And laughter is an evolutionary indicator of progress. The ability to crack a joke or laugh at one, is concurrently the ability to identify discontinuity. And having the linguistic ability to relay that information to a group of fellow humans (or even animals in some cases) is further indicative of advancement in intellect – both analytical and emotional. Laughter, like some other drugs, creates a reward cycle – which in turn is closely linked to survivalist behavior. Maybe then, it is not surprising that humor can often be used so efficiently at diffusing a potentially violent or dangerous situation.
So if you are easily offended by jokes ( a good indicator of this is if your friends keep telling you so) or always prescribe boundaries on what is or isn’t appropriate to joke about – take into account how you may be limiting the ability of mankind to move forward? We might need laughter more than ever now that we are aware how little of it exists around the world.