An initial condition is the way something begins. In cosmology “initial condition” is a fancy name for how the universe began. Hawking says: “Most scientists … separate the problem into two parts. First, there are the laws that tell us how the universe changes with time. … Second, there is the question of the initial state of the universe. Some people feel that science should be concerned with only the first part; they regard the question of the initial situation as a matter for metaphysics or religion.”
But if laws are not there in the beginning where else could they be? And when do they arise? The beginning cannot come before the rules, it must include the rules. Without them it will never get begun. So what Hawking says most scientists separate in two parts is all one. They see two parts because they look back through time. If Hawking’s right about most scientists, most scientists are wrong.
The Problem is: What was the Initial Condition of the universe?