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Human Errors

A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes
Narrated by: L.J. Ganser
Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (152 ratings)
Regular price: $17.49
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Publisher's Summary

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 - 200 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 supposed to swallow and breathe through the same narrow tube? Surely there's been some kind of mistake.

As professor of biology Nathan H. Lents explains in Human Errors, our evolutionary history is nothing if not a litany of mistakes, each more entertaining and enlightening than the last. The human body is one big pile of compromises. But that is also a testament to our greatness: as Lents shows, humans have so many design flaws precisely because we are very, very good at getting around them.

A rollicking, deeply informative tour of humans' four billion year-long evolutionary saga, Human Errors both celebrates our imperfections and offers an unconventional accounting of the cost of our success.

©2018 Nathan H. Lents (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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Most interesting, well narrated

I listen to the book while commuting. I wish my commute were longer. Most interesting book I have read or listen to in a long time. Narration is great also. Fascinating.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Errors are Story of Being Human

A wonderful collection of what is known now about our too many flaws, told in a riveting story telling way. It also elucidates some of the same musings I have had. I recommend it highly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • CJ
  • 01-13-19

great!

loved it. downloaded it out of curiosity and enjoyed how informative it was. definitely would recommend for a good listen to understand our "errors"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Will Make You Think

Lents gives not just a list of errors in our bodies, but also provides a necessary understanding of how messed up our bodies aware compared to other animals. He says humans seem to have more errors than most animals probably because our brains evolved to allow us the luxury of taking some of the pressure off of our bodies. With the decrease in selection pressure did not need to be as “fit” as before. In the epilogue, Lents also discusses some very interesting ideas about the future implications of human errors and how we might overcome them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Humans are a compromise

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 our DNA.

What could possibly be wrong with having a shared channel for air and food? (This is a rhetorical question, but in case you really wonder, food gets stuck, and we die...). It has to be like that, you might argue. But that would be ignoring whales and dolphins. They eat with their mouth and breathe through a different hole on their back; they don’t risk choking. We also have genes for creating several vitamins, e.g., vitamin C – only they are broken. Usually, this doesn't matter because we get vitamin C in our diets and therefore natural selection has had not selected against this detect. But it is a defect nonetheless if we do not get any vitamin C for a while, as sailors crossing the Atlantic, we get sick and die – all because of our non-functional gene.

The reason for our imperfections is that evolution cannot start over, it works by making small gradual changes. Evolution can only undo things partially, which is why we still have a tailbone which is by the way also useless – except for getting hurt...

This book is a call for rationality. It provides a tiny grain of sand to balance the mountains of books glorifying the human body and its 'perfection.' To be sure the human body is impressive in many ways but perfect it is not.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Thought provoking and informative

I enjoyed the detailed explanation of flaws in human anatomy and psychology. Well presented in a form that was not confusing, even for some of the more complex topics.

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Recommended

Amazing book, covers a wide range of topics about humans from body characteristics to culture and behavior. Loved it.

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From Pointless Bones to Broken Genes to...Aliens?

I felt the book started out strong, talking about unnecessary, breakable bones, how the way sinuses work is kind of screwed up, all the ways genes can go bad, how we're so inefficient in getting the most out of nutrients, the list is long and good, but towards the end I felt some topics were a little off trail...Suddenly, I'm listening about our existence in the universe...alienwise. This final part stemmed from Fermi's paradox, and although interesting, I don't know how it related to 'Human Errors'. But overall, I enjoyed the book and learned quite a few things!

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  • jamie
  • Springield, MO, United States
  • 11-30-18

Fascinating!

I recommend this book to anyone studying biology, evolution, creationism, or simply has an interest in the anatomy and function of the human body. It is not written for doctors with vast medical knowledge... it’s written with normal everyday people in mind-each topic being very well explained! I LOVED this book! I want to listen to it again because I find myself trying to explain parts of it to any person that will listen!

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Excellent audio book.

As a physician spending 50 years treating broken bodies science has made astounding Progress. This review deals with many of the problems of our bodies. But I think the future due to our ability and brains with the advancement of science is very bright indeed