You may or may not remember the challenge I issued to one reader often identified as either Solid_Id or SuperEgo.
You can catch up here.
I received the following via comments Saturday afternoon:
1) These types of questions do not interest me; never have.
2) I can answer the question either way, and you will debate me with the opposite point, no matter what position I take, and will be the victor on your blog.
The last thing I will say: of course it does. duh. why wouldn't it. does it make a sound when you are there? yes. do the laws of physics cease to exist when you're not there? no. there, does that set you up for your argument now? let me guess...blah, blah, philosophy...theory...nothing can be certain...god...blah blah. sum it up? haha just kidding. but seriously, of course it makes a noise.
It took him a while to get there, but in the end he hit the nail on the head. The real problem with this question is that it's entirely anthropocentric.
Anthropocentrism (from Greek: άνθρωπος, anthropos, "human being"; and κέντρον, kentron, "center") or anthrocentrism is the belief that humans must be considered at the center of, and above any other aspect of, reality. ...
That's from wikipedia, and makes the point quite adequately on its own.
Just think about it for a minute. The fact that no human hears the sound doesn't mean no sound was made. If my dog hears it, does that count? Or an insect?
Think even smaller. A sound wave is produced and travels through the air. According to Newton, with every action comes a reaction. So something changes, at some level, even if no living organism is there to observe it. (Think of the soprano shattering glass on a high note!)
Consider also the plight of this poor fellow:
Did that tree make a sound? I bet it made some sound issue from that guy when he saw it for the first time.
Anyway, props to Solid_Id/SuperEgo for a solid answer to an ancient question. I congratulate you, sir, and hope that is not the last comment you leave me.
I'll hold off on answering your questions, if you don't mind. I'm not quite ready to release my final school list.