"I honestly ponder how mankind has managed to advance over the past 4000+ years."
The advance of civilization is directly related to the advance of the Gospel of Christ. The advance of Western Civilization has resulted in the advance of society and the advance of technology.
Technology has continued to advance in the west, but civilization has ceased to advance as the influence of the Gospel of Christ has ceased to advance. In the West, the Gospel is merely treading water at this stage in human history.