What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a passage from a Tablet of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the original text of which has been published in Má’idiy-i-Ásmání, vol. 2, p. 81.
Thy second question concerneth the impregnation of Mary through the Holy Spirit. This is an established and certain fact, but some of the philosophers of Europe have regarded this matter with doubt, accounting a fatherless son as an impossibility that cannot exist. They have deemed, as evidence for this, that reproduction is dependent upon the combination of sperm and an ovum. Such is what they say—yet on the other hand, those same philosophers of Europe consider the planet Earth to have been originated, stating that, in the beginning, it was a ball of fire, its heat gradually dissipated, and a crust appeared. With time, that crust grew thick and became stable, and then vegetables, animals, and humans came into being. They even say that, using the science of stratigraphy, they can ascertain and prove which animals predate others. In short, the philosophers and scientists of Europe do not regard the origination of these three kingdoms with any doubt whatsoever; indeed, they uphold it with a strange insistence. This being the case, according to their belief, the first person was created and born without a father. Given that they acknowledge and admit to this, how is it that they consider the birth of Christ through the effluence of the Holy Spirit to be a cause for wonder and amazement? For Christ had a mother, but the first human was born without either father or mother. “Take ye good heed, O people of insight!”*
* Qur’án 59:2.
A typescript of the original Persian text of this passage appears below.