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Some religions regard pigs as unclean on the grounds that pig flesh is closest in composition to human flesh. I don't believe this for one instant, but it got me thinking, just how close is pig and human on the evolutionary tree?

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    $\begingroup$ Can you please stop editorializing your questions. The story, or your opinion are not relevant to the question and do not change the answer. $\endgroup$ – AMR Jan 2 '16 at 10:03
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    $\begingroup$ Also, if you're talking about kosher or halal dietary restrictions, it is more than likely the elders saw people eat pork and get very sick or die from trichinosis before anyone knew that was a thing, and either they believed that cause of illness was an affront to God or in order to dissuade the masses from risking it and eating pork, especially if other food was scarce, they, quite literally, instilled the fear of God in them by declaring swine as unclean and consuming it as an offense to God. Oddly enough, we now know the cause, but pork is banded but cigarettes are perfectly kosher... . $\endgroup$ – AMR Jan 2 '16 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ A bit of context to a question does no harm at all. AMRs objection is tosh. $\endgroup$ – Gordon Stanger Jan 3 '16 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ That's where you're wrong. This question was closed by the community, even though there was a valid question there; because of all of the superfluous detritus in the question: biology.stackexchange.com/posts/41836/revisions. I distilled the question out of it, edited it, and got it reopened. Your question is simply When is the last common ancestor of pig and human? and Is it a fact that pig tissues are highly similar to human tissue? The rest just makes you come across as a bit of a whacker... Leave it out, ask the question, get your answer and then fight it out at the boozer. $\endgroup$ – AMR Jan 3 '16 at 10:42
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Last common ancestor is about 97.5 Million Years Ago.

TimeTree.org Pig vs. Human

That being said, they are close enough to us that they are a vector for influenza viruses that are able to make the jump to human pretty easily.

Also we use their tissue as a homologue for human in forensic research. We also use valves from pig hearts to replace defective human valves.

This Nature News Article reviews some of the work being done with Pig to Human Tissue Transplantation. Though granted the methods they are looking at rely heavily on targeted gene editing.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good one man. Nice, crisp answer. $\endgroup$ – Tusky Jan 2 '16 at 10:48
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    $\begingroup$ Another thing I forgot to mention. Until we engineered E. coli to mass produce it, we used to use pig insulin for the treatment of diabetes.... $\endgroup$ – AMR Jan 2 '16 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ Are you serious! That is insane! $\endgroup$ – Tusky Jan 3 '16 at 5:45

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