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View Poll Results: if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

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  • yes

    31 54.39%
  • no

    11 19.30%
  • of course

    27 47.37%
  • maybe

    12 21.05%
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Thread: if a tree falls in the forest

  1. #1
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    Default if a tree falls in the forest

    and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

    what do you say?

  2. #2
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    Obviously. Vibration is still transmitted through the air no differently than if a tree here fell within ear shot.

    Just because some lame human wasn't around to hear it doesn't mean it doesn't generate sound.

    Lame attempt at philosophy.

  3. #3
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    If a tree falls it makes sound lol. We don't need some human to confirm it actually made sound. Besides why do humans have to hear it ? If a tree falls in a fores. One animal is bound to hear it. Or are animals not good enough. Well if you think that way. FYI A bat hears better then us.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, seriously. Of course, yes, it does!

    The tree falling creates noise. Just because we're not around to hear it with our special little ears doesn't mean the tree is suddenly muted by God to save on Earth energy costs.

    Geeze.
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  5. #5
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    Wow, I really do hate pseudo-intellectual questions like these ..

    (this is not directed at the OP, just the question, lol.)

    Well, of course it does. Since when is sound reliant on humans to exist?

    sound exists even if you aren't there to hear it.

    The question assumes that someone needs to be around to hear the sound in order for it to exist. That doesn't make any logical sense.
    Last edited by Miss Electric Moonlight; 10-13-2008 at 03:44 AM.
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  6. #6
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    [By the way, i'm going to sound real Yoga-Freak right now..]
    Well, if the tree wants to make a sound, it will. If it doesn't feel that it should waste the extra effort, if won't.
    Ha ha ha...
    i cant believe we almost hung it up o woah o .set made by me;
    .....

  7. #7
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    I think philosophy and science have both moved past this one.

    We're working on "if an electron passes by, and nothing observes is it still spin up or spin down". Current thought is that a lot of quantum stuff doesn't actually have a state until someone/something observes it. But some of us aren't entirely convinced yet.

  8. #8
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    This is the exact same question we had while I was on Uni,described as a philosophical riddle that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality...

    The most immediate philosophical topic that the riddle introduces involves the existence of the tree (and its sound) outside of human perception. If no one is around to see, hear, touch or smell the tree, how could its existence occur? What is it to say that it exists when such an existence avoids all knowing?
    As for the actuall answer,I think yes...
    Because,no matter if one hears it,the sound is there and is existing...As Sagat over there said,the vibration is sent through the air,and even tho our ears are not developed enough to actually hear sound like that (being beyond the frequency our ears can register),there are animals that are able to sense such a vibration and register as a sound...
    So,the answer is yes...

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnyside View Post
    We're working on "if an electron passes by, and nothing observes is it still spin up or spin down". Current thought is that a lot of quantum stuff doesn't actually have a state until someone/something observes it. But some of us aren't entirely convinced yet.
    Actually, that is pretty much confirmed, with things like the Stern-Gerlach experiment. The Stern-Gerlach experiment is basically a magnetic field that separates one stream of particles after their spin in the z-axis into two beams (one with spin up, and one with spin down). If you proceed to put one of these beams through another magnetic field perpendicular to the z-axis (say the x axis), it separates again into two beams with different spin invalidating the previous measurement, so that if you proceed to put one of these streams into yet another magnetic field in the same axis as the original magnet, it splits into two new beams (that is, the stream of electrons has gotten a new spin state, merely by measuring it's spin in another direction!) See the wikipedia article, and the diagram on sequential experiments.

    The double slit experiment also proves this pretty eloquently. If you put a stream of ions through a double slit, and do not measure which path the ions take, the matter wave will take both paths and interfere with itself, causing interference patterns. BUT! If you measure which slit they take (through induction or whatever), the waveform collapses, and the particles do not interfere (that is, you get the result classical physics predicts).

    Wikipedia is a bit clearer than me on this (I've been awake for 27 hours, so I'm probably rambling incomprehensibly): "A remarkable result follows from a variation of the double-slit experiment in which detectors are placed in either or both of the two slits in an attempt to determine which slit the photon passes through on its way to the screen. Placing a detector even in just one of the slits will result in the disappearance of the interference pattern.[...]"

    --edit--

    I just noticed that this post has to be one of the most esoteric posts in AF history. Seeing as how quantum physics is what people fail before going for some easier job, like rocket scientist instead.
    Last edited by Eris; 10-14-2008 at 11:31 AM.

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    No it doesn't. Human observation is the only thing that gives an event meaning.
    Ehhh, I dunno if I'll stick around. We'll see.

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  11. #11
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    I say yes, because sound was never reliant on human beings to exist - we confirm the existence of the sound itself, but whether we are there or not to confirm it/hear it ourselves it will still be -there- o_O

    Its similar to if there's no one on earth, will the sun continue to rise and set? Yes it will.

  12. #12
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    I think a better question to ask is if a tree falls in the middle of a forest and it hits a mime, does anybody care?

    (Yes, it does make sound. Or, the vibrations that would result in it.)

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    uhhhhhhhhhhhh you guys make me laugh. No crap it makes a sound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnyside View Post
    We're working on "if an electron passes by, and nothing observes is it still spin up or spin down". Current thought is that a lot of quantum stuff doesn't actually have a state until someone/something observes it. But some of us aren't entirely convinced yet.
    Well, if observations are just interactions with other particles then by being such a large system all of the particles involved would have definitely undergone wavefunction collapse. The tree's state is confirmed by the tree as a system. That means, the tree would fall and make a sound. Or if it did not fall, it would not make a sound.

    Leastways, that is what I think.
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  15. #15
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    Yes it makes a sound, even if someone was not around to hear the sound, it still makes a sound no matter what. Even if someone does not hear something make the sound, it still makes it even if a human is not around to hear it.
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    If no one is there to hear the tree fall, then no one is there to see it.
    If there is nobody there to see it, then the tree does not exist, lol.

    Umm, but yeah, sound waves are produced by the falling tree, so if that's how you define sound, then it does make one.

  17. #17
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    A better question would have been, if a cat always lands on his/her feet and butter toast lands butter side down; if you tie the two together and throw it in the air..... Will it land?


    But yeah honestly I do think it would make a sound.
    Last edited by Beast; 10-13-2008 at 12:48 PM.

  18. #18
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    Ahh.. The famous question. It's very simple actually.

    Yes it makes a noise, the fact that no one is around to hear it doesn't matter. All that means is that no one is around to hear the sound it makes when it falls.
    Last edited by Jamie5192; 10-13-2008 at 12:40 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Of coarse it is going to make a sound. There are lots of sounds being made with no one hearing them.



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    Yes, it does make a sound, the vibration when it falls makes a sound and i don't think it's need a human to see or hear that to comprove it.


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    Sound can actually be defined two ways, and so the answer depends on which one you use:

    A sensation perceived by the ear caused by the vibration of air or some other medium.
    A vibration capable of causing this.
    If you use the first definition then no, the tree does not make a sound. If you use the second, then yes.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Totsean has a reputation beyond repute Totsean has a reputation beyond repute Totsean has a reputation beyond repute Totsean has a reputation beyond repute Totsean has a reputation beyond repute Totsean has a reputation beyond repute Totsean has a reputation beyond repute Totsean has a reputation beyond repute Totsean has a reputation beyond repute Totsean has a reputation beyond repute Totsean has a reputation beyond repute Totsean's Avatar
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    If you asked a modern physicist, he/she would say no. After reading their explanation i'd have to agree with them.
    Last edited by Totsean; 10-13-2008 at 03:01 PM.
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    I agree that we can't be sure of the actual existence of the tree and thus we can't be sure of the existence of the sound it would make. cogito ergo sum, I guess.




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    Of course it still makes a sound, you might not be around to hear that sound but I bet all the animals surrounded by it heard it when it fell down. I mean, cause it still fell, when something as big as a tree falls it'll still make a noise whether anyone's around to hear it or not.
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    if a fat chick falls in the forest
    and no one is there to see it, do the trees laugh?


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