Humour and laughter are universal across human cultures, and seemingly have been for thousands of years. While it’s not so clear that animals have a sense of humour, many species at least demonstrate a sense of play (Also, rats laugh when they’re tickled).
So has the universality of humour amongst humans come about through natural selection? If so what evolutionary advantage does humour provide? Is the variety and complexity of humour so conveniently explained by simple evolutionary advantage?
In this session, Ben Hawkes and Les Walton will touch on the psychology, biology and philosophy of humour and laughter, and might even throw in a couple of jokes.
(*Ben, a psychologist, and Les, a radio producer, know a little thing about humour, having written and performed with The Missing, Inc. comedy group, including an almost entirely fictitious account of the life of Charles Darwin, The Beagle Has Landed, performed at Shrewsbury’s very own Darwin Festival and various science and comedy festivals around the country.)