First, I believe that C. Coon was thrown out of the AAA for being a racist. He believed that the cold climate made white people smarter, that the tropics made black people lazy and stupid.

The Neandertal genome has been sequenced. It is COMPLETELY different from that of Homo sapiens, including the European varieties. The red hair gene in Homo neandertalensis was not the same as the mutation which causes ginger hair in H. sapiens. The olive skin tone of Mediterraneans/Mideasterners is quite ancient. The lighter skin accompanied by blonde hair of many Europeans is dated to around 6000 years ago, apparently among the Indoeuropeans.

DNA analysis indicates the last common ancestor of H. neandertalensis and H. sapiens to have been at least 600,000 years ago. The genetic evidence speaks very clearly to say that Homo sapiens does not have H. neandertalensis genes in Europe or Mideast or Central Asia, does not have H. heidelbergensis genes in Africa or southern Asia, and does not have H. erectus genes in eastern and southeastern Asia.

Now, there is the morphological evidence... fossils found in Europe which seem to be hybrids. And well they may have been. But either the hybrids were sterile, or so few in number that their genes have disappeared over the many intervening generations, due to natural selection or just random genetic drift.

IF there is in fact neandertalensis ancestry for any living person, it is very little, miniscule in total for all the Euro-Mideast-Central Asian peoples living on former Neandertal turf.

For some it is romantic to imagine Neandertal ancestors. For some Afrocentrics, the belief in Neandertal ancestry among Europeans is cause to proclaim the inferiority of "white" people. But the facts don't support any of it.

Now, there are anthropologists still bucking the tide, who believe in multiregionalism as opposed to pure Out-of-Africa to explain the diversity of modern humans, including Wolpoff, Trinkhaus and some others. Their arguments are respectable, and their disagreements with the mainstream are very useful and productive to keep the science honest, and keep us open to the possibility of new discoveries which will sway the argument their way. But currently, the prevailing belief is that neandertalensis was not the ancestor of any living humans.