Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
For the ENT episode with a similar title, please see "Civilization".
"Our mission is to make contact with those whom Humans consider new life and new civilizations."
– T'Pol, indulging Phlox about their mission at his request, 2151 ("The Andorian Incident")


Civilization was a combined level of advancement in the development of a species' society, whereas it has acquired various understandings of culture, science, religion, industry, technology, history, and government. Those beings in and of the contrary of civilized were considered barbarians or savages. (TOS: "Arena", "Mirror, Mirror", "Elaan of Troyius"; TNG: "When The Bough Breaks")

During the 23rd and 24th centuries, one of Starfleet's primary directives was to "seek out new civilizations." (Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, VOY: "Random Thoughts") A philosophy which stemmed from as far back as the early 22nd century, when Zefram Cochrane with the dedication of the Warp Five Complex. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Vox Sola")

In 2364, Jean-Luc Picard referred to the Aldeans as a terminally ill civilization after Doctor Beverly Crusher claimed that chromosomal damage was preventing them from conceiving, and that it also explained their lack of appetite, extreme pallor, and sensitivity to light. (TNG: "When The Bough Breaks")


"There ain't nothing like a barber shave to make a man feel civilized."

The term civilization was sometimes used synonymously with "race" or "species" itself. (TOS: "The Omega Glory")

The existence of roads was one indication of defining a highly industrialized civilization. (TNG: "Q Who") Other indicators of civilization include the creation of artificial waterways and a global aqueduct system. (VOY: "Time and Again") As were monuments. (TNG: "The Chase")

According to Doctor Paul Stubbs in 2366, there could not be a civilization of "computer chips" when referencing nanites who had acquired a new collective intelligence. He later used his influence to have the planet Kavis Alpha IV designated the new home of the nanite civilization. (TNG: "Evolution")

It was the believe of some Hirogen that their way of life as hunters had caused them to become an isolated and solitary race. As they spread out throughout the galaxy seeking prey, they had spread themselves too thin, losing their cohesion as a civilization, and with it their sense of culture, leaving them without an identity. (VOY: "The Killing Game")

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