologists, as are countless scifi creators. Luckily, Dvorksy has preserved the excised the entry in its entirety on his blog. Find out what Wikipedia doesn't want you to know about cultures that might develop beyond our solar system's heliopause.

Most of the expunged Wikipedia entry is taken up with the philosophical/scientific underpinnings of Astrosociobiology, as well as many pained acknowledgments that we don't really know what we're talking about since we know of no actual alien civilizations. The best part comes at the end, when we finally get down to brass tacks:

A method for classifying civilization types was introduced by Russian astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964. Known as the Kardashev scale, classifications are assigned based on the amount of usable energy a civilization has at its disposal and increasing logarithmically:

* Type I - A civilization that is able to harness all of the power available on a single planet, approximately 1016W.
* Type II - A civilization that is able to harness all of the power available from a single star, approximately 1026W.
* Type III - A civilization that is able to harness all of the power available from a single galaxy, approximately 1036W.

Human civilization has yet to achieve full Type I status, as it is able to harness only a portion of the energy that is available on Earth. Carl Sagan speculated that humanity's current civilization type is around 0.7


Really? We actually have civilization among humans? Who knew.

Astrosociobiology article on Wikipedia Deleted [Sentient Developments]