I probably should have included this idea on my “All about science” blog post. Maybe I didn’t put it in there because if I talk about what science is you can figure out what it is not.
Science is not math
Science is all about making models. It is true that many current models are mathematical models, but it doesn’t have to be that way, and it hasn’t always been that way. Think about rubbing a piece of metal with a magnet. It gets magnetized – right? What if you then cut that magnet in half? Then you have two smaller magnets. How can you make a model that explains this phenomena? Yes, you could use some mathematical models, or you could draw a domain model like this:
No math needed. Or what about biology? I know there is a lot of biology that uses some math, but not all of it – right?
Also, you could say the following.
Science is communication
I was going to say “english” but clearly that is not true. Can you do science without communicating? I guess technically, yes. But every example you would look at would have people writing stuff down and communicating with other people.
So, in summary, if you want to say one thing that science is, I would say Science is the building and testing of models.
Oh, I guess I should mention this xkcd comic. It shows fields arranged by purity. It does not say that math is a science, it says it is the most pure (field).