Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by citys4, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. citys4 Registered Senior Member

    if a tree falls in the forest and no one heard it
    did it make a sound
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    "Sound" usually requires there to be an observer to interpret the waves into "sound".
    With no observer there would be no "sound" but the bigger question is whether the forest even exists with noone around to observe it.

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  5. Spectrum Registered Senior Member

    Yes it does and I know this because one can take a photograph. You can take a photograph of the tree and walk anywhere in the world. You know that when you return the tree should still be there. if it has fallen over then you know it has made a noise.
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  7. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    But the camera, assuming the picture/movie etc is watched, is the observer - so does not get around the "noone to hear it" (i.e. "no observer").
  9. John99 Banned Banned

    The sound is part of the tree falling. Look at it like this:

    If you take a group of 20 deaf people and one of them screams\yells as loud as he could is he still yelling? YES. Not only thtat but the results are felt internally and if he kept yelling all day he may damage his vocal chords...yet not one of them heard it. The falling tree makes a sound ALL the time.
  10. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    How would anyone know if he made a sound?
    Is it the sound that damages vocal chords or the vibration caused by the air
    in our lungs when we exhale?

    There is no way to know if the tree makes a sound without hearing it, IMO.

  11. John99 Banned Banned

    Just because they dont know it does not mean it does not exist or happen. What is the difference between somehting audible and something visual?

    Do you also think that if no one sees something it didnt happen? I am saying the sound is part of the event. If a shooting star streaks across the sky and no one sees it does that mean it didnt happen? Does the star make noise\sound as it moves through the air? I know it does and i dont have to actually hear it.

    If it is raining and i walk with an umbrella completely covering me then i didnt get wet so it didnt rain?
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    And this counters my point... how, exactly, given that these deaf people are still "observers" in the equation?
    The question is with regard to ABSENCE of observers.
    Yet your example has not one observer but 20 of them.

    And "observe" is not, in this sense, restricted to sight but to the more general "interact".
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    If noone observes (sees/hears/interacts with) the star... how exactly are they going to know it did happen? And more importantly... DID it happen?
    If you say yes, then feel free to provide the evidence that you feel satisfies you that it happened.
    If you say no...
  14. John99 Banned Banned

    Well it only is relevant if the are in range.

    They can have hteir back to the person and not SEE it or the person can also make the facial expression of screaming and not actually make any sound.

    Here is another scenario along the same lines with people unable to hear sounds. Suupose you have a high powered audio system with very big speakers. You then run the power supply (in this case a long extension chord) way out ouf hearing range.

    You take the deaf person and stand him across from the speaker in a large room.

    You plug the power in and the volume is way up.

    You cant hear anything because you are out of hearing range.

    The person in the room cant hear anything.

    The person moves close to speaker and feels the vibration from the speaker cone as the vibrations reach their body.

    The deaf person knows there is sound coming but still does not hear it.
  15. John99 Banned Banned

    They know it happened because it was reported from other observers.

    Suppose they did see it and hear nothing at all? They would not have the intelligence to know there was an accompanying sound?

    The way this question tricks people is that "observe" or "see it" is used. If the person witnessed it but had their ears completely covered up so they didnt hear anything THEN ask them is it made a noise they would say "of course it made a noise".
  16. keith1 Guest

    An answer to a question, easily rationalized by simple logic or even the crudest understanding of long-practiced scientific observation methods, should not be the continued discussion of an advanced section of a science forum. In the furthering of...

    1)The uninitiated or lower intellect's ease of browsing and the unnecessary over-repeating of such simple answers.
    2)The organization of archive space and efficiency of bandwidth/server space use.
    3)Reduction of burdensome, unnecessary "side-reading" by a more advanced readership.

    ...such a collection of these often repeated questions (FAQs) should be permanently "pinned" in a forum's "initial new members" starting area, so that one can easily be directed to that reading.
  17. John99 Banned Banned

    It isnt that simlpe and either side can rationalize some responses.

    The thing with sound is that the vibrations exist with or without any other requirement\outside observation.

    Does the color red exist? It exists but it may not always be the color red. Depends on how the person or other creature sees it.
  18. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    John99 - do you deliberately fail to read the responses given to you?

    The situation is of NO OBSERVERS.
    OBSERVE, in this sense means that NOONE is able to SEE, HEAR, SMELL, TASTE or sense in ANY WAY. (see my previous post where this was explained to you).

    To answer the question with "They know it happened because it was reported from other observers" is to utterly miss the point of the question and to miss the responses made to you.

    ME: "If noone observes (sees/hears/interacts with) the star... "
    You: "They know it happened because it was reported from other observers"

    Comprehend yet?
  19. AJRelic Malformed Registered Senior Member

    Well I'm going to assume that by heard you're referring to the perception of vibrations through a medium. I also find it hard to believe that there exists a completely isolated forest that's composed of nothing but plant matter. With this in mind even the smallest of organisms are able to detect vibrations. While there may not be a person nearby to "hear" the tree falling in the sense I hear one talking, the actual propagation of sound is experienced by any of the wildlife nearby.

    I'd also like to note that just because we don't "hear" something (the conscious perception of sound) doesn't mean the sound isn't there. There are inaudible frequencies that can affect a person's emotions.
  20. X-Man2 We're under no illusions. Registered Senior Member

    Of course the tree still makes a sound,since when is sound observer dependent? Also recording the event with video and sound will prove this even if you disagree by saying it's cause the video and sound is being observed.Why? Cause the recorded event already happened in the past when viewed by the observer,while the observer was absent.The observer is after the fact.:shrug:
  21. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Nah, the whole forest is in superposition, waiting to be called into one particular timeline by an observer. Of course, a squirrel is an observer.
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Sound is entirely observer dependent. With no observer the best you have is displacement waves travelling through the air. It is only when there is an observer that those waves are interpreted into "sound". And that is not including the QM effects of there not being an observer.

    And with the use of a recording device all you have done is delay the observation, not removed the observer.

    And until the observation - even if 1,000 years later - the recorded event remains in superposition.
    In simpler terms, until you actually observe the recording you can not know what is on the recording, and so all options remain open.
    And since all options remain open with regard the recording, all options must remain open with regard the actual event.

    At least as far as my understanding of QM goes.
  23. John99 Banned Banned

    This is a response to this post and your previous one to me.

    That is where the (your) confusion comes in. Everything we do, see, hear etc. is based on human observations and that is how it is supposed to be because that is what our relationship is to the environment. The fact that no one was there to witness an event does not mean it didnt happen and the same goes for the sound it makes. Why stop at sound then? You can say the same for sight.

    And again, same for sight.

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