Why need the two things be exclusive?
It seems probable that it is both, at least in some contexts.
Science can be both an evolutionary phenomenon, and better than any of the systems that preceded it.
As others have noted, there have always been people alert to how reality reacted to their experiments, and it is through the efforts of many such people over many generations (predating the invention of writing) that we have the modern science that we have.
And science, the creation of hypotheses and testing them in reality, is in one sense a tool. One can only judge the utility of a tool in relation to the chosen task.
The big question is, what do we choose to use science for?
At present, we seem to be in the midst of the emergence of a new level of complexity and awareness; as ever increasing numbers of people start to realise that the idea of measuring value in markets is rapidly losing the utility it once had.
We now have the possibility of indefinite life extension, and amazing degrees of empowerment and freedom for all individuals; and such things necessarily come with responsibilities.
We need to start seeing ourselves for what we are, not what the warped economic systems we are living in have tried to make us into.
We are the most cooperative species on the planet.
It is cooperation, not competition, that is our greatest distinguishing factor.
Science can now prove that, beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt.
And we are not simple.
We are the most complex things we yet know of in this universe.
Science can be used to improve the probabilities of life and liberty for all, or it can be used by a minority to enslave the rest. It is a tool.
And if individuals choose to use their own abilities to question everything, and make their own decisions, over what any form of authority tells them (the ancient authorities of their desires, the old authorities of religions and culture, the modern authorities of logic, law, politics, philosophy and science) then we might just get out the other side of this transition with most people alive and with the option of doing whatever they responsibly choose for as long as they choose.
Living a long time makes a great many demands upon one.
Throughout all of history, most life forms have died, those alive now are the only ones that haven’t.
To live is to risk death, there can be no absolute guarantees of life.
And when one looks at the evolution of life, it seems clearly to be the case that all new levels of complexity are the result of new levels of cooperation.
We all have our competitive sides, that is true, and we can all choose to be cooperative.
We now have the technology to ensure life and liberty for all, or to destroy it all.
It is what we choose that matters.
Evolution is about what survives.
We can choose to cooperate and survive, or we can continue down the competitive market system and destroy ourselves and all the systems we rely on.
And to be clear, I am not talking central control, but the very opposite.
Individuals choosing to cooperate, and to do so intelligently, with eyes open, alert for cheats, and constantly searching for new detection and removal strategies. No boring certainty, but rather interesting confidence. This seems to be what science requires of us, if we are committed to life and liberty.