Homo neanderthalensis, by the way, have gotten a really bad reputation, which is quite unfair to them.
Popular culture have portrayed them in an incredibly inaccurate light, and they weren't simple and stupid brute cavemen that we know them as through TV etc.
The fact is that Homo neanderthalensis was an incredibly creative hominid. Their brains for example, were at birth same size of modern man, but by adulthood, it was larger.
And anatomically, they were not small/short which popular culture also portrays them as:
"Neanderthals were generally only 12–14 cm (5–6 in) shorter than 21st century humans, contrary to a common view of them as "very short" or "just over 5 feet". Based on 45 long bones from (at most) 14 males and 7 females, Neanderthal males averaged 164–168 cm (65–66 in) and females 152–156 cm (60–61 in) tall.
They were omnivores, eating not just meat - but also cooked vegetables.
And guess what? Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis interbred: http://news.discovery.com/human/genetic ... 10718.html
"If your heritage is non-African, you are part Neanderthal, according to a new study in the July issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution. Discovery News has been reporting on human/Neanderthal interbreeding for some time now, so this latest research confirms earlier findings.
"The ancestors of Neanderthals left Africa about 400,000 to 800,000 years ago. They evolved over the millennia mostly in what are now France, Spain, Germany and Russia. They went extinct, or were simply absorbed into the modern human population, about 30,000 years ago.
Neanderthals possessed the gene for language and had sophisticated music, art and tool craftsmanship skills, so they must have not been all that unattractive to modern humans at the time.
"In addition, because our methods were totally independent of Neanderthal material, we can also conclude that previous results were not influenced by contaminating artifacts," Labuda said.
This work goes back to nearly a decade ago, when Labuda and his colleagues identified a piece of DNA, called a haplotype, in the human X chromosome that seemed different. They questioned its origins.
Fast forward to 2010, when the Neanderthal genome was sequenced. The researchers could then compare the haplotype to the Neanderthal genome as well as to the DNA of existing humans. The scientists found that the sequence was present in people across all continents, except for sub-Saharan Africa, and including Australia.
Recent studies also shows that Homo sapiens interbred with the newly discovered hominid Homo denisova as well.
So adopting a line of thinking similar to Evangelical Christians with regards to evolution/history is really not that wise, as these things are mapped. Of course, there's some holes here and there, but new discoveries are made all the time so we can improve upon the map so to speak. Paleoanthropology and hominid/human migration is a very fascinating field of study (just look up Homo floresiensis for a very interesting topic
There's a difference between religious myth and history for a reason.
PS: I'd easily prefer the company of Neanderthals to that of Snookie and the rest of Jersey Shore ...