Sarfati first focuses on the predominance of marsupials in present-day Australia. On pages 169-70 he lists several problems with the evolutionary explanation for how the vast majority of modern marsupial species came to be in Australia:
- the fossil record suggests marsupials once lived in Eurasia and North America before they lived in Australia, but marsupials are now largely absent from Eurasia and North America
- some modern marsupials are found in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia[bullet]a Chilean marsupial (Dromiciops gliroides) is more closely related to some Australian marsupials (such as the brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula) than it is to other South American marsupials
- a fossil platypus tooth was found in South America
- a 120-million-year-old placental fossil was found in Australia.
The current evolutionary explanation for the origin of Australia's marsupials addresses all but the last of Sarfati's 'problems'. Marsupial fossils are found in Eurasia and North America because marsupials are thought to have first evolved in the northern continents and then spread into South America around 70-60 million years ago. In South America marsupials underwent adaptive radiation (basically evolved into many different species) and some species continued spreading to Antarctica (which was connected to South America until around 30 million years ago, and had a very different climate) and on to Australia (which was connected to Antarctica until around 45-35 million years ago).[footnote 1] That explains the platypus fossil in South America and the link between Chile's Dromiciops gliroides and Australia's marsupials.
Modern marsupials are thought to have reached the islands north of Australia (such as New Guinea and Sulawesi) relatively recently – around 19,000 years ago sea levels fell enough that New Guinea was joined with the Australian landmass, and it remained so for 10,000 years.
So for some reason Sarfati gives examples that largely support the evolutionary view. A better line of attack for young-Earth creationists would be to highlight some of the significant gaps in the marsupial fossil record: the fossil record for Asia and Europe is poor; the few marsupial fossils found in Antarctica resemble those from South America but not those from Australia; and there is a gap of around 30 million years in the fossil record for Australian marsupials. Sarfati hints at such problems on page 169 when he quotes Cifelli and Davis on the difficulties in matching modern marsupial distribution with the fossil record.
Sarfati's final point on marsupials – the 120-million-year-old placental fossil – is an interesting one. There isn't agreement that the fossil, Ausktribosphenos nyktos, actually is a placental mammal. It may instead have been a monotreme, or belonged to its own extinct lineage of eutherian mammals. Perhaps Sarfati could have made more of this, but then nobody yet knows enough about Ausktribosphenos.
Madagascan lemurs and Galápagos iguanas
Sarfati also provides brief discussions of Madagascar's lemurs and the Galápagos Islands' iguanas. On lemurs, he criticises Dawkins' mischaracterisation of the young-Earth creationist view, which is fair enough. And he points out the evolutionary explanation for how lemurs got to Madagascar – floating across from Africa on rafts of vegetation – is rather far-fetched (indeed, it sounds more like a young-Earth creationist explanation: see Sarfati's comment in footnote 19 on page 172). However, it's worth noting the rafting explanation seems slightly less outlandish when considered in light of recent research into the ocean currents between African and Madagascar around 60 million years ago.
On pages 171-2 Sarfati quotes Dawkins at length, simply to point out that Dawkins is incorrect in his statement that the marine and land iguanas of the Galápagos Islands cannot interbreed. Here Sarfati has got it right. Dawkins is wrong:
It is interesting that, despite their long separation time, the marine and land iguanas are still capable of hybridizing and producing viable offspring. A morphologically unusual iguana was reported from the island Plaza Sur. Molecular analyses confirmed the hybrid status of this individual and revealed that it was the offspring of a male marine and female land iguana. As yet, however, hybridization has been reported only from this island and does not seem to play an important role in the evolution of the local iguana populations.
 Michael Archer and John Kirsch, 'The evolution and classification of marsupials', in Patricia Armati et al (eds), Marsupials, Cambridge University Press (2006), p 19.
 For more on Dromiciops gliroides see: Maria Nilsson, et al, 'Tracking Marsupial Evolution Using Archaic Genomic Retroposon Insertions', PLoS Biology (Public Library of Science), Vol 8, No 7 (2010) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
 Thomas Heinsohn, 'Marsupials as introduced species: long-term anthropogenic expansion of the marsupial frontier and its implications for zoogeographic interpretation', in Simon Haberle, et al (eds), Altered Ecologies: Fire, Climate and Human Influences on Terrestrial Landscapes, Canberra: ANU Press (2010), pp 138, 159-67; available online at: http://epress.anu.edu.au/wp-
 See: Archer and Kirsch, p 18, and Verity Bennett, 'Fossil Focus: Marsupial evolution - a limited story?', Palaeontology Online, Vol 2, Article 10 (2012) http://www.
 Their article is worth reading beyond Sarfati's heavily ellipsed quote. See: Richard Cifelli and Brian Davis, 'Marsupial Origins', Science, Vol 302, No 5652 (12 December 2003), pp 1899-1900; available online at: ftp://ftp.soest.hawaii.edu/
 Chris Johnson, Australia's Mammal Extinctions: A 50,000 Year History, Cambridge University Press (2006), pp 4-5; available online at: http://assets.cambridge.org/
 See: Jason Ali and Matthew Huber, 'Mammalian biodiversity on Madagascar controlled by ocean currents', Nature, Vol 463, Issue 7281 (2010) pp 653-6; partly available online at: http://www.readcube.com/