London, May 14 : Albert Einstein described religion as "childish superstition" and "primitive legend," in a letter to be auctioned in London this week.
The great scientist's views on religion have long been questioned, with many seizing upon phrases such as "He [God] does not throw dice" as evidence that he believed in a creator.
However, the newly revealed letter to the philosopher Eric Gutkind dated Jan. 3, 1954, has challenged the theory that Einstein had any belief in God at all towards to the end of his life, reports the Telegraph.
He wrote: "For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people."
"As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are better protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them," he added.
Einstein also showed his side as a non-believer by stating in the same letter that God is "the expression and product of human weaknesses" and that the Bible is "a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."
Born to a Jewish family in Germany in 1879, Einstein said he went through a religious phase as a child before beginning to question conventional religion at the age of 12.
In later life, he expressed a sense of wonder at the universe and its mysteries - what he called a "cosmic religious feeling" - and famously said: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
But, he also said: "I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws."
The letter, which for decades has been in private hands, has surfaced, as it is to go on sale at Bloomsbury Auctions in Mayfair on May 15.
It is expected to sell for up to 8,000 pounds.