Problems: Intelligence.

Civilization Engineering IQ Score


Define a mapping between the available chemical elements and the technological capabilities with those elements to define a kind of "IQ" score for technological civilizations.


There is a saying that we are just an "evolved hydrogen", meaning that there was just hydrogen immediately after the Big Bang, which then combined to form helium, lithium, and other elements from which stars, planets and ultimately life has evolved.

Life has evolved various technologies, for which some chemical elements were essential or helped a lot.

For example, molybdenum (element 42) was essential to complex life: it is needed to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, which is essential for life, like, for example, in constructing RNA, DNA, amino acids and proteins. Without the element 42, the life of current biochemistry would likely not be possible (but maybe life of different biochemistry would be possible).

For example, the rare earths (the elements 57 to 71, and 39) are essential for making electric power generators, like for the wind power plants, however, perhaps it is possible to have alternative ways to create an electric power generator (perhaps some delayed wave electromagnets) to achieve the same effect (let's call it a "technological capability") without the rare earths. For example, it is very possible to create powerful motors without use of rare earths.

We could define the energetic difficulty level of creating a particular chemical element through nucleosynthesis, based on the nucleosynthesis graph. This difficulty is largely reflected by the abundance of the elements in the Universe. Generally, the larger element number the harder it is to create it.

Then, we could define a set of key technological capabilities (such as, "memory polymer" (like DNA), "electric motor" (like induction motor)) representing edges (transition functions) in the technology graph, and then, look at what chemical elements are required to have such technological capability to compute the "elemental score" (say, as a minimum required mass-weighted sum of the said difficulty levels), and compute the inverse of that number -- the "Civilization IQ Test Score" -- call it "score".

This way, assuming that creating the same technological capabilities with lesser elemental score requires more intelligence, the civilization that is capable of more technological capabilities with lower elemental score would get a higher overall IQ score.

Reviewed and properly normalized, such metric could be used alongside the well-known Kardashev scale, when talking about extraterrestrial life and beyond.


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And what would be the "IQ" of a civilization that can do material chemical properties without using atomic nuclei (e.g., being able to do Electrochemical screen-like or Positronic Material Emulation Screen-like thing) to manipulate electromagnetic field? Civilization CE-0?