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cheo_vl

If A Tree Falls In The Woods...

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if e tree falls in the woods and there's no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? i'll say what i think, then if you guys dissagree, please explain your theory. i think that if a tree falls in the woods and there's no one around to hear it, id does NOT make a sound. sound is defined as vibrations traveling through air, water, or some other medium, especially those within the range of frequencies that can be perceived by the human ear. the simple answer is that sound is something that can be heard. if no one hears it there is no sound. until someone hears them, those vibrations traveling through the air cannot be called sound. so i think that if a tree falls in the woods and there's no one around to hear it, it emits certain vibration with the potential to become a sound, if there was somebody there to hear it. does anyone have a different point of view?

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Yes it does. Sound is simply an energy and the effect this energy has on the surroundings can be measured after the fact. It is pompous of us to assume we have such influence as to be able to negate this by our absence.

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Yes it does. Sound is simply an energy and the effect this energy has on the surroundings can be measured after the fact. It is pompous of us to assume we have such influence as to be able to negate this by our absence.

:tu: Good answer.

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Eyethangewe, Mr. Thong. :D

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Yes it does. Sound is simply an energy and the effect this energy has on the surroundings can be measured after the fact. It is pompous of us to assume we have such influence as to be able to negate this by our absence.

I agree, the sound waves are created even if no one is there to hear them...

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I agree, the sound waves are created even if no one is there to hear them...

Yeah. Try explaining this to other people at school. Just dont try. It took half an hour. <_<

I was going to say the same as PU and Leonardo, but you both beat me to it :)

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Yes it does. Sound is simply an energy and the effect this energy has on the surroundings can be measured after the fact. It is pompous of us to assume we have such influence as to be able to negate this by our absence.

I'm with Leo. Sound is generated whether someone is there to hear it or not. But I think we are also basically arguing about the definition of a word, is the word sound only properly used when referring to those vibrations which actually reach the human ear, or is it proper to use it for any vibrations which have the potential to be perceived by the human ear?

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I'm with Leo. Sound is generated whether someone is there to hear it or not. But I think we are also basically arguing about the definition of a word, is the word sound only properly used when referring to those vibrations which actually reach the human ear, or is it proper to use it for any vibrations which have the potential to be perceived by the human ear?

Good point, Iams.

I was using 'sound' as from physics where it is the wave energy propagated through a medium. As to whether it should be hearable by us should we then exclude ultra sound or subsonics? I think any sound energy should be included if we have the means to detect it whether we can hear it naturally or not.

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With your definition of sound, you are right.

There is a major problem with your definition of sound however. It's OK

to put this in a human perspective for most purposes but there are excep-

tions. For instance an avalanche can be triggered by sound and then bury

and kill hundreds of people. Did the falling tree which triggered it make a

sound? I would say that a better definition of sound would not include any

type or species of ear.

And if anyone asks, the egg came first because being hatched is a defining

characteristic of being a chicken. The egg was laid by a chicken-like animal.

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It should also be remembered that the world is a highly complicated

and interrelated place. A butterfly flapping it's wings in China causes

a hurricane a week later in Haiti. The falling tree scurries animals and

sets in motion vast changes which dramatically affect all life on Earth

over time.

Why wouldn't it make a sound as well?

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you missunderstand, i know that the vibrations are there, but as someone mentioned above it comes down to the definition of sound, if something is not heard, it is not sound, it's just all the vibrations. the avalanche is not triggered by sound, it's triggered by vibrations. technically, if no one hears it, it's not a sound.

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God heard it! ;):P

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if e tree falls in the woods and there's no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?

No, it makes sound waves that could be interpreted into some sound or noise, but if no once/thing is around to hear it, it just produces the waves.

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if no one hears it, it's not a sound.

A deaf person can't hear it but he can feel the vibration.

I can hear and feel both but if i wasn't there how can i hear or feel it?

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you missunderstand, i know that the vibrations are there, but as someone mentioned above it comes down to the definition of sound, if something is not heard, it is not sound, it's just all the vibrations. the avalanche is not triggered by sound, it's triggered by vibrations. technically, if no one hears it, it's not a sound.

Now we're left with doing a census of what's in the area. Is a man who's

sleeping or in a coma capable of hearing sound. What if it wakes him up

and he's not sure if he heard it or not. What about animals? Why can't

they hear sounds?

Words are for communication and communication is easier if words have

as definite as possible definitions. Why introduce complicating factors.

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God heard it! ;):P

:lol: but doesn't that depend on if god exists?

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:lol: but doesn't that depend on if god exists?

Oh.......................

right

<_<

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cheo et al,

Sound is vibration. If you wish to debate whether a sound is a sound simply because no-one is there to translate the vibration into the words we use to describe sound then I think that's a short hop from solipsism.

Let us say you were alone in a room. If no-one can see you, hear you or is interacting with you do you still exist? Yes, you do so long as you are aware of it. Now sound is not aware of itself (as far as we know) but we can show it exists by measuring its energy (or the effect of its energy) even if we didn't detect the sound itself.

For those who are adamant that it is not sound but simply the energy or 'waves' that would exist - that is what sound is. Sound is not the language we have to describe the phenomenon, it is the phenomenon itself.

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How can we say for certain that it makes a sound? It is an act of faith to say that it does because we are not there to hear it. :lol:

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I think this is a nearly impossible scenario. Even if a human isn't there to hear the tree falling, other animals certainly are and would react to what they heard (ie. running out of the way).

Also, the existance of sound cannot depend solely on being heard by an ear. If this was true, recording equipment in an empty room/area/etc wouldn't be able to pick up sound for lack of an eardrum.

And what about EVPs? Sounds we can't even initally hear... can't be picked up by our ears, yet still exist.

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I think this is a nearly impossible scenario. Even if a human isn't there to hear the tree falling, other animals certainly are and would react to what they heard (ie. running out of the way).

Also, the existance of sound cannot depend solely on being heard by an ear. If this was true, recording equipment in an empty room/area/etc wouldn't be able to pick up sound for lack of an eardrum.

And what about EVPs? Sounds we can't even initally hear... can't be picked up by our ears, yet still exist.

But if you arnt there how would you know animals are there? The point is if you wernt there to hear the sound of the sound recording how would you know there is one? We only know they exist when we read them off our technology.

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But if you arnt there how would you know animals are there?

Because there are very few, if any, places on earth that at least some species of animals do not occupy.

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i know that animals are almost everywhere, but this is a hypothetical situation, we're not actually talking about a tree that fell, it is a fictional scenario where a tree falls and no creature with the ability to interpret those waves as a sound is nearby. and it may sound a bit dumb, but if i am in a room and never come out, i don't exist to anyone else but me, if you are near the tree when it falls, the sound exists only to you, this forum exists only to the people who have seen it or heard about it, therefore if no one knows about the tree's sound, it does not exist to anyone so it doesn't exist at all

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Because there are very few, if any, places on earth that at least some species of animals do not occupy.

That's besides the point, it's a philosophical question.

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Posted (edited)

i know that animals are almost everywhere, but this is a hypothetical situation, we're not actually talking about a tree that fell, it is a fictional scenario where a tree falls and no creature with the ability to interpret those waves as a sound is nearby. and it may sound a bit dumb, but if i am in a room and never come out, i don't exist to anyone else but me, if you are near the tree when it falls, the sound exists only to you, this forum exists only to the people who have seen it or heard about it, therefore if no one knows about the tree's sound, it does not exist to anyone so it doesn't exist at all

I've always interpreted this to be a question of 'is reality internal or external?' Given the fact that you can only perceive reality through your senses, and your senses are part of your mind, should you consider your experience of "reality" a personal experience or something outside of yourself?

If something happens and it has no effect on you, is it more accurate to say it happened (if you learned of it from a reputable source or found evidence), or it didn't happen (because everything you perceive is subjective and claiming to have objective knowledge of the world would be presumptuous)

As a neopagan, I believe that my being, along with the rest of the world, is part of a Greater Whole (Gaia or Nature). Most of what happens to the Greater Whole never affects me, but that doesn't mean it didn't affect something bigger than me. If you ripped a leaf off a tree, leaves on the other side of the tree wouldn't "know" about it. But on some miniscule level, the tree to which the other leaves belong would have been affected.

So, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it-- it sure as hell DID fall and make a sound.

Edited by BlueZone

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