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If a tree falls in a wood...... that old chestnut....

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posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:14 AM
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Ok, so I was talking about this with a couple of friends over the weekend, during a particularly pungent reefer of some fine cheeba.... and wondered what ATS member thoughts were...? Maybe I can clear this up after 15 years of mulling....

It's the old argument, that if a tree falls in a wood and there is no-one around to hear it, does it make a sound?

So, my theory goes like this.......

Sound travels in vibrational waves through the air, until it reaches a surface that can change these vibrations into "information" that a human/animal/alien can percieve.... this being the ear drum obviously. Until it actually makes contact with this actuator it remains as vibrations in the air. Our ear then converts these vibrations into information that our brain perceives as noise. So, if there is no-one, animal, human or alien around to convert these vibrations into "sound", surely a sound, as we know it, is not present..... just vibrations.....

I believe this to mean that their would be no "sound", certainly as we perceive sound to be anyway....

I suppose it ties in with the argument, that when there is no light, no object has any colour... in the dark, everything has no colour.....

This is because the colour that you see emanating from an object is not contained within the object itself, it is a reflection in theory.... it means that that particular item absorbs every other wavelength of light, except for the wavelength that we see. This is why plants are green.... they absorb every other wavelength of light except green.....

Can anyone confirm my musings??

PA




posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:26 AM
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You're actually half correct - but that's the entire point of the chestnut.

It depends entirely on what one defines 'sound' as. If sound is merely the vibration and needs not a receiver that can transform those vibrations into electrical pulses, then absolutely - a tree falling in the woods makes a sound regardless of who's around.

However, if you are to define sound as the interpreted electrical impulses translated via a wave, then a receptor is needed and no, there is no sound if there is nothing to hear it.

The saying isn't so much a 'chicken and the egg' conundrum as a 'depends on how you choose to see it' conundrum.
edit on 27-7-2011 by memoir because: butter fingers.



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:28 AM
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Originally posted by memoir
You're actually half correct - but that's the entire point of the chestnut.

It depends entirely on what one defines 'sound' as. If sound is merely the vibration and needs not a receiver that can transform those vibrations into electrical pulses, then absolutely - a tree falling in the woods makes a sound regardless of who's around.

However, if you are to define sound as the interpreted electrical impulses translated via a wave, then a receptor is needed and no, there is no sound if there is nothing to hear it.

The saying isn't so much a 'chicken and the egg' conundrum as a 'depends on how you choose to see it' conundrum.
edit on 27-7-2011 by memoir because: butter fingers.



Bet me too it!



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:29 AM
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Your right, nothing exists until it reaches a perceived state, this was also the purpose of schrodinger's cat experiment.

Schrodingers's cat

The purpose of the tree analogy is to show that phenomena does not have inherent existence, it is only by it being perceived that it takes on meaning and that meaning being individual to that that perceives.



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by PerfectAnomoly
 


Cool thought!

But.. Isnt sound vibration?

You still raise a very interesting argument there.

S&F



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:41 AM
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reply to post by PerfectAnomoly
 


As long as you reduce "the fall of a Tree" to Sound/ Noise or what so ever only
you will not find the Answer!

The falling Tree is more than just a Sound!



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by Jamjar
Your right, nothing exists until it reaches a perceived state, this was also the purpose of schrodinger's cat experiment.

Schrodingers's cat

The purpose of the tree analogy is to show that phenomena does not have inherent existence, it is only by it being perceived that it takes on meaning and that meaning being individual to that that perceives.



Thanks... a very succinct answer..... to be honest...as i was writing the thread I realised that it came down to perception of the word "sound".....



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by theRhenn
reply to post by PerfectAnomoly
 


Cool thought!

But.. Isnt sound vibration?

You still raise a very interesting argument there.

S&F


Thanks.... not sure I understand what you are getting at? The fact that sound is merely a vibration is the main point of the OP...



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:47 AM
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Originally posted by theRhenn
reply to post by PerfectAnomoly
 


Cool thought!

But.. Isnt sound vibration?

You still raise a very interesting argument there.

S&F


Yes, sound is vibration - that travels in waves. However, until a transducer such as an ear or a microphone is vibrated by that wave and translates that wave into the sound we eventually hear - there is no audible sound.



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:51 AM
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Even if there are no people there, there are lots of critters with ears, and I bet they hear the tree fall. So yeah, it makes a sound.

The more important question is- if a man says something in the forest, and there is no woman there to hear it, is he still wrong?



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:56 AM
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reply to post by PerfectAnomoly
 


Light also travels in waves the same as 'sound'. Unless there is a percieving consciousness in the wood there would be no tree or wood.



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 10:00 AM
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Originally posted by subject x
Even if there are no people there, there are lots of critters with ears, and I bet they hear the tree fall. So yeah, it makes a sound.

The more important question is- if a man says something in the forest, and there is no woman there to hear it, is he still wrong?


Lol..... of course... he is always wrong... didn't your mum teach you that?

In response to your first line....... if you notice, I stipulated that there were no humans/animals/aliens present..... (had to put the alien bit in there in light of my knowledge of the members of ATS).

PA
edit on 27-7-2011 by PerfectAnomoly because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 10:27 AM
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reply to post by PerfectAnomoly
 


There is no "sound" except by human (animal) definition. Move the scene to space and there is no sound, ever.

Or create directly to the brain via implants the purely electrical stimulations that give up the impression of sound and you and the quite reversed truth. In both instances, there is no "sound." That concept is a human invention stemming from ignorance and a misplace importance on human preceptions of Nature..



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by PerfectAnomoly
 

Soundchaser..? Searching For the Sound? Yes, there is a sound... You can change perceptions but reality won't budge. The Light analogy doesn't apply here... being that the vibrations on an ear drum = sound... isn't the same as claiming there is no "light" because you didn't "see" it.... the light is still there.... Just as the sound still is.

Some will tie themselves into knots in a blindsided subjective / objective paradigm of self-induced perplexed reality as "They see it"! or... in this case maybe... as they "hear it" or not? hmmmmm

Who has ears to hear, let them hear... or Eyes to see... let them see.... See?

That Deaf Dumb and Blind Kid.... sure plays a mean pinball. "I see" said the blind man.

Just because someone listens doesn't mean they hear... Just because someone can look right at something doesn't mean they see it AT ALL. In fact, in this regard, many people with functioning senses would NEVER hear a tree fall, even if it falls on their crown!

Thanks for listening... ah... hearing... ah maybe seein'....

*Serafine

Post Scripture:... They say that love is blind, but even a blind man knows.. When The Sun Is Shinning!



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 11:00 AM
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I love this chestnut ... I've been in this conversation before. My thoughts - reality only exists because we are here to perceive. If there is no one to perceive the tree, then the tree doesn't exist. Therefore, it can’t make a sound. Perception is everything… I perceive the desk in front of me to be a solid object, but actually.. it’s not..

“The illusionary atom”
www.joyousness.org...

Another question to ask yourself and friends…

"If you have dream about a tree falling in the worlds, and no one is around... does it make it a sound?



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 11:47 AM
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I think you are all taking this literally and missing the point. much like the bible.


this is a philosophical question not scientific as you are treating it because any HS graduate can tell you sound travels through waves in the air, of course there is no sound in space there is no air for the vibrations of sound to travel.
this does not mean sound isn't produced, only that there is no way for sound to travel the vibration and energy from the reaction or hitting a hammer on metal still happen. just because there is no one to perceive the action does not mean that action did not happen.



here is the point for the philosophical thought behind the question, just because YOU are not there to perceive something such as a tree falling in a remote wood or a landslide in a neighborhood. does not mean it didn't occur.
life goes on and the world doesn't revolve around YOU.



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 11:51 AM
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reply to post by PerfectAnomoly
 


I completely see what you are saying. What I mean is... Sound as a definition is a vibration. So they're kind of one and the same, arnt they? I really dont know. I'm too lazy to look up the.. hmmm (one sec lol)

Wiki: Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of ...



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by -W1LL
 



I disagree … I think the world does revolve around us. It would not exist without consciousness to perceive it.

The measurement problem - (in my own words) an atom only appears in a particular place if you measure it. An atom is spread out all over the place until a conscious observer decides to look at it. The act of measuring it, creates it.

By being in the woods watching the tree.. you're creating it. If you're not there, the tree isn't there. The tree (the universe), is just energy with infinite possibilities until someone comes along and views it. We make the tree, therefore we make the sound. No consciousness = no tree = no sound.

link below to “reality does not exist”. The people in this video can explain what I’m getting at a lot better than I can. Only 10 mins and definitely worth the watch.

www.finerminds.com...



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 01:04 PM
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If no one is there to hear it.... it's just an interference pattern.



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by Wolf Eyes
reply to post by -W1LL
 



I disagree … I think the world does revolve around us. It would not exist without consciousness to perceive it.

The measurement problem - (in my own words) an atom only appears in a particular place if you measure it. An atom is spread out all over the place until a conscious observer decides to look at it. The act of measuring it, creates it.

By being in the woods watching the tree.. you're creating it. If you're not there, the tree isn't there. The tree (the universe), is just energy with infinite possibilities until someone comes along and views it. We make the tree, therefore we make the sound. No consciousness = no tree = no sound.

link below to “reality does not exist”. The people in this video can explain what I’m getting at a lot better than I can. Only 10 mins and definitely worth the watch.

www.finerminds.com...




one word you need to look up is perception everything you said may be true but only to you and your perception of life and this world.

based on what you are saying the world didn't exist until the first huMAn was born into existence.

when i am walking through the forest and step in a bear scat i dont think Gee i just manifested that steaming pile of poo under foot wish i didnt do that. NO I look at the pile distinguish how old it is, check my .44 and keep a close eye out for bears, because they are just like I am. here on this earth not the manifestation of someones God or consciousness.



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