I am designing a world where humans have somehow developed or have been put onto a planet in a primitive state. This world has only been habitable for about ten thousand years and therefore only has the most basic of life, including a few sea animals and slug/worm creatures that can be eaten safely.
Since this world has only had life for ten thousand years, and advanced life for about a thousand (working at an increased evolutionary rate due to higher radiation to cause mutation which supports this increased development) there are no fossil fuels, only a range of semi-tree-like plants scattered near the coasts along with huge inland grasslands (actually more like moss-lands) and deserts.
My question is this: How would human culture and civilization have varied without access to fossil fuels? In particular, how would the development of technology and the growth of population be different without fossil fuels?
I would also like to know how evolution might affect these people over a period of time under these circumstances to make them conquer this world. For the record the Water to Land ratio is about 55/45 if that would make any considerable difference.