[This little rant stems from some of my contemplations of the role of proof in the processes of mathematics education. A detailed scrutiny by a guy like Bertrand Russell would make the best proof look like a pile of unjustified assumptions, which seems to result in a damning sense of futility that nullifies all scientific pretensions. Except, of course, the scientific pretension that identifies and cogently discusses the futility. That one is probably still valid and worthwhile.]
If and when the Riemann Hypothesis is finally proven, there will likely be a dozen people on the planet who understand the proof, a few more who pretend, and an excited population who believes. Is this mathematical rigor? At the very frontiers of mathematics and logic itself, we as a society, as a scientific community, are persistently and ironically burdened with the yoke of deference to an authority. On the simpler end, things are just as bad. I have a respectable degree in mathematics, and I will not pretend to follow the proof by Russell and Whitehead that 1+1=2. If I copied down their stupefying sequence of symbols from 'Principia Mathematica', I would not consider that I had proven the momentous result that 1+1=2. Nor would I consider the Riemann Hypothesis proven to me if I was expected at some point to 'take the professor's word for it'. I suspect that an argument presented as a rigorous proof is only rigorous by its delivery and is only a proof by its reception. But of course, I couldn't prove it.