I feel like the defense attorney for the Neanderthals sometimes. I am trying to see the ways that they overlapped with us, and trying to add complexity to the story, because any story that involves things happening over a continent over thousands of years, it's got to be complicated.I don't have a very strong opinion on Neanderthal-sapiens relations, but I must acknowledge that in Prof. Hawks, everyone's favorite Paleolithic mystery men (and women) have found one of their most eloquent defenders.
Ian Tattersall also appears (probably on the Out of Africa corner of the ring).
Most anthropologists today seem to be somewhere between the replacement and assimilation model of human origins, with Wolpoff's multi-regional model still in the running, and Coon's "candelabra" model mostly abandoned.
This is one debate that has raged for decades, and depends on the interpretation of a handful of old skeletons, and of the new DNA evidence about Neanderthals.
I will probably be watching the Neanderthal Code and making further comments in the coming week.
UPDATE Here is the 10-page article from the October 2008 issue of National Geographic.