Mainly because it's just so simple. How do you figure out if an element is in an array in Python? if elem in arr:

I see Python like a big, soft cushion. It's REALLY comfortable, but you wouldn't want to build your foundation on it. I'm not ripping on Python or anything, I just think it's a bad fit for a first language.

EDIT: Think about it this way. If you learn Python as a first language, why would you ever want to learn a language where you need to use a for to see if an element is in an array?

I dunno, I'm conflicted on this. I don't think one necessarily needs to learn pointers and linked lists to learn how to program. I do think Python is a good first language exactly because you don't get lost into implementation details.

Would you make the same argument for a purely functional programming language?

You can still use a for on an array if you want to, Python doesn't prevent it, you can do it for learning purposes.

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