Thanks Aaron for your response.
I am assigning positive value to both improvements in knowledge and increased energy use (via tapping of fossil fuel energy). I am not weighing them one vs the other. I am saying that without the increased energy from fossil fuels we would still be agricultural societies, with repeated rise and fall of empires. The indus valley civilization, ancient greeks, mayans all of the repeatedly crashed. At the peak of those civilizations I am sure art, culture and knowledge flourished. Eventually humans out ran their resources and crashed, the crash simplified art forms, culture, and knowledge was also lost.
The driver is energy, and the result is increased art, culture, knowledge and peace too.
Reason and humanism have very little to do with why our world is peaceful today (in the sense that outright murder, slavery, colonialism are no longer accepted).
I read the book by Pinker and his emphasis on Western thought and enlightenment was off putting. We are all human, there are no Western values or Eastern values.
Hans Rosling puts it beautifully
“There is no such thing as Swedish values. Those are modern values”