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I am unable to suspend rational thought sufficiently to be a believer in the supranatural, but I can understand the attraction of such explanations a few thousand years ago, when one could have more or less rationally deduced that the sun was the giver of life.

Actually, I think ths sun is the giver of life. Without sunlight, I don't think there would be much in the way of living organisms on Earth, unless there were some other source of light to add energy to the equation.
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