Chris, you seem to be reducing "progress" down to "technology". This is exactly the type of thing progress studies needs to clarify. As someone who has spent half his life studying progress, my two cents on the issue is that it is helpful to view two distinct types of progress. The first is what I call type 1 progress or progress in capability, knowledge or technology. This is nukes! Progress in technology and capability are fairly commonplace in history and even evolution.
The second is what I call type 2 progress, or progress in outcome or welfare. This is the hard one, and is extremely rare on a population level. The first and only known example of type 2 progress in the observable universe has been with humanity over the past 250 years or so.
Technology and science certainly play a crucial role in type 2 progress. But they are in no way sufficient.