Neanderthal or human?
If there’s one thing that really annoys me, it’s when people talk about “neanderthals and humans” when what they really mean is “neanderthals and homo sapiens” or “neanderthals and modern humans”, because neanderthals are human, and saying “neanderthals and humans” as though the two groups were mutually exclusive, is a bit like saying “I need to buy some tables and furniture for my new house” like tables are not a kind of furniture.
Firstly there’s the fact that from a scientific point of view, anything in the genus Homo counts as human. Then there’s the fact that if you do choose to consider only Homo sapiens to qualify as human you will have basically reduced the definition of human to having a vertical forehead, dome shaped cranium, reduced brow ridge and a pointy chin. I mean really…? That’s what human means to you? Not anything to do with having a large brain brain or being able to make and use technology and transmit cultural knowledge from one generation to the next… ?
If neanderthals were alive today, most of what is said about them nowadays would be considered horribly racist. And if they were alive and you met one (especially one who’d been raised in modern culture and spoke the same language as you) you wouldn’t begin to suggest that they weren’t human (unless you were an utterly dimwitted racist clod), so I don’t get why it’s acceptable to deny the humanity of our cousin species, just because they went extinct 30,000 years ago and can’t complain about it?