The Thematic Dimension in Weather Modification, Past and Future


  • Wallace E Howell Golden, CO


Weather modification research is considered as taking place on the contingency plane defined by a theoretic axis on which mathematical and logical operations take place, and a phenomic or empirical axis on which experimental oparations (including observations) on natural phenomena take place.  The manner in which these operations are organized and combined in the framing and testing of hypotheses is strongly influenced by a third dimension called thematic by Holton, in which premises or postulates operate that are not directly either verifiable or falsifiable.  The thematic premise that has most strongly influenced weather modification research for almost 30 years is that physical understanding of each step in the precipitation process, natural and modified, is a prerequisite for an effective technology.  This premise will be examined in the light of alternative themas operating in other sciences and of Nelson's principle of insulation.  This admits of empiric parameters at one level of understanding that may later be theoretically deduced from a deeper level.  It is suggested that a different thema is emerging in weather modification research related to interpretations of empirical evidence, which may insulate a portion of this field from what has been described as its great complexity and difficulty.




Scientific Papers