I've managed to come up with a definition that I hope reflects canon. In ENT: "Fortunate Son", Phlox says "On the bright side, I'm only picking up inorganic material. No bodies." This would suggest such material has a non-biological origin. And the bit about lacking carbon is explicitly stated in TNG: "Home Soil" (La Forge: "Nothing but basic elements. Inorganic. No carbon."). I'm not a chemist, so I welcome any input as to an acceptable definition within canon; Wikipedia suggests that the definition in the real-world is a bit loose and not really relevant. Obviously Trek writers aren't scientists and just use it as they please. :-) –Cleanse( talk | contribs ) 10:55, April 12, 2011 (UTC)
A non-formal use of the term inorganic is as a loose opposite to the term "living"; however, given the diversity of life in the Star Trek universes such a usage must inevitably cause more confusion than it cures.
Nitpick. — Morder (talk) 17:36, January 13, 2010 (UTC)