Nathan H. Lents

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March 2016


Nathan H. Lents is professor of biology and director of the Honors College at John Jay College of the City University of New York.

His research has been published in a dozen leading science journals, including the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular Cell, the Journal of Forensic Sciences, and the American Journal of Physiology, as well as science education journals such as the Journal of College Science Teaching and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

He also maintains The Human Evolution Blog and blogs for Psychology Today under the tagline, "Beastly Behavior: How Evolution Shaped our Minds and Bodies." His articles occasionally appear in magazines such as Skeptic.

Average rating: 3.95 · 2,529 ratings · 342 reviews · 2 distinct worksSimilar authors
Human Errors: A Panorama of...

3.94 avg rating — 2,480 ratings — published 2018 — 18 editions
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Not So Different: Finding H...

4.16 avg rating — 49 ratings — published 2016 — 4 editions
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Human Errors by Nathan H. Lents
"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 k" Read more of this review »
Human Errors by Nathan H. Lents
"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 bec" Read more of this review »
Human Errors by Nathan H. Lents
" What a nice to thing to say! You are most welcome and it was a pleasure. "
Not So Different by Nathan H. Lents
"An interesting comparison between humans and animals. We are more alike than not."
Not So Different by Nathan H. Lents
"Thank you to Netgalley and Columbia University Press for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

What defines humanity? Many things have been said already, and I am not a specialist by any means.
It has been said that the use of tools is o" Read more of this review »
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Human Errors by Nathan H. Lents
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Not So Different by Nathan H. Lents
" Hope you enjoyed this! "
Nathan Lents rated a book it was amazing
Wild Justice by Marc Bekoff
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The Emotional Lives of Animals by Marc Bekoff
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Great book
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The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
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Pinker writes eloquently, as usual, and the book is very well researched. Though pessimism is always en vogue, this book reminds us of how far we've come in the pacification of our species. I recommend this book to everyone. You will enjoy reading it ...more
More of Nathan's books…
“There are species that can run faster, climb higher, dig deeper, or hit harder, but humans are special because we can run, climb, dig, and hit. The phrase jack of all trades, master of none fits us perfectly. If life on earth were like the Olympic Games, the only event that humans would ever win is the decathlon. (Unless chess became an Olympic sport.)”
Nathan H. Lents, Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes

“We have retinas that face backward, the stump of a tail, and way too many bones in our wrists. We must find vitamins and nutrients in our diets that other animals simply make for themselves. We are poorly equipped to survive in the climates in which we now live. We have nerves that take bizarre paths, muscles that attach to nothing, and lymph nodes that do more harm than good. Our genomes are filled with genes that don’t work, chromosomes that break, and viral carcasses from past infections. We have brains that play tricks on us, cognitive biases and prejudices, and a tendency to kill one another in large numbers. Millions of us can’t even reproduce successfully without a whole lot of help from modern science. Our flaws illuminate not only our evolutionary past but also our present and future. Everyone knows that it is impossible to understand current events in a specific country without understanding the history of that country and how the modern state came to be. The same is true for our bodies, our genes, and our minds.”
Nathan H. Lents, Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes

“You may have heard that humans use only 10 percent of their brains. This is a total myth; humans use every lobe, fold, and nook of their neural tissues. While some regions specialize in certain functions— speech, for instance, or movement— and rev up their activity when performing them, the whole brain is active pretty much all of the time. There is no part of the brain, no matter how tiny, that can be deactivated or removed without serious consequences.”
Nathan H. Lents, Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes




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