Aristotle in his day presented the causes of being in part due to an effort to address the reasons for which existence has come about. Aristotle's suggestions entailed four causes: the material cause, the formal cause, the efficient cause, and the final cause. The material cause represents that from which a thing is created. The formal cause refers to the pattern by which a thing is created. An example of the formal cause could be the stencil used to create a work of art or the stitching pattern used to knit an article of clothing. The efficient cause is the source or creator of a thing. Lastly is the final cause, which refers to the final cause, considered the purpose of the created thing or the reason for which it was created.
During our discussion of John Henry Newman's "The Philosophical Temper First Enjoined by the Gospel," we approached a text which was written during a transitional period for the Catholic Church. Newman was one of many Catholic philosophers who accepted the task of studying this concept of evolution in order to better address it and the Catholic approach to it. Newman simultaneously criticized the literalism of some theologians as well as the lack of humility on the part of scientists. Does science fulfill any of the aforementioned causes of being? Does religion?