Neanderthals are extinct. Sure, some of their genes carry on in H. sapiens. Does not mean they became H. sapiens. You do understand this, yes? You insinuated it quite clearly.. More than a mere connection. And you have been focusing on Europeans and you have repeatedly pointed out how Neanderthal genes somehow made them distinct from all other groups, despite the fact that they aren't. You are basically arguing that Europeans are really Neanderthals. I mean, that is how you are coming across. Literally. That the interbreeding with Neanderthals somehow or other makes Europeans distinct. And then you add on 'but not a different species', like you are following a 1% drop rule but trying to be politically correct about it. Okay.. Neanderthals and modern humans share a common ancestor. Neanderthals were a distinct species, which whom were interbred on a few occasions which resulted in fertile offspring. Most of the offspring would have been infertile. The gene flow went mostly one way. Put simply, if the gene flow had flowed equally both ways, would you argue that Homo sapiens had an extinction event when Neanderthals became extinct? A small injection of their genes does not mean that they became modern humans. Again, Homo sapiens had already evolved and it was with them that Neanderthals mated and produced viable offspring few times. Some of their genes live on, but they became extinct. No actually, you aren't. H. sapiens sapiens would be H. sapiens sapiens regardless of Neanderthals.