Genetic Engineering

For example, if a man of his own mind and intelligence collects some elements and combines them, a living being will not be brought into existence, since the system is unnatural. This is the answer to the implied question that, since beings are made by the composition and the combination of elements, why is it not possible for us to gather elements and mingle them together, and so create a living being. This is a false supposition, for the origin of this composition is from God; it is God Who makes the combination, and as it is done according to the natural system, from each composition one being is produced, and an existence is realized. A composition made by man produces nothing because man cannot create.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 181

As to the possibility of conception without the presence of a male sperm in the future: this is a question which lies entirely within the province of science, and which future scientists will have to investigate.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 288

As to your question regarding the possibility of an artificial production of life by means of an incubator: this is essentially a matter that concerns science, and as such should be investigated and studied by scientists.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 288

With regard to the soul of man: According to the Bahá’í Teachings the human soul starts with the formation of the human embryo, and continues to develop and pass through endless stages of existence after its separation from the body. Its progress is thus infinite.

Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 204

Concerning your first question, the House of Justice understands that the genetic engineering of fertilized human eggs is far from becoming a reality in the foreseeable future, therefore it does not feel it is propitious or necessary for it to legislate on this matter, or to take up a position about it.

Universal House of Justice, Reproduction and other Biological Subjects, 8 March 1983, to an individual believer

Nothing specific has been found in the Bahá’í writings on genetic engineering. This is therefore a matter on which the House of Justice may have to legislate but the time has not yet come for that. The subject is quite complex, and an informed opinion can be offered only when the scientific understanding is much further advanced than at present and the social implications are clearer. With the emergence of adequate understanding, it will also be opportune to deal with the ethical issues involved. In the meantime, Bahá’ís faced with questions about genetic engineering are free to come to their own conclusions based on their knowledge of the Bahá’í teachings on nature and the purpose of life. However, they should be careful not to make dogmatic statements or offer their own understanding as the teaching of the Faith.

Universal House of Justice, Reproduction and other Biological Subjects, 20 April 1997, to an individual