I would say the success of Kodak in the last century is adequate evidence of this method.
And this is exactly the mechanism Bob used successfully. He's in good company. There is passage in one of the A.A. books about Weston where the supreme geek of photography comments that he was watching Weston work and wondering just what in heaven's name the guy was doing. The final comment was "but the results speak for themselves." Clearly an acceptance by Adams that Weston's methodology was legitimate, even if it wasn't scientifically rigorous.or the advice of people who may have no clue about it but have printed thousands of negatives from it and can actually give their "professional" opinion?
IMO it is a mistake to think of this as a zero sum game. Neither approach is wrong.