Is 4 cities by turn 50 waiting that long? Many cities were settling on forest or jungle (with gold ready to invest) and I wanted culture for the buildings as they go up. Progress with fast expansion just kills culture, especially in this situaiton (I get no culture from my pantheon, nor from my luxuries). I was doing pretty well culturally thanks to all that stolen tech and monument first everywhere. I think I've stolen more techs than I discovered myself (I skipped all science buildings for a long time) You can also phrase progress as "I don't want Authority or Tradition". Its awkward to build a wonder so early with Authority, because it means I'm not hunting barbarians yet. I love tradition, but England doesn't play into it. Its great to get culture for those techs I steal, it leads to a very strong start. I wasn't doing that poorly in faith (I had 12 per turn before my massive settler wave), but I saw a potentialy game losing mistake in missing religion, so I wanted to make sure I got it. Its possible I overreacted, but that might be hindsight bias. No one founded Catholicism this game, which means that most likely none of Aztec, Celts, Inca, Maya, Spain were in the game.