"WHAT IS SCIENCE?"
"What is science?" Sam asks. He's completing homework and he's been assigned to ask three different people what they think is meant by the word "science."
"Interesting question. Let me think," I say, pausing from my yard work.
"Keep it real, dad," he impatiently insists.
"Okay, okay," I reply. I ask him to help me understand the context and nature of the question, buying time to formulate a succinct description.
Finally, I'm ready. "Got your pen ready?" I ask.
He pulls out his notebook and holds up his pen. "Fire away."
"Science," I say, "is the effort to empirically cast and quantify reality."
Sam's busy writing. "How do you spell 'empirically?'"
I know he has little notion or interest in what I've just stated and he's too ready to get the assignment completed and get on with riding his bike to question me further. But I'll be interested to hear if my response raises an eyebrow with his eighth-grade teacher.
Does it raise your eyebrow? What do you hear in my description of science? And what, to you, is "science?"