The Richter Scale of Culture was a method of describing, quantifying and comparing the development and achievement of numerous disparate cultures encountered on different worlds.
- The Richter Scale of Culture is similar to the Technological/sociopolitical index.
Developed by Dr. Alonzo Richter in the 2200s, it took into account information across a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines. A Richter Scale descriptor could include up to three preface letters, 21 explanatory qualification digits, five exception letters, and twelve philosophical-comparison pointers. For most non-experts, the preface letter provided a generalized description of a cultures level, ranging from "AA" (no tool use) to "Q" (no technology beyond current Federation theoretical science). Beyond "Q" was "XX", describing a culture which appeared beyond understanding.
Alonzo Richter continued to refine his scale throughout the early and mid 23rd century, to the point of such complexity that only about 1000 specialist were able to formulate a rating for any given culture. The majority of these individuals were employed by Starfleet's First Contact Office.
In 2269, events on Talin presented the possibility that Richter might have to invent a new level in his scale to account for the ability to be aware of subspace communication without being about to receive or transmit. (TOS novel: Prime Directive)
In 2274, the planet Helva was noted for having advanced two levels on the Richter scale in three years, leap-frogging out of a stage of feudalism. Evaluations of such changes prompted an investigation by the USS Enterprise. (TOS novel: The Prometheus Design)
Federation experts rated the Organians at level "D minus" on the Richter Scale, presumably corresponding to an agrarian culture with hand or animal powered machinery, as this race initially presented themselves. (TOS episode: "Errand of Mercy")
Scale levels Edit
As the scale is constantly tweaked, comparative ratings from differing sources conflict. Parentheses denote source year.
- AA : No tool use (2269) 
- A- : Nomadic hunters 
- A.345-34019-1 dr.1 : Earth circa 3000 - 2000 B.C., first-level Bronze Age (2269) 
- B- : Barbarism 
- C- : Earth circa 2000 B.C., Egypt's Middle Kingdom (2274) 
- D+ : Feudal state 
- B : Earth circa 1485 C.E. (2268) 
- C- : Earth circa 1560 - 1600, Elizabethan England 
- Midrange : Radio technology, fossil fuels, no atomic power (2266) 
- E+ : Earth circa 1950 
- F : Earth circa 1975 - 2000 (2269) 
- G : Earth circa 2030, rudimentary interplanetary flight (2268)  
- C-451-5018-3 : Microwaves used for welding and communications, no directed energy weapons (2374) 
- G- : On the verge of interstellar flight (2360s) 
- H : Point at which first contact could be made (2269) 
- H+ : Advanced technological societies 
- Q : No technology beyond current Federation theoretical science (2269) 
- XX : Culture beyond Federation understanding (2269) 
Cultural ratings Edit
- 892-IV/Magna Roma (Magna Roman) : E+ 
- Altair IV & Altair VI (Palkeo Est) : H 
- Arcturus IV (Arcturian) : C- 
- Canopus II : A+ 
- Deneb II (Bandi) : G- (2360s)  
- Grex (Grexxan): Midrange (2266) 
- Kyros (Kyrosian) : D+ for city dwellers (2269) 
- Marcus II : F, declined to E- following nuclear wars 
- Nador (Nadorian): B- (2267) 
- Neural (Neuralese): D- 
- Omega IV (Omega IV native) : B- 
- Organia (Organian) : D- (2267)    
- Regulus II (Regulun) : G+ 
- Rigel VII (Kalar) : D+ 
- Sigma Draconis III : B  
- Sigma Draconis IV : G  
- Sigma Iotia II/Iotia (Iotian) : E+ 
- TOS episode: "Errand of Mercy"
- TOS episode: "Spock's Brain"
- DSC episode: "Context is for Kings"
- TOS novel: Spock, Messiah!
- TOS novel: Prime Directive
- TOS novel: The Prometheus Design
- TOS - The Janus Gate novel: Future Imperfect
- TOS novel: The Promethean Prophecy
- TOS novel: Gemini
- TOS - Errand of Fury novel: Sacrifices of War
- TOS comic: "We Are Dying, Egypt, Dying"
- TOS comic: "Mortal Gods"
- DS9 - Millennium novel: The Fall of Terok Nor
- DSC novel: Fear Itself
- ST reference: Worlds of the Federation
- ST reference: Star Trek Maps
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 TOS novel: Prime Directive
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 ST reference: Star Trek Maps
- ↑ TOS comic: "We Are Dying, Egypt, Dying"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 TOS episode: "Spock's Brain"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 TOS - The Janus Gate novel: Future Imperfect
- ↑ DS9 - Millennium novel: The Fall of Terok Nor
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 ST reference: Worlds of the Federation
- ↑ TOS novel: Spock, Messiah!
- ↑ TOS novel: Gemini
- ↑ TOS episode: "Errand of Mercy"
- ↑ TOS - Errand of Fury novel: Sacrifices of War