Here is the article I mentioned during Wednesday chat, which seems to agree with Lucretius on humans becoming softer and more social, enabling us to outcompete the less social Neanderthal people. A trait that has so far contributed to our remarkable success as a species.
8 billion people: how different the world would look if Neanderthals had prevailed
Neanderthals were wiped out by chance changes in the environment. The rise of Homo sapiens wasn’t inevitable.