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If a tree falls in the wood............ Watch

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    Does the tree itself count as an observer? Then in all cases it does then make a "noise" when it falls.
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    What is the sound of one hand clapping?
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    What if there was a recording device next to the tree? Nobody is around to hear it, yet by playing back the recording, you are subjected to the same vibrations of air molecules as you would have been.

    Therefore, for me, it does make a noise.
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    (Original post by AlmightyTiberius)
    What if there was a recording device next to the tree? Nobody is around to hear it, yet by playing back the recording, you are subjected to the same vibrations of air molecules as you would have been.

    Therefore, for me, it does make a noise.
    ... the recorder behaves the same way as an ear it converts it into sound, having a recorder is practically the same thing as having an observer.
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    Well if somebody left some sort of noise/video recording device around you would be able to play it back to find out if it does. I personally think all trees are like the toys out of Toy Story and are all just staying still when people are around.
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    (Original post by John Stuart Mill)
    ... the recorder behaves the same way as an ear it converts it into sound, having a recorder is practically the same thing as having an observer.
    Yet it isn't a living observer. Once you begin to expand the list of observers, it'll become difficult to find a defining line. What about dirt on the ground that is moved by the air vibrations? I'd argue that without the sound it wouldn't have moved, and is a proof of sound.
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    (Original post by AlmightyTiberius)
    Yet it isn't a living observer. Once you begin to expand the list of observers, it'll become difficult to find a defining line. What about dirt on the ground that is moved by the air vibrations? I'd argue that without the sound it wouldn't have moved, and is a proof of sound.
    it doesn't matter if it isn't a living observer, the question is whether or not it produces a sound when 'no one is around to hear it', using a recorder defeats the point in the question; as for the dirt being moved by the ground how would you prove that without being around to observe it.
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    Yes. Yes it does. It emits a little "bark" :teehee:
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    (Original post by John Stuart Mill)
    it doesn't matter if it isn't a living observer, the question is whether or not it produces a sound when 'no one is around to hear it', using a recorder defeats the point in the question; as for the dirt being moved by the ground how would you prove that without being around to observe it.
    Perhaps you were aware that the tree was likely to fall in the immediate future, and took a picture, or recorded very precise details about the ground around the tree. After numerous returns, you notice that the tree has fallen, and you then review your data. Perhaps you can see that dirt has been moved, without the aid of any factors other than the falling of the tree.
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    I love this question so much. I'm always asking people this... I'd say about 70% of people think it would make a sound since that is the obvious answer! I myself used to think that but know I don't because everything that vibrates has the potential to be sound but someone has to have the ability to perceive it for it to actually be sound.

    Sound is a subjective interaction with matter. All that sound is, is vibrations through a medium, without humans (or any other conscious being) to perceive it, those vibrations that we call sound, when the tree fell, would make vibrations, but "sound" as we know it, couldn't exist, since no conscious being was there to interpret those vibrations.



    How do we even know the tree fell if no one was around to witness it, or even hear it?
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    I think that we cannot know, qua Cartesian skepticism.

    Even if I were to hear a tree fall in the woods, all I could that I know for certain is that I am getting the sensation that I am hearing a tree fall, and not that it actually corresponds to anything happening in reality. Plenty of people experience sensation without according stimulation - after all, we are faulty, imperfect chemical organisms. I also don't think that we can 'know' anything without being certain of it (i.e you can't say 'I knew x, but x is false'), so its wrong to say that we know trees make a sound when they fall in the woods.
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    (Original post by AlmightyTiberius)
    What if there was a recording device next to the tree? Nobody is around to hear it, yet by playing back the recording, you are subjected to the same vibrations of air molecules as you would have been.

    Therefore, for me, it does make a noise.
    The recorder would break when the tree fell on it
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    (Original post by shomshomni)
    I love this question so much. I'm always asking people this... I'd say about 70% of people think it would make a sound since that is the obvious answer! I myself used to think that but know I don't because everything that vibrates has the potential to be sound but someone has to have the ability to perceive it for it to actually be sound.

    Sound is a subjective interaction with matter. All that sound is, is vibrations through a medium, without humans (or any other conscious being) to perceive it, those vibrations that we call sound, when the tree fell, would make vibrations, but "sound" as we know it, couldn't exist, since no conscious being was there to interpret those vibrations.



    How do we even know the tree fell if no one was around to witness it, or even hear it?
    This /\
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    (Original post by fluffaduck)
    Yup, I would say it definitely makes a noise. Tree falling causes air molecules to vibrate and transmit sound waves, whether or not a human is listening, and that for me defines a noise.
    but don't the waves need a receiver (ears) to translate the waves into sound?
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    If the waves only make sound when they are "heard" by someone then there needs to be someone to hear the tree fall for it to make noise
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    They settled the debate on QI but i can't remember the answer
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    They didn't settle it, it was in the Hypothetical episode I think, they decided that it had no clear answer

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    (Original post by The_Faceman)
    What is the sound of one hand clapping?
    the sound of silence.
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    (Original post by LittleMissDancer)
    It doesn't make a sound, it causes vibrations as it passes through the air. This can only become a noise when it is received by the human (or other animal) ear.

    However, principles of quantum tell us that if we're not observing, the tree is both standing and fallen at the same time. It's only when we turn to look that it 'decides'.
    The tree is both standing and falling at the same time? It doesn't make sense. You can't be serious.
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    (Original post by The_Faceman)
    You know the age old question. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around does it make a noise.
    Lets get this answered!
    May have already been said, but:
    It makes a sound but not a noise - a noise is a sound which offends the ear. It cannot offend when no ear is near... to hear. << Dr Seuss-esque rhyme - yay for me
 
 
 
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