There's two isolated islands, each big enough to support a population of millions and with all the natural resources they need to advance to the industrial era. But there is one hereditary flaw in 100% of the population of each island.
- Everyone on the first island is completely colourblind (achromatopsia). They see everything in shades of black and white.
- On the second island, people are born without a nasopharynx. The nasal cavity does not connect to the respiratory system. People cannot smell and cannot breathe through their noses.
Now, my goal story-wise is to make the two islands roughly equally disadvantaged, if that makes sense. Both should be able to survive every era of human history, but while tackling a few hurdles along the way. So if the second island would not survive the stone age, I could change their disadvantage to just not having a sense of smell, still retaining the ability to breathe through the nostrils. And if achromatopsia is too harsh, that can be changed to any of the other forms of colour blindness.