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

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    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!
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      Yes, it does.
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      Yes, it makes a very loud crashing sound.
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      How do you know that?
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      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.
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      (Original post by The_Faceman)
      How do you know that?
      The principle of induction. Although it can neither be proved or disproved, as Bertrand Russell explains in his "Problems of Philosophy", we do have good reason to trust it (else everyday life would make little sense).
      I would read chapters I,II and VI for additional guidance on this matter. The former two discusses the existence of a physical world logically independent of our perception, which extends to the very causes of our senses; e.g light, whilst the latter explains the inductive principle which can be applied to the falling tree scenario.
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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.
      Vibrating air molecules are only perceived as noise by the brain.

      Otherwise they're simply vibrating air molecules.

      Radiowaves themselves don't make a noise. The radio does.

      (As long as there is someone around to hear the radio of course ho ho)
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      It depends.
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      (Original post by Henry Prichard)
      Vibrating air molecules are only perceived as noise by the brain.

      Otherwise they're simply vibrating air molecules.

      Radiowaves themselves don't make a noise. The radio does.

      (As long as there is someone around to hear the radio of course ho ho)
      Well, sound is defined as vibrations which travel through the air. So it does make a sound.

      As has been said, we use induction to expect that macroscopic events occur in the same way regardless of their perception by humans. We would assume that humans have no particularly special place in consciousness. The fact that our scientific theories (based on only modern observations) can explain much of the events that occurred without our observing them is testament to this.

      If a rabbit is around, does the tree make a sound? What about if an insect is around? What about another plant? What about the tree itself?
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      If your definition of noise requires a recipient, then no.

      If your definition of noise does not require a recipient, then yes.
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      There are the sound of the fall. Besides you may find the tree, which is going to fall in the wind weather. Such trees usually crack, and you hear it. So when I collect mushrooms in the forest, and the wind provides such tree cracks, I leave the place, so that such a tree didn't fall on me by accident.
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      (Original post by Joel R)
      Well, sound is defined as vibrations which travel through the air. So it does make a sound.
      Sound is what happens when these vibrations are interpreted by the brain


      As has been said, we use induction to expect that macroscopic events occur in the same way regardless of their perception by humans. We would assume that humans have no particularly special place in consciousness. The fact that our scientific theories (based on only modern observations) can explain much of the events that occurred without our observing them is testament to this.
      We're not doubting the scientific theory behind soundwaves

      If a rabbit is around, does the tree make a sound? What about if an insect is around? What about another plant? What about the tree itself?
      Well yes, this is what is meant by no-one around to hear it. Depending on whether the organism can hear/interpret the sound.

      (Original post by pjm600)
      If your definition of noise requires a recipient, then no.

      If your definition of noise does not require a recipient, then yes.
      This
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      Finally some one who thinks it doesn't make a sound!
      The airways only make a noise when it hits the brain so if there is no brain about how can there be noise
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      (Original post by The_Faceman)
      Finally some one who thinks it doesn't make a sound!
      The airways only make a noise when it hits the brain so if there is no brain about how can there be noise
      By that logic no one has seen it hence the tree hasn't fallen either :wizard:
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      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'.
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      (Original post by The_Faceman)
      Finally some one who thinks it doesn't make a sound!
      The airways only make a noise when it hits the brain so if there is no brain about how can there be noise
      Your brain helps you recognise that there is already a sound there. It doesn't 'make up' sounds, it interprets them, which requires that they exist independently of the brain.

      If you switch a light on in a room, and close the door, is it still lit?

      Of course it is. Even though your brain interprets electromagnetic waves as light, that doesn't mean that the light wasn't there before you experienced it.

      Again, why do you assume the tree can't 'hear'? That hardly seems fair.
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      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound

      "Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through some medium (like air or water), composed of frequencies within the range of hearing."

      Hope this clears up what sound means.
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      (Original post by The_Faceman)
      How do you know that?
      Laws of physics brah.
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      (Original post by Joel R)
      Your brain helps you recognise that there is already a sound there. It doesn't 'make up' sounds, it interprets them, which requires that they exist independently of the brain.
      The soundwave exists independently of the brain. The 'sound' associated with it can only exist 'in' the brain.

      Does music exist inside the soundwave? When does it become music? In the brain
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      (Original post by Henry Prichard)
      The soundwave exists independently of the brain. The 'sound' associated with it can only exist 'in' the brain.

      Does music exist inside the soundwave? When does it become music? In the brain
      Sigh.

      Ever had an electronic guitar tuner, or similar?

      Not a brain, can detect music.

      If you had perfect pitch, you could use such a tuner to sing a song you'd never heard. The sound you hear in your mind and the physical wave are two different things, but both are 'sounds'.

      Edit: Realised I'm kind of repeating what you said. Regardless, why do you give the 'mindsound' precedence over the 'soundwave' when someone asks you 'does it make a sound'?
     
     
     
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