Thing about "art history" is that we are post-Dada. Since most of it has come down to pretentious BS, I can really understand why people don't bother reading about every last photographer out there. When there is an admonishment to stand upon the shoulders of giants, how many giants are lauded? I have seen many people here castigate Adams and others. Why? So everyone gets reduced to the stature of a pygmy. Now, where are the giants whose shoulders will give us new sights?
Non-photographers might have heard of Ansel Adams, and they certainly haven't heard of anybody else. If a person fits the "I have an expensive camera and therefore I'm a photographer" category, of course they will go, photograph babies and brown dogs, and then go to a gallery and expect to be lauded.
I can't speak for anyone else's motivations for critiquing the Adams fan base, but to me, it's not about tearing down a giant to a pygmy, but rather puncturing the shadow others have set him up to cast so that there is room for others to shine. The f64 school is NOT the only way to make a photograph. By all means learn the technique because it's good foundational technique - it gives you the baseline from which to make highly controlled photographs, and to deviate from that in a repeatable, predictable way. But it is tiresome to the nth degree to hear people shouting that if it doesn't look like St. Ansel shot and printed it between 1940 and 1970, then it isn't a valid photograph.