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, Anthropology, Evolution

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
    (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...
  • Ross Blocher
    Having consumed many works on evolution and human biology, I was shocked at just how much I learned from this delightful book. In Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes, biology professor Nathan H. Lents presents a quick, conversational and nutrient-dense look at the various problems our bodies have inherited from of our evolutionary past. Even in discussions of features I knew about, such as our backwards-...
  • 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...
  • Paul Demetre
    An interesting and somewhat quirky look at we humans and some of the imperfections that we have, generally due to that mad scientist we call evolution.Most of the subjects are physical, including many anatomical errors like the knee and it's flaws (if it were being designed from scratch rather than evolving), our inability to internally create many vitamins that most other animals produce on their own, how babies heads are getting too big to make...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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....
  • 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...
  • Karen Sadler
    We have too many bones! We have to rely too much on our diet for survival! We suffer from too many cognitive biases! Reading about our design flaws was kind of interesting, but the best part of this book were the few pages toward the end about the possibility of alien life. Specifically this quote: "...some current estimates predict that the universe harbors around seventy-five million civilizations." WHAT?! This possibility more than anything el...
  • Noah Goats
    Human Errors is about all the weird little quirks and monstrosities left in the human body after eons of evolution. It turns out evolution is an incompetent designer and has screwed us up in many ways. We have extra bones we don't need, frequently illogical mental processes, and even a massive number of dead viruses woven into our DNA. Like any book of this type, some sections were more interesting than others, but, on the whole I enjoyed it and ...
  • M
    I find the book very interesting. The language is easy to understand, there are good examples, and it is full of very interesting fun-facts that, for a person without deep knowledge of biology and anthropology, were sometimes really suprising! Quick and nice read.
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
    A Wonderful Evolution bookThis is a fantastic science book. It’s focus is on the flaws of the human body, anatomically, physiologically and genetically. But the genius of the book is that it really makes the reader understand evolution so much clearer. Our genes do there best to prepare us for life but there are some very odd peculiarities that just don’t make sense from a “intelligent designer” perspective. From allergies to auto immune ...
  • 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...
  • Courtney Smith Atkins
    This was a spur of the moment find at the library. There is such good information here in an easy to understood narrative. Good chapters on the reproductive system, peanut allergies and auto immune disorders. I recommend.
  • Dan
    Fun book, covering lots of unusual quirks or inefficient systems in the human body
  • Piotr
    Bardzo dobra książka. Mnóstwo ciekawostek a na koniec spora doza rozważań dokąd zmierzamy i czy nam się uda.
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • Richard
    We all know that the human body is not perfect. Any of us who wear glasses, get the flu, fall and land on our coccyx, take vitamins, or try to lose weight knows this first hand.In this book, Nathan Lents gives us a lot of scientific information about human development, how human systems work, and why our bodies evolved the way they did. What makes this book so special is that he presents all of this information in an easy to understand and entert...
  • 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 i...
  • Anders Rasmussen
    Man was created by God. We are his perfect creation. Our perfection is evident in every detail of our design. Right? If you believe this, then you first need to Google Charles Darwin and evolution. Second, you need to take another look at the human body. Because we are full of defects. This book will give you a few examples of some of our most glaring flaws; flaws that can be found from head to toe, and in our body's architecture as well as in ou...
  • Kate Vane
    Evolution does not mean we are continually moving towards perfection. Mutations happen by chance, and they may or may not be good for us. If they don’t kill us and if they don’t stop us reproducing, they stick around.Human Errors details some of these ‘errors’ and includes some fascinating examples. Our dodgy knees are a hangover from our primate days, and were never meant to support us standing up. Our retinas are the wrong way round and...