A recent item in Nature rehashed the question of Neanderthal art.
Neanderthal art? Maybe you stopped listening back when Michael Shermer announced that
… there is almost no evidence that Neanderthals would have ever “advanced” beyond where they were when they disappeared 30,000 years ago. Even though paleoanthropologists disagree about a great many things, there is near total agreement in the literature that Neanderthals were not on their way to becoming “us.”
Maybe you even stopped listening as long ago as when Carl Sagan opined that in the not-too-distant future, a chimpanzee would, with assistance, write a memoir. 
Although the two messages sound opposite at first glance, they have a common underlying theme: Darwinism will either show us humans who are intellectually incapable of art because they are separate, inferior species (demonstrating common descent with animals) or else it will show us that chimpanzees are just like us (demonstrating that art arises through common descent with animals). Or maybe that there is nothing much to art, any animal can do it. 
Recently this bombshell landed, an apparent Neanderthal painting of seals. As one researcher puts it, “The findings show that our long-lost cousins were cognitively advanced from the get-go, long before modern humans appeared in Europe.” The current Nature news feature discusses various other possible Neanderthal art finds and the ensuing scholarly argle bargle.
In truth, we don’t yet have much art of any type done by anybody surviving from tens of millennia ago, so most conclusions drawn will in fact be based on underlying philosophical assumptions, either those of Shermer and Sagan or of others.
The underlying issue riffs off one of Darwin’s predictions: That humans would evolve into separate species via natural selection:
The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla,” 
Since Darwin believed that humans are merely animals, he had to apply his theories to humans, and stick fast to anything that appeared to fit. As Benjamin Wiker put it in an article in Human Events,
Those defending Darwin cannot have read his Descent of Man, wherein he applies the principles of natural selection to human beings—a thing he prudently avoided in his earlier Origin of Species. In the Descent, the eugenic and racial inferences are clearly and startlingly drawn by Darwin himself.
Darwin’s racism was not adopted out of bad will but simply as the logic of Darwinism. That is the point that every Darwinist wants to miss or downplay.
They have demanded that we all understand that the greatest man who ever lived wasn’t a racist and we are all misquoting or misunderstanding him or are bad, bad people or whatever for even bringing this stuff up.
Okay so we’re really awful here at Uncommon Descent. As our name implies, we don’t espouse any theory that says that humans are merely evolved animals or that we must inevitably form separate species as a result of isolation. Heck, we don’t even espouse a theory that says that separate species usually form that way. The evidence is mixed.
His believers are therefore stuck in the awkward position of having to pretend that what is obviously racist isn’t, and denouncing any of us who read the plain sense of it correctly. Oh, and marketing red herrings about his opposition to slavery. (That’s true too, but so? Racism doesn’t entail a belief in slavery. Many racists have opposed it for good humanitarian and public policy reasons.)
The big story about the art is that the Neanderthals are just not performing the way they should as a separate, inferior human species. Maybe that’s because the paleontologists should never have sent a Neanderthal to do the job anyway?
Well, however it breaks out, they are still looking for thst Missing Link.
Note: Darwin’s enthusiast H.G. Wells wrote a famous science fiction novel, The Time machine, based on that very premise, read and filmed today. And it’s hard to imagine what, other than allegiance to Darwinism, would have caused so many readers of science mags to be so sure in 2005 the recently discovered Flores midgets of millennia ago were a separate species.
See also: Are vertebrates really smarter than invertebrates?
 Michael Shermer, quoted in Bruce L. Gordon and William A. Dembski, The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2011), p. 452.
 Carl Sagan, The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Nature of Human Intelligence, New York: Random House, 1977, p. 126.
 Claims about animals originating art should not be confused with humans teaching animals to perform a series of gestures read by humans as art:
These series can be long and/or complex; so is the bee dance. It doesn’t demonstrate individual creativity in the performer but rather the ability to process a large amount of certain types of information accurately. As such, it helps us to focus what we mean by “intelligence.” It also raises some very interesting questions about intelligence residing in nature.
 Darwin’s opinion in context: was saying that humanity had to diverge into species, based on his theory:
The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies—between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae between the elephant, and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.
Presumably, Darwin’s believers think that the fog of preceding words shows that Darwin didn’t mean exactly what he said in the last lines.