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On 17 Jun 2015, at 15:35, David Barbour 
<dmbarb...@gmail.com<mailto:dmbarb...@gmail.com>> wrote:

On Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 2:43 AM, spir 
<denis.s...@gmail.com<mailto:denis.s...@gmail.com>> wrote:
Have you noticed the official retraction of "the camel has 2 humps", a good 
comment bu "retraction watch" on that fact, and that very "smart" (lol) paper 
by Jeff Atwood (of coding horror) about the story:

Jeff Atwood's article is dated 2006, after the original paper. The retraction 
in 2014.

That said, the original article was obviously bad science anyway. A simple 
alternative hypothesis to explain the same evidence: some people came into the 
class with more knowledge of programming, and the teacher allowed the others to 
fall further behind.

One shouldn't jump to that conclusion. In all the experiments we did, the 
effect persisted in the subgroup which claimed experience, and was equally 
present in the subgroup which claimed none. See 
http://ppig.org/library/paper/meta-analysis-effect-consistency-success-early-learning-programming

The retraction deals with replications and contradictory experiments.

Lister and Teague have observed the same phenomenon, and proposed an 
explanation. See 
http://ppig.org/library/paper/falling-behind-early-and-staying-behind-when-learning-program
and
http://ppig.org/library/paper/falling-behind-early-and-staying-behind-when-learning-program

The original 'paper' was hysterically over enthusiastic, but the phenomenon 
occurred, and occurs. But perhaps not always. Both facts require explanation.

Richard Bornat


My comment: How easy it is to confirm our ideologies (here meritocracy = 
elitism = aristocracy) by scientific research (or what we call so).

Not just scientific evidence or data. People tend to read whatever 
interpretation they want into scripture and anything else. The difference is 
that science demands empirical evidence that can be independently studied, and 
falsifiable theories, such that 'bad science' is less likely to survive from 
one generation to another.


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