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Dawkins among Einstein letter bidders

May 17, 2008 at 11:57 AM

LONDON, May 17 (UPI) -- Renowned British atheist Richard Dawkins says he was among the bidders for a rare Albert Einstein letter that dismissed religion as "childish superstitions."

Dawkins, an author and biology professor, told British newspapers Friday he was disappointed he couldn't nab Einstein's 1954 note, which sold for $332,700 at Thursday auction in London. Dawkins said his offer was "substantially lower."

"In a way, I'm delighted that such a thing should be so highly valued," Dawkins told The Daily Telegraph. "This letter was about something very important to Einstein, I suspect."

The British newspaper said that if he had been successful in his bid, Dawkins would have donated the letter to his Foundation for Reason and Science.

Einstein wrote the note in German to the philosopher Eric Gutkind. In it, he said, "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."

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