Uncertainty and risk are all around us. In bygone days we did not even know what the probability of a meteor strike was (it was an uncertain event), but now its been reduced to just a risky event when we can say that individually we are less likely to be hit by a meteor than the chances of any one of us winning the lottery.
Progress then could be seen as a movement from uncertainty to risk to risk avoidance such as when we start destroying threats to Earth from space, as in the movie Deep Impact.
We could have lived in a world with finite sources of uncertainty and risk. So that over time as we conquered each one our existence would become a safer and more predictable one. However, it is curious as our capabilities to manage risks improves, so also we face increases in the threats of such events occurring.
To some extent, the increase in our capabilities and the increasing risks of threats to our existence can be considered to be related to each other. Some advances in science and technology would not have been possible without increasing our carbon footprint. And the latter has unleashed risks to our existence that previously did not seem to exist. Secondly, some of the tools and devices that we have created themselves are now vulnerable to which older generations of technology were not susceptible. Satellites are one means by which we manage the risks presented by the environment, but the satellites themselves are susceptible to solar storms.
The upshot is this. The very earliest farmers had to pray in order for the rain to nourish their crops. Today's farmers may no longer need to pray, because the advances in irrigation have made the supply of water more secure and predictable. But the need to pray remains since there are nowadays other events they lie beyond the control and comprehension of the farmer.
Human predisposition to conceit may lead us to think that as yet another source of risks is addressed we are better able to shape our destiny, but the above points suggest that the system does not behave that way.