Before we start this section we must point out that when Abdul Baha was asked if he knew everything, he had answered: No, I do not know everything. But when I need to know something, it is pictured before me.
Stanwood Cobb, Memories of Abdul Baha in In his Presence: Visits to Abdul Baha (Kalimat Press, 1989), p. 60

These words are sometimes labeled by Baha’is as being pilgrims notes that cannot be verified. Shoghi has done us a favor and has verified these words at least in the sense that Abdul Baha is unerring, has superhuman knowledge, and his words are valid like his father:
Little wonder that from the same unerring pen there should have flowed, after Abdul Baha’s memorable visit to the West . . .
Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahaullah, p. 75 He is, and should for all time be regarded, first and foremost, as the Center and Pivot of Bahaullah’s peerless and all-enfolding Covenant, His most exalted handiwork, the stainless Mirror of His light, the perfect Exemplar of His teachings, the unerring Interpreter of His Word . . . He is, above and beyond these appellations, the "Mystery of God"-an expression by which Bahaullah Himself has chosen to designate Him, and which, while it does not by any means justify us to assign to Him the station of Prophethood, indicates how in the person of Abdul Baha the incompatible characteristics of a human nature and superhuman knowledge and perfection have been blended and are completely harmonized.
Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahaullah, p. 135

Magnified be He, therefore, for this sublime, this blessed, this mighty, this exalted Handiwork . . . A Word hath, as a token of Our grace, gone forth from the Most Great Tablet-a Word which God hath adorned with the ornament of His own Self, and made it sovereign over the earth and all that is therein, and a sign of His greatness and power among its people . . . Render thanks unto God, O people, for His appearance; for verily He is the most great Favor unto you, the most perfect bounty upon you . . . We have sent Him down in the form of a human temple . . . He is the Trust of God amongst you, His charge within you, They who deprive themselves of the shadow of the Branch, are lost in the wilderness of error, are consumed by the heat of worldly desires, and are of those who will assuredly perish.
Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahaullah, p. 136 That Abdul Baha is not a Manifestation of God, that He gets His light, His inspiration and sustenance direct from the Fountain-head of the Baha’i Revelation; that He reflects even as a clear and perfect Mirror the rays of Bahaullah’s glory, and does not inherently possess that indefinable yet all-pervading reality the exclusive possession of which is the hallmark of Prophethood; that His words are not equal in rank, though they possess an equal validity with the utterances of Bahaullah . . .
Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahaullah, p. 139

Shoghi clearly states that Abdul Baha is unerring, has Superhuman Knowledge, and his words are equal in validity with those of Bahaullah. Now let us test this unerring, super human, and valid knowledge:

a- Spontaneous Generation
Spontaneous generation is the incorrect belief that non-living things can give rise to living organisms. For instance, the belief had been held for years that maggots (fly larvae) were created due to the decay of meat. These beliefs were effectively disproved by Louis Pasteur’s experiments in the nineteenth century. Apparently, the same Abdul Baha that preached about the accordance of religion with science and reason at every opportunity, had not heard about these scientific discoveries: Know that the creatures are of many kinds . . . some are created in wombs others [are created] by spontaneous regeneration (khalq al-sa`a) and come into existence by themselves, such as the animals that are created in fruits, and a group are created in eggs. These are the types of creation of [living] things.
Abdu’l-Baha, Makatib (Egypt), vol. 2, p. 24

b- Convex and Concave Mirrors
Abdul Baha believes that a convex mirror, like a concave mirror, focuses light rays in a single real point. When explaining the necessity of focusing thought in one point he uses the following parable: Like sunlight that does not have a complete effect on a flat mirror, but when it shines on a concave or convex mirror, all its heat is focused in a single point and the heat of that point will become stronger than fire.
Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khawari, Ayyam tis`a, p. 324 This is while it has been proven centuries ago that a convex mirror, as opposed to a concave mirror, spreads light rays apart and does not create heat by focusing them. Some have defended Abdu’l-Baha’s words by claiming that he meant a virtual focus; this is unacceptable because he clearly states that the heat in the focus point will be hotter than fire and this phenomena only occurs in a real focus point.

c- Animal Breath
From the breath of animals a watery element (`un?ur) spreads that is nowadays called hydrogen and carbon and this gives life to plants and from plants and trees a fiery element spreads that is nowadays phrased as oxygen and is the cause of animal survival.
Abdu’l-Baha, Makatib (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 459

What Abdul Baha apparently means by the element that "gives life to plants" is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is not an element, is not called "hydrogen and carbon," does not have hydrogen in it, and is not watery. It is a gaseous compound.

d- Male and Female
Abdul Baha says: The tenth principle of his Highness Bahaullah is the unity of men and women; for in the view of God men and women are equal. They are all from the human race and the descendants of Adam. Because being male or female is not specific to the human race. Plants have male and female and animals too have male and female and there is no distinction. Look at the plant kingdom. Is there any distinction between male plants and female plants? Rather there is complete equality; and in the Animal kingdom too, there is no distinction at all. They are all under the shadow of God’s mercy.
Abdu’l-Baha, Kha?abat (Tehran), vol. 2, pp. 149–150

Are we supposed to believe male and female plants and animals are completely equal and have no distinction at all because Abdul Baha says so? Are males and females completely equal from the perspectives of genetics, anatomy, physiology, body size and form, power, ability, ranking, and sexual domination? Had Abdu’l-Baha not seen the male date-palm trees in Palestine that do not give any fruit whilst the female produce ripe dates? Had he not seen bulls, rams, and roosters dominating a group of females? Were these male animals completely equal in behavior, shape, and domination with cows, ewes, and hens?! Do male animals have the ability to bear offspring and to lay eggs? And why does he contradict his own words elsewhere and clearly states there are distinctions and differences between male and female:

Although women and men share the same capacities and abilities, there is definitely no doubt that men are superior and stronger. Even in animals like pigeons, sparrows, peacocks, and other [birds] this advantage is visible.
Mahmud Zaraqani, Bada’i` al-athar (Bombay: Karimi Press, 1921), vol. 1, p. 153

e- The Reason Humans Have Canine Teeth
Abdul Baha says: Thou hast written regarding the four canine teeth in man, saying that these teeth, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower, are for the purpose of eating meat. Know thou that these four teeth are not created for meat-eating, although one can eat meat with them. All the teeth of man are made for eating fruit, cereals and vegetables. These four teeth, however, are designed for breaking hard shells, such as those of almonds.
Helen Bassett Hornby, Lights of Guidance: A Baha’i Reference File, chap. XXIV, no. 1007

Abdul Baha claims that the four human canine teeth have been created for breaking nuts like almonds! Firstly, breaking nuts using teeth are dentists’ (and parents’) worst nightmares! The easiest way to chip one’s canines is to try to break open a nut with them.

Secondly, even if one does want to make the unwise choice of breaking nuts with their teeth, they will go about doing so using their molars, not canines, for the canines are in no way suited for this task.

f- Christopher Columbus Discovered America Using His Reason
This spirit has the power of discovery; it encompasses all things. All these wonderful signs, these scientific discoveries, great enterprises and important historical events which you know are due to it. From the realm of the invisible and hidden, through spiritual power, it brought them to the plane of the visible. So man is upon the earth, yet he makes discoveries in the heavens. From known realities-that is to say, from the things which are known and visible-he discovers unknown things. For example, man is in this hemisphere; but, like Columbus, through the power of his reason he discovers another hemisphere-that is, America-which was until then unknown.
Abdul Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 144

Abdul Baha claims that Christopher Columbus discovered America by spiritual power and reason while he was in his place in one hemisphere and America was in another hemisphere. All kinds of thorny problems arise from this statement. Firstly, Columbus did not discover America, as there were humans living there for thousands of years before he was born. Abdu’l-Baha clearly must have known this, which raises the question of whether he, like so many of his contemporaries, considers only the Europeans to be human, and other, ‘backward’ people to be subhuman.

Secondly, even if one adopts the racist Eurocentric mindset of ignoring the Native Americans and only considering the Western Hemisphere as ‘discovered’ when Europeans land there, Abdu’l Baha’s statement is still incorrect. Historians today undisputedly accept that the Norse explorer Leif Erikson was the first European to land in North America, nearly 500 years before Columbus. This fact was not known during Abdul Baha’s lifetime, but is clear to us today.

Finally, even if one accepts the erroneous idea that Christopher Columbus did indeed ‘discover’ America, it is well known that this was by chance-not reason or spirituality-when he was looking for an alternate route from Europe to India. When he reached America he had thought he had reached India and incorrectly called the natives Indians. Abdul Baha has repeated the aforementioned claim elsewhere:

Thus it is in Europe and discovers America; it is on the earth, and it makes discoveries in the heavens.
Abdul Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 252

An animal in Europe could not foresee and plan the discovery of America as Columbus did. It could not take the globe map of the earth and scan the various continents, saying, "This is the eastern hemisphere; there must be another, the western hemisphere."
Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 417

The last sentence is very problematic. The eastern and western hemispheres are the hemispheres that lie on the west and east of an imaginary line called the Prime Meridian. Abdul Baha’s belief that at a time people believed there was only an eastern hemisphere and then Columbus came about and thought to himself that there must be a western one too is totally baseless.

g- The Pupil of the Eye is Black to Attract the Rays of the Sun
Abdul Baha claims: How many things exist of which we do not yet know the reason! So the science of physiology-that is to say, the knowledge of the composition of the members-records that the reason and cause of the difference in the colors of animals, and of the hair of men, of the redness of the lips, and of the variety of the colors of birds, is still unknown; it is secret and hidden. But it is known that the pupil of the eye is black so as to attract the rays of the sun, for if it were another color-that is, uniformly white-it would not attract the rays of the sun. Therefore, as the reason of the things we have mentioned is unknown, it is possible that the reason and the wisdom of these traces of members, whether they be in the animal or man, are equally unknown. Certainly there is a reason, even though it is not known.
Abdul Baha, Some Answered Questions, pp. 192–193

The first sentence is in itself interesting. Abdul Baha claims many things exist that we do not know the reason about, yet Baha’is insist he has superhuman knowledge. Some might argue that he wasn’t referring to himself but to other people. The context and examples he puts forward show the contrary.

A great fallacy that he utters is where he says the pupil of the eye is black to attract the rays of the sun. The fact is, the pupil is merely a transparent hole in the center of the eye which light passes through to reach the retina. The only reason it appears black is that most of the light that passes through it either gets absorbed inside the eye or is diffused therein. This fact had been known for decades and optometrists had been using ophthalmoscopes to see inside the eye through this hole ever since the mid nineteenth century! Another error is the fact that black colored things do not attract the rays of the sun. They absorb them. Whether absorption or attraction was intended, they are both wrong because the reason for the blackness of the pupil has nothing to do with it absorbing or attracting light, for the pupil is transparent and colorless.

Baha’is try to justify these words by claiming that the phrase has been incorrectly translated and Abdul Baha was not referring to the pupil but was referring to another part of the eye. Firstly, the pupil is the only black part of the eye that fits Abdul Baha’s words. Secondly, The Farsi word used is tukhm chishm which is used to refer to the pupil.

Sometimes Baha’is go as far as claiming the space within the eye that is filled with a special gel was intended. This too is wrong because this space is transparent and has no color neither black nor white. Whatever part of the eye is intended, none have been created black for the purpose of attracting or absorbing sunlight and the aforementioned statements are grievous mistakes committed by the Unerring Pen.

The articles have been based on the book "Avaze Dohol" - the Beating of the Drum by Masoud Basiti, Zahra Moradi.

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