Do you guys think another species with the same intelligence as early humans could have lived at roughly the same time as us, or shortly before? Since smart is obviously the best evolutionary tactic, why would we be the only animals on earth to have taken that route? Is it possible they died out similiar to how we might, or that possibly they were killed by us?
Because it isn't simply "taking the route".
Humans getting to this modern state is a long story of random more or less beneficial mutations, dumb luck and natural selection. The same things don't necessarily happen in populations that aren't as diverse.
are you talking about neanderthals?
basically this. nothing was STOPPING a race of sentient, intelligent dinosaurs from evolving, but at the time the working strategy was big and dumb. intelligence was born after the strategy of big and dumb finally failed after hundreds of millions of years and the throne was empty.
>why would we be the only animals on earth to have taken that route?
All animals have intelligence, we just have a bit more. Also, we murdered all other types of human beings, that is, other species of the Homo generus. Homo Erectus, Neanderthal, Homo Floresiensis, Homo Denisova etc. We murdered them all and made them extinct as soon we had the cognitive revolution around 70,000 years ago.