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Neanderthal man has an image problem. Though Homo neanderthalensis made and used stone tools, his immediate successor, Cro-Magnon man, is credited with the cognitive breakthrough that distinguished men from beasts: namely, the capacity for abstraction evinced by Aurignacian-period cave paintings. Still, it hardly seems fair that “neanderthal” has become shorthand for a big, dumb guy who puts his hand on your knee. James Shreeve, author of The Neandertal Enigma: Solving the Mystery of Modern Human Origins, discusses the misunderstood Stone Agers at 7:30 p.m. at the Strathmore Hall Arts Center, 10701 Rockville Pike, Rockville. $8. For reservations call (301) 530-0540.