For a short book, Seth Godin's "TRIBES" covers a lot of territory. But while most of it has to do with leadership and social media, an incredibly insightful passage on faith, science and the future should not be overlooked:
"Faith goes back a long way. Faith leads to hope, and it overcomes fear. Faith gave our ancestors the resilience they needed to deal with the mysteries of the (pre-science) world. Faith is the dividing line between humans and most other species. We have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, faith that Newton's laws will continue to govern the way a ball travels, and faith that our time in med school will pay off twenty years from now because society is still going to need doctors."
I'm struck by how whether it's a vision of the future, which no one can objectively say is truth, or a scientific principal like the boiling point of water, what enables people to bet their dollars or even their lives is their faith that something will happen.
If anyone knows of any psychological books/papers on this topic, drop me a line.