If a Tree Falls in the Forest . . .

23 Oct 2003 /

If by “sound,” you mean vibrations in air pressure capable of being interpreted as sound, then yes, it does make a sound.

If by “sound,” you mean CRRRRRRRRASSSSSH!, then it doesn’t.

I was just reading through a discussion forum in which a disheartingly large majority of participants believed that it does make a sound, based on scientific arguments like — I’m paraphrasing here — “A falling tree doesn’t make a sound just for you, you self-important dumbass!”

I leave the following as exercises for the reader:

  1. If you blow a dog whistle, and no dog is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
  2. Since vision, like hearing, is mental interpretation of waveforms, if no one sees the forest, is it really there?

2 Comments on If a Tree Falls in the Forest . . . »

  1. -----

    29 May 2015 @ 8:52 pm


    Try this simple science experiment:

    1. Put on a blindfold and close your eyes.

    2. Walk through a backwoods forest on a moonless night.

    3. Repeat Step 2 three times.

    4. Post your findings.

  2. 29 May 2015 @ 9:21 pm


    I don’t get it … why do I need to close my eyes if I’m blindfolded? Why does the night have to be moonless if I’m blindfolded? Why a “backwoods” forest? Since science experiments need a control, could you try this first? If the result is anything but “I walked into 3 trees” let me know.

TrackBack URI

RSS feed for comments on this post

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>