Supposing that we have two intelligent species arising on a planet at around the same time. They both are communal, both have the instinct to spread as wide as they can and build dwellings everywhere that they can, and both have some form of communication which allows them to convey complex ideas to one another. They both build dwellings in similar locations, creating potential conflict centered around availability of habitable land. However, these two species do not come from a common ancestor, and arose from mutually exclusive environments. As a result of this, they never had any interaction and their methods of communication became vastly different. For example, perhaps one species speaks at an audio frequency much higher or lower than the other can even hear. Alternatively one could speak while the other moves it's arms and emits smells as it's method of communication.

Supposing that these two species met in the early days of their development. Let's say that they are both at a similar technological level, just past the stone-age and getting into an equivalent to the bronze-age. What would be necessary for these species to coexist long enough to progress into, for example, the space age?

Though, to make sure I am being clear with what I'm asking. I want to know what would be the most common thing to happen in a situation such as this. If it is very unlikely for there to be a set or grouping of traits which allow for coexistence of these species, then I want to know. I can already answer what would happen if I were to define a particular set of behaviors for each species.

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    $\begingroup$ Reminder to close-voters: The problem cannot be fixed if the OP is not made aware of it. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Oct 5, 2017 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ This feels really broad to me. Without concrete details concerning how these two species make their livings and interact with their environments, it's gonna be hard to figure out what their interactions will be like. For example, I can think of a scenario where they don't get to communicating but just start killing each other. Equally plausible is where they cohabitate. $\endgroup$
    – Green
    Oct 5, 2017 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ I think as written this question is too broad but definitely on-topic. By adding specifics about the species in question, it will narrow the scope and make it more appropriate for WB. $\endgroup$
    – Green
    Oct 5, 2017 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ This question is much too broad; it is entirely open-ended. The only comparison I can give is: humans and dolphins. We have gotten the point where we understand that dolphins give themselves names. In other words dolphins are not only so intelligent that they can recognize that they are an individual among many, they can even give themselves an identity. It has taken us thousands of years since we first encountered this species to get this far, and only with really fancy tech. $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Oct 5, 2017 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ I voted to leave this closed despite the edits. Species that develop on the same planet will always have the means to identify similar things (flora, fauna, the sun, moons, etc.) so they can always learn to communicate via a written language. As for how they can co-exist until the space age? They can't. Even isolation is overcome before then. The only way to do it is to make the relationship symbiotic. $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2017 at 18:52

2 Answers 2


Taking a hint from our past... even among the same kind there were those who considered other races to be barely sentient.

Most likely your civilizations would assume that the other is inferior, not intelligent enough to understand simple "speech", it would probably take them a long time to come to realize that the other species was not "something" they should even try to domesticated.

I think wars would follow and that by the time some, on both sides, came to understand that the others are like themselves only different, a deep ingrained hatred would have been birthed and would have to be fought by those enlightened ones before peace could exist between the two peoples.


The Natural Order is that they kill each other in competition for natural resources

We ate the Neanderthals

The answer to this can go many ways varying on how that society chooses to proceed. Generally speaking in the natural order, one species would seek dominance.

Primitive man would likely demonize such beings in their quest for dominance. However, if they can find a way to coexist through a symbiotic relationship they may not kill each other off.

  • $\begingroup$ We bred with the Neanderthals. $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2017 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ No we didn't, they evolved separately from us. $\endgroup$
    – anon
    Oct 5, 2017 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ Yes we did. newscientist.com/article/… $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2017 at 17:55

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