Had his drawings and writing on this been published in his lifetime, Da Vinci could have been burned at the stake for heresy."He began scientifically by arguing that the embryo does not breathe in the womb because it is surrounded by fluids. "If it breathed it would drown,"he explained, "and breathing is not necessary because it is nourished by the life and food of the mother." Then he added some thoughts that the Church, which believed that individual human life begins at conception, would have considered heretical. The embryo is still as much a part of the mother as her hands and feet are. "One and the same soul governs these two bodies," he added, "and on and the same soul nourishes both".
Credit: Leonardo Da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson, 2017, Simon & Schuster