Category Archives: Chapter 2:

Take on reality.

I promise this one is going to be a small one. What I have today is one question which came across my mind while frequent instances when I was not perceived at all.

Analyze this question carefully; as this i believe is a take on reality!

Question is: If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Why?

Fallen_tree2.jpg

Few stories and research results follows next.

Albert Einstein is reported to have asked his fellow physicist and friend Niels Bohr, one of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics, whether he realistically believed that ‘the moon does not exist if nobody is looking at it.’ To this Bohr replied that however hard he (Einstein) may try, he would not be able to prove that it does, thus giving the entire riddle the status of a kind of an infallible conjecture—one that cannot be either proved or disproved.

Magazine Scientific American gave a more technical answer, “Sound is vibration, transmitted to our senses through the mechanism of the ear, and recognized as sound only at our nerve centers. The falling of the tree or any other disturbance will produce vibration of the air. If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound.

Can something exist without being perceived? — e.g. “is sound only sound if a person hears it?” The most immediate philosophical topic that I want to introduce here involves the existence of the tree (and the sound it produces) outside of human perception. If no one is around to see, hear, touch or smell the tree, how could it be said to exist? What is it to say that it exists when such an existence is unknown?

If you have any views (scientific/philosophical) of yours and want to share, I’m all ears; otherwise please let it be like you did not read it!

 

~Manish Mayank

 

Advertisements