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View Poll Results: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?
Yes 23 79.31%
No 6 20.69%
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  #1  
Old 03.06.2011, 12:35
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Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to hear it ?

The answer is No.


Have your fun, and I will come back and prove all the "Yes" people wrong.
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:44
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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The answer is No.


Have your fun, and I will come back and prove all the "Yes" people wrong.
Are you asking from a physicist's, biologist's, philosophical point of view, as the answer varies. The answer basically varies around the definition of sound - i.e. is it the propogation of a sound wave, the receipt/recording or a wave or the interpretation of a wave (into noise).
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:46
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

What about if a tree falls in the fridge when the door is closed. Does the light stay on ?
  #4  
Old 03.06.2011, 12:47
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

Yes and No:

If sound is "vibrations through the air, received by an ear, processed by a brain, interpreted as "sounds"" then NO

If sound is "vibrations through the air with the potential to be received by an ear and then processed by a brain" then YES.

Can I recommend 4Chan?
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:47
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

Careful UtH, that stuff will make your testicles shrink.

And to "here" something is a little quantum for me; and do you mean a tree while it's falling, or a tree as it hits the ground after falling?
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:47
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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Are you asking from a physicist's, biologist's, philosophical point of view, as the answer varies. The answer basically varies around the definition of sound - i.e. is it the propogation of a sound wave, the receipt/recording or a wave or the interpretation of a wave (into noise).
Make your choice. But a sound wave is something completely different to a sound, just as a cable TV signal is something completely different to a TV picture. Where is the picture, in the cable, on the TV or in the mind of the viewer ? That is not something debatable or ambiguous as you try to make it.
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:48
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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Make your choice. But a sound wave is something completely different to a sound, just as a cable TV signal is something completely different to a TV picture. Where is the picture, in the cable, on the TV or in the mind of the viewer ? That is not something debatable or ambiguous as you try to make it.
You make my point beautifully

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Yes and No:

If sound is "vibrations through the air, received by an ear, processed by a brain, interpreted as "sounds"" then NO

If sound is "vibrations through the air with the potential to be received by an ear and then processed by a brain" then YES.

Can I recommend 4Chan?
As does Eco.

There's another debate string to that:

If sound is "vibrations through the air with the potential to be received by an ear and then processed by a non-human brain" then NO.

If sound is "vibrations through the air with the potential to be received by an ear and then processed by a human brain" then YES.
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:49
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to hear it ?

I am not sure what is shrinking....but "here" as opposed to "hear"?

Bunch of proud, sophisticated EF scientists, hihihihi.
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:50
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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Careful UtH, that stuff will make your testicles shrink.
...at the expense of expanding your mind ?
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:50
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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That is not something debatable or ambiguous as you try to make it.
Let me guess... you are a scientist, right?
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:52
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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Let me guess... you are a scientist, right?
Homeopathist.
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:52
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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You make my point beautifully



As does Eco.

There's another debate string to that:

If sound is "vibrations through the air with the potential to be received by an ear and then processed by a non-human brain" then NO.

If sound is "vibrations through the air with the potential to be received by an ear and then processed by a human brain" then YES.
Sound means one thing. Not your latter choice. Sound waves <> Sounds unless a mind is involved in the interpretation. To have sounds , you need a conscious mind to hear, thus a presence, thus around the tree when it falls.
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:52
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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...at the expense of expanding your mind ?
Expand yours- I've put enough of "Timothy's Choice" chemicals though my system to know that it does jack squat for your mind.
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:55
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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Homeopathist.
Then he makes as much sound as one hand clapping. That answers the question above.
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:57
economisto
 
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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Sound means one thing. Not your latter choice. Sound waves <> Sounds unless a mind is involved in the interpretation. To have sounds , you need someone to hear, thus a presence, thus around the tree when it falls.
Ever get tired of being obviously and provably wrong?

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sound

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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 feet (331 meters) per second at sea level.
3.the particular auditory effect produced by a given cause: the sound of music.

Defintion 1 is your (sole) definition. That is, the experiential sensation.
Definition 2 is the other definition, that is, the mechanical effect in the medium.

However there is another definition of sound, which encompasses both (emphasis added) and which I particularly like:

Vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person's or animal's ear

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en...w=1366&bih=643
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Old 03.06.2011, 12:57
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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Sound means one thing. Not your latter choice. Sound waves <> Sounds unless a mind is involved in the interpretation. To have sounds , you need someone to hear, thus a presence, thus around the tree when it falls.
Sound and sounds waves are inextricably linked. You can't have sound without sound waves, unless you electronically implant an artificial hearing device. You can have sound waves without sound.

But where do you draw the line?

Do sound waves that cause sound for animals count, even if you - assuming you are not really a chimp - or I can't hear them?

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Sound means one thing. Not your latter choice. Sound waves <> Sounds unless a mind is involved in the interpretation. To have sounds , you need a conscious mind to hear, thus a presence, thus around the tree when it falls.
Ah, so you are going for the philosophical angle. A physicist might disagree with you.

So answer this - one person is deaf the other not and the tree falls - both are blinded from the sight of the tree falling and do not feel the pressure wave or thump as the tree fell. Does/did the sound exist?
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Old 03.06.2011, 13:04
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

I'm pretty sure I had lessons about Existenz and Essenz in my youth. Didn't you?
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Old 03.06.2011, 13:09
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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So answer this - one person is deaf the other not and the tree falls - both are blinded from the sight of the tree falling and do not feel the pressure wave or thump as the tree fell. Does/did the sound exist?

As a pressure wave, yes, but Eco's reference is a poor one for a sound.

..and as an interpretation in a human mind of the pressure wave hitting the ear drum and being transmitted from mechanical movements into electrical brain activity, then no. (If by feeling you mean 'being felt by the anvil/hammer/stirrup bones etc)

Will pick this up later. I have to shoot some pool with the kids.
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Old 03.06.2011, 13:11
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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As a pressure wave, yes, but Eco's reference is a poor one for a sound.
It's not "Eco's reference". It's all dictionary definitions. All of them. The entire world's understanding of the various definitions of sound.
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Old 03.06.2011, 13:17
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Re: Does a tree falling in the forest make a sound if no one is around to here it ?

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As a pressure wave, yes, but Eco's reference is a poor one for a sound.

..and as an interpretation in a human mind of the pressure wave hitting the ear drum and being transmitted from mechanical movements into electrical brain activity, then no. (If by feeling you mean 'being felt by the anvil/hammer/stirrup bones etc)

Will pick this up later. I have to shoot some pool with the kids.
No. As in two identical individuals bar one is deaf, the other not and they are shielded from all effects of the tree falling bar the sound (wave). One person being deaf will hear nothing, while the other will hear the sound of the tree falling.

Yet, if you go by your definition of a conscious mind interpreting the sound, then for the deaf person there will have been no sound.

So who are we to believe - the person who heard it or the person who didn't?

And if we believe the deaf person that there was no sound, does that mean that the tree made no sound?
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