I think you’ve touched on something significant here, but saying that we’re “hiding” behind numbers suggests an insidious intention that might not be there. Many people, as the discussion between you and Laura suggests we have a long way to go in teaching math/numeracy to students (and adults!). What if courses helped students see how each field was used to help people in that field be expressive? Statistics classes show how researchers’ points are made by manipulating results. Language classes show how writers’ goals are met by manipulating language (you know…rhetoric). Science classes show how scientists’ curiosity is managed by manipulating experiments.
We so easily get wrapped up in the content of our respective fields that we often lose sight of the purposes to which those fields are put. Those purposes are the real point behind all the work we do, and implementing them allows one to understand the field.