What else then might people mean when they assert that time causes ageing?
What some people mean (I think) is that time ALLOWS ageing. If something ages, they say, it has to have the ‘time-space’ in which to perform this ageing. (This is similar to the idea of persistence, as already looked at). The misconception then is that time creates this time-space where the ageing occurs. So they think this therefore gives time another ‘dimensional property’.
[Again, unfortunately, the notion of time as a dimension does create some peculiar baggage that comes with borrowing from the three-spatial dimension word-toolbox.]
So, to clear up this misconception. If something has just changed, yes it now occupies a new form (and you can calibrate this change from old form to new form using time); but equally well it’s lost its old form – that’s now overwritten. Time isn’t some on-going extension – or at least if it is, then the past shrinks as quickly as the future extends – so there is a net nothing. We simply exist in a momentary instant of a particular universal configuration, which changes continually, to a next instant and configuration. All individual objects have their own event (time) series. They are unsynchronised (at least there seems to be no evidence that they are synchonised). There is no universal frame by frame advance, just merely unsynchronised events happening individually.
In other words, Time has no depth or dimensional properties. We exist in the merest slither of ‘time’ which changes (advances) only as events happen. And events overwrite what previously existed in the slither, so the slither never need have any depth (and “depth” is just an approximation caused by the observer’s de-minimis limitations). The slither of time is as small as the observer can make it – limited only by the ‘instantaneous-ness’ of quantum events.
And the real truth is that as there are zillions of events happening all the time and they are unsynchronised, there probably isn’t a ‘moment’ when there isn’t something happening in the universe somewhere. So an ‘instant in time’ probably never actually occurs.