Have you ever noticed how Atheists sometimes capitalize words like "Nature" and "Fate"? I was reading a paper on Freud this morning (as part of my Christian counseling studies) and noted this phenomena once again while reading something he said way back when. I seem to remember Stephen Hawking doing much the same thing in his "Brief History of Time" and wish I still had a copy just to verify that. No matter, it comes up often enough that specific "who's" are a somewhat secondary issue. It would need a more extensive study but it strongly suggests to me that fate and nature act as functional God substitutes for some of them.