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An idea sci fi writers like to play with is that of two species co-evolving together. They imagine what effect that might have on the resulting society and how it might differ from their own.

Except it wouldn't! Most of them miss the fact that they are likely already a member of such a co-evolved species. Humans and dogs have been together long enough that both have specialised areas of their respective brains for reading the other's body language.

This is why so many animals are made more doglike in media, and why people get confused when cats don't emote the same way dogs do. It's because dogs are special, at least as far as the human brain is concerned. To borrow the term Stellaris uses, a real world example of syncretic evolution in action.

Still totally valid not to personally care about dogs though.

@Querral

it's absolutely amazing to think about but I'd never really put it into the context of sf writers imagining alternative worlds with co-evolution

as ever, thanks for the interesting thoughts! :D

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