Evolutionary theorist Alastair Clarke has today published details of eight patterns he claims to be the basis of all the humor that has ever been imagined or expressed, regardless of civilization, culture or personal taste.

Clarke has stated before that humor is based on the surprise recognition of patterns but this is the first time he has identified the precise nature of the patterns involved, addressing the deceptively simple unit and context relationships at their foundation. His research goes on to demonstrate the universality of the theory by showing how these few basic patterns are recognized in more than a hundred different types of humor.

This theory is very interesting (spent 20 minutes or so skimming through the guy’s book that is currently freely available from a link mentioned in the article), but also presented in the most dry, HUMORLESS way imaginable… 🙂

The above paragraph from the science mag does not even come close! (and it’s already dry enough…)