Dumb (really dumb) question Edit
(Get ready for a stupid question.)
<begin stupidity> Yes, it's called a "Rigellian ox", but how can we state – be sure – that it's native to the Rigel system? It seems like a logical inference, but it was not explicit. Many (well, infinite) alternative explanations for the name are possible. Is this in Occam's Razor thing, and we get to make a fairly obvious conclusion despite the lack of any canon reference? I get at some point we just have to state the (seemingly) obvious, but I've been "burned" (ie, learned the hard way) about inserting fact-based assertions into articles, even when the preponderance of non-canon evidence seems as though it'd be reasonable. (Note: I've no complaints about this; it's a good policy that I just didn't initially understand.) So: can we say the Rigellian ox is from the Rigel system? Just a note: there are many real-world flora and fauna with misnomers that, to the otherwise uniformed, cause confusion about the object's actual origin. (Can't think of any right now, but I believe there's a Wikipedia page/pages on misnomers and misconceptions.) I'm merely saying it's possible, eg, that this ox originated elsewhere, and got its name from either its discoverer or because it reminded people of something in the Rigel system. </end stupidity>
- I don't really have any answers, but if it would make you feel any less stupid, you're not the only person who sometimes wonders about the points you're making here. ;) -- Capricorn 20:01, October 26, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Capricorn. It does bother me and leaves me confused. And I'm sure this isn't the only instance of this sort of (reasonable) "speculation" here. Should I broach the general issue elsewhere? Hmm.
One solution I really liked was on the page for the monster in TNG: "Darmok" is the parenthetical statement that it was (possibly) native to that planet. So for this article at least, I think I'll incorporate that useful description.
- I guess when you get down to it, you will need a minimal amount of assumption in every article. Who is to say that this creature (never comented on in the episode) is really native to Dakala, and not dropped off there by visitors. Or you can go even further, who is to say that this Vulcan is really a Vulcan and not an undercover Romulan spy. Or that references to Benecia aren't about two different places who happen to have the same name. None of those examples are without precedent, by the way. In the end there is no certainty, just a spectrum between "extremely likely" and "completely implausible". And even then that assessment is based upon available fact and can be changed completely based on evidence from new episodes. An extremely simplified description of how things go here is that "Extremely likely" would be treated as fact, while ambiguous situations would mostly be handled through carefull wording suplemented by notes, and anything that has no good basis for being included would be removed. But there is no exact point where one category stops and the other begins, ultimately it's a judgement call. And different users might even disagree on what's speculation and what's common sense (as evidenced by about one out of every three talk pages). But in the end you have to connect at least some facts together, or all you have is a word list. -- Capricorn 19:35, October 28, 2010 (UTC)