Thus far, the genetic studies have vindicated this position, to my knowledge.
There are a race of human: http://www.livescience.com/1122-neanderthal-99-5-percent-human.html
But excavations and anatomical studies have shown Neanderthals used tools, wore jewelery, buried their dead, cared for their sick, and possibly sang or even spoke in much the same way that we do. Even more humbling, perhaps, their brains were slightly larger than ours.
The results from the new studies confirm the Neanderthal’s humanity, and show that their genomes and ours are more than 99.5 percent identical, differing by only about 3 million bases.