The race I'm designing originated in a small island in the middle of an ocean the size of Crete, which has no natural predators. That, combained with a random mutation that occured in this species genes in the past, has made them completely peacefull. Now my quiestion is, could a mutation in genes or a lack of predators make a species completely lack violence? If yes, then could that species develop civilization?

Note: They don't conpletely lack violence, but they're way less violent that us humans.

  • $\begingroup$ Is this a sentient humanoid species? $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 18:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Do you need a complete lack of violence, or a low-violence society like that of Bonobos would be sufficient? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 18:46
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    $\begingroup$ More importantly, I'm pretty dubious that a species can live on "a small island in the middle of an ocean" for "millions of years". $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ You have posted very similar questions short ago worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/120761/30492 and worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/120438/30492 $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 18:51
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    $\begingroup$ Whatever Crete is, it is not a small island. It has an area of 8300 sq. km (3200 sq. miles). $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 20:15

2 Answers 2


A non-violent species has to be herbivorous, since a carnivorous lifestyle requires violence against prey. The problem is that plant matter contains much less nutrients than meat, so the chance of a completely herbivorous species evolving to have a big brain is quite small.

It's true that humans today can survive as vegetarians, but only because we cook our food (to make nutrients easier extractable) and have a network of global trade to provide us with a huge diversity of plants and produce that wouldn't be available on an isolated island.

It takes intelligence to be able to utilize fire to cook food. Your species might never evolve a complex enough brain to take this nessecary step towards higher intelligence. Maybe the sweet fruits of a tropical island could provide enough nutrients, but then you're still missing the incentive to evolve.

A life without enemies and with energy-rich food available at all times would hinder evolution rather than advance it.

If a creature can sleep without fear of being killed, wake up without fear of not finding enough food to fill its stomach, be lazy without fear of any dire consequences, why should it invest energy into developing a big brain?


The species are herbivores. They eat grass. Like Richard suggests, they have a plant-drug that acts for birth control. They prefer mates that exhibit intelligence, and build structures for shelter. Perhaps your island suffers from severe storms. Gradually the structures and tools used grow more complex. You have a civilization. With no predators, they have no need for violence. Animals are violently territorial when another species encroaches. Think of hippos. The other thought is competition and removal of pests. Your best off making no competing species or pests that can kill your species. This species evolved from herd-animals.

It's easier if they are only peaceful towards their own kind. Species like this actually exist. Many ants don't fight members of their own colony. Your creatures could have herds of cattle or catch fishes but not use violence against themselves.


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