"The supposition that “the so-called laws of nature are the explanations of natural phenomena” is an “illusion” for two reasons....
First, “laws of nature” are mere abstractions and cannot explain anything. What exist in the natural order are concrete material substances with certain essences, and talk of “laws of nature” is merely shorthand for the patterns of behavior they tend to exhibit given those essences.
Second, that some fundamental level of material substances (basic particles, or whatever) exist and behave in accordance with such laws can also never be the ultimate explanation of anything, because we need to know, not only how such substances came into existence, but what keeps them in existence.
For as compounds of act and potency and essence and existence, they cannot possibly account for themselves; only that which is Pure Act and Subsistent Existence Itself can be the ultimate explanation of them, or of anything else. In general, whatever is composite in any way requires explanation in terms of that which is metaphysically simple. (As usual, see The Last Superstition and Aquinas for the full story.)"