2 If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? Is this really tha?

this is a continuation of the cool ?

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

I know this is such a cliche question, but I started thinking about it and realized that it's actually a bit complex.

I know this is such a cliche question, but I started thinking about it and realized that it's actually a bit complex.

This is what one person wrote and no the best answer picked.

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

Well sound is: "the sensation produced by stimulation of the organs of hearing by vibrations transmitted through the air or other medium."

So technically, if the energy vibrations that would cause sound never reach the 'organs of hearing', then no- it does not make a sound.

It's kind of like the 'Schroeders Cat' experiment...you never know unless you observe it, but to observe it would change the outcome...

now this is what I think :

All liveing things w ears hear things almost the same way land or water so yes some alive animal herd it even if it was not human.

I beleive that the wave form of the movement of mass makes sound not the human ear thing, sound just is and if an alian came hear I think it would hear us like we can hear if equipt w ears,...like when a dog or pariot imitates us the same way in our sounds sometimes other planitory creachers don't that have ears can't hear well but they may feel the wind change or the rumbel of a tree falling tus the other trees around the falling tree an altinitive way of sound which the ear works of of in the first place it just maters what other sence's the alive speices have to over beirdon the mind or whatever.

ok I'm probely the worst speller on earth so now that we all know their is no point in telling me so since it is obvouse tanx tell me what you think the truth is I would like to reed your thoughts on this!

36 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Does that mean if you couldn't touch water....that means it is not wet?

    Or if you were is a cave and couldn't see the sun come up...that means it doesn't?

    If you never had the ability to taste...then that means there is no taste for anybody else?

    Simple answer I have given for years....Yes it does make a sound...you are simply not there to hear it.

    When a musician cuts a cd you are not there to hear it...but there is recorded sound right? Take a recorder into the forest and leave...when the tree falls and you play the recording....I am positive you will hear the sound. Trust me.... =+)

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm saying yes. The question isn't about what or who hears it, it simply asks if a tree falls, does it makes a sound or not. The ears just change the sound wave into electrochemical signals that the brain can use (you really don't "hear" or "see" anything anyways, as it's all just modeled in you brain).

    Granted, the law of probability does say that given enough time, a tree may fall and not make a sound, but believe me, the odds are that the tree makes a sound.

    And because "Sound is a traveling wave which is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas...", all there needs to be is that wave. Being able to perceive the sound is irrelevant.

    If it was, I could then ask, if a deaf person can't hear me talk, am I really talking?

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  • I read that too, and it burns me, cause they read and used what they wanted to to make their argument, it's like a horribly skewed documentary (Mr. Maher!) If you read the definition on www.dictionary.com just below that one they used you'll see another defintion and see that sound has nothing to do with the Ear, humans, or an other organs. Sound is independent of Hearing, which is a biological adaptation to detect sound. Sound waves are produced by molecules transferring energy in a medium (i.e. air, water, etc). Therefore you don't need to actually hear a sound for it to exist. Take for example the Big Bang, and just from it's title it sounds like a noisy event. But just because no one was there are you going to argue it didnt make a sound? Well guess what, as humans progressed technologically we've created machines that allows us to hear the sound as it echos across the universe, anyone who's gotten static on their radio, or old bunny ears TV sets knows this for a fact. Another good example is looking at the Electromagentic Spectrum, all we see is visible light, a very narrow band on the grand scale of things there, but just because we can't see UV, or microwave wavelengths doesnt mean they're not out there. Besides nature acts in accordance with rules, laws, limitations, and not really assumptions but expectations. If you throw an object up, it's gonna come down (and no I don't want to hear any helium balloon arguments on that, you know what I mean), Gravity is there, it always will be there, gravity doesn't randomly turn itself on and off. You can watch, listen and hear the sound of a million trees falling in the woods and hear that they make a noise, it's a logical inference then that any and ALL trees that fall in the woods will make a noise, going back once again to: just cause you didn't hear it, doesn't mean it didn't make a noise.

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  • 1 decade ago

    OK everyone....this question is easily answered using 9th grade Physical Science. Any science text book will say you need 3 things to make a sound. With out any of the three...the "sound" can not be heard. They are:

    1. A vibrating source. (ie. the tree hitting the ground)

    2. A material medium to travel though such as a solid, liquid, or gas.

    3. A listening device either artifical or natural (ie. tape recorder, an ear, etc.)

    without this trinity, you can not hear a sound.

    SO if no listening device is present, no sound can be heard. A vibration may be made.....but without a listening device, the sound will never be heard....period.

    Be sure to thank your Physical Science teacher next time to see them.

    Source(s): Any phycial science corse ever taught, and the teachers that offer the knowledge
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  • 1 decade ago

    This "philosophical" question is nauseatingly anthropocentric. According to popular theory, the earth has existed for approximately 4.5 billion years or so. So-called modern humans have existed for a maybe 200,000 years, a mere fraction of that time, and that's a liberal estimate. Of that 200,000 years of modern human existence, we only have about 6 to 7 thousand years of shoddy recorded history. We can take this further by speculating at the age of the universe, currently the most popular guesses are around 13 - 14 billion years. We humans have not been around to "observe" much of anything that has occurred on earth let alone the universe; and yet a great deal has occurred despite our absence to observe any of it, to state it mildly. For the most part, when we look into the night sky we are only viewing evidence of past "astronomical" events that occurred well before our time. The stars we see now are lights from billions of year ago. To say that an event or a "cause and effect" does not happen because we are not there to observe it, is quite simply childish and naive. Perhaps we are not there to put words to it and describe it, but the event still occurs with or without us, and whatever reactions this may cause, such as sound still occur as well. Humans are not the center of the universe.

    would there be no such thing as sound if I were deaf?

    would there be no such thing as light if I were blind?

    These things may be perceived differently or not at all based on my own perspective and senses, but they still exist with or without me.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I’m sorry but first of all the “chosen” answer for the initial question is entirely off track. For that answer to be correct would mean that human beings are the only creatures or objects that can “hear” or observe sound in other forms, i.e. vibrations.

    Sound itself is NOT a sensation it is an action and every action has a positive or negative reaction. This is basic science. The world does not nor will it ever revolve around humans (however much we would like it to). Just because our process of hearing is one of our “sensations” does not mean that it is the same for the ground, ocean, or other living things beside us. Example: the ocean can “hear” (hear is used for a lack of a better word) sounds even though it is not necessarily living, it is effected with or without you or me or any other living naked ape that thinks they are the all powerful knowing machine because they “Googled” the process of hearing.

    Source(s): My Brain
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  • 4 years ago

    You kinda got halfway to the right answer, then got a bit sidetracked trying to justify it in terms of that other person's answer. Sound waves are a physical property, and will exist completely without regard to whether or not anything is around to hear it, human or otherwise. Hearing and perception of sound are properties of ears & living creatures, but sound itself exists whether or not it is perceived. The "if a tree falls in the forest..." thing is an ancient philosophical question which predates our current understanding of how sound works. It was a valid question at one point, a long long time ago, but we know the actual answer now, so it's really not difficult at all.

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  • 1 decade ago

    What you are referring to as "Schroeder's Cat" is actually the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

    The problem with this "ancient riddle" is that it is anthropocentric. It only makes any kind of sense if you imagine that human beings are the only ones who exist.

    It would be like asking: "Did the sun shine before the first human was born?" If no human eyes were there to see it and give it a name?

    Of course that is an absurdity.

    In religious terms: "Did the sun shine before Adam was made?"

    What do you think? Of course it did!

    Sound, like light, is a wave. It travels over space, time, distance whether or not anyone is there to notice.

    A different way of thinking about this would be: if every last human being died, would that mean the end of History?

    Of course not. What has already happened, happened. History exists whether anyone is present to study it.

    Facts are facts that exist in Reality whether we have heard of them or not. The difficulty with anthropocentrism -- and it comes in two strains, that of people who believe in Something higher than humans, and that of people who believe in Nothing higher than humans -- is it leads straight into selfishness and the notion that unless "I have personally participated in an experience" it is not actually valid. And so we dismiss the testimony of others, or evidence present at a scene, because "I did not hear the sound of the tree falling therefore it did not fall -- I do not love your chosen soulmate therefore there is no reason to love him or her -- I have not studied that aspect of history therefore it did not happen -- I do not believe in God therefore believing in God is backward, stupid or insane -- I believe in God therefore you are crazy not to believe -- I have not felt this pain you claim to be feeling therefore it does not exist (or you exaggerate it)."

    The corollary to your original question is: "If I hear the sound of a tree falling, does that mean a tree actually fell?"

    No: you could be imagining things. You could be dreaming. You could be watching a cartoon with sound effects.

    A human being is but a tiny, infinitesimally small part of the Cosmos. Our presence or absence, and even our most intense perceptions or experiences, are ultimately rather trivial in the greater context of life. That is why the fragile and fleeting nature of Whatever we cherish makes That particularly beautiful and dear to us...

    And that is also why imagining there is "no one else present but us (including God)," or "nothing more real than what my own body and skin tells me" is actually a nothing else than failure of the imagination.

    We should always be listening carefully for the faint echoes of trees falling somewhere far, far away, and trying to understand what that might be like, or have been like, even if we are not (were not) physically present.

    Which is kind of what you are doing with your questions here.

    Source(s): Logic, high school and college.
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  • 1 decade ago

    No matter what, it will make a sound. Sound is also defined as Vibrations transmitted through a gas (or air) in frequencies of 20 -20000 hertz and is CAPABLE of being detected by a human organ. A tree cracking at the base, falling and hitting the earth will make a frequency louder than 20 hertz. If a river of water goes over a ledge (a waterfall) and no one can hear it splash at the base of the waterfall, does it make a sound? OF COURSE IT DOES! Sound will happen no matter if someone hears it or not.

    Source(s): ask.com
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Ok I have NO IDEA what your question was but here are a few simple laws of PHYSICS- sound cannot travel through a vacuum (it requires a medium) and it requires receptor of some kind in order to pick it up (although it can be recorded through various methods) If an Alien had ears then yes they would hear(given their frequency range ect..)...animals can hear different frequencies higher and lower than human- basically in order for sound to "exist" it needs to be heard by something....

    The vibrations will happen no matter what but sound as we know it will not...Please stop asking this question- if you don't get it by now you never will...

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