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What's the difference between intelligence and imagination, and which is more useful in alleviating the human condition?

The difference between imagination and knowledge can be sharply defined. The difference between imagination and intelligence does not appear to be as easily delineated. One might say imagination is a subgroup of intelligence, but doesn't imagination often encompass the seemingly illogical? Or it might be said imagination is the catalyst for intellectual innovation, but isn't the imagined an interpolation of logical musing?

Albert Einstein said "Imagination is more important than knowledge." But what about intelligence and imagination?

  • Dec 11 2013: Knowledge is a collection of facts.
    Intelligence is our ability to understand and process knowledge.
    Imagination is our ability to achieve new insight by recombining/reorganizing information. It is based on what we already know and understand.

    To answer the question, I believe imagination is critical. Yes, we need intelligence to understand our problems, but imagination gives us access to a wider range of possible solutions.

    Most important we need wisdom and KINDNESS, because as history shows, new is not always good.
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    Dec 14 2013: intelligence is anchored in measurements. imagination is not
  • Dec 19 2013: All things created originate from imagination.
    Intelligence is a muscle.
  • Dec 14 2013: Intelligence is how we assemble our knowledge; imagination is how we dismantle and reconfigure it.

    James Mulhern, www.synthesizingeducation.net
    • Dec 15 2013: Construction ... deconstruction. I came to the same conclusion. The fascinating aspect is the dualistic nature of the act seems to be monistic in our perception. We don't seem to recognize the interplay but simply capitalize on our conclusions.
  • Dec 4 2013: Intelligence being able to know, Knowledge is what you retain, imagination is what you do with it.
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    Dec 31 2013: In the overall context of human condition, one cannot exist without the other. In order to achieve innovative ideas, intelligence has to feed on imagination. It then becomes knowledge. Imagination then picks up on that knowledge to take innovation further, and so on...

    Therefore, intelligence is the essential interplay between imagination and knowledge.

    Knowledge is often confused with intelligence. We mistakenly say someone is intelligent if they know a lot, and we even have TV programmes called "Mastermind" and such like, that eulogise nothing else but knowledge and memory. Machines and books are memory banks of knowledge, but they are not intelligent in themselves.

    Intelligence is having the imagination to use that knowledge to create new knowledge.

    Imagination often gets pushed into a forgotten back-room as the poor relation of knowledge, when really it should be the other way around.

    The likes of Rupert Sheldrake's hypotheses on morphic resonance as an example, gets dismissed as bunk for the simple reason that it questions the same old tired, basic assumptions rooted in materialism, dogma and the recycling of existing knowledge with no addition of imagination. Darwin and Einstein dared to switch on their imagination - and look what happened to them. Also dismissed as bunk at the time of conception, but now mainstream knowledge.
  • Dec 22 2013: I feel it's more pertinent, not to ask, which is more useful, but focus on how important the intrinsic relationship between imagination and intelligence is. We, humans, always want to know which is better, more important, more crucial to our existence however, facts and data alone don't equate to all the wonders and all the connections made between them. The glue that binds our knowledge and pushes us forward is imagination. What do we do with 2 and 2. Well, we can add them together, we can divide them, we can multiply them, etc. Once we lose on half of our imagination/intelligence equation, the system becomes unbalanced. Without knowledge, creativity ceases to make links. Without imagination, intelligence ceases to solve problems.
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    Dec 10 2013: For all those asking the difference between imagination and intelligence, I would rather say the importance of imagination and intelligence in alleviating the human condition.

    People consider Imagination is the fuel that drives intelligence (A vehicle), isn't it too insane?

    You all must have heard the story titled "The Blind man and the Lame"

    A blind man (Imagination) carried a lame man (Intelligence) on his back, lending him his feet and borrowing from him his eyes.

    Imagination and Intelligence walk hand in hand.
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    Dec 8 2013: Intelligence is the vehicle and Imagination is the fuel that drives it. Both are necessary for alleviating human condition. Imagination , because we need to imagine that we can live better than now and Intelligence, because we need to be intelligent to find the way.
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      Dec 9 2013: Pabitra, don't you think that as we imagine that we can live better, we also realize the misery of our present condition. Doesn't then imagination aggravate the condition rather than alleviating it?
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        Dec 9 2013: Yes it does in short term. Have you heard a baby born without the mother feeling pain? If we stop imagining better future, it will be life of a hippie and society will be a commune.
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          Dec 9 2013: It's a philosophical question, you know. What we imagine as better life, in my experience, turns out to be something different. It makes more sense to me to imagine internal conditions than external ones. If I don't know what I want to achieve internally, by the time I achieve my imagined external "better" condition, internal condition also changes - with bigger salary come bigger expenses, with bigger house comes more stuff, new possibilities bring new responsibilities - "chasing after the wind".

          Same thing socially and politically. Take Ukraine. OK. Got independence in 1991. Still, the main political question in Ukraine is whom to serve - West or Russia. As if European Union will be less oppressive than Russia. Without fixing internal conditions, imagining external conditions is meaningless.
    • Dec 9 2013: What is the fuel for Imagination ? And What is the vehicle for both Intelligence and Imagination?
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        Dec 16 2013: Interesting questions. This isn't a complete answer, but some ideas I have about some of the key elements.

        To a certain extent imagination is fuelled by reality. Or perhaps determined by it. For something to have the property of imagination, it can't exist in our immediate reality. Otherwise it would be perception, not imagination. Social interaction can fuel imagination - see this TED talk http://www.ted.com/playlists/20/where_do_ideas_come_from.html. Imagination can also be fuelled by personal motivation - "I'm (not) going to do this because I can see what life would be like as a result". It can also be self perpetuating.

        As for the vehicles for intelligence and imagination, my gut says that's just another part of that elusive x factor that facilitates the fact that we are conscious beings.
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    Dec 5 2013: The wise start from what is known, but they also know that what is known is only a small part in the vastness of the unknown.
    Imagination is a vastness of endless possibilities waiting to be explored.
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    Dec 27 2013: Am I correct in assuming that by "intelligence" you mean the rational faculty of the mind, ie: the Intellect? If so, then that's one faculty.
    With Imagination you have two faculties of the mind.
    As a suggestion I would add:
    a 3rd faculty, Intuition, (the realm of beliefs),
    a 4th faculty, Instinct (the realm of the emotions)
    a 5th faculty, Inspiration (the realm that links to creative solutions in the collective unconscious).

    The answer to your question then becomes a bit like asking: Which is more useful, an arm or a leg? Well, ideally, you have both, and more besides.
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    Dec 22 2013: After reading through the comments elicited by this question it occurs to me that as a race we use words to attempt to establish our own intelligence. Words. of course, come out of our minds which can be defined both as intelligence and imagination. Dr. Ken Robinson in his marvellous TED talk on how education kills creativity makes the point that intelligence and imagination are linked so closely that it is impossible to separate them.
    • Dec 22 2013: I think its great that both your and Laura's mind's are not linear; and indeed intelligence, and imagination, are so closely linked that they are inseparable; so why do we have to put them in some order of priority, rather than be grateful, that our minds are enriched by both.

      As to the imagination; no one seems to have considered in this conversation, this faculty in regard to dreaming, where it exists at an unconscious level; and yet its imaging entirely fills our sleeping minds:

      Therefore one may ask, is this sleeping imaging faculty, controlled by the autonomic nervous system; and if indeed it is, then does it follow that the autonomic nervous system, and the subconscious mind; are essentially the mind and body concerned with the metaphysical realm of our being; whereas our conscious mind and body, is concerned with the physical realm of our being; I am still trying to work this one out.

      What I do know is that some of my best insights occur, after I have put something to the back of my mind and slept on it; or following a period of deep introspection whereby my subconscious mind works with my conscious mind, on locating a causal, or solving a problem, or inventing something new.
  • Dec 15 2013: Sorry if my definitions are wrong; my point was basically that intellegence can, and often does, inhibit the imagination and can therefore be found in the least intelligent. I feel that intelligence is often limited by what has been proven whereas imagination has no limits or bounds. To me, intelligence is dependent on the accumulation/assimilation of knowledge and it's logical application. To me, children's intelligence is dependent on years of asking why, when, where. As babes, I don't think children can be considered intelligent, but I could be wrong.
  • Dec 11 2013: I think while intelligence is necessary for tactical improvement in the human condition, its imagination which will result in the quantum leaps that the human kind would make. Imagination is beyond intelligence. It is a thinking and creating.
  • Dec 11 2013: The difference between Imag-ination and intelligence lies in the word "image"; whereas intelligence relates to the intellectual; gaining + analyzing + interrelating knowledge = learning, and applying and interrelating that learning in regard to anticipations, and every other aspect of ones daily and future life.

    Imagination: Is the ability to use mind imaging, to create and analyze two - three - and multi - dimensional mental images; e.g. imagine the number 1 as flat black numeral printed on a sheet of paper; now imagine the number 1 as a three - dimensional golden numeral standing on a flat surface in front of you. Both are the same numeral; however your intelligence chose the size, color, dimensions etc to provide the contrast between the two, and your mind imagery allowed you to visually examine it, within the internal scope of your own mind.

    Addendum: Please note;

    You can no more remove the scope of the Universe, from the scope of your own intelligence;

    Than you can remove the scope of your own intelligence, from the scope of the Universe.
  • Jan 2 2014: Hi Gord

    As per the reasons given in my reply to EG 30 minutes ago; I am not being impolite but I am about done with this conversation. However in regard to quote "Energy as we define it"

    Ref/OED. The strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.

    Ref: "Infinity In Your Pocket": Energy is a controversial topic among scientists. Everyone knows what energy does (“only a part of”), but no one seems entirely certain what it is.

    Einstein E = mc2 : States that energy (E) is equivalent to a unit of mass (m) multiplied by the constant speed of light (c) squared (2)

    However E does not = mass: As mass = E + Gravity (G)

    Therefore E + G Force (F = E) = E + E

    The speed of light is not constant; it varies according to the density of the medium (e.g. Air and Water). And the 300km per sec straight linear point A to B speed of light; does not equate to the A to B speed, "over the curvatures” of its wavelength. Therefore the SL in gravitational free interstellar space is greater than as measured on Earth.

    Einstein’s theory of Acceleration and Gravitation: Einstein said nothing could exceed the speed of light. There is no way that the atomic structure of a lift accelerating through space; could out accelerate a transverse beam of light travelling within the lift, and at the same speed of the lift, causing it to bend.

    IMO Phys E = substance-matter-radiation-force-motion etc

    In sum; the journey involves questioning everything, while also keeping an open mind; and involves constantly back tracking, re – examining, and revising ones work, as new insights arise.

    My view of energy is not as defined; rather that, there are the infinite/physically apparent, forms of energy extending from infinitesimal electromagnet particles up to the vast electromagnetic particles we call stars.

    And the non-apparent, eternal metaphysical energy (and nothingness) called space that is the driving force/mind/geometry/mathematics, of physical creation.

    Cheers Carl
    • Jan 2 2014: I have become fan of your wisdom and knowledge.

      Happy New Year.
      • Jan 2 2014: And both are infinitesimal, as to that; of the infinite scope of the sphere, of my own ignorance

        Happy New Year

        Cheers Carl
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    Jan 1 2014: I think intelligence and imagination are just words we have chosen to refer to 2 concepts and we should not encapsulate them within a definition just because convention has it that a word must be defined. I'll spare us the Oxford Dictionary definitions as I'm sure we all looked them up and space does not permit a reminder.
    For me the concepts of intelligence and imagination are not semantics within an all encompassing concept of thought. I see them as 2 fundamentally separate concepts that CAN interact. Intelligence is a quality whereas imagination is a process. Intelligence is the generally consistent and repeatable application of a more efficient modality of resource utilization over a less efficient option (eg. rate of central neurotransmitter utilization in concluding a thought process - imaginative or not). Thus DNA natural selection in evolution is an example of intelligent biology INDEPENDANT of a need for a brain and its thought processes (plants evolve sans brain!).
    Imagination is a thought process the brain utilizes to create multiple intangible scenarios of varying levels of efficiency, utility, or relevance. It is a product of thought and Independent of intelligence.
    Creativity is the intelligent application of imagination with the level of creativity a product of the level of intelligence and the ability of the imaginative process.
    Wisdom is appreciating the relevance of all of this and prioritising the various creative processes.
    I'm assuming you mean elevating and not alleviating the human condition. Either way, a good dose of reality by way of hardship and poverty usually suffices! :)
  • Dec 31 2013: Continued

    Metaphysics: OED: Branch of philosophy that deals with first principles of things, including abstract concepts, such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, space.

    In sum in regard to my own usage of the word; physics relates to the physical world and physical Universe; metaphysics relates to the non-physical realms of the mind. And I absolutely know based upon both experiences, and decades of my reasoning; that the holistic Universe, is as we are; both physical and metaphysical in nature.

    Cheers Carl
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      Dec 31 2013: Good point. Metaphysicians occupy an essential space somewhere at the forefront of potential knowledge.

      Also something often dismissed within the huge spectrum of intelligence is the role of metaphor, poetry, art and mythology - which bring the first fruits of cognition to mind, in the absence of hard fact.
  • ele non

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    Dec 23 2013: This is my theory of what intelligence and imagination is. I will use the terms : ‘tools’, knowledge, intelligence, imagination, emotion.
    Everyone should obtain the necessary ‘tools’ to be able to communicate and do ordinary tasks. We all obtain these fundamental ‘tools’. Knowledge is gained with time, and might lead to Intelligence. Intelligence is based on logic and advanced knowledge.
    Imagination is the combination of Intelligence and Emotion. As a result it is abstract and unexpected.
    Of course the levels of Intelligence and Imagination differ in each person, and can be interrelated or not. Someone can be Intelligent without being very imaginative. On the other hand, it is unusual for a person with a high level of imagination to have a low level of Intelligence, having considered that the above statement- explanation is correct.
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    Dec 22 2013: Hope this helps --->

    Imagination, is when you create anything that expresses a conscious thought or feeling, via the "physical" senses (visual, sounds/music)...of course it is drawn from the feasible environment, however, it can vary depending on the dept one is able to allow themselves to go beyond the limitations of so-called reality, which is simply your perception.

    Intelligence, is when you use imagination, in order to express KNOWLEDGE in such a way that it is conveyable to OTHERS, hence it can be validated as logical.

    So in other words: knowledge depends on intelligence; intelligence is dependent on imagination; imagination comes the consciousness of one's mind.

    Neither would be more useful in alleviating this so-call "human condition", seeing that both intelligence and imagination are elements of THOUGHT. All leads directly and indirectly to consciousness or awareness of whatever we call life or perceive as the "human condition". In essence, if you control your thoughts, you will control you life...

    P.S. just choose wisely and live.
  • Dec 22 2013: I think imagination ranks a bit higher -- in usefulness-- than intelligence. That being said, the two need to go hand in hand to really get anywhere. I don't think that someone who is really classified as stupid, in an intelligence sense, would be very skilled in an imaginative sense. (Yet, , I have heard some intelligent people make the comment that they have no imagination.)
    I guess I mean that an intelligent person can do their job and do it well, so to speak, without adding anything imaginative to their work. Some one with imagination can think themselves out of a box, so to speak. If it were not for imagination, we may all still be living in caves, as it were. Imagination helps us to see/strive for/ think about something that is not at first apparent. It helps us to solve problems, to go forward into the unknown, to create.
    But I think one has to be intelligent in order to make good use of imagination. Perhaps in the brain those areas are close together, or stimulated by similar things.
    We need the input of a neurosurgeon, or someone with knowledge of the interior workings of the brain, to give some physical info on this.
  • Dec 21 2013: People can be intelligent but not imaginative and vise versa. Intelligence comes from book learning, and subjects like math. Conversely, imagination comes from within, subjects of writing and different forms of art. Being taught how to do specific things creates intelligence. Altering what you have been taught and applying it is imagination.
    • Dec 22 2013: I think so too. I was just reading an article on how it is being noticed that many generations of young people and children, since there was such an emphasis on computer learning, can do things virtually, but not in reality. So schools should bring back hands-on learning and doing, problem solving using inventing, making things out of paper and wood, etc., just like many of us of the older generations grew up doing things.
      I think imagination and creativity go hand in hand. Bring back the importance of Legos and Tinker Toys, of painting and sewing and making things, often out of nothing. We need to make sure our young people do not lose their sense of imagination.
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    Dec 19 2013: As to your reference to Einstein's point that " Imagination is more important than knowledge.", knowledge is not intelligence. Knowledge is information gained in various ways, often through second and third hand, etc. means and with minimal personal mental input, or employment of new, intelligent processes, or progressions.

    Intelligence is a tool which can be unremarkable and as dull as dust, unless it has been finely honed and well-exercised.

    Imagination, however, has the power and impetus to move one beyond the accepted constraints of fact and knowledge. It employs our natural faculty of intuition, which represents our individual personal intelligence, enabling us, at first, to encompass others' grand imaginings and, eventually, to formulate our own fresh ideas and rationale which may extend our notions of our universe well beyond the currently accepted dogma.
  • Dec 19 2013: Imagination deals with the reality which is not present, intelligence helps you to inhabit it, as if it is present. It's a kind of harmonising force that fits everything together harmoniously.

    And talking about knowledge, knowledge doesn't save from ignorance , intelligence does. :)
  • Dec 15 2013: In my mind, imagination IS intelligence, or at least one form of... Therefore I think the question not applicable basically. There are a number of things one could attribute to intelligence, and imagination is a big one. The ability to have an original thought.

    I also think many attribute imagination only to those who show creativity in fields like arts & music. I think that's unfair, and that people like physicists & engineers also demonstrate great imagination.
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      Dec 15 2013: Imagination sparks creative thinking, resulting in ideas. Our intelligence serves us to realize our dreams by transforming them into a tangible outcome. Ideas can be transferred from one mind to someone who is better equipped - more talented in the respective field - for logical application, but imagination is essential to conceive and visualize progress.

      In my mind only the combination of imagination and intelligence propels the human condition, thus they are on equal footing.
  • Gord G 50+

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    Dec 13 2013: Great comments.

    I'm hip deep in a project ... and this thought gurgled up from the depths... I wanted to jot it down before it was covered by the silt of my mind.

    "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern." - William Blake

    These words have inspired such diverse individuals as Aldous Huxley and Jim Morrison. It also hints at Plato's Allegory of the Cave. (and yes, it's often interpreted as a metaphor for the use of psychedelic drugs)

    The statement appears to suggest imagination creates awareness by suspending our perception between the finite (knowledge) and the infinite (possibility). Limiting perceptual bias that may impede our intellect.
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    Dec 11 2013: I suggest intelligence and imagination are interrelated.

    You need some intelligence to be imaginative.

    Not sure how much imagination is going on by rocks or plants or even ants.

    Suggest they work together to solve problems.

    Suggest a drive to implement solutions and build support for them is just as important as coming up with ideas.
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    Dec 10 2013: I agree that imagination is a must for us. I think of the cave man who imagined a god to explain phenomena he could otherwise understand. And definitely the chicken came first. lol
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      Dec 10 2013: " And definitely the chicken came first. lol" Wasn't the chicken born from the egg?
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          Dec 10 2013: Is my view on "what came first, the chicken or the egg" illogical?

          I'm guessing you don't "believe" in evolution?
        • Dec 11 2013: From where did the egg came ?
        • Dec 13 2013: The Point was obviously missed: A Chicken egg is an Ova (Nucleus surrounded by albumin or amniotic fluid) = Cell; with a hard shell added to protect from the external environment:

          1. The first simple/primaeval single cellular (Rather than, the later and more complex single cell of the Amoeba, which also reproduces by mitosis) Cell/Egg/Ova obviously also and "Unequivocally" reproduced by the same method of "Mitosis" as all cells still do today, within a greater group/tissue of cells: "That is Pretty Basic Biology".

          2. The Mother Cell which is the bearer of the daughter cell, produced by the process of mitosis does not require fertilization "That is Pretty Basic Biology".

          Finally!!! because belief is the laziest and easiest option, and refuge of and for an entirely closed mind. which is usually both impregnable and irreparable:

          Consider how unusual the Earth (Anagram of Heart), as viewed from Outer Space: It has a transparent atmosphere made up of of air, rather than transparent albumin or amniotic fluid; and it has a nucleus, which is driven be an electro-magnetic heart: And we call it a Biosphere, which is simply another term, that can be applied to an Egg/Ova

          Or The/Je Ova (Refer to www. for explanation of Green Language or Language of the Birds)
        • Dec 15 2013: No Chris Kelly; you did indeed miss the point because you dismissed it = thus proving the point.

          So sorry for upsetting you; I did not realise how important your super ego, and its close minded, sub cerebral vacuous opinions, are to the rest of us.

          They say that sarcasm is the highest form of intelligence, and the lowest form of wit; seems you missed out on both.

          As to your poor attempt at sarcasm/insulting me; sarcasm and insults have no harmful effect, as they only count when they are delivered by those close to me, or those I respect.

          And quite clearly you would never be able to reach the starting point, in that regard.

          Your ego is merely one ego, among more than seven billion souls on this planet; and of that number, this is one that you can neither physically or mentally bully

          Grow up.


          If your feel prone to, or you feel the need to crush the ego of another, in order to bolster you own ego, and self esteem;

          That is due to the weakness of your own character, not theirs.
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          Dec 15 2013: I think we have been through this before. My understanding of evolution......
          the first chicken that could breed with current chickens would have been born to some very chicken like birds that were just different enough from modern chickens that they could not interbreed.

          these proto chickens would have been egg laying creatures.

          in fact my understanding is all vertitbrates evolved from egg laying fish like creatures.

          my expertise is chemistry and materials so happy to defer to any evolutionary biologists or any more knowledgeable in this field than myself.
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          Dec 15 2013: According to evolution humans share a common ancestor with modern apes. Humans also reproduce via eggs, just we don't lay them.

          go back far enough and we share a common ancestor with chickens, same early vertebrate.

          Surely you acknowledge the similarities between humans, apes, mammals, vertebrates?

          are we not mammals,?

          do you have a better explanation than common descent?

          Once I learnt about evolution, it just seemed to make so much sense explaining the origin of species, the diversity and similarities, the tree of life. Amazing to think all DNA based life is connected.

          the origins of biology, from chemistry, the formation of self replicating molecules to cells to multi cellular life is less intuitive for me. But once we have DNA based life, seems easy to grasp how vertibrates evolved from a common vertibrste ancestor.
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        • Dec 11 2013: I agree with you that evolution is the obvious fact of nature.
      • Dec 11 2013: The cell is a nucleus, surrounded by endoplasm and ecttoplasm surrounded by a transparent membrane.

        A chicken egg is a cell nucleus, surrounded by transparent albumin/plasma, a translucent membrane and a hard shell.

        Therefore as life began when the first cell/egg, was formed in the primaeval oceans; unequivocally, the egg came before the chicken.
      • Dec 11 2013: I am curious to know that why and how the first cell created , who created it . And more specifically who imagined that when the chicken will come out of the egg then , it will have a brain,eyes,feathers,bones. Strange are the ways of nature.
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        Dec 11 2013: Chickens are not born, they are hatched..
    • Dec 11 2013: Amazing !! Yesterday night I was just thinking about who came first chicken or the egg in the context of this topic , and the same discussion is going.
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      Dec 11 2013: i have also had this thought about the cave people and deities.
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    Dec 9 2013: It's not either-or. One does not need to reach a definite verdict about imagination in order to enjoy it or to use it for scientific, literature, etc progress. Imagination can be both logical or illogical. That's exactly its advantage. Because imagination lies in the theoretical domain and theory can be logical or illogical. Perhaps imagination can be defined as a very long-range observing instrument installed at the frontiers of the intelligence.

    The duty of intelligence is to observe the diverse creations//findings of the imagination and make the right distinctions between which of them are logical and which illogical, which are ethical and which unethical, which are applicable in the real life (science, social relationship, .......) and which in the imaginary life (science fiction, literature, .........), which are useful in the real life and which are harmful in the real life, and so on.
    • Dec 9 2013: Your point of observation is aptly right.
    • Dec 9 2013: So who benefits from intelligent decision making? The one making the decision? Those who are affected by the decision? Both or Neither? Does it matter if it affects rational observers or inanimate objects? So is a decision made intelligently actually rational and logical? I guess it will depend on the scope on how you understand how things work or the desirable outcome in which one would seek. Oh I wish life had 1 to 1 relationships in regards to intelligent decision making.
    • Dec 11 2013: Nicely said...I have to agree with Mr Masalker.
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    Dec 9 2013: We all know people who are intelligent, able to understand difficult problems and solve them, but have little creativity (imagination). In the same way, we may know an artist who is creative in many ways, yet not uniquely intelligent. It seems they are different aspects or different mental abilities.

    What is missing from this discussion is wisdom. When we think of solving some of the mess we seem to be creating in our world, neither intelligence or creativity will be enough. The Manhattan project that created the atomic bomb was populated by perhaps the most intelligent, creative group of people ever assembled. Most of them knew what potential devastation they were creating, and yet they created it.
    Knowledge, intelligence, imagination, and wisdom all work together when we are operative at our maximum potential.
    • Dec 22 2013: Is wisdom just that simple, predictive power, the act of seeing possible consequences of actions?

      If so, it is impossible in general and only a very rough approximation of it is possible locally. You would need omniscience otherwise.