The Origin and Evolution of Mankind as Elucidated in the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá

By Arsalan Geula

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #93
Louhelen Bahá'í School: Davison, Michigan, USA
October 8–11, 2009
(see list of papers from #93)

    See also Part I

    Part II—Discussion of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's statements in regard to the evolution of man:
    • 'Abdu'l-Bahá's statements concern philosophical issues rather than scientific ones. "The materialistic philosophers of the West ... the philosophers of the East -- such as Plato, Aristotle and the Persians..." (The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 356)
    • 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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