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Arohanui: Letters from Shoghi Effendi to New Zealand

  • Author:
  • Shoghi Effendi

  • Source:
  • Bahá’í Publishing Trust of Suva, Fiji Islands, 1982 edition
  • Pages:
  • 104
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Pages 85-86

EVOLUTION (75)

We cannot prove man was always man for this is a fundamental doctrine, but it is based on the assertion that nothing can exceed its own potentialities, that everything, a stone, a tree, an animal and a human being existed in plan, potentially, from the very “beginning” of creation. We don’t believe man has always had the form of man, but rather that from the outset he was going to evolve into the human form and species and not be a haphazard branch of the ape family.
You see our whole approach to each matter is based on the belief that God sends us divinely inspired Educators; what they tell us is fundamentally true, what science tells us today is true; tomorrow may be entirely changed to better explain a new set of facts.
When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says man breaks the laws of nature, He means we shape nature to meet our own needs, as no animal does. Animals adapt themselves to better fit in with and benefit from their environment. But men both surmount and change environment. Likewise when He says nature is devoid of memory He means memory as we have it, not the strange memory of inherited habits which animals so strikingly possess.
These various statements must be taken in conjunction 86 with all the Bahá’í teachings; we cannot get a correct picture by concentrating on just one phrase.
(Extract, letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, June 7th, 1946