.Leonardo Da Vinci is usually thought of first and foremost as an artist but he was also an important humanist, scientist, and naturalist in the Renaissance. There is no evidence that Leonardo Da Vinci was also an atheist, but he should be a role model for us all in how to approach scientific and artistic problems from a naturalistic, skeptical perspective. He is also a reason why atheists should pay more attention to the connections between art and philosophy or ideology.Leonardo believed that a good artist must also be a good scientist in order to best understand and describe nature. The humanistic, naturalistic, and scientific aspects of Leonardo's life and work are not always clear because he was an original Renaissance Man: Leonardo's art, scientific investigations, technological inventiveness, and humanistic philosophy were all bound together.The origins of science can be traced back millennia, but it can be argued that the origins of modern science are in the Renaissance. Two features of the Renaissance factor heavily in modern science: the revolt against religious and political restrictions on knowledge and the return to ancient Greek philosophy " which included empirical, scientific investigation of nature. Renaissance figures like Leonardo Da Vinci were explicit in their reliance on empiricism rather than faith, their willingness to study nature to gain knowledge rather than rely upon tradition or dogma.
Leonardo Da Vinci exemplified this attitude through his careful studies of the natural world. He didn't just wonder how birds flew, for example, he undertook systematic studies birds in flight " then took this knowledge and tried to apply it in the hopes that humans might fly as well. Leonardo also studied how the eye sees in order to apply this knowledge to improve his own artistic creations.