This joke might not sound that sophisticated, but you’ll still need a sharper-than-average mind in order to get it: “claws” are those sharp little things cats have at the end of their paws, but they sound just like “clause” – which is basically a part of a sentence.
A comma at the end of a clause represents a pause, which sounds just like “paws.” Hey, if it’s confusing when you read it too fast, that means you need to be smart to get it.
This joke relies on a basic scientific truth: atoms are what everything in the universe is made of, which means they literally make up everything.
But "make up" has a second meaning – fabricating things. Obviously, if atoms keep making up everything, it only makes sense that one should find it hard to trust them. We're not sure there's much we can do about that, though.
If you have any linguist friends who are constantly patronizing you with their language knowledge, we highly recommend you try this joke on them. Here's why it's clever: being subordinate to someone means working under them, and "clause," other than being spelled almost identically to Santa's last name, also refers to a part of a sentence.
In linguistics, a "subordinate clause" refers to a phrase that cannot work as a standalone, but rather, is there in order to complement the larger sentence, or "main clause." We thought the use of double meaning here was pretty genius!
We genuinely laughed reading this joke, but we do have some criticism. So, first things first: why is it actually funny? The biologist and chemist didn't actually manage to get the deer, but as the average of +5 and -5 is zero, to a statistician – being a fan of averages – that's nailing it precisely.
Now, to the criticism bit: there's no real point in the two other hunters being a biologist and a chemist since the pun has nothing to do with neither biology nor chemistry. They could have just as well been a tailor and a painter. Just saying.
Just Keep Moving. Or Not
The term "inertia" in physics refers to the notion of objects tending to stay in their current situation, i.e., if they're currently still – they'd remain still.
So, if the new theory complies with inertia, it only makes sense for it not to be going anywhere. Or something. For the sake of the joke, we'll ignore the fact that the other part of inertia means that moving objects will aspire to remain in motion.