Show of HandsShow of Hands

Show Of Hands March 26th, 2013 11:30pm

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

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3rdculture some college town
04/01/13 7:14 am

As far as I understand it SOUND has multiple usages. 1) The action or thing that creates audible sound waves putting it out into the world 2) The sense of hearing that noise and transferring it into a recognizable 'sound'.
So yes it makes a sound (1) .. shame no one heard it (2).

spezria26 Connecticut
03/31/13 11:33 pm

It makes a sound. Isn't that just logic? If we were to video tape this on mute or something and watched it later would it count?

emsies Seattle
03/31/13 11:28 pm

OKAY LOOK, 7TH GRADE BIOLOGY TEACHER. The definition of a sound is SO NOT when the sound wave hits the eardrum and is registered by the brain as a sound. IT MAKES A SOUND BECAUSE IF SOMEONE WERE TO BE IN THAT FOREST THEY WOULD HEAR IT. Sorry. Still pissed because I missed that on a test.

03/31/13 2:28 pm

Idk, I remember watching a show that explained someone or something has to be there observing the tree falling to actually be able to hear the sound produced by the tree falling..

03/30/13 11:25 pm

Ironic because I was just having a discussion with my sister about this

03/30/13 9:37 pm

As far as I'm concerned, if I didn't see it or hear it, it didn't happen. That's how I get through life.

Coincidentally, that's also how I get through presidential elections.

03/30/13 10:04 am

Sound is the interpretation of waves through the air by humans and other beings. If no one is there to hear it, it cannot be classified as noise.

Topgun California
03/30/13 1:18 am

I can't believe this many people are wrong; the answer is NO! I learned this in physics

xxclixxx Rhode Island
03/29/13 12:26 pm

if someone posts a dumb question will it get more votes and comments than a real one

03/29/13 11:32 am

Lol. Geez. Ppl. All this is now, is you are all saying exactly the same things over and Over and over and over nd ver and Over and over and over

LeDerpityDerp We are not our failures
03/29/13 6:35 am

That's like saying no sound is made when any object falls, or lightning strikes, or volcano erupts, or river runs, just because a human isn't there to hear it. Wow.

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
03/29/13 12:47 am

For God's sake, people, OF COURSE IT DOES!

krenae Frankfort, IL
03/28/13 8:47 pm

There are sound waves produced. It makes a sound.

TaylorGurl Utah
03/28/13 8:11 pm

If a tree falls in the forest does anyone really care?

Lookabunny Tyvvm for following me
03/28/13 5:25 pm

My father, who was born in Louisiana 1920, was punished in first grade for arguing with a teacher when she said the answer was "no."

rightstate Pennsylvania
03/28/13 4:41 pm

everybody should stop arguing because nobody will ever know.

ProfDG I Want Truth
03/28/13 7:25 pm

Uhhh I'm pretty sure that scientific instruments can detect sound waves and no human needs to be there.

UnicornLoner16 League City, Texas
03/28/13 4:23 pm

Well if it doesn't, then I guess before animals came around there was no such thing as sound.

03/28/13 3:39 pm

I can't believe this debate is still going on.

03/28/13 3:29 pm

Now that's a lot of blue

sabomj Cincinnati
03/28/13 10:42 am

If a bear goes poo poo in the woods, does it still stink? Riddle me that America.

SFannin5 Buckeye Country
03/28/13 8:16 am

No because sound is a conception of the mind and if nobody perceives it to be heard then its not a sound.

BadWolf The Library
03/28/13 8:25 am

Sound is a physical thing. It has nothing to do with the mind.

SFannin5 Buckeye Country
03/28/13 8:32 am

Ah that is where you are wrong, waves are a physical thing sound is perceived in the mind when the eardrums receive the waves

BadWolf The Library
03/28/13 8:36 am

The field of audiology would disagree.

SFannin5 Buckeye Country
03/28/13 8:42 am

The field of physics and psychology would disagree

nightcrow44 the dark side
03/28/13 8:54 am

There are probably animals in the woods hearing this sound so yes it does. To think just because humans might not hear the tree fall does not mean it doesn't make a sound, an other arrogant human misconception.

BadWolf The Library
03/28/13 8:56 am

You think physics defines waves as perceived by humans?

SFannin5 Buckeye Country
03/28/13 9:06 am

Physics says that sound is in waves and psychology says that the mind perceives sound.

And that is not the question, no one is around.

BadWolf The Library
03/28/13 9:12 am

Psychology does not define sound as only perceived.

SFannin5 Buckeye Country
03/28/13 9:17 am

It defines sound as a wave that is received by the ear and then into the cerebral cortex to be perceived to what the sound was.

03/29/13 5:18 am

Sound waves stimulate the eardrum, which stimulates the bones on the ear to vibrate.This is picked up by tiny hair cells in the cochlea which stimulates your auditory nerve that sends a signal to your brain that a sound is present. Your brain identifies the sound.The brain doesn't create the sound.

03/28/13 6:05 am

Quantum mechanics humanity's best description of the physical world says no if no consciousness is around to experience the tree falling and the corresponding sound it doesn't exist.

1111111 Wayne
03/28/13 6:05 pm

No, because quantum mechanics applies to quantum scales.

kenimini The Dreamer
03/28/13 4:20 am

Yes. Makes a crkkk bkkk sound and no one will hear it. Easy as that.

03/27/13 10:56 pm

If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody hears it, does a hipster record it as his ringtone?

KudosToYou California
03/27/13 9:03 pm

Just got home from physics; to confirm what most of us already know, if a tree falls in a forest and nobody is their to hear it, it still produces a sound.

03/28/13 12:44 am

Physics laws are part of our interpretation of reality. They aren't independent from the mind; take the refinements performed from Newtonian to quantum physics as evidence. One needs an observer to give meaning to reality.

03/27/13 8:26 pm

Yes, it does make a sound, regardless if anyone is there to hear it

03/27/13 6:30 pm

Hey guys I'm baaaaaack lol

EarlyBird Portland
03/27/13 7:24 pm

RJ was looking for you awhile ago.

03/28/13 3:42 pm

Whoops lol. I was a little late. It's PugS lol. Not pigs.

03/27/13 6:28 pm

A NOISE has to be HEARD in order to be considered a SOUND. Dumb a$$e$

03/27/13 7:40 pm

Actually, sound is vibrations that travel through the air even with out a person present. P.S. Your the A$$

03/27/13 5:10 pm

one time I peed in the woods no one was around, did anyone see it

03/27/13 4:04 pm

Sound is the perception of the mind. There is no sound if a person/animal is not around to translate the air waves and interpret them as sound. So if a tree falls in the woods with no one around, it does not make a sound.

111caesar111 Seattle
03/27/13 4:07 pm

Sound existed on earth long before anyone to hear it. Nature is not silent.

RandFan Headed to IPhone rehab
03/27/13 4:22 pm

Sound is a pressure wave in a conductive medium such as air or water. No observer is required for it to exist.

Basic physics people.

03/27/13 4:31 pm

Its a pressure wave picked up by peoples ears.

1111111 Wayne
03/27/13 4:36 pm

Pressure wave that can be picked up by people's ears.

03/27/13 5:16 pm

I disagree. Sound is sound regardless of animal interpretation Pops!

03/27/13 3:58 pm

Noise by definition audio heard

1111111 Wayne
03/27/13 4:00 pm

I know they're usually synonymous, but details count here.

03/27/13 3:48 pm

To those who discount the need for an observer: We must all be surrounded by an infinite amount of various sensations that we don't know about because we only have five senses. That tree is making "glorbles"! I just can't "glorf" it!

RandFan Headed to IPhone rehab
03/27/13 3:54 pm

And you disprove your own point yet again.

The tree is still producing "Glorbles" regardless of your ability to perceive it.

BadWolf The Library
03/27/13 4:32 pm

We can't perceive Radiation. You going to say those don't exist?

03/27/13 4:58 pm

Mit: Once again, the question was not,
"Was a vibratory wave produced?" Here's a radiation question for you: What color are gamma waves?

KudosToYou California
03/27/13 9:09 pm

Sound is indeed a (longitudinal) wave.

ishady 86451132020
03/27/13 3:41 pm

If a tree falls on Glenn beck in the forest, and no one is there to see it, would it still be funny?

EarlyBird Portland
03/27/13 3:43 pm

Hahaha... Hell yes!!

RandFan Headed to IPhone rehab
03/27/13 3:34 pm

So the sound produced by elephants that are below the range of human hearing isn't a sound? Sounds that birds make that are above the range of human hearing aren't sounds?

Simple science people. Give it a try, actual reality can be fun!

03/27/13 3:26 pm

1 a : a particular auditory impression : tone
b : the sensation perceived by the sense of hearing
c : mechanical radiant energy that is transmitted by longitudinal pressure waves in a material medium (as air) and is the objective cause of hearing

03/27/13 3:27 pm

So, no, sound is not just "the wave". An observer is required. All if the definitions (copied from Websters) involve hearing.

RandFan Headed to IPhone rehab
03/27/13 3:28 pm

Um..... C) proves that sound exists independent of the human auditory system.

1111111 Wayne
03/27/13 3:29 pm

But that doesn't mean that they require hearing.

RandFan Headed to IPhone rehab
03/27/13 3:30 pm

So a device that fires sound waves at a glass can only break it if someone is in the room?

Great logic. *face palm*

1111111 Wayne
03/27/13 3:32 pm

No, Rand, that's just a pressure wave, which is what sound is. Oh, wait...

03/27/13 3:33 pm

No, c) does not prove that. It still references an objective cause of HEARING.

Of course the glass breaks. Tony didn't ask if energy was produced (yes) but if sound was produced (no). At least come up with some good objections.

1111111 Wayne
03/27/13 3:37 pm

C doesn't require a sound to be heard in order to exist, though.

RandFan Headed to IPhone rehab
03/27/13 3:44 pm

C) states that its a cause of hearing, but nowhere in that definition is the observer required.

If you throw a rock at me, it will cause a lawsuit. The lawsuit wasn't necessary for you to throw the rock.

BadWolf The Library
03/27/13 4:33 pm

You could also use the scientific definition. Which doesn't need a receptor.

KudosToYou California
03/27/13 9:12 pm

Sound, longitudinal wave phenomenon that consists of successive compressions and rarefractions of the medium through which it travels.

1111111 Wayne
03/27/13 2:50 pm

"It's just a pressure wave until you hear it." -many people
"Oh my god! What do you think sound is? It's a freaking pressure wave repeated at an interval!" -me

03/27/13 3:20 pm

Actually sound is perceived by the observer. Without a mind there is no sound. Yes, I know that this depends upon your definition, but in my book a pressure wave by itself is not sound.

RandFan Headed to IPhone rehab
03/27/13 3:27 pm

Then your book is wrong.
lfb. Give critical thinking and science a try sometime.

03/27/13 3:31 pm

Rand: I've likely done more critical thinking in an afternoon than many have in their life. I'd "one up" the tree/sound discussion and say that the universe is based on perception. Read Bishop Berkeley and apply his thoughts to the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paper. Critical enough for ya?

1111111 Wayne
03/27/13 3:33 pm

Critical, but I disagree. Although I do agree with the theory that our existence is the reason that the universe can support life. Otherwise, we wouldn't be alive to ask why.

03/27/13 3:36 pm

You're free to disagree (I don't think that it's our existence either, but I see your point), or even disagree with the "sound" question. But to suggest that I'm not thinking critically is presumptuous nonsense. The "no" answer to this question was one that I have after much critical thought.

1111111 Wayne
03/27/13 3:38 pm

And after seeing so many posts on this, I can see why you think that. In the end, it comes down to how you define sound: a physical phenomenon or a sensation.

RandFan Headed to IPhone rehab
03/27/13 3:41 pm

Observation is not necessary for existence.

For example my car exists right now, even though I am not looking directly at it.

03/27/13 3:49 pm

1111: Agreed, it depends on your definition.

03/27/13 2:32 pm

If someone's deaf and can't hear doesn't mean that there is no noise going on around them.

eadg Dagobah
03/27/13 2:27 pm

According to quantum mechanics and the observer problem the correct answer is actually no.

1111111 Wayne
03/27/13 2:48 pm

Quantum mechanic apply ONLY to quantum scales.

ArechiDan Post Apocalyptic America
03/27/13 2:55 pm

And most things are made of things based in the quantum...could that still not be relevant?

Idk, im tired i dnt feel like thinking

1111111 Wayne
03/27/13 2:56 pm

Wasteland, because molecules in a macro scale situation constantly interact with other molecules, the same rules no longer apply.

1111111 Wayne
03/27/13 3:01 pm

Yes. By interacting with other particles, superposition is eliminated.

akgoat UniversityofAlaska
03/27/13 2:27 pm

This has been answered many times. The short answer is no.

RandFan Headed to IPhone rehab
03/27/13 3:31 pm

Not the bear by my brother's house. It poops on his deck.

dannypo Michigan
03/27/13 2:19 pm

No. It is just a series of pressure waves untill it is detected by and auditory organ. Only then is it sound.

akgoat UniversityofAlaska
03/27/13 2:28 pm

You really need to read this thread. That all depends on what definition off sound you use.

ArechiDan Post Apocalyptic America
03/27/13 2:59 pm

Yea, not a fan of the auditory organ requirement.

BadWolf The Library
03/27/13 3:01 pm

Neither is the field of audiology

03/27/13 2:02 pm

If Richard Simmons is alone the woods is he still annoying? Of course.

03/27/13 1:50 pm

Well of course it does!I mean seriously just because someone didnt HEAR it doesn't mean that it DIDN'T produce if u have ur headphones/earbuds on a really low volume so that u can only hear it when it's in ur ear. U take it out, put it back in. It still made sound wether audible or not.

runupertthach Milwaukee
03/27/13 1:45 pm

I said no at first, but after reading some of the discussion and doing some wiki research, I have concluded that it is a yes. Sound still happens because it is the mechanical property of vibration. That tree is going to make the air vibrate along with itself. So sound definitely occurs.

03/27/13 2:50 pm

Hahaha "wiki research"...that's like saying "chess athleticism."

03/27/13 3:23 pm

But is vibrating air "sound" if it is not perceived? Isn't it just vibrating air? Otherwise you'd have to say that there is "sound" even if air is vibrating at an inaudible frequency.

akgoat UniversityofAlaska
03/27/13 2:29 pm

Not if its a city bear. We have plenty of those here.

eddiej Virginia
03/27/13 12:00 pm

thought sound was just the vibration... not the reception of the vibration... so yeah, if the tree fell and hit the ground, it made a sound.... some vibrations are not able to be picked up by a brain, but it still made a sound regardless... perception does not matter

03/27/13 3:24 pm

Perception is the key. Tony isn't asking "did the air vibrate" but "was there a sound?" Sound requires perception by a mind.