What is it with the dots?

From Tuesday's New York Times article:

Dr. Lieberman said that he and colleagues "are relentlessly optimistic that we have all the information we need to answer our big questions, but just haven't figured out the order in which to connect the dots."
But the real problem, he added, with resignation tempering optimism, "is that the fossil record doesn't have enough dots."

From today's Nature perspective:

The fossil record of human evolution is like a pointillist painting: one sees a different picture close up from when one stands back.

I had that happen to me, but they said it was myopia....