Evolutionary biology cannot answer a question about "progress". Opinions are strong. For a good discussion see https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/50/5/451/264248 and note comment by Stephen Jay Gould, “Progress is a noxious, culturally embedded, untestable, nonoperational, intractable idea that must be replaced if we wish to understand the patterns of history” (Gould 1988, p. 319) and William Provine “the problem is that there is no ultimate basis in the evolutionary process from which to judge true progress” (Provine 1988, p. 63).
I believe this is because its mathematical formulation only looks backward. It presumes a parameter "fitness" which has a value in a particular environment, especially in what that environment WAS not what it IS or WILL BE. (For a clear treatment, not the usual overbearing textbook, see Gillespie, Population Genetics - A Concise Guide, 1998 https://public.wsu.edu/~gomulki/mathgen/materials/gillespie_book.pdf )
That does not mean the question cannot be answered. But it requires a convincing definition of progress. There already is one in common use among futurists. And it leads to a convincing answer. However, there is disagreement as to whether humans are on the path to an answer.
To obtain a definition of progress, only note which forms are most likely to remain viable in future environments.
This requires forecasting of future environments, a difficulty I will pass over. While non-trivial, it is an entirely separate question.
Looking far enough into the future, it is extremely easy to forecast that Earth (and the sun and moon and rest of it) will eventually meet some end and not even be available as an environment. It could be as simple as a focused gamma ray burst https://jatan.space/timeline-for-life-until-the-end-of-the-universe/ . The only viable forms will be those which have left.
There is a famous puzzle, named after Enrico Fermi though he didn't formulate the puzzle exactly. He just asked, "Where are all the Aliens?"
Putting aside those who claim they are among us and we don't know it, and looking only at physical evidence, while some might keep themselves secret we can't think of a reason why they all would. We appear to be alone in the universe. There appear to be some barriers that prevent life from leaving its home planet. And I'm not talking about the long time travels required, etc. Those are not actually insurmountable. I worked for NASA for 45 years and studied this question often. Difficult is not insurmountable. Pass over that argument, it is a sidetrack.
None of the solutions to the so-called Fermi Paradox are the least bit impressive. Not only to me, I never met anyone who was really impressed with any of them. They pick favorites, but everyone is puzzled. It is not obvious humans are capable of solving this problem. For the most concise (not too long, but still comprehensive, and very colorful) see the animated video short https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNhhvQGsMEc&t=6s , or look up the original paper by Michael Hart, 1975, "Explanation for the Absence of Extraterrestrials on Earth."
If in the future humans become "advanced" enough to understand the problem and work out what its realistic features are, then we might be able to say if humans can solve it, or if dogs can solve it. So there is potential to define objective progress in evolution.
It might require the evolution of life around red dwarfs to solve the problem. Such life might have a concept of much longer time intervals, for example, or be much more cooperative. We just don't know how such imponderable variables would affect evolution. The issues with life around Red Dwarfs is discussed here https://www.space.com/14659-red-dwarf-stars-planets-habitable-zones.html and note that the timeline given earlier https://jatan.space/timeline-for-life-until-the-end-of-the-universe/ suggests that in 1 trillion years Red Dwarfs will be all that is left. Thus the future environment has already been predicted with high confidence.
The ancestors of dogs evolved in surprising ways, achieving brains that rival our own. I'm thinking of the whales and dolphins, that presumably evolved from some predator hunting in shallow lagoons and gradually returning to the sea. https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_03
In their present form they are unsuitable for spaceships. Suppose over a billion years the sea dried up, and they gradually adapted, developed an urgent need to free themselves from dependence on one single planet that could be so rude as to lose its oceans, and developed an instinctive collective urge to find other planets, instilling cooperation far beyond the human level. Then dogs might win.
I personally believe the Achilles heel of the Fermi dilemma is cooperation. Much touted human cooperation is not what it appears. More intelligent people cooperate less. If you explain game theory to people they cooperate less (Nash Equilibrium and all that). A global society might not be a highly cooperative one. Interstellar travel might require global cooperation. Forcing everyone to take just one approach to any given problem might be the ruin of any civilization. It is certainly not the way of evolution.
But not knowing who is going to solve the Fermi Paradox, if any species ever, does not detract from its value in defining progress in an extremely objective manner.
And if you get past that, there is the end of what we call the universe. Cosmologists, at least some of them, now think it is not really the end. See Dyson et. al. Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant https://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0208013 .
But there might be ten to the 100th years of not very interesting non-entropic processes until there is a repeat, or approximate repeat, of the initial conditions, a Poincare Recurrence as Poincare proved a theorem that this would eventually happen over a hundred years ago. Who will survive that? We can't say it's impossible. We know next to nothing about non-entropic processes. But it is possible to define progress even then.