All posts by Matt Giani & Halim Beere. Browse Other Authors

Matt Giani is a professor of educational policy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on inequality and social mobility in higher education. Matt draws his inspiration from his exuberant daughter Clara, his incredible wife Shadi, and the Baha'i teachings. Halim Beere helped form the startup Illiac Software, where he is Chief Technical Officer and programmer for the music software Harmonia. He is also a composer, earning his doctorate from the University of Illinois and drawing musical inspiration from the Baha'i Writings, his beautiful family, and computer code. He still lives in the Urbana-Champaign area with his wife Renee, daughter Roya, son Darius, two cats, and one dog.

Perspectives on Evolution

The harmony of science and religion is a fundamental principle of the Baha’i Faith. Abdu’l-Baha declares, “if religious beliefs and opinions are found contrary to the standards of science they are mere superstitions and imaginations; for the antithesis of knowledge is ignorance, and the child of ignorance is superstition.”

While conflict between religious doctrine and scientific theory is a recurring theme throughout the history of humanity, a contemporary example of this tension is found in discussions regarding evolution and the origin of our species. Given the centrality of the theory of evolution to the scientific enterprise and the importance of reconciling the teachings of the Faith and the established precepts of science, we thought it beneficial to briefly review some of the Baha’i principles on the subject. Shoghi Effendi cautions us, when studying Abdu’l-Baha’s teachings on the subject, that “these various statements must be taken in conjunction with all the Baha’i teachings; we cannot get a correct picture by concentrating on just one phrase.”

There are points of unequivocal agreement between Abdu’l-Baha and the science of evolution, such as the principle that humans, like all other species, have evolved over time:  Continue reading