Actually, I think you are giving them more importance than the standard does. It devotes 3 lines to the ears, wrinkling is mentioned twice in passing
Actually the breed standard does not atribute any particular atribute other than size both height and weight to purpose. The purpose of my discourse is examine some common Memes
about basset hounds which ears length and fold and wrinkles about the head improving scenting ability is one.
obviously the creators believed that it does.
Not actual sure who you mean by the creators, that of the standard or the breed, or that anonimous source for the meme. If you mean either of the first two, creators of the breed and or standard, I have not seen any evidence to suggest that. Only evidence I see is an aesthetic preference for longer ears and wrinkles and a host of other traits as well that similar to a bloodhound head ie prominient haw. Not once have I seen mention that the creators/founders of the breed sought longer ears etc because of better field performance.
If you mean the later it doesn't really matter what they believe it only matters if it is true or not.
I was given to understand that a slower hunting dog was the point of the exercise. He is specifically for those who are slower and want an easier dog to follow.
Again not from what I read the aesthetic came first followed by the purpose. That because he is slower and easier to follow ( which is probably as much a personality trait than physical one) they are sought out by individual seeking the same. One could say it is much a chicken vs the egg debate, but in this case the motivation of the early founders is much clearer. The imports of foundation stock were not hunters/gamesmen but arristocrats interest in the sport of purebred dogs, conformation, producing hounds that looked good.
At any rate, do not make the mistake of confusing what happens in the show ring with what the STANDARD actually says:
The standard is open to interpretation, I think how that interpretation manifests itself is more reveiling than what it actual says. Keeping in mind the breed standards for "show dogs" and "field dogs" are virtually the same with any differences being quite minors and across idiver sanctioning bodies. If long ears and/or loose skin and wrinkles about the head had real( read noticable) effect on performance I would expect those for which performance was a premium to naturally bias toward that norm. That is as the best performing hounds would naturally have longer ears and more looser skin about the head they would be the preferred breeding stock and hence the performance dogs would tend to have longer ears. This is not the case.
Lets take a look at the breeds which have long ears. Bloodhound (considered to have the best nose, hands down) Basset Hounds are generally considered second only to the Bloodhound in scenting ability. Coonhounds. Bleu de Gacscogne, Griffon Vendeens. All dogs considered to have superior scenting abilities - I don't think that there are any non-scenting dogs with very long ears
First the ranking of scenting ability is again a meme, Given the meme that bloodhounds are the best scenter would it not be most reasonable to assume that second best scenter is the dog with the head that most resembles a bloodhound when there is no other evidence? But this is simply a leaf of faith, that with no other conlicting evidence gets repeated and believed ad nauseum. There is scant research on the study of various breed actual scenting ability and even those studies one can only reliably make judgements based on the the condition of the study. Under different condition different results are likely. There is no single skill representing scenting ability. Also research has clearly shown that training is an important aspect of this ability as well.
I don't think that there are any non-scenting dogs with very long ears
Is there a non-scenting dogs? There certainly a number of dogs used to do scenting work that do not have long ears. An there is certainly some Scientific evidence to back-up a superior scenting ability of them over some traditional scent hounds based on the size and number of receptors in the olafactory mucus theory of Scent
However there is also conficting evidence based on other scenting studies Which show the beagles superior scenting ability with smaller nose " As part of this research, they tested the scenting abilities of various breeds by putting a mouse in a 1-acre (4,000 m2) field and timing how long it took the dogs to find it. The Beagles found it in less than a minute, while Fox Terriers
took 15 minutes and Scottish Terriers
failed to find it at all. Beagles are better at ground-scenting (following a trail on the ground) than they are at air-scenting, and for this reason they have been excluded from most mountain rescue
teams in favour of collies
, which use sight in addition to air-scenting"
Non-sure you would consider them non-scenting a quite a number of sporting breed in particular the various spanial have ear length to muzzle ratio that rival or exceed that of all but the bloodhound and basset.
Even assuming that this is true, the fact that the "unnecessary" trait accompanies the "necessary" trait would make the former an indicator for the latter, and therefore desireable
Not necessarily true. But desirable is not in question here. The very fact that a trait is called for in the breed standard makes it "desireable" by definition. Whether is increases performance or is indicator of increased performance is in serious question however.
When explicitly talking in generalities the condition does not apply to a dogs in this case a trend.