To be honest, I know nothing of the English derivation and usage of "sentient" outside of Star Trek. But Merriam-Webster seems to have the opposite opinion when comparing sapient[1] (and sagacious[2]) to sentient[3]. Aholland, can you provide references we can source for the denotation you express here? Opusaug 22:50, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Planet that had sentient machine race, mention by Data in TNG???Edit

Anyone remember the episode? At the end I think there in orbit of the planet, but the race has been extinct for a long time already... The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Why does it look like OuroborosCobra and Shran are editing my post? And why doesn't my previous post show up? Is this a normal time lag? The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

I edited the post to re-add the thread navigation template that you were not supposed to remove. I also added a signature to your posts for you, which you are supposed to do (please sign your comments by adding four tildes (~~~~) after each post). Cobra reverted your previous post because you removed your earlier query as well as the thread navigation template. --From Andoria with Love 01:55, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
And it's Shran, not Sharon. ;) --From Andoria with Love 01:56, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

So anyone remember? JoeCool 00:56, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

I do not remember such an instance involving TNG or Data. The only passing reference to another sentient machine race I can locate is from TOS: "The Changeling", where the probe's bio-survey mission programming was altered in a collision with an unnamed sentient machine race. -Rhinecanthus rectangulus 16:16, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
The Nanites were given their own planet at the end of the TNG episode Evolution, so they would count. I do have a vague recollection of another mention, possibly during one of the later Borg episodes...but I can't remember which one...-- 20:27, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
The episode you may be thinking of is "Conundrum", in which Data stipulates, after loosing his memory, several possibilities for his origin. He believes that he is a) unique, b) difficult to manufacture, or c) comes from a planet with an entire race of sentient androids. That's the only reference to a sentient android race I know of. I hope it helps in your search. --Nmajmani 22:58, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
That may be what the OP is thinking of, Nmajmani. Here is Data's exact quote: "I may represent an entire race of artificial lifeforms. If so, there may be a home planet for others of my kind -- a shared history and a culture of which I am not presently aware." -Rhinecanthus rectangulus 19:55, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
The follow-up lines to "Evolution" were in "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II" when alternative tactics against the Borg are considered and destructive nanites are proposed. "How long would that take?" "2 to 3 weeks." "By then nanites may be all that's left of the Federation." As for a planet inhabited by sentient androids, there actually is one out there, it's called Mudd. and who knows if anyone went back to Exo III to revitalize the sentient android race there again after 2266. --Pseudohuman 10:18, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Another sentient race of androids were featured in the Voyager episode "Prototype". AndonicO 09:53, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
That is a likely possibility. If I'm not mistaken, B'Lanna makes reference to Data in that episode as well. --Nmajmani 00:56, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Changed example in opening sentences Edit

I've changed the example written in the opening sentences, that incorrectly said "for example, a plant could be "sentient"" as (even by real world, non-trek standards) a plant is definitely not sentient. It has no neurons, and no nervous system to feel or experience anything (otherwise you'd have a lot of guilt-ridden vegans around). Insects do have neurons and nerves, but even then it's questionable whether they have a complex enough mind to have an actual self-aware consciousness that processes and "feels" things, they usually have multiple very simplistic "brains" throughout their body (which is why a cockroach will still run around with its head chopped off, the forebrain is lost but the hindbrain isn't), and they often act only in very mechanical and "preprogrammed" ways - it's not certain either way, at least with current science. So I changed "plant" to "fish", as while some fish can be pretty intelligent, others (like some jawless fish) have very simple brains - but being vertebrates, with a spinal column and a nervous system all wired into a single, centralised brain, they probably are sentient. Marianne (talk) 13:42, February 24, 2013 (UTC)

There are sentient plants in Star Trek, such as the Phylosians. As such, I've reverted the change. 31dot (talk) 13:45, February 24, 2013 (UTC)

True, and I did consider that, however... if those opening sentences are describing the 21st century (or real) meaning of the word, describing a plant as sentient by 21st century standards because of sentient plants discovered in the 23rd could be confusing to the reader. It's essentially talking about the meaning as it applies in the real world in those sentences, and even in the fictional timeline of Star Trek, we couldn't have encountered any sentient plants in the first two thirds of the 21st century, and the latter third would have been unlikely given the limited range of the first Human warp ships. It just seems to me that "fish" would avoid such potential for confusion, even if sentient plants do exist in Star Trek - changing it from "plant" to "fish" doesn't imply that there aren't sentient plants in Trek. Marianne (talk) 14:03, February 24, 2013 (UTC)

The opening sentences should be describing the meaning of the word as it is understood in the Star Trek universe per our Point of view; if it seems to be otherwise, it should be changed to comply with the POV. 31dot (talk) 14:12, February 24, 2013 (UTC)

Sure, but my thinking was basically... while "plant" works for an encyclopaedia written as if the Star Trek universe were real, "fish" works for that and also works in a real life sense. I get the perspective this encyclopaedia is written from, but in reality the readers are 21st century fans (who may not have seen, or may not remember, one particular episode of TAS), not Starfleet officers, hence my concerns about confusing those who read this site. Marianne (talk) 14:36, February 24, 2013 (UTC)

Except that those portions aren't written in the "real world". And when people see the plant reference, discovering the Phyosians may be something new that they've learned. -- sulfur (talk) 15:33, February 24, 2013 (UTC)