If newborns could remember and speak, they would emerge from the womb carrying tales as wondrous as Homer's. The would describe the fury of conception and the sinuous choreography of nerve cells, billions of them dancing pas de deux to make connections that infuse mere matter with consciousness. They would recount how the amorphous glob of an arm bud grows into the fine structure of fingers agile enough to play a polonaise. They would tell of cells swarming out of the nascent spinal cord to colonize far reaches of the embryo, helping to form face, head and glands. The explosion of such complexity and order - a heart that beats, legs that run and a brain powerful enough to contemplate its own origins - seems like a miracle. It is as if a single dab of white paint turned into the multicolored splendor of the Sistine ceiling.from "How Life Begins," by Sharon Begley, cover story for the January 11, 1982 issue of Newsweek.