Bushwacking a Path
Bushwacking a path drove me to explore the intersection of three mythic archetypes: Oedipus, Daedalus, and Theseus. We know about Oedipus because of Sophocles’ greatness as a playwright and Freud’s vision as a psychologist. Oedipus, the archetypal analyst, peeled away layers of falsehood to discover the truth of his identity. To his horror, he had unknowingly murdered his father and married his mother.
Daedalus, architect, inventor, designer, offers a powerful message for a world in change. But without Sophocles or Freud to translate that message, Daedalus remains obscure. I was convinced that our culture’s emphasis on Oedipus, and neglect of Daedalus and Theseus, reflects a bias that exacerbates our current predicament.
Tracing a thought path from Leonardo da Vinci’s little-known Codex Trivulzianus, through Adam Smith’s neglected Theory of Moral Sentiments, which was overshadowed by his Wealth of Nations, highlights cultural biases that may explain why we emphasized a half interpretation of Darwin’s theory of evolution, making the Tragedy of the Commons an inevitable outcome of evolutionary dynamics.
Recent findings in cell biology raise questions about the widely accepted view of neo-Darwinism (random variation and environmental selection) as the exclusive driver of evolution’s ingenious designs. Mythical inventor/ architect Daedalus asks the great scientist Charles Darwin a series of questions that suggest life’s role as an active designer in evolution.