Adding author intent to the mix seems unnecessary to me, when there's already so much material that "actually" describes the fictional universe, in the "with our own eyes and ears" sense.
If our eyes and ears didn't witness any inconsistencies, you'd be right. But there are inconsistencies, which is why I think we could benefit from having a picture of intent, as a potential aid to assist in resolving them. I'm unwilling to swallow all "canon" as equally valid, when there are clear discrepancies in certain cases.
So, the Star Trek Writers/Directors Guide
itself doesn't even need to be looked at? Right, whatever, I'll keep that in mind. This is the first time I've heard/read someone (besides a fictional character) seriously propose that evidence should be excluded ahead of time before even knowing what that evidence might be. I guess I should have realized it was inevitable that someone would eventually think that was reasonable.
And for the record, I wasn't suggesting that author intent should outweigh the revisions that GR and the story editors routinely made on submitted scripts to keep them consistent with the intended vision of the show. I was referring to the material that Gene and other story editors used when they made their revisions. A better description than "author intent" would be "show creator intent". This included the writers guide, but what did they draw on for things that were not covered in it?
As for what evidence should be considered in this forum, I quote from the forum FAQ thread:
2] What source materials will be used in this forum?
Because Trek Tech, as a genre, exists as much in the minds of fandom as anything explicated strictly on-screen, a wide variety of sources will be considered worthy of consideration. Since there is a diversity of viewpoints and ideas in play, source citations should be included wherever possible, to allow for an objective analysis of the content of a discussion.
Note, however, that screaming "non-canon!" by itself shouldn't carry extra weight, unless a canonical source contradicts a non-canonical one. The vast majority of what we "know", Treknology-wise, is non-canon, so we merely need to accept that reality. While licensed materials may be given some "preference", it should be noted that none of the licensed materials are free from error, and all have been on-screen contradicted from time to time, so take them for what they are: one way of looking at the Trek Universe. (In short, read Mike and Rick's disclaimers, and take them to heart!
Seems like all I have suggested is the use of explicitly identified source material in ways only completely consistent with the forum guidelines.