London, England (CNN) -- A Christian evangelist branded an idiot by atheist biologist Richard Dawkins for trying to refute Charles Darwin's theory of evolution has brushed off the criticism.
Speaking to CNN on the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's seminal work "On the Origin of Species," Dawkins said the evidence to support the theory that life on earth came about through natural selection, and not design by God, was "now massively buttressed by molecular evidence."
And referring to U.S.-based evangelist Ray Comfort, who argues that the universe and life is the result of an intelligent creator, Dawkins said: "There is no refutation of Darwinian evolution in existence. If a refutation ever were to come about, it would come from a scientist, and not an idiot.
"Hunches aren't interesting, hunches aren't valuable. What's important is scientific evidence. It doesn't matter what mister whatever his name is, Comfort ... what his opinion is. It doesn't matter what my opinion is. What matters is evidence. And the evidence is clear. The evidence is in favor of evolution."
Comfort's California-based Living Waters ministry says it plans to distribute 120,000 copies of Darwin's theories on leading university campuses with a 50-page introduction in which he says he provides evidence for intelligent design.
Responding to Dawkins' criticism, Comfort issued a statement to CNN. "If the views expressed in my introduction of 'On the Origin of Species' are 'idiotic,' why would Mr. Dawkins tell students to rip them out of the book, as he did recently?
"Surely he should encourage them to read the introduction to see how foolhardy it is, and that would strengthen students' faith in the theory of evolution."
Dawkins, who came to prominence with his 1976 book "The Selfish Gene," which explores the origins of life, has been dubbed in the media as "Darwin's rottweiler."
He maintains that science has proved the 19th century English naturalist's theory of evolution right in almost every respect, adding that "Darwin also cleverly anticipated just about all the arguments against that have ever been proposed."
"Dan Dennett, the U.S. philosopher said it was the best idea anyone ever had. It explains the whole of life, the diversity, the beauty of life, above all the illusion of design. Living things look as if though they've been designed at a fantastically complicated level. What Darwin showed is you can get illusion of design with virtually nothing, with a simple idea, using ordinary, blind laws of physics."
He added: "You can't prove there's no God, no fairies, no leprechauns, or that Thor or Apollo don't exist. There's got to be a positive reason to think that fairies exist. Until somebody does, we can say technically we are agnostic about fairies. We can't disprove them, but we think it's a bit of a waste of time trying. And the same goes for God."