Pannapetar wrote:Wiping out an entire species with flintstones and sharpened sticks? A stone age genocide?
Homo sap definitely did wipe out whole other species with fire and stone-age tools and weapons. People arrived in North America, and the mammoths died out; people arrived in Australia, and all the marsupial megafauna died out; people arrived in New Zealand and the moas died out. It wasn't always just a case of hunting them to extinction - sometimes we changed the environment, especially by fire. For more, see Tim Flannery's The Future Eaters
Whether or not early homo sap did
physically kill off the neanderthals, you can't really say it wasn't possible
for them to do it.
Personally, I think things were messier than any single explanation suggests. I'm sure there was some fighting between the groups and some interbreeding. I expect there was a lot more out-competing for game and for territory. Look at the way waves of migrants spreading through Europe from the East pushed earlier, less sophisticated, tribes into the far West; ditto the Aryans spreading into India and pushing earlier tribes into the South. I can't see why the process should have been much different between the Neanderthals and modern humans.