Every serious scientist knows that we and other animals evolved from the same ancestors. The real question today is whether to put our DNA and theirs back together. Until now, that question has been raised in the form of human-animal hybrids made in labs for research. You can argue that these are somehow wrong because they're newfangled and artificial. But what can you say about Neanderthals? They were made by nature, not industry. In fact, we're the industrial villains who apparently wiped them out. They're as natural as we are.
Of course, just because "we" survived and the Neanderthals didn't doesn't necessarily entail that we're smarter. I actually suspect that Neanderthals were at least the equals of Cro-Magnons.
Maybe that's exactly what this planet needs right now: some good old-fashioned Neanderthal brains steering the ship.