There is often a flurry of interest whenever the diaries or letters of historical figures emerge. So it is with a letter by Charles Darwin repudiating the Bible. When asked by a reader for “a Yes or No to the question Do you believe in the New Testament?” Darwin’s response was terse:
I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the son of God.
The letter is expected to fetch $90,000 at auction in New York next week. While some of Darwin’s letters have not sold for large amounts, Bonhams‘ Cassandra Hatton points out that this particular missive is highly important. “If you’re a Darwin collector, it is the ultimate piece. It’s at the crux of the whole debate.” The Guardian reports that Darwin had marked the letter “private” as he was always leery of discussing his opinion about God, even decades after his groundbreaking book The Origin of Species (1859) introduced the theory of natural selection, beginning the debate between creationism and evolution, an argument which continues to this day.