Savant syndrome seems to support Howard Gardner's view that we have multiple intelligences. He proposed eight independent intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, and naturalist. (He has also proposed a ninth possible intelligence—existential intelligence—the ability to ponder deep questions about life.) Robert Sternberg's triarchic theory proposes three intelligence areas that predict real-world skills: analytical (academic problem-solving), creative, and practical.
Critics note research that has confirmed a general intelligence factor. But highly successful people also tend to be conscientious, well-connected, and doggedly energetic.