As the story goes on, "that thing" is ascribed a bunch of other properties, and in the end you'll get something as lovely as this:
The thing that made the things for which there is no known maker and that causes and directs the events that we can't otherwise explain and which doesn't need to have been made and is the one thing from which to ask for things that no human can give and without him we can't be fully happy and is unlimited by all the laws of physics and never began and will never finish and is invisible but is actually everywhere at once and who is so perfect that even if he killed millions of people, including babies, he still would be perfect and who is so powerful and magical that he can even make a virgin pregnant if he wanted to.
Now today I came across this explanation of continental drift via plate tectonics (maybe it'll be taken down as it seems from a commercial DVD lecture series). Anyways, the geologist is really vivid in explaining it. And then he says it: "It answered everything": check out the video and go to around 7min 50sec (aka 7'50''); then around 8'38'' he says it :)
Here's a clip from UC Davis Newswatch about Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes and here another educational clip apparently for use in schools.
Yeah, we've come a long way from "the things that made the things for which there is no known maker" to real explanations and an understanding of the world around us. And it's been very, very recent: Darwin and evolution: 150 years ago, plate tectonics, less than 50 years ago, the structure of DNA, new cosmological theories (inflation, etc): less than that... Good hunting! (for knowledge..)