Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the frontline

Knowing what you don't know

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 03 May 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:956

What is intelligence?

Society has a one-sided view of intelligence. In school and at work, our
intelligence is measured by how fast and completely we can learn. But learning
is only half of intelligence. The other half of intelligence is unlearning the many
falsehoods that we have been taught. Ironically, most highly intelligent people
cling to their education, resist unlearning falsehoods, and perpetuate the
harmful effects of these falsehoods, such as sickness, conflict, and war. Let's
redefine intelligence to include unlearning, so that our leaders, many of whom
are highly intelligent, can have open minds and truly promote peace and

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 February 2008
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA