1. You will have the original O-F papers tomorrow (the DNA paper and the RNA paper.)
2. The Gibley Ahlquist passage on pp24-25 deals with the O-F DNA indices, not the O-F RNA indices. So what they're saying is not directly transferable to RNA situations, at least not without evaluation about whether the RNA side of the house differes in a relevant way from the DNA side. This is why it's important for you to look at the correlation between Tm and "delta-H" in the RNA paper you'll have tomorrow, not the Tm:"delta-H" correlation on the DNA side of the house. (In the RNA paper, O-F of course compare their results to the DNA results they achieved earlier.
3. I took a quick look at the O-F DNA and RNA papers, which I hadn't looked at in many years. Both papers describe the methodology used to derive the indices, but you may find it forbidding. Let me know whether you can make heads or tails of the methodology after you've had a chance to look at the two papers, which as I said, you'll have tomorrow. If not, I will ask Jacques the best way to obtain a simplified exposition of the methodology for you.
4. You do have to understand one "leap of faith" which Jacques took in 1992 when he first started working with me.
In particular, when one of our messenger RNA codons binds with its anticodon that's in a transfer RNA, the form of the codon:anticodon binding is well-known to be a "mini-double helix", just like a snippet of a DNA double-helix containing just three bases on one strand paired with three complementary bases on the other strand.
What Jacques decided back in 1992 was that the O-F RNA indices WOULD apply to characterize the energetics involved in these very tiny "mini- double helices" just 3 bases long. And in effect, our research since then has proceeded under the assumption that IF Jacques was correct to make this call back in 1992, then we would see consistent "effects" in the data. But to the best of my knowledge, no one has empirically tested whether the O-F RNA indices derived from relatively long stretches of RNA can actually be applied to the "mini-double helices" involved in codon:anticodon binding. I will call Jacques tomorrow and ask him about this point, in case I'm unaware of work done that's relevant to this question.