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Quanta Magazine

In A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities , published in 1814, Pierre-Simon Laplace introduced a notorious hypothetical creature: a vast intelligence that knew the complete physical state of the present universe. For such an entity, dubbed Laplaces demon by subsequent commentators, there would be no mystery about what had happened in the past or what would happen at any time in the future. According to the clockwork universe described by Isaac Newton, the past and future are exactly determined by the present.