Again true, but whats your point , in relation to the ability to think creatively and originally ?Since you generally won't achieve a PhD without "using your knowledge", having a PhD usually means you are good at that.
I think it;s crystal clear for anyone that a Phd is highly advanced academical degree, and possessing one is a testimony to your ability to use "knowledge".
Crick didn't had this formal recognition known as a "phD". Some of more established researchers as Chargraff (my fav example) where dead bent on belittleing the Watson / Crick couple. Probably endless rows of "history teachers" did the same in their minds. Look, no PhDs. look, those guys cant even remember some of the elementary chemical structures.
But in the end, those 2 guys , using their knowledge and what probably was a uncanny amount of sheer determination, got the answer to the problem. Got a Nobel for it. While
Chargaff got a what was probably the biggest disappointment in his life. While he was a great researcher in his own right, with serious contributions to nucleic acid problems, he should have focused more on his own research than asserting what other ppl can do or not. Maybe then he would have got the structure first.
Having a PhD wont magically enable you to develop a new original theory or magically create a technological breakthrough. It is knowledge and work , a lot of hard work. It takes "heart". And unfortunately, no university or PhD can give you "heart".