Brent Meeker writes:

> > In a deterministic universe, saying that things could have turned out 
> > differently had initial 
> > conditions or physical laws been different is analogous to saying the sound 
> > coming out of the 
> > speakers could have been different if the grooves on the record or the 
> > equalisation in the 
> > preamp stage had been different.
> That still sounds like a cheat to me.  If it's recording of the universe it's 
> an 
> inputless program, since there is no "environment" outside the universe.  But 
> when 
> you invoke the analogy of the record, you conceive the grooves and the 
> initial 
> conditions as input.

The fundamental constants and physical laws could be taken as "input". There 
are of course various 
theories as to how these values have been set, ranging from "God made it that 
way" to multiverse 
theories in which every possibility is realised but only some lead to conscious 

Stathis Papaioannou
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