The material sciences will begin to give a hard definition to determinism through tangible applications. Newtonian physics set the stage (though the original idea is at least as old as the Greek Atomists) for science to take its turn at bringing order to the chaos. It starts with individual objects that are on the move, and predicts their future movements based on universal laws, like billiard balls on a pool table. If a player is precise enough (knows enough about his situation) then he can accurately understand where the balls will end up in the future. Any unpredictability arises from lack of knowledge not from inherent chaos.
The "billiard ball" hypothesis argues that once the stage of the universe has been set the rest of history follows inevitably from a series of cause and effect events. Ultimately there is order though it is hidden behind the great complexity of the universe. If it were actually possible to have complete knowledge of physical matter and all of the laws governing that matter at any one time, then it would be theoretically possible to compute the time and place of every event that will ever occur. The Deists would exalt causality, stating that everything is a result of the cause in front of it and attributing the first cause, the primary mover, as God.
Einstein would further the model of the deterministic universe by identifying time as a dimension with much of the same properties as space. This meant that my perception of a past, present, and future is an illusion. Time is a block, to be warped by gravity and speed to be sure, but a physical presence that assured that the future was as set in stone as the past. Think of it like a movie, the individual frames contain no motion, but when viewed in sequence the illusion of motion appears. This is a similar view that many Christians will make of time, especially Augustine, stating that God is outside the flow of time as its creator.
Quantum mechanics was the first major rival to both Newton and Einstein. When looking at the behavior extreme small scale particles, scientists started to discover a lack of predictability when applying traditional physics. As the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states, at atomic scales the paths of objects can only be predicted in a probabilistic way. In other words, chance governs the underlying foundation of our world. It is still a deterministic model, but one with a lot more uncertainty built in then in previous theories.
Science puts some meat on the bones of philosophy, offering a variety of theories grounded in experimentation and observation. Unfortunately it is still offers a remote view; there is nothing about neutrinos that will affect our behavior as an individual.