Are the robots we create alive?
Basically you are arguing that the universe is deterministic and that a lot of really smart physicists are wrong to a group of computer scientists.
Well to be fair, I don't have the degrees to say one way or another if its possible that the true randomness we see in quantum mechanics is actually just a small part of a much larger (and unseen) deterministic system.
But if I had to throw a wild uneducated guess from left field.... I would have to say, no probably not. In my very humble opinion, reality is just to weird to be deterministic. Just look at what evolved there. Humans.
First of all, I am definitely not a computer scientist, or any type of scientist for that matter. I'm just having a bit of fun with the philosophy of determinism.
I don't believe in Newtonian determinism, i.e. that we could theoretically predict everything about the universe. I just believe that if there is no external interference, that a system can only behave in one way, and, if the universe by definition cannot have any external interference, then it can only behave in one way.
Biological evolution is an excellent example of what I am trying to say. The mutations between generations appear to be random, but they're really just reactions to their environment with millions of variables.