Dana Oleskiewicz is self-employed in the environmental field, with an emphasis on water protection. She received a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Secondary Education and an M.S. in Aquatic Ecology, both from Kent State University. Her area of specialization is in nonprofit organizational development, collaborative decision-making, environmental education, and lake ecosystems.
“I am an avid science enthusiast and brand-new Christian. As a young person, I fell victim to the dichotomy message. I truly believed that I could not accept both science and Scripture; therefore, I was blind to the Good News for 30 years. Blessedly, in January 2015, the Lord revealed himself to me in awesome splendor, and I accepted Jesus into my life.
My crisis of faith began when evolution was presented in a high school biology class. As an origins story, it made a whole lot more sense to me than a God entity that I could not see and had not personally experienced. Yet, it was not evolutionary ideas that caused me to turn away from God but instead the insistence from my faith community that the science is wrong when I could clearly see the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, as I proceeded through a master’s thesis with a focus in paleontology.
I continued to study this conflict by attending church seminars and reading young-earth creationist materials. Ultimately, I concluded that the arguments were not valid and that the science presented did not reflect what I knew to be the essence of the scientific method. I was not convinced to reject what I understood to be true about our world, as discovered through centuries of scientific inquiry. Instead, I had to reject the Gospel. God become irrelevant, and my faith journey ended. The idea that I could embrace and trust both Scripture and science was never presented by my faith leaders as an option for me to consider.
I was again confronted with the science/faith dichotomy when recently given the gift of Jesus. This time, the Holy Spirit would not let me reject my salvation, but what awful anguish I experienced as I assumed I had to reject my beloved science instead. I was thrilled to learn that I could believe in both! As I investigate my newfound faith alongside my scientific knowledge, the Lord continues to reveal to me that scientific findings and the use of the scientific method are very good, just as his Word is also good.
BioLogos was one of the first resources the Lord directed me to when I discovered his wonderful grace. This is why I place great value in this ministry, as a support towards full exploration on God’s truth, disclosed through both nature and the Bible. The efforts of BioLogos shed light on evidence that for years has been feared by many Christians. I truly believe that I now have the Lord’s blessed consent to understand the Bible differently than what was presented to me in my youth. Genesis has become brilliantly relevant to my spiritual growth. Praise the Lord, I am so grateful to have both science and salvation in my life!”