Actually I don't disagree with your sentiments at all, just your (mis)interpretation of what I wrote. By "iconic" I meant: "evokes Dorothea Lange and Hank Carter." Certainly an image/subject can be used in an iconic way -- by coincidence, I have a copy of Salgado's TERRA open here on my desk right now, and certainly he's quite adept at making these cane workers, miners, and so forth into iconic figures. But specifically, I meant icons of photo history, not Human History.
Similarly, by "moment" I didn't mean "an event" which might last many moments, but a very-specific 1/125th of a second -- one for each individual frame. B&W's emphasis on form makes such moments very important, at least when photographing human subjects. Even a person in apparent repose will have a face and eyes that shift and flow like mercury.
This has little to do with the oft-cited "timelessness" of B&W. I'm torn on how to interpret this "timelessness," uncertain if it's related to our nostalgia for a mostly-B&W past (the sort a modern PJ should approach at arm's length) or if it's related to the way human memories tend to record B&W detail but not color (well-know to cognitive psychs). I prefer to think that the latter is a stronger influence and so continue to do mostly B&W shooting, despite having fixer fingers and a sink that's developing permanent purple Rodinal stains.
(As for shooting Adams-like landscapes.... well, yes, actually. It is the blunt truth that Adams has left such a large impression on that genre that one must be very deliberate to avoid the "Adams-like" impression -- especially when so many photographers, like Adams, photograph the wild places in a search for The Sublime)
Finally, please remember that I said usually -- not always! There are plenty of great photos yet to be made that will surprise us all.