Intelligence & Creativity

Voice Card  -  Volume 11  -  John Card Number 10  -  Fri, Dec 22, 1989 7:40 PM

This is a response to Vol 11 Suzanne 11 ("Strange Solutions Theory")...


I certainly agree that the ability to come up with "strange solutions" is only one factor in determining a person's IQ. Whether or not it is the primary factor is hard to say.

The problem here is that words like intelligence and creativity are so hard to define. We all have a vague notion of what they mean, but when it gets down to making definitions clear enough to facillitate measurement, the fog rolls in.

All the intelligent people I know are creative and all of the creative people I know are intelligent. I am undoubtedly biased here, but to me these two qualities are ALMOST synonomous. I think that many activities that we don't usually think of as being creative actually require all sorts of "underground" creativity.

Reading well and listening well and understanding things in a deep way require great imagination. In order to read between the lines of a love letter or a political essay we need to imagine all sorts of possible intonations and implications. Both readers and listeners must sometimes place themselves in the position of the author/speaker and imagine what he or she is seeing and feeling. Whenever we try to fit a new fact into our understanding of the world we have to create all sorts of tenative restructurings and project possible implications.

All of this requires enormous creativity even if not a single poem or painting is ever produced. The ability to come up with strange solutions is the hallmark of a flexible mind. And a flexible mind is a powerful mind.