And you seem to assume knowledge of the past dictates talent. Knowledge of the history of the craft as well as training in the craft does not in anyway dictate talent. If it did then I think I need to schedule my opening at your gallery. I can be there next week as I have a week off and we can hang my images. I have a pretty solid knowledge of Photography's past, at least in the area of photography I practice, and can discuss it at length.
Yes that is absurd. Yes I do believe a person can be as talented as the greats, or more talented, having never seen the works of the greats. Call it a diamond in the rough.