• 0
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

a tree in the forest.

Question

Posted · Report post

If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?

The obvious answer would be yes.

But I argue that it doesn't.

Sure, there would be a TON of vibrations.

But our ears convert vibrations into sound.

So if our ears aren't there to convert it.

There wouldn't be any sound

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

21 answers to this question

  • 0

Posted · Report post

a deaf person cannot hear sound but it doesn't mean that sound isn't there. and they are called sound waves not just waves. which is why we don't hear light. a sound wave is a sound travelling. a light wave is light traveling.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?

I assume you meant "...and no one was there to hear it..."

Wikipedia says...

"Sound is generally known as vibrational transmission of mechanical energy that propagates through matter as a wave (through fluids as a compression wave, and through solids as both compression and shear waves) that is audibly perceived by a living organism through its sense of hearing." [url:8b0be]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound

And since it's pretty darn unlikely that a forest has no living organisms with a sense of hearing to audibly perceive the waves, I'd say yes, it does make a sound - not sure how to prove it though....

cogito ergo sum

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

whoops, I did mean if no one's arond to hear it.

And yeah, I couldn't imagine a forest without any organisms

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

It depends on your preferred definition of sound. If it's the one that PDR provided from the Wikipedia article, then no, there is no sound since that definition requires that there be a transmission of mechanical energy to a living organism with some sort of hearing capability.

If we look at the first two entries for sound in the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, the answer to your question is no if you prefer the first definition and yes if the second:

sound:

1. the sensation produced by stimulation of the organs of hearing by vibrations transmitted through the air or other medium.

2. mechanical vibrations transmitted through an elastic medium, traveling in air at a speed of approximately 1087 ft. (331 m) per second at sea level.

In short, the answer is dependent upon semantics.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

well,

I always love hearing I wasn't completely wrong

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

I always felt this riddle was thought up originally by a lumberjack. If no one is around to hear it would the tree fall at all?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

A dead tree would fall.

The orginal configuration of this proposition predated the concept that Mankind was somehow animalistic and also was prior to the discovery of the concept of sound waves. Therefore, the proposition that a different animal could discern the sound waves or that sound waves were part of the question didn't occur to the ancient propositioner. More modern examples say "and no animal were around to hear it" - thus getting back to the point of the question, which is a entry into discussion between perception and reality. If you observe X, is it real? (What about hallucination or illusion?) What about things that you can't observe? Are they real? (Thus the tree in the lonely forest.) How far does one affect the other? At all? Does reality depend upon perception at all? What if 100% of all people exactly mis-perceive an event the wrong way? Say they all saw and report X, when really Y happened? Which is reality? Would any of the people believe you if you reported Y? How could you prove it as reality?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

If you can say that there was a tree in the forest, without an observer there to confirm it;

If you can say that the tree fell, without an observer to confirm it;

I will say with equal certainty that it made a sound, without an observer to confirm it.

Corollary question:

If a man speaks in the forest, and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

hehe

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

If a man speaks in the forest, and there is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?

My girlfriend says "yes"

God I love her...

but again I'm probably wrong!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Now back on a serious note.

What if a recorder was in that forest at the time the tree fell?

Would it register anything?

I would say yes... No hearing organs needed at the scene.

But I believe this is more of a philosophical question: most of the things around us are merely the "creation" of our own awareness (Sound, light, shapes)... If we are not aware of them do they still exist??

I believe that existance does not depend on us, we are simply here to observe whatever we can from it.

A forest or a tree may actually be sending a lot more than sounds, and a lot more than colors, but we may not be equipped today to realize it....

Our brain captures a lot more than our eyes do, and a lot less than everything around us. But this doesn't mean that these are the only things that exist...

Another question: Did the big bang (if there really was one) create any light? No eyes were at the scene!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

I don't think there was a Big Bang at all... it just seems like some serious bullsh*t. But dont get me wrong- I dont believe in god, or any god. I think the universe has been around forever, and always will be around forever. It just is.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

yep I'm totally on the same page with unreality. I'm atheistic and the big bang doesn't sound logical.

But doesn't the tape recorder use some sort of mechanical energy?

which, like wikipedia says, is required in the definition of "sound"

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Yeah! another atheist on this forum we're so discriminated against its not even funny...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

seriously man,

just about everyone who knows I'm atheist freakin hates me

but I never lie and say I'm christian or agnostic or anything else

cuz they're my beliefs and I'm stickin with them

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Yeah many people are close-minded. I guess I'm lucky to have friends that are either atheist/agnostic or theist yet tolerant and good people.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

yeah, my girlfriend's a tolerant theist

and my two best friends are agnostic and atheist...

but I'm past caring what people say about my atheism anymore..

If it's not too heavy to talk about on this forum I want to start a topic on a religious debate.

I love debating, though I'm not good at it.

But if anyone objects, please tell me now

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Contrary to describing sound as being a

creation of our own awareness
, it is a existing phenomenon which is usually perceived or received? differently by each individual.

If a tree falls in the forest , sound waves will emanate from it regardless of whether or not they will travel within earshot of any living organism. If a tree falls in the midst of a village where all the inhabitants are deaf, stating that therefore there can be no sound is like stating that since the human eye can't perceive ultra violet, there is no such color in the spectrum. The vibrations produced by the former & the effects observied by the latter are proof that they do.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

yeah, I knew from the start that there would be sound waves

but, again, like the definition in wikipedia (granted, not the most reliable source) sound, not sound waves, requires a transfer with mechanical energy.

so without the mechanical energy converting sound waves into the sound we hear, there's a bunch of sound waves, but no sound.

Am I making any sense?

probably not huh?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

It's a matter of semantics, right? It depends how "sound" is defined.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

that's what it looks like

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.