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In a world I am building, I want the primary species to be 100% peaceful. The best way I have thought of for doing this post-sapience is to remove all identifying traits (skin, eye and hair color, proportions, and even gender, etc), creating a unified image of their species. The problem I have found is that there are very few truly one gendered species in the world, most of which being fungi and those that do exist tend to evolve quite slowly.

Is it possible for a species with only one gender to evolve into a sapient being? If so, what would this evolution look like?

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    $\begingroup$ No sex of any kind, or sex but doesn't matter with whom? $\endgroup$ – Mołot Nov 7 '16 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ You're going to have to figure out how reproduction works here. If they reproduce only via parthenogenesis, that's typically an evolutionary dead end (asexual reproduction doesn't allow for exchange of genetic material). If they are hermaphrodites (sequential or simultaneous) that cannot reproduce via parthenogenesis under normal circumstances, you might still get some evolution. As for what the evolution might look like: human intelligence is generally seen as arising from social dynamics (cooperation, negotiation, deception, etc.), which may or may not change if everybody looks the same. $\endgroup$ – Palarran Nov 7 '16 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ Sex does matter. Most desirable sexual partners will still be a reason to be jealous. And lack of sexual reproduction would slow down their evolution. Bad both ways. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Nov 7 '16 at 16:12
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot I meant that they can breed with anyone $\endgroup$ – TrEs-2b Nov 7 '16 at 16:23
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    $\begingroup$ I think genderless isn't the biggest problem here. You're trying to construct a species that are unable to compete with each other. It is bad in terms of the natural selection, despite it is good in terms of modern human morale. $\endgroup$ – enkryptor Nov 7 '16 at 17:09
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For most questions like this all we can say for sure with our sample size of 1 is: We don't know.

There is no reason that having multiple genders is required to develop intelligence. We're fairly sure that being social is a requirement, but mono-gendered species could still be social. In fact they might be more social and their relationships more complicated than ours since they don't have the automatic gender-based demarcations.

So it is certainly plausible that they could be, although as others have already suggested your setup is highly implausible.

How do a race of pacifists survive against a saber toothed tiger? There will be predators, those predators will evolve to eat them. They will need some form of defense.

Honestly I think you've asked the wrong question here, it might work better if you set out what you are trying to achieve and then ask how to get there as I have several ideas for ways to evolve a pacifist intelligence.

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What you seem to want is a species whose culture is devoid of prejudice, but your proposed solution of removing all differences is impractical. If every member of the species is indistinguishable, then that would imply they have little to no genetic diversity and this is undesirable if the species is to survive for a long period of time. Furthermore, prejudice may be based on socioeconomic factors and differences of opinion. Addressing this would require removing individuality, which isn't impossible but means their psychology would be fundamentally alien to our own. I propose a few alternative solutions.

No individuality

The species as a whole lacks any kind of individuality: they all think and act as one. Since they cannot have differences of opinion, prejudice is impossible (anymore than our brains may be prejudiced against our limbs and internal organs).

An explanation for this that most readily comes to mind is that the species is eusocial, like some kinds of insects. The species is divided into castes that perform different but equally vital roles, such as labor, combat, reproduction and complex thought.

An example of this are the various "bug" civilizations in science fiction, such as Pseudo-arachnids in Starship Troopers, Formics in Ender's Game, and Tyranids in Warhammer 40,000.

Empathy communication

The species communicates by exchanging thoughts, feelings and memories directly rather than through imperfect intermediaries like writing and speech. This overcomes one of the vital enablers of prejudice: lack of empathy. Since this method of communication is so efficient, compromise is much easier to achieve and prejudice has difficulty taking hold. Any prejudices that survive will probably be held by the entire species and then only because they all agreed it is necessary.

Depending of the degree of exchange they might not develop individuality or consciousness in the way humans understand it. At the extreme end they might consider their physical bodies expendable so long as most of their knowledge and memories are preserved elsewhere.

An example of such a species would be the "Super Happy People" in the web novella Three Worlds Collide.

Eugenics and brainwashing

This is probably the exact thing you didn't want, but one possibility is that the species practices an extreme form of eugenics. Long ago most differences in appearance and opinion were wiped out (perhaps by natural disaster, perhaps by war), then the survivors used genetic engineering and brainwashing to create a truly homogeneous society.

An example of such a society would be the Fords in Brave New World, the Borg in Star Trek, and the cenobites in Hellraiser.

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I won't say it is completely impossible, maybe there is something I cannot see, but I don't believe it will work.

Genders exist for a good reason: They make it possible to share of the genetic code. We have generally 2 parents, 4 grandparents and 8 great grand parents and so on. Every being gets some the advantages of all its ancestors. An species with asexual has only 1 parent, 1 grandparent and 1 great grand parent. They get only the advantages of very few individuals. That way, they are sometimes forced to live with disadvantages. That makes the evolution towards sapience very difficult. Since that needs a very complicated being, that works.

You can work around that by having sexual reproduction without genders. However then you would lose the traitlessness, since every aspect of gender sexuality would appear. Especially if you have a sapient species.

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Even cows and goats aren't peaceful animals. peace is a human imaginary ideal.

Peace from uniformity, on earth is due to herd structures like bees and ants, and this would have to keep huge intelligence structures available to organize the society.

similarity can be due to lack of partiality in the brain, so perceived facial equality, wether emotional or monotonous, actual physical equality, by miosis or genetic engineering, clades of workers and nurses and things.

An evolutionary logical adaption towards equal beings, is unlikely, because survival requires change and flexibility and improvement, so equality reduces survival and flexibility.

superintelligent beings coudl have just a chip in their head that overrides their antisocial instincts.

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Much violence between members of the same species is competition for resources, which encompasses every sort of resource, not just desirable mates. Two of your "perfect" beings are going to have an issue during a drought if they find only one edible plant or a small amount of drinking water. Violence and other competitive behaviours evolved so individuals would be prepared and able to compete for limited resources in an environment of scarcity.

And yes, even plants compete for soil, water and access to sunlight (watching stop motion films of vines attempting to shade each other is a fascinating experience).

So if your beings are non competitive for resources in a scarcity environment, then they are simply going to either die out on their own, or be pushed off the evolutionary stage by creatures more capable of competing for resources.

This also speaks to part two of your question. How will they evolve sapience if they don't have or are not capable of evolving cognitive tools to assist them in competing for resources in a constrained environment?

So assuming these creatures exist, they will likely always remain at the level of fungus, if they are not simply consumed by faster, smarter and more aggressive creatures.

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One option you might want to consider, is having sexual dimorphism so crass that one sex would never be considered people. Take the anglerfish for example: The males are significantly smaller than the females, can barely feed themselves and basically exist only to locate the female with their olfactory organs and bite into them. They then dissolve until only their testes remain. Imagine a sapient version of this: Males are less intelligent than most insects - they are tiny and have very short lifespans. They exist only to latch on to females and then dissolve.

All actual people of the species share the same sex: female. In this scenario "equality of the sexes" is nothing any female in her right mind would suggest. It would be like proposing to give butterflies the vote.

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