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Old 12-05-2016, 10:52 AM #1
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Default If a tree falls in a forest

and no human or animal or insect ear is there to hear it does it make any noise?


Is the definition of a sound is its detection, rather than the physical phenomenon?




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Old 12-05-2016, 10:56 AM #2
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If you fart and no-one is around to hear it, did you still fart?
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:56 AM #3
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Yes of course it does because the sound compression waves would still hit other objects which has a physical affect on them.
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Old 12-05-2016, 10:57 AM #4
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Wot bob sed.
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:22 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobnot View Post
Yes of course it does because the sound compression waves would still hit other objects which has a physical affect on them.
for example?
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:23 AM #6
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waves are not sound, sound is how we interpret waves
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:39 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeatherTrumpet View Post
for example?
An air compession wave created by a falling tree exists regardless of a human being in range of it.
(I wont go into why you also said insects as most of them are deaf and use ground vibration as a means of detecting movement)
You can harp on about the definition of a sound as only being realized once an air compression wave strikes an eardrum but the reality is that it exists an air compression wave exists regardless and has a physical affect on its surroundings.

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Old 12-05-2016, 11:52 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobnot View Post
An air compession wave created by a falling tree exists regardless of a human being in range of it.
(I wont go into why you also said insects as most of them are deaf and use ground vibration as a means of detecting movement)
You can harp on about the definition of a sound as only being realized once an air compression wave strikes an eardrum but the reality is that it exists an air compression wave exists regardless and has a physical affect on its surroundings.
im no debating its physical effect by falling but does it make a sound, surely the answer must be no?
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:52 AM #9
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At the end of the day you have posted a question that has no right or wrong answer so it will be reet.
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Old 12-05-2016, 11:58 AM #10
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Numerous books have been written on the study of questions like this!

The question can be answered on more than one level. There is a simple practical answer which is, of course it makes a sound but then the smart ass phellogen comes up with all kinds of questions about perceptions.

There is a whole creationist discussion tackling arguments like, did the tree fall or was it created like that?.
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:53 PM #11
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Physics doesn't stop because there's no one around to witness it.
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:56 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livia View Post
Physics doesn't stop because there's no one around to witness it.
If it did, no one would now exist because we weren't around to hear it when the earth was formed
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Old 12-05-2016, 12:58 PM #13
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Quote:
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If it did, no one would now exist because we weren't around to hear it when the earth was formed
Jesus Christ, BOTS, I'm going to have to sit and think about that for a minute...
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Old 12-05-2016, 01:49 PM #14
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Quote:
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Physics doesn't stop because there's no one around to witness it.
Bewilderingly - there are actually some very current studies going on in theoretical physics that appear to show that there are aspects of existence that behave differently depending on whether or not they're being actively observed. Crazy stuff.

As for the "make a sound" question at its most basic level it's just semantics. The tree falling makes sound waves, so it depends on whether you call that effect itself "sound", or if you call the human brain's interpretation of those waves "sound". Most insects etc. actually perceive sound in a totally different way to mammals etc, feeling the vibrations (which we can also do, but to a much lesser extent) rather than actually "hearing" as we understand it.
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Old 12-05-2016, 02:34 PM #15
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Bewilderingly - there are actually some very current studies going on in theoretical physics that appear to show that there are aspects of existence that behave differently depending on whether or not they're being actively observed. Crazy stuff.

As for the "make a sound" question at its most basic level it's just semantics. The tree falling makes sound waves, so it depends on whether you call that effect itself "sound", or if you call the human brain's interpretation of those waves "sound". Most insects etc. actually perceive sound in a totally different way to mammals etc, feeling the vibrations (which we can also do, but to a much lesser extent) rather than actually "hearing" as we understand it.
tell that to an Earwig

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Old 12-05-2016, 02:39 PM #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toy Soldier View Post
Bewilderingly - there are actually some very current studies going on in theoretical physics that appear to show that there are aspects of existence that behave differently depending on whether or not they're being actively observed. Crazy stuff.

As for the "make a sound" question at its most basic level it's just semantics. The tree falling makes sound waves, so it depends on whether you call that effect itself "sound", or if you call the human brain's interpretation of those waves "sound". Most insects etc. actually perceive sound in a totally different way to mammals etc, feeling the vibrations (which we can also do, but to a much lesser extent) rather than actually "hearing" as we understand it.
Erm... thanks.
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Old 12-05-2016, 02:46 PM #17
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i know that at the Emirates there is no actual sound


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Old 12-05-2016, 03:43 PM #18
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Quote:
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Erm... thanks.
You're oso welcome.
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Old 12-05-2016, 04:25 PM #19
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I guess there are many religious types that behave differently because they think God is watching
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:33 PM #20
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The whole "does it make a sound" is due to semantics, and our crafted word for a vibration to hit our eardrums. If it ain't hitting our eardrums, it isn't sound as we would perceive it.

Does the wave have an impact on inanimate objects? Of course it does. But because inanimate objects don't have eardrums, it would be incorrect to describe it as a sound.
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:49 PM #21
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Probably.
If I hear something drop/fall etc and hubby doesn't because he is deaf it doesn't mean it doesn't make a sound if he can't feel these waves etc.
Just means he is deaf to it all and I am not.
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Old 12-05-2016, 08:55 PM #22
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Quote:
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Probably.
If I hear something drop/fall etc and hubby doesn't because he is deaf it doesn't mean it doesn't make a sound if he can't feel these waves etc.
Just means he is deaf to it all and I am not.
Perfect example, Smudgie. It can only make a "sound" to those capable of hearing.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:49 PM #23
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Next weeks conundrum, do bears sh*t in the woods?...
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:52 PM #24
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Quote:
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The whole "does it make a sound" is due to semantics, and our crafted word for a vibration to hit our eardrums. If it ain't hitting our eardrums, it isn't sound as we would perceive it.

Does the wave have an impact on inanimate objects? Of course it does. But because inanimate objects don't have eardrums, it would be incorrect to describe it as a sound.
Not necessarily, though, because there's nothing else you could describe it as. The vibrations that would be created are "sound waves", there's nothing else to call them. Sound waves are sound waves, in the same way that radio waves are radio waves, micro waves are micro waves, etc.

We can't perceive most of the wavelength spectrum at all (without electronic help) but each wave still is what it is. I don't see why that wouldn't apply to sound.
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Old 12-05-2016, 09:54 PM #25
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Next weeks conundrum, do bears sh*t in the woods?...
"Depends what kind of bear" is the only reasonable answer there. Short thread
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