Yes, they had a good agrarian and trade based economy and then the climate changed, desertification. It was climate change not a petty god that turned the economic conditions. Though I guess “god” also gave them the oil to make them rich. I don't see Jesus anywhere in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Iraq, Libya, or Kuwait, and they are plenty oil-rich
Hate to tell you this, but we came to N.A. Because the Europeans were just looking for trade routes and land to exploit – it had no religious significance, it was a pure quest for profit. They our ancestors got lucky and happen to settle in the Northern hemisphere, and were able to take advantage of an environment that is conducive to wealth. With wealth comes free time. And much like the emergence of philosophy around Greece, India, China is was because people had free time. Again not god. And of course none of the groups that gave rise to philosophical thought had Jesus on their mind.
I place the origins of our knowledge society as far the invasion of Europe by the Moors/Saracens. They brought with them a wealth of knowledge about science, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, the concept of Zero. It was through Spain that much of this knowledge was spread through Europe. It was the Moors that reintroduced the Europeans to civilization, they built schools, hospitals, libraries, mosques concepts that would later spread throughout Europe. No Jesus or Bibles to be found.
This is also why, after the Moors were expelled from Spain, it was Spain that emerged as the most powerful country in Europe – despite hundreds of years of occupation.
You should also note that we went to the moon on the work of a Nazi scientist - Wernher von Braun, who was scooped up by the Americans before the Russians could get to him. The Americans scooped up a number of Nazi scientists that would give the post war development a definite advantage. A homosexual, Alan Turin was responsible for breaking Enigma (the Nazi cipher) and helping the allies win the Battle of the Atlantic. He was also influential in other areas like mathematics, computer and biology. I would hazard to guess that you have this Homo to thank for some aspect of your life. Possibly even the fact that you don't live in Nazi rule.
It was the industrial revolution in the late 1800s early 1900's and then a change from a coal to the petrol based economy that really changed the world. Without the environmental advantages of the access to water ways and the other I've mentioned previously none of this would half helped Britain maintain their place as an economic powerhouse.
How long has this progress taken us? Around 100 THOUSAND years, this is how long humans have been walking around the planet. We have done relatively well for ourselves since our ancestors came down from the trees.