The Evolution of Man:
Unity of Mankind

By Arsalan Geula

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #88
Bosch Bahá'í School: Santa Cruz, California, USA
May 28 – June 1, 2009
(see list of papers from #88)

    The origin and the theory of evolution of man have received great attention and has been subject of an ongoing debate within the scientific and religious communities. The position of any of these two groups seems to be irreconcilable and has caused much disunity and even affected school curriculums.

    The Bahá'ís believe in the principle of the "Harmony of Science and Religion." Bahá'ís not only believe that the world and man were created by God, but also believe in the validity of "scientific findings." The Bahá'í Faith further teaches that science and religion each addresses different aspects of human reality, namely the material and the spiritual.

    'Abdu'l-Bahá in His talks discusses many aspects of human's reality (creation, human body, evolution and souls).

    In this presentation the followings will be reviewed:
    • The human evolution.
    • The Anthropic Cosmological Principle.
    • The evolution of humankind is the necessary outcome of the universal laws, and not the result of aimless events. The "random selection" could be interpreted as a directional random selection by design to produce higher organism: Homo sapiens. In other words, the randomness was incorporated into the creative design of the universe.
    • It is proposed that 'Abdu'l-Bahá's statements such as "...[man] from the beginning of his existence in the matrix of the world, is also a distinct species..." and "Man from the beginning was in this perfect form and composition..." (SAQ, p. 193) should be taken to mean that the idea of the design of man had existed from the beginning of the creation. If 'Abdu'l-Bahá's statements are taken literally, it would contradict the present scientific understanding of evolution and the Bahá'í principle of the "Harmony of Science and Religion." The idea of a perfect human existed from the time of the creation of the world, but his body evolved gradually from lower elements to a higher during the course of time.

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