Human Errors by Nathan H. Lents

Human Errors

An illuminating, entertaining tour of the physical imperfections that make us human We humans like to think of ourselves as highly evolved creatures. But if we are supposedly evolution’s greatest creation, why do we have such bad knees? Why do we catch head colds so often—two hundred times more often than a dog does? How come our wrists have so many useless bones? Why is the vast majority of our genetic code pointless? And are we really supp...

Details Human Errors

TitleHuman Errors
Release DateMay 1st, 2018
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Harcourt
GenreScience, Nonfiction, Biology, Health, Genetics

Reviews Human Errors

  • Lou
    I came across this on NetGalley but as it had already been published I decided to purchase a copy for myself as I haven't bought a medical text for a few months. I am always drawn to books with a medical element to them and this sounded as though it would be incredibly interesting with the added benefit of learning more about myself.This intriguing non-fiction book details the design flaws us humans have and their advantages and disadvantages too...
  • Rebecca Foster
    (3.5) Lents is a biology professor at John Jay College, City University of New York, and in this, his second book, he explores the ways in which the human body is flawed. These errors come in three categories: adaptations to the way the world was for early humans (to take advantage of once-scarce nutrients, we gain weight quickly – but lose it only with difficulty); incomplete adaptations (our knees are still not fit for upright walking); and t...
  • Jenn
    I really enjoyed the first half to two thirds of this book -- it was a straight forward, conversational and highly accessible discussion of quirks of evolution such as human vision, overly long nerves, and sinuses that drain the wrong way -- along with explanations of how they came to be and the advantages or disadvantages. It's comprehensive enough and covers comparisons to other species (mammal and non) -- and extremely interesting.I especially...
  • Christina Dudley
    I tore through this fun and fascinating look at human flaws, both physiological and mental, especially enjoying the physiological, since it was almost wholly new to me. Backwards retinas? Incomplete adaptation to walking upright? Extra bones? Broken-down Vitamin C production? The flaws in our thinking were more familiar to anyone who's studied any psychology, but it was still interesting. My family was subjected to many, "Did you know...?"-type c...
  • Cindy Lauren
    Really enjoyed this book- it answered lots of questions that I had about why certain things about the human body and how it operates, some things that simply don't make sense.The research is thorough and the writing is entertaining. It's helpful to know, fascinating to learn and fund to read. Recommend.
  • Olga Miret
    Facts, anecdotes, some opinions, and a very engaging way of learning about the human body. Thanks to NetGalley and to the publishers (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) for providing me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.When I saw this book on offer, I could not resist. I studied Medicine and have been fascinated by Biology and the Natural Sciences for ages. I have also thought and often commented on our (mostly mine, but yes, most of th...
  • Michelle
    From bad knees to backward retinas to autoimmune disease and the uptick in peanut allergies, Professor Nathan Lents' book Human Errors is told in a conversational tone that brings anatomy and physiology to the masses. Since the beginning of time we humans have been in awe of ourselves and what makes us especially unique creatures. Usually we emphasize that which makes us "more complex" or "more highly evolved" ignorant of the randomness of mutati...
  • David Wineberg
    To Err is HumanHuman Errors is a page-turner of a biology book. Nathan Lents focuses on mistakes, redundancies and weaknesses that make life a constant gamble for humans. From genetic code destruction to pointless bones, overtaxed muscles, meandering nerves and backward designs, the book combines a million years’ worth of wrong choices, errors, flukes and plain bad luck that is the human body. At several points, Lents ventures that no engineer ...
  • Rachel Noel
    *Book provided via NetGalley for an honest review.This book is clearly meant for lay people like myself. It is written at an accessible level and has plenty of humor to make the reading engaging. If my high school biology class had used this book, I would have learned a lot more. As it is, I feel a lot more informed about human anatomy than I used to be. From the structure of our eyes to the interconnections of the bones in our ankles and wrists....
  • Yzabel Ginsberg
    [I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]I found this to be both an informative and entertaining read. While the author doesn’t delve very deep into details (each subject in each chapter would probably warrant a book of its own), and although I wish there had been more developed explanations at times, I’m also aware that one book couldn’t tackle everything in one go—and he nevertheless provides enough information for a reader to...
  • Kate
    Anyone who knows me (or follows me on Instagram) knows I'm obsessed with anatomy (and by extension to a lesser extent, physiology). It borders on pathological. I have anatomical charts and skulls as decoration all over my apartment, and an entire bookshelf devoted to various anatomy texts across a lot of timespans. (But to be fair, I was a TA for college anatomy classes for five years, so it's not like it's a completely random interest). So when ...
  • Monique
    Review written: May 4, 2018Star Rating: ★★☆☆ Heat Rating: N/A An Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book was received free via Netgalley for an honest review. Human Errors got burned badly by expectations. When I saw the title and blurb on Netgalley, it suggested a very specific and narrow focus to me. I was looking forward to some very medical discussions, even some interesting evolutionary discussions. Unfortunately, the bulk of this ...
  • Casey Wheeler
    I received a free Kindle copy of Human Errors by Nathan H. Lents courtesy of Net Galley  and  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.I requested this book as the desription sounded fascinating. It is the first book by Nathan H. L...
  • Mandy
    According to Nathan Lents human evolution has led to a whole catalogue of “errors” in the human body and he claims that in many ways we are badly designed - from faulty knees that can’t cope with us walking upright to genetic mutations that lead to many conditions and disabilities. It’s an interesting and entertaining book, written in a lively and accessible style, but as other reviewers have pointed out errors in some of his conclusions ...
  • Jeanette Blain
    Our bodies are amazing. Even more so given the impersonal and imperfect processes of evolution. It's interesting to read how we came to be stuck with some unfortunate limitations, yet still, dominate as a species. For a book about science facts, Human Errors shines in that it's not super technical, but not dumbed-down to a childish level. I think this book hits the sweet spot for what it is. I've read books in the (what I'll call) rundown-of-int...
  • Book Him Danno
    Thank you to netgalley for the advance copy of Human Errors for an honesty review. Human Erros by Nathan H. Lent is the biology book I wish I had head in school. The authors makes human biology fun, humors and fun.Several quote that stuck with me because of cancer in the family. “You cannot have sexual reproductions, DNA and cellular life without also having cancer." My children have eye issues and have to wear glasses so learning about the hum...
  • Steve
    Fun book about what can go wrong in the human bodyIf you are wondering how a book can be fun when discussing something morbid, you should read this book. Nathan Lents describes several built-in flaws in the human body, based on natural selection, where a change doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be a little better than what was there before. This can lead to all sorts of havoc, which Lents discusses in an enjoyable and clear way. His tone ...
  • Phil Smith
    Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes by Nathan Lents admits from the get-go that there are more than enough books about how great and wondrous the human body is. Lents takes a whole different tack: how human bodies have huge design flaws, from big system like our bones to the DNA in every cell. Why do we have a blind spot in each eye? It is because the retina is wired backwards. Why are the drains for our...
  • Basma
    This book was an okay read. I think the main reason this book gets a lower rating is because even though it's quite interesting I personally wasn't convinced by the reasonings..The main premise of this book is discussing the "design flaws" as the author calls them that are in our bodies. It ranges from how our knees functions, to diets and vitamins, to how frequently we get the flu and why, autoimmune disease, holes in the heart, cancer, optical ...
  • Angie Boyter
    Definitely 3+.The science behind our bodies’ imperfectionsNo thinking person can escape awe at the wonders of the human body and how smoothly it works(most of the time), coordinating so many parts, from muscles to neurons to blood cells, to produce our minds, our skills, and our physical achievements. You have probably heard this theme before, so in Human Errors biology professor Nathan Lents delves into the other side of the human body: the pa...
  • Michael Perkins
    Caveat: for a book that’s supposed to be for lay people, it’s pretty detailed. I liked that for the most interesting topics to me (e.g. autoimmune diseases), but less so for some other topics. The book does live up to its title. And it brought up a memory from some time ago. Back in the 70’s, someone gave me an article to read from Christianity Today magazine which then, and still seems to be, THE evangelical magazine. The article was writt...
  • Jim
    As often happens, I chose to read this book after hearing an interview with the author on NPR. It was an enjoyable and informative read. My only criticism is that the author just jumped into some of the major design flaws (e.g., sinuses, backward photoreceptors, weak ACL, etc.) w/o first laying down some basic of evolutionary theory. Given that his primary audience is (probably) non-science folks, I think he missed an opportunity to lay out the c...
  • vgy
    There were definitely some very interesting things in this book that were fun to read about (esp. the sinuses, the eye, some of the genetic stuff - though I'm definitely on the other side of the Encode discussion). I agree with those who mentioned that the Epilogue didn't really fit with the rest of the book. I felt that if it was just a few pages, it would've been ok, but as it was actually a pretty lengthy discussion, it veered the book into te...
  • Cathy
    This is a fun little book (it's not very long), with the science explained in simple layman’s terms so anyone can appreciate the flaws the author has outlined. It’s educational and entertaining. I’ve been sharing some of the items listed with my family as I’ve read. Those who enjoy human anatomy and the workings of the brain and of DNA (do you know how much junk is in the human genome?) will be particularly satisfied with Lents’ collect...
  • Ameetha Widdershins
    3.5 A fun and folksy read about the glitches in the human body and brain, their origins and the problems they cause. There is a wide array of examples from various disciplines dealing with human anatomy, physiology, neurology and cognition, and comparisons and contrasts to other animals that share or avoid our evolutionary mishaps. Despite its conversational tone, the information provided is as scientifically accurate and up-to-date as is known. ...
  • Andi
    While I enjoyed this book very much, I have to say I was hoping for more. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to reading more in-depth books of this nature, but this seemed sorely lacking in substance. It was a delightful, entertaining read, and what was there was very interesting. I would recommend it to people who have a passing interest, or as a starting point before diving in to something more complex, but it really is only for the casual reade...
  • Leo Saumure
    I've often said that I find it amazing how we can live so long with so many things that can and do go wrong in the human body.Our cars are processioned engineered, yet they often fail to run after 10-15 years. Yet our bodies, on the other hand, are held together with nothing but bubble-gum and a bit of tape, evolutionary speaking. Even so, we can sometimes live for over 100 years!It totally blows my mind!
  • The Book Worm
    This book is very interesting for people in medical field but especially for the non medical community . It shows several curiosities about the human body that people are not always aware.The kind of speech that the author utilises is simple and easy. However a good book, i think it is a heavy book.
  • Linda Chance
    An Interesting look at the imperfections of the human body. Some of the chapters were too brief (no mention of the appendix??) and the chapter on genetics put me to sleep, but overall a nice blend of fact and theory for armchair medical detectives like me. After you read the part about human reproduction, you’ll feel amazed to be alive!
  • Debra
    This book flies in the face of those who believe the Psalmist - "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well" (Psalm 139:14). Our bodies supply much evidence of evolution, not of intelligent design. And yet, we and all species are remarkable, in spite of our numerous flaws.