It has been interesting watching this debate evolve - first at the other thread and now here. It is also interesting how often music comes up as an analogy. Here's one of my favorite anecdotes that kinda sums up the whole question of technique versus innate vision (the debate also points out that although many of us work in "black & white" we tend to think in "black OR white," ignoring the many shades of gray that give our photos their character):

This is usually attributed to the great Jazz musician, Charlie Parker. Once a young musician asked him, "To play Jazz, what chords should I learn? What scales? What modes?"

Charlie Parker replied, "Learn it all - then forget it and just play."

Intrestingly, from my vantage point as a message board lurker, this is essentially what both Michael and Ed are saying. The conflict seems to be that they have arrived at the intersection from different streets.

And while still in a musical setting, I personally have experienced someone with absolutely no consciousness whatsoever regarding technique who was able to play beautifully. I worked with developementally delayed adults, and encountered this one man who in the terms used then was considered an Autistic Savant. He could sit down at the piano and play any song he had ever heard, even if he had only heard it once thirty years ago. The strange and remarkable thing was he would actually imbue his performance with dynamics and emotion - a tremendous rarity for someone with his particular disabilities. All of the other individuals I have met with similar "roadblocks" were able to do some amazing things, but in a robotic fashion.

So it can happen, though granted, this was a highly unusual circumstance, and it did not involve photography (though the fact that he was blind would have made for an interesting experiment!)