Like many people with an interest in mathematics right now, I want to get a deeper understanding where Atiyah's proof of Riemann Hypothesis might fall down. I searched and found no such question here so I asked.
Coming from a Fields medal winner this claimed proof cannot be assumed to sit in the same category as the many cranky proofs.
MathOverflow has a policy to not permit discussion of conjectured proofs of open problems, and that policy was quoted as a closure reason. There were both close and reopen votes and there was some debate in the comments defending the question's validity on the grounds:
- MSE is fundamentally a place people come to get mathematics questions answered, and
- this is actually a hot mathematics question right now which a lot of people want answers to,
- unlike MO, MSE has no such policy, and
- what really is gained by preventing people from coming here to get their questions answered?
- If the question is closed and deleted, others wanting to learn will simply come and ask the same.
A moderator who voted to re-close the question then deleted the counterargument to the close votes but left in place the pro-close arguments, claiming that the comments are not the place to discuss whether closure is valid. I think the comments are precisely the right place to place a counterargument the question's closure - where others who might cast a vote can consider them. This left a really sour taste in my mouth and I felt it was undemocratic. Is it just me?