Well, frankly, the title stands for itself, but in short, can speculations supplied with enough evidence hinting at the speculation be accepted as an answer?
"USA" in the address sent to Malcom Reed (Star Trek: ENT)
On what basis do the Borg number the species?
Why was Zsaji not given the knowledge of English?

  • 3
    Just to be clear do you mean accepted as in clicking the checkmark on an answer to your own question or as in allowed to be submitted as an answer?
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Jan 14, 2022 at 14:19
  • I'll downvote anything that's purely speculative.
    – Valorum
    Jan 14, 2022 at 17:29

2 Answers 2


Acceptance of an answer means practically nothing, other than the fact that the person who asked the question decided that this answer worked for them.

As long as an answer constitutes an answer - as in, doesn't qualify for deletion as "not an answer" - there aren't any rules deciding what kind of answer the OP should accept. It's purely up to the original asker to accept as they please, or not to accept an answer at all. (We encourage acceptance in certain cases, such as for story-ID questions, but we have no way of forcing anyone to accept.)

It's also worth noting that nobody except for the OP can unaccept an answer, just like nobody besides for the OP can accept it in the first place. It's not like mods can unaccept an answer on behalf of the OP. Even if we were to make rules about what answers can be accepted, we'd have no way of enforcing it.

(And, as TLC notes in the comments, accepted answers are currently not even pinned to the top, lessening the impact of acceptance even further.)

  • 1
    You might want to mention that currently the accepted answer is unpinned across the site whilst the initial experiment with that is underway.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Jan 14, 2022 at 14:24
  • Bit of nuance: Accepted answer means that other questions sharing a significant part of an accepted answer may be closed as duplicate and redirected to the speculative answer.
    – Lexible
    Jan 15, 2022 at 3:29

Good answers should be backed up with some form of evidence, but that might be partly speculative.

Wild guesses posted as answers are likely to be heavily downvoted if not outright deleted by the community. But speculation can make for a good answer if it's well argued and based on clear evidence or reasoning. So it really depends on what you mean by "speculation"; I note that two of the answers you linked to actually contain quoted passages from the works in question, although I don't know those works well enough to know how good the evidence provided by said passages is.

This all relates to the Good Subjective mantra which is still reproduced in the help centre to this day:

Some subjective questions are allowed, but “subjective” does not mean “anything goes”. All subjective questions are expected to be constructive. What does that mean? Constructive subjective questions:

  • inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”
  • tend to have long, not short, answers
  • have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone
  • invite sharing experiences over opinions
  • insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references
  • are more than just mindless social fun

You'll notice that most of these points determining what makes an "acceptable" subjective question are actually about the answers - an answer can be somewhat opinion-based (speculative) and still be good, as long as it explains why and how, in a constructive, fair, and impartial way, and is based on experience rather than opinion, or backs up any opinions with facts and references.

Here on SFF (the above guidance is network-wide), we expect a good answer to be based on evidence, which might be conclusive, like a screenshot or quote establishing a fact definitively, or indicative, like a solid argument supporting a thesis. Speculation can be OK as long as it's properly backed up.

  • And if there's no evidence, I'd like to see a long list of all the places you couldn't find any :-)
    – Valorum
    Jan 14, 2022 at 17:32

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