If a Tree Falls In a Forest …


… and there is no one around to hear it, did it make a sound?  Silly question, isn’t it.  Of course it emits a stimulus that makes a sound, irrespective of whether there was anyone around to witness the auditory event.  End of discussion.  Or is it?

A philosopher might argue that it hinges on your view of radical skepticism.

A physicist might posit that it emits compression waves, but not sound until the vibrations are interpreted as such.

In other words, the question isn’t so silly when you consider the cilia.


After all, an individual with hearing loss can still experience a sound event by detecting compression waves.  Perhaps it all boils down to this:

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to If a Tree Falls In a Forest …

  1. doctuhdon says:

    A provocative and stimulating post. Suggestion: why don’t you follow up on this with your review of
    Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently
    by Beau Lotto ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s