One thing that is probably helpful to keep in mind, though, is that what is humorous is highly dependent on context - the attempt to find, beyond broad archetypes, something "objectively funny" is a wild goose chase. Everyone knows that jokes from other cultures can be hard to understand, but even among people you know well, how many times have you found yourself trying to explain something funny after the fact and giving up and saying "You just had to be there"?
Go read this great article about a Jesuit astronomer talking about scientists and religion. I know exactly what he's talking about and have been meaning to
discourse on it for a while. If you don't, you probably know someone
To him, [science and religion both] are a search for truth...
“Like religion, science is fundamentally the work of an individual
guided by a community,” said Brother Consolmagno.
[T]here is a “serious misfit,” he said, between the typical techie and
the typical church. American churches simply haven’t done much to
understand techies and reach out to them in ways that would be
Scientists and engineers don’t
necessarily lack faith, he said, instead, they appear to be searching
for a “comprehensive set of rules to live by,” which provides an
opportunity for organized religion. Organized religion provides a
template, just like the worked-out problems in a physics book, he said,
against which techies can compare their spiritual experiences with
those that are certified to have been experiences of the transcendent.
A-men! When I was a kid, it was so hard for me to take religious ed seriously because although I realized the Faith was important, they dumbed it down so much that I didn't quite realize that there was much of anything to learn. Thank God that He put the right books in my hands at the right time that helped me realize how huge, reasonable, beautiful, and wondrous it all is - like the material universe, only better.
Now I realize that the CCD people at my parish were probably reacting against the perceived fact-memorization overload they remembered from their childhood, and also not everyone is a reading machine eager to learn on a high level, but their narrow-mindedness almost ended up being very harmful to me. There are so many smart people out there who think religion is dumb because (well, aside from leftover Englightenment propaganda that's part of our intellectual-cultural background, and the pride that's easy to fall prey to when you realize you're smarter than most) they only ever learned about religion as something dumb.
For a later post perhaps, more about this, and my observations on how science and the scientific community could be a preparation for the Gospel (and how science-type people are actually tripped up by not understanding the differences).