There are problems with the natural selection-economic markets analogy, of course. To begin with, it is not clear what markets maximize, if anything. Natural selection maximizes local fitness (of a particular population in response to a specific set of environmental circumstances). Free markets may maximize trade volume, for instance; or perhaps they minimize prices; or they augment per capita income, but it is hard to see why exactly any of these things would be necessarily good, since according to several studies published over the last few years they are all only loosely correlated with quality of life, or with other important priorities, like justice, equality, or environmental preservation.
This is just a section from a posting on Rationally Speaking on Dr. Michael Shermer’s ‘The Mind of the Market.’ It’s worth a gander.