This is an interesting topic
I certainly think that if your definition of advancing is the survival of the human race then we would have advanced more by not leaving our hunter gatherer origins. This is due to the fact that it was the only method of sustaining ourselfs that appears to not use more resources then nature produces and thus being completely indefinite, provide that climate shifts don't make the world uninhabitable by us or our food. Agriculture if done in a permiculture-like manner is a close second, one in which we manipulate nature for food but while encouraging natural eco-systems.
It would have been interesting to see how long the hunter-gatherer tribes that are left could survive if we didn't come in and screw up the habitates.
It is sad that the measuring stick of our progress is the speed by which we distance ourselves from the natural world. Even sadder is that we will only see this when there is no nature left to save.